BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
in memory of Reb David ben Aharon Ha'Levi Rosenwald z"l
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
[5a - 43 lines; 5b - 39 lines]
1) [line 1] לא הוה מפליג נפשיה מיניה LO HAVAH MAFLIG NAFSHEI MINEI - he (Yehoshafat) did not suspect Achav of any wrongdoing with regard to Shechitah (lit. he did not separate himself from him)
2) [line 2] "[ויאמר אל יהושפט, 'התלך אתי למלחמה רמת גלעד?' ויאמר יהושפט אל מלך ישראל,] 'כמוני כמוך, כעמי כעמך, כסוסי כסוסיך'." [VA'YOMER EL YEHOSHAFAT, 'HA'SELECH ITI LA'MILCHAMAH RAMOS GIL'AD?' VA'YOMER YEHOSHAFAT EL MELECH YISRAEL,] 'KAMONI CHAMOCHA, K'AMI CH'AMECHA, K'SUSAI K'SUSECHA'." - "[And he (Achav) said to Yehoshafat, 'Will you go with me to war to Ramos Gil'ad?' And Yehoshafat said to the king of Yisrael,] 'I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses'." (Melachim I 22:4) (Yehoshafat Joins Forces with Achav) - This is Yehoshafat's response to Achav's invitation to join him in his quest to wrest Ramot Gil'ad from the hands of the Syrians. See Background to Chulin 4:17a.
3) [line 6] "ומלך ישראל ויהושפט מלך יהודה יושבים איש על כסאו, מלובשים בגדים, בגורן פתח שער שומרון." "U'MELECH YISRAEL V'YEHOSHAFAT MELECH YEHUDAH YOSHVIM ISH AL KIS'O, MELUBASHIM BEGADIM, B'GOREN PESACH SHA'AR SHOMRON" - "And the king of Yisrael and Yehoshafat the king of Yehudah were sitting each on his throne, wearing [fine] robes, in the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Shomron" (Melachim I 22:10) (Achav and Yehoshafat before the Battle)
(a) At this time, Yehoshafat suggested that before going into battle, they should first consult the prophets to find out the word of HaSh-m in the matter. Achav asked the 400 prophets of Ba'al, who advised him to go to war and assured him that he would win. However, he added, there was one more prophet, by the name of Michaihu ben Yimlah, whom he hated, because he knew that this prophet would predict only evil against him. Yehoshafat vehemently objected to this statement, inasmuch as a Navi does not predict what suits him, but what HaSh-m places in his mouth.
(b) At the time they summoned Michaihu ben Yimlah to appear before Achav, Tzidkiyah ben Kena'anah (a false prophet) came and lent his support to the 400 prophets of Ba'al. Achav's messenger, hoping to present a unified front, pleaded with Michaihu to join the ranks of the other "prophets" with a positive prophecy. He replied that he would prophesize what HaSh-m had told him to prophesize, and nothing else.
(c) Initially, the Navi told Achav that he should go and fight and that he would be successful, but noting that he did not begin his prophecy with the customary phrase, "So says HaSh-m," the king realized that he was merely mocking him. He then told him that he saw the people scattered on the mountainside without a shepherd, a hint that Achav would be killed, but the rest of the army would return unscathed (which is what eventually happened; see Background to Chulin 4:17b). At that point, Achav turned to Yehoshafat and reminded him of his prediction that Michaihu would speak only evil of him.
(d) Michaihu then described how he had seen HaSh-m sitting on His Throne of Judgment, and some angels presented Achav's merits, and others, his liabilities, and how it was the latter group of angels that prevailed. HaSh-m then asked for a volunteer to go down to earth to entice Achav into deciding to go to war (and be killed). It was the spirit of Navos (whom Achav had put to death) who volunteered to go down and enter the mouths of the false prophets in the form of a false spirit. With HaSh-m's blessings of success in his mission, that is precisely what he did.
