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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 37


(a) Rebbi Acha b'Rebbi Chanina quotes the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim "Sharerech Agan ha'Sahar, Al Yechsar ha'Mazeg".
Why does the Pasuk refer to the Sanhedrin as ''Sharerech" (which means a navel)?

(b) "Agan ha'Sahar" means a circular dish. Why does the Pasuk use the Lashon "Agan" to describe the way they sat?

(c) What does "Sahar" mean literally?

(d) And what does Rebbi Acha bar Chanina learn from "Al Yechsar ha'Mazeg"?

(a) What do we learn from the continuation of the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim ...
  1. ... "Bitnech Areimas Chitin" ('Your stomach is like a pile of wheat')?
  2. ... "Sugah ba'Shoshanim" ('fenced with roses')?
(b) Rav Kahana used the latter Pasuk to answer a dubious heretic.
What did that heretic ask him about Nidah?

(c) How did Resh Lakish explain the Pasuk "ke'Pelach ha'Rimon Rakasech" ('Your forehead is like a pomegranate-peel')? ...

(d) ... Rebbi Zeira, the Pasuk in Toldos (in connection with Ya'akov's entry to receive the B'rachos from Yitzchak) "va'Yarach es Re'ach Begadav"?

(a) What was Rebbi Zeira's motive in being Mekarev a group of trouble-shooters?

(b) How did the Rabbanan react to that?

(c) Why did the trouble-shooters refer to Rebbi Zeira as 'Charicha Katin Shakeih'?

(d) What happened to them after his death?

4) What would they answer a Talmid-Chacham who moved from his place at the head of the first row in the section of Talmidei-Chachamim, and complained that he was now seated in the last place in the last row of the Sanhedrin?


(a) What was Beis-Din's objective in scaring the witnesses of Diynei Nefashos?

(b) Beis-Din would first ask them whether they were perhaps testifying by estimation, or 'Eid mi'Pi Eid', or whether they did not realize that they would be cross-examined.
What is 'Eid mi'Pi Eid'?

(c) What distinction would Beis-Din then draw between Diynei Mamonos and Diynei Nefashos?

(d) What source would they quote (from Kayin's murder of Hevel) to substantiate their warning?

(a) What alternative does the Tana give to explain the plural use of "D'mei Achicha'?

(b) The Tana gives five reasons for Hashem creating a single man (as opposed to many animals).
First of all, how does this enable us to earn a great reward or a great punishment?

(c) It also leads to Shalom ha'Beriyos, says the Tana, and shuts the mouths of the heretics.
In what way did the creation of a single man prevent ...

  1. ... strife?
  2. ... heresy?
(d) And how does it enhance our awe of Hashem? How does Hashem's creation of man differ drastically from man's manufacture of coins?
(a) Finally, what Musar can we learn from Hashem's creation of a single man?
What should we all learn from there on a personal level?

(b) Why does the Tana cite all this here?

(c) Having explained how Beis-Din warned the Eidim so stringently, what do we then learn from the Pasuk in Vayikra "ve'Hu Eid O Ra'ah O Yada"?

(d) And why do we finally quote the Pasuk in Mishlei "ba'Avod Resha'im Rinah"?

Answers to questions



(a) What example does the Beraisa give of witnesses in a murder case testifying by estimation?

(b) What did Rebbi Shimon ben Shetach say to the murderer when he encountered just such a scenario?

(c) Which Pasuk in Shoftim did he quote him?

(a) What pronouncement did Rebbi Shimon ben Shetach make? How did it come true?

(b) On what grounds do we query the fact that he died from snakebite?

(c) This is based on a statement of Rav Yosef as well as Tana de'Bei Chizkiyah. What do they say happens to someone who is Chayav Miysas Beis-Din nowadays?

(d) What is the alternative death that a person who is Chayav ...

  1. ... Sekilah (stoning) will suffer other than falling off a cliff?
  2. ... S'reifah (burning) will suffer other than being burned alive?
  3. ... Hereg (killed by the sword) will suffer other than being captured and killed by the ruling power?
  4. ... Chenek (strangled) will suffer other than choking?
10) How do we now explain why the murderer in the case of Rebbi Shimon ben Shetach was ...
  1. ... bitten by a snake and not slain by the ruling power or by robbers?
  2. ... punished by the equivalent of S'reifah and not of Hereg (for which he was now eligible)?
(a) What does Rebbi Acha say about a camel that is walking around biting the other camels (what else might 'Gamal ha'Ocher' mean), when a dead camel is found lying beside it?

(b) What do we try and prove from there concerning our Mishnah, which forbids such assumptions regarding Diynei Nefashos?

(c) We refute this however, by citing a Mishnah that we already learned in 'Zeh Borer'.
What does the Tana say there about 'Eid mi'Pi Eid' by Diynei Mamonos?

(d) So what do we conclude? Why might the author of our Mishnah not be Rebbi Acha after all?

(a) Why did Kayin inflict many wounds on Hevel before killing him?

(b) What does Rebbi Yehudah B'rei de'Rebbi Chiya (the author of the previous statement) also say about the earth from the moment it opened its mouth to accept Hevel's blood?

(c) How do we reconcile this with the Pasuk in Korach "va'Tiftach ha'Aretz es Piyhah"?

(d) And what does the same author extrapolate from the two Pesukim in Bereishis "Na va'Nad Tih'yeh ba'Aretz" and "va'Yeishev be'Eretz Nod"?

(a) What does Rav Yehudah Amar Rav extrapolate from the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "ha'Yoshev ba'Ir ha'Zos Yamus be'Cherev, be'Ra'av, u've'Daver, ve'ha'Yotze ve'Nafal el ha'Kasdim ha'Tzarim Aleichem Yichyeh ... "?

(b) Rebbi Yochanan goes still further.
What does he say?

(c) How does he learn that from Yechonyah ha'Melech? What did the latter gain after going into Galus that the Navi had previously told him he would not?

(d) They called that son Asir She'altiel.
What is the significance of those two names?

(a) He may also have been called She'altiel, because he was born after the Heavenly Court released Hashem's oath ('Nish'al al Alaso').
Which oath?

(b) Why was She'altiel's son called Zerubavel?

(c) By what other name is Zerubavel better known?

Answers to questions

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