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Sanhedrin 16

SANHEDRIN 16 (21 Tishrei, Hoshana Raba) - dedicated by Gedalyah Jawitz of Wantagh, N.Y., honoring the Yahrtzeit of his father, Yehuda ben Simcha Volf Jawitz.



(a) In our Mishnah ('Ein Danin es ha'Sheivet ...') in light of the Kashya from the Beraisa of Rebbi Yashiyah and Rebbi Yonasan, Rav Masna establishes the meaning of 'Sheivet' (not literally as 'tribe', but) as the 'Nasi of the tribe', who now requires the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol to judge him ...

(b) ... with regard to any sin that he performed which carries with it the death-penalty.

(c) And we interpret it this way on the basis of Rav Ada bar Ahavah, who will shortly interpret the Pasuk ''Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Eleicha" to mean (not literally 'ha'Davar ha'Gadol', but) - 'matters pertaining to a great man (as we shall see), and a Nasi is also a great man.

(d) Despite the fact that the Pasuk is talking about bringing his lawsuit to Moshe, we extrapolate from there that a great man requires seventy-one - because Moshe is considered a Beis-Din of seventy-one.

(a) Ula Amar Rebbi Elazar attempts to re-establish the Mishnah literally, not with regard to Avodah-Zarah, but with regard to 'Nachalos'. What he means is - that just as the original distribution of Eretz Yisrael required a Beis-Din of seventy-one - so too, will any subsequent query in that regard require the same.

(b) We reject this suggestion however, on the grounds that, in that case, three other things, which the Tana omits, should also be required - a box (for drawing lots), the Kohen Gadol wearing the U'rim ve'Tumim and the presence of the whole of Yisrael.

(c) So we are forced to revert to the previous explanation of Rav Masna. Ravina however, re-establishes our Mishnah with regard to a tribe that served Avodah-Zarah. He resolves the problem of the fact that the inhabitants are punished like individuals and receive Sekilah - by making a comprise; on the one hand, they are sentenced to death like individuals, whereas on the other, they require the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol to pass that sentence.

(d) And he bases this on Rebbi Chama b'Rebbi Yossi Amar Rebbi Oshaya, who interprets the Pasuk in Shoftim "ve'Hotzeisa es habit ha'Hu ... el She'arecha" 'Ish ve'Ishah Atah Motzi li'She'arecha, ve'I Atah Motzi Kol ha'Ir el She'arecha'. The ramifications of this twin D'rashah are - that both an entire city and an entire tribe are put to death (not by the gate of the city where they sinned [i.e. at the hand of the Sanhedrin ha'Katan], but) - at the hand of the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol.

(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learns the Din of the Mishnah that a Navi Sheker requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one via a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Hazadah" ("Ach ha'Navi Asher Yazid") "Hazadah" ("ve'ha'Ish Asher Ya'aseh be'Zadon") from a Zakein Mamrei. We reject this 'Gezeirah-Shavah' however - on the grounds that the latter Pasuk is written in connection with *the death* of the Zakein Mamrei, which requires only twenty-three judges.

(b) So Resh Lakish learns it from "Davar" ("Asher Yazid Le'daber") "Davar" ("ve'Asisa al-Pi ha'Davar Asher Yorucha") - which is written in connection with *his judgment*, which requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one.

(c) We cannot then learn from "Hazadah" "Hazadah" from a Navi Sheker that the death of a Zakein Mamrei should also require seventy-one judges - because whereas the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' of "Davar" "Davar" was handed down traditionally from their Rebbes, that of "Hazadah" "Hazadah" was not (and no-one can Darshen his own 'Gezeirah-Shavah' without a Kabalah.

(a) As the source of our Mishnah, which requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one for a Kohen Gadol, Rav Ada bar Ahavah quotes - the Pasuk (that we quoted earlier) "Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Eilecha", which he interprets as 'Devarav shel Gadol'.

(b) We have a problem with this however, from a Beraisa. Based on the Pasuk there "es ha'Davar ha'Kasheh Yevi'un el Moshe", the Tana interprets the previous Pasuk to mean - literally major or complicated matters (which, he maintains, indicates that that is what "es Davar ha'Gadol" means too).

(c) We answer that Rav Ada bar Ahavah bases his interpretation on another Beraisa. Bearing in mind the D'rashah of the first Tana, this Tana interprets "ha'Davar ha'Gadol" like Rav Ada bar Ahavah - because in his opinion, the Pasuk "es ha'Davar ha'Kasheh" indicates that "Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol must mean something else.

(d) He declines to learn like the first Tana, because he does not see why would we need two Pesukim to teach us the same thing.

(a) Initially, Rebbi Avahu tries to learn the Din in our Mishnah 'Ein Motzi'in le'Milchemes ha'Reshus Ela al-Pi Beis-Din shel Shiv'im-ve'Echad' from the Pasuk in Pinchas "ve'Lifnei Elazar ha'Kohen Ya'amod. He interprets the continuation ...
1. ... "Hu" (referring to Yehoshua) - as the king.
2. ... "ve'Chol B'nei Yisrael Ito"- as the "Mashu'ach Milchamah (the Kohen Gadol for war).
3. ... "ve'Chol ha'Eidah" - as the Sanhedrin?
(b) We reject this proof however, on the grounds that, the Pasuk is not speaking about going to war - but about on whose behalf one consults the Urim ve'Tumim.

(c) So Rav Acha bar Bizna Amar Rebbi Shimon Chasida learns it from David Hamelech, who awoke every night - to the sound of the north-wind blowing on the harp that hung above his bed.

