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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 91



(a) The problem the Emperor of Rome had with Techi'as ha'Meisim was - that it is impossible to create someone out of earth, which is what a dead person reverts to after death (see Agados Maharsha).

(b) In fact - it was his own daughter who solved his problem, by asking him which of two potters would be greater, assuming that one made pots out of water, and the other, out of clay.

(c) When her father declared the former was certainly the greater, for anyone can make pots out of clay, but who can make them out of water? she pointed out - that in that case, why can G-d, who creates babies out of 'water', not recreate them out of clay?

(d) Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael answered the Kashya with a 'Kal va'Chomer' - if glass vessels which break can be reconstructed with the breath of man, how much more so can a human-being be reconstructed with the breath of Hashem.

(a) Rebbi Ami answers the same Kashya posed to him by a heretic, based on a hypothetical story of servants of a king, who once built him large palaces where there was no water and no earth. When they fell, and, in reply to the kings request to rebuild them, but in a location where there was water and earth, they claimed that they were unable to do so, the king became angry with them, because if they could build palaces where there was no water or earth, then they could certainly build them where there was!

(b) Rebbi Ami brought practical proof for this from a species of squirrel - which is created from earth, and he invited skeptics to go down to the valley and see for themselves, squirrels that were half-squirrel and half- earth.

(c) He dismissed the argument that this is a slow process, that might take a week or two (whereas Techi'as ha'Meisim will take only a moment) - by inviting them to climb a mountain and see how at one stage, there is only one Chilazon (a type of worm [or fish] that rises from the sea once every seventy years, and from which one extracts the blue dye for Techeiles), yet the moment the rain falls, the mountainside is full of Chilzonos.

(a) When a heretic queried the institution of Techi'as ha'Meisim, on the grounds that if those who are alive, die, what sense does it make to bring those who have already died back to life, Gevihah ben Pesisa answered him - that quite to the contrary, if Hashem can create people for the first time, then why should he not be able to re-create them.

(b) He speak to him aggressively, using the words 'Woe to you wicked ones, who claim that the dead do not come back to life' - because that is exactly what the heretic had said to him.

(c) When the heretic, angry at being called a Rasha, threatened to beat the hunchback out of him - he assured him that if he could do that, he would indeed be a great doctor.

(a) On the twenty-fourth of Nisan, the 'Dimusnai' were eliminated. The Dimusnai were - various nations who wanted to take parts of Yehudah and Yerushalayim (as we shall now see).

(b) With each and every claimant, he presented the argument to the Sanhedrin (when requesting to act as Yisrael's spokesman) - that if he lost the argument, they could always soften the blow by claiming that the victors had defeated a Hedyot (and it was therefore no big deal); whereas should he win, they could extol the greatness of Torah.

(c) The name of the judge that set up the international court was none other than - Alexander (the Great) Mokdon.

(d) After Gevihah ben Pesisa obtained permission, before giving his answer, he asked each nation - on which legal work they based their claim. When they answered that they based it on the Torah, he countered that he too, would base his answer on the Torah, which he proceeded to do.

(a) He vanquished ...
1. ... the Africans (descendants of the Cana'anim [see Agados Maharsha]) who claimed that Eretz Cana'an belonged to them - by reminding them that Cana'an had been cursed by No'ach in that he would be a slave to Shem and Yafes, and that whatever a slave owned belonged to his master.
2. ... the Egyptians, who claimed that Yisrael had never returned the numerous vessels (and clothes) that they had 'borrowed' from them before leaving Egypt - by countering that if they paid the six-hundred thousand people who worked as slaves for four hundred and thirty years, they would gladly return the things they had borrowed.
(b) That year happened to be - the Sh'mitah year (see Agados Maharsha).

(c) Alexander Mokdon allowed both the Africans and the Egyptians three days to prepare their replies - Not only did they not return to court, but they also left the fields and vineyards that they had taken over in Eretz Yisrael (remember, that year was the Shmitah year) and fled.

(d) The claim that the B'nei Yishmael and the B'nei Keturah presented to Alexander Mokdon - was that they were joint heirs with Yitzchak, and that part of Eretz Yisrael therefore belonged to them.

