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Sanhedrin 49

SANHEDRIN 49 (24 Cheshvan) - dedicated by Dr. Moshe and Rivkie Snow to the memory of Rivkie's father, the Manostrishtcher Rebbe, Hagaon Rav Yitzchak Yoel ben Gedaliah Aharon Rabinowitz Ztz"l. A personification of the Torah scholar of old, the Ukranian born Rebbe lived most of his life in Brooklyn, NY, where his warm ways changed many lives.



(a) Benayahu ben Yehoyada judged Yo'av - for having killed Avner and Amasa.

(b) When Yo'av claimed that he killed Avner because he was the Go'el ha'Dam of Asa'el his brother, whom Avner had killed, Benayahu countered - that Asa'el was chasing Avner, who therefore acted in self-defense.

(c) Yo'av replied that Avner could have saved himself by stabbing him to incapacitating him, without actually killing him. And when Benayahu claimed that Avner was under pressure and therefore unable to aim with such precision - he quoted the Pasuk in Shmuel "va'Yakehu Avner ... el ha'Chomesh" (the fifth rib), which Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains to be the point on the flank where the gall and the liver meet. Now if Avner was able to aim at that vulnerable spot with such percussion, Yo'av argued, he could certainly have incapacitated him without actually killing him.

(a) Leaving Avner aside, Yo'av justified his having killed Amasa - because, he claimed, he was a Mored be'Malchus, since the king had ordered him to return from a mission within three days, and he came after the time had expired.

(b) When Benayahu rejected Yo'av's argument on the grounds that Amasa Darshened 'Achin ve'Rakin', he meant - that he extrapolated from the Pasuk "*Rak* Chazak ve'Ematz" - that he does not have the authority to cause Bitul Torah, and it was because Amasa found the people studying Torah that he was delayed.

(c) In fact, Benayahu concluded, he (Yo'av) was the Mored be'Malchus - because he had joined ranks with David's son Adoniyahu, when he rebelled against his father shortly before the latter's death.

(d) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains the Pasuk "Ki Yo'av Natah Acharei Adoniyah ve'Acharei Avshalom Lo Natah" to mean - that he really wanted to join Avshalom's rebellion too, only he was prevented, as we shall now see.

(a) Rebbi Elazar attributed Yo'av following Adoniyah but not Avshalom to the fact that 'Adayin Lachluchis shel David Kayemes', by which he meant - that Yo'av was afraid to join Avshalom, since David was still able to fight, which was not the case in the time of Adoniyahu, when David was already old and bed-ridden.

(b) According to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, it was because of a statement by Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, who described the four hundred sons of David - all sons of Y'fos To'ar, who grew long hair in order to inspire fear, who went at the head of the troops and whom David used as a sort of private police force, to intimidate evil-doers.

(c) During Avshalom's rebellion it appears - these four hundred men were still in operation, and explains why Yo'av declined to join Avshalom. He joined Adoniyahu, only because they were no longer operational.

(d) Rebbi Aba bar Kahana disagrees with Yo'av's reason for killing Avner. He explains the Pasuk "Va'yehi David Oseh Mishpat u'Tzedakah le'Chol Amo, ve'Yo'av ben Tzeruyah al ha'Tzava" to mean - that if David had not studied Torah in the Beis-Hamedrash, Yo'av would not have been able to win the battles, and if Yo'av had not fought the battles, David would not have been able to sit in the Beis-Hamedrash and study Torah.

(a) With regard to the Pasuk there "va'Yeitzei Yo'av ... va'Yishlach Mal'achim Acharai Avner va'Yashivu Oso mi'Bor ha'Sirah", Rebbi Aba bar Kahana interprets ...
1. ... 'Bor' - to refer to the pitcher of water that David took from behind Shaul's head whilst he and his entire camp slept, and which Avner claimed one of the boys had handed to him (see also Agados Maharsha)
2. ... 'Sirah' - to refer to the piece of Shaul's coat that David had cut off whilst the former was in the cave where he was hiding, and which Avner claimed had been torn-off by a thorn-bush, and David had found there.
(b) Yo'av's motive in both of these cases was - to prevent Shaul from making peace with David (perhaps this was because, as Chazal explain, he maintained that David, who descended from Rus ha'Mo'aviyah, was Pasul).

