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Sanhedrin 103

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) Rebbi Yochanan, based on a Beraisa, states that anyone who says that Menasheh has no portion in Olam ha'Ba - weakens the position of the Ba'alei Teshuvah.

(b) The Tana informs us that Menasheh was twelve when he ascended the throne. He continued to reign - for thirty-three years after he did Teshuvah.

(c) We learn this from the Pasuk "va'Ya'as Asheirah Ka'asher Asah Achav" - which compares the period in which Menasheh sinned to that of Achav, whose reign lasted twenty-two years.

(d) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai learns from the Pasuk "Vayishma Eilav ve'Ye'chaser Lo" (instead of "Vaye'aser" [although our version of the Pasuk *reads* "Vaye'aser"]) - that Hashem created a special conduit to accept Menasheh's Teshuvah, so that the Midas ha'Din, who objected, should not know about it.

(a) The problem of Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai with the Pesukim in Yirmiyah "Bereishis Mamleches Yehoyakim ben Yoshiyahu" and "Bereishis Mamleches Tzidkiyah" is - that seeing as neither concerns the creation of the world, why the Navi writes "Bereishis" (rather than 'be'Shanah Rishonah')

(b) In both cases, he explain the word "Bereishis" to mean - that due to the terrible sins (which we will explain shortly), Hashem wanted to destroy the world, to revert to the state of "null and void" that existed at the Creation.

(c) He explains ...

1. ... "Bereishis Mamleches Yehoyakim ben Yoshiyahu" to mean - that it was the sins of Yehoyakim that led Hashem to consider such a step, and He relented when He saw the Tzadikim of his generation (the 'Charash and the Misger' who had not yet gone into Galus with Yechonyah).
2. ... "Bereishis Mamleches Tzidkiyah" to mean - that it was the sins of the Resha'im of his generation (since the 'Charash and the Misger' were already in Galus) that led to contemplating such drastic measures, and it was the deeds of Tzidkiyahu that caused Him to relent.
(d) We reconcile this latter statement with the Pasuk (in connection with Tzidkiyahu) "Vaya'as ha'Ra be'Einei Hashem" - by attributing the Pasuk to Tzidkiyahu's failure to rebuke the people (but not to his participation in their sins) see also Agados Maharsha.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai said that after ...
1. ... falling in battle to the Damascans (the Syrians) - Achaz (Chizkiyahu's father) began worshipping their gods, because he claimed, they had been responsible for their victory.
2. ... defeating Edom - Amatzyah adopted their gods.
(b) This explain the Pasuk "Ish Chacham Nishpat es Ish Evil ve'Ragaz, Sichak ve'Ein Nachas" which now means - when Hashem punishes Yisrael (i.e. Achaz), they make Him angry, and when he smiles at them (i.e. Amatzyah), He gets no Nachas from them.

(c) Rav Papa cited an adage that conforms with this Pasuk - 'Whether the wise man 'cries' at a person or 'laughs' at him he doesn't listen. Woe to the man who doesn't know the difference between good and bad!'

(a) In the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "Vayavo'u Kol Sarei Melech Bavel Vayeshvu be'Sha'ar ha'Tavech", Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai commenting on the words "Sha'ar ha'Tavech" - explains that this was the location of the Sanhedrin (the place where Halachic decisions were made [from the word 'Chatach', to cut]), and which had now become a 'Moshav Leitzim' (the place where the officers of the King of Bavel judged).

(b) Rav Papa quotes the adage - of the base shepherd hanging up his jug (or bowl) in the exact place where the master had previously hung up his weapons.

(a) Rav Chisda Amar Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba explains the Pasuk in Mishlei. The lazy man whose field Shlomoh passed reefers Achaz - who stopped people from learning Torah and negated the Avodah in the Beis-Hamikdash.

(b) And ...

