ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
SHABBOS 88 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.
(a) The author of the Seder Olam which writes that they left Egypt on Friday must be the Rabbanan of Rebbi Yossi (despite the fact that the author of the Seder Olam was Rebbi Yossi) - because if that is so, then Rosh Chodesh Iyar will have taken place on Sunday, and Rosh Chodesh Sivan, on Monday (like the Rabbanan).
(b) Rebbi Yossi maintains that on Thursday, the fifth of Sivan, when Moshe no longer ascended Har Sinai - he built a Mizbei'ach and offered a sacrifice on it.
(c) The same Beraisa states that Moshe did not ascend Har Sinai on Friday the sixth, because he had no time (not because he was busy with Matan Torah, but) - because he was busy with the preparations for Shabbos.
(a) That Galilean Darshened above Rav Chisda 'B'rich Rachmana, de'Yahav Uryan Telisa'i, le'Am Telisa'i, Al Yedei Telisa'i, be'Yom Telisa'i be'Yarcha Telisa'i', by which he meant - 'Blessed Be Hash-m, who gave the triple teaching (Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim), to a triple nation (Kohanim, Levi'im and Yisraelim), to the third-born (Moshe, who was born after Miriam and Aharon), on the third day (of separation), in the third month'.
(b) This statement follows the opinion of the Rabbanan, who hold that the Torah was given on the third day of Hafrashah (not like Rebbi Yossi, according to whom it was given on the fourth).
(a) Rav Avdimi bar Chama bar Chisda learns from "va'Yisyatzvu be'Sachtis ha'Har" - that Hash-m lifted the mountain above their heads, and gave them the ultimatum of accepting the Torah or of having the mountain dropped on them.
(b) Rav Avdimi bar Chama bar Chisda refers to 'Moda'a Rabah le'Oraysa', meaning - that, if, at any time, they had been taken to task for breaking the Torah, they could have argued that they were forced to accept it, and should therefore be considered 'O'nes'.
(c) From the Pasuk in Esther "Kiymu ve'Kiblu ha'Yehudim", Rava learns - that the Jews in Persia accepted willingly what they had until then, been forced to accept. This is because, according to the Medrash Tanchuma, it was on account of Torah she'be'Al Peh, that they had to be forced. But when they realized that it was thanks to Mordechai and Esther that they had been saved, they willingly accepted the yoke of the Chachamim - in the form of Torah 'she'be'Al Peh (see also Tosfos DH 'Moda'a Rabah').
(d) Based on the Pasuk "Vayehi Erev, Vayehi Voker, Yom ha'Shishi", from which we learn that, at the creation, Hash-m stipulated that the world's continuity would depend upon Yisrael's accepting the Torah on the sixth day (Yom ha'Shishi) - Resh Lakish explains that the earth shook in trepidation, when Hash-m offered Yisrael the Torah, since were they to decline, it would come to an abrupt end. But when Yisrael proclaimed 'Na'aseh ve'Nishma', it was tranquil.
(a) According to Rav Sima'i, when Yisrael ...
1. ... proclaimed 'Na'aseh' before 'Nishma', 600,000 angels descended; each one placed two crowns (taken from the Glory of the Shechinah) on the head of one Jew, one for 'Na'aseh' and one for 'Nishma'.
2. ... sinned by the Golden Calf, 1,200,000 destructive angels descended; each one removed one crown from the head of one Jew.
(b) 'At Sinai they received the crowns - Rebbi Chama b'Rebbi Chanina declared ruefully, and at Sinai they had them removed.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan learns from the juxtaposition of the Pasuk "u'Moshe Yikach es ha'Ohel" to the removal of the crowns - that Moshe was given all their crowns. (In fact, that is one way of explaning Moshe's shining face).
(d) And based on this Pasuk "u'Feduyei Hash-m Yeshuvun, u'Va'u le'Tzi'on be'Rinah, ve'Simchas Olam Al Rosham" - Resh Lakish comments that in the times of Moshi'ach, Yisrael will get the crowns back.