(c) Yo'av tricked Avner - by asking him how a woman without hands makes Chalitzah. Then, as he bent down to demonstrate how one performs Chalitzah with the teeth, he struck him down in the fifth rib. Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns this from the Pasuk "va'Yatehu ... le'Daber Ito ba'Sheli" - by interpreting 'ba'Sheli' as shoe (based on the Pasuk on Sh'mos, where Hashem said to Moshe "Shal Ne'alecha me'Al Raglecha".

(d) And Rebbi Yochanan learns from the beginning of the Pasuk "va'Yatehu Yo'av el Toch ha'Sha'ar" - that Yo'av judged Avner as a Beis-Din would have judged him (even though it appears that he simply took the law into his own hands - see Aruch la'Ner). It is not clear however, who gave Yo'av authority to act on his own.

(a) The Pasuk describes the two men whom Yo'av murdered as more righteous than him - because they both Darshened Achin ve'Rakin, which he did not.

(b) We have already explained how Amasa Darshened 'Achin ve'Rakin'. The occasion that ...

1. ... Avner Darshened them too was - when Shaul ordered the 'boys' (among them Avner) to kill the Kohanim who lived in Nov, and they refused.
2. ... Yo'av failed to Darshen them - was when he followed David's instructions to see to it that Uri'ah was sent to the front line alone, to be killed in battle
(c) Avner and Amasa both refused to obey instruction - even though they were issued verbally (directly); whereas Yo'av obeyed his instructions - even though they were only issued in writing.

(d) Amasa was not wary of the sword in Yo'av's hand - because, says Rav, he did not suspect him of planning him harm.

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains that what the Pasuk "va'Yikaver be'Veiso ba'Midbar" means is (not that that was where Yo'av lived, but) - that his house was Hefker like a Midbar (meaning that it was open to the poor at any time).

(b) Alternatively, we might Darshen - that theft and adultery were absent from Yo'av's house, just as they are not to be found in the desert.

(c) Rav Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yo'av Yechayeh es Sha'ar ha'Ir" - that he would send to the poor of his town even fine foods and luxuries, such as various kinds of little fish.

***** Hadran Alach 'Nigmar ha'Din' *****



***** Perek Arba Miysos *****


(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah lists the four Miysos Beis-Din as 'Sekilah, Se'reifah, Hereg ve'Chenek'. Rebbi Shimon lists them as - 'Sereifah, Sekilah, Chenek ve'Hereg'.

(b) The Tana concludes the Mishnah with the words 'Zu Mitzvas ha'Niskalin' - because he intends to deal with Sereifah, Hereg ve'Chenek.

(c) The items listed in a Mishnah, says Rava Amar Rav Sechorah Amar Rav Huna - do not usually need to be taken seriously.

(d) The only exception, he says, is - the Mishnah in Nidah, which lists seven ingredients 'the spit of someone who has not yet eaten, the juice or beans that were chewed, urine, Neser (a kind of earth), a herb called Boris (used as a detergent), Kemulya and Ashlag (a mineral found in the holes in which pearls sit), which, when rubbed onto a bloodstain in that order, will remove it only if it is Dam Nidah. Consequently, they would use it to determine whether the bloodstain of a woman was Dam Nidah or not.

(e) They will not achieve the same purpose - if they are applied simultaneously?

(a) Rav Papa the elder also cites our Mishnah as an exception to Rav Huna's rule. He knows that their order is crucial - from the fact that Rebbi Shimon argues.

(b) Rav Huna himself did not cite it - precisely because it involves a dispute, and he is only referring to Mishnos that are unanimous.

(c) The ramifications of the order of the four Miysos Beis-Din is - in a case where someone is Chayav two Miysos Beis-Din, he receives the more stringent sentence.

