BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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[21a - 53 lines; 21b - 53 lines]
SANHEDRIN 21 - Dedicated by Harav Shlomo Weinberger of Brooklyn, NY, in memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger, whose Yahrzeit is 18 Adar. Reb Chaim Tzvi, a Holocaust survivor who raised his family in a new country, bequeathed his children steadfast commitment to Torah and its study.
1) [line 1] "... VA'YIMSHECHU LA'SH-M L'NAGID U'LTZADOK L'CHOHEN." - "... and they anointed him to HaSh-m to be the ruler, and Tzadok to be the Kohen [Gadol]." (Divrei ha'Yamim I 29:22)
2) [line 1] NAGID - leader
3) [line 2] MAH TZADOK MECHETZAH LO U'MECHETZAH L'ECHAV - just as in the case of Tzadok, he gets half [of the Lechem ha'Panim (see next two entries)] and his brothers (the other Kohanim) get half
4a) [line 4] "V'HAYESAH L'AHARON UL'VANAV" - "It shall be given to Aharon and to his sons." (Vayikra 24:9) - This verse is discussing the weekly distribution of the 12 loaves of the Lechem ha'Panim (see next entry) to the Kohanim, which are to be divided between the Kohen Gadol and the other Kohanim. The Kohen Gadol receives half of them, while the other Kohanim receive the other half.
b) [line 2] MECHETZAH L'AHARON U'MECHETZAH L'VANAV (LECHEM HA'PANIM)
The Lechem ha'Panim (Showbread) is an offering of 12 loaves (that are Matzah), which are arranged in two Sedarim (stacks), six loaves to each Seder, on the Golden Table of the Mishkan or Beis ha'Mikdash. Fresh loaves were arranged on the Table every Shabbos and are left there until the following Shabbos. The Kohanim eat the loaves that are removed (Vayikra 24:5-9), half being given to the Kohen Gadol ("Aharon") and have to the other Kohanim ("l'Vanav") (see previous entry).
5) [line 6] "[V']LO YARBEH LO NASHIM [V'LO YASUR LEVAVO]" - "[And] he shall not have many wives [so that his heart does not turn away from serving HaSh-m]..." (Devarim 17:17)
6) [line 8] U'VILVAD SHE'LO YEHU MESIROS ES LIBO - as long as they (the king's wives) do not turn his heart away [from serving HaSh-m]
7a) [line 11] D'AFILU K'AVIGAYIL - [he may not take many wives] even if they are [extremely righteous] like Avigayil
b) [line 11] AVIGAYIL - Avigayil was the wife of Naval. The Navi relates (Shmuel I ch. 25) that Naval and his shepherds had been protected by David and his soldiers. Some time later, when David had to flee from the pursuit of King Shaul, he sent messengers to Naval to ask for provisions. Although he fed the ten messengers, he refused to provide for David and his army. Besides repaying good with bad, this was an act of treason, since the prophet Shmuel had already anointed David as king. David was about to have Naval and his entire household executed, but Naval's wife Avigayil proved that only Naval was guilty. She personally brought David the provisions that he needed. When Avigayil told Naval of her actions, he fell faint. Ten days later, he died after being struck by a plague of HaSh-m. David ha'Melech married Avigayil, who was an exceptionally righteous woman.
8) [line 11] L'MEIMRA D'REBBI YEHUDAH DARISH TA'AMA DI'KERA? - Does this mean that Rebbi Yehudah learns "Ta'ama di'Kera?" (That is, does he suggest logical reasons for the Torah's commandments (and, consequently, rule that the commandments apply only when the logical reasons apply)?)
9) [line 15] EIN MEMASHKENIN OSAH - one does not take a surety from her
10) [line 15] "[V']LO SACHAVOL BEGED ALMANAH." - "[And] do not take as security for a loan the garment of a widow." (Devarim 24:17) - This verse refers to a surety that is collected after the loan is due, in order to force the debtor to pay (RASHI to Devarim ibid.).