(e) Upon hearing that, Tzidkiyah ben Kena'anah walked up to Michaihu and slapped his face, claiming that this is what HaSh-m had ordered him to do. The Navi calmly informed him that he would see his (Michaihu's) prophecy come true, and that he would go into a room within a room to hide in fear.
(f) At this point, Achav ordered his men to arrest the Navi and to place him in the charge of Amon, the mayor of the city and his (Achav's) son Yo'ash, who were to incarcerate the Navi and feed him a meager ration of bread and water until Achav's safe return from the battlefield.
(g) The last word went to Michaihu: "If you return safely from the battlefield," he commented, "then HaSh-m did not speak to me."
4a) [line 8] גורן ממש GOREN MAMASH - an actual threshing floor
b) [line 9] כי גורן KI GOREN - like [the shape of] a Goren
5) [line 10] כחצי גורן עגולה KA'CHATZI GOREN AGULAH - like the form of half of a round threshing floor; i.e. a semi-circle (a threshing floor was a circular area surrounded by a low stone wall)
6) [line 12] "והעורבים מביאים לו לחם ובשר בבקר ולחם ובשר בערב." "VEHA'ORVIM MEVI'IM LO LECHEM U'VASAR BA'BOKER V'LECHEM U'VASAR BA'AREV." - "And the ravens were bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening." (Melachim I 17:6) (Eliyahu Hides from Achav)
(a) When Eliyahu was forced to escape the wrath of Achav and his wicked wife Izevel, HaSh-m instructed Eliyahu to flee to the banks of the River K'ris. Eliyahu would drink the water of the river, and he would eat food that ravens would bring him.
(b) After the Great Flood, HaSh-m promised the raven, which No'ach had sent away, that it would be His emissary to sustain Eliyahu when the need would arise in the future.
(c) Why was Eliyahu permitted to eat the meat that the ravens brought him, if he did not know who slaughtered and prepared the animals? The Gemara explains that the ravens brought the meat from the butchery of Achav, king of Yisrael. Although Achav himself was an idolater, his servants were righteous. According to the Midrash, the ravens refused to enter the palace of the wicked Achav, so they brought the meat from the butchery of the righteous Yehoshafat, king of Yehudah.
(d) After a short time, the river dried up, and Eliyahu was forced to move again. This was HaSh-m's strategy to force Eliyahu (to whom He had entrusted with the key to the rains) to reinstate the rains. HaSh-m was unhappy that the people of Yisrael were suffering, and even dying, due to the famine, so He made it uncomfortable for Eliyahu in order to force Eliyahu to bring back the rains.
(e) Eliyahu arrived in Tzorfas. He did not know the identity of the widow to whom HaSh-m had referred him, and thus he implemented the method of Eliezer, the servant Avraham, to search for a woman who would serve him water. When he saw a woman collecting wood, he asked that she give him a little water in her container to drink. When she obliged, he asked her for a slice of bread. She replied that she had nothing in the house except for a spoonful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle, and that she was merely collecting some wood to light a fire and bake a little cake for her son and herself, after which they would die for lack of food.
(f) Eliyahu instructed her to do as she had intended, only that she was to first bake him a small cake. He assured her in the name of HaSh-m, "The jar of flour will not become empty and the bottle of oil will not terminate until the day that HaSh-m will send rain." She obeyed the Navi's instructions and merited to benefit from the flour and the oil for a long period, just as he had promised her.
(g) Eliyahu still did nothing to rescind his decree against rainfall, until HaSh-m forced him to return the key to Him.
