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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 102

SANHEDRIN 101-103 (18 Teves) - dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the third Yahrzeit of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May the merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah



(a) The Navi Hoshe'a writes "ve'Shachatah Seitim He'emiku va'Ani Musar le'Kulam". "ve'Shachatah Seitim" means - the Avodah-Zarah after which one turns to Shecht in its honor.

(b) Interpreting the word "He'emiku", when Rebbi Yochanan says 'Heim He'emiku mi'Sheli', he means - that Yeravam was more stringent than Hashem Himself in threatening death by the sword to anyone who would go up to Yerushalayim, when Hashem only rewarded those who do go with an Asei.

(c) And when Hashem said "va'Ani Musar le'Kulam", He meant - that He was not as concerned about His Kavod as Yeravam was about his, since He only threatened those who fail to go to Yerushalayim with Yisurin for contravening an Asei (and Not Misah). Alternatively, the Pasuk means - that their having turned away from Hashem caused them to sin even more intensely, until they even slaughtered those who forsook the calves and went to Yerushalayim.

(d) When Achyah ha'Shiloni met Yeravam as he left Yerushalayim (after rebuking Shlomoh) - he tore the latter's new cloak into twelve strips, a sign that the twelve tribes of Yisrael were about to be split into two kingdoms, which explains why the Beraisa quoting Rebbi Yossi, refers to that incident as a time for punishment.

(a) Rebbi Yossi learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "be'Eis Pekudasam Yovedu" (in connection with the destruction of idols) - that there is a fixed time for punishment.
2. ... Yeshayah "be'Eis Ratzon Anisicha" - that there is a fixed time for reward.
(b) When Rebbi Yossi makes a similar comment with regard to the Pasuk ...
1. ... in Ki Sisa "u've'Yom Pokdi u'Fakadti Aleihem Chatasam", he means - that Tish'ah be'Av (see Agados Maharsha) was fixed as a time of punishment. That is why so many calamities (including the destruction of both Batei Mikdash) took place then.
2. ... Vayehi ba'Eis ha'Hi Vayered Yehudah me'es Echav", he means - that that time too, was fixed as a punishment (for Tamar and her two sons to be burned, though that is not what ultimately happened).
(c) And about the Pasuk "Vayeilech Rechavam Shechemah", Rebbi Yossi said - that Sh'chem was a place that was reserved for punishment. That is where - Dinah was abducted, that is where Yosef was sold and that is where the Kingdom of Yisrael was divided into two.

(d) Rebbi Chanina bar Papa explains the Pasuk in Melachim "Vayetzei Yeravam mi'Yerushalayim" to mean - that when he left Yerushalayim, he left behind its legacy, too.

(a) According to Rav Nachman, the Navi refers to the new cloak that Yeravam was wearing, to teach us that, like a new cloak, the Torah of Yeravam was flawless. According to others - they discussed Divrei Torah the likes of which had never been heard before.

(b) According to Rev Yehudah Amar Rav, the phrase "ve'Heim Levadam ba'Sadeh" teaches us that all the Chachamim before Achiyah ha'Shiloni and Yeravam were compared to the grass of the field (see Agados Maharsha). Others interpret it to mean - that the reasons for all the Mitzvos were revealed to them like the grass of the field.

(a) According to Rebbi Chanina bar Papa, when they crowned Yeravam, a Heavenly Voice proclaimed - that since they had betrayed the dynasty of David Hamelech, who killed Goli'as and gave them Gas as an inheritance ...

(b) ... Hashem would betray them and deliver them into the hands of their enemies.

(c) Rebbi Chanina bar Papi states that if someone eats without reciting a B'rachah - it is as if he stole from his father (Hashem) and mother (K'neses Yisrael).

(d) When the Pasuk in Mishlei (written in connection with this Halachah) concludes "Chaver Hu le'Ish Mashchis", it refers to - Yeravam ben N'vat (who destroyed the direct link with Hashem that goes through Yerushalayim, and to which the concept of B'rachos is similar).

(a) Based on the Pasuk "va'Yidach Yeravam es Yisrael me'Acharei Hashem ve'Hechti'am Chata'ah Gedolah", Rebbi Chanin gives a Mashal to two sticks (see also Agados Maharsha), where someone wielding one stick, hits a stick held by someone else with force, causing it to fly a great distance through the air and land far away against the will of the owner. So too, Yeravam forced his subjects to remain far away from Hashem against their will.

