BERACHOS 12 - Dedicated by Mrs. G. Kornfeld for the Yahrzeit of her mother, Mrs. Gisela Turkel (Golda bas Chaim Yitzchak Ozer), on 25 Av. Mrs. Turkel was an exceptional woman with an iron will who loved and respected the study of Torah.

[12a - 52 lines; 12b - 56 lines]

1)[line 4]ואי מכללא, מאי?V'IY MI'CHLALA, MAI?- and if it was only inferred [from what Rebbi Zerika heard from Rebbi Ami in the name of Rebbi Shimon ben Lakish, that the Kohanim said "Yotzer Or,"] what [difference does it make? What could possibly be said to counter the inference]?

2)[line 11]תרעומת המיניןTAR'OMES HA'MININ- the seditious talk of the heretics

3a)[line 24]שכראSHICHRA- beer

b)[line 25]חמראCHAMRA- wine

4a)[line 42]נהמאNAHAMA- bread

b)[line 42]תמריTAMREI- dates

5)[line 43]היינו בעייןHAINU BE'AYAN- this case is exactly the same as our question

6)[line 45]מיזן זייניMEIZAN ZAINEI- nourishes

7)[line 46]כל שלא אמר "אמת ויציב" שחריתKOL SHE'LO AMAR "EMES V'YATZIV" SHACHARIS- that is, if a person reversed the order and said the evening Berachah in the morning or vice versa

8)[line 50]"[ו]מפני שמי נחת הוא""[U']MIPNEI SHEMI NICHAS HU"- "he is lowly (humbled) because of My Name" (Malachi 2:5)

9)[line 51]בר אוריאןBAR ORYAN- Torah scholar

12b----------------------------------------12b

10a)[line 1]חיזראCHIZRA- a rod

b)[line 2]חיויאCHIVYA- a snake

11)[line 17]"גם אנכי חלילה לי מחטא לה' מחדל להתפלל בעדכם [והוריתי אתכם בדרך הטובה והישרה]""GAM ANOCHI CHALILAH LI ME'CHATO LA'SH-M ME'CHADOL L'HISPALEL BA'ADCHEM [V'HOREISI ESCHEM B'DERECH HA'TOVAH VEHA'YESHARAH.]" - "I for my part, far be it from me to sin against HaSh-m by failing to daven on your behalf [and I shall instruct you on the good and proper path.]" (Shmuel I 12:23)

(a)Shmuel sharply rebuked the people for asking for a king. Not only had he been an effective and successful leader, but HaSh-m was their King and they did not need another one. They responded by conceding that they could find no fault in him, and a Heavenly voice announced that HaSh-m agreed.

(b)Shmuel gave a brief account of Yisrael's history, pointing out how each time they forgot HaSh-m, He sent their enemies against them to put them in their place, and when they would cry out to HaSh-m He would respond by sending great leaders to save them (among them Moshe and Aharon, Yeruba'al, Shimshon, Yiftach, and Shmuel). Now, when Nachash, king of Amon, attacked them, they demanded a king.

(c)Shmuel then pointed out that HaSh-m acceded to their request and gave them a king. He promised them that as long as they would fear HaSh-m, all would be well.

(d)To prove his point, he demonstrated his prophetic powers by asking HaSh-m to produce thunder and lightning, even though it was summer, something that HaSh-m is loath to do because thunder and lightning in summer are a bad sign.

(e)HaSh-m did as Shmuel requested, and the people, remorseful for having sinned, feared HaSh-m. They feared for having sinned in their request for a king and for having rejected Shmuel in favor of a king. Afraid that they would die for this sin (which they saw as the last straw after all their other sins), they asked Shmuel to pray to HaSh-m on their behalf. Shmuel's response was to reassure them that they had nothing to fear, reiterating what he had just told them - that in spite of their sin, if from now on they would obey HaSh-m's commandments and serve HaSh-m with all their hearts, then together with their king they would succeed. If they turn to evil ways, then they, together with their king, will perish.

