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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 65



(a) If Ba'al-Ov (a form of witchcraft) ...
1. ... constitutes a spirit speaking from the arm-pit of Pitus (the name of a wizard), speaking from his arm-pit, Yid'oni constitutes - the bone of the wild animal called Yedo'a speaking from his mouth.
2. ... and Yid'oni themselves are punishable by Sekilah, the person who asks them transgresses only a La'av (she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh), such as King Shaul did.
3. ... and Yid'oni themselves are warned in the Pasuk "Lo Yimatzei Becha ... ve'Chover Chaver ve'Sho'el Ov ve'Yid'oni", the Azharah for the person who asks them is - "Al Tifnu el ha'Ovos" (Kedoshim)
(b) Our Mishnah mentions both Ba'al-Ov and Yid'oni. The problem with the Mishnah in Kerisus (which lists the thirty-six Chayvei Kareis) is - that it mentions Ov but omits Yid'oni.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan answers that the Mishnah in Kerisus mentions only one of them, because they are both contained in one La'av ("Al Tifnu el ha'Ovos ve'el ha'Yid'onim). The reason that the Tana chose to insert specifically Ba'al-Ov is - because the Torah mentions it first.

(d) Rebbi Yochanan did not rather say ... 'because they are both stated in one Kareis ("ve'Hichrati Oso mi'Kerev Amo" [Kedoshim]) - because the criterion for determining the number of Chata'os, lies (not in the number of Kerisus, but) in the number of La'avin (as the Torah indicates in Vayikra "Asher Lo Se'asenah").

(a) The significance of Rebbi Yochanan's statement is - that the Tana in Kerisus lists all the thirty-six Chayvei Kareis (which is synonymous with the number of Chata'os one would bring were one to transgress them all). Consequently, if the Tana would have inserted Yid'oni in the Mishnah, the total would then be thirty-*seven* Kerisus (one too many).

(b) According to Resh Lakish, the Mishnah in Kerisus could, in any event, not have inserted Yid'oni - because it is a 'La'av she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh' (and as we have already learned, a Korban Chatas can only be brought for 'La'av she'Yesh Bo Ma'aseh').

(c) Ba'al-Ov is considered a Ma'aseh - because it is accompanied by a banging of the arms, which constitutes a Ma'aseh, whereas Yid'oni works without a Ma'aseh, because placing the bone in the Ba'al Yid'oni's mouth does not take effect until later.

(d) Resh Lakish declines to learn like Rebbi Yochanan, because it is not the number of La'avin that determines the number of Korbanos, says Rav Papa - but the number of Miysos (and the Torah writes in Kedoshim "ve'Ish ... Ki Yihyeh Bahen Ov O Yid'oni" [and not "Ov ve'Yid'oni"]), giving it a Din as if the Torah had mentioned Miysah by each one.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan on the other hand, declines to learn like Resh Lakish. The fact that Yid'oni is a 'La'av she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh' per se would not bother him - because he establishes the author of the Mishnah in Kerisus as Rebbi Akiva, who does not require a Ma'aseh.

(b) Resh Lakish argues with Rebbi Yochanan, inasmuch as he requires at least a minimal Ma'aseh. Consequently, even if Rebbi Akiva includes Megadef in this category because of 'Akimas Sefasav' and Ba'al Ov, because of 'Hakashas Zero'asav', he will agree with the Rabbanan that placing the bone in the mouth of the Ba'al Yid'oni is not, since this cannot even be considered a minimal Ma'aseh, as we explained a little earlier.

(c) And we prove that Resh Lakish must be speaking according to Rebbi Akiva, from his opinion by Hishtachavayah. Rebbi Yochanan establishes the Beraisa obligating the four Avodos (including Hishtachavayah) by she'Lo ke'Darkah, to bring a Korban, even like the Rabbanan, who require a Ma'aseh - because in his opinion, even the Rabbanan agree that 'Kefifas Komaso' (bending one's body) is considered a Ma'aseh.

(d) Resh Lakish disagrees. He establishes the Beraisa - according to Rebbi Akiva (but according to the Rabbanan he says, Kefifas Komaso is not considered a Ma'aseh at all).

