ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
Prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
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) click for question
(a) The Tana Kama permits a king to have - eighteen wives.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah permits more, provided they do not turn him away from serving Hash-m. Rebbi Shimon forbids him to marry even one wife who will turn his heart away, and the Torah writes "Lo Yarbeh Lo Nashim" - to forbid eighteen wives even the likes of Avigayil (who was a Tzadekes).
(c) According to Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa, when the Torah writes "Lo Sachbol Beged Almanah", it is referring to any Almanah. Rebbi Shimon - confines it to one who is poor.
(d) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether we Darshen 'Ta'ama di'K'ra' (automatically look for the Torah's reasons [Rebbi Shimon]), or not (Rebbi Yehudah).
(e) Rebbi Shimon therefore restricts the prohibition to a poor Almanah - because, he says, the Torah's reason is to avoid the scenario where she comes each evening or morning to collect her security from the creditor, and people begin to talk, giving her a bad name.
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(a) The Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Shimon regarding the security of an Almanah clashes with their Machlokes in our Mishnah - where it is Rebbi Yehudah who Darshens the reason of the Torah, and Rebbi Shimon who doesn't.
(b) And it is precisely because Rebbi ...
1. ... Yehudah does not generally Darshen the Torah's reasons for Mitzvos that he does Darshen it here - because otherwise, why does the Torah need to write "ve'Lo Yasur Lavavo"?
2. ... Shimon generally Darshens the Torah's reasons for the Mitzvos that he does not do so here - because seeing as we would anyway Darshen the reason of the prohibition, the Torah must write "ve'Lo Yasur" to teach us that even one wife is forbidden, should she turn his heart away.
(c) David had - six wives in Chevron.
(d) Amnon, Kil'av, Avshalom, Adoniyah, Shefatyah and Yisre'am - were all sons of David, one from each of the above six wives.
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(a) We learn from the Navi's words to David "Im Me'at, ve'Osifah Lecha Kaheinah ve'Chaheinah" - that a king is permitted to have eighteen wives (the six that he already had, plus another six and again another six).
(b) According to others, a king is permitted twenty-four wives. A third opinion permits - forty-eight.
(c) The source for saying ...
1. ... twenty-four - is the second "Kaheinah", which this Tana interprets to mean another twelve, like the total after the first "Kaheinah".
2. ... forty-eight - is the extra 'Vav' in the second "ve'Chaheinah", which includes another twenty-four.
(d) Our Mishnah declines to learn like the first of the two latter Tana'im - because he compares the second "ve'Chaheinah" to the first one (which denotes six).
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(a) The Tana lists the six wives of David (in Chevron) Achino'am ha'Yizre'elis, Avigayil Wishes Naval ha'Karmeli, Ma'achah, Chagis, Avital and Eglah. He omits Michal - because she is alias Eglah.
(b) The Pasuk refers to her as 'Eglah' - because he was as fond of her as a calf (presumably this means as a calf to its mother).
(c) We learn from the word "be'Eglasi" (in the Pasuk in Shoftim [in connection with Shimshon] "Lulei Charashtem be'Eglasi, Lo Metzasem Chidasi") - that the Pasuk sometimes refers to a wife as 'Eglah'.
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(a) Rav Chisda initially reconciles what we just said with the Pasuk "u'le'Michal bas Shaul Lo Hayah lah V'lad ad Yom Mosah", by extrapolating - that until the day of her death she did not have children, but on the day of her death she did.
(b) We refute this explanation however, on the basis of the fact that the first Pasuk was said in Chevron - yet she already had a son.
(c) The significance of the fact that the second Pasuk was said in Yerushalayim - to which David had just transported the Aron, and in front of which he had been prancing wildly, for which Michal had rebuked him. Rav Yehudah (and some say Rav Yosef) therefore explained - that it was due to that (unjustified) rebuke that she was punished with childlessness.
(d) So we answer the initial Kashya the other way round - Michal had children up to the time of that incident, but not from then on.
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(a) The Pasuk records that David 'married' more women and concubines. To define the difference between them, Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains - that a wife is with Kidushin and a Kesuvah and a concubine, without either.
(b) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav also refers to David Hamelech's four hundred children - who were all sons of mothers who were B'nos Y'fos To'ar (captured in war) see Aruch la'Ner.
(c) He describes them as - having had long hair (at the back), and as riding on golden wagons at the head of troops.