12)[line 18]צריך שיחלה עצמו עליוTZARICH SHE'YECHELEH ATZMO ALAV- he must make himself sick praying for him

13)[line 20]"[כי קשרתם כלכם עלי ואין גלה את אזני בכרת בני עם בן ישי] ואין חלה מכם עלי וגלה את אזני [כי הקים בני את עבדי עלי לארב כיום הזה]""[KI KESHARTEM KULCHEM ALAI, V'EIN GOLEH ES OZNI BI'CHROS BENI IM BEN YISHAI,] V'EIN CHOLEH MIKEM ALAI, V'GOLEH ES OZNI [KI HEIKIM BNI ES AVDI ALAI L'OREV KA'YOM HA'ZEH.]"- "[For you have all ganged up against me, and no one revealed to me that my son made a covenant with the son of Yishai,] and none of you is distressed for me, to inform me [that my son has set up my servant to ambush me like this day.]" (Shmuel I 22:8)

14)[line 27]"ויאמר שמואל אל שאול למה הרגזתני להעלות אתי ויאמר שאול צר לי מאד ופלשתים נלחמים בי ואלקים סר מעלי ולא ענני עוד גם ביד הנביאים גם בחלמות ואקראה לך להודיעני מה אעשה""VA'YOMER SHMUEL EL SHAUL, 'LAMAH HIRGAZTANI L'HA'ALOS OSI?' VA'YOMER SHAUL, 'TZAR LI ME'OD, U'FELISHTIM NILCHAMIM BI VE'LOKIM SAR ME'ALAI V'LO ANANI OD, GAM B'YAD HA'NEVI'IM GAM BA'CHALOMOS, VA'EKRA'EH LECHA L'HODI'ENI MAH E'ESEH.'" - "And Shmuel said, 'Why did you disturb me to raise me up?' And Shaul said, 'I am in great distress, because the Pelishtim are at war with me, and G-d has turned away from me and does not answer me anymore, neither through the prophets nor through dreams, so I called you to inform me what I should do.'" (Shmuel I 28:15) (SHAUL CONJURES UP SHMUEL FROM HIS GRAVE)

(a)When King Shaul, whose army was encamped on the Mountain of Gilbo'a, saw the attacking Philistine army, which was encamped in Shunem, he was gripped by fear. He tried to consult HaSh-m to find out what he should do, but HaSh-m declined to answer him, neither through the medium of dreams nor through the medium of the Urim v'Tumim or the prophets. So Shaul asked his servants to find him a Ba'alas Ov (a necromancer) whose services he would use to bring up Shmuel, who had only recently died, from the grave. Although this was no easy matter, as Shaul himself had just destroyed all of the Ovos and the Yid'onim (another type of necromancer) from the entire kingdom, his servants informed him of one such witch who lived in Ein Dor.

(b)Disguising himself, he went to visit her, accompanied by two trusted servants (Avner and Amasa). When the Ba'alas Ov expressed fear as to what would happen to her if Shaul found out that she had survived his witch hunt, he promised her that nothing would happen to her. Following Shaul's instructions to conjure up Shmuel, she did so, but immediately let out a scream, as it is a rule of necromancy that the person who is brought up from the grave appears upside-down unless he is being brought up on behalf of a king, in which case he appears head first. Since Shmuel appeared head first, she realized that the man who was visiting her was none other than Shaul ha'Melech, whom she immediately accused of having tricked her (as she thought that he now intended to kill her).

(c)The king repeated his assurance that nothing would happen to her, and asked her what she had seen (as in necromancy, the witch sees but cannot hear, while the person on whose behalf the person is being brought up hears but cannot see). By her description, Shaul knew that it was indeed Shmuel whom she had brought up. It is noteworthy that Shaul, in his response to Shmuel's question of why Shaul had brought him up from the grave, mentioned only that he gets no answers from the prophets or from his dreams - and he omitted mention of the Urim v'Tumim, even though the Urim v'Tumim also did not respond to his request for help, as mentioned above. The reason for this omission was that Shaul attributed the lack of response from the Urim v'Tumim to his having killed all of the Kohanim in the city of Nov, and he felt embarrassed now at having perpetrated such a terrible sin. This explains the positive side of Shmuel's otherwise negative message (as we shall now see).

(d)Shmuel's response was not a positive one. He informed Shaul that because he failed to destroy Amalek as he had been instructed, HaSh-m's favor had departed from him and had become his enemy. Moreover, He took the kingdom away from him and had now given it to David. Finally, Yisrael would be defeated by the Pelishtim, and he and his sons would join him (Shmuel) in Gan Eden (because he demonstrated remorse for his sin of killing the city of Kohanim, as explained above).