(a) This proves that, when Resh Lakish says 'Hakashas Zero'osav Havi Ma'aseh', it must be according to Rebbi Akiva - because if the Rabbanan do not consider bending one's body a Ma'aseh, then how much more so banging one's arms!

(b) The problem with the Seifa of the Mishnah in Kerisus is now - from the Seifa, where the Chachamim preclude a Megadef from a Chatas. Why do they not preclude a Ba'al-Ov too?

(c) We reject the initial answer, suggesting that Ba'al-Ov in Kerisus refers to someone who sacrifices to a demon (which is a proper Ma'aseh), because of Rava - who considers that to be Avodah-Zarah (which the Tana deals with independently).

(d) Rava therefore establishes 'Ba'al-Ov' in Kerisus - by someone who sacrifices to a Chaver (which we will explain shortly).

(e) We refute Abaye's Kashya, that seeing as this is merely one aspect of "Chover Chaver", it should be no more than a plain La'av (like hover Chaver itself) - on the grounds that the Torah sentenced specifically this particular aspect of Chover Chaver, to Sekilah.

(a) One of the La'avin pertaining to witchcraft is "Chover Chaver" - which comprises gathering animals to one place by means of incantations.

(b) The Beraisa states that there is no difference between a big Chover Chaver and a small one - by which the Tana means big animals or small ones.

(c) One is ...

1. ... permitted to collect the animals in this way - if they are running after him (and threatening his life), but not ...
2. ... merely because they are potentially dangerous (such as snakes and scorpions).
(d) The Tana might mention specifically snakes and scorpions - because he intends them to fight (and destroy) each other.



(a) Even though, according to Rebbi Yochanan, the Rabanan consider Hishtachavayah a Ma'aseh (because of Kefifas Komaso, as we explained earlier), they do not consider Megadef (cursing Hashem) a Ma'aseh as well (because of Akimas Sefasav) - since it depends on the heart (seeing as a person only transgresses if he means what he says, but not if he uses Hashem's Name for example, to describe something else, and then curses it).

(b) The Torah presents the case of Avodah-Zarah by Par He'elam Davar of a Kohen Mashi'ach to confine the Din of Korban Chatas to cases of Zedonah Kareis ve'Shigegasah Chatas. We know that Eidim Zomemin never bring a Chatas - because the Torah writes "ve'Asah"(as we have already learned) in the Parshah of Chatas.

(c) The problem with this, according to the way we just explained Rebbi Yochanan is - that, seeing as this has nothing to do with the heart, why should they not be Chayav, because of Akimas Sefasayim?

(d) When initially, we answer 'Sha'ani Eidim Zomemin Ho'il ve'Yeshno be'Kol' - we mean that the Chiyuv of Eidim Zomemin is caused by their voices (giving false testimony), which is no more a Ma'aseh than Megadef.

(a) The Torah forbids a. muzzling an animal whilst it is threshing, and b. leading two different animals tied to the same yoke. Resh Lakish exempts someone who does either of these with his voice. Rebbi Yochanan disagrees - because he follows the principle 'Akimas Piv (Sefasayim) Havi Ma'aseh' ...

(b) ... from which we see that 'the voice' is considered a Ma'aseh according to Rebbi Yochanan, clashing with what we just said to explain his previous statement (see also Tosfos DH 'Ho'il').

(c) The Beraisa of Eidim Zomemin is different however, because there, it is not their voices that render it a 'La'av she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh', according to Rebbi Yochanan - but the fact that they claim to have seen the act, and sight does not require a Ma'aseh (see also Tosfos ha'Rosh).

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Ov would speak from a person's armpit. Alternatively, says the Beraisa, it would speak from 'Bein ha'Perakim', which means - from any other joints on his body (such as the finger or knee-joints).

(b) We reconcile this with the Pasuk "ve'Hayah ke'Ov me'Eretz Kolecha" and the Pasuk "va'Tomer ha'Ishah, el Shaul, Elohim Ra'isi Olim min ha'Aretz" - by establishing them when the spirit emerged initially from the ground but then proceeded to speak from one of the above locations.

(c) The Beraisa speaks about two kinds of Ov. One of them brings the spirit onto his Makom ha'Milah. The other one - consults a skull.