(a) Rebbi Elazar cites a Heavenly voice that was heard after Yisrael proclaimed 'Na'aseh' before 'Nishma' - announced in amazement who revealed the secret to K'lal Yisrael, to use an expression which the administering Angels use when they serve Hashem' ...
(b) ... as we learn from the Pasuk "Borchu Hash-m Mal'achav ... Osei Devaro Lashmi'a be'Kol Devaro" (from which we see that the angels first accept to do what they are ordered, and only then do then they listen).
(a) Rebbi Chama b'Rebbi Chanina explains the the comparison between Yisrael and an apple-tree (according to Tosfos DH 'Piryo', it refers to an Esrog-tree) - inasmuch as just like the fruit of an apple-tree grows before its leaves (unlike other fruit-trees, whose leaves grow first), so too, did Yisrael declare 'Na'aseh' before 'Nishma' (see Agados Maharsha).
(b) When that Tzedoki saw blood oozing from the finger on which Rava was subconsciously sitting, whilst he was learning, he declared - that Yisrael was a hasty nation, who accepted to observe the Torah before they knew what it contained ('Na'aseh' before 'Nishma', inferring that it was really too difficult for them that they bit of more than they could chew); and he added that they (referring to Rava personally) had not really changed, and that they were still struggling with a Torah that was beyond their ability to comprehend.
(c) Rava answered him with the Pasuk
1. ... "Tumas Yesharim Tanchem", which in effect means - that the simple faith of the righteous ones, who with blind faith, lovingly accepted Hash-m's word, in the firm knowledge that Hash-m would not give them a Torah that was beyond their scope to handle, guides them along the right path.
2. ... "ve'Selef Bogdim Yeshadem", by which he meant - that the crookedness of the traitors (people like that Tzedoki, who had given up their faith for their own convenience), will destroy them.
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan explains the Pasuk "Libavtini Achosi Chalah, Libavtini me'Achas me'Einayich" as a rebuke, where - Hash-m said to K'lal Yisrael that when they first said 'Na'aseh ve'Nishma', they brought Hash-m close, accepting Him as the One G-d, but then, when they worshipped the Golden Calf, they adopted a second god, and served two.
1. Ula comments (with reference to the Golden Calf) - on the Chutzpah of a Kalah who commits adultery on the day of her Chupah ...
2. ... which is how Rav Mari B'rah de'bas Shmuel interprets the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim "Ad she'ha'Melech bi'Mesibo, Nerdi Nasan Reicho" (whilst the King was still celebrating the wedding, my spice gave its aroma to others").
(c) Rav learns from the fact that the above Pasuk uses the milder word 'Nasan' rather than 'Hisri'ach' (which means turned bad permanently), that Hash-m still loves us and that He has not 'divorced' us.
(d) "ve'Ohavav ke'Tzeis ha'Shemesh bi'Gevuraso" - refers to people who accept being shamed by others without ever retaliating. They are like the sun at the time of the creation, who heard the moon's claim against it, but remained silent.
(a) Tana de'bei Rebbi Yishmael interprets the Pasuk "u'che'Patish Yefotzetz Sela" to mean - that every command that Hash-m spoke at Har Sinai, split up into seventy languages, like a hammer splits a rock into many pieces (see Tosfos DH 'Mah').
(b) Rebbi Chananel (perhaps it ought to be 'Rebbi Chanina') bar Papa explains the Pasuk in Mishlei's comparison of the words of Torah to 'Negidim' (rulers) to mean - that just like rulers have the power to condemn to death and to reprieve, so it is with Torah: it is a balm of life for those who learn with all their strength (or Lish'mah), and a death-sentence for those who study it half-heartedly (or she'Lo Lish'mah [see above 63a]) ...
(c) ... which is how Rava interprets the Pasuk "ve'Zos ha'Torah Asher Sam Moshe ... " - a balm of life for those who learn with all their strength, and a poison for those who learn it half-heartedly."
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learn from the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim ...