15)[line 32]קטליה לנוב עיר הכהניםKATLEI L'NOV IR HA'KOHANIM- he killed [all the residents of] Nov, the city of Kohanim. When David was running away from King Shaul, Achimelech the Kohen Gadol aided him by providing him with bread and a sword, as recorded in Shmuel I 21:2-9. As a result, King Shaul charged Achimelech and all of the Kohanim of the city of Nov with treason and had them killed by Do'eg ha'Adomi (ibid. 22:9-19). (See Background to Menachos 29:19.)

16)[line 33]"[ויתן ה' גם את ישראל עמך ביד פלשתים] ומחר אתה ובניך עמי [גם את מחנה ישראל יתן ה' ביד פלשתים]""[V'YITEN HASH-M GAM ES YISRAEL IMCHA B'YAD PELISHTIM] U'MACHAR ATAH U'VANECHA IMI [GAM ES MACHANEH YISRAEL YITEN HASH-M B'YAD PELISHTIM.]" - "[And HaSh-m will also give Yisrael with you into the hands of the Pelishtim, and] tomorrow you and your sons will be with me (in Gan Eden) [and also the camp of Yisrael will HaSh-m give into the hands of the Pelishtim.]" (Shmuel I 28:18)

See above, entry #14:d.

17)[line 34]במחיצתיBI'MECHITZASI- in my section [of Gan Eden]

18)[line 34]"והוקענום""V'HOKANUM"- "and we will hang them" (Shmuel II 21:6)

19)[line 36]בקשו לקבוע פרשת בלקBIKSHU LIKVO'A PARSHAS BALAK- they wanted to include Parshas Balak in Keri'as Shema. The Gemara is discussing this here because it mentioned earlier other Parshiyos which the Rabanan considered adding to the daily prayers along with Shema (e.g. the Aseres ha'Dibros).

20)[line 39]"[יתן לנו שבעה אנשים מבניו] והוקענום לה' בגבעת שאול בחיר ה' [ויאמר המלך אני אתן]""[YUTAN LANU SHIV'AH ANASHIM MI'BANAV] V'HOKA'ANUM LA'SH-M B'GIV'AS SHAUL BECHIR HASH-M [V'AYOMER HA'MELECH ANI ETEN.] " - "['Let seven men from his (Shaul's) offspring be given to us] and we will hang them for the sake of HaSh-m in Giv'as Shaul, the chosen one of HaSh-m.' [And the king said, 'I will give (them).']" (Shmuel II 21:6) (THE REVENGE OF THE GIV'ONIM)

(a)When David ha'Melech consulted the Urim v'Tumim to discover the cause of the famine that was ravishing the land for three consecutive years, he was given two causes for the calamity: the fact that Shaul ha'Melech, who died in war, was buried without the due honor of a eulogy, and because the very same Shaul had "killed" the Giv'onim by destroying their livelihood: when Shaul ordered that the entire city of Nov, the city of the Kohanim, be put to the sword, the Giv'onim (whom Yehoshua had designated as wood-choppers and water-drawers, and who worked in that capacity for the Kohanim of Nov) were suddenly left without work and without livelihood, and thus it was considered as if Shaul had killed them. According to the Yerushalmi, however, seven Giv'onim were actually killed together with the Kohanim: two wood-choppers, two water-drawers, the Shamash, the Chazan (i.e. the Gabai), and the Sofer.

(b)In response to the information provided by the Urim v'Tumim, David ha'Melech eulogized Shaul, and then he went to appease the Giv'onim for what Shaul had done to them. He offered them any compensation that they would ask for, but they declined. All they wanted, they insisted, was revenge. They demanded that seven of Shaul's descendants be hanged in Giv'at Shaul.

(c)It is obvious that their claim was totally unjustified and had no basis in Halachah. Nevertheless, in order to create a Kidush HaSh-m (so that people would say that the honor of even these second-rate citizens was upheld), David ha'Melech carried out their wish. However, based on the Giv'onim's hard-heartedness, and because they were totally lacking in the three inherent characteristics of a Yisrael (mercifulness, shamefacedness, and kindness), David ha'Melech decreed that they were forbidden to marry into the Jewish people.

