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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sanhedrin 39


(a) (R. Yochanan): R. Meir had 300 parables about foxes, we know only three, based on these verses:
1. "Avos Yochlu Boser v'Shinei ha'Banim Tikhenah" (Rashi - this teaches that children are punished for their fathers' sins (if they also sin). Maharsha - all the parables teach that Resha'im hope to get a full share in the world to come for minimal effort in this world, in truth, they do not get any share in the world to come.)
2. "Moznei Tzedek Avnei Tzedek"
3. "Tzadik mi'Tzarah Nechelatz va'Yavo Rasha Tachtav".
(b) Question (a heretic): Your G-d steals - "Va'Yapel Hash-m Tardemah Al ha'Adam (and he took a Tzela (rib or side)"!
(c) R. Gamliel's daughter: Allow me to answer.
1. His daughter (to the heretic): Bring a judge, to hear our claim - thieves stole a silver flask from us and left a gold flask in its place.
2. The heretic: I wish such thieves would steal from me!
3. His daughter: Wasn't it advantageous for Adam to lose a Tzela and receive a servant!
4. The heretic: I meant, Hash-m should have taken it openly.
5. His daughter: Bring me raw meat. (She roasted it on hot ashes in front of him, and offered him to eat it.)
6. The heretic: It is repulsive to me (because I saw it before it was ready).
7. His daughter: Likewise, had Adam seen his Tzela taken, Chavah would have been repulsive to him.
(d) A heretic: I know what your G-d is doing.
1. R. Gamliel sighed.
2. The heretic: What is wrong?
3. R. Gamliel: I have a son overseas, I long to see him - please show him to me.
4. The heretic: I don't know where he is!
5. R. Gamliel: You don't know the whereabouts of those on earth, do you know about the One in Heaven?!
(e) A heretic: It says "(Hash-m) Moneh Mispar la'Kochavim" - what is so special about this?
1. Version #1 - the heretic: Even I could do so!
2. R. Gamliel put quince (fruits) in a strainer, and was shaking them around; he asked him to count them.
3. The heretic: First stop moving them.
4. R. Gamliel: The stars also move!
5. Version #2 - the heretic: I counted the stars!
6. R. Gamliel: How many molars and teeth do you have?
The heretic put his hand in his mouth to count them.
7. R. Gamliel: You do not know what is in your mouth - do you know what is in Heaven?!
(f) A heretic: Mountains and wind were created by different powers - "Hinei Yotzer Harim u'Vorei Ru'ach" (one creator would have been Yotzer or Borei both)!
(g) Rejection (R. Gamliel): In the creation of man, it says "Va'Yivra" and "Va'Yitzer" - will you say that different creators made man together?!
1. If you want to say this - will you say so even about two (organs in) holes right near each other - "Ha'Note'a Ozen...Yotzer Ayin"?!
2. The heretic: Yes, different creators made them.
3. R. Gamliel: When a man dies, do all his creators simultaneously agree that it is time for him to die?!
(h) A witch (to Ameimar): I know (through witchcraft) that the upper half of your body belongs to Hormiz (a Shed (demon)), the lower half belongs to Hash-m.
(i) Rejection (Ameimar): If so, why would Hash-m allow Hormiz to pass wastes of his region (from what I eat) through Hash-m's region (from which I excrete)?!
(j) The Kaiser (to R. Tanchum): Let us be one united nation!
(k) R. Tanchum: We are circumcised, we cannot be like you - you can circumcise yourselves and be like us!
(l) The Kaiser: You are right - but anyone who outwits the king is thrown to the quarry of wild animals.
1. They threw him in, the animals did not eat him.
2. A Tzeduki: They did not eat him because they are not hungry.
3. They threw the Tzeduki in, the animals ate him.
(m) A heretic (to R. Gamliel): You say that the Shechinah dwells among any 10 Yisraelim - how many Shechinos are there?
(n) R. Gamliel called for the heretic's servant, and hit him on the neck - he asked, why did you let the sun enter the heretic's house?
