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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 39


(a) On what grounds did a certain non-believer accuse Hashem of being a Ganav?

(b) What parable did Raban Gamliel's daughter give in reply?

(c) What was the non-believer's reaction to this?

(d) And what did she do when he explained that his problem was with the fact that Hashem took the limb whilst Adam was asleep, and not whilst he was awake?

(a) When a certain non-believer claimed that he knew what Hashem was doing, Raban Gamliel sighed.
What was the significance of that sigh?

(b) What did he prove with it?

(c) How did Raban Gamliel prove to that non-believer that he could not possibly ...

  1. ... count the stars?
  2. ... know how many stars there are in the sky, according to the second Lashon?
(a) What did that non-believer try to prove from the Pasuk in Amos "Ki Hinei Yotzer Harim u'Vorei Ru'ach"?

(b) What did Raban Gamliel mean when he countered with the Pasuk in Tehilim "ha'Noteh Ozen ha'Lo Yishma, Im Yotzer Ayin ha'Lo Yabit"?

(c) When this didn't seem to bother the non-believer, what was Raban Gamliel's final word on the matter?

(d) What did Ameimar reply to that sorcerer who claimed that the top half of man belonged to Harms, and the lower half, to Ahurmiz? Who are Harms and Ahurmiz?

(a) What did Rebbi Tanchum reply to the Emperor's suggestion that the Jews and the Romans merge into one nation (meaning that the Jews should convert)?

(b) What did the Emperor have to say to that?

(c) What happened ...

  1. ... to Rebbi Tanchum when they threw him to the wild beasts?
  2. ... the heretic, who attributed the wild animals not devouring Rebbi Tanchum to their not being hungry?
(d) What did that non-believer ask Raban Gamliel, based on Chazal, who say that the Shechinah is to be found wherever there is a Minyan?
(a) How did Raban Gamliel's respond to the non-believer's question?

(b) How did that refute the Kashya?

(a) Why did that heretic accuse Hashem of being a jester, by virtue of what He did to Yechezkel? What did Hashem make Yechezkel do?

(b) What did a disciple ask Rebbi Avahu immediately after that?

(c) What did Rebbi Avahu answer him?

(d) How does this also answer the heretic's Kashya? What sort of treatment would rebellious subjects receive at the hand of ...

  1. ... a cruel king?
  2. ... a merciful king?
  3. ... a king who was brimming with mercy?
(a) On what grounds did a certain heretic claim that Hashem must be a Kohen?

(b) The heretic's problem was how Hashem subsequently Toveled.
What was the problem? Why could He not have Toveled in water?

(c) What did Rebbi Avahu answer the heretic?

(d) How did he confirm his answer from the Dinim of Tevilah? Why is the answer to the Kashya (which is not valid in the first place, as we explained earlier) not really a good one?

(a) How did that heretic try to make nothing of the Pasuk in Shmuel "u'Mi ke'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz" on the basis of the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Kol ha'Goyim ke'Ayin Negdo"?

(b) What did Rebbi Avina mean when he answered him 'mi'Didchu As'hidu Alan'?
To whom was he referring?

(c) How does Rebbi Elazar explain the apparent contradiction between the Pasuk in Tehilim "Tov Hashem la'Kol" and the Pasuk in Eichah "Tov Hashem le'Kovav"?

(d) How does this translate into terms of Tzadikim and Resha'im?

Answers to questions



(a) How does Rebbi Acha bar Chanina interpret the Pasuk in Melachim (in connection with the death of Achav, King of Yisrael) "va'Ya'avor ha'Rinah ba'Machaneh"? What does he extrapolate from the fact that the Pasuk writes "ha'Rinah" rather than "Rinah"?

(b) What does Rebbi Yonasan derive from the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim (in connection with Yehoshafat's defeat of Amon) "be'Tzeis Lifnei ha'Chalutz ve'Omrim Hodu la'Hashem Ki le'Olam Chasdo"? Why does the Pasuk omit the words "Ki Tov"?