1. ... "Tz'ror ha'Mor Dodi Li, Bein Shadai Yalin" (the words of Yisrael) - that even when Hash-m sends us troubles, He nevertheless 'sleeps between their breasts' (Kevayachol), a reference to Hash-m's immediate command to build Him a Mishkan, to atone for the sin of the Golden Calf. The two breasts refers to the two poles, between which the Shechinah rested, and which protruded from the Paroches 'like a woman's breasts' (depicting the love that exists between Hash-m and Yisrael even after they have sinned).
2. ... "Eshkol ha'Kofer Dodi Li, be'Karmei Ein Gedi" - that Hash-m, who owns everything ('Eshkol' is the acronym of 'Mi she'ha'Kol Shelo') atoned for Yisrael's sin of the kid (young animal - a calf, or simply of the Avodah-Zarah), which I gathered (implying that there were many [a hint that Yisrael desired many gods, not just one, as we learn from their announcement (in Ki Sisa) "These are your gods, Yisrael!"
3. ... "Lechayav ka'Arugas ha'Bosem" - that every command that left Hash-m's mouth (Kevayachol), filled the world with spices.
4. ... "Sifsosav Shoshanim, Notfos Mor Over" - that a wind from Hash-m's treasury carried the spices into Gan Eden, to make room for the next command.
5. ... "Nafshi Yatz'ah be'Dabro" - that after each command, Yisrael's Soul departed.
(b) Mar Zutra b'rei de'Rav Nachman learns from the Mishnah in Keilim 'Kisei shel Ko'ves she'*Kormin* Alav es ha'Keilim' - that "be'*Karmei* Ein Gedi" means gods that they gathered (as we explained in a. 2).
(c) And from the Pasuk "Geshem Nedavos Tanif", he learns - that each time that this happened, Hash-m sent some of the dew that He designated for Techi'as ha'Mesim, to revive them.
(d) Such an impact did Hash-m's revelation by the Aseres ha'Dibros, have on Yisrael - that after each command, Yisrael trembled violently, moving them back twelve Mil - the entire length of the Camp of Yisrael ...
(e) ... and it was the Angels who moved them back into position in time for the next command, as the Pasuk writes in Tehilim "Mal'achei Tzeva'kos Yidodun, Yidodun".
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi now describes Moshe's dialogue with the angels after Matan Torah. When the Angels found Moshe among them, they protested - and wanted to know what a mortal was doing in their midst.
(b) When Moshe told them why he had come - they objected to the precious object which Hash-m kept hidden for nine hundred and seventy-four generations (before He created the world [the Torah]) being given to flesh and blood.
(c) David Hamelech wrote in Tehilim "Davar Tzivah le'Elef Dor", indicating that the Torah was meant to be given after one thousand generations. However, when Hash-m saw that the world could no longer exist without it, He brought the event forward by nine hundred and seventy-four generations, and gave it after twenty-six (see Hagahos ha'Bach). Alternately He scattered them over the twenty-six generations (see Gilyon ha'Shas).
(d) Moshe was initially afraid of getting burned by the angels' breath, so Hash-m instructed him to take hold of His Throne of Glory, Rebbi Tanchum explains, after which he proceeded to counter the angels' objction - by asking them whether ...
1. ... they had ever been in Egypt' or whether they had served Par'oh (in which case how would they explain the Pasuk "Anochi Hash-m Elokecha, Asher Hotzeisicha me'Eretz Mitzrayim")?
2. ... they lived among the nations - who might influence them to serve idols (so why would they need the Mitzvah of "Lo Yih'yeh Lecha Elohim Acherim"?).
3. ... they worked or did business - and if they did not, how would they be able to observe the Mitzvah of "Zachor es Yom ha'Shabbos Lekadsho", and of "Lo Sisa" (not to swear falsely, which usually occurs in the realm of business)?
4. ... they possessed a Yeitzer ha'Ra - and since the answer was in the negative, how would they relate to the Torah's injunction not to murder, not to commit adultery and not to steal?