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Sanhedrin 105

SANHEDRIN 105 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the third Yahrzeit of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner), who passed away 18 Teves 5760. May the merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study serve as an Iluy for his Neshamah



(a) When, based on the Pasuk in Zecharyah "Madu'a Shovevah ha'Am ha'Zeh Yerushalayim, Meshuvah Nitzachas", Rav says that K'lal Yisrael had an irrefutable reply to the Navi's call to do Teshuvah, because their fathers, who sinned, were no longer there, he is referring to their retort - that, come to think of it, the Nevi'im, who did not sin, were not around either.

(b) They nevertheless retracted and admitted that the Navi was right - when he explained that whereas the sinners had left no trace of their whereabouts, the graves of the Nevi'im were known (Agados Maharsha).

(c) According to Shmuel, their irrefutable reply took the form of ten men who came and sat before the Navi - claiming that Hashem had sold them (to Nevuchadnetzar), and once a master sells his slave, he has no more claim on him.

(d) In reply - the Navi quoted Yeshayah, who already asked Yisrael to produce documented evidence of their sale.

(a) To offset the fact that Hashem did in fact, sell Yisrael to Nevuchadnetzar, Resh Lakish quotes from Yirmiyah, who referred to Nevuchadnetzar as "Avdi" (the same title as Moshe and David!?). And He did this only in to counter Yisrael's anticipated argument, because we have a principle that 'Whatever a slave acquires belongs to his master'.

(b) About those people who insisted that Hashem did indeed sell Yisrael, and that they were now free of His yoke, Yechezkel, quoting Hashem Himself - thundered that this will never be, because if they attempt to be like the nations of the world, He will reign over them by force and with anger.

(c) Rav Yosef commented - 'Let Hashem only be angry, as long as he redeems us and rules over us'.

(d) Rabah bar bar Chanah explains a Pasuk in Yeshayah. When the Navi told Yisrael ...

1. ... to do Teshuvah, they replied - that they couldn't, because the Yetzer-ha'Ra held them in his grip.
2. ... to keep their Yetzer-ha'Ra in check, they answered - that Hashem should show them how. Indeed, Chazal have taught, without Divine assistance, it is impossible to overcome him.
(a) Besides 'Bala Am' ("Bala" with an 'Ayin', meaning that he tried to destroy the people), or "b'Lo Am" (with an 'Alef', meaning that he has no portion in the people [Yisrael], in spite of his request "Tamos Nafshi Mos Yesharim"), 'Bilam' is the acronym of - 'Balah (Bilbel) Am', meaning that he confused the people by Ba'al Pe'or (causing many to die, as we shall see shortly).

(b) And from "ben Be'or" we Darshen - that he committed bestiality with his ass ('Be'or' means an ass).

(c) Be'or had quite a distinguished history. Besides Lavan in the past, he was destined to become - Kushan Rishasayim, King of Aram Naharayim, an enemy of Yisrael in the time of the Shoftim.

(d) Bilam referred to himself as "b'no Be'or" (rather than 'ben Be'or'), Rebbi Yochanan explains - because his father Be'or, was subordinate to him when it came to prophesy.

(a) We extrapolate from the fact that specifically Bilam has no portion in Olam ha'Ba - that other Nochrim do (as we learned earlier in the Perek).

(b) According to Rebbi Eliezer in a Beraisa, the Pasuk in Tehilim "Yashuvu Goyim li'She'olah" refers to the sinners of Yisrael who will go to Gehinom, and not receive a portion in Olam ha'Ba, whilst "Kol Goyim Shechechei Elokim" - refers to all Nochrim (who 'forgot Hashem').

(c) According to Rebbi Yehoshua - the Seifa (which writes not 'be'Chol Goyim ... ', but) "Kol Goyim ... ", merely comes to explain the Reisha, in which case, it is only the wicked Nochrim who have no portion in Olam ha'Ba, but the rest do.

(d) The author of our Mishnah is therefore - Rebbi Yehoshua.

(a) When Bilam said "Tamos Nafshi Mos Yesharim, u'Sehi Acharisi Kamohu", he meant - that if he died a regular death, he would live in Olam ha'Ba like them, and if not, then he wouldn't. He didn't, so he didn't.

(b) The Torah describes how the elders of Midyan and Moav went to Bilam. True, these two nation were always at war, but - when faced with the common enemy, Yisrael, they made a truce to be rid of them.

