POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
1) THE WICKED IN GEHINOM
(a) Unkelus conjured up Bilam from the dead.
1. Unkelus: Who is important in the next world?
2. Bilam: Yisrael are.
3. Unkelus: Should I cling to them?
4. Bilam: "Do not seek their peace or well-being, forever."
5. Unkelus: What was your judgment?
6. Bilam: I am in boiling semen.
(b) Unkelus conjured up Yoshke from the dead.
1. Unkelus: Who is important in the next world?
2. Yoshke: Yisrael are.
3. Unkelus: Should I cling to them?
4. Yoshke: Seek their good, not their evil. Whoever touches (harms) them is like one who touches the apple of Hash-m's eye.
5. Unkelus: What was your judgment?
6. Yoshke: I am in boiling excrement.
i. Anyone who mocks Chachamim is judged in boiling excrement.
(c) See the difference between sinners of Yisrael and prophets of the Nochrim!
(d) (Beraisa - R. Elazar): See how great is embarrassment! (Because Bar Kamtza was embarrassed), Hash-m helped him to destroy His Mikdash and burn His Heichal!
2) THE DESTRUCTION OF TUR MALKA
(a) Tur Malka was destroyed due to a rooster and a hen. The custom was to bring a rooster and a hen in front of a Chasan and Kalah, an omen that they should be fruitful like chickens.
(b) Once, a Roman troop took the rooster and hen; the Jews hit them. The troop told the Keisar that the Jews were rebelling; he brought an army against them.
1. There was a Yisrael from the south who could leap a Mil (kilometer) and kill soldiers. The Keisar put his crown on the ground.
2. Keisar: Master of the whole world! Please do not hand over my kingdom and me to one man!
3. The southerner spoke improperly, and said "Hash-m, You abandoned us! You do not go in our legions!"
i. Question: David ha'Melech also said this!
ii. Answer: David said it in wonderment (have You abandoned us?!)
(c) The southerner went to the privy. A snake dislocated his anus, and he died.
(d) Keisar: Since Hash-m did a miracle for me, I will leave them.
(e) The Jews ate, drank and made a great bonfire. One Mil away, one could see the image on a coin from the fire's light.
(f) Keisar: They are mocking me!
1. He returned to attack them.
(g) (Rav Asi): Tur Malka was attacked by 300,000 sword bearing soldiers. They killed for three days and three nights. On the other side of Tur Malka, they were singing and dancing, unaware of what was happening.
(h) (Ravin): "Hash-m swallowed, He did not have compassion, all the beautiful places of Yakov." This refers to 600,000 cities of King Yanai in Har ha'Melech;
(i) Each city had 600,000 inhabitants; the following three had twice this amount.
1. The village of Bish (shame), in which they would not give lodging to a guest;
2. The village of Shichlayim (cress), in which their income came from cress;
3. The village of Dichriya (male);
i. (R. Yochanan): In Dichriyah, a woman would first give birth to males, then to a daughter, and would not conceive again.
(j) (Ula): I saw Har ha'Melech. It cannot hold even 600,000 reeds!
1. A heretic: You (Chachamim) lie!
2. R. Chanina: Eretz Yisrael is called "the land of the deer";
i. Just like a deer's skin cannot cover the flesh once it has been flayed, Eretz Yisrael expands when Yisrael dwells on it, and shrivels when we are not on it.
3) STORIES OF THE VILLAGE OF SICHNIYA, OF MITZRAYIM
(a) A Nochri captured a couple during Eirusin (before Nisu'in), and married them to each other.
1. The wife: Please don't touch me. I don't have a Kesuvah from you!
2. He didn't touch her his entire life.
(b) She told the eulogizers that he overcame a harder test than Yosef ha'Tzadik!
1. Yosef was tested only once (by Potifar's wife). My husband was tested every day!
2. Yosef was not in the same bed with Potifar's wife. My husband was in the same bed with me!
3. Yosef was tempted by another man's wife. My husband refrained from his own wife!
(c) The price (of grain) used to be one Dinar for 40 measures. It rose to one Dinar for 39 measures.
1. They investigated the cause, and found that a father and son had raped a Na'arah Me'orasah. They stoned them in Beis Din, and the price returned to the normal level.