(a) Gevihah ben Pesisa vanquished the B'nei Yishmael and the B'nei Keturah too - on the basis of the Pasuk in Chayei-Sarah "Vayiten Avraham es Kol Asher Lo le'Yitzchak. ve'Livnei ha'Pilagshim Asher le'Avraham Nasan Avraham Matanos". Clearly then, Avraham appointed Yitzchak as his heir, after sending away Yishmael and the B'nei Keturah with specific gifts (known as 'Agin').

(b) The gift Avraham gave to the B'nei Keturah and possibly to Yishmael (see Agados Maharsha) was - the name of Tum'ah (black magic and access to demons).

(c) Antoninus suggested that both the body and the Soul might avoid being punished in Gehinom - seeing as the body without the Soul lies still without moving, and the Soul without the body flies through the air like a bird (without sinning).

(d) Rebbi replied with the parable of a king who had a fig-orchard which produced the most luscious fruit - and in charge of which he appointed two guards, one of them lame and the other one blind. One day the king discovered that someone had eaten all the fruit. When the two guards pleaded innocent, the king placed the lame guard onto the back of the blind one and lashed them both together. And that is how Hashem will punish Resha'im in Gehinom, He wll cast the Soul back into the body, just as they were when they sinned.




(a) Rebbi's initial reaction to Antoninus' question why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west was - that he would have asked the same question had the reverse been the case (in which case his question was based on mere curiosity, and not on wisdom).

(b) So Antoninus re-phrased his question - why, having risen in the east, does the sun sets in the west? Why not make the full circle to set where it rose (see Agados Maharsha)?

(c) When Rebbi replied with the Pasuk "u'Tzeva ha'Shamayim Lecha Mishtachavim" - he meant that the sun's movement is an act of bowing before the Shechinah, which is in the west.

(d) When Antoninus asked him further why it does not then stop in the middle of the sky and retreat (as is customary before kings) - he replied that doing so would result in sudden darkness (in the west), causing confusion among workers and travelers (it is not clear why he did not reply simply that it would result in half the world to be in a constant state of day, and the other half, in a constant state of night.

(a) Antoninus' objected, when in reply to his question, Rebbi stated ...
1. ... that the Neshamah enters the body only with the baby's birth - on the grounds that a (saltless) drop could not possibly last forty days (until it is formed [see Agados Maharsha]) without turning putrid, and more than a piece of unsalted meat, which cannot last even three days without going bad?
2. ... that the Yeitzer-ha'Ra joins the person from the moment he is formed - that if that were so, it would kick its way out of its mother's womb.
(b) Rebbi subsequently proved from the Pasuk ...
1. ... in Iyov "u'Fekudascha Shamrah Ruchi" - that Hashem places the Neshamah inside the person already when the angel brings the drop before Him to determine its future.
2. ... in Bereishis "la'Pesach Chatas Rovetz" - that the Yeitzer-ha'Ra joins a person only from the time of birth, substantiating both of Antoninus' statements.
(c) After each of the two episodes, before even having substantiated Antoninus' opinion, Rebbi commented -that Antoninus had taught him that.
(a) Resh Lakish resolved the apparent discrepancy between the Pasuk (in connection with Techi'as ha'Meisim) "Bam Iver u'Pise'ach" and the Pasuk "Az Yedaleg ke'Ayal Pise'ach, ve'Taron Leshon Ileim" by explaining - that initially, everybody will rise with whatever blemish they had, and that subsequently, they will be cured.

(b) Ula resolves the apparent discrepancy between the two Pesukim in Yeshayah (in connection with Techi'as ha'Meisim) "Bila ha'Maves la'Netzach u'Machah Hashem Dim'ah me'Al Kol Panim" and "Ki ha'Na'ar ben Me'ah Shanah Yamus ... " - by establishing the former by Yisrael, and the latter, by Nochrim.

(c) The latter Pasuk means - that when someone dies at the age of a hundred, they will say that he died young.

(d) We just explained that the Nochrim will continue to die after Techi'as ha'Meisim (albeit at a ripe old age),and we query the presence of Nochrim in Olam ha'Ba. The answer is - that some Nochrim will be needed to look after our sheep and lands, and those are the ones the Pasuk is referring to.

