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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 14



(a) The Romans killed Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava - because, despite their decree prohibiting it, he gave Semichah to the five Talmidim whom we mentioned earlier.

(b) The significance of his issuing the Semichah between Usha and Shefor'am (two big cities, and between two big mountains and two Techumei Shabbos is - that the decree incorporated the city and the borders in which the Semichah took place, which would also be destroyed (see Ya'avetz).

(c) The Romans killed Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava - by means of three hundred arrows, which they shot into his body.

(d) They did not also kill the Talmidim, in compliance with the decree - because the latter followed their Rebbe's instructions and made good their escape.

(a) What Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan really meant, when he emphatically stated that Rebbi Akiva gave Rebbi Meir Semichah was - that he wanted to give him Semichah, only Rebbi Meir declined to accept it because he was not yet married.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi said 'Ein Semichah be'Chutz la'Aretz'. He cannot have meant that Semichah is ineffective in Chutz la'Aretz (and that no-one there can rule Diynei K'nasos) - since we have learned in the Mishnah in Makos 'Sanhedrin Noheges Bein ba'Aretz Bein be'Chutz la'Aretz'.

(c) What Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi therefore meant was - that one cannot give Semichah in Chutz la'Aretz, even to rule Diynei K'nasos in Eretz Yisrael.

(d) Following the previous ruling, we now ask -whether it is possible to initiate someone in Eretz Yisrael, even though he is currently in Chutz la'Aretz.

(a) We resolve the She'eilah from Rebbi Yochanan, who was upset - because Rav Sh'man bar Aba, whom he was keen to give Semichah, was not available to receive Semichah, a proof that Semichah can only be given in the presence of the candidate.

(b) Likewise, when they wanted to give Semichah to Rav Shimon bar Zirud and Rav Yonasan ben Achna'i (though we don't know which of them was the senior partner) - the one who was present at the time received Semichah, whereas the one who wasn't, didn't.

(c) The problem Rebbi Yochanan had with Rebbi Chanina and Rebbi Hoshaya was - that somehow, whenever they were with him, he didn't manage to find another two Semuchim to form a Beis-Din to give them Semichah.

(d) They themselves (both from the family of Beis Eli) attributed the problem to a statement of Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan, who interpreted the Pasuk in Shmuel ...

1. ... "Kol Marbis Beischa Yamusu Anashim" to mean - that all Eli's descendants would die young.
2. ... "Lo Yih'yeh Zakein be'Veischa Kol ha'Yamim" - that they would never receive Semichah.
(a) Rebbi Elazar said ...
1. ... that in order to live long, one should avoid the Rabbanus, initially causing Rebbi Zeira to shun Semichah".
2. ... when a person rises to greatness, all his sins are forgiven, causing Rebbi Zeira to change his mind, and make every effort to obtain it.
(b) The people sang 'Without eye-paint, face-pack or a hair-do, yet full of Chein!' - on the occasion of Rebbi Zeira's Semichah.

(c) And when Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi received Semichah, what they meant when they sang 'Kol min Dein, ve'Chol min Dein!' was - that they should only give Semichah to people of that caliber.

(d) They added 'Do not give Semichah to Chamisin (who refuse to give over the reasons of Torah) or to Turmisin (empty people)'. Alternatively, they added 'Lo mi'Sarmisin ve'Lo mi'Sarmitin' - meaning 'but not to people who twist the Torah's reasons or 'Sh'mates (rags)', who are unable to give reasons for their teachings.

(a) When the women from the royal palace sang ...
1. ... 'Rabah de'Ameih' - they meant 'Prince of his people'.
2. ... 'Madbarna de'Umseih' - leader of his nation', which the called him because, due to his close association with the ruling power, that is what he was.
3. ... 'B'rich Masyach li'Shelom'! - 'May he come in peace!'
4. ... 'Butzina de'Nura' - 'lamp of fire', which they called him because of his incredibly good looks.
(b) They were referring - to Rebbi Avahu, as he made his way from the Beis-Hamedrash to the palace.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yatz'u Zekeinecha ve'Shoftecha" - that five judges are required to go out to the Eglah Arufah.

(b) According to Rebbi Shimon, three Dayanim will suffice. He learns from "ve'Shoftecha" - that they must be members of the Sanhedrei Gedolah.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah learn this - from "Ziknei/ Zekeinecha" (meaning that if mot for that, the Torah could have written "Ziknei").

(d) Rebbi Shimon learns from ...

1. ... "Ziknei/Ziknecha" - that Eglah Arufah requires expert judges.
2. ... "ve'Shoftecha" - that they must even be from the Sanhedrei Gedolah.
(a) We refute the suggestion that Rebbi Yehudah learns the previous D'rashah from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ziknei" "Ziknei" (from 'Semichas Zekeinim') - because, if he does, why should he not also learn the number (five) from there.

(b) We conclude that Rebbi Yehudah learns 'Meyuchadin she'bi'Zekeinecha' from "Shoftecha" - and the five Zekeinim, from the extra 'Vav' ("ve'Shoftecha").

(c) Rebbi Shimon learns - nothing from the 'Vav' in "ve'Shoftecha", because in his opinion, it is just a manner of speech.