7) [line 14] מבי טבחי דאחאב MI'BEI TABACHEI D'ACHAV - from the butcher kitchens of King Achav
8) [line 14] על פי הדבור שאני AL PI HA'DIBUR SHANI - receiving direct instructions from HaSh-m is different
9) [line 17] "... ויהרגו את עורב בצור עורב ואת זאב ..." ["VA'YILKEDU SHENEI SAREI MIDYAN, ES OREV V'ES ZE'EV,] VA'YAHARGU ES OREV B'TZUR OREV V'ES ZE'EV [HARGU V'YEKEV ZE'EV]..." - "[And they captured two princes of Midyan, Orev and Ze'ev,] and they killed Orev in Tzur Orev and Ze'ev [they killed in Yekev Ze'ev. They pursued Midyan and they brought the heads of Orev and Ze'ev to Gid'on on the other side of the River Yarden.]" (Shoftim 7:25) (Gid'on's Defeat of Midyan)
(a) After Gid'on's dream, he proceeded to an amazing victory against Midyan, in the middle of the night, with his 300 troops against Midyan's vast army (comprised of 135,000 troops) which included Amalek and the "sons of the east," who fled in total disarray from before Gid'on's men. Naftali, Asher, and all of Menasheh then gathered an army and pursued the fleeing Midyanite troops. Gid'on called upon the inhabitants of Har Efrayim to capture the waterways that bordered Syria to prevent the fleeing troops from escaping. That was where they caught Orev and Ze'ev.
(b) Zevach and Tzalmuna, the kings of Midyan, had escaped together with the 15,000 remaining troops, and Gid'on and his small band of battle-weary soldiers gave chase. Eventually, following a number of incidents that occurred along the way (involving the men of Efrayim, the men of Sukos, and the men of Penu'el), he caught up with them. Taking them by surprise, he destroyed their army and took the two kings captive. When Gid'on discovered that they had killed his brothers, Gid'on ordered his firstborn son to kill them, but the youngster was afraid to do so. The two kings suggested that Gid'on kill them himself, since a strong man will do a better job in one stroke. Gid'on complied. He drew his sword and killed them himself, taking the golden crescents from the necks of their camels for himself as a trophy.
10) [line 20] "וארם יצאו גדודים, וישבו מארץ ישראל נערה קטנה" "VA'ARAM YATZ'U GEDUDIM, V'YISHBU ME'ERETZ YISRAEL NA'ARAH KETANAH." - "And Aram had gone out in raiding parties, and had brought a little girl as a captive from the land of Yisrael; [and she waited on Na'aman's wife.]" (Melachim II 5:2) (Elisha the Prophet and Na'aman) - According to the Gemara, the little girl was called "Na'arah" (lit. a maiden) because she came from the town Na'aran.
(a) Na'aman was the commander-in-chief of the Syrian army, much favored by the king of Syria since he was the one who shot the arrow (albeit randomly) that killed Achav. He was the only one stricken with leprosy. When the young captive girl suggested to her mistress that her husband go before the Navi (Eliyahu) and beseech him to cure him, Na'aman lost no time in informing his master the king what the young servant had told his wife.
(b) The Syrian king immediately sent Na'aman with a letter to the king of Yisrael, together with a gift of two Kikar of silver, 6,000 gold pieces and ten suits, requesting that he cure his captain of his disease.
(c) Achav's reaction was to rend his garments in fear of what the king of Syria would do to him when he discovers that Achav is not G-d and cannot bring to life at will. In fact, he thought that the king of Syria was looking for an excuse to attack him.
(d) When Elisha the prophet heard about the incident, he sent a message to Achav asking him why he was concerned, and why he did not send Na'aman to him. Achav took Elisha's advice and sent Na'aman to him.
(e) Na'aman went to see Elisha with his large retinue (including several horses and chariots). Na'aman knocked at Elisha's door, but instead of inviting him into his house, Elisha merely sent a messenger with instructions that he bathe seven times in the River Yarden. Upon hearing this and experienced such a cold and dishonorable welcome, Na'aman became enraged. He could see no reason why the River Yarden was superior to the Syrian rivers of Amanah and Parpar. Na'aman's servants calmed him down and pointed out that had the Navi asked him to perform some difficult mission, he gladly would have carried it out. Common sense dictated that since the Navi asked him to perform so simple a task, he had nothing to lose by giving it a try.