(d) David would then - learn Torah until dawn-break.

(a) When the Chachamim informed David that Yisrael needed Parnasah, he would reply - that the people should sustain each other (i.e. the rich should sustain the poor).

(b) The Chachamim would react to that - by informing him that one cannot fill a deep pit with the earth that one extricated from it (i.e. there was simply not enough to go round).

(c) Before asking the Sanhedrin and the Urim ve'Tumim for a final decision - they would consult Achitofel, because his advice was invariably correct, was indispensable.




(a) Based on Pesukim in Divrei Hayamim and Shmuel, the role played by ...
1. ... Benayahu ben Yehoyada was - that of head of Sanhedrin
2. ... Evyasar, who was Kohen Gadol, was - that of the one to wear and consult the Urim ve'Tumim.
3. ... Yo'av was - that of commander of the army.
(b) Despite the fact that the Pasuk writes "u'Benayahu ben Yehoyada al ha'Kereisi ve'al ha'Peleisi", we know that he was not in charge of the Urim ve'Tumim - because in the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim, he is placed before Evyasar, indicating that Evyasar was entrusted with that task.

(c) The Urim ve'Tumim was called ...

1. ... Kereisi - because its reply was clear-cut.
2. ... Peleisi - because its words were wondrous (since they always came true.
(d) Rebbi Yitzchak bar Avudimi learn from the Pasuk "Urah Chevodi Urah, ha'Neivel ve'Chinor " - that a harp was suspended above David's bed ... , as we just learned.
(a) Rav Shimi bar Chiya Darshen from the Pasuk in Terumah "ke'Chol Asher Ani Mar'eh Oscha, es Tavnis ha'Mishkan ... ve'Chein Ta'asu" - that adding to Yerushalayim or to the Azaros required the Beis-Din of seventy-one (like the Mishkan which was sanctified by Moshe, who was considered a Beis-Din of seventy-one.

(b) The holy vessels of the Mishkan were sanctified by being anointed with the anointing oil. The Beraisa rules - that subsequent vessels that needed to be manufactured were sanctified by their service.

(c) We answer the discrepancy between our Mishnah and this Beraisa, by quoting the Pasuk "va'Yimshachem va'Yekadesh Osam" - from which we Darshen "Osam" bi'Meshichah, ve'Lo le'Doros bi'Meshichah'.

(d) The problem with that D'rashah is - that perhaps "Osam" comes to teach us that Doros is different than the Mishkan, inasmuch as one has a choice of either anointing or service.

(a) So Rav Papa quotes the Pasuk in Bamidbar "Asher Yesharsu Bam ba'Kodesh". In spite of the fact that the Torah also writes "ve'Chein Ta'asu", we know that the vessels require service exclusively, and that one does not have the option of anointing them, like we just asked - because of the Pasuk "va'Yimshachem va'Yekadesh *Osam*" excluding them from anointing (as we explained earlier).

(b) And we know that the option of service was not available in the Mishkan too - since the Pasuk "Asher Yesharsu Bam ba'Kodesh" is written in the future (and not in the present).

(a) We derive the obligation to appoint judges and law-enforcement officers in Yisrael from the Pasuk "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha". And we learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha bi'(Chol) She'arecha" - that one is obligated to appoint them in every tribe.
2. ... "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha be'*Chol* She'arecha" - that it is also obligatory to appoint them in each and every town.
(b) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel learns from "li'Shevatecha ve'Shaftu" - that a litigant is not allowed to choose to go to a Beis-Din pertaining to another tribe.

(c) Rebbi Chiya bar Yosef Amar Rebbi Oshaya quotes the Pasuk "ve'Hotzeisa es *ha'Ish ha'Hu* ... el She'arecha" - as the source of the Mishnah's ruling that an Ir ha'Nidachas requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one (and not of twenty-three) because it implies that only an individual is judged by a Beis-Din of twenty-three, but not an entire town.

(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "mi'Kirbecha" - that Beis-Din cannot declare a border town an Ir ha'Nidachas.
2. ... "Arecha" - that two towns can be declared Arei Nidachas at one time.
3. ... "Achas" - that three towns cannot.
(b) Sometimes Rav would restrict the prohibition of declaring three towns Arei Nidachas to one Beis-Din (but two or three Batei-Din may). On other occasions - he extended the prohibition to even two or three Batei-Din.

(c) The reason behind this latter opinion of Rav is - because, since the reason for the prohibition is the fact that it leaves a bald patch ('Korchah'), and easy access to the enemy, what difference does the number of Batei-Din make?

(a) Resh Lakish permits declaring two or three towns Arei ha'Nidachas in different areas. Rebbi Yochanan hold that even that is forbidden - because he is speaking about different towns that are situated in the same section of Eretz Yisrael, as we shall now see, and he forbids it because of Korchah (leaving a gap for the enemy to enter).

(b) In the Beraisa in support of Rebbi Yochanan, the Tana rules ...

1. ... that - one Ir ha'Nidachas in Yehudah and one in Galil is permitted.
2. ... that - two Arei Nidachas in Yehudah or two in Galil is forbidden.
(c) The reason the Tana gives for the prohibition of declaring an Ir ha'Nidachas beside the border - is also because of Korchah.

(d) The Tana needs a reason, in spite of the fact that the Torah writes "mi'Kirbecha" - because the author of the Beraisa is Rebbi Shimon, who contends with the reasons of the Mitzvos (as we learned in Bava Metzi'a).

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