ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
12TH CYCLE SHABBOS 152 - Dedicated in honor of Dovid Avrohom Katz, ha'Kohen, born on 15 Elul 5765. May he grow up to be a Talmid Chacham and a credit and source of Nachas to all of Klal Yisrael!
(a) In the Pasuk "ba'Yom she'Yazu'u Shomrei ha'Bayis ... ", Shlomo Hamelech is describing how the functions of the major limbs decrease with the advent of old age. "Shomrei ha'Bayis" refers to the flanks and the ribs (which protect the intestines) respectively. "Anshei he'Chayil" refers to the calves (which bear the weight of the entire body).
(b) "ha'Tochnos" refers to the teeth, 'ha'Ro'os ba'Arubos" - to the eyes.
(c) The Emperor asked Rebbi Yehoshua why he did not attend the Bei Avidan - the place where the Miynim (the heretics) and the priests would hold disputations with Yisrael.
(d) When Rebbi Yehoshua explained that ...
1. ... 'the mountain is snowy, and is surrounded by ice, he meant - that his hair had turned white, and so had his beard and moustache.
2. ... the dogs are not barking and the teeth are not grinding', he meant - that his voice no longer had the volume that it once had, and his teeth were no longer operative.
(a) When the Bei Rav said that they were searching for something that they did not lose - they meant that, when a person ages, he walks bent, conveying the impression that he is looking for something, even though he did not lose anything.
(b) And when Rebbi Yossi bar Kisma mean declared in a Beraisa that ...
1. ... two are better than three, he meant - being able to walk on one's own legs is preferable to having to use a walking stick.
2. ... what a pity it was that the one has passed and will never return, he was referring to one's youth.
(a) Rav Dimi referred to ...
1. ... youth as a crown of roses.
2. ... old age as a crown of nettles.
(b) Based on a Pasuk in Yirmiyah "ve'Nisba Lechem ve'Nih'yeh Tovim ... ", a Beraisa in the name of Rebbi Meir names the benefits of chewing one's food well as - firm footsteps.
(c) Shmuel informed Rav Yehudah that the correct age to switch to eating less and drinking more is - forty.
(a) In order to mock Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah (which means bald) - certain Miyn asked him how far it was to Karchina.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua replied that it was as far as from there to Guznaya - which (like Karchina vis-a-vis his name) was a play on Saris (a eunuch) which that Miyn happened to have been.
(c) And when the Saris commented 'A bald goat (without hair on its body) is sold for four Zuz', he retorted - that a lamb whose Beitzim are detached goes for eight.
(d) The Miyn then compared someone who ...
1. ... rides on a horse - to a king.
2. ... rides on a donkey - a free man.
3. ... wears shoes - a respectable person.
4. ... enjoys none of these - as surpassed by someone who is dead and buried. He said that - because Rebbi Yehoshua was not wearing shoes.
(a) The significance of the Pasuk in Tehilim, quoted by Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah ...
1. ... "Hadras Panim Zaken" was - that a eunoch cannot grow a beard.
2. ... "Simchas Lev Ishah" was - that he does not have a wife either, and ...
3. ... "Nachalas Hash-m Banim" - that he has no children.
4. ... "Hadras Panim Zaken, Simchas Lev Ishah, Nachalas Hash-m Banim" was - that he had listed three things corresponding to the three things that the Miyn had listed.
(b) He added to that - 'Baruch ha'Makom she'Mena'acha mi'Kulam!' (blessed be Hash-m who withheld all three from you).
(c) When the Miyn expressed surprise that he (Rebbi Yehoshua) had come to pick a quarrel with him, he responded - by pointing out that it was the Miyn who had come to insult him, and to pick a quarrel with him, and not vice-versa.
(d) Rebbi asked Rebbi Shimon ben Chalafta - why he had not come to greet him like his (Rebbi Shimon ben Chalafta's) fathers used to do Rebbi's fathers.
(e) Like Rebbi Yehoshua before him, Rebbi Shimon attributed his failure to give Rebbi the due respect to old age. When he said that ...
1. ... the rocks had become tall, he meant - that rocks that he had once been able to climb, were no longer negotiable.
2. ... two had become three, he meant - that he was now unable to walk without a walking-stick.
3. ... what was near had become far, he meant - that since he now walked so slowly, what used to be near had now become far (or that old age forced him to take larger steps than he used to).
4. ... the peace-maker was no longer functional, he was referring to the Eiver Tashmish.
(a) Koheles then describes how the various organs that deal with food cease to function, and general signs of old age. "ve'Sagru Delasayim ba'Shuk" - refers to man's waste-disposal system, which tends to malfunction with old age. By ...