(c) He also derives from a Pasuk in Beshalach.
How does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan interpret the Pasuk in Beshalach (in connection with the Camps of Yisrael and of the Egyptians) "ve'Lo Karav Zeh el Zeh Kol ha'Laylah"?

(d) How does Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina reconcile this with "ba'Avod Resha'im Rinah", 'ba'Avod Achav Rinah'? What does this have to do with the Pasuk in Ki Savo "Kein Yasis Hashem Aleichem Leha'avid Eschem"?

(a) When Achav died, the Pasuk writes that the prostitutes bathed in his blood. Rebbi Elazar interprets the words "ve'ha'Zonos Rachatzu" as 'le'Marek Sh'tei Chezyonos', by which he means the two visions of Michoyhu and Eliyahu.
What was the vision of ...
  1. ... Michoyhu?
  2. ... Eliyahu?
(b) What does 'le'Marek Sh'tei Chezyonos' mean?

(c) In spite of the unlikelihood of the phrase "ve'ha'Zonos Rachatzu" being literal, Rava translates it literally.
What sort of prostitutes is the Pasuk referring to?

(a) This must have been one of the strangest battles ever, one which the Syrians won by shooting only one arrow.
What was unusual about the way it was shot?

(b) What happened to that arrow?

(c) Rebbi Elazar interprets the word "le'Tumo" as 'Le'fi Tumo' (innocently), as we explained.
How does Rava interpret it?

(d) The Pasuk in Melachim writes "Vayikra Achav el Ovadyahu ... ve'Achav Yarei es Hashem Me'od".
How does Rebbi Yitzchak connect the two phrases?
What did Achav ask Ovadyah citing both Ya'akov and Yosef?

(a) What is Rebbi Aba referring to when he says that what is written by Achav is greater than what is written by Avraham?

(b) To which single deed does Rebbi Yitzchak ascribe Ovadyah meriting prophecy? Why could he otherwise not have possibly attained it?

(c) According to Rebbi Avahu, Achav hid the hundred prophets in two caves simply because he could not fit them all into one. Rebbi Elazar however, explains that he took his cue from Ya'akov Avinu.
What does he mean by that? Which episode is he referring to?

(d) Ephrayim Maksha'ah, a disciple of Rebbi Meir, attributes Hashem's choice of prophesying about Edom's downfall through Ovadyah to the fact that he was an Edumean convert (as a sort of poetic justice). What does Rebbi Yitzchak say? Who are the two Resha'im and the two Tzadikim to whom he refers?

(a) Bearing in mind Ephrayim Maksha'ah's previous explanation, what does Rebbi Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai say, based on the Pasuk in Shmuel (in connection with David Hamelech) "Va'yach es Mo'av va'Yemadedem ba'Chevel Hashkev Osam Artzah"? What did David have in common with Ovadyah?

(b) What did Rav Dimi mean when he said that a thigh begins to smell from the inside?

(a) Rav and Shmuel dispute whether Meisha, the king of Mo'av meant le'Shem Shamayim or not, when he sacrificed his first-born son as a burnt-offering on the wall.
In what way might this have caused Hashem to be angry with Yisrael?

(b) On the other hand, it might help us understand Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi. How does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi resolve the apparent discrepancy between the two Pesukim in Yechezkel "u'che'Mishpetei ha'Goyim Asher Sevivoseicham Lo Asisem" and "u'che'Mishpetei ha'Goyim Asher Sevivoseicham Asisem"?

(c) How does Rebbi Chanina bar Papa explain the Pasuk in Melachim ...

  1. ... "va'Yis'u me'Alav ve'Yashuvu la'Aretz (and not le'Artzam)" (following the Pasuk expressing Hashem's anger with Yisrael that we just discussed)?
  2. ... "ve'ha'Na'arah Yafah *ad* Me'od" (in connection with Avishag ha'Shunamis)?
***** Hadran Alach 'Echad Diynei Mamonos' ****

Answers to questions

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