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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sanhedrin 18


(a) Answer #2 (R. Nechemyah): (The city must have) two hundred and thirty people, corresponding to judges of 10 (i.e. each judge on the Sanhedrin could be a judge over 10 people of the city).
(b) (Beraisa - Rebbi): It must have 277 people (230 people like R. Nechemyah, and another 47 in case a judge will be indecisive and we will have to add judges until 70).
(c) Contradiction (Beraisa - Rebbi): It must have 278 people.
(d) Resolution: The former Beraisa is according to R. Yehudah (who says that the Great Sanhedrin has 70 judges), the latter is according to Chachamim (who say that it has 71).
(e) (Beraisa): "...Sarei Alafim..." - there were 600 judges of (appointed over) 1000, there were 6,000 judges of 100, there were 12,000 judges of 50, there were 60,000 judges of 10, making 78,600 judges in all. (Tosfos - each judge himself was included in the number of people he is appointed over; alternatively, the judges were above 60 and not included among the 600,000 Yisraelim).


(a) (Mishnah): A Kohen Gadol can judge, he can be judged; he can testify, others can testify about him;
(b) His widow can do Chalitzah or Yibum, he can do Chalitzah but not Yibum, for he is forbidden to marry a widow.
(c) R. Meir says, if one of his close relatives died (for whom he mourns), he does not follow the coffin closely: when the procession moves to a new area, he enters the previous area it passed, until they reach the gate of Yerushalayim.
(d) R. Yehudah says, he does not leave the Mikdash - "U'Min ha'Mikdash Lo Yetzei"
(e) When he consoles others, the Memuneh (this will be explained) is on one side of him, everyone else is on the other side.
(f) When others console him, they say 'we are an atonement for you (to bear what should have come upon you)', he says 'Hash-m should bless you'.
(g) When they give him the meal of Havra'ah (the first meal after losing a relative), they sit on the ground, he sits on a bench.
(h) A king does not judge, we do not judge him; he does not testify, others do not testify about him;
(i) His widow does not do Chalitzah or Yibum, he does not do Chalitzah or Yibum;
(j) R. Yehudah says, if he wants to do Chalitzah or Yibum, he may, he is praised for this;
(k) Chachamim: We do not allow him.
(l) One may not marry a king's widow;
(m) R. Yehudah says, a king may marry a king's widow - David married Sha'ul's widow, "Va'Etnah Lecha...Neshei Adonecha".
(n) (Gemara) Question: Obviously, a Kohen Gadol can judge!
(o) Answer #1: We need to teach that he can be judged.
(p) Question: This is also obvious - if he could not be judged, he could not judge!
1. (Reish Lakish): "Hiskosheshu va'Koshu" - first fix yourself, then correct others.
(q) Answer #2: Rather, since we need to teach that a king does not judge and we do not judge him, we taught about a Kohen Gadol for parallel structure.
(a) Answer #3: The Mishnah teaches as the following Beraisa.
1. (Beraisa): If a Kohen Gadol killed intentionally, he is killed; if it was unintentional, he is exiled to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge);
2. He transgresses an Ase and a Lav (this will be explained), and he is like a commoner in every respect.
(b) Question: Obviously, if he killed intentionally he is killed!
(c) Answer: True - we needed to teach 'If he killed unintentionally, he is exiled', this was taught with it.
(d) Question: Also this is obvious!
(e) Answer: Since it says "Va'Yashav Bah Ad Mos ha'Kohen ha'Gadol", one might have thought that this only applies to those who can return when the Kohen Gadol dies;

1. (Mishnah): If one killed a Kohen Gadol, or if a Kohen Gadol killed, he never leaves the Ir Miklat;
2. One might have thought, he is not exiled at all - the Beraisa teaches, this is not so.
3. Suggestion: Perhaps that truly is the law!
4. Rejection: "Lanus Shamah *Kol* Rotze'ach" - this includes even a Kohen Gadol.
(f) (Beraisa): He transgresses an Ase and a Lav.
(g) Question: Should he transgress?!
(h) Answer: It means, if he transgressed an Ase or a Lav he is like a commoner.
(i) Question: This is obvious!
(j) Answer: One might have thought that 71 judges are required to judge him.
1. (Mishnah): Seventy-one judges are needed to judge a Shevet, a false prophet, or a Kohen Gadol;
2. (Rav Ada bar Ahavah): "Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Elecha - this refers to matters of a Gadol.
3. One might have thought, 71 are required for Kol (all) his matters - the Beraisa teaches, this is not so.
4. Suggestion: Perhaps that truly is the law!
5. Rejection: It does not say 'Divrei Gadol', rather, "Ha'Davar ha'Gadol", the biggest matter (a capital case).
(a) (Mishnah): A Kohen Gadol can testify, others can testify about him.
(b) Question: A Kohen Gadol does not testify!
1. (Beraisa): "Vehisalamta" - sometimes you ignore the lost object, sometimes you may not:
2. A Kohen ignores a lost object in a cemetery, a Chacham ignores it if it is below his dignity to carry such an item, a worker ignores it if the wages he will lose if he returns it are more than it is worth.
3. Here also, it is below the dignity of a Kohen Gadol to testify for others!
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): He testifies for a king.
(d) Objection: (Mishnah): A king does not judge, we do not judge him; he does not testify, others do not testify about him.
(e) Answer #2 (R. Zeira): He testifies for a king's son.
(f) Objection: A king's son is a commoner (it is below the Kohen Gadol's dignity to testify for him)!
(g) Answer #3: He may testify in front of a king (i.e. the king is on the Sanhedrin).
(h) Question: But we do not put a king on the Sanhedrin!
(i) Answer: We put him there temporarily, while the Kohen Gadol testifies (so it will not be a disgrace); afterwards, the king leaves, the Sanhedrin judges.
(j) (Beraisa): We do not put a king on the Sanhedrin, a king or a Kohen Gadol may not be on the Beis Din to Me'aber the year.
1. We do not put a king on the Sanhedrin - "Lo Sa'aneh Al Rav", you may not argue with the greatest of the Beis Din (Ramah - the king would have to speak first - perhaps he errs, and no one will dissent; Ran - kings of Beis David, who would know not to speak first, may be on the Sanhedrin).
2. A king may not be on the Beis Din to Me'aber the year - since he pays his soldiers annually, he is biased (he prefers to get more service for the money, i.e. a leap year);
3. A Kohen Gadol is biased, he does not want a leap year, in order that Yom Kipur will come early, before the water is cold (he must immerse five times on Yom Kipur).
(k) (Rav Papa): This teaches that the temperature follows the months (of the Tekufos - it will begin to get cold after Tekufas Tishrei, even if Beis Din was Me'aber too many years and it is Elul).
(l) Question: But Chachamim heard three cattle shepherds: one said 'It is Adar only if (the ground is warm, causing) the early crop (wheat) and the late crop (barley) to sprout together';
1. Another said 'It is Adar only if the morning is so cold that an ox nearly dies, and in the afternoon it must find shade under a date tree to escape the heat';
2. The third said 'It is Adar only if (the cold of winter has abated so much that) if the east wind (which brings the cold) is blowing and you can blow against it and overpower it (you can feel the heat of your breath).'
3. Based on this, Chachamim were Me'aber the year (because these signs had not yet come, they put another month (Adar 2) before Nisan).
4. Counter-question: Chachamim would not rely on shepherds!
(m) Answer (to both questions): Rather, Chachamim were Me'aber based on calculations; they merely used the shepherd's comments to support the Ibur.
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