1. ... "bi'Shefal Kol ha'Tachanah", he means - the stomach (which grinds the food once one has eaten it).
2. ... "va'Yakum le'Kol ha'Tzipor", he means - that once a person becomes old, even a bird will arouse him from his sleep.
3. ... "ve'Yishchu Kol Bnos ha'Shir" - that the sound of singers singing, sounds to an old man like ordinary speech.
(b) Barzilai ha'Gil'adi (a friend of David Hamelech) claimed that he was very old and that he did not know the difference between good and evil. In fact - he was eighty at the time, and what he meant was that even one's ability to discern the difference between good and bad is affected once one reaches such a venerable age.
(c) We learn from his statement that he could no longer ...
1. ... taste the food that he ate - that the lips of a very old man begin to split.
2. ... hear the voice of male and female singers - that his hearing becomes impaired.
(a) Rav claim that Barzilai ha'Gil'adi must have been lying - because a servant girl of Rebbi was still tasting the food at ninety-two.
(b) According to Rava, Barzilai ha'Gil'adi was not lying. The age of eighty may not normally cause loss of appetite - yet he lost his prematurely, because he was a licentious man, and licentiousness brings on premature old age.
(c) Based on a Pasuk in Iyov ("bi'Yeshishim Chochmah ... "), Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa - draws a distinction between older Talmidei-Chachamim - who become wiser with the passing of time, and Amei ha'Aretz - who tend to grow more and more senile as they grow older.
(d) The Pasuk in Iyov continues ...
1. ..."Gam mi'Gavo'ah Yir'u" meaning - that an old man is afraid to negotiate a small bump in the street, because it looks to him like a tall mountain, and ...
2. ... "ve'Chatchatim ba'Derech" means - that all kinds of fear grip him when he travels.
(a) Koheles continues to describe the lower half of the body as it weakens with old age. "ve'Yanetz ha'Shaked" means that his thigh protrudes, and ...
1. ... "ve'Yistabel he'Chagav - that the buttocks do too.
2. ... "ve'Safer ha'Aviyonah" means - that one's physical desire wanes.
(b) When Rav, upon hearing Rav Kahana read this Pasuk, sighed - the latter attributed it to the fact that this was what had happened to Rav.
(c) According to Rav Kahana, the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Hu Amar va'Yehi", refers to a woman, and "Hu Tzivah va'Ya'amod" - to children ...
(d) ... and the Pasuk is coming to teach us - that Hash-m had not decreed it, a man would not dream of running after a woman and having children ...
(e) ... because what is a woman after all, but a vessel full of Tzo'ah at the back and blood in the front?
(a) Rebbi Yitzchak learns from the Pasuk "Ki Holech Adam el Beis Olamo" - that that each Tzadik has his own individual residence (befitting his level of Tzidkus) in the World to Come.
(b) He compares it to - a king who enters town with his retinue via the same gate, yet when in the evening, each one retires to his own room to sleep, each according to his status.
(c) The significance of the fact that they all enter the town via the same gate is - that they all die in the same way (certainly not according to their status).
(d) And he interprets the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ki ha'Yaldus ve'ha'Shachrus Havel" to mean - that more a person indulges in Tashmish in his youth, the weaker he becomes in his old age.
2. ... "Ach Besaro Yich'av Alav" to mean - that a worm to dead body is as painful as a needle to a live one.
(a) Rav Chisda learns from the (continuation of the previous) Pasuk "ve'Nafsho Alav Te'abel" together with the Pasuk in Vayechi "va'Ya'as le'Aviv Eivel Shiv'as Yamim" - that a person's own Nefesh mourns over its own body.
(b) To pacify the Soul of a person who dies when there is no-one to mourn for him - one takes ten men and goes with them sit in the location where the deceased man died.
(c) Rav Yehudah did this - for seven days on behalf of a Meis who had no relatives who had died in his vicinity, before the latter appeared to him in a dream ...
(d) ... and blessed him that Hash-m should console him (when the need would arise) just as he had consoled him.
(a) According to Rebbi Avahu, a Meis knows what is being said in its presence - up to the time that the body is buried and the grave (see Tosfos DH 'ad') is closed.
(b) Rebbi Chiya and Rebbi Shimon b'Rebbi argue over this point. One of them agrees with Rebbi Avahu. The other one says - until such time as the body has completely decomposed.
(c) The former opinion learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yashuv he'Afar al ha'Aretz ke'she'Hayah", the latter opinion - from the Pasuk in Iyov "Ach Besaro Yich'av Alav ... ".