1. The heretic: It enters everywhere!
2. R. Gamliel: The sun is one of billions of servants of Hash-m, it shines everywhere - all the more so, the Shechinah!
(o) Question #1 (A Min, of R. Avahu): Your G-d is a jokester - he told Yechezkeil "Shechav Al Tzidecha ha'Smoli", then he told him "V'Shachavta Al Tzidecha ha'Yemini"!
(p) Question #2 (A Talmid, of R. Avahu): What is the reason for the Mitzvah of Shemitah?
(q) Answer (to both questions - R. Avahu): Hash-m told Yisrael to farm for six years and cease in the seventh, in order that they will know that the land is Hash-m's;
1. They did not obey, therefore they were exiled.
(r) If the people of a province rebelled against their (mortal) king:
1. If the king is cruel, he will kill all of them;
2. If he is merciful, he will kill half;
3. If he is full of mercy, he will afflict the most important people.
4. Likewise, Hash-m afflicted Yechezkeil in order that cleanse the sins of Yisrael.
(a) Question (A Min, of R. Avahu): Your G-d is a Kohen, He commanded "Va'Yikchu Li Terumah";
1. After he buried Moshe, in what Mikvah did He immerse?
2. Suggestion: Perhaps He immersed in water.
3. Rejection: "Mi Madad b'Sha'alo Mayim" - all of the water in the world does not even contain His hand!
(b) Answer (R. Avahu): He immersed in fire - "Ki Hine Hash-m b'Esh Yavo".
(c) Question (the Min): Does immersing in fire really count in place of immersion?!
(d) Answer (R. Avahu): Indeed, that is the preferred immersion - "V'Chol Asher Lo Yavo ba'Esh Ta'aviru va'Mayim".
(e) Question (A Min, of R. Avahu): It says "U'Mi ch'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz";
1. What is special about you - "Kol ha'Goyim k'Ayin Negdo (all the nations, including Yisrael, are insignificant compared to Hash-m)"!
(f) Answer (R. Avahu): Your prophet (Bil'am, who was a Nochri) testified that Yisrael are counted separately - "Uva'Goyim Lo Yischashav".

(g) Contradiction (R. Elazar): It says "Tov Hash-m la'Kol" - it also says "Tov Hash-m l'Kovav".
(h) Answer (R. Elazar): This is a parable - if a man owns an orchard, when he waters it (this is done all at once), he waters all the trees; when he prunes (this is done one tree at a time), he only prunes the good trees.
(a) (Mishnah): Therefore, everyone must say...("Uva'Avod Resha'im Rinah").
(b) (Rav Acha bar Chanina): "Va'Ya'avor *ha*'Rinah ba'Machaneh" - *The* joy was the death of Achav.
(c) Question: Hash-m is not happy with the downfall of Resha'im!
1. (R. Yochanan): "B'Tzeis Lifne ha'Chalutz v'Omrim "Hodu la'Sh-m Ki l'Olam Chasdo" - it does not say "Ki Tov", because Hash-m is not happy with the downfall of Resha'im.
2. (R. Shmuel bar Nachman): "V'Lo Karav Zeh El Zeh Kol ha'Laylah" - the angels wanted to sing in front of Hash-m on the night of Kri'as Yam Suf;
i. Hash-m: My creations are drowning in the sea, and you want to sing in front of Me?!
(d) Answer (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): Hash-m is not happy, but he makes others rejoice;
1. It says "Yasis" (He will make our enemies rejoice over our downfall), it does not say 'Yasos' (He will rejoice).
(e) (R. Elazar): "*Veha'Zonos* Rachatzu (when Achav died)" - his death cleansed (clarified) two Chezyonos (prophetic visions), of Michayhu and Eliyahu.
1. It says in Michayhu "Im Shov Tashuv b'Shalom" (i.e. you will not return safely);
2. It says in Eliyahu "Bi'Mkom Asher Lakeku ka'Kelavim Es Dam Navos (they will lick your blood)".
(f) (Rava): The verse discusses actual Zonos (harlots) - Achav was easily chilled, Izevel made two pictures of harlots in his chariot, to excite him and warm him. (When he died, they were washed with his blood.)