11) [line 28] "VA'YIVALDU L'DAVID BANIM B'CHEVRON; VA'YEHI VECHORO AMNON LA'ACHINO'AM HA'YIZRE'ELIS. U'MISHNEHU CHIL'AV L'AVIGAYIL, ESHES NAVAL HA'KARMELI, VEHA'SHELISHI AVSHALOM BEN MA'ACHAH BAS TALMAI, MELECH GESHUR. VEHA'REVI'I ADONIYAH VEN CHAGIS VEHA'CHAMISHI SHEFATYAH VEN AVITAL. VEHA'SHISHI YISRE'AM L'EGLAH ESHES DAVID; ELEH YULEDU L'DAVID B'CHEVRON." - "And sons were born to David in Hevron; and his firstborn was Amnon, of Achino'am ha'Yizre'elis. And his second, Kil'av, of Avigayil, the wife of Naval ha'Karmeli, and the third, Avshalom, the son of Ma'achah the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. And the fourth, Adoniyah, the son of Chagis and the fifth, Shefatyah, the son of Avital. And the sixth, Yisre'am, to Eglah, David's wife; these were born to David in Hevron." (Shmuel II 3:2-5)
12) [line 32] TAMNEI SREI - eighteen
13) [line 32] EIMA "KAHENAH" TARTEI SREI, V'"CHAHENAH" ESRIN V'ARBA - it is possible to say that the first word "Kahenah," - "like these (your present wives)" [adds six more wives for a subtotal of] twelve, and [then the next word] "Kahenah" [adds an additional twelve (the subtotal after adding the first "Kahenah"), for a grand total of] twenty-four
14) [line 33] L'MAN D'DARISH "VAV," ARBA'IM U'SHEMONAH HAVU - according to the one (Rebbi Akiva -- Daf 51b) who interprets a letter Vav [as a device that adds more members to a Halachic set, the number of wives that a king is permitted to have] is forty-eight (since the first "Kahenah" adds six more wives for a subtotal of twelve, the Vav adds an additional twelve, and the second "Kahenah" adds an additional twenty-four, for a grand total of forty-eight)
15) [line 35] CHAVIVAH ALAV K'EGLAH - she is as beloved to him as a young female calf [is beloved to a farmer, since it produces so many milk products for the family -- Ben Yehoyada, 1st explanation; see alternate explanations there]
16) [line 36] "... LULEI CHARASHTEM B'EGLASI, LO METZASEM CHIDASI." - "... had you not 'plowed with my calf' (i.e. interrogated my wife), you never would have figured out my riddle." (Shoftim 14:18)
17) [line 37] B'CHEVRON / B'YERUSHALAYIM - David ruled as king over the tribe of Yehudah in Chevron for seven years and six months (Shmuel II 2:11) and as king over the united Land of Yisrael for thirty-two years and six months (Metzudas David to Melachim I 2:11)
18) [line 38] "... U'MICHAL BAS SHAUL NISHKEFAH B'AD HA'CHALON VA'TERE ES HA'MELECH DAVID MEFAZEZ U'MECHARKER LIFNEI HASH-M, VA'TIVEZ [LO B'LIBAH.]" - "... and Michal, the daughter of Shaul, looked through a window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before HaSh-m; and she despised [him in her heart.]" (Shmuel II 6:16)
19) [line 39] SHAKLESAH MICHAL L'MITRAPSAH - Michal got her just punishment (which is fortunate, since it took away her sin and the impending punishment by making sure that she receive her due in this world, and not in the World to Come)
20a) [line 41] KESUVAH - the Jewish marriage contract
(a) When a man marries a woman who was a Besulah (virgin) at the time of her Kidushin, he must write her a Kesuvah document in which he promises that she will receive 200 Zuz (the value of 960 grams of silver) from him or his estate if he divorces her or dies. The Tana'im argue whether this obligation is mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos 10a). (See Insights to Kesuvos 10:1.)