(d) The Beraisa learns from the Pasuk there "ve'ha'Ru'ach Tashuv el ha'Elokim Asher Nesanah" - that that one should take care to return one's Neshamah to one's Creator without sin, just as one received it.
(a) To illustrate this, Chazal give a Mashal to a King, who deposited royal robes with his servants. The wise ones folded them carefully and put them away; the foolish ones wore them for working in. Eventually, when the King called for his robes, the wise servants returned them clean, whereas the foolish ones returned them dirty.
(b) The King ...
1. ... rejoiced with the astute servants, and ordered - that the clean robes be returned to His treasury (under His Throne of Glory) and the servants to be sent home.
2. ... was angry with the foolish servants, and ordered the clothes to be sent to the laundry and the servants to prison.
(c) By the same token, Hash-m allows ...
1. ... the bodies of the Tzadikim to rest in peace (as the Pasuk writes "Yavo ve'Shalom, Yanuchu Al Mishkevosam"), and ...
2. ... their Neshamos to enter Gan Eden (like the Pasuk "Vehaysah Nefesh Adoni Tzerurah bi'Tzeror ha'Chayim").
(d) Whilst, according to the Pasuk in Yeshayah, the Rasha's body ...
1. ... will know no peace ...
2. ... whereas his Neshamah will suffer the agonies of Kaf ha'Kela.
(a) According to Rebbi Eliezer ...
1. ... after death, the Neshamah of a Tzadik is located - beneath the Kisei ha'Kavod.
2. ... the Neshamah of a Rasha after death suffers - 'Kaf ha'Kela', which entails two angels slinging it from a sling-shooter from one end of the world to the other.
(b) When Rabah asked Rav Nachman what happens to Beinonim - Rav Nachman replied that he would certainly have answered his question after he died ...
(c) ... however Shmuel already taught - that both the Souls of the Resha'im and of the Beinonim are handed over to Domeh (the angel in charge of the Neshamos in Gehinom).
(d) From that points their fates differ - inasmuch as the the Neshamos of the Resha'im know no rest, whereas those the Beinonim do.
(a) Rav Mari learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yashuv he'Afar al ha'Aretz ke'she'Hayah" - that even the bodies of Tzadikim are destined to decompose and turn into dust.
(b) When the grave-diggers who were digging in the property of Rav Nachman began digging where Rav Achai bar Yeshayah was buried - the latter coughed (to indicate that they should not disturb his grave).
(c) When Rav Nachman came to investigate, and the Meis had identified - he expressed surprise that his body was still intact (in spite of Rav Mari's Derashah).
(d) When Rav Achai bar Yashiyah claimed that he had never heard of Rav Mari - Rav Nachman replied that when all's said and done, Rav Mari's statement is based on the Pasuk in Koheles (as we learned above).
(a) When Rav Nachman quoted him the Pasuk "ve'Yashuv he'Afar ... ", Rav Achai bar Yashiyah retorted - that whoever had taught him Koheles had not taught him Mishlei ...
(b) ... which writes "ve'Rekev Atzmos Kin'ah", which teaches us that it is only people who were jealous during their lifetime, whose flesh decomposes, but not someone who was not.
(c) When Rav Nachman suggested to him to go home he commented - that not only did Rav Nachman not know Kesuvim, but he was not conversant with Nevi'im either.
(a) Rav Achai bar Yashiyah said that - because the Pasuk "vi'Yeda'atem Ki Ani Hash-m, be'Pischi es Kivrosechem" indicates that the dead will only be permitted to leave their graves, when Hash-m allows them to (when techi'as ha'Meisim arrives), but not before.
(b) And as for the Pasuk "ki Afar Ata, ve'el Afar Tashuv" - that refers to a short while before Techi'as ha'Meisim, when everybody, even those who did not experience jealousy in their lifetimes, will revert to dust, before coming back to life.
(c) A certain Miyn asked Rebbi Avahu how, after having learnt above that the Souls of Tzadikim are located beneath Hash-m's Throne, it was possible for the witch of Ein Dor to conjure up the Soul of Shmuel for King Shaul. Rebbi Avahu replied - that the earlier statement refers to after twelve months, but during the first twelve months, the Neshamah travels backwards and forwards from Heaven to earth to visit the body.
(d) What transpires is that ...
1. ... during the first twelve months after one's death - the body is still intact and the Neshamah travels ... as we explained.
2. ... after the twelve month period - the body has disintegrated and the Neshamah remains under the Kisei ha'Kavod.