(f) He followed Elisha's instructions, and to his utter amazement he emerged from the Yarden completely cured. Convinced that there is no G-d in the world other than the G-d of Yisrael, he offered the Navi a gift which, despite Na'aman's insistence, Elisha bluntly refused to accept. He then asked for a large quantity of earth from Eretz Yisrael to take back with him to Syria, with which to erect a Mizbe'ach upon which he would sacrifice exclusively to HaSh-m. He made one exception when, in his capacity as general of the army, he would be obligated to accompany the king into the temple, at which time he would have no choice but to prostrate himself before the idol, as described in the verse.
(g) The Navi granted him his wish and blessed him that he should leave in peace.
11) [line 23] נעורן (NE'ORAN) [NA'ARAN] - a city near Yericho (see Divrei ha'Yamim I 7:28; the Girsa is from DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #3)
12) [line 33] "[אדם כי יקריב] מכם [קרבן לה' ...]" "[ADAM KI YAKRIV] MI'KEM [KORBAN LA'SH-M]..." - "[Speak to the people of Yisrael, and say to them, 'If any man] of you [brings an offering to HaSh-m, you shall bring your offering from the farm animals, from the cattle, and from the flocks (of sheep and goats).]" (Vayikra 1:2)
13) [line 1] "[ואם נפש אחת תחטא בשגגה] מעם הארץ, [בעשתה אחת ממצות ה' אשר לא תעשינה ואשם]" [V'IM NEFESH ACHAS TECHETA VI'SHEGAGAH] ME'AM HA'ARETZ, [BA'ASOSAH ACHAS MI'MITZVOS HASH-M] ASHER LO SE'ASENAH [V'ASHEM.] - "[And if anyone] of the common people [sins unintentionally, by transgressing one of the Mitzvos of HaSh-m] that should not be done [and he is guilty.]" (Vayikra 4:27)
14) [line 3] השב מידיעתו HA'SHAV MI'YEDI'ASO - a person who would have refrained from transgressing had he known that it was forbidden
15a) [line 6] חלב CHELEV (ISUR ACHILAS CHELEV)
(a) Chelev refers to the fat of an animal that is offered on the Mizbe'ach. It consists of the layer of fat covering the stomachs, all the other fat attached to the stomachs, and the fat on the kidneys along the flanks (Vayikra 3:4). The verse states, "Chukas Olam l'Doroseichem b'Chol Moshevoseichem, Kol Chelev v'Chol Dam Lo Socheilu" - "It shall be an everlasting statute for your generations throughout all your settlements, that you eat neither [forbidden] fat nor blood" (Vayikra 3:17).
(b) It is forbidden to eat the Chelev of a Kosher Behemah (farm animal), but it may be used for any other purpose. The Chelev of a Chayah (a Kosher non-farm animal), however, may even be eaten. "Shuman" refers to all the other fat of an animal that is permitted.
(c) If a person eats a k'Zayis of Chelev b'Mezid (intentionally) after Hasra'ah (being forewarned), he is punished with Malkus (lashes). If he was not given Hasra'ah, he is Chayav Kares. If he sins b'Shogeg (unintentionally) he must bring a Korban Chatas (as with all sins for which one is liable to Kares b'Mezid). If a person is in doubt whether the fat he ate was Chelev or Shuman, he must bring a Korban Asham Taluy (see Background to Zevachim 2:6:b).
b) [line 6] הדם HA’DAM (ISUR ACHILAS DAM)
(a) It is forbidden to ingest the blood of animals and birds, whether they are Kosher or non-Kosher. The verse states, "v'Chol Dam Lo Sochelu b'Chol Moshevoseichem, la'Of vela'Behemah" - "You shall eat no kind of blood, whether it is of bird or of beast, in any of your settlements" (Vayikra 7:26). Because of this prohibition, slaughtered animals must be salted or roasted over a fire to remove their blood before they can be cooked and eaten.