(d) And he also refers to them as 'Ba'alei Agrupin shel Beis David', meaning - that they were the tough guys of David ha'Melech's household.
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(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav proves that David's daughter Tamar, was also the daughter of a Y'fas To'ar - because otherwise, how could she have assured Amnon with such certainty, that David would permit him to marry her (since they would have been half-brother and sister)?
(b) Amnon had a friend called Yonadav ben Shim'ah, whom the Pasuk describes as a Chacham, to which Rav Ashi adds - a Chacham to do evil.
(c) The advice that Yonadav gave Amnon - was to pretend to be sick and to ask for Tamar to serve him. Then when they were alone, he would be able to rape her.
(d) Tamar prepared for her 'sick' brother - a sort of pancake.
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(a) After the rape, Amnon hated Tamar even more intensely than he had previously been infatuated by her - because, using her own pubic hair, she made him a 'K'rus-Shafchah' (crushed his organ), who cannot father children.
(b) We reconcile this with Rava, who says that the B'nos Yisrael did nor have under-arm hair or pubic hair (see Agados Maharsha) - by differentiating between a regular bas Yisrael and a bas Y'fas To'ar (which, as we already ascertained, Tamar was).
(c) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah interprets Tamar's tears and screams for the good - because it caused other women to take note (if such a thing could happen to a princess, and a modest one to boot, how much more so, might it happen to less important women, and especially those who were not as modest as she was), and to be more careful.
(d) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak, extrapolates from the Pasuk in Re'ei "Ki Yesischa Achicha ben Imecha" (and not Ben Avicha!) - that a son is permitted to be secluded with his mother (though other close relations are not).
(e) We reconcile this with Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, who said that they decreed Yichud (of a married woman) and of a Penuyah (who is unmarried) only after the incident with Amnon and Tamar - by amending the latter to read 'al Yichud di'Penuyah' (who is not a close relation), which had been permitted until them.
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(a) The crown that was worn by the kings of Beis David was unusual - inasmuch as a golden scepter ran across the area that fitted on to the head.
(b) In view of that, the connotations of the Pasuk in Melachim "va'Adoniyah ben Chagis Misnasei Leimor Ani Emloch!" are - that the crown (which would only fit the man who was destined to become king) would fit him, but he was mistaken - because he did not have the groove in his head that all Malchei Beis-David were born with for the crown to fit on their head.
(c) The Pasuk in Melachim describes how Adoniyah arranged for a special chariot and riders and fifty men to run in front of his chariot. What was unusual about those fifty runners was - the fact that their spleens (which normally weigh a person down), as well as the soles of their feet, had been removed, enabling them to run without becoming easily tired and without needing to avoid thorns and thistles.
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(a) Our Mishnah permits a king to own ...
(b) ... as many horses as is needed foe royal stables, and as much silver and gold as he needs to provide for his royal guests.
(c) When he ...
1. ... goes out to war or ...
2. ... sits in judgment - he takes the special Seifer-Torah that he himself wrote with him.
3. ... sits in his palace - he places the Seifer-Torah opposite him.
(d) We learn this from the Pasuk - "ve'Haysah Imo, ve'Kara bo Kol Yemei Chayav".
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(a) We learn from ...
1. ... "lo" in the Pasuk "Lo Yarbeh lo Susim" - that it is only for his own personal use that a king is forbidden to have many horses, but what is needed for the royal stables is permitted.
2. ... "Susim" there - that he may not keep idle horses, for which he has no need.
3. ... the continuation of the Pasuk "Lema'an Harbos Sus" - that even one such horse is forbidden.
(b) Having written "Lema'an Harbos Sus", the Torah nevertheless needs to write "Susim", to teach us - that he transgresses an individual La'av for every idle horse in his stable.
(c) When we say that, if not for the word "lo", we would have forbidden the king to own even the minimum amount of horses that a royal stable requires, we mean - liberally (not the bare minimum).
(d) And by the same token, when we say that had the Torah not inserted "lo" in the Pasuk "ve'Chesef ve'Zahav Lo Yirbeh lo", he would not even have been permitted to own the minimum amount of silver and gold that he needs to entertain his royal guests, we mean - liberally (not the bare minimum).
(e) Now that "lo" comes for a D'rashah, we learn from the word "lo" (in the Pasuk "ve'Lo Yarbeh lo Nashim") - that only a king is forbidden o have so many wives, but others are permitted to marry as many wives as they wish (provided they are able to sustain them).