1. ... the "Adam Chasar-Leiv", whose vineyard had been neglected refers to Menasheh - who cut out the Names of Hashem from the Torah and demolished the Mizbe'ach.
2. ... the thorns that overran the vineyard refers to Amon - who burned the Torah and brought a spider on the Mizbe'ach.
3. ... the nettles that grew there in abundance refers to Yehoyakim - who atempted to replace the sun with super-quality gold, which shone like the sun, because, he claimed, they no longer needed Hashem's light.
(c) And he attributed the phrase "ve'Geder Avanim Nehersah" - to Menasheh, in whose time the Beis-Hamikdash was destroyed, even though he himself was a Tzadik.
(a) Rav Chisda Amar Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba lists four groups who will not receive the Shechinah; The group of Leitzim (the mockers), the group of Shakranim - the group of flatterers and the group of slanderers (who speak Lashon ha'Ra).

(b) Discussing the Pasuk in Tehilim "Lo Se'uneh Eilecha Ra'ah, ve'Nega Lo Yikrav be'Ohalecha", Rav Chisda explains the first phrase to mean that the Yetzer-ha'Ra will not have power over us, and the second - that a man will not arrive home from a journey and find his wife (whom Chazal describe as 'Bayis' [or 'Ohel') a Safek Nidah.

(c) Rav Chisda refers to a Safek Nidah - because it is worse than a Vaday Nidah, since a person tends to think that his wife is probably Tehorah and that he is waiting in vain (i.e. he does not come to terms with his situation like he does by a Vaday Nidah).

(a) According to the second explanation, "Lo Se'uneh Eilecha Ra'ah" means that he will not be beset by bad dreams and evil thoughts, and "ve'Nega Lo Yikrav be'Ohalecha" - that he will not have a son or a Talmid who goes off the path.

(b) What makes us assume that the B'rachos until here refer to those issued to Shlomoh by his father David is - the fact that they are all spiritual issues that would normally concern a father.

(c) The B'rachos from ...

1. ... "Ki Malachav Yetzaveh Lach" until "Al Shachal va'Fesen Tidroch ... " were issued - by his mother Bas-Sheva ...
2. ... whereas the B'rachos from there until the end of the Kapitel ("Ki Vi Chashak va'Afaltehu ... Orech Yamim Asbi'ehu ve'Areihu bi'Yeshu'asi" were issued - by Hashem.
(d) We divide the last two sections between David's mother and Hashem respectively - because until "Al Shachal va'Fesen Tidroch ... " are issues (concerning a son's safety) that would normally concern a mother. Whereas the Lashon from "Ki Vi Chashak ... " indicates that it was said by Hashem.



(a) Resh Lakish ascribes the hanging 'Ayin' in the word "Vayimna *me'Resha'im* Oram ... " - to the ramifications of 'Rashim' - that when someone who is poor (meaning that he is disliked) on earth, he is disliked in Heaven too.

(b) The Pasuk could not however, just omit the 'Ayin' altogether - because of the Kavod of David and of Nechemyah (Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar), who are exceptions to the rule. They had many enemies, yet were beloved by Hashem (because they were not Resha'im).

(c) The enemies of Nechemyah were - predominantly Nochrim, who were against the rebuilding of the Beis-Hamikdash (though others say that it pertains to enemies within Yisrael).

(d) Menasheh learn Toras Kohanim in depth - fifty-five times, once for each year that he reigned (during which time he would complete it once annually.

(e) Achav learned it eighty-five times, Yeravam learned it - a hundred and three times.

(a) Rebbi ...
1. ... Meir in a Beraisa states that Avshalom lost his portion in Olam a'Ba, and he bases this on the Pasuk "Vayaku es Avshalom, Vayemisuhu" ("Vayaku", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh', "Vayemisuhu", 'le'Olam ha'Ba'.
2. ... Shimon ben Elazar states that Achaz, Achazya and all the kings of Yisrael about whom the Pasuk writes "Va'ya'as Ha'Ra be'Einei Hashem" - will not come to life at Techi'as ha'Meisim, nor will they be judged.
(b) This does not extend to Amon and Yehoyakim, who (like the previous two) were wicked kings of Yehudah - yet there is nothing to indicate that they were similarly punished.

(c) According to the Chachmei Bavel, the innocent blood that Menasheh spilt in Yerushalayim, filling it from one end to the other, was that of Yeshayah. According to the Chachmei Yerushalim, it pertains to the thousand men that he killed each day - by making them carry the gigantic image that he built, and that he would make them carry until it crushed them.