(c) This can be compared to two dogs - who were forever fighting, but when they heard that there was a wolf in the vicinity, they made a pact to fight the wolf.

(d) Rav Papa quoted the adage - that when a weasel and a cat arrange a joint party, it is a sign of trouble.

(a) Only the elders of Moav remained with Bilam overnight - because when Bilam told them that he had to consult Hashem, the elders of Midyan (who knew about the Father/son relationship that existed between Hashem and K'lal Yisrael) figured that no father hates his son, and that they were therefore wasting their time, so they went home.

(b) According to Rav Nachman, Hashem later relented and permitted Bilam to accompany the elders of Moav, after having first refused - because Bilam had the Chutzpah to press his point, and sometimes Chutzpah wins the day (even with Hashem).

(c) Rav Sheishes describes Chutzpah as - a king without a crown.

(d) And he proves it from the words of David Hamelech "ve'Anochi ha'Yom Rach u'Mashu'ach Melech, ve'ha'Anashim ha'Eileh (the sons of Tzeruyah) ... Kashim Mimeni" - implying that the only difference between him and the tough Yo'av and his brothers lay in the fact that he was crowned and they weren't.

(a) Based on the Pesukim "Vayeilech *Shefi*" (in connection with Bilam) and "*Shefifon* Alei Orach" (in connection with Shimshon), Rebbi Yochanan explains - that whereas Bilam was lame in one leg, Shimshon was lame in both.

(b) And he explains the Pasuk ...

1. ... "S'sum ha'Ayin" to mean - that Bilom was blind in one eye.
2. ... "*Nofel* u'Geluy Einayim" (based on the Pasuk "ve'Haman Nofel al ha'Mitah") - that he used to perform wizardry with his male limb.
(c) In a separate Machlokes, Mar Zutra agrees with Rebbi Yochanan's last statement. Based on the Pasuk (in connection with Ya'el and Sisra) "Bein Rag lehah Kara, *Nafal*, Shachav", Mar B'rei de'Ravina interprets "Nofel" (see Hagahos ha'G'ra) to mean - that he committed bestiality with his ass (as we learned earlier).



(a) The description of Bilam "ve'Yode'a Da'as Elyon" is strange - inasmuch as he did not even know the mind of his own ass, so how could he possibly know the mind of Hashem?

(b) When the men who were accompanying Bilam asked him why he was riding on an ass and not on a horse, he replied - that he had left his horse in the meadow to graze.

(c) And he replied, when the ass asked him whether he was not ...

1. ... his ass - that this was only for carrying loads.
2. ... his ass on whom he rode, he replied - that this was only on odd occasions.
(d) The ass' final words on the matter were not very complimentary. Besides reminding Bilam that he had never ridden on a horse, but only on her, we also learn from the Gezeirah-Shavah "ha'Hasken Hiskanti" from the Pasuk from "Vatehi Lo Sochenes" (Melachim [concerning Avishag ha'Shunamis and David Hamelech]) - that she reminded him of the more intimate side of their relationship too.
(a) "ve'Yode'a Da'as Elyon" therefore means - that Bilam knew the exact moment that Hashem was angry each morning.

(b) And with this, we can understand the Pasuk "Ami Z'char Na Mah Ya'atz Balak ... Lema'an Da'as Tzidkos Hashem" - because the "Tzidkos Hashem" refers to the entire period that Bilam was trying to curse Yisrael, during which time Hashem controlled His anger ...

(c) ... causing Bilam to declare to Balak - "How can I evoke anger against the people, when Hashem is not angry"?

(d) The Pasuk "Ki Rega be'Apo" - pinpoints exactly which time of day "ve'Keil Zo'em be'Chol Yom" is referring to.

(a) That moment would occur some time during the first three hours of the day - when the kings would put on their crowns and prostrate themselves to the rising sun (as Rebbi Meir teaches us in a Beraisa).

(b) The sign that Hashem planted in the creation to know when that moment arrived was - that the bright red comb of a rooster turns (slightly) white.

(c) Indeed, this happened all the time - but it was only at that given moment that it did not even contain any bright red streaks.

(d) When Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi attempted to curse a heretic who caused him constant trouble, by tying a rooster to his leg (to curse the heretic, the moment its comb turned white) - he fell asleep at the crucial moment. This taught him - that it was not correct to cause harm to befall others, even when sorely provoked.