(d) Once, a man decided to divorce his wife, but her Kesuvah was great, and he did not want to pay it.
1. He gave his wife and a close friend to eat and drink, until they were drunk. He lied them down on a bed, and put egg white on the sheet between them. (It resembles semen. He made it look like they had Bi'ah, to exempt himself from praying her Kesuvah.) He took them to Beis Din.
(e) Bava Ben Buta (a Talmid of Shamai): Shamai taught that if one puts a fire near egg white, it forms a crust. A fire near semen makes it get more absorbed in the sheet.
1. They tested the sheet, and realized what happened. They whipped her husband, and forced him to pay the Kesuvah.
(f) Question (Abaye): If they were such Tzadikim, why was the city destroyed?
(g) Answer (Rav Yosef): They did not mourn over Yerushalayim - "gladden Yerushalayim; rejoice in it, all who love it; all who mourn over it will rejoice with it."
4) THE DESTRUCTION OF BEITAR
(a) Beitar was destroyed due to a carriage wheel.
1. The custom was to plant a cedar tree when a boy was born, and a Shitah (another species of cedar tree) for a girl. When they got married, they would cut the trees to make the canopy.
2. One day, Keisar's daughter was riding, and the wheel of the carriage broke. They cut down a cedar to fix it; the Jews struck them. The told the Keisar that the Jews were rebelling.
(b) (R. Zeira): "In (Hash-m's) anger, he cut down the horn (greatness) of Yisrael" - 80,000 horn-blowing troop leaders entered Beitar when they conquered it.
1. They killed men, women and children, until the blood flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.
2. The sea was one Mil (kilometer) away!
(c) (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Gadol): There are two rivers in the valley called Yadayim; they flow in different directions. They measured and found that two thirds of the flow was water, and one third was blood of those killed in Beitar.
(d) (Beraisa): The blood sufficed to fertilize the vineyards of the Nochrim for seven years.
5) ATROCITIES IN YERUSHALAYIM
(a) (R. Chiya bar Avin): In one valley, Nevuzaradan, the head killer, killed 2,110,000 people.
(b) In Yerushalayim, he killed 940,000 on one rock, until their blood touched the blood of Zecharyah - "bloods touched bloods."
1. Nevuzaradan had seen Zecharyah's blood boiling; he asked what it was.
2. Yisre'elim: It is blood of Korbanos that was spilled.
(c) Nevuzaradan tested this, and found that blood of Korbanos was unlike the seething blood.
1. Nevuzaradan: If you do not tell me, I will tear your skin with iron combs!
2. Yisre'elim: There was a Navi (and Kohen Gadol) who rebuked us about spiritual matters. We killed him (in the Mikdash, on Yom Kipur that was Shabbos). His blood has been boiling all these (more than 200) years.
3. Nevuzaradan: I will appease the blood.
(d) He slaughtered the great Sanhedrin and a small Sanhedrin by the blood; it did not rest. He slaughtered male and female youths; the blood did not rest. He slaughtered children learning from their Rebbi; it did not rest.
1. Nevuzaradan: Zecharyah, I have slaughtered the best among them. Would you like me to slaughter them all?!
2. The blood rested.
(e) Nevuzaradan repented. He reasoned - if this was the punishment for killing one person, how much greater will be my punishment, for killing so many!
1. He sent instructions to his home about what to do with his estate, and he converted.
2. (Beraisa): Na'aman (whose Tzara'as was cured by Elisha) became a Ger Toshav (a Nochri who keeps his seven Mitzvos and may live in Eretz Yisrael). Nevuzaradan converted. Descendants of Haman taught Torah in Bnei Berak. (This does not prove that we accept converts from Amalek. Perhaps they were from other nations, e.g. descendants of his daughters.) Descendants of Sisera taught children in Yerushalayim. Descendants of Sancheriv taught Torah in public.
3. Question: Who were these descendants of Sancheriv?
4. Answer: They were Shemayah and Avtalyon.
(f) "I will put the blood on the smooth rock, that it will not be covered" refers to the blood of Zecharyah.