(d) The Chachmei Bavel's interpretation bears out a statement of Rabah bar bar Chanah, who says - that the Neshamah of a Tzadik is equivalent to the whole world (meaning the whole of Yerushalayim in this case).

(a) Menasheh's image initially had only one face. He changed it to four - so that, from whichever direction Hashem would enter the Heichal, He would see it (Kevayachol), and become angry.

(b) Achaz (his grandfather, who it seems, originally built it) placed the image in one of the attics of the Beis-Hamkdash. First - Menasheh moved it to the Heichal, then King Amon placed it in the Kodesh Kodshim.

(c) Given that the "ha'Matza" (which means 'a sheet' [referring to the husband/wife relationship between Hashem and Yisrael]) to the Beis-Hamikdash - Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan explains the Pasuk "Ki Katzar ha'Matza mi'Le'histarer" to mean - that there is no place there for two rivals (it is either Hashem or the image [who will live together with Yisrael]).

(d) Rebbi Yonasan burst out crying when he read the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'ha'Masechah Tzarah" because he exclaimed, how is it possible that a molten image should have become a rival of the One about the Navi writes "He gathers the water of the sea into a mound"!

(a) Achaz permitted adultery, Menasheh committed incest with his sister - Amon, with his mother.

(b) When Amon's mother expressed surprise at he fact that he derived any pleasure from 'the place from which he was born', he replied - that his objective was to anger Hashem (not to derive pleasure from his sins).

(c) When Yehoyakim arrived, he decided to outdo all his predecessors, so he set about replacing the sun with Zahav Parvayim (and asking Hashem to please remove His sun, which they did not need). When the people cited the Pasuk "Li ha'Kesef ve'Li ha'Zahav, Ne'um Hashem Tzevakos" - they meant to ask him, that even if Hashem would take His sun away, and Yehoyakim were to use his gold instead, he would still be using what was essentially Hashem's property to light up the world.

(d) He replied - that Hashem had given all the contents in the world to man, as the Pasuk writes in Tehilim "ha'Shamayim Shamayim la'Hashem ve'ha'Aretz Nasan li'Venei Adam".

(a) Rava's problem with Yehoyakim was - why he was not included among the three kings who lost their portion in Olam ha'Ba.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar argue over Yehoyakim's speciality. One of them says that he engraved the name of an Avodah-Zarah on his Makom ha'Milah - out of devotion to the Avodah-Zarah.

(c) The other one said - that he engraved *the Name of Hashem* there, in order to denigrate it.

(d) When Rava asked Rabah bar Mari his Kashya - he replied that he had not heard a good reason for Yehoyakim's omission from the list.

(e) He had however, heard an explanation as to why the Tana ommitted Michah from the list of Hedyotos - namely, because (like Avraham Avinu), he gave generously of his bread to whoever passed by.

(a) Michah obtained the golden plate containing the Name of Hashem with which he made the Eigel - after Moshe had written it and thrown it into the River Nile to bring up Yosef's coffin.

(b) This might have been the "Tzarah" referred to in the Pasuk in Zecharyah "ve'Avar ba'Yam Tzarah". Alternatively - the Pasuk might be referring to an image that Michah himself built and took with him out of Egypt.

(c) The image of Michah was later set up in Garav, which was - a mere three Mil from Shiloh (where the Mishkan was situated).

(d) When the smoke from Michah's sacrifices mingled with the smoke from the Mizbe'ach, and the angels came to kill him, Hashem responded - by stopping them, due to Michah's high level of Hachnasas Orchim.

(a) When the rest of the tribes came to fight with Binyamin by 'Pilegesh be'Givah' - they lost the first two battles.

(b) In spite of the fact that they were in the right, they were initially punished - because they avenged the honor of a human being, but not that of Hashem (seeing as Pesel Michah was then being worshipped, and they did nothing about it).

(c) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Yossi ben Kisma, praised the virtues of 'Legimah' (offering guests a bite to eat - the lack of which caused Amon and Mo'av to be rejected from ever fully entering into K'lal Yisrael.

(d) What they should have done - was to offer Yisrael food in the desert, but didn't.

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