(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in a Beraisa learns from the fact that ...
1. ... Avraham arose early to go to the Akeidah - that love causes people to behave irrationally.
2. ... Bilam saddled his own ass to go and curse Yisrael - that hatred does too.
(b) To merit a descendant of the caliber of Rus - Balak brought a total of forty-two Korbanos (seven bulls and seven rams, three times) to Hashem (albeit for the wrong motive).

(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns from there - that one should make a point of studying Torah and performing Mitzvos, even for the wrong motive, because eventually, this will lead one to perform them for the right motive.

(d) The name of Rus' father (or grandfather) was - Eglon Melech Mo'av.

(a) Rava asked Rabah bar Mari how Benayahu ben Yehoyadah could possibly say to David "Yeitiv Elokim es Shem Shlomoh mi'Shimcha, ve'Yigdal es Kos'o mi'Kis'acha" (Melachim). To answer the Kashya, Rabah bar Mari took his cue from the Pasuk "Tevorach mi'*Nashim*, Ya'el, Eishes Chever ha'Keini" - which refers to the Imahos, Sarah, Rifkah, Rachel and Leah.

(b) Based on that Pasuk, Rabah bar Mari interprets the Pasuk in Melachim to mean (not that Shlomoh should be greater than David, but) - that he should be on a par with him.

(c) Rebbi Yossi bar Choni however, learns the Pasuk in Melachim literally. He learns from ...

1. ... this Pasuk - that a person is not jealous of his son.
2. ... the Pasuk (in connection with Elisha and Eliyahu) "Viyehi Na Pi Shenayim be'Ruchacha Eilai" - that he is not jealous of his Talmid either.
(d) Alternatively, he learns the latter Chidush from the Pasuk (in connection with Moshe and Yehoshua) "Vayismoch es Yadav Alav Vayetzaveihu" - even though Hashem instructed him to place only one hand on him.
(a) According to Rebbi Elazar "Vayasem Davar be'Fi Bilam" refers to an angel, who made sure that Bilam did not curse Yisrael, whereas according to Rebbi Yonasan - He placed a fish-hook in his mouth.

(b) Based on the Pesukim "Mah Tovu ... ", when Bilam said "Mah Tovu Ohalecha Ya'akov, Mishkenosecha Yisrael", he meant that Yisrael should not have Batei Kenesiyos and Batei Medrashos. When he said ...

1. ... "ki'Nechalim Nitayu", he meant - that the reign of their kings should not last long.
2. ... "ke'Ganos Alei Nahar" - that they should not have olive-groves and vineyards.
3. ... "ka'Ahalim Nata Hashem" - that they should not smell nice (from good deeds [see also Agados Maharsha]).
(c) "ke'Arazim Alei Mayim" implies that Bilam did not want Yisrael to have kings of stature, and "Yizal Mayim mi'Dalyav" that their kings should not be sons of kings (there shouldn't be a dynasty), and we can imply from ...
1. ... "ve'Zar'o be'Mayim Rabim" - that their kings should not rule over other nations.
2. ... "Veyarem me'Agag Malko" - that they should not be powerful.
3. ... "Vesinasei Malchuso" - that they should not be awesome.
(d) Rebbi Aba bar Kahana learns from the Pasuk "Vayahafoch Hashem Elokecha Lecha es ha'Kelalah li'Verachah ... " - that only one of the K'lalos (in fact, it is the first pair) was irreversibly changed into a blessing, namely that of the Batei-Kenesiyos and the Batei-Medrashos. All the others became curses, as we explained.
(a) Rebbi Yonasan interprets the Pasuk "Ne'emanim Pitz'ei Ohev ve'Ne'etaros Neshikos Sonei" to mean - that the curses of Achiyah ha'Shiloni, who was a friend of Yisrael, are faithful, whereas the blessings of Bilam, who hated them, were overturned (from being faithful).

(b) We just learned that when Bilam blessed Yisrael, he compared them to a cedar which (according to his intentions) does not grow beside water. When Achiyah ha'Shiloni on the other hand, cursed them, he compared them to - a cane that bends to and fro in the water.

(c) The basic disadvantage that the cedar has compared to the cane are - that, first, it does not grow beside water, second, it does not re-grow when cut, and third, because it has few roots, the south-wind will blow it down (see Rashash).

(d) And in addition, the cane is used - to make a quill with which to write Sifrei-Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim.

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