[10a - 37 lines; 10b - 51 lines]
1)[line 3]בבית חוניוBEIS CHONYO
(a)Beis Chonyo is the Temple of Chonyo in Alexandria, built by Chonyo, the son of Shimon ha'Tzadik. The Gemara (Menachos 109b) brings two versions of the story. According to Rebbi Meir, even though Chonyo was chosen by Shimon ha'Tzadik to be the next Kohen Gadol, his older brother, Shimi, engineered a plot of defamation against him that so insulted the Kohanim that they wanted to kill Chonyo. He escaped to Alexandria, where he built a replica of the Beis ha'Mikdash, offering Korbanos to Avodah Zarah.
(b)According to Rebbi Yehudah, it was Chonyo who at first did not want to accept the position of Kohen Gadol, since Shimi was his older brother. However, he engineered a plan to defame Shimi that so insulted the Kohanim that they wanted to kill Shimi. When Chonyo informed them of the plan, they wanted to kill Chonyo. He escaped to Alexandria, where he built a replica of the Beis ha'Mikdash, offering Korbanos to HaSh-m.
2)[line 4]קדושה ראשונה קידשה לשעתה ולא קידשה לעתיד לבואKEDUSHAH RISHONAH KIDSHAH L'SHA'ATAH V'LO KIDSHAH L'ASID LAVO - The first Sanctification brought about sanctity at that time only, and not after the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash
(a)Chazal refer to three distinct sanctities when they discuss whether or not Kedushah Rishonah Kidshah l'Sha'atah v'Kidshah l'Asid Lavo: the sanctity of the Beis ha'Mikdash, the sanctity of Yerushalayim, and the sanctity of Eretz Yisrael.
(b)The Beis ha'Mikdash had to be sanctified in order for the sacrifices to be offered there. Similarly, Yerushalayim had to be sanctified in order for Kodshim Kalim and Ma'aser Sheni to be eaten there. Shlomo ha'Melech sanctified the Beis ha'Mikdash and Yerushalayim. According to one opinion, their Kedushah remained even after the Beis ha'Mikdash and Yerushalayim were destroyed by the Babylonians and Romans. There is a Tana who argues and maintains that when the Babylonians conquered Eretz Yisrael, this Kedushah ceased and when Ezra returned to Israel he sanctified it once again.
(c)Eretz Yisrael had to be sanctified in order for the Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz, such as Terumos and Ma'asros, to be practiced. Yehoshua sanctified Eretz Yisrael through conquest. According to one opinion, the Kedushah of the land remained even after the Babylonians conquered Eretz Yisrael and laid waste to the land. Another Tana argues and maintains that when the Babylonians conquered Eretz Yisrael, this Kedushah ceased and the Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz no longer applied. When Ezra returned to Israel, he sanctified it once again -- see Insights to Megilah 10a and to Temurah 21a.
3)[line 18]קלעיםKELA'IM- curtains
4)[line 18]חבל ארגובCHEVEL ARGOV- (a) the entire region of Argov (Devarim 3:4). This is identified with Almogav, the land between the Rivers Arnon and Yabok (RABEINU SA'ADYA GAON); (b) Beis Palach Terachona (TARGUM ONKELUS), the royal cities (RASHI's understanding of the TARGUM); (c) Terachona, the name of a place (ARUCH's understanding of the TARGUM); (d) Some say that Chevel Argov is the area around Suwet, south of the upper Yarmuch, while others identify it with el-Leja, east of Lake Kineret.
5)[line 15]"ויהי בימי אחשורוש הוא אחשורוש המולך מהדו ועד כוש שבע ועשרים ומאה מדינה""VA,YEHI BI'YEMEI ACHASHVEROSH HU ACHASHVEROSH HA'MOLECH ME'HODU V'AD KUSH SHEVA V'ESRIM U'ME'AH MEDINAH." - "And it was in the days of Achashverosh, that is Achashverosh who was king from Hodu until Kush, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces." (Esther 1:1) (WORDS THAT INTRODUCE BAD TIMES)
(a)The Gemara describes the bad news implied by the words "va'Yehi bi'Yemei" in one word: Haman.
