12th CYCLE DEDICATION:
 
CHAGIGAH 16 - dedicated by Ari Friedman and family of Lawrence, N.Y., in memory of Ari's father, Reb Yakov Yosef ben Rav Nosson Neta Z'L, in honor of his second Yahrzeit (1 Iyar 5767). Always brimming with joy and generosity, Jack Friedman exemplified true Ahavas Yisrael and Ahavas Chesed. May he be a Melitz Yosher for his children and grandchildren and all of Klal Israel.

1)

REBBI AKIVA EXITED THE PARDES IN PEACE (cont.)

(a)

The Malachei ha'Shares wanted to harm even R. Akiva.

(b)

Hash-m said to them, "Leave this elder, for he is fit to serve in My honor!"

(c)

R. Akiva knew not to gaze at the place of the Shechinah, for he expounded the verses as such.

2)

COMPARISIONS OF SHEDIM, MALACHIM, AND MEN

(a)

(Beraisa): There are six characteristics of Shedim.

1.

In three they are like Malachei ha'Shares.

i.

They have wings.

ii.

They fly from one side of the world to the other.

iii.

They hear from behind the heavenly curtain what is going to occur in the future.

2.

In three they are like humans.

i.

They eat and drink.

ii.

They propagate.

iii.

They die.

(b)

There are six characteristics of humans.

1.

In three they are like Malachei ha'Shares.

i.

They have Da'as.

ii.

They walk upright.

iii.

They speak in the holy language (Hebrew).

2.

In three they are like animals.

i.

They eat and drink.

ii.

They propagate.

iii.

They defecate.

3)

ANYONE WHO LOOKS INTO ONE OF FOUR THINGS IS BETTER OFF HAVING NOT BEEN CREATED

(a)

Question: What is wrong with inquiring what was before the world? What happened already is history!

(b)

Answer: [Hash-m does not want people to conjecture what existed prior to the world, lest they imagine something disrespectful.] It is like a king who told his servants to build him a palace on a garbage dump; the king does not want people to mention the garbage dump.

4)

ANYONE WHO DOES NOT HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE HONOR OF HIS CREATOR IS BETTER OFF HAVING NOT BEEN CREATED

(a)

(R. Aba): This is one who gazes at a rainbow.

(b)

(R. Yosef): This is one who commits a sin in private.

1.

Question: But did R. Ila'a ha'Zaken not say that if a person's Yetzer ha'Ra is overcoming him, he should go to a place where no one recognizes him, dress in black, wrap himself in black, and then do what his heart desires, in order not to desecrate Hash-m's name in public!?

2.

Answer: One case is when he can control his Yetzer, and one case is when he is unable to control it.

5)

THREE THINGS THAT WEAKEN A PERSON'S EYESIGHT

(a)

(R. Yehudah b'R. Nachmeni): The eyes are weakened of one who gazes at three things:

1.

A rainbow (based on Yechezkel 1:28)

2.

The Nasi (based on Bamidbar 27:20)

3.

The Kohanim, during the times of the Beis ha'Mikdash, when they stand and bless the people with the Ineffable Name.

6)

THE WITNESSES OF MAN'S SINS

(a)

(R. Yehudah b'R. Nachmeni): To what does the verse, "Do not believe the friend, do not trust the leader" (Michah 7:5), refer?

1.

"The friend" is the Yetzer ha'Ra (based on Bereishis 8:21), and "the Leader" is Hash-m (based on Yirmiyahu 3:4).

2.

If the Yetzer ha'Ra ("the friend") tells you to sin and that Hash-m ("the Leader") will pardon you, "do not believe 'the friend'!"

(b)

Who will testify that a person sinned?

1.

The stones and pillars of his house (Chabakuk 2:11).

2.

A person's Neshamah (Michah 7:5).

3.

The two Malachei ha'Shares that accompany a person (Tehilim 91:11).

4.

A person's limbs (Yeshayah 43:12).

7)

MISHNAH: THE DEBATE ABOUT SEMICHAH

(a)

Five pairs of early Tana'im argue whether Semichah may be performed on Yom Tov.

16b----------------------------------------16b

(b)

The first Tana of each pair was the Nasi, and the second Tana of each pair was the Av Beis Din.

(c)

(Gemara): The Chachamim and R. Meir argue whether R. Yehudah ben Tabai was a Nasi or an Av Beis Din.

8)

DO NOT TAKE SHEVUS LIGHTLY

(a)

(R. Yochanan): Do not take "Shevus" lightly, for "Semichah" is only Shevus and yet the greatest of each generation argued about it.

(b)

Question: But that is obvious [that it is not to be taken lightly]!

(c)

Answer: R. Yochanan is coming to exclude the opinion that claims that the early generations argued not about whether Semichah may be done on Yom Tov, but whether Semichah is done at all on Korbanos of Shalmei Chovah.

(d)

(Rami bar Chama): We hear from here that Semichah must be done with all of one's strength, because if not, what Shevus is involved?

(e)

(R. Papa): We hear from here that the Isur of Shevus includes leaning on the side of an animal.

1.

If the sides were permitted, then let one do Semichah on the sides of the animal (on Yom Tov)!

2.

(R. Ashi): Perhaps leaning on the sides is permitted, but anything which is on the same level as the back of the animal is like the back of the animal.

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