(b) When a man marries a widow or a divorcee who had once been married in the past (i.e. she was a Nesu'ah and was not just an Arusah) he must write her a Kesuvah document in which he promises that she will receive 100 Zuz from him or his estate if he divorces her or dies. Even if the woman is still a virgin, the woman is classified as a "Be'ulah" with regard to the amount of her Kesuvah because she was once married and she is not given the Kesuvah of a Besulah (Kesuvos 11a). The obligation to write a Kesuvah for a widow or divorcee is only mid'Rabanan (Kesuvos 10b -- The Gemara there explains that the term for "widow," "Almanah," alludes to her Kesuvah of a "Manah," or 100 Zuz).
b) [line 41] KIDUSHIN - betrothal, marriage
See Background to Kidushin 2:1.
21) [line 42] YEFAS TO'AR
(a) The Torah (Devarim 21:10-14) permits a Jewish soldier to take home a foreign female prisoner of war, convert her, and marry her. The Torah permits this "only in recognition of the power of a man's evil inclination," in order to prevent the strong likelihood that some Jews might be overcome by their Yetzer ha'Ra and engage in forbidden relations with her.
(b) However, the Torah requires first that she undergo a thirty-day period of mourning for her parents (as well as for their idolatrous practices; Yevamos 48b, RAMBAM Hilchos Melachim 8:5). This involves shaving her head, letting her fingernails grow (or be cut; see Yevamos 48b), and replacing the fine garments that she was wearing when she was captured with ordinary clothes. This is done in order to make her less attractive (RASHI to Devarim ibid., IBN EZRA to Devarim ibid.) and to signify purification and a new status (CHIZKUNI to Devarim ibid.).
(c) There is a Machlokes Rishonim regarding whether it is permitted for the Jewish soldier to have relations with the Yefas To'ar a single time, during the war, before bringing her home (RAMBAM, RABEINU TAM), or whether such an act during war is forbidden and that the soldier must wait until after her period of mourning is completed (RASHI, according to TOSFOS; see RITVA).
22) [line 42] MEGADLEI BELORIYOS - they would grow Beloris (the long hair grown at the back of the head by idol-worshipping youths of the upper classes in honor of their gods, and that was offered to their gods once a year) in order to look formidable, so that others would be afraid of them (RASHI to Sanhedrin 49a)
23) [line 43] KERONOS SHEL ZAHAV - chariots of gold
24) [line 43] MEHALCHIN B'ROSHEI GAYASOS - they would walk at the head of the battle troops (but they were not actual members of the army, since they were not of pure lineage -- RASHI to Kidushin 76b)
25) [line 43] BA'ALEI EGROFIN - strong men (Egrofin are fists)
26) [line 44] TAMAR - Tamar was the daughter of Ma'achah bas Talmai, the king of Geshur (see above, entry #11). Her mother was a Yefas To'ar (see above, entry #21) taken by David ha'Melech. Tamar was conceived at the first moment that David ha'Melech took Ma'achah as a Yefas To'ar, which means that Tamar was conceived while her mother was still a Nochris. Tamar, then, had the status of a convert and was not considered Halachically related to any of her Jewish kin. Consequently, her brother Amnon, who was born to David ha'Melech from a different wife (see above, entry #11), was not Halachically her brother, even though they had the same biological father; David was not considered her father since she was conceived while her mother was a Nochris. (Avshalom, on the other hand, was her full brother, born to David and Ma'achah after Ma'achah had converted. He was also a "Ben Yefas To'ar," the son of a Yefas To'ar.)
27) [line 44] BAS NISU'IN - fit for marriage [to Amnon; see previous entry]
28) [line 45] "UL'AMNON RE'A U'SHEMO YONADAV BEN SHIM'AH ACHI DAVID, V'YONADAV ISH CHACHAM ME'OD." - "And Amnon had a friend and his name was Yonadav the son of Shim'ah, the brother of David, and Yonadav was a very smart man." (Shmuel II 13:3)
29) [line 46] "VA'YOMER [LO,] 'MADU'A ATAH KACHAH DAL BEN HA'MELECH...' VA'YOMER LO YEHONADAV 'SHECHAV AL MISHKAVCHA V'HISCHAL... "V'ASESAH L'EINAI ES HA'BIRYAH...".'" - "And he (Yonadav) said to him (Amnon), 'Why are you becoming so thin, son of the king...' [And Amnon said to him, 'I love Tamar, the sister of Avshalom my brother.'] And Yonadav said to him, 'Lie down on your bed and make yourself look sick, [and when your father comes to see you, you will say to him, "Let Tamar my sister come now, and let her feed me bread,] and she will prepare the food before my eyes...".'" (Shmuel II 13:4-5) (Rashi here translates "Biryah" as "fried food," or "freit" in O.F.)