(d) As a matter of fact, we ask, the Pasuk mentions another two plural words "ve'Yatz'u" and "u'Madedu", in which case Rebbi Yehudah ought to require nine judges here, and Rebbi Shimon, seven. And we answer this with a Beraisa. The Tana learns from ...

1. ... "ve'Yatz'u" - that the Zekeinim themselves are obligated to go out, and not to send a Sheli'ach.
2. ... "u'Madedu" - that measuring the distance between the two towns is crucial, even if it is obvious to which town the murdered man is closer.



(a) Our Mishnah does not hold like Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov. According to him, "Zekeinecha" (with reference to Eglah Arufah) refers to the Sanhedrin - "Shoftecha" to the King ("Melech ba'Mishpat Ya'amid Aretz" [Mishlei]) and to the Kohen Gadol ("u'Va'sa el ha'Kohanim ha'Levi'im ve'el ha'Shofet" [Shoftim]).

(b) What makes us think that perhaps Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov argues in two points with the above Tana'im - is his statement "Z'keinecha", 'Zeh Sanhedrin', which suggests that the entire Sanhedrin are obligated to go out, and not just three or five.

(c) Rav Yosef resolves the She'eilah from a Beraisa, which learns from the Pasuk "ve'Kamta ve'Alisa el ha'Makom" - that if a Zakein meets the Sanhedrin in 'Beis Pagi' (an area within the walls of Yerushalayim (see Rabeinu Chananel) and rebels against their ruling, he does not become a Zakein Mamrei (because 'ha'Makom Goreim').

(d) We know that it was not ...

1. ... just some members of the Sanhedrin that the Zakein Mamrei met in Beis Pagi - because then, maybe those that remained inside would have sided with him, and it is obvious that he will not become a Zakein Mamrei.
2. ... all members of the Sanhedrin, who had gone out for a break - since we learn from the Pasuk in Shir Hashirim "Sharerech Agan ha'Sahar ... Al Yechsar ha'Mazeg", that the whole Sanhedrin is not permitted to leave the Lishkas ha'Gazis at the same time.
(a) The maximum number of judges that are allowed to leave the Lishkas ha'Gazis at one time is forty-eight, so that twenty-three (the equivalent of a Sanhedrin Ketanah), always remain.

(b) The entire Sanhedrin must therefore have left the Lishkas ha'Gazis - for a D'var Mitzvah. Which D'var Mitzvah, says Rav Yosef, if not that of Eglah Arufah? The author must therefore be Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, a proof, he maintains, that Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov requires the entire Beis-Din to go out.

(c) Abaye refutes Rav Yosef's proof however. Perhaps he suggests - the Pasuk is talking about sanctifying an addition to Yerushalayim or to the Azaros, which requires a ceremony led by the entire Sanhedrin.

(d) The Beraisa however, supports Rav Yosef. In following up the previous one, the Tana explains - that the Sanhedrin must have left the Lishkas ha'Gazis either for the Mitzvah of the Eglah Arufah or to add to the city or the Azaros.

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Neta Reva'i and Ma'aser Sheini whose value is not known requires three judges. Bearing in mind that these incorporate fruit, wine or money, by ' ... whose value is not known', the Tana means - fruit that is turning moldy, wine that is turning sour and money that is going rusty.

(b) To assess the Ma'aser Sheini, the Beraisa requires judges - who are themselves businessmen (Lekuchos).

(c) Surprisingly perhaps, the Tana permits - even a Nochri or the owner to sit on this Beis-Din?

(d) Rebbi Yirmiyah asks whether three people who share their resources are eligible to act as Beis-Din in this case. We refute the proof from the Beraisa 'Ish u'Sh'tei Nashav Podin Ma'aser Sheini' - on the grounds that maybe the Tana is referring to a husband and wife like Rav Papa and bas Aba Sura'ah, who was financially independant, as we learned in Kesuvos.

(a) Our Mishnah, which requires three judges to assess Hekdesh, does not hold like Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, because according to him - even a little fork for spinning gold requires ten judges to assess it.

(b) Logically speaking, Rav Papa remarked to Abaye, Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov is right because of a statement of Shmuel, who, based on Pesukim in Bechukosai, comments - that 'Kohanim' appears ten times in the Parshah (of Bechukosai).

(c) These are divided between Erchin (three), Hekdesh of animals (three) and Hekdesh of Karka (four).

(a) Maybe, Rav Papa suggests, the Rabbanan hold three, because the Torah writes three times Kohen by the redemption of Hekdesh animals. He immediately refutes this suggestion however, from Hekdesh of Karka - which, by the same token, should then require four Kohanim.

(b) And the reason that Tana requires ten Kohanim and not four is - because, added to the 'Kohanim' mentioned earlier, the total at that stage, is ten.

(c) By the same token, the Tana ought then to require - six Kohanim by Hekdesh of animals (since added to the three 'Kohanim' of Erchin, the total at that stage, is six.

(d) The Sugya does not count the Pasuk "la'Kohen Tih'yeh Achuzaso" - because, unlike all the other Pesukim, it is not talking about assessment.

(e) We finally have no way of explaining the Rabbanan - and conclude the Sugya with 'Kashya'.

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