(b) de'Bei Rebbi Yanai explain the Pasuk "ve'Di Zahav" (in connection with the Golden Calf that they worshipped in the Desert) to mean - that it is only because Yisrael had too much gold that they served the Eigel (insinuating that, like the calves of Yeravam, Yisrael were not entirely to blame)

(c) And they give a Mashal to a lion - who only roars from a box of meat (when he is satiated), and not from a box of straw.

(d) Until now, they had to suffer for the sin of one calf, from now on, it was two and even three. Rebbi Oshaya explains - that until now, they had suckled from one calf ... (see Agados Maharsha).

(a) Based on the Pasuk "u've'Yom Pokdi u'Fakadti Aleihem Chatasam", Rebbi Yitzchak says - that there is no punishment that comes upon Yisrael that does not include a small fraction (a twenty-fourth) of the sin of the Golden Calf.

(b) The Navi Yechezkel writes "Vayikra be'Ozni Kol Gadol Leimor Kirvu Pekudos ha'Ir ve'Ish K'lei Mashchaso be'Yado" - twenty-four generations after the Eigel. The word "Pekudos" notice, is the same word that the Torah uses in the Pasuk that we just quoted (in connection with Eigel ha'Zahav) "u've'Yom Pakdi u'Fakadti" - because it was a prophesy that was about to come true in an extreme manner.

(c) In fact, there were twenty-*seven* generations from the time of the Eigel. However, Rebbi Yitzchak omits Yehoyakim - because he and Yeho'achaz were brothers who belonged to the same generation, whereas Yehoyachin (son of Yehoyakim) had barely begun to rule when he was sent into exile, and Tzidkiyah his uncle, was the third brother of Yehoyakim and Yeho'achaz.

(d) The Pasuk writes "Achar ha'Davar ha'Zeh, Lo Shav Yeravam mi'Darko ha'Ra'ah". According to Rebbi Aba "Achar ha'Davar ha'Zeh" refers to the episode - where Hashem offered Yeravam a free pardon if he would do Teshuvah, and he would be granted the privilege of walking together with Hashem and David Hamelech in Gan Eden.

(e) He refused the offer however - when Hashem informed him that David Hamelech (and not he) would be at the head.




(a) Rebbi Avahu undertook to cease Darshening the Sugya of the three kings who receive no portion in Olam ha'Ba - when after doing so, he fell ill.

(b) He explained the fact that he resumed his D'rashos after he recovered - by taking his cue from the kings themselves, who did not retract (so why should he?).

(c) King Menasheh appeared to Rav Ashi in a dream. He was cross with him - because he referred to the kings as 'our colleagues'.

(d) To prove his superiority in learning, he asked him - which part of the bread one cuts after reciting 'ha'Motzi', a She'eilah which Rav Ashi was unable to answer.

(a) Rav Ashi promised that, if he would teach him the Halachah - he would Darshen it the following day in his name.

(b) Menasheh taught him - that one cuts the part of the bread that has a crust (and not from the middle [though some explain from the place which is baked the best]).

(c) When Rav Ashi asked Menasheh how, if he was so advanced in learning, he could possibly have served Avodah-Zarah, he replied - that so powerful was the Yetzer-ha'Ra to serve idols that, had he been there, he would have lifted the hem of his cloak, in order to run faster to get to them.

(d) On the following day, he referred to the three kings as - 'our Rebbes'.

(a) We Darshen the name 'Achav' as - 'Ach (Rasha) la'Shamayim, ve'Av la'Avodah-Zarah'.

(b) The significance of 'Av la'Avodah-Zarah' is - that it describes the depth of Achav's love for Avodah-Zarah. We learn the depth of a father's love for his son from the Pasuk - "ke'Rachem Av al Banim".

(c) Achav was a far bigger Rasha than Yeravam (whose biggest sins were Achav's smallest).

(d) Nevertheless. the Pasuk constantly refers to Yeravam as the epitome of evil ("like the sins of Yeravam who sinned and who made Yisrael sin") - because he was the one to set the ball rolling (by introducing idolatry into K'lal Yisrael).

(a) Rebbi Yochanan learn from the Pasuk "Gam Mizbechosam ke'Galim al Talmei Sadai" - that there wasn't a heap in Eretz Yisrael on which Achav did not set up an Avodah-Zarah.