(d)After praying that Mefivoshes, the son of his friend Yonasan, would not be one of the seven to be chosen, David led the descendants before the Aron, and whoever the Aron picked was subsequently handed over to the Giv'onim to be hanged. The seven descendents of Shaul chosen by the Aron were two sons of Ritzpah bas Ayah (she was the widowed concubine of Shaul whom David ultimately married), and five sons of Michal (they were not really her sons but sons of her sister Meirav, whom Michal took under her wing when their parents died).

(e)Although the Halachah requires that one who has been hanged must be taken down and buried before nightfall, David ha'Melech ordered the bodies to remain from the spring until the rain began to fall in Tishrei. This was in order to complete the Kidush HaSh-m. People who would witness the gruesome sight of seven hanging bodies would ask who they were and what they had done wrong. They would be told that they were princes who had caused harm to second-rate Gerim. This created a tremendous Kidush HaSh-m.

(f)During the half-year that the corpses were left hanging, Ritzpah basAyah took upon herself to cover the corpses with sackcloth to prevent the birds from eating their flesh by day, and the wild animals by night.

21)[line 40]גמיריGEMIRI- we have a tradition

22)[line 40]פרשהPARSHAH- section of the Torah

23)[line 49]"[ויאמר לו אביו ואמו האין בבנות אחיך ובכל עמי אשה כי אתה הולך לקחת אשה מפלשתים הערלים] ויאמר שמשון אל אביו אותה קח לי כי היא ישרה בעיני""[VA'YOMER LO AVIV V'IMO, 'HA'EIN BI'VNOS ACHECHA UV'CHOL AMI ISHAH, KI ATAH HOLECH LA'KACHAS ISHAH MI'PELISHTIM HA'ARELIM?'] VA'YOMER SHIMSHON EL AVIV, 'OSAH KACH LI KI HI YASHRAH V'EINAI." - "[And his father and mother said to him, 'Are there not among our own people any women, that you go to take a woman from the uncircumcised Pelishtim?'] But Shimshon said to his father, 'Take her for me, because she is fitting in my eyes.'." (Shoftim 14:3) (SHIMSHON AND THE PELISHTI WOMAN)

(a)Shimshon, as yet unknown, met a Philistine woman in Timnas, whom he fancied. So he asked his parents (Mano'ach and his wife) to arrange the match on his behalf. They attempted to dissuade him from marrying a Nochris, but to no avail. He insisted that he wanted her. As the verse points out, Shimshon's parents did not realize that it was from HaSh-m, Who was seeking a pretext to break the hold that the Pelishtim had over Yisrael.

(b)Later, his Philistine wives would be the instruments through which he would avenge himself from the Pelishtim, on no less than four separate occasions.

(c)When, by the seventh day of the marriage festivities, his thirty Pelishti friends were unable to solve the riddle he had posed to them ("Out of the eater, something to eat; out of the strong, something sweet"), for which they would have had to pay him thirty sheets and thirty new suits, they talked his wife into trying to wheedle the answer to the riddle out of him. It took her seven days, but she succeeded, and promptly passed on the information to them. When, on the seventh day, just before sunset, the men of the city told him the answer ("What is sweeter than honey and what is stronger than a lion"), Shimshon understood what happened. He went to Ashkelon and killed thirty Philistines, whose suits he took and sent them to his former friends to pay off his debt.

(d)In an angry frame of mind he went to pay his wife a visit, only to discover that her parents had taken her away and given her to another man on the assumption that Shimshon had forsaken her. Although they offered him her younger sister "who was better than she," Shimshon was not appeased. He promptly caught 300 foxes and tied them tail to tail with a fire-brand in the middle and then set them loose among the wheat-fields of the Pelishtim (during the wheat-harvest season), causing immense damage.

(e)When the Pelishtim found out about who had caused the damage and why, they took Shimshon's wife and burned her together with her father. Avenging the murder of his wife and father-in-law, Shimshon attacked them. He defeated them, killing many in the process.

(f)The Pelishtim, who at that time ruled Yisrael with an iron fist, sent a contingent of men to capture Shimshon. The men of Yehudah, who were totally subdued, sent a delegation of 3,000 men to capture Shimshon and to deliver him to the Pelishtim. After they promised him that they would not kill him, he allowed then to tie his arms with two thick new ropes and to take him to the vicinity of the Pelishtim. As soon as the Pelishtim moved towards him to capture him, the spirit of HaSh-m enveloped him and he burst the ropes as if they were made of scorched flax. Then he found a fresh donkey bone, with which he attacked the enemy, killing a thousand men.

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