ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sanhedrin 64
(a) The Pasuk writes "va'Yitz'aku el Hashem Elokeihem". The Anshei K'neses
ha'Gedolah were crying ('Baya Baya', which is the equivalent of 'Oy Vay'!)
about - the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for Avodah-Zarah, which was still rampant, even
after they returned from Galus Bavel.
(b) They decided to pray for the removal of that particular Yeitzer ha'Ra -
because its benefit (of being overcome) was outweighed by its loss (of
overcoming them [in other words, it was too powerful for them to handle])
(c) After they had fasted for three days, a 'piece of paper' fell from Heave
n containing the word 'Emes', a sign that Hashem agreed with their decision.
Rebbi Chanina proves from Hashem's choice of word that Hashem's seal is
'Emes' (as if He co-signed with them on their Takanah).
(d) The Yeitzer ha'Ra was delivered to them - in the form of a lion cub of
fire, which emerged from the Kodesh Kodshim. When a hair fell from it - its
roar could be heard at a distance of four hundred Parsah.
(a) Acting on the advice of the Navi, they ensured that it remained in
captivity - by sealing it in a lead pot which they covered with a lead lid.
(b) When, taking advantage of the opportunity, they prayed for Hashem to
also remove the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for adultery - they discovered after holding
that Yeitzer-ha'Ra too in captivity for three days, that not even an egg for
a sick person was to found (since even the animals were no longer interested
(c) They did not pray for Hashem to at least remove its sinful aspect
however - because they knew that Hashem does not answer half-requests.
(d) So they finally decided to paint its eyes - with the result that at
least the Yeitzer-ha'Ra for incest was removed, even though the desire for
adultery and relations with a Nidah remained.
(a) That Nochris undertook that should she recover from a serious illness -
she would worship every Avodah-Zarah in the world.
(b) When she came to Pe'or, the priests instructed her - to eat spinach,
drink beer and defecate in front of Pe'or.
(c) Her reaction to this was - that it was better to become ill once more
than to perform something so disgusting.
(d) Based on the Pasuk "ha'Nitzmadim le'Va'al Pe'or", we comment on this -
that this woman was more refined than our ancestors, who cleaved to Pe'or,
like a lid that is attached to a jar.
(e) Based on the Pasuk (which follows the account of Ba'al Pe'or) "ve'Atem
ha'Deveikim ba'Hashem Elokeichem" the Tana comments - that when it comes to
Avodah-Zarah, Yisrael only worship it loosely ("Nitzmadim"), like a bracelet
('Tzamid') on a woman's arm; whereas when they cleave to Hashem they cleave
to Him tightly ("Deveikim").
(a) The Beraisa tells the story of Savta ben Elles, who rented his donkey to
a Nochris. Savta ben Elles was - a plain Yisrael.
(b) When the Nochris, who had just worshipped Ba'al Pe'or, expressed
surprise that he, a Yisrael, should want to do likewise, he replied - 'What
business is it of yours?'
(c) He subsequently did what he had to do, but before leaving, he cleaned
himself on the idol's nose, with the intention of degrading it.
(d) The priests - were ecstatic. Never they said, had they ever seen anyone
worshipping their god with such enthusiasm.
(a) The Beraisa go on to say that someone who worships Pe'or with the
intention of putting it to shame, or Markulis with intention of stoning it -
is Chayav (since that is the way it is normally worshipped).
(b) Rav Menasheh arrived in Tursa. When they informed him that ...
1. ... there was an idol there - he pelted it with clods of earth.
(c) They answered his final She'eilah - in the negative, because, they said,
removing one stone makes room for another to take its place.
2. ... the idol was called Markulis - he went to the Beis-Hamedrash to find
out whether seeing as he did so in order to degrade it, his actions were
3. ... that it was forbidden to do so even if his intention was to degrade
it, he asked whether he could rectify what he had done by removing the
(a) The two things that our Mishnah requires a father to do before he can be
Chayav for worshipping Molech are - handing over his son to the priests and
passing him through the fire.
