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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 55



(a) Rav Yehudah quoted the Pasuk in Mishlei "Otem Ozno mi'Za'akas Dal, Gam Hu Yikra ve'Lo Ye'aneh"!

(b) Shmuel replied that it is not *he* who was responsible, since he was helpless to assist her (presumably the people who were oppressing her were powerful people over whom Shmuel had no jurisdiction). However Mar Ukva, who was Av Beis-Din, and who *did* have the authority (and to whom the woman had evidently also turned) would be taken to task for not coming to her aid.
'Reishach bi'Keriri' - 'Your Rebbe (Shmuel himself) is in cold water'; 'Reisha de'Reishach' - 'but your Rebbe's Rebbe (Bar Kapara) is in hot water'!

(c) Rav Simon said to Rebbi Zeira that there was no point in rebuking the family of the leader of Galus, since they would not listen anyway.

(d) Rebbi Zeira however, did not accept this answer. He told him that this did not absolve him from rebuking them, since how could he be certain that they would not listen? That was only an assumption.

(a) The one 'Tav' represented 'Tichyeh', the other 'Tamus'.

(b) The 'Midas ha'Din' objected on the grounds that the Tzadikim were accessories to all the sins of the Resha'im, because they failed to rebuke them.

(c) We know that Hashem conceded to the Midas ha'Din, because, after warning the Destructive Angel to leave all those with the Tav of 'Tichyeh' alone, the Pasuk continued "u'mi'Mikdashi Tachelu. va'Yachelu ba'Anashim Asher Lifnei ha'Bayis".
(This is, in fact, the only time ever that Hashem retracted from a good decree, to turn it into a bad one.)

(d) "Mikdashi" is understood as "Mekudashai", and refers to the Tzadikim who kept the entire Torah from 'Aleph' to 'Tav'.

(a) The six men who arrived at the 'copper altar' were 'Ketzef, Af, Cheimah, Mashchis, Mashber and Mechaleh' - who were of course, angels, and not men.

(b) How can the copper altar be taken literally, when it had been hidden by Shlomoh ha'Melech - over four hundred years earlier?

(c) Allegorically, the 'copper altar' refers to the place where the Levi'im stood and played with their copper instruments; the Navi is informing us that the massacre began with the Levi'im.

(d) The Gemara seems to mean that 'Tamah Zechus Avos' for the Resha'im, 'Tachon Zechus Avos' for the Tzadikim, whilst 'Chosamo shel Hakadosh Baruch Hu Emes' refers to both. The Agados Maharsha however, explains that all three refer to both the Tzadukim and to the Resha'im. How?
'Tamah Zechus Avos' means that the Zechus Avos had terminated, as a result of which the Tzadikim, who had their own merits, could be saved, whereas the Resha'im, who relied on the Zechus Avos, would perish; 'Tachon Zechus Avos', that Zechus Avos would work for the Tzadikim, who went in the ways of the Avos, but not for the Resha'im, who rejected that path.
These two opinions seem to differ drastically in a number of points: firstly whether Zechus Avos had terminated or not ; secondly, whether Tzadikim (at least the Tzadikim of that time) required Zechus Avos, or could survive on their own merits, and thirdly, whether Zechus Avos was effective vis-a-vis Resha'im (at least the Rehsa'im of those times).

(a) The two remaining opinions as to during which era 'Zechus Avos' came to an end are 1. Eliyahu ha'Navi; 2. Chizkiyahu ha'Melech.

(b) Even though Zechus Avos had already come to an end in the days of Eliyahu, Hashem applied it after that, in the days of Chaza'el, King of Syria, by virtue of His mercy. (This probably means that initially, Zechus Avos was *guaranteed* to shield over Klal Yisrael; whereas once Zechus Avos terminated, Zechus Avos was no longer guaranteed, but depended upon the mercy of Hashem - upon those occasions when *He* sees fit to reinstate it.)

(a) Rav Ami learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ha'Nefesh ha'Chota'as Hi Tamus", that 'Ein Misah be'Lo Chet" (even be'Shogeg - Tosfos d.h. 'Ein').
2. ... "u'Fakadti be'Shevet Pish'am" etc., that 'Ein Yisurin be'Lo Avon (be'Meizid - ibid)" (which incidentally, is not disproved, as the former statement is).
(b) Rav Ami is unperturbed about the Beraisa which ascribes death to Moshe and Aharon even though they did not sin, because he holds like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, who says in a Beraisa, that Moshe and Aharon too, died because of their sin - i.e. a lack of faith (or, according to others, for not implanting faith in Yisrael).



