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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sanhedrin 44

SANHEDRIN 44 (19 Cheshvan) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Mordechai ben Harav Yisrael Azriel (Feldman) of Milwaukee, by the members of his family.


(a) (R. Aba bar Zavda): "Chata Yisrael" - even though a Yisrael sinned, he is still called a Yisrael.
1. People say, a Hadas branch among Chilfa (an inferior type of Hadas) is still called Hadas. (Ramah - Chilfa among Hadasim is called Hadas.)
(b) (R. Ila'i): "V'Gam Avru Es Brisi...v'Gam Lakchu Min ha'Cherem v'Am Gonvu v'Gam Kichashu v'Gam Simu vi'Chleihem" - the five times it says 'Gam' teach that Achan transgressed all five Chumashim.
(c) (R. Ila'i): Achan pulled his foreskin to cover up his circumcision - it says here "V'Gam Avru Es Brisi", similar to "Es Brisi Hefar".
(d) Question: R. Ila'i already taught that he transgressed all the Torah, circumcision is included!
(e) Answer: One might have thought, he did not go so far (to annul a Mitzvah on his body).
(f) (R. Aba bar Zavda): "V'Chi Asa Nevalah b'Yisrael" - this teaches that he had relations with a Na'arah Me'orasah, by which it says "Ki Osesa Nevalah b'Yisrael".
(g) Objection: This is obvious (he transgressed the entire Torah)!
(h) Answer: One might have thought, he did not go so far (a great sin to Hash-m, it also embarrasses her family and forbids her to her husband).
(i) (Ravina): The verse teaches that his punishment was to be stoned, like one who had relations with a Na'arah Me'orasah.
(j) Question (Reish Galusa): It says "Va'Yikach Yehoshua Es Achan...v'Es ha'Kesef...v'Es Banav v'Es Benosav v'Es Shoro...v'Es Kol Asher Lo" - he sinned, why were his children killed?
1. Counter-question (Rav Huna): The verse also says "V'Chol Yisrael Imo" - were all of Yisrael killed?!
(k) Answer (to both questions - Rav Huna): His children and all of Yisrael were taken to see the execution, to instill in them fear of sin.
(l) Question: "Ve'Yisrefu Osam ba'Esh va'Yiskelu Osam" - were they burned and stoned?!
(m) Answer (Ravina): What was fitting for burning (money and garments) was burned, what was fitting for stoning (Achan and his animals) was stoned.
(n) (Rav): "Va'Ere ba'Shalal Aderes Shin'ar Achas Tovah" - it was a cloak of clean white wool.
(o) (Shmuel): It was dyed with alum.
(a) (Rav Nachman): "Va'Yatzikum Lifne Hash-m" - Yehoshua cast the spoils on the ground, and asked if these were worthy to cause the majority of the Sanhedrin to die in the battle against Ai.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "Va'Yaku...ki'Shloshim v'Shisha Ish" - they killed 36 people.
2. R. Nechemyah: It says "*Ki*'Shloshim v'Shisha" - really, they killed Ya'ir ben Menasheh, who is equal to the majority of a Sanhedrin.
(b) (Rav Nachman): "Tachanunim Yedaber Rash" - this is Moshe, who prayed in a soft voice for Yisrael;
1. "V'Ashir Ya'aneh Azos" - this is Yehoshua, who spoke brazenly.
(c) Question: What is the source to say this about Yehoshua?
1. Suggestion: "Va'Yatzikum Lifne Hash-m" - Rav Nachman taught, he cast the spoils on the ground...
2. Rejection: Pinchus also did so!
i. (R. Elazar): "Va'Ya'amod Pinchas va'Yfalel" - it does not say 'Va'Yispalel', rather, "va'Yfalel", he was judging in front of Hash-m;
ii. He cast Zimri and Kozbi on the ground, and asked if these were worthy to cause 24,000 Yisraelim to die in a plague.
(d) Answer #1: He said "Lamah Ha'avarta Ha'avir Es ha'Am ha'Zeh".
(e) Rejection: Moshe also said "Lamah Hare'osa la'Am ha'Zeh"!
(f) Answer #2: He said "V'Lo Ho'alnu va'Neshev b'Ever ha'Yarden".
(g) (R. Shila): "Va'Yomer Hash-m...Kum Lech" - your transgression is worse than theirs;
1. Hash-m commanded to set up the stones (immediately) "B'Avrechem Es ha'Yarden", but you waited until you entered 60 Mil into the land.
(h) (Rav): "Ka'aser Tvivah Hash-m Es Moshe...Ken Tzivah Moshe Es Yehoshua...Lo Hesir Davar Mi'Kol Asher Tzivah Hash-m" (Yehoshua did not transgress)!
(i) Question: Why did Hash-m say "Kum Lech"?
(j) Answer: Yehoshua caused the problem (by forbidding the spoils of Yericho).
1. It says regarding Ai "Ka'asher Asisa li'Richo...(but you will take the spoils and animals)".
(k) When Yehoshua saw a Mal'ach in Yericho, he bowed to the ground.
(l) Question: But R. Yochanan taught, it is forbidden to greet someone with Shalom at night, perhaps it is a Shed (all the more so, one should not bow down)!
(m) Answer: The Mal'ach had said "Ani Sar Tzeva Hash-m", he knew it was not a Shed.
(n) Question: Perhaps it lied!
(o) Answer: Shedim do not say Hash-m's name in vain.

