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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 20



(a) When one of the king's relations dies - he is not even permitted to leave the palace gates.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah proves otherwise from David Hamelech - who walked behind the coffin of Avner.

(c) The Chachamim counter Rebbi Yehudah's proof - by confining David's actions to that specific occasion, where he acted the way to demonstrate that he had no hand in Avner's murder.

(d) At the Se'udas Havra'ah of the king - it is the people who sit on the floor whilst the king sits on a Dargesh (a kind of bed which will be explained later).

(a) Rebbi Yehudah proves from the same episode with Avner, that women should walk in front of the coffin, because it is inconceivable that David, who walked behind Avner's coffin, should walk among the women.

(b) According to the Tana Kama - the women may walk behind the coffin or in front of it, as they please.

(c) David nevertheless insisted of walking behind the coffin to demonstrate his innocence as we just explained. So he walked from the men to the women and from the women to the men, so that everyone should see how distraught he was.

(d) We know that King David succeeded in his efforts - because the Pasuk goes on to state that all the people were convinced that David was not responsible for the assassination.

(a) Rava explains the Pasuk "Va'yavo Kol ha'Am Le'havros es David", which is written "Le'hachros es David" (in the form of a 'K'ri K'siv') - to teach us that although the people originally came to kill David (whom they thought had ordered the assassination of Avner), upon seeing David's behavior at the funeral, they realized that he was innocent, and they arranged for him a Se'udas Havra'ah instead.

(b) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, Avner was punished for not objecting at what Shaul did - namely, killing the inhabitants of Nov, the town of Kohanim (see Agados Maharsha).

(c) According to Rebbi Yitzchak - he did object, but Shaul refused to listen to him.

(d) They both learn their opinions from the Pasuk in Shmuel "ki'Nefol Lifnei B'nei Avlah Nafalta, Yadecha Lo Asuros, ve'Ragl'cha Lo li'Nechushtayim Hugashu", which means, according to ...

1. ... Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - that he deserved to fall in such a disgusting way, because when Shaul ordered Do'eg to kill the inhabitants of Nov, he Avner) was not tied up or in fetters, and could easily have objected.
2. ... Rebbi Yitzchak - that the Navi actually asks in surprise why he died in that way, with his hands and feet free, seeing as he had objected to Shaul's deed.
(a) According to Rebbi Yitzchak, says Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, Avner was punished - because (by backing Shaul's son Ish Boshes, he postponed David's ascent to the throne by two and a half years).

(b) Five years elapsed between the death of Shaul and the attempt of Ish Boshes to seize the throne.

(c) During those seven and a half years - David ruled over Chevron.

(a) We initially interpret a Dargesh (the bed on which the king sits during his Se'udas Havra'ah) as Arsa de'Gada - which is a bed for Mazel (but not to sleep on).

(b) Rava overrules the objection to this explanation on the grounds that seeing as the Aveil has not sat on it until now, why would we now make him sit on it now - because it is no worse than giving him food and drink, even though this has never happened to him until now.

(c) Rava nevertheless objects to the explanation, based on the Beraisa that obligates an Aveil to overturn all the beds in his house - which seems to incorporate a Dargesh too/

(d) We overrule this objection however, on the basis of another Beraisa - which precludes beds that are designated for vessels from the previous ruling (since they are not made for sleeping). That being the case, a Dargesh too, is precluded for the same reason.

(a) The problem with the current interpretation of a Dargesh from the Beraisa of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel 'Dargesh, Matir Karbitin, ve'Hu Nofel Me'eilehah' is - that an Arsa de'Gada does not have loops to untie.

(b) When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael, he quoted Rav Tachlifa, who citing the leather merchants, interpreted Dargesh as Arsa de'Tzala - which is a leather bed with straps and loops, which one uses to put it up.

(c) The Chachamim exempted it from being overturned - because the leather top would then get spoiled.

(d) Initially, Rebbi Yirmiyah Amar Rebbi Yochanan explains the difference between a Dargesh and a bed as being - that the string that ties the former passes through a hole in the middle of it, whereas that of a bed is wound around it.

(a) We refute this interpretation of Dargesh however, from the Beraisa 'K'lei Eitz Me'eimasai Mekablin Tum'ah? ha'Mitah ... mi'she'Yeshufem be'Or ha'Dag' - because if the string were to pass over the top, then why would the bed-post, which would not be visible anyway, require smoothening?

(b) We therefore conclude that in both cases, the strings pass through the bed-posts, and not over the top, and the difference between them is that whereas the strings of the bed pass through a hole in the actual bed-posts, those of the Dargesh pass through loops that hang from the posts.

(c) Rebbi Ya'akov Amar Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi rules like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the previous Beraisa. Rebbi Ya'akov bar Ami rules that a two-poster bed in the house of an Aveil (which cannot be overturned) - only needs to be up-ended.