(b) The blood of fish, locusts, Sheratzim (rodents or lizards), insects or small crawling creatures, and humans is not included in the prohibition of Dam. However, the blood of non-Kosher fish and locusts is prohibited because it is a secretion of a non-Kosher creature. The blood of Sheratzim is also prohibited because it is considered like their flesh. Human blood that has become separated from the body is prohibited mid'Rabanan (Kerisus 22a).
(c) Blood of an animal may be eaten if it is still inside the raw flesh of the animal as it was when the animal died or was slaughtered. Only when the blood has been removed from its original location after the animal's death, for example, by being cooked or boiled, does the blood become prohibited (TOSFOS to Chulin 14a DH v'Nasvin).
(d) If a person ingests a k'Zayis of blood b'Mezid (intentionally) after Hasra'ah (being forewarned), he is punished with Malkus (lashes). If he was not given Hasra'ah, he is Chayav Kares. If he sins b'Shogeg (unintentionally) he must bring a Korban Chatas (as with all sins for which one is liable to Kares b'Mezid). If the blood did not pour from the animal's major arteries but rather was inside the animal's limbs when it died (Dam Evarim) and was extracted afterward, the punishment of Kares does not apply. If it dripped from a major artery after the main flow subsided (Dam ha'Tamtzis), the Tana'im argue whether the punishment of Kares applies (Kerisus 20b).
16) [line 9] דדורון D'DORON - that the present
17a) [line 15] ערומין בדעת ARUMIN B'DA'AS - cunning in their knowledge
b) [line 15] ומשימין עצמן כבהמה U'MESIMIN ATZMAN KI'VEHEMAH - and make themselves humble and lowly like an animal (RASHI; see MAHARSHA)
18) [line 18] "וזרעתי את בית ישראל זרע אדם וזרע בהמה" "V'ZARATI ES BEIS YISRAEL V'ES BEIS YEHUDAH ZERA ADAM V'ZERA BEHEMAH." - "And I shall sow the House of Yisrael and the House of Yehudah [with] seed of people and seed of animals." (Yirmeyahu 31:26)
19) [line 20] (סימן נקלף) (SIMAN NiKLaF) - this is a mnemonic device that stands for the names of the Amora'im who quote the decree of Raban Gamliel and his Beis din with regard to the Shechitah of a Kusi. It stands for:
1. N (the letter "Nun") refers to Rebbi Chanan (line 21)
2. K (the letter "Kuf") refers to Rebbi Yakov bar Idi (line 21)
3. L (the letter "Lamed") refers to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi (line 21)
4. F (the letter "Feh" or "Peh") refers to Bar Kapara (line 22)
20) [line 22] ר''ג RABAN GAMLIEL - (a) Raban Gamliel, the son of Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi (RASHI); (b) Raban Gamliel of Yavneh, the son of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel (TOSFOS)
21) [line 22] נמנו NIMNU - they took a vote [and established the decree that prohibited Jews from eating from the Shechitah of a Kusi]
22) [line 31] ותהי בה רבי זירא VA’TAHI BAH REBBI ZEIRA - Rebbi Zeira wondered about and contemplated it (the statement that Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Asi both ate from the Shechitah of a Kusi)
23) [line 37] השתא בהמתן של צדיקים אין הקב''ה מביא תקלה על ידן, צדיקים עצמן לא כל שכן? HASHTA BEHEMTAN SHEL TZADIKIM, EIN HASH-M MEVI TAKALAH AL YADAN, TZADIKIM ATZMAN LO KOL SHE'KEN
(a) If HaSh-m does not bring a stumbling block (i.e. sin) to the animals of the righteous, then is it not all the more obvious that He does not bring a stumbling block to the righteous themselves?
(b) This principle applies only to the inadvertent consumption of forbidden foods, but not to other types of inadvertent sins, nor to the inadvertent consumption of a permissible food at a time that it is prohibited to eat (TOSFOS DH Tzadikim).
(c) This phenomenon is learned from an incident recorded in Chulin 7a regarding the donkey of Rebbi Pinchas ben Yair that refused to eat food that was not tithed properly.