(a) To resolve the apparent discrepancy between the Pesukim in Yeshayah "ve'Chafrah ha'Levanah u'Voshah ha'Chamah, Ki Malach Hashem Tzevakos" and "ve'Hayah Or ha'Levanah ke'Or ha'Chamah, ve'Or ha'Chamah Yiheyeh Shiv'asayim ke'Or Shiv'as ha'Yamim" - Rav Chisda establishes the former after Techi'as ha'Meisim (where the light of the sun and moon will fade before the light of the Tzadikim), and the latter, in the time of Mashi'ach, prior to Techi'as ha'Meisim.

(b) According to Shmuel however, who confines any difference between nowadays and the days of Mashi'ach to our freedom from the yoke of the nations exclusively - we establish the former Pasuk in the camp of the Tzadikim (where the sun and moon will continue to shine with increased strength), and the latter, in the camp of the Shechinah (where their light will be dwarfed by the light of the Shechinah).

(c) Rava resolves the apparent discrepancy between the Pesukim "Ani Amis va'Achayeh" (implying with the blemishes with which he died) and "Machatzti va'Ani Erpa" - by establishing the former Pasuk at the moment of revival, and the latter, at a later stage, when everyone will be cured of all ailments (as we learned earlier).

(d) The Tana of a Beraisa conclude that "Ani Amis va'Achayeh" pertains to the same person (a further proof for Techi'as ha'Meisim) - from the Hekesh (in the same Pasuk) to "Machatzti ve'Ani Erpa", which obviously pertains to the same person.

(a) Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa proves from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Az Yashir Moshe ... " and from the Pasuk "Az Yivneh Yehoshua Mizbe'ach la'Hashem" - that 'Techi'as ha'Meisim is min ha'Torah (because otherwise, the Torah should have written 'Shar' and 'Banah' respectively.
2. ... "Az Yivneh Sh'lomoh Bamah li'Chemosh Shikutz Mo'av ... " - that although it was Sh'lomoh's wives who built these altars, the Torah reckons as if Sh'lomoh himself would have built it (for marrying such women in the first place, or at least for not stopping them from sinning).
(b) Besides a further proof for Techi'as ha'Meisim min ha'Torah, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk "Ashrei Yoshvei Veisecha, Od *Yehalelucha* Selah" (rather than "Hilelucha ... ") - that anyone who sings praises to Hashem in this world, it is as if he had sung them in Olam ha'Ba.

(c) And Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk in "Kol Tzofayich Nas'u Kol, Yachdav *Yeraneinu*" (instead of 'Rinenu') - another proof for Techi'as ha'Meisim min ha'Torah.

(d) He also extrapolates from the Pasuk - that all the prophets will sing Shirah together to Hashem in Olam ha'Ba.

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk "Torah Tzivah Lanu Moshe *Morashah* Kehilas Ya'akov" - that if someone withholds Torah from a Talmid it is as if he had withheld from him his father's inheritance ...

(b) ... because Torah has been Yisrael's inheritance since the six days of the Creation.

(c) In the Pesukim "u'le'Om mi'le'Om Ye'ematz" (Toldos, in connection with Ya'akov and Eisav), and "Mah Ekov Lo Kaboh Keil" (Balak, in connection with Bil'am's B'rachos), the words "Om" and "Kaboh" mean - 'a fetus' and 'curse' (respectively).

(d) Given that, based on a Pasuk in Tehilim, "Bar" means Torah, Rav Chana bar Bizna Amar Rebbi Shimon Chasida now interprets the Pasuk "Mone'a Bar Yekabohu le'Om" to mean - that if someone withholds Torah from a Talmid, even the unborn fetuses will curse him (see Agados Maharsha).

(a) Based on the Pasuk "*va'Yikov* Chor be'Dalto" (in connection with the collecting boxes in the Beis-Hamikdash), Ula bar Yishmael ascribes to someone who fails to impart Torah to a Talmid the punishment - of being holed like a sieve.

(b) 'Like an Uchla de'Katzri', says Abaye - which is a vessel used by laundrymen to sprinkle water on the clothes.

(c) Someone who does learn with a Talmid on the other hand, will receive B'rachos, as the Pasuk writes there in Mishlei "u'B'rachah le'Rosh Mashbir" - 'the sustainer', a title conferred upon Yosef, as the Torah writes in Mikeitz ("ve'Yosef ... Hu ha'Mashbir").

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