ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
MEGILAH 17 (6 Adar) - dedicated by the Feldman family in memory of their father, the Tzadik Harav Yisrael Azriel ben Harav Chaim (Feldman) of Milwaukee.
(a) Rabah Amar Rav Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Marsa learns that Talmud-Torah is greater than Kibud Av va'Em from Yakov Avinu. Yishmael was fourteen years older than Yitzchak (Yishmael was born when Avraham was eighty-six; Yitzchak, when he was a hundred).
(b) Yishmael ...
1. ... died at the age of - a hundred and thirty seven.
2. ... was seventy-four - when Yakov was born.
3. ... was in the last year of his life - when Yakov was blessed.
(c) Based on the fact that Esav married Machalas bas Yishmael immediately after Yakov was blessed, we can prove that Yishmael died at that stage (giving us Yakov's age as being sixty-three), from the Pasuk which informs us that Esav married Machalas bas Yishmael Achos Nevayos - implying that, whereas Yishmael betrothed his daughter to Esav, it was her brother Nevayos who married her off (because Yishmael died before the wedding).
1. Fourteen years elapsed - from the time that Yakov arrived in Charan until Yosef was born (the fourteen years that he worked for Rachel and Le'ah; before the six years that he worked for himself).
2. Thirty-nine years elapsed from the time that Yosef was born until Yakov came down to Egypt and stood before Paroh (thirty years until Yosef stood before Paroh, seven years of plenty, and two of famine).
(b) We would have expected Yakov to be - a hundred and sixteen at that time (63+14+39).
(c) From the fact that he gave his age to Paroh as a hundred and thirty - we learn that there are fourteen missing from the events comprising Yakov's life listed above, bearing out Chazal's statement that he spent fourteen years in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever (for which he was not punished).
(a) Ever (the Rosh Yeshiva) died - two years after Yakov arrived in Charan.
(b) Yosef separated from his father for twenty-two years - because Yakov separated from his parents for twenty-two years.
(c) Yakov may have spent only twenty years in Charan - but he spent a further two years on the journey home (during which time he also delayed).
(d) Yakov spent ...
1. ... eighteen months in Succos.
2. ... six months in Beis-Eil.
Hadran Alach 'Megilah Nikres'
Perek ha'Korei es ha'Megilah
(a) Someone who reads (even the chapters of) the Megilah backwards is not Yotzei. Rava tries to prove this from the Pasuk "Lih'yos Osim es Shnei ha'Yamim ki'Chesavam v'chi'Zemanam" - because just as the times (the fourteenth and the fifteenth) cannot be reversed, neither can the reading of the Megilah.
(b) This Pasuk however, cannot be the sole source - because it is talking about 'Asiyah' (the other Mitzvos of Purim), and not 'Zechirah' (the reading of the Megilah).
(c) So we cite, as an additional source, the Pasuk "v'ha'Yamim ha'Eileh Nizkarim v'Na'asim" - which compare the reading to the doing.
(d) The Beraisa incorporates in this ruling - the Shema, Tefilah and Halel (which one is also not Yotzei if one reads backwards).
(a) The Amora'im quote four sources for the prohibition of reciting Halel backwards. Rabah and Rav Yosef learn it from the Pasuk in Tehilim "mi'Mizrach Shemesh ad Mevo'o" - implying that Halel should follow the same order as the sun's cycle, and from "Zeh ha'Yom Asah Hash-m" (Ibid. implying that they follow the same order as the hours of the day).
(b) Rav Ivya learns it from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Yehi Shem Hash-m Mevorach" - based on the principle that 'Havayah ("Yehi") always has connotations of 'as it is' [and not backwards]).
(c) The fourth Pasuk quoted by Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak (or Rav Acha bar Yakov) as a source for the prohibition of reciting Halel backwards is - "me'Atah v'Ad Olam" (which implies forwards in time and not backwards).
(a) Rebbi learns from the Pasuk in Va'eschanan "v'Hayu ha'Eileh" - that one must read the Shema in Lashon ha'Kodesh, and not in any other language.
(b) The Rabanan learn that the Shema may be recited in any language - from the word "Shema" (implying in any language that you understand).
1. Rebbi learns from "Shema" - that one must hear what one is saying.
2. The Rabanan learn from "v'Hayu" - that one may not read the Pesukim of the Shema backwards (concurring with the Beraisa that we cited earlier).
(d) Rebbi learns the latter Din from the superfluous 'Hey' in "ha'Devarim". The Rabanan ...
1. ... learn - nothing from there, because, in their opinion, the 'Hey' is not superfluous (but a manner of speech).
2. ... say that someone who reads the Shema but does not hear what he is saying - is nevertheless Yotzei.
(a) We suggest that, according to Rebbi, the rest of the Torah may be recited in any language (since otherwise, why would he need a requiring of the Shema to be read in Lashon ha'Kodesh?!). 'The rest of the Torah' - means whatever we read in Shul (i.e. Parshas Zachor [and perhaps Parshas Parah] whose reading is min ha'Torah [see also Tosfos DH 'Kol').