1. The Mal'ach rebuked Yehoshua for failing to offer yesterday's afternoon Tamid, and for not learning Torah now.
2. Yehoshua: Which of these prompted you to come?
3. The Mal'ach: "Ata Vasi" (for your current failure to learn).
4. (R. Yochanan): Immediately, "Va'Yalen Yehoshua...b'Soch ha'Emek" - he spent the night in the depth of Halachah.
(p) (Shmuel bar Unya): Learning Torah is greater than bringing the Temidim - the Mal'ach came for neglect of the former.
(a) (Rav Dimi): In Eretz Yisrael they expound "Al Tetzei la'Riv Maher..." - when Hash-m told Yechezkeil to tell Yisrael "Avich ha'EMori v'Imech Chitis", a Ru'ach Poskanis (a Mal'ach; Rashi - Gavri'el) asked, if Avraham and Sarah would come in front of You, would You embarrass them this way?
1. "Rivcha Riv...v'Sod Achar Al Tegal" (rebuke Yisrael, do not reveal the shame of Avraham and Sarah).
(b) Question: Does this Mal'ach have permission to speak this way to Hash-m?
(c) Answer (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): Yes! He has three names: Piskin (he is Posek (speaks conclusively about Yisrael)), Itmon (he seals off the sins of Yisrael), Sigron (if he must cease pleading for Yisrael, no other Mal'ach begins).
(d) (R. Elazar): "Ha'Ya'aroch Shu'acha Lo b'Tzar" - one should pray before he is afflicted;
1. Had Avraham not prayed for his descendants when he was between Beis Kel and Ai, they would have perished in the battle of Ai.
(e) (Reish Lakish): "Ha'Ya'aroch Shu'acha Lo b'Tzar" - invigorating oneself in prayer blocks prosecution against himself above.
(f) (R. Yochanan): One should pray (to Hash-m) that the Mal'achim will help him, not prosecute against him.
(a) (Mishnah) Question: How do we know that this atoned for him?...
(b) (Beraisa): Question: How do we know that this atoned for him?
(c) Answer: "Yakorcha Hash-m ba'Yom ha'Zeh" - today you are sullied, but not in the world to come.
(d) Question: "U'Vnei Zerach Zimri v'Eisan...Kulam Chamishah" - why must it say that there were five?
(e) Answer: This teaches that all five have shares in the world to come.
(f) Question: In Divrei ha'Yamim he is called Zimri, in Sefer Yehoshua he is called Achan!
(g) (Rav or Shmuel): His name is Achan - he is called Zimri because he did an action like Zimri.
(h) (The other of Rav and Shmuel): His name is Zimri - he is called Achan because he caused the sins of Yisrael to be visited upon them like an Achna (snake).
(i) (Mishnah): If he does not know how to confess...R. Yehudah says...(Chachamim say, if so, everyone will say this to) clear himself!
(j) Question: What is wrong if he clears himself?
(k) Answer: He will make people think that Beis Din killed an innocent person and that the witnesses lied.
(l) (Beraisa): A case occurred, a man said on his way to execution 'If I am guilty of this, my death should not atone for my sins; if I am innocent, my death should atone for my sins, Beis Din and Yisrael should be clear, the witnesses should never be forgiven'.
1. When Chachamim heard, they said 'The sentence cannot be retracted; he will be killed, if the witnesses lied, they will bear their sin'.
(m) Question: Obviously, his words cannot overturn the sentence!
(n) Answer: The Chidush is, even though the witnesses retracted, we carry out the sentence.
(o) Question: One witnesses testify, they cannot retract!
(p) Answer: The Chidush is, even though they gave a reason (they lied on account of hatred), they cannot retract (like the case when Shimon ben Shetach's son was framed).
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