(a) To lead Yisrael into a Milchemes ha'Reshus - the king needs the consent of the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol.

(b) The Tana repeats this Halachah, despite the fact that we have already learned it at the beginning of the first Perek - because it fits into the list of Halachos pertainng to a king.

(c) Our Mishnah gives a king the right - to break a passage through someone else's property to get to his own.

(d) 'Derech ha'Melech Ein Lo Shiur' means - that the king's road does not have a fixed measure, and that consequently, the passage that he is permitted to breach may be as wide as he needs.

(a) The Tana obligates the army to place all war spoils at the disposal of the king, giving him the first choice to take half.


1. With regard to the list of warnings that Shmuel Hanavi issued to he people, such as taking their children to drive his charriots - Shmuel says that the king had the authority to carry them out.
2. According to Rav - the Navi only said this to frighten the people, but not to permit the king to act on it.
(c) This point is already a Machlokes between Rebbi Yossi (Shmuel) and Rebbi Yehudah (Rav) in a Beraisa. The three Mitzvos that Rebbi Yehudah there listed, following Yisrael's entry into Eretz Yisrael are - to appoint a king, to destroy Amalek and to build the Beis-Hamikdash.

(d) We know that all three Mitzvos were in fact, connected with their entry into Eretz Yisrael - because the Torah writes 'Yerushah and Yeshivah' in connection with each of them.

(a) Rebbi Nehora'i disagrees with - the first of the above three Mitzvos which, in his opinion, is not a Mitzvah, but Hashem's response to their ill-worded request.

(b) Rebbi Elazar in another Beraisa make a compromise. According to him - the elders asked correctly for a king (to judge them and to punish the evil-doers), and it was the rest of the people who sinned, by asking for a king to fight their battles (a task that Hashem would otherwise have handled alone).

(c) Rebbi Yossi in a third Beraisa, learns from the juxtaposition of the two Pesukim ...

1. ... "Ki Yad al Keis Kah" and "Milchamah la'Hashem Milchamah ba'Amalek" - that appointing a king takes precedence over fighting against Amalek. And we know that this Pasuk refers to a king, because of another Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim "Va'yeishev Shlomoh al Kisei Hashem".
2. ... "ve'Heini'ach Lachem mi'Kol Oyveichem mi'Saviv ... Ve'hayah ha'Makom Asher Yivchar Hashem" - that destroying Amalek takes precedence over building the Beis-Hamikdash.
(d) David Hamelech actually fulfilled this sequence - because after he had defeated his enemies and established peace in the land, he asked Nasan ha'Navi about building the Beis-Hamikdash.
(a) The Pasuk in Divrei Ha'yamim teaches us that Shlomoh ruled from Tifsah to Azah. From the Pasuk in Melachim "Va'yeishev Shlomoh al Kisei Hashem", we learn - that first (before he married foreign women) he ruled over the heavenly bodies as well, and afterwads, he ruled only over the earth.

(b) Rav and Shmuel argue over Tifsah and Azah. According to one of them, they were on oposite sides of the globe, according to the other - they were next to each other.

(c) According to the latter opinion, the Pasuk is coming to teach us - that just as he ruled over Tifsah and Azah, so too, did he rule over the whole world.

(d) They also learn from the sequence of the Pesukim starting with this Pasuk, followed by "Ani Koheles Hayisi Melech al Yisrael", "Divrei Koheles ben David Melech bi'Yerushalayim", Hinei Mitaso she'li'Shelomoh ... " and "Zeh Hayah Chelki mi'Kol Amali" - that first he ruled over the whole world, then over Yisrael, then over Yerhushalayim, and finally, only over his stick.

(a) Rav and Shmuel argue over the last item. One of them interprets it as 'Maklo' (as we explained). The other, as 'Gundo' - which means a cloak.

(b) And according to Rav Hai Gaon, this ought to read 'Makeidah' which is an earthenware vessel.

(c) They also argue as to whether Shlomoh returned to the throne. One describes him 'Melech ve'Hedyot' - the other - as 'Melech ve'Hedyot u'Melech'.

(d) He was dethroned (and replaced) - by Ashmodai, king of the demons.

(a) We learned earlier that the war spoils are divided (equally) among the king and the people. Whatever was taaken from the king's treasury went entirely to him?

(b) Rav Dimi (or Rav Acha) learns from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Va'yimshechu la'Hashem le'Nagid u'Tzadok Ale'Kohen" - that just as Tzadok (the Kohen Gadol) divided the Korbanos equally together with the rest of the Kohanim, so too did the king (as we just explained).
2. ... "Ve'haysah le'Aharon u'le'Vanav" - that the Kohen Gadol shares the Korbanos equally with the other Kohanim.
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