(b) We refute this suggestion however, (i.e. Rebbi might even hold that the rest of the Torah too, must be recited in Lashon ha'Kodesh, and still, the Torah needs to write "va'Hayu") - because otherwise, he would Darshen "Shema" to mean in any language (like the Rabanan).
(c) Similarly, we conclude, the Rabanan who hold that the Shema may be recited in any language, might well hold that the rest of the Torah too, may be recited in any language, yet the Torah needs to write "Shema" - because otherwise, they would Darshen "v'Hayu" to mean specifically in Lashon ha'Kodesh (like Rebbi).
(a) The Beraisa derive the first three Berachos of the Amidah from Mizmor l'David (the chapter in Tehilim that we recite every Shabbos when the Torah is taken out). We derive the Berachah of ...
1. ... Avos - from "Havu la'Hashem Bnei Eilim".
2. ... Gevuros - from "Havu la'Hashem Kavod va'Oz".
3. ... Kedushos - from "Havu la'Hashem Kavod Shmo, Hishtachavu la'Hashem b'Hadras Kodesh".
(b) The Tana learns from the juxtaposition of the Pasuk in Yeshayah ...
1. ... "v'Hikdishu es Kedosh Yakov ... " to that of "v'Yad'u So'ei Ru'ach Binah" - that the Berachah of Binah follows that of Kedushos.
2. ... "u'Levavo Yavin, v'Shav v'Rafa Lo" - that Teshuvah follows Binah.
(c) And he learns the sequence of Teshuvah, Selichah and Refu'ah from the two Pesukim in Tehilim "v'*Yashov* el Hash-m vi'Yerachameihu v'el Elokeinu Ki Yarbeh li'*S'lo'ach*" and "ha'*Solei'ach* l'Chol Avoneichi ha'Rofei l'Chol Tachalu'aichi", respectively. Nevertheless, the Pasuk "v'Shav v'Rafa Lo" places Refu'ah after Binah - because the Refu'ah there refers to the cure of Selichah (rather than the cure of an illness).
(d) In spite of the fact that the redemption appears later in the Berachos of Kibutz Galuyos, Bonei Yerushalayim and Tzemach David, the Berachah of Go'el Yisrael is placed so early in the Amidah - because it does not refer to the ultimate Ge'ulah (like they do), but to the Ge'ulah from one's personal problems.
(a) Ge'ulah is specifically the seventh Berachah - because the ultimate redemption will occur in the seventh year (even though this Berachah does not refer to the ultimate redemption, as we just explained).
(b) In spite of Mar's statement that in the sixth year there will be loud noises, in the seventh, battles, and ben David will only come on Motzei Shevi'is, 'Go'el Yisrael' is nevertheless the seventh Berachah (and not the eighth) - because the battles are considered the beginning of the Ge'ulah.
(c) Refu'ah is specifically the eighth Berachah - because of the Milah, which takes place on the eighth day and which requires a Refu'ah.
(a) The ninth Berachah is that of Birchas ha'Shanim, corresponding to the 'Mafki'ei She'arim', against whom David ha'Melech prayed in the ninth chapter of Tehilim. The 'Mafki'ei She'arim' - are wealthy people who stockpile the corn, forcing the prices up, causing the poor, more than anybody else, to suffer.
(b) It nevertheless appears in the tenth chapter - because the first two chapters of Tehilim are considered one (as the Sugya in Berachos explains).
(c) Birchas ha'Shanim is followed by Kibutz Galuyos because of the juxtaposition of these two issues in the Pasuk in Yechezkel ("v'Atem Harei Yisrael Anafchem Titnu u'Frichem Tis'u l'Ami Yisrael, ki Karvu Lamo"). We learn from the juxtaposition of the Pesukim in Yeshayah "v'Ashivah Yadi Alayich v'Etzrof ka'Bor Sigayich" and "v'Ashivah Shoftayich k'Varishonah" - that the gathering of the exiles is followed immediately by the judgment of the Resha'im (hence the next Berachah is that of v'Lamalshinim).
(d) It is obvious that the destruction of the Resha'im follows their judgment. Yeshayah writes "v'Shever Posh'im v'Chata'im Yachdav. "Chata'im" refers to the Resha'im. "... Posh'im" - to those who do not believe in the Divine origin of Torah - which explains why we include the 'Zeidim' (who are synonymous with the Posh'im) in the Berachah.
(a) The elevation of the Tzadikim - automatically follows the downfall of the Resha'im.
(b) From the juxtaposition of the Pesukim in Kedoshim "Mipnei Seivah Takum ... " and "v'Chi Yagur Itchem Ger", the Tana learns - that the converts go hand in hand with the Tzadikim, which is why they are placed together with them in the Amidah.
(c) The Berachah of the rise of the Tzadikim is followed ...
1. ... by that of Yerushalayim - because the rise of the Tzadikim will take place in Yerushalayim.
2. ... and then by 'es Tzemach David' - because the building of Yerushalayim (the city of David) is automatically followed by the advent of David.
(d) When David arrives - Tefilah inevitably arrives with him (since David is synonymous with Tefilah).