(b) And we learn from the Pasuk "ve'Hichrati le'Achav Mashtin ba'Kir *ve'Atzur ve'Azuv* be'Yisrael" - that he lost both his portion in this world ("ve'Atzur"), and in Olam ha'Ba ("ve'Azuv").

(c) Omri and Achav merited sitting on the throne of Yisrael (the latter for twenty-two years) - because the former built a city in Yisrael, whilst the latter honored the Torah (as we shall see shortly).

(d) The name of the city that Omri purchased from Shemer for two Kikar of silver was - Shomron (which soon became the capitol of Yisrael).

(a) ben Hadad, King of Syria, demanded of Achav- that, besides his silver and gold, his wives and his most able sons, he must surrender "Kol Machmad Einecha", by which he meant all his Sifrei-Torah.

(b) Achav replied - that he was ready to concede everything that ben Hadad had asked of him, with the sole exception of the Sifrei-Torah.

(c) "Kol Machmad Einecha" cannot have referred to Achav's idols, we explain, because the Pasuk describes how all the elders and all the people encouraged him to refuse. And we ask that perhaps ''the elders" referred to here, were Resha'im, like we find - in Shmuel, in connection with Avshalom, where the Pasuk writes "va'Yishar ha'Davar be'Einei Avshalom u've'Einei Kol Ziknei Yisrael (all of whom, Rav Yosef explains, were Resha'im).

(d) We answer - by referring to the words "ve'Chol Yisrael", mentioned here, among whom there must have been some Tzadikim, who would have been only too pleased to let ben Hadad take the idols away.

(e) We know that in Yisrael at that time - there were at least seven thousand Tzadikim, who did not kneel to Ba'al.

(a) Rav Nachman learns from the Pasuk (in connection with finding a spirit to entice Achav to go to war in Ramos Gilad, where he would be killed) "Vayomer Zeh be'Choh, ve'Zeh Omer be'Choh" - that Achav's deeds were equally balanced (i.e. he was a Beinoni).

(b) Rav Yosef asks on Rav Nachman however - from the Pasuk which describes Achav as the worst of all the kings, whose wife Izevel (who herself would weigh golden Shekalim to Avodah-Zarah every day, enticed him to follow in her ways. So how could he be a Beinoni?

(c) And we answer - that Achav balanced this out with his generous nature, which included benefiting Talmidei-Chachamim with his property.

(d) We already discussed the spirit of Navos ha'Yizre'eli in 'Eilu Hein ha'Nechenakin'. He succeeded in luring Achav to the battlefield - by entering the mouths of the false prophets and prophesying that he would emerge victorious. Specifically the spirit of Navos volunteered - because Achav had murdered Navos.

(e) Rav Papa cites the adage based on Navos' act and punishment (that he was ordered to leave Hashem's presence for lying) 'de'Para Kineih Machriv Beiseih' - meaning that vengeance is self-destructive.

(a) The Pasuk in Melachim records that Achav sinned more than all the previous kings. According to Rebbi Yochanan, he even wrote on the gates of Shomron - 'Achav denied the G-d of Yisrael. Therefore he has no portion in the G-d of Yisrael', a proof that he sinned (not out of pleasure, but) purely to anger Hashem ('Le'hachis').

(b) King Achazyahu too, ranks among the worst kings. He would - cut out the Names of Hashem from the Sifrei-Torah and replace them with names of other gods.

(c) 'Menasheh' is the acronym of 'she'Nashah Kah', which means - 'who forgot Hashem'.

(d) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah learns from the Pasuk (in connection with Menasheh) "Va'ya'as Asheirah Ka'asher Asah Achav" - that just as Achav lost his portion in Olam ha'Ba, so too, did Menasheh.

(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yehudah (who holds that Menasheh has a portion in Olam ha'Ba) learn their respective opinions from the same Pasuk "u'Nesatim le'Za'avah le'Chol Mamlechos ha'Aretz bi'Gelal Menasheh ben Chizkiyahu", which is coming to connect the terrible punishments that await the kings at the time of the Churban, with Menasheh.

(b) According to ...

1. ... Rebbi Yehudah, "Hashem will severely punish the kings who followed Menasheh - "because of Menasheh", who did Teshuvah and they did not learn from him.
2. ... the Tana Kama, He will punish them - "because of Menasheh", who did not do Teshuvah, and whose example they emulated.
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