(g) "The voice is the voice of Yakov, the hands are the hands of Esav." "The voice" refers to (screams of the victims of) Adaryanus Keisar, who killed 1,200,000 in Alexandriya of Mitzrayim;
1. "The voice of Yakov" refers to (the victims of) Aspasyainus Keisar, who killed 4,000,000 in Beitar. Some say that he killed 40,000,000;
2. "The hands are the hands of Esav" refers to the evil kingdom that destroyed our house, burned our Heichal, and exiled us from our land.
(h) Alternatively, "The voice is the voice of Yakov" teaches that prayer works only for those who descend from Yakov;
1. "The hands are the hands of Esav" teaches that conquest in war comes only to descendants of Esav.
(i) The story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza teaches like R. Elazar taught;
1. (R. Elazar): "When (evil) speech is rampant, hide" - when there is harassing speech, hide.
(j) (Rav Yehudah): "By the rivers of Bavel we sat and cried when we remembered Tziyon" teaches that Hash-m showed David (who wrote Tehilim) the destruction of Bayis Rishon and Bayis Sheni;
1. "By the rivers of Bavel..." alludes to Churban Bayis Rishon (through Bavel);
2. "Hash-m, remember the sons of Edom, the day of (the destruction of) Yerushalayim; those who say 'raze, raze it to the foundations'" alludes to Churban Bayis Sheni.
6) CAPTIVES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO AVOID SINNING
(a) (Rav Yehudah citing Shmuel): There was a boat with 400 boys and girls who were being taken for sexual exploitation. They realized this.
1. The girls: If we drown ourselves in the sea (to avoid this), will we come to the world to come?
2. The oldest boy: Yes - "Hash-m... will return from the depths of the sea."
i. Upon hearing the answer, the girls jumped into the sea.
3. The boys made a Kal va'Chomer. The girls took their own lives to avoid a 'natural' abomination;
i. We are being taken for homosexual exploitation, which is a perversion. All the more so, we should take our own lives to avoid this!
4. The boys jumped into the sea, fulfilling "for You we are killed the entire day. We are like sheep to be slaughtered."
(b) Opinion #2 (Rav Yehudah himself): "For You we are killed the entire day" refers to a woman and her seven children;
1. The first child was brought before the Keisar; he was told to serve an idol.
2. The child: I will not serve. The Torah says "I am Hash-m your G-d!" He was killed.
3. The second child was brought, and was told to serve an idol.
4. The child: I will not serve. It says "you will not have other gods in front of Me." He was killed.
5. The third child refused, citing "one who slaughters (Korbanos) to (the other, false) gods will be killed." He was killed.
6. The fourth child refused, citing "you will not bow to another god." He was killed.
7. The fifth child refused, citing "Shema Yisrael Hash-m Elokeinu Hash-m Echad." He was killed.
8. The sixth child refused, citing "Hash-m is One in Heaven above and on the land below." He was killed.
9. The seventh child refused, citing "You have designated Hash-m... and Hash-m has designated you." We swore to Hash-m that we will not serve another god in place of Him, and He swore to us that He will not exchange us (to have His closest connection) with another people.
10. The Keisar: I will throw my ring with my image engraved in it. Bow down and pick it up, so it will appear as if you accept my authority.
11. The child: Woe to you! You are so concerned for your honor! How much more I must be concerned for the honor of Hash-m!
i. As they took him to be killed, his mother asked to kiss him first. She told him to tell Avraham (in the next world) 'you tied one son on a Mizbe'ach to sacrifice him. I tied sons on seven Mizbechos.' (The ability you bequeathed to Yisrael has blossomed.)
ii. She went up to the roof and fell to her death. A voice from Heaven proclaimed "happy is the mother of children."
(c) Opinion #3 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): ("We are killed for You the entire day") refers to circumcision, which we do on the eighth day (sometimes babies die from it).
(d) Opinion #4 (Reish Lakish): The verse refers to Chachamim who demonstrate slaughter on themselves (this can prompt death).
1. (Rava): One may demonstrate anything on himself, except for slaughter and Tzara'as.
(e) Opinion #5 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): It refers to Chachamim who give their lives for learning.
1. (Reish Lakish): "This is the Torah. If a man will die in a tent..." - words of Torah last only in someone who kills himself (forgoes all other interests) for them.