(b) Rebbi Avin establishes the previous Mishnah, which mentions Molech as
well as Avodah-Zarah, like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in the Beraisa, who holds
that Molech is not considered an Avodah-Zarah. The Tana Kama rules - that he
is Chayav, irrespective of whether he is serving Molech in this way, or any
(c) The difference between whether Molech is an Avodah-Zarah or not - is
either where one worshipped Molech with one of the four Avodos (Zivu'ach,
ve'Kitur ... .), for which he will not be Chayav if Molech is not an
Avodah-Zarah; or if he passed his son through the fire to an idol other than
Molech, for which he will not be Chayav, if Molech is not an Avodah-Zarah.
(d) According to the Tana Kama, we need a Pasuk to forbid this kind of
worship (with regard to other forms of Avodah-Zarah). We do not already know
it from "Eichah Ya'avdu" - because "Eichah Ya'avdu" applies only to an
Avodah that is Darkah be'Kach, and this Avodah (with respect of other
Avodah-Zoros) is not.
(a) According to Abaye, Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi Chanina ben
Antignos say one and the same thing. Rebbi Chanina ben Antignos explains
that this type of worship is called 'Molech' - because the very essence of
the Avodah that he performs proclaims that the worshipper accepts it as his
king, adding 'Afilu Tzeror va'Afilu Kisam' (a clod of earth or a splinter of
wood [become his king if he serves them in this way]).
(b) According to Rava - Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon will disagree with Rebbi
Chanina ben Antignos' last statement, inasmuch as, in his opinion, Molech
must be something fixed, and not something as casual as a clod of earth or a
splinter of wood.
(a) Rebbi Yanai learns from the Pasuk "u'mi'Zar'acha *Lo Siten* Leha'avir
la'Molech" - that one is only Chayav if one first hands over the child to
(b) The Beraisa too, makes this D'rashah and from "le'Ha'avir", the Tana
learns that the father is not Chayav unless he (the father), is also the one
who passes his son through the fire And he learns from the word
"la'Molech" - that the Chiyuv is confined to 'Molech' (like Rebbi Elazar
(c) And from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ma'avir" "Ma'avir" from the Pasuk "Lo
Yimatzei Becha Ma'avir B'no u'Vito ba'Eish" he derives - that one is only
Chayav if one passes him through fire, and not through anything else.
(d) The Tana knows that the latter Pasuk does not incorporate other forms of
Avodah-Zarah (even though it does not mention specifically 'Molech') - via
the same 'Gezeirah-Shavah' (which generally works both ways.
(e) He interprets "Lo Siten Le'ha'avir" to mean - that he hands him to the
priest and then passes him through the fire (and not that he hands him to
the priest tin order o pass him through the fire).
(a) Rav Acha B'rei de'Rava learns from the word "u'mi'Zar'acha ..." -
"mi'Zar'acha", 've'Lo Kol Zar'acha' (that one is not Chayav for giving all
one's children to Molech.
(b) Rav Ashi asked what the Din will be if the child that was being passed
through the fire was a. blind, b. asleep. Perhaps the father will not be
Chayav - because the child was unable a. permanently, b. temporarily, to do
(c) Rav Ashi's third She'eilah was - whether one is Chayav for handing one's
grandson to Molech, seeing as the Torah writes in Kedoshim "Lo Yimatzei
Becha Ma'avir *B'no u'Vito* la'Molech" (which seems to preclude a grandson).
(d) The Beraisa, which quotes the Pasuk "Ki mi'Zar'o Nasan la'Molech",
resolves - the third of the three She'eilos, since "mi'Zar'o" includes one's
(e) When the Tana begins with the above Pasuk, and ends with "be'Sito
mi'Zar'o la'Molech", he is coming to add the additional Chidush - that one
is even Chayav for handing over one's children or grandchildren who are
(a) Rav Yehudah absolves someone who performs the Avodah of Molech she'Lo
ke'Darko. Abaye describes 'ke'Darko' as - passing him along a row of bricks
with a raging fire on either side.
