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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 95



(a) Rav Huna interprets the Pasuk "Od ha'Yom be'Nov La'amod" - to mean that the opportunity to destroy Yerushalayim on that day was given to Sancheriv as an atonement for the destruction of Nov, the city of Kohanim at the hand of Shaul ha'Melech.

(b) The Caldean soothsayers told him - that if he attacks Yerushalayim on that day he will succeed in destroying it, but not otherwise.

(c) After miraculously arriving on the outskirts of Yerushalayim on the same day, he declined to attack immediately, even when his generals suggested that he should - because, to his surprise, the city was very smaller than he thought, and a good night's sleep after the rigors of the journey, he figured would make an already easy task that much easier.

(d) He managed to see the whole of Yerushalayim despite its high walls - by standing on a series of carpets.

(a) The final instructions he left his soldiers for the next day were - that each soldier bring him a broken section of the wall.

(b) When he arose the following morning, he found - all 185,000 soldiers dead, slain by an angel (though not everybody agrees that they were, as we shall see).

(c) When Rav Papa connected this to the saying 'Bas Diyna, Bateil Diyna', he meant - that if one leaves a Din-Torah overnight, the quarrel will have dissipated by the morning.

(a) Yishbi be'Nov was - the son of Orpah (brother of Goli'as).

(b) He was called Yishbi *be'Nov* - because he was sent to atone for David's participation in Shaul's killing of the inhabitants of Nov.

(c) He was wearing a new battle suit (see Rashi in Shmuel), and his sword weighed - three hundred copper Sela'im.

(d) David was held (indirectly) responsible for that episode. Besides the killing of all the inhabitants of Nov (at the hand of Shaul) ...

1. ... Do'eg ha'Edomi - met his death (for the Lashon ha'Ra that resulted in Shaul's subsequent actions) on account of it.
2. ... Shaul and his three sons too - died in battle on account of it.
(a) When given the choice of being delivered into the hands of his enemy (Yishbi be'Nov) or of his line of descendants terminating, David chose - the former.

(b) Yishbi be'Nov found David - when the latter was chasing the Satan disguised as a deer, who led him into P'lishti territory.

(c) When he saw him he declared - that this was the man who had killed his brother Goli'as.

(d) After trussing him up - he placed him under the olive-press, on which he sat, intending to squash him to death.

(a) David was miraculously saved from being squashed to death - when the ground underneath the olive-press turned soft.

(b) Avishai ben Tzeruyah (brother of Yo'av, David's general) - was washing his hair for Shabbos when he discovered that David was in distress.

(c) He found out about it - either by spotting drops of blood in the water, or when a dove flew in and began behaving erratically, battering itself, shedding its feathers and cooing ruefully; and K'lal Yisrael (whom the king represents) is compared to a dove.

(d) When he discovered that David was not at home - he mounted David's mule, which led him to its master ...

(e) ... after being issued a ruling in the Beis-ha'Medrash permitting him to ride the king's mule to save the king's (even though under normal circumstances, it is forbidden to ride on a king's horse, to use his scepter or sit on his throne.

(a) Seeing as it was Erev Shabbos (and David's life was in danger), he manage to arrive in Peleshes so quickly - because he had 'K'fitzas ha'Derech'.

(b) When he met Orpah on the way ...

1. ... she tried to kill him, by throwing her knitting needles at him, but missed.
2. ... When, pretending to have dropped them, she asked him to kindly return them - he gave her a taste of her own medicine (only he did not miss) piercing her brain and killing her.
(c) When Yishbi be'Nov saw Avishai and realized that there were now two against one - he tossed David in the air, and stuck his spear in the ground at the exact spot where David was about to land.

(d) Avishai uttered the Name of Hashem and David remained suspended in the air. David did not so himself - because of the principle 'Ein Chavush Matir Atzmo mi'Beis ha'Asurim' (a person cannot [or does not think to] release himself from prison).

(a) Avishai advised David to - change for the other option (of his descendants terminating), which gave rise to the adage 'bar B'rich Kiyra Lizbun ve'At Al Titzta'er' ('Let your grandson sell wax, as long as you do not suffer [see Rashash]).

(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains the Pasuk "va'Ya'azor Lo Avishai ben Tzeruyah" to mean - that he Davened together with him to switch the decree.

(c) After Avishai had brought David down to earth with the Name of Hashem and they were running away, and they arrived at ...

1. ... Kubi (a town between Peleshes and Yisrael), they decided - to stand up to ('Kum Bei', the acronym of Kubi) Yishbi be'Nov, who was running after them.
2. ... 'Bei T'rei' (which means 'with two'), because later, the people will say - 'Did they kill the lion with two cubs!'
(d) They managed to kill him - after weakening his resolve by informing him that Avishai had just killed his mother.

(e) Following this incident, David's men swore - that they would no longer allow David (who was not as strong as he used to be) to lead them to war, in order to preserve the 'Lamp of Yisrael'.

(a) Having just taught us that Avishai ben Tzeruyah had Kefitzas ha'Derech, the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "va'Avo ha'Yom el ha'Ayin" - that Eliezer arrived in Charan on the same day that he left Chevron, and that he was therefore the second person to experience Kefitzas ha'Derech.

(b) The third person to experience 'Kefitzas ha'Derech' was - Ya'akov Avinu (as we shall now see).

(c) The problem with the Pasuk "Vayeitzei Ya'akov mi'Be'er Sheva Vayeilech Charanah ... va'Yifga ba'Makom ... " is - that, first the Torah writes that Ya'akov arrived in Charan, and the next moment he is in Beis-Eil (Yerushalayim).