(a) The four people who died 'be'Ityo shel Nachash' were Binyamin ben Ya'akov, Amram, Moshe's father, Yishai, David's father and Kilav ben David.

(b) If someone dies 'be'Ityo shel Nachash', it means that he has done nothing to deserve death, i.e. he did not sin, and that the reason that he did die is only because of the original decree (the plan of the snake), where it was ordained that everybody has to die.

(c) The Tana of the third Beraisa did not include Moshe and Aharon in the list of those who died 'be'Ityo shel Nachash', which means that the author must be, not the Tana of the *first* Beraisa, but Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, the Tana of the *second*; yet he holds *'Yesh* Misah be'Lo Chet'. It therefore transpires that there is no Tana who holds 'Ein Misah be'Lo Chet', like Rav Ami does.

(d) Avigayil (not the wife of Naval ha'Karmeli, David's future wife) was not the daughter of Nachash. but of Yishai (David's father). Why then, does the Pasuk refer to him as Nachash? To teach us, answers the Gemara, that he did not sin, and died only 'be'Ityo shel Nachash.

(a) We learn from the Pasuk "va'Yihyu B'nei Ya'akov Sheneim-Asar", that Reuven cannot have been guilty of the adultery of which the Pasuk seems to accuse him, because, just as his eleven brothers did not sin, neither did he.

(b) The second proof is that, had Reuven been guilty of adultery with Bilhah, then Hashem would not have chosen him to be among those to stand on Har Eival - to pronounce a curse on all those who would commit adultery with one's father's wife.

(c) Reuven's sin was to meddle in his father's personal affairs, when he switched the beds - removing Bilhah's bed from Ya'akov's tent, to replace it with his mother, Leah's.

(d) It was bad enough for his mother (who was Ya'akov's first wife) to be a rival- wife to Rachel, but it was not right, he figured, that she should now have to be the rival-wife of Bilhah, in whose tent Ya'akov had placed his bed, following the death of Rachel.

(a) 'Pazta, Chavta, Zalta' and 'Pasa'ta al Das, Chatasa, Zanisa' both maintain that Reuven *did* commit adultery.

(b) 'Pilalta, Chalta, Zarchah Tefilascha' and 'Za'zata, Hirsa'ta, Parchah Chet Mimcha' both maintain that he did *not*.

(c) The 'Pey' stands for 'Perashta mi'Lachto'. This final explanation belongs with the second group, in whose opinion Reuven did not, in fact, commit adultery.

(a) The Navi writes that Chafni and Pinchas committed adultery with the women who came to the Mishkan.

(b) The sin to which the Navi is referring is that of delaying the bringing of the Korbanos, including those of women who had recently given birth and who had come with their bird-offerings. These women were waiting to go home to their husbands, and would not go before they saw their Korbanos being brought. And because Chafni and Pinchas caused a delay in the women's inter-marital relations, thereby delaying the possibility of their becoming pregnant again, the Pasuk considers it as if they had committed adultery with them.

(c) The Navi in Mal'achi has already written that Hashem will cut off anyone who is guilty of adultery; if he is a Kohen, explains the Gemara, he will not have any sons who bring a Minchah to Hashem, and the Gemara takes for granted that he will certainly not be included in the lineage of righteous Kohanim who *do*. Consequently, when the Navi in Shmuel writes "ve'Achyah ... ben Pinchas, ben Eli ha'Kohen", we can deduce that Pinchas did not commit adultery. (According to some, we learn from the fact that the Pasuk places Chafni together with Pinchas, that, just as Pinchas did not commit adultery, neither did Chafni.)


1. "Asher Yishkevun" is written without a 'Vav' (which reads "Yishke*van*"), suggesting that it was only *one* of them who was guilty of adultery, and not *both*.
2. "Al Banai' too, can be read "Al *Be'ni*".
3. The Pasuk refers to them both as "B'nei Beli'a'al", not because Pinchas was guilty of adultery like Chafni was, but because he did not rebuke his brother.
(a) Rashi rejects the text which asks from "Ma'avirim" (also written in the plural, which suggests that they both sinned), on the basis of the Gemara's answer; namely, that "Ma'avirim" is also written without a 'Yud', turning it into the singular. According to Rashi, this answer is unacceptable, since, in our text, it is written *with* a Yud. (see also Tosfos, d.h. 'Ma'aviram').

(b) Rashi explains that, in any case, 'Ma'avirim' does not refer to Chafni and Pinchas, but to the people who were 'spreading a bad name' about them, in which case, the plural used by the Navi does not prove anything.

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