(b)The Torah Temimah, however, cites two other interpretations. The Midrash, based on the verse in Mishlei (29:2), "When a Tzadik attains greatness, the people rejoice, but when Resha'im rise to power, the people groan." Hence, the verse here says, "va'Yehi bi'Yemei Achashverosh," meaning that "when Achashverosh came to power, woe to the people."
(c)While the Gemara later (11a) expounds this verse with reference to the last verse in the Tochachah (in Parshas Ki Savo), "And you will want to be sold as slaves, but nobody will buy you," because, says Rashi, "you will already have been decreed for death and destruction." It is to this situation of utter helplessness that "va'Yehi bi'Yemei" refers.
(d)It is noteworthy that Esther herself said to the king (just before her unmasking of Haman), "If we had been sold as slaves, I would have been silent, for the enemy (Haman) cares not for the king's losses" (for if he did, he would have sold us as slaves for the proceeds to go to the king, or ordered us to become slaves to the king, -Rashi).
6)[line 15]"ויהי בימי שפט השפטים [ויהי רעב בארץ...]""VA'YEHI BI'YEMEI SHEFOT HA'SHOFTIM [VA'YEHI RA'AV BA'ARETZ...]" - "And it was in the days when the Shoftim judged, [there was a famine in the land, and a man went from Beis Lechem in Yehudah to sojourn in the fields of Moav, he, his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the name of his two sons were Machlon and Kilyon, important men (alt. men from Efrat) from Beis Lechem in Yehudah, and they arrived in the fields of Moav, and they remained there.]" (Rus 1:1-2) (ELIMELECH AND THE FAMINE)
(a)This story took place during the era of the Judges, before Shmuel crowned Shaul as king. The name of the Shofet who ruled at that time was Ivtzan, whom Chazal identify as Boaz.
(b)The Midrash relates that when Yisrael sinned in the days of the prophets, HaSh-m concluded that since He was unable to destroy them, return them to Egypt, or to exchange them for another nation (all of which He had sworn not to do), He decided to send a famine to punish them for their sins. Hence, "And it was in the days... there was a famine in the land...."
(c)In those days there lived a wealthy man, Elimelech, who fled the country because he knew that he would be constantly disturbed by the poor knocking at his door and asking for help during the famine. HaSh-m punished him for abandoning the people of Eretz Yisrael and for deciding to settle in Moav, and he died in the fields of Moav.
(d)In Moav, his sons married non-Jewish women. Machlon married Orpah, the daughter of Eglon, the king of Moav. Kilyon married Ruth. Both Machlon and Kilyon died in Moav, leaving Naomi -- their righteous mother and widow of Elimech -- with her two Moabite daughters-in-law.
7)[line 15]"ויהי כי החל האדם לרוב... וירא ה' כי רבה רעת האדם [בארץ וכל יצר מחשבת לבו רק רע כל היום]""VA'YEHI KI HECHEL HA'ADAM LA'ROV... VA'YAR HASH-M KI RABAH RA'AS HA'ADAM [BA'ARETZ V'CHOL YETZER MACHSHEVOS LIBO RAK RA KOL HA'YOM.]"- "And it was when man began to increase... and HaSh-m saw that the evil that man perpetrated in the land was excessive [and that every product of the thoughts of his heart was but evil always.]" (Bereishis 6:1, 5)
8)[line 16] "ויהי בנסעם מקדם... הבה נבנה לנו עיר" "VA'YEHI B'NAS'AM MI'KEDEM... HAVAH NIVNEH LANU IR" -" And it was when they traveled from the east, [they found a valley in the land of Shin'ar (Bavel) and that is where they stayed. And they said to one another, 'Come let us make bricks and burn them in a fire.' And they said, 'Come let us build ourselves a city, including a tower that reaches the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered on the face of the earth." (Bereishis 11:1-3).
