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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 18

***** Perek Kohen Gadol *****


(a) A Kohen Gadol, says our Mishnah, can both judge and be judged. He can perform Chalitzah and his wife is subject to Chalitzah.
Although his brother may perform Yibum with his wife, he cannot perform Yibum with his brother's wife.
Why is that?

(b) According to Rebbi Meir, he is permitted to attend the Lavayah of his wife.
What procedure must he however, follow? How far is he permitted to go?

(c) What does Rebbi Yehudah learn from the Pasuk in Emor "u'Min ha'Mikdash Lo Yeitzei"?

(d) How does Rebbi Meir interpret the Pasuk?

(a) How did the Shurah (the row, following the burial) differ in the days of the Mishnah from today?

(b) And in what way did a Kohen Gadol comforting mourners differ from other comforters?

(c) If he was the Aveil, what would ...

  1. ... the people say to him?
  2. ... he respond?
(d) How did the Se'udas Havra'ah (the first meal after the burial) of the Kohen Gadol differ from a regular one?
(a) In what way does the Din of king differ from that of a Kohen Gadol with regard to judging, Chalitzah and Yibum?

(b) Why is the king not permitted to perform ...

  1. ... Yibum?
  2. ... Chalitzah?
(c) This is the opinion of the Tana Kama.
In which points does Rebbi Yehudah disagree with him?

(d) And why may the king's brother not perform Yibum or Chalitzah with the king's Almanah?

4) Rebbi Yehudah also disagrees with the Tana Kama, who forbids anyone to marry the widow of a king.
How does he prove otherwise from a Pasuk in Shmuel?
What did the Navi say to David?


(a) We refute the suggestion that the Tana writes 'Kohen Gadol Dan' (which is not a Chidush), because of 'Danin Oso' (which is), based on the Pasuk in Tzefanyah "Hiskosheshu ve'Koshu".
What principle does Resh Lakish learn from there?

(b) How does this apply to our case?

(c) Then why *does* the Tana insert the Din of a Kohen Gadol?

(a) Alternatively, the Chidush lies in a Beraisa.
What does the Tana say happens to a Kohen Gadol who kills ...
  1. ... on purpose?
  2. ... inadvertently?
(b) What is the Chidush in this Beraisa? Why might we have otherwise thought that a Kohen Gadol does not go into exile?

(c) Who else besides a Kohen Gadol who killed someone inadvertently, does the Mishnah in Makos deny the right ever to go free?

(d) From which Pasuk in Shoftim do we learn that a Kohen Gadol goes into Galus?

Answers to questions



(a) What does the Tana mean when he writes 'Over al Asei ve'al Lo Sa'aseh'?

(b) What is the Chidush? What might we otherwise have thought?

(c) Based on Rav Ada bar Ahavah, who Darshens "Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Eilecha", 'Kol Devarav shel Gadol' (as we learned earlier), why do we not Darshen that, too?

(a) What does the Beraisa learn from the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei (in connection with the Mitzvah of 'Hashavas Aveidah') "ve'His'alamta Meihem"?

(b) What problem does this create with our Mishnah, which obligates a Kohen Gadol to testify?

(c) Why can we not establish the case with regard to testifying for ...

  1. ... a king?
  2. ... the son of a king?
(d) We conclude that the Tana is referring to testifying in front of a king.
How do we reconcile this with our Mishnah, which forbids a king to judge?
(a) Why can a king not sit on the Sanhedrin?

(b) Why does the Beraisa also forbid the seven judges who decide Ibur Shanah to include ...

  1. ... a king?
  2. ... a Kohen Gadol?
(c) Rav Papa extrapolates from here that 'Shata Basar Yarcha Azil'.
What does this mean?
(a) We query Rav Papa's statement however, from 'those three cowhands'.
What did they overhear the Chachamim say with regard to ...
  1. ... the early seed and the late seed? What does 'the early seed' and 'the late seed' refer to?
  2. ... the ox in the cold of the morning and the heat of the midday sun?
  3. ... blowing into the south wind?
(b) What can we learn from there that clashes with Rav Papa's statement?

(c) Why can we not take the cowhands testimony too seriously anyway?

(d) So why did the Chachamim declare a leap-year following their testimony?

(a) We establish the ruling of our Mishnah prohibiting the Kohen Gadol to perform Yibum irrespective of whether the Yevamah fell to him from his brother's marriage to her or from the betrothal.
On what grounds is this prohibition easily understood in respect of the former, but not of the latter?

(b) How do we resolve this She'eilah? On what basis would the Kohen Gadol be forbidden to perform Yibum even to a Yevamah from the betrothal?

(c) What does the Beraisa say regarding Bi'ah Rishonah and Bi'ah Sheniyah that bears this out?

Answers to questions

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