(d) With the former, the spirit arrives upside-down, whereas with the latter, it arrives the right way up - with the former, the spirit does not appear on Shabbos, with the latter, it does.

(a) When Turnusrufus (a Roman governor) asked Rebbi Akiva, 'Mah Yom mi'Yomayim - (Why is Shabbos superior to the other days of the week)'? he replied 'Mah Gever mi'Guvrin (Why is Turnusrufus superior to all other men)'?

(b) And his response to Turnusrufus' reply 'de'Mari Tzaveih' (Because His Master [Hashem] chose him)', was - that that is precisely why Shabbos is superior.

(c) When the latter explained that what he wanted was tangible proof that today was Shabbos, Rebbi Akiva brought him three proofs; 1. was the River Sambatyon, which flowed turbulently the whole week, but became placid on Shabbos - 2. The first of the two kinds of Ba'al Ov described by the Beraisa earlier, which does not operate on Shabbos; 3. His (Turnusrufus) own father's grave, from which thick smoke rose during the week, but not on Shabbos.

(d) Turnusrufus reaction to Rebbi Akiva's words was - that he had degraded, embarrassed and cursed his father (by using his grave as an example).

(a) The significance of the smoke rising from Turnusrufus' father's grave during the week but not on Shabbos - is that the fires of Gehinom, that burn furiously the whole week, rest on Shabbos.

(b) Initially, we think that Ov is equivalent to "Doresh el ha'Meisim". The problem with that is - that both are mentioned in the Torah.

(a) We answer with a Beraisa, which defines 'Doresh el ha'Meisim' - as someone who fasts and stays overnight in a graveyard to be visited by spirits (demons).

(b) This caused Rebbi Akiva to burst into tears - because he figured that if fasting could cause a person to be visited by spirits, how much more so should it enable him to attain Hashra'as ha'Shechinah and prophecy; yet it did not seem to work ...

(c) ... because their sins divided between themselves and Hashem (not because there was a flaw in the 'Kal va'Chomer').

(d) Rava extrapolates from the Pasuk "Ki im Avonoseichem Hayu Mavdilin Beinechem le'Bein Elokeichem" - that if Tzadikim would only remove that division, they would be able to create the world.

(a) Rebbi Zeira ordered the 'man' whom Rava created and sent to him- to return to dust.

(b) He knew that the 'man' was only a Golem - because he could not talk (the distinctive mark of Golamim).

(c) Every Erev Shabbos - Rav Chanina and Rav Oshaya would study the Seifer Yetzirah and create an Egla Tilsa (a third calf).

(d) 'Egla Tilsa' means - either a calf that has grown to a third of its full growth, or the third-born calf, both of which are particularly tasty.

(a) Rebbi Shimon defines "Me'onen" as 'ha'Ma'avir Shiv'ah Miynei Zachur al ha'Einayim' - meaning that one collects the seed of seven creatures, and places them on one's eyes (giving him supernatural powers).

(b) According to the Chachamim, it is the performing of conjuring tricks. Rebbi Akiva defines it as - someone who fixes times (which have no basis in Chazal) that are good or bad to begin projects or to set out on a journey.

(c) The 'experts' say that on Erev Shevi'is ...

1. ... one should plant wheat, because one is assured of a good harvest.
2. ... it is best to pull out the legumes, rather than harvest them in the regular way, because then they grow without worms.
(a) The Beraisa defines Menachesh as - superstition.

(b) The Tana cites the soothsayers, who declare that bread falling from one's mouth or dropping one's staff is a bad sign for the rest of the day, and the same goes for someone whose son calls him from behind. They say that ...

1. ... a deer crossing one's path - is a bad sign, as is a snake passing on one's right, and a fox on one's left.
2. ... the Gabai of the Shul, or the tax-collector claiming their dues early in the morning or on Rosh Chodesh - are a bad sign (because it means starting the day or the month with a loss).
(c) Similarly, they claim, it is bad to start paying - on Motza'ei Shabbos, the beginning of a new week.

(d) Another Beraisa defines the Pasuk "Lo Senachashu ve'Lo Se'oneinu" - as someone who divines, using weasels, birds or fish (or stars) (see Aruch la'Ner and Agados Maharsha).

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