9)[line 16]"ויהי בימי אמרפל... עשו מלחמה""VA'YEHI BI'YEMEI AMRAFEL... ASU MILCHAMAH"- "And it was in the days of Amrafel (Nimrod)... that they made war...." (Bereishis 14:1-2)
10)[line 16]"ויהי איש אחד מן הרמתים... כי את חנה אהב וה' סגר רחמה""VA'YEHI ISH ECHAD MIN HA'RAMASAYIM... KI ES CHANAH AHEV, VA'HASH-M SAGAR RACHMAH." - "And there was a man from Ramasayim [Tzofim, from Mount Efrayim, whose name was Elkanah, son of Yerocham, son of Elihu, son of Tochu, son of Tzuf from the land of Efrayim... And to Chanah he gave a double portion,] for he loved Chanah, and HaSh-m had closed her womb." (Shmuel I 1:1, 5) (CHANAH AND ELKANAH)
(a)Elkanah, a Levi who lived in Ramasayim (in Har Efrayim), had two wives, Chanah, who was barren, and Peninah, who bore him a number of children. Each Yom Tov, he would travel to the Mishkan in Shiloh where he would bring sacrifices. He would give portions of the Korbanos to Peninah and her children, but for Chanah he reserved a special portion to cheer her up, because he loved her and she had no children. It was then that Peninah chose to taunt Chanah. Her intentions may have been good (to encourage Chanah to pray to HaSh-m for children), but her taunts caused Chanah terrible anguish, to the point that she declined to eat, crying bitterly while the family ate the Korbanos. Elkanah would try his best to dispel her depression by trying to convince her that his love for her was greater than ten children (with reference to the children that Peninah had born him), but to no avail. According to some opinions, Peninah would eventually pay dearly for her heartlessness.
(b)This went on for some years, until one particular year when Chanah arose from the table in her bitterness and entered the Mishkan to pray. She prayed silently, her lips moving but uttering not a sound.
(c)See Background to Berachos 31:20.
11)[line 18]"ויהי כאשר זקן שמואל... ולא הלכו בניו בדרכיו""VA'YEHI KA'ASHER ZAKEN SHMUEL... V'LO HALCHU VANAV BI'DERACHAV" - "And it was when Shmuel became old, [he appointed his sons judges over Yisrael]... His sons did not go in his ways, [they went after monetary gains, they took bribes, and they perverted justice.]" (Shmuel I 8:1, 3) (SHMUEL'S SONS)
(a)The Navi records how Elkanah had children from his wife Peninah, but not from his most beloved wife Chanah, who was initially barren. Through her Tefilah, however, Chanah merited to have children (see previous entry), the best-known of whom was Shmuel ha'Navi. The "Tza'ar" to which the Gemara here refers is the fact that Shmuel's children did not go in his ways.
(b)The verse describes how "they went after monetary gains, they took bribes, and they perverted justice." Rashi cites Chazal who explain that this cannot be taken literally. Their actual wrongdoing was that they did not follow their father's example of constantly traveling from town to town, judging the people. They remained in their hometown, so that the people were forced to come to them. They did so in order to ensure that those who worked for the Beis Din received a higher wage.
12)[line 18]"ויהי דוד לכל דרכו משכיל וה' עמו." "ויהי שאול עון את דוד...""VA'YEHI DAVID L'CHOL DERACHAV MASKIL VA'HASH-M IMO." "VA'YEHI SHAUL AVON ES DAVID…" - "And Shaul eyed David with suspicion [from that day on]... And David was successful in all his ways, and HaSh-m was with him." (Shmuel I 18:9, 14) (The Gemara cites the second verse first.) (SHAUL'S JEALOUSY OF DAVID)
(a)The Gemara cites these two verses out of their actual order because all the double sets of verses quoted by the Gemara follow the same sequence: the first verse expresses something good, and the second verse illustrates how eventually a cause of Tza'ar occurred.
(b)The question arises that if David had not yet experienced his wave of successes, then why was Shaul jealous of him? The answer lies in the earlier verses (7-8). The Navi there describes how, following David's slaying of Golyas, the women sang, "Shaul has killed thousands, but David, tens of thousands." Shaul reacted angrily, expressing his fears that David was destined to take over the kingdom from him.