30) [line 47] "VA'TIKACH [ES] HA'MASHRES VA'TITZOK LE'FANAV." - "And she took the pan and poured it out in front of him." (Shmuel II 13:9)
31) [line 48] ASESAH LO MINEI TIGUN - she prepared for him various fried foods
32) [line 48] NIMA - a hair
33) [line 49] KERUS SHAFCHAH - impotent. A Kerus Shafchah is a man who cannot have children because his male organ is mutilated. He is not permitted to marry into Benei Yisrael, as is stated in Devarim 23:2. He may, however, marry a convert or a freed slave (Yevamos 76a).
34) [line 50] "VA'YETZE LACH SHEM BA'GOYIM B'YAFYECH" - "And a name for you shall go out among the nations because of your beauty." (Yechezkel 16:14)
35a) [line 50] BEIS HA'SHECHI - the armpit
b) [line 50] BEIS HA'ERVAH - the pubic area
36) [line 51] "VA'TIKACH TAMAR EFER AL ROSHAH, U'CHESONES HA'PASIM ASHER ALEHA KARA'AH." - "And Tamar put ashes upon her head, and she ripped the striped tunic that was upon her." (Shmuel II 13:19)
37) [line 52] GEDER GADOL GADRAH TAMAR - Tamar established a great protective fence [for the Torah]
38a) [line 1] AL HA'YICHUD - [the Rabanan made a decree] against Yichud [with a married woman]
b) [line 1] V'AL HA'PENUYAH - and against [Yichud with] an unmarried woman (YICHUD)
(a) Yichud is the prohibition for a female to be in a secluded place with a man who is a stranger to her.
(b) The Torah hints at the prohibition of Yichud in the verse dealing with the Mesis, the enticer (Devarim 13:7; see Background to Kidushin 80:18), as mentioned in our Gemara. The forbidden Arayos relationships (Vayikra 18:6-30; 20:10-21) are included in this Isur. After the incident of Amnon and Tamar (Shmuel II 13:1-21), David ha'Melech extended the Isur to unmarried women. The students of Hillel and Shamai extended the Isur to Nochriyos (Avodah Zarah 36b).
(c) The Isur of Yichud prohibits a man, whether he is married or single, to be alone in a secluded place with a woman who is not his wife. This applies whether she is married or single, whether she is his relative (other than those listed below, (e)) or not, whether she is Jewish or a Nochris, whether she is young or old, whether she is in a state of Nidus or is ritually pure. The prohibition of Yichud applies to the woman as well, whether she is married or single, etc. Yichud per se is prohibited regardless of whether the man and woman are confident that they will not transgress any sins or not, and whether or not any sins actually did take place.
(d) For a man, the Isur of Yichud starts from the age of 13 with a girl from the age of three. For a woman, the Isur of Yichud starts from the age of 12 with a boy from the age of nine. The time of seclusion must be at least for the time that it takes to roast an egg and swallow it. (According to the most stringent opinion, this takes 35 seconds.)
(e) It is permitted for a father to be in a secluded place with his daughter (or granddaughter, great-granddaughter, etc.) and for a mother to be in a secluded place with her son (or grandson, great-grandson, etc.). In all of these cases, they are even permitted to live together on a continuing basis. A brother and sister may also be in a secluded place together; however, they may not live together on a continuing basis. When Yichud is permitted, it makes no difference if one of the above-mentioned relatives is married.