(b) Rava disagrees. He describes 'ke'Darko' as 'ke'Mashvarta de'Purya' which
means - that the child has to jump across a pit in which a raging fire is
burning, like the children used to do on Purim (presumably without the
(c) The major difference between 'Molech' and 'S'farvim' that we discussed
earlier (and through which Chizkiyah Hamelech was passed) is - that by
Molech, the child is not actually passed through the fire, and therefore
does not necessarily die. We know this from the Machlokes that follows, as
to whether someone passes *himself* to Molech is Chayav or Patur (implying
that he survives the ordeal).
(d) The Beraisa that supports Rava ('He'eviro be'Raglo Patur') adds that one
is only Chayav for Yotz'ei Yereicho. This ...
1. ... incorporates - one's sons and daughters (not to mention one's
grandchildren ... ).
2. ... precludes - one's father and mother, brothers and sisters.
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa absolves someone who passes himself to
Molech. Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon - obligates him.
(b) Ula learns from the Pasuk "Lo Yimatzei *Becha* Ma'avir B'no u'Vito
la'Molech" - that a person is Chayav for passing *himself* to Molech (like
Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon).
(c) We learned in the Mishnah in Bava Metzi'a 'Aveidaso va'Aveidas Aviv,
she'Lo Kodem'. Rav Yehudah derives it from the Pasuk - "Efes Ki Lo Yihyeh
Becha Evyon", which we initially assume he learns from the word "Becha" ...
(d) ... a Kashya on the Tana Kama in the previous Beraisa - who does not
Darshen "Becha" (whereas this Tana seems to Darshen it). Does this mean that
the author of the Mishnah is Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon?
(a) We answer that it does not - because the D'rashah is not from "Becha",
but from "Efes" (which has connotations of negating).
(b) According to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina, the connection between the two
K'riysus mentioned by Molech "va'Ani Eten es Panai ba'Ish ha'Hu ve'Hichrati
Oso mi'Kerev Amo" and "ve'Samti Ani es Panai ... ve'Hichrati Oso ... ", and
the Pasuk "Ki D'var Hashem Bazah ... Hikares Tikares" is - that they
constitute the three K'riysus by Avodah-Zarah.
(c) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina knows that the latter Pasuk is referring to
Avodah-Zarah - because "D'var Hashem" hints at the first two of the Aseres
ha'Dibros (which we heard directly from Hashem).
(d) This does not imply that he considers Molech an Avodah-Zarah - because
we only apply one of the K'riysus written there to Avodah-Zarah, using the
principle 'Im Eino Inyan' (due to the fact that the second of the two
Pesukim is not needed for Molech; and besides, even if 'Molech' is not
halachically an Avodah-Zarah, it is referred to as such).
(a) If one Kareis applies to Avodah-Zarah ke'Darkah, and the other, to
she'Lo ke'Darkah (by the four Avodos), the third one applies - to Molech.
(b) According to those who consider Molech an Avodah-Zarah, the third Kareis
applies -to someone who passes his son through the fire she'Lo ke'Darkah
(i.e. other types of Avodah-Zarah, which are not generally worshipped in
(c) If Megadef is not considered an Avodah-Zarah, we can understand why it
requires its own Kareis ("es Hashem Hu Megadef"), but we have a problem
according to those who hold that it is (which we resolve shortly). Assuming
that it is a form of Avodah-Zarah, it constitutes - singing to Avodah-Zarah
(like the Levi'im sang to accompany the Korbanos).
(a) Rebbi Akiva interprets ...
1. ... the double Lashon "Hikares Tikares" in connection with Megadef in
Sh'lach-Lecha - "Hikares", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh', "Tikares", 'ba'Olam ha'Ba'.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael interprets 'Megadef' to mean - Avodah-Zarah (as we just
2. ... 'Megadef' to mean - someone who curses Hashem.
(c) That bring the case, despite the fact that the Torah has already written
"ve'Nichresah", it needs to add ...
1. ... "Hikares" - to teach us that someone who serves Avodah-Zarah is cut
off, not only from this world, but also from the World to Come.
2. ... "Tikares" - not for Halachic reasons, but because of the principle
'Dibrah Torah ki'Leshon B'nei Adam' (because it is a manner of speech).