(c)That was when he began to keep an eye on David. Needless to say, when David began to experience a wave of successes, Shaul's jealousy only grew.
13)[line 19]"ויהי כי ישב המלך בביתו... (רק אתה לא תבנה הבית) [האתה תבנה לי בית לשבתי]""VA'YEHI KI YASHAV HA'MELECH B'VEISO... (RAK ATAH LO TIVNEH HA'BAYIS) [HA'ATAH TIVNEH LI BAYIS L'SHAVTI]" - "And it was when the king sat in his house [and HaSh-m had given him respite from his enemies all around... [And the word of HaSh-m came to Nasan, the prophet, saying: Go and say to My servant David: So said HaSh-m,] 'Will you build a house for My dwelling?'" (Shmuel II 7:1, 5) (DAVID HA'MELECH AND THE BEIS HA'MIKDASH)
(a)As the Navi explains, David was disturbed by the fact that he was "living in a house of cedars" while the Aron of HaSh-m was "living within curtains." He asked the Navi for permission to build a house for HaSh-m. The Navi commended him for his good intentions and initially gave him permission, but he withdrew it after HaSh-m appeared to him the following night forbidding it on the grounds that it was not befitting for David, who was a man of war, to build a house of peace. That privilege was reserved for his son Shlomo, who would be a man of peace.
(b)The Beis ha'Mikdash is nevertheless referred to as "the House of David." That is due to incredible amount of effort that David ha'Melech expended in preparing it, in the form of finding its exact location, purchasing the ground, writing out the plans, and storing away vast amounts of money for its needs (much of this together with Shmuel ha'Navi). See, for example, Tehilim 132, which describes the sleepless nights that David spent searching for the Beis ha'Mikdash's location.
14)[line 20]"ויהי ביום השמיני [קרא משה לאהרן ולבניו ולזקני ישראל]""VA'YEHI BA'YOM HA'SHEMINI ]KARA MOSHE L'AHARON UL'VANAV UL'ZIKNEI YISRAEL[" - "And it was on the eighth day, [Moshe called Aharon and his sons and the elders of Yisrael.]" (Vayikra 9:1) (THE DAY THE MISHKAN AND THE WORLD WAS COMPLETED)
(a)The verse refers to Rosh Chodesh Nisan of the first year after Yisrael left Egypt. This was the day on which the Mishkan was erected, and on which Aharon and his sons began to serve in it.
(b)The Torah Temimah explains why the Torah compares it to the day on which heaven and earth were created. A Midrash states that when the Mishkan was set up, HaSh-m Himself declared that "today is, in My eyes, as if today I created My world." The Midrash then gives the reason for this: from day one of the creation HaSh-m desired to unify His Name and His sanctity through the building of the Mishkan. This may be understood with the Gemara in Megilah (31b) which states that were it not for the Ma'amados (with reference to the Beis ha'Mikdash and the Korbanos), heaven and earth would not endure.
(c)That is why HaSh-m was happy on that Rosh Chodesh Nisan. This was the day on which the creation was completed, as He intended when He created the world.
(d)This date is particularly appropriate according to the view of Rebbi Yehoshua (Rosh Hashanah 10b) who maintains that Adam ha'Rishon was created on Rosh Chodesh Nisan.
15)[line 22]"ויהי כאשר ראה יעקב את רחל [בת לבן אחי אמו ואת צאן לבן אחי אמו ויגש יעקב ויגל את האבן מעל פי הבאר וישק את צאן לבן אחי אמו]""VA'YEHI KA'ASHER RA'AH YAKOV ES RACHEL [BAS LAVAN ACHI IMO V'ES TZON LAVAN ACHI IMO VA'YIGASH YAKOV VA'YAGEL ES HA'EVEN ME'AL PI HA'BE'ER VA'YISHAK ES TZON LAVAN ACHI IMO.]" - " And it was when Yakov saw Rachel [the daughter of Lavan, his mother's brother, and the flock of Lavan, his mother's brother, Yakov came forward and rolled the stone from on the mouth of the well, and he watered the sheep of Lavan, his mother's brother.]"(Bereishis 29:10) (YAKOV REMOVED THE STONE FROM THE MOUTH OF THE WELL)
(a)The Gemara concludes that since Yakov's meeting with Rachel was purely a happy one, this is one of the occasions where the word "va'Yehi" introduces a happy event.