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(a) Rav Yehudah explains that the Pasuk in Melachim "Vayehi li'Shlomoh Arba'im Elef (forty thousand) Arvos Susim le'Merkavto", and the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim "Vayehi li'Shlomoh Arba'as Elef (four thousand) Aryos Susim" complement each other, to mean - either forty thousand rooms, each containing four thousand stables, or vice-versa.
(b) And to resolve the discrepancy between the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim, which describes silver as valueless in the days of Shlomoh, and the Pasuk in Melachim, which compares it to stones, Rav Yitzchak establishes the former - prior to his marriage to the daughter of Paroh, and the latter - after the marriage.
(c) According to Rebbi Yitzchak, the angel Gavriel reacted to Shlomoh's marriage to the daughter of Par'oh - by sticking a cane in the ocean-bed, which later grew into the city of Rome.
(d) The Torah declines to give reasons for many of the Mitzvos - because we see what happened when it gave the reasons for the two Mitzvos "Lo Yarbeh lo Nashim" and Lo Yarbeh lo Susim", both of which Shlomoh Hamelech abused (by claiming that the reasons did not apply to him).
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(a) A king cannot fulfill his obligation with the Seifer-Torah that he inherited from his father.
(b) Rabah learns from the Pasuk in Vayeilech "ve'Atah Kisvu Lachem es ha'Shirah ha'Zos"- that each person must write his own Seifer-Torah, and cannot fulfill his obligation with the Seifer that he inherits from his father.
(c) To reconcile Rabah with the Beraisa, which implies that an ordinary person can fulfill his obligation with an inherited Seifer-Torah, we cite the Pasuk "ve'Kasav lo es Mishneh ha'Torah ha'Zos" - which teaches us that the king is obligated to write two Sifrei-Torah. Consequently, Rabah is referring to the regular Seifer-Torah that everybody has to write, whereas the Beraisa is referring to the king's second Seifer-Torah.
(d) The one Seifer goes with the king wherever he goes, as we already explained; the other, he places in his treasury.
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(a) The king transports the Seifer that accompanies him wherever he goes - by hanging it on his arm (see Rashash).
(b) It does not however, accompany him - when he goes to the bathhouse or the bathroom.
(c) And we learn this from the Pasuk "ve'Kara bo ... " - which indicates that he only takes it to places in which he is permitted to read it.
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(a) According to Mar Zutra (and some say Mar Ukva), the Torah was given to us at Har Sinai in the Ivri script - (the script of the people who live on the other side of the River P'ras [where Avraham Avinu came from]) and in the Lashon ha'Kodesh language.
(b) When Ezra returned from Bavel, he changed the script to Ashuris (the script that we use) and the language to Aramaic.
(c) Yisrael left the Hedyotos - (the Kutim) the Ivri script and the Aramaic language.
(d) For themselves, they chose ...
1. ... the Ashuris script, and ...
2. ... the language of Lashon ha'Kodesh.
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(a) Rav Chisda describes - the Ivri script as 'K'sav Libuna'ah', which means a large writing, such as is used in Kame'os and Mezuzos.
(b) Even though, as Rebbi Yossi says in a Beraisa, Ezra was worthy of receiving the Torah, he didn't - because Moshe happened to precede him.
(c) Based on the Pasuk "u'Moshe Alah el ha'Elokim", Rebbi Yossi explains the Pasuk "Hu Ezra Alah mi'Bavel" - in connection with being elevated Torah-wise.
(d) The Pasuk also compares Ezra to Moshe with regard to - preparing his heart to expound the Torah, to observe it and to teach Yisrael Chok and Mishpat.
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(a) Ezra did not give us the Torah. Based on the Pasuk "u'K'sav ha'Nishtavan" - he nevertheless changed the script (as we explained).
(b) The first signs of this change took place when the episode of the writing on the wall occurred in the time of Daniel - when nobody was able to decipher the writing on the wall - because it was written in Ashuris, a script with which they were hitherto not familiar (even the Jews of that time).
(c) According to the current explanation, "ve'Kasav es Mishnah ha'Torah ha'Zos" means - 'And he shall write this Torah, that is worthy of being changed.
(d) The new script was called 'K'sav Ashuris' - because it came with them from Ashur (Asyria).
Index to Review Questions and Answers for Maseches Sanhedrin