(d) The answer is - that after going straight to Charan, he remembered that he had not Davened on Har ha'Moriyah, where Avraham and Yitzchak had Davened. So he decided to go back and make up for his omission. When the Torah writes "va'Yifga ba'Makom", it is informing us that he had Kefitzas ha'Derech arriving there on the same day.




(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "va'Yalen Sham ki Va ha'Shemesh" - that Hashem forced Ya'akov to change his plan of returning to Charan immediately after having Davened, by causing the sun to set ('Should this Tzadik, who arrived in My hotel, he said, be allowed to leave without staying overnight'?)
2. ... "va'Yizrach Lo ha'Shemesh" - that the sun, which had set early on behalf of Ya'akov (as we just explained, on his outward journey, now rose early on his behalf (see Rashi on the Chumash) on his way back.
(b) David's descendants were destroyed under the auspices of - the wicked Queen Asalyah, who murdered all the members of the royal family (in order to rule without fear of opposition).

(c) One (Yo'ash) was saved - corresponding to Evyasar, the Kohen who escaped from the city of Nov.

(a) Of the 185,000 men in Sancheriv's army, 45,000 were princes riding in golden chariots - accompanied by queens and harlots.

(b) 80,000 were warriors who wore chain-mail. The remaining 60,000, were infantry.

(c) The same number fought with the four kings against Avraham - and will fight with Gog and Magog.

(d) A Beraisa gives the size of Sancheriv's camp as four hundred Parsah wide and the combined width of his horses necks as forty Parsah. The sum total of soldiers plus one was - 2,600,000.

(e) Abaye asked whether the 'minus one' - meant minus one ten-thousand, one thousand, one hundred or just one. The She'eilah ends with 'Teiku'.

(a) Whereas the first batch of troops that crossed the Jordan River with their horses, had to swim across ...
1. ... the second batch walked across - up to their necks in water (because the troops and the horses of the first batch had drunk such vast quantities of water).
2. ... the third batch crossed - on the now dry river bed.
(b) Water had to be obtained - from a new source for the last batch to drink.

(c) Rebbi Avahu reconciles the number of troops presented by the Beraisa with the 185,000 listed in the Pasuk - by confining the latter to captains exclusively, whereas the Beraisa incorporates the rank and file of the army.

(d) Rav Ashi bears out Rebbi Avahu's statement from the Pasuk "be'Mishmanav Razon", and Ravina from the Pasuk "va'Yishlach Hashem Mal'ach va'Yachecheid Kol Gibor Chayil ve'Nagid ve'Sar be'Machaneh Melech Ashur" - both of which imply that the numbers cited by the Pasuk pertain specifically to the higher-ranking soldiers of Nevuchadnetzar's army.

(a) The Beraisa extrapolates from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "va'Yar Yisrael es ha'Yad ha'Gedolah" (rather than "Yad ha'Gedolah" [Rebbi Eliezer]) - that the Divine Hand that punished the Egyptians was the one that was designated to punish Sancheriv later.
2. ... "Etzba Elokim Hi" (Rebbi Yehoshua) - that it was the finger that is referred to there that was designated to punish them.
(b) According to Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, Hashem instructed the Angel Gavriel to sharpen his scythe to kill Sancheriv's army, to which he replied - that his scythe had already been sharpened (and was waiting to be used) since the days of the creation.

(c) Rav Papa learned from Rebbi Shimon, who added that it happened to be the time when the fruit ripens (a job that belongs to Gavriel [since Hashem sustains the world with Midas ha'Din]) - that it is best to punish one's enemy whilst passing his house anyway.

(d) Others say that Hashem killed them by blowing into their nostrils. Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba learns from the Pasuk "ve'Gam Ani Akeh Kapi el Kapi, va'Hanichosi Chamasi" - that Hashem killed them by clapping His hands together and catching them in the middle.

(e) The final opinion is that of Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha - who says that He killed them by opening their ears and letting them hear the Chayos ha'Kodesh (a group of Angels) singing.

(a) Following the question as to how many of Sancheriv's army survived, Rav quotes the Pasuk in Yeshayah (in that connection) "ve'Na'ar Yichtevem", indicating - that there were ten survivors, because the only letter than any small child can write is a 'Yud', which is no more than a small blob of ink.

(b) Shmuel, quoting the Pasuk there "ve'Nish'ar Bo Olelos ke'Nokef Zayis, Shenayim, Sheloshah ... Arba'ah va'Chamishah", learns from the last two numbers, that there were nine. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who derives his opinion from the same Pasuk - maintains that there were fourteen, since he also adds the "Shenayim, Sheloshah" mentioned earlier in the Pasuk.

(c) According to Rebbi Yochanan, there were five survivors: Sancheriv and his two sons - Nevuchadnetzar and Nevuzraden.

(d) According to Rebbi Yochanan, Nevuzraden is traditionally one of the five. Given that he subscribes to the opinion that it was Gavriel who killed Sancheriv's army, Nevuchadnetzar must have been the fifth - because otherwise, how would he have recognized him as the fourth 'man' in the furnace, as we discussed earlier (though we did not explicitly say there that the angel was Gavriel)?

1. 'Nisroch' - was the name of his (newly-appointed) god (as we shall soon see).
2. ... 'Adarmelech and Sharetzer' - were the names of his two sons.
(b) The incredible act that Hashem performed with Sancheriv was - that of shaving the hair of his head, of his legs (see Agados Maharsha), and his beard.

(c) When Hashem, disguised as an 'Old Man', pointed out to Sancheriv that the kings of the east might not be too happy with him for taking their sons to war and returning without them, his response was - that that very thought was disturbing him, too.

(d) 'the Old Man' advised him to - disguise himself (hence the shaving).

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