(b) The Maharsha asks why the Gemara does not consider the possibility that the verse indeed does refer to Tza'ar, since verse 31 informs us that Rachel was barren, a fact which must have been the source of untold anguish. He cites the Gemara earlier which indeed says that the verse in Shmuel regarding Elkanah ("va'Yehi Ish Echad Min ha'Ramasayim...") refers to Tza'ar because Chanah was barren. He answers by differentiating between the two cases: the verse in Shmuel informs us of Chanah's barrenness almost immediately, while the Torah here mentions Rachel's only much later.
16)[line 22]"[ויקרא אלקים לאור יום ולחשך קרא לילה] ויהי ערב ויהי בקר יום אחד""[VA'YIKRA ELOKIM L'OR YOM UL'CHOSHECH KARA LAILAH] VA'YEHI EREV VA'YEHI VOKER YOM ECHAD."- "[G-d called the light day and darkness He called night,] and it was evening and it was morning, one day." (Bereishis 1:5)- This verse refers to a time of great joy, because this was the only day during the entire history of the world, Rashi explains, that HaSh-m was truly One. That is why the Torah writes "Yom Echad," rather than "Yom Rishon," which would have been grammatically more correct.
17)[line 27] "ויראה יהודה ויחשבה לזונה כי כסתה פניה" "VA'YIR'EHAH YEHUDAH VA'YACHSHEVEHAH L'ZONAH CHI KISESAH PANEHAH." -"And Yehudah saw her and he thought she was a prostitute, because she covered her face." (Bereishis 38:15)
18)[line 30]מקום ארון אינו מן המדהMEKOM ARON EINO MIN HA'MIDAH- the Aron did not take up any space
19)[line 33]"וקמתי עליהם... והכרתי לבבל""V'KAMTI ALEIHEM...V'HICHRATI L'VAVEL..."- "For I will rise up against them... and cut off from Babylon its name and remnant, and offspring and posterity..." (Yeshayah 14:22)
20)[line 34]"תחת הנעצוץ יעלה ברוש""TACHAS HA'NA'ATZUTZ YA'ALEH BEROSH..."- "In place of the thornbush, a cypress tree shall come up, and in place of the nettle a myrtle tree shall come up..." (Yeshayah 55:13)
21)[line 37]מר דרורMOR DEROR- (1) distilled myrrh, a resin produced by trees and shrubs that grow in Arabia and Africa and which leaves a lasting, bitter, aromatic taste; (2) according to Rabeinu Saadya Gaon and the Rambam this refers to musk, an extract taken from the musk deer that lives in Nepal and Tibet
22)[line 39]רפידת בית ה'REFIDAS BEIS HASH-M- the resting place of [HaSh-m in] the House of HaSh-m (the Shechinah is said to rest upon the Kapores of the Aron -- Shemos 25:22)
23)[line 40]"ויהי אמן את הדסה [היא אסתר בת דדו כי אין לה אב ואם והנערה יפת תאר וטובת מראה ובמות אביה ואמה לקחה מרדכי לו לבת]""VA'YEHI OMEN ES HADASAH, [HI ESTHER BAS DODO, KI EIN LAH AV VA'EM, VEHA'NA'ARAH YEFAS TO'AR V'TOVAS MAR'EH, UV'MOS AVIHAH V'IMAH LEKACHAH MORDECHAI LO L'VAS.]" - "And he (Mordechai) raised Hadasah, [she was Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had no father or mother, and when her father and mother died, Mordechai took her to him as a daughter.]" (Esther 2:7) (HADASAH / ESTHER)
(a)There are two opinions as to whether her real name was Esther and she was called Hadasah for its implications, or vice-versa. Chazal give four reasons as to why she may have been called Hadasah even if her real name was Esther, and two reasons for the name Hadasah. The Gemara later (13a) cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Meir explains that she was called Hadasah because it is a title by which Tzadikim are known.
