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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sanhedrin 96

SANHEDRIN 96-100 - 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) What were the angels (disguised as humans) doing when Sancheriv went to look for a pair of scissors for Hashem to shave him?

(b) Why does the Navi describe the scissors that he ultimately brought back as 'Ta'ar ha'Sechirah'?

(c) By the time he returned with the scissors, it was already nighttime. What did the 'Old Man' instruct Sancheriv to do?

(d) Based on what happened next, why does the Navi write "ve'Gam es ha'Zakan Tispeh" (rather than 'Tegalach')?

(a) What adage does Rav Pap cite, based on the above episode?

(b) Sancheriv went to prostrate himself in 'Beis Nisroch' his god.
What was 'Beis Nisroch? Why was it called by that name?

(c) Why did his two sons kill him as he was prostrating himself? How did they kill him?

(a) The Torah in Vayeira writes "va'Yechalek Aleihem Laylah". According to Rebbi Yochanan, "Laylah" was the name of the angel who was sent to assist Avraham in his battle with the four kings.
How does Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha explain it? What does this have to do with the war with Sisra?

(b) What did Resh Lakish mean when he said 'Tava de'bar Nafcha mi'de'Nafcha'?

(c) Why did Avraham stop pursuing the kings when he arrived in Dan?

(d) How do we explain the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "mi'Dan Nishma Nacharas Susav" in similar vein?

(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi taught three Halachos, with the Lashon of 'Hizaharu'.
What did he teach about a Zaken who forgot his learning?

(b) He also taught that one should take care to cut the blood-vessels in the neck of a bird, when roasting it whole, like the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah. Why is that necessary?

(c) His third Halachah was 'Hizaharu bi'Venei Amei ha'Aretz, she'Mehem Teitzei Torah'.
Where do we see this demonstrated to the extreme? From which Resha'im did Talmidei-Chachamim descend?

(d) Why did he find it necessary to say this (see Agados Maharsha DH 've'Hizaharu')?

(a) What should one make a point of teaching the son of an Am ha'Aretz (bearing in mind that it is normally forbidden to teach an Am ha'Aretz Torah (Agados Maharsha [see also Margalis ha'Yam])?

(b) What difficulty did Yirmiyah have with Hashem's judgements?

(c) Hashem answered him with a Mashal.
What happened to the man who boasted that he could run three Parsa'os before the horses in marshland?
What did he eventually prove he was capable of doing?

(d) Comparing the minute merit of Nevuchadnetzar to the little achieved by the man in the Mashal, what 'Kal va'Chomer' did Hashem make from there with regard to the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov?

(a) Why did the sun set ten hours late on the day that Chizkiyahu was cured from his illness?

(b) How did Morach Beladen ben Beladen react to this miracle?

(c) Why was he called by his father's name?

(d) Arriving in court just after the letter had already been sent, and checking on its contents, what fault did Nevuchadnetzar the court scribe, find with their wording?

(a) On what basis was Nevuchadnetzar picked to run after the carriers and make the necessary correction?

(b) What reward did he receive for the three steps that he took to try and catch up with the couriers?

(c) Why did Gavriel stop him at that juncture, according to Rebbi Yochanan?

(a) When the Navi writes in Malachi "ben Yechabed Av", he is referring to the honor that Morach Beladan ben Beladan displayed towards his father, as we explained earlier.
To whom is he referring when he continues ''ve'Eved Adonav''?

(b) On what date does the Pasuk in Yirmiyah record the burning of the Beis-Hamikdash as having taken place, at the hand of Nevuzraden Rav Tabachim?

(c) What problem do we have with the Pasuk there, which writes "Amad Lifnei Melech Bavel bi'Yerushalayim va'Yisrof es Beis Hashem"?

(d) Rav Chisda and Rav Yitzchak bar Avudimi argue over the answer to this question. One of them says that Nevuzraden had an image of Nevuchadnetzar engraved on his chariot.
What does the other one say?

Answers to questions



(a) How many finely-honed axes (which could even chop metal) did Nevuchadnetzar send Nevuzraden to break in to Yerushalayim?

(b) What happened to them all?

(c) What did a bas-Kol announce when Nevuzraden expressed the fear that his army would fall in the same way as Sancheriv's did?

(d) What happened next?

(a) Nevuzraden then went on a killing spree until he reached the Heichal.
What happened next? What do we learn from the Pasuk in Eichah "Gas Darach Hashem li'Vesulas bas Yehudah"?

(b) What did a bas-Kol announce in response to Nevuzraden's pride at his great achievement?

(c) What is the key word in the Pasuk in Yeshayah (conveying Hashem's pre-Galus message to Yisrael) "K'chi Rechayim, ve'Tichni Kemach"?

(d) What is then the significance of the continuation of the Pasuk "Reveal your sides of your curls, your curls, uncover your calves and cross the river"?

(a) What did the people initially claim when Nevuzraden queried them about the bubbling blood?

(d) On what basis did Nevuzradan refute that claim?

(c) When he threatened them with torture if they did not tell him the truth, they told him that it was the blood of Zecharyah, a Kohen Gadol and a Navi.
Why had Zecharyah's blood not stopped bubbling for hundreds of years?

(d) Nevuzradan promised to still the Navi's blood. So he set about slaughtering them in groups (to atone for his murder).
Whom did he slaughter ...

  1. ... first?
  2. ... after the children?
(a) By now, he had killed close to two million Jews.
How did he get the blood to stop?

(b) What thoughts did this suddenly evoke in Nevuzraden's mind? In what way was he even greater than Na'aman (general of the Syrian army) the Ger?

(c) What are we told about the descendants of ...

  1. ... Haman?
  2. ... Sisro?
  3. ... Nevuzradan?
(d) What happened to grandchildren of Nevuchadnetzar who wanted to convert?

(e) Some explain the Pasuk in Yirmiyah "Ripinu es Bavel, ve'Lo Nirp'sah" in connection with the previous statement.
How does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni explain it (besides as pertaining to the rivers of Bavel, whose water was bad)?

(a) To whom does Ula refer as 'bad neighbors of Yisrael'?

(b) What did Nevuchadnetzar reply when Amon and Mo'av, having heard about the prophesy regarding the destruction of Yerushalayim, sent him a message that he should go and attack Yerushalayim?

(c) What did they reply ...

  1. ... to that?
  2. ... when Nevuchadnetzar asserted that Hashem was close and would quickly come and punish him?
  3. ... when he argued that there were Tzadikim who would Daven on behalf of Yisrael?
  4. ... when he persisted that the Resha'im would do Teshuvah, and bring Hashem back with their prayers?
(d) How many Tzadikim was Nevuchadnetzar talking about, whose merits shielded over Yisrael?
(a) And what did Amon and Mo'av reply, when Nevuchadnetzar argued that it was winter, and that due to the snow and the rain it would be difficult ...
  1. ... to bring his army to Eretz Yisrael?
  2. ... to find suitable sheltered accommodation for his troops?
(b) And how would they get round the problem of all the graves that were sit uated in those caves?

(c) How does Yirmiyah describe the sun, the moon and all the hosts of the heaven to which they would throw all the bones (of the Kohanim, the prophets and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim)?

Answers to questions

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