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of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sanhedrin 52


(a) Question: How does R. Yishmael expound "Es Aviha Hi Mechaleles"?
(b) Answer: He expounds like R. Meir.
1. (Beraisa - R. Meir): "Es Aviha Hi Mechaleles" - this teaches that we no longer treat her father honorably (like other Kohanim):
2. If we used to treat him as someone Kodesh, we treat him like Chulin; if we used honor him, we disgrace him;
3. We say, cursed is the one who fathered such a girl, who raised such a girl.
(c) (Rav Ashi): Even if a Rasha's father is a Tzadik, we call him a Rasha ben Rasha - this is like R. Meir.
(d) (Mishnah): This is the Mitzvah of stoning.
(e) Question: The Mishnah listed all the death penalties - why does it say '*This* is the Mitzvah of stoning?
(f) Answer: The previous Perek taught, after the final verdict, he is taken to be stoned;
1. The Beis ha'Skilah was twice a person's height.
2. Since we will next teach about burning, our Mishnah said in conclusion 'This is the Mitzvah of stoning'.
(a) (Mishnah): The Mitzvah of burning: we insert him in manure up to his knees, we put a hard garment inside a soft garment, and wrap them around his neck. The witnesses pull in both directions, making his mouth open. One lights a Pesilah (this usually means a wick) and throws it into his mouth, burning his innards.
(b) R. Yehudah says, perhaps they will strangle him, and the Mitzvah will not be fulfilled!
1. Rather, we use tongs to force his mouth open, and throw in the Pesilah as above.
(c) R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok says, a case occurred, a Bas Kohen was Mezanah; they surrounded her with bundles of twigs and burned her.
(d) Chachamim: This was incorrect, the Beis Din was not learned.
(e) (Gemara) Question: What is 'Pesilah'?
(f) Answer (Rav Masnah): Lead (which we melt).
(g) Question: What is the source of this?
(h) Answer #1: We learn from a Gezerah Shavah "Sereifah-Sereifah" from Korach's congregation: just as there the Neshamah was burned, not the body (this will be explained), also (Misas Beis Din of) Sereifah.
(i) Answer #2 (R. Elazar): We learn from a Gezerah Shavah "Sereifah-Sereifah" from Nadav and Avihu: just as there the Neshamah was burned, not the body (this will be explained), also Sereifah.
(j) Question: How does the first opinion know that in Korach's congregation only the Neshamah was burned, not the body?
(k) Answer: It says "Es Machtos ha'Chata'im Ha'elu b'Nafshosam" - their Neshamos were burned, not their bodies.
1. R. Elazar says, a regular fire consumed them (with their bodies);
2. "Ha'Chata'im Ha'elu b'Nafshosam" teaches that they were burned *on account of* their Neshamos.
3. (Reish Lakish): "B'Chanfei La'agei Ma'og Charok Alai Shineimo" - on account of flattery of food (Korach gave food and drink to people, therefore they supported him), the minister of Gehinom gnashed his teeth at them.
(l) Question: How does R. Elazar know that only the Neshamos of Nadav and Avihu were burned, not their bodies?
(m) Answer: It says "Va'Yamusu" - it was like (regular) death (their bodies remained intact).
1. The first opinion says, a regular fire consumed them; "Va'Yamusu" teaches that the fire started form their insides, like (regular) death (which results from something internal).
2. (Beraisa - Aba Yosi ben Dosta'i): Two threads of fire came from the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim; each split into two and entered the nostrils of one of them and killed him.
3. Question (against the first opinion): But it says "Va'Tochal *Osam*" (if fire consumed them, what is excluded?)!
4. Answer: It consumed them, not their garments.
(n) Question: Why don't we learn from bulls (whose blood is sprinkled in the Kodesh ha'Kodoshim) that are burned, they are truly burned!
(o) Answer: It is better to learn from people (Korach's congregation or Nadav and Avihu), they resemble Sereifah of Misas Beis Din in these ways:
1. They pertain to people, to sinners, Neshamos are taken, and Pigul does not apply.
(p) Question: Rather, we should learn from bulls - they are burned according to Halachah, and they apply to all generations!
(q) Answer: There are more similarities to people.
(r) Question: Why didn't the first opinion learn from Nadav and Avihu?
(s) Answer: He says that they were truly burned.
(t) Question: Let us learn from them that indeed, we truly burn people!
(u) Answer (Rav Nachman): "V'Ahavta l'Re'acha Kamocha" - choose a nice death for him.
(v) Question: If we learn from there, why do we need the Gezerah Shavah?
(w) Answer: One might have thought, if only the Neshamah is burned but not the body, this is not considered burning - the Gezerah Shavah teaches that it is.
1. One could fulfill "V'Ahavta l'Re'acha Kamocha" by making a great fire that will burn the person very quickly.
(a) Moshe and Aharon were walking, Nadav and Avihu were in back of them, all of Yisrael were in back of them.
1. Nadav (to Avihu): When will these elders (Moshe and Aharon) die? Then, we will lead the generation!
2. Hash-m: We shall see who will die first.
(b) (Rav Papa): This is as people say, many old camels carry the skins of young camels (that died because they were not trained to bear a burden).

(c) (R. Elazar): At first, an ignoramus sees a Chacham like a golden flask;
1. After the Chacham talks with him (about secular matters), he appears like a silver flask;
2. After the Chacham benefits from him, he appears like a broken earthenware flask, which cannot be fixed.
(d) A certain Bas Kohen was Mezanah; Rav Chama bar Tuvya burned her in a fire of sticks.