(b)Ben Azai (in the same Beraisa) maintains that she was called Hadasah because she was neither tall nor short, but of medium height, like a Hadas tree. Although the Derashah itself is difficult to comprehend (see Maharsha), Ben Azai seems to be referring to the fact that the Hadasim in the Arba'as ha'Minim should be shorter than the Lulav, and (according to Kabalah) slightly taller than the Aravos, thus rendering them medium-sized.
(c)Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah says that Esther was called Hadasah because she was not good-looking at all (but green, like a Hadas branch), but "a thread of Chesed was drawn over her" which gave her beauty (or "Chen," as in Esther 2:15, which is considered greater than beauty) in the eyes of all who saw her (see Torah Temimah, and see also Maharsha).
(d)The Midrash, however, ascribes the connection between Esther and a Hadas to her "dual personality." Just as a Hadas has a wonderful scent but a bitter taste, Esther was sweet to Mordechai but bitter to Haman, a sign that her Midos were not merely natural, but the result of her having worked on them. (See also Torah Temimah, note 16.)
(e)In the same Beraisa, Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Nechemyah both assume that her real name was Hadasah. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that she was called Esther because she hid her words (i.e. she refused to divulge her nation, so that the other nations would not be jealous of her; see Maharsha). Rashi explains that she was merely obeying the instructions of Mordechai, who hoped that Achashverosh would be so disgusted with her that he would send her home. Incidentally, Esther inherited the trait of silence from her illustrious ancestors -- from Rachel, who remained silent when her father sent Leah to the Chupah in her place; from Binyamin, who knew that Yosef was alive but kept it to himself, and from Shaul ha'Melech, who declined to inform his uncle that he had just been crowned the first king of Yisrael.
(f)According to Rebbi Nechemyah, she was called Esther because the nations of the world called her "Istahar," because "she was as beautiful as the moon (Istahar)" (see Torah Temimah, note 17).
(g)Even though the verse describes Esther as Mordechai's adopted daughter, Chazal interpret the word "l'Bas" as "l'Bayis," meaning that he actually married her.
24)[line 45]"ולא קרב זה אל זה כל הלילה""V'LO KARAV ZEH EL ZEH KOL HA'LAILAH."- "[It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Yisrael, and the cloud was there, and darkness, while it illuminated the night,] and one did not draw near the other all the night." (Shemos 14:20) (A TIME TO SING)
(a)The verse refers to the angels who wanted to sing Shirah following the drowning of the Egyptians. HaSh-m stopped them because "it is not fitting to sing Shirah while My works are drowning in the sea." It is not clear where Shirah is hinted to in this verse. The Midrash, however, says, "Do not read it as, 'v'Lo Karav Zeh El Zeh,' but as, 'v'Lo Kara Zeh El Zeh,'" an expression used with regard to the angels singing Shirah.
(b)The Torah Temimah asks, how it is that Yisrael sang Shirah the following day, and, likewise, why do we read the Shirah on the seventh day of Pesach?
(c)He answers that the prohibition was confined to the time that the Egyptians were actually drowning, but not to the next day. This is evident from the words of the Gemara in Sanhedrin (39b): "At that moment, the angels wanted to sing Shirah."
(d)However, this answer is not consistent with the Midrash (cited by the Beis Yosef) which attributes not completing Hallel on the last six days of Pesach to the statement of the Gemara here. Moreover, the Mechilta states that even the angels sang Shirah on the following day.
(d)After citing further proof from the Gemara in Berachos (9b) which describes how David ha'Melech sang Shirah after the downfall of his enemies, the Torah Temimah concludes that it is clear that the Gemara does not concur with the above Midrash. Indeed, the Gemara in Erchin gives a different reason for not reciting the full Hallel on the last days of Pesach: unlike the Musaf offerings on the different days of Sukos, the Musaf offering throughout Pesach does not change.