(f) The various situations that prevent the Isur of Yichud from applying are discussed in the Gemara (Kidushin 80b), in the RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah 22:1-21) and the SHULCHAN ARUCH (EH 22:1-20).
39) [line 3] "KI YESISCHA..." - "If your brother, the son of your mother, [or your son, or your daughter, or your wife, or your friend, who is as dear to you as your own soul,] entices you secretly, [saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known; not you, nor your fathers.]" (Devarim 13:7)
40) [line 7] "VA'ADONIYAH VEN CHAGIS MISNASEI LEIMOR, 'ANI EMLOCH!' [VA'YA'AS LO RECHEV U'FARASHIM VA'CHAMISHIM ISH RATZIM L'FANAV.]" - "And Adoniyah the son of Chagis glorified himself, saying, 'I shall reign!' [And he made for himself chariots, riders, and fifty men running before him.]" (Melachim I 1:5)
41a) [line 9] BIKESH L'HOLMO - he tried to make it (the crown) fit
b) [line 10] V'LO HOLAMTO - but it did not fit him. The crown was made with supernatural powers, and contained a golden rod attached to the diameter of its opening. A person who was a true monarch was able to wear it (i.e. David). A commoner was prevented from wearing it by the golden rod.
42) [line 11] MAI REVUSA? - what is the great thing [about fifty men running before the son of the king]?
43a) [line 12] NETULEI TECHOL - those who have had their spleens removed [by means of a certain chemical -- RASHI]
b) [line 12] CHAKUKEI KAPOS RAGLAYIM - and those with carved palms of the feet (i.e. there is no flesh on their feet, and they are able to run over thorns and sharp objects without being harmed -- RASHI)
44) [line 14] KEDEI MERKAVTO - in accordance with the needs of his chariot
45) [line 15] ASPANYA / AFSANYA - annual wages paid to the king's infantry
46) [line 15] KOSEV LO SEFER TORAH LISHMO - he writes a Sefer Torah for himself (the Tosefta (ch. 4) explains that this means that only the king may read from his Sefer Torah, and no commoner may read from it, as the verse says, "v'Kara Bo" - "[Only] he shall read from it" (Devarim 17:19))
47) [line 17] MEISEV - when he reclines
48a) [line 19] KEDEI MERKAVTO U'FARASHAV - [the amount of horses needed] for his chariot and riders
b) [line 20] KEDEI RICHBO U'FARASHAV - [the amount of horses needed] for his chariot and riders
49) [line 20] SUSIM HA'BATLANIN - idle horses (kept for leisure)
50) [line 21] "[RAK LO YARBEH LO SUSIM V'LO YASHIV ES HA'AM MITZRAIMAH] L'MA'AN HARBOS SUS..." - "[However, he must not accumulate for himself many horses and not cause the people to return to Egypt] in order to accumulate horses..." (Devarim 17:16)
51) [line 24] L'APUSHEI - [the verse is teaching that it is permitted for the king] to have extra horses for his chariots and riders [to ride in abundance]; alt. Girsa: L'APUCHEI - to allow his horse to rest, by riding with two horses and alternating from one to the other
52) [line 28] L'HARVACHAH - to have [money] in abundance
53) [line 29] LI'ME'UTEI HEDYOTOS - to exclude commoners [from the prohibition of having too many wives]
54a) [line 30] "VA'YEHI LI'SHLOMO ARBA'IM ELEF URVOS SUSIM (L'MERKAVTO) [L'MERKAVO]" - "And Shlomo had forty thousand stables of horses for his chariots" (Melachim I 5:6)
b) [line 30] "VA'YEHI LI'SHLOMO ARBA'AS ALAFIM URYOS SUSIM" - "And Shlomo had four thousand stables of horses" (Divrei ha'Yamim II 9:25)
55) [line 31] ITZTABLA'OS - stables
56) [line 35] NA'ATZ KANEH BA'YAM - he stuck a reed into the sea
57) [line 35] HE'ELAH SEIRATON - it brought up a sand bank; silt caught on to it
58) [line 36] KERACH GADOL SHEB'ROMI (SHEL ROMI) - the great metropolis of Rome. When Shlomo married the daughter of Pharaoh after the completion of the building of the Beis ha'Mikdash, it was decreed by HaSh-m that the Beis ha'Mikdash would be destroyed. Furthermore, it was decreed that world power and domination would eventually be given to Rome, who would destroy the second Beis ha'Mikdash (which would not be rebuilt "Ad Ki Yavo Shiloh," until Mashi'ach comes).