(e) Rav Yosef: He did not know the following two teachings:
1. (Rav Masnah): The Pesilah is lead.
2. (Beraisa): "U'Vasa El ha'Kohanim ha'Levi'im v'El ha'Shofet Asher Yiheyh ba'Yamim ha'Hem" - we only judge capital cases at a time when Kohanim serve in the Mikdash.
(f) (Mishnah - R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok): A case occurred, a Bas Kohen was Mezanah...(they truly burned her; Chachamim said, the Beis Din was not learned).
(g) (Rav Yosef): It was a Beis Din of Tzedukim.
(h) Question: Was this really Chachamim's rebuttal of R. Eliezer?!
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok): I remember when I was a boy on my father's shoulder, a Bas Kohen was Mezanah, they surrounded her with bundles of twigs and burned her.
2. Chachamim: We do not bring proof from (something witnessed by) a minor (even after he matures).
(i) Answer: He saw this on two occasions, (Chachamim rejected his two testimonies for different reasons).
(j) Question: Which did he testify about first?
1. If the one he saw in adulthood (and Chachamim said that the Beis Din was not learned), he would not bother to testify later about what he saw as a child!
(k) Answer: He first testified about what he saw when he was a child, Chachamim said that we do not bring proof from a minor;
1. He saw another case when he was an adult, Chachamim said that the Beis Din was not learned.
(a) (Mishnah): Beheading - they behead him (from a standing position) as kingdoms do.
(b) R. Yehudah: That is disgraceful! Rather, we rest his head on a block and cut it with a chopping knife.
(c) Chachamim: That is the most disgraceful death!
(d) (Gemara - Beraisa - R. Yehudah): I agree that this is disgraceful, but we cannot kill like the kingdom - "Uv'Chukoseihem Lo Selechu"!
(e) Chachamim: Since the Torah teaches that a sword should be used, we did not learn from the Nochrim.
1. Surely, anything learned from Torah is not forbidden on account of "Uv'Chukoseihem Lo Selechu";
2. (Beraisa): We burn after a king dies, this is not forbidden on account of 'Darchei ha'Emori';
3. Question: This should be forbidden - "Uv'Chukoseihem Lo Selechu"!
4. Answer: Since we learn from Torah, "Uv'Misrefos Avosecha...", it is permitted.
(f) (Mishnah): The following are beheaded: a murderer and people of an Ir ha'Nidachas.
1. Regarding Ir ha'Nidachas, it explicitly says "L'Fi Charev";
(g) Question: How do we know that a murderer is beheaded by a sword?
(h) Answer (Beraisa): "Nakom Yinakem" - we would not know that this refers to a sword, therefore it says "Cherev Nokemes Nekam Bris".
(i) Question: Perhaps we stab with a sword!
(j) Answer: It says "L'*Fi* Charev" (the *edge* of a sword, not the point).
(k) Question: Perhaps we cut the person lengthwise!
(l) Answer (Rav Nachman): "V'Ahavta l'Re'acha Kamocha" - choose a nice death for him.
(m) Question: "Nakom Yinakem" refers to one who killed a slave - how do we know that one who killed a Yisrael is beheaded? (There, it says "Yumas", which refers to choking.)
(n) Answer #1: We learn from a Kal va'Chomer - one who killed a slave is beheaded, all the more so one who killed a Yisrael!
(o) Question: This is according to the opinion that beheading is more severe than choking - according to the opinion that choking is more severe, how can we answer?
(p) Answer #2 (Beraisa): "V'Ata Teva'er ha'Dam ha'Naki mi'Kirbecha" - murderers (about whom it similarly says "U'Biarta ha'Ra mi'Kirbecha") are equated to Eglah Arufah, which is killed by a knife through the neck.
(q) Question: If we learn from Eglah Arufah, we should use a chopping knife and cut from the back of the neck!
(r) Answer (Rav Nachman): "V'Ahavta l'Re'acha Kamocha" - choose a nice death for him.
(a) (Mishnah): The Mitzvah of choking: we insert him in manure up to his knees, we put a hard garment inside a soft garment, and wrap them around his neck. The witnesses pull in both directions, until he dies.
(b) (Gemara - Beraisa): "Ish (that commits adultery)" - this excludes a minor;
1. "Asher Yin'af Es Eshes Ish" - this excludes a minor's wife (i.e. a minor cannot Mekadesh);
2. "Eshes Re'ehu" - this excludes a Nochri's wife (a Nochri cannot Mekadesh).
3. "Mos Yumas" - he is choked.
4. Question: Perhaps this refers to a different Misah! 5. Answer #1 (R. Yoshiyah): Whenever the Torah does not specify which Misah, we give the lightest (choking).
6. Answer #2 (R. Yonason): Unspecified Misah refers to choking, even though it is not the lightest (this will be explained).
7. Rebbi: He learns from Misah bi'Ydei Shamayim (which is also unspecified);
i. Just as Misah bi'Ydei Shamayim (Aruch - natural death; Rashi - Onan's death) is not noticeable on the body, also Misas Beis Din.
8. Question: Perhaps it refers to burning, which does not mar the body!
9. Answer: Since the Torah says that a Bas Kohen is burned for Zenus, this implies that a Bas Yisrael (about whom it says "Mos Yumas") is not burned.
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