(g) (R. Elazar): "V'Ish Mashach ba'Keshes l'Sumo va'Yakeh" - it was l'Fi Sumo (he did not realize that this was Melech Yisrael);
(h) (Rava): This was in order Lesumam (to complete) the (above) prophecies.
(a) Question: "Va'Yikra Achav El Ovadyahu...v'Ovadyahu Yarei Es Hash-m Me'od" - why does it digress to say this?
(b) Answer (R. Yitzchak): Achav asked Ovadyahu 'Lavan said to Yakov "Nichashti va'Yvoracheni Hash-m Biglalecha", it says about Yosef "Va'Yvorech Hash-m Es Beis ha'Mitzri Biglal Yosef";
1. Why wasn't my house blessed - perhaps you do not fear Hash-m?!'
2. A Bas Kol (voice from Heaven) proclaimed "V'Ovadyahu Yarei Es Hash-m Me'od" - Achav's house is not worthy to be blessed.
(c) (R. Aba): The verse praises Ovadyahu more than Avraham - the Torah says that Avraham feared Hash-m, it does not say 'Me'od'.
(d) (R. Yitzchak): Ovadyahu merited prophecy because he hid 100 prophets in two caves - "B'Hachris Izevel Es Nevi'ei Hash-m va'Yikach Ovadyahu...Chamishim Ish ba'Me'arah".
(e) Question: Why did he put 50 in each cave (and not all 100 in one cave)?
(f) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): He learned from Yakov, who split his children into two camps, in case Esav would kill one, "V'Hayah ha'Machaneh ha'Nishar li'Fletah".
(g) Answer #2 (R. Avahu): Neither cave had room for more than 50.
(h) Question: "Chazon Ovadyah...le'Edom" - why did Ovadyahu receive the prophecy for Edom?
(i) Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak): Ovadyahu lived among two Resha'im (Achav and Izevel), he did not learn from their ways, therefore he prophecized about (the descendants of) Esav, who lived among two Tzedukim (Yitzchak and Rivka) and did not learn from their ways.
(j) Answer #2 (Efrayim Maksh'ah): Ovadyahu was a convert from Edom.
1. This is as people say - the handle of the ax used to chop trees of the forest comes from the forest itself (the one who prophecized the downfall of Edom came from Edom).
(k) (R. Yochanan): "Va'Yach (David) Es Mo'av..." - this is as people say, the ax handle comes from the forest itself (the one who struck Mo'av descends from (Rus, who was from) Mo'av).
1. (Rav Dimi): A thigh decays from the inside.
(a) (Rav or Shmuel): "Va'Yikach (Meisha, the king of Mo'av) Es Beno...va'Ya'alehu Olah" - he intended for the sake of Heaven;
(b) (The other of Rav and Shmuel): He intended to serve idolatry.
(c) Question: "Va'Yhi Ketzef Gadol Al Yisrael" - We understand according to the opinion that he intended for the sake of Heaven (Yisrael was acting to anger Hash-m, we were more liable by contrast);
1. But according to the opinion that he intended for idolatry, why did this arouse Hash-m's anger against Yisrael?!
(d) Answer: We learn from R. Yehoshua ben Levi.
1. Contradiction (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It says "Uch'Mishpetei ha'Goyim...Lo Asisem", it also says "Uch'Mishpetei ha'Goyim...Asisem"!
2. Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): We did not do like their good deeds, we did like their bad deeds. (Meisha's act alluded to sins of Yisrael.)
(e) (R. Chanina bar Papa): "Va'Yis'u me'Alav va'Yashuvu la'Aretz" - at that time, Yisrael's deeds reached the Aretz, i.e. the lowest level.
(f) (R. Chanina bar Papa): "Veha'Na'arah Yafah *Ad* Me'od" - it does not say (only) 'Me'od', Avishag was not half as beautiful as Sarah.
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