(a) Rav Papa includes the Mishnos in Yuma, which describe the Avodah on Yom Kipur, and about which the Mishnah there specifically writes ' ... Im Hikdim Ma'aseh la'Chavero, Lo Asah ve'Lo K'lum'. Rav Huna himself not cite it - because he is only concerned with cases where one is more stringent (or effective) than the other, whereas the Avodah on Yom-Kipur is not a matter of stringency, but of the stringency of the day.

(b) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua adds the Mishnah in Tamid (with reference to the order of the various Avodos connected with the Korban Tamid). Rav Papa did not add that to the list of exceptions - because, in his opinion, the order there is not crucial, and Bedieved, the Kohanim are Yotzei even if they changed it.

(c) The second case that Rav Huna meant to include among the Mishnos where the order is of no consequence is - the order of Chalitzah, as we shall now see.

(a) When the Yavam and the Yevamah first entered the Beis-Din - they would advise the Yavam against making Yibum, if their ages were totally incompatible (if he was an old man and she, a young woman, or vice-versa).

(b) After the Yevamah has said 'Me'en Yevami ... ', the Yavam says - 'Lo Chafatzti Lekachtah' ...

(c) ... after which, the Yevamah would take off his shoe and spit in his direction.

(d) The Yevamah's final words were - 'Kachah Ye'aseh la'Ish Asher Lo Yivneh es Beis Achiv'.

(a) The Yavam and Yevamah had to speak in - Lashon ha'Kodesh.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Yarkah be'Fanav" - that the Yevamah's spit had to be visible to the Dayanim.

(c) The point Rav Yehudah Amar Rav is making when he states 'Mitzvas Chalitzah ... ', listing the five stages that are clearly described in the Mishnah is - that it is only a Mitzvah, but not crucial.

(a) The second case included in Rav Huna's statement, is that of Bigdei Kehunah. The four garments of ...
1. ... a Kohen Hedyot are - the Kutones (the shirt), the Michnasayim (knee-breeches), the hat and the Avnet (the belt).
2. ... a Kohen Gadol are - the Choshen (the breast-plate), the Eifod (a form of apron worn at the back), the Me'il (a coat or cloak) and the Tzitz (a golden band worn on the forehead).
(b) The Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "u'Michnesei Vad Yih'yu al Besaro" - the first garment the Kohen put on was the Michnasayim.

(c) The Mishnah switches the order (listing the Kutones before the Michnasayim, because it takes its cue from the Pasuk, which changes the order, to place the Kutones first - because it covered the entire body.

(a) The source we initially cite for Sekilah's stringency over Sereifah, according to the Rabbanan - is the fact that this is the sentence meted out to someone who curses Hashem or who serves idols, the worst sins, inasmuch they constitute Poshet Yad be'Ikar (starting up with Hashem Himself, Kevayachol).

(b) We might on the other hand, have thought that Sereifah is the more stringent of the two (like Rebbi Shimon) - since the Torah sentences a bas Kohen who commits adultery to Sereifah (even though a bas Kohen who is an Arusah already receives Sekilah, and clearly, the Torah is coming to be more stringent with a bas Kohen, not more lenient).

(c) We explain that nevertheless, Sekilah is more stringent, because, according to the Rabbanan, the Torah only sentences a married bas Kohen to Sereifah, but not an Arusah, who retains the Din of Sekilah.

(d) The basis for assuming that an Arusah is more stringent than a Nesu'ah - is the fact that a Nesu'ah receives Chenek, whereas an Arusah (who is not a bas Kohen - according to all opinions) receives Sekilah.

(a) What is wrong with the basis of the above D'rashah 'Nesu'ah Yotz'ah li'Sereifah ve'Lo Arusah is the fact - that there is not such D'rashah.

(b) Consequently, the real source of Sekilah's stringency over Sereifah, according to the Rabbanan - is the one that we originally cited - namely, because the Torah metes it out to a Megadef and to an Oved Avodah-Zarah.

(c) And it is as a result of this S'vara - that the Rabbanan restrict the punishment of Sereifah by a bas Kohen to a Nesu'ah, but not to an Arusah (despite the fact that the Torah does not say so).

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