59) [line 39] "VA'TETZEI MERKAVAH MI'MITZRAYIM B'SHESH [ME'OS KESEF, V'SUS BA'CHAMISHIM U'ME'AH]" - "A chariot could be brought out from Egypt for six hundred coins of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty" (Melachim I 10:29)
60) [line 39] U'VILVAD SHE'LO YISNA'EH B'SHEL AVOSAV - as long as [the king writes his own Sefer Torah and] he does not glorify himself with his father's [Sefer Torah]
61) [line 42] LO TZERICHA, LI'SHTEI TOROS - no, the verse is necessary to teach that a king must write two Sifrei Torah (the KESEF MISHNEH (Hilchos Melachim 3:1) explains that even if he inherited Sifrei Torah from his father, the king must write two on his own, while a commoner is obligated to write only one Sefer Torah. See there, however, for an alternative explanation according to the Rambam.)
62) [line 42] "V'CHASAV LO ES MISHNEH [HA'TORAH HA'ZOS]..." - "He shall write for himself a copy of this Torah..." (Devarim 17:18)63) [line 43] BEIS GENAZAV - his treasure room
64) [line 43] OSEH OSO K'MIN KAMEI'A V'TOLEH BI'ZERO'O - he makes it like an amulet and he ties it to his arm (the KESEF MISHNEH explains this literally; the LECHEM MISHNEH explains it metaphorically, since the Rambam does not mention it)
65a) [line 44] BEIS HA'MERCHATZ - a bathhouse
b) [line 45] BEIS HA'KISEI - a bathroom
66a) [line 46] KESAV IVRI - Hebrew script ("Ivri" refers to the script of "Ever ha'Nahar," the script used by the Avos)
b) [line 46] LESHON HA'KODESH - Hebrew
67) [line 46] CHAZRAH V'NITNAH LAHEM B'YEMEI EZRA - [the Torah] was given to them [to be written in a new language and script] in the days of Ezra
68a) [line 46] KESAV ASHURIS - Assyrian script (this does not refer to the Assyrian script used by the Assyrian people, which is completely different from the Hebrew Kesav Ashuris. Rather, it means that this Kesav, which was revealed to Ezra in Bavel, was later studied and adopted by the Jews living in Ashur, Assyria. After Belshatzar was killed on the night of the "Handwriting on the Wall," the kingdom was taken over by Persian-controlled Mede, the capital of which was Eilam which was adjacent to Ashur, and thus the entire kingdom was known as Ashur. -ETZ YOSEF)
b) [line 47] LESHON ARAMI - Aramaic
69) [line 48] KUTA'EI (KUSIM)
(a) The King of Ashur brought the people of Kusa to Eretz Yisrael and made them settle in the Shomron. They converted to Judaism after they found themselves under attack from lions. The Chachamim disagree as to whether their conversion was honest and valid (Geirei Emes) or not (Geirei Arayos).
(b) After the times of the Mishnah, the Kusim were found worshipping an image of a dove and the Chachamim gave them the status of Nochrim. (According to most Rishonim, this means that they decided to treat them like Nochrim l'Chumra, even if they were Geirei Emes. According to the RAMBAM (Peirush ha'Mishnayos), however, this means that they decided that their conversion was not sincere and deemed them Nochrim (Geirei Arayos) for all Halachic matters.)
70) [line 48] KESAV LIVONA'AH - Livona'ah script (according to RASHI, this refers to large, symmetrical letters of Hebrew; according to the YAD RAMAH, this refers to an entirely different script)
Index to Background for Maseches Sanhedrin