MERITS OF AVRAHAM
(Rava): In the merit that Avraham said "from a string to a shoe strap (I will not take the spoils of Sedom)", his descendants merited two Mitzvos, Techeles (on Tzitzis) and straps of Tefilin.
Tefilin has special benefit - "all the nations will see that Hash-m's Name is called on you";
(Beraisa - R. Eliezer): This refers to the head Tefilin.
Question: What special benefit is there from Techeles?
Answer (Beraisa - R. Meir): Techeles was chosen for Tzitzis, because it resembles the sea, which resembles the sky, which resembles the sapphire stone, which resembles Hash-m's Throne of Glory. (Rashi - whenever Hash-m looks at His Kisei, He recalls Yisrael's merit for this Mitzvah; Maharsha - whenever a Yisrael looks at his Techeles, he is reminded not to sin and cause a breach between the lower, intermediate and upper worlds.)
(R. Aba): It is very hard to (recognize the need to) compensate for stolen property that has been consumed. Avraham refused the spoils (of Sedom), but he did not return what was eaten - "I will not take, only what the youths ate".
(R. Yosi ha'Gelili): "Lo mi'Rubchem... (Ki Atem ha'M'at)" - Hash-m loves Yisrael because when He gives them greatness, they humble themselves in front of Him.
Hash-m gave greatness to Avraham. Avraham said "I am earth and ashes";
Moshe and Aharon said "what are we?";
David said "I am a worm, and not a man".
Nochrim become haughty when they are raised;
Nimrod became great. He said "let us build a city" (and a tower, to fight Hash-m);
Paro said "Who is Hash-m?"
Sancheriv said "who among all the gods... (also Hash-m cannot save Yerushalayim from me)";
Nebuchadnetzar said "I will rise to the heights of the clouds (I will resemble the Supreme)";
Chiram, king of Tzur said "I sat in the dwelling of Hash-m, in the heart of the sea."
(Rava): Moshe and Aharon showed more humility than Avraham. Avraham considered himself to be something, Moshe and Aharon did not considered themselves to be anything.
(Rava): The world exists in the merit of people like Moshe and Aharon - "Toleh Eretz Al Blimah" (one who considers himself Bli Mah, i.e. nothing. They said "v'Nachnu Mah".)
(R. Ilai): "Toleh Eretz Al Blimah" - the world exists in the merit of people who are Bolem (seal) the mouth at the time of an argument.
(R. Avahu): The world exists in the merit of people that view themselves like nothing - "(those who put themselves) below (everyone else, they are) the mighty ones of the world".
(R. Yitzchak): "Ha'Umnam (will you really) be silent? You should speak Tzedek, judge people Meisharim (straightly)" - one's Umnus (profession) in this world is to make himself like a mute;
Suggestion: Perhaps this applies even to Torah!
Rejection: "You should speak Tzedek."
Suggestion: Perhaps he may become haughty!
Rejection: It says "Meisharim". (One should be like a Mishor, i.e. flat land.)
THINGS ONE MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM
(R. Ze'ira): One may cover the blood with earth (i.e. ashes) of an Ir ha'Nidachas (a city burned because most of its inhabitants served idolatry).
Question: Why is this permitted? One may not benefit from the city!
Answer #1 (Ze'iri): R. Ze'ira refers to the soil (which is not forbidden);
"You will gather all the property... and burn" refers only to things that can be immediately gathered and burned, but not soil, which must be uprooted first.
Answer #2 (Rava): Using something for a Mitzvah is not considered benefit.
Question (Rav Rechumi - Beraisa): One may not sound a Shofar of idolatry to fulfill the Mitzvah.
Suggestion: If one used it, he was not Yotzei.
Answer #1 (Ravina): No, if he used it, he was Yotzei.
Question (Beraisa): One may not take a Lulav of idolatry to fulfill the Mitzvah.
Suggestion: If one took it, he was not Yotzei.
Answer #1: No. If he took it, he was Yotzei.
Rejection (Beraisa): One is not Yotzei with a Shofar or Lulav of idolatry.
Answer #2 (Rav Ashi, to questions ((e) and (g)): There is a Shi'ur (minimal required size) for a Shofar and Lulav. Since idolatry must be burned, it is not considered to have a Shi'ur;
This does not apply to Kisuy ha'Dam. Ashes are fine for covering!
THE ISUR OF THE GID
The Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh (the sciatic nerve) applies in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz La'aretz, when the Mikdash stands and when it does not, to Chulin and Kodshim, in Behemos and Chayos, in the right and left thighs;
It does not apply to birds, because they don't have a Kaf (round end of the thigh).
It applies to a fetus;
R. Yehudah says, it does not apply to a fetus. Also the Chelev of a fetus is permitted.
R. Meir says, a butcher is not believed to say that he removed the Gid;
Chachamim say, he is believed about the Gid and about Chelev.
(Gemara) Question: The Mishnah teaches that it applies to Kodshim. This is obvious. Why shouldn't it apply?!
Suggestion: The Tana holds that the Gid has taste (one who eats it benefits). Even though the Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh already forbids the Gid, the Isur of (benefit from) Kodshim is also Chal (takes effect) on it.
Rejection: If so, the Mishnah should (not say that the Isur of Gid applies to Kodshim, rather, it) say that the Isur of Kodshim applies to the Gid!
Answer #1: Rather, the Tana holds that the Gid has no taste. In Kodshim, it is forbidden only due to the Isur of Gid ha'Nasheh, but the Isur of Kodshim does not apply to it.
Objection: Another Mishnah in our Perek (which surely was taught by the same Tana) says that the Gid has taste!
(Mishnah): If a thigh was cooked with the Gid, and the meat absorbed taste of the Gid, it is forbidden.
Answer #2: The Mishnah discusses offspring of Kodshim. The Tana holds that a fetus' Gid is prohibited and that a fetus inside a Kodesh animal is (already) Kodesh.
Therefore, the Isurim of Kodshim and the Gid come simultaneously, and both take effect.
Question: Since the Seifa discusses a fetus, surely the Reisha does not discuss a fetus!
Answer: The Seifa explains that the previous law (that the Gid is forbidden in Kodshim) is like Chachamim, and not like R. Yehudah (for he permits the Gid of a fetus).
Question: Chachamim hold that the Isurim of Kodshim and the Gid do not come simultaneously!
(Mishnah): If a Nazir became Tamei through any of the following he must be Megale'ach (shave and bring Korbanos Nazir Tamei, and begin Nezirus again):
A Mes; a k'Zayis of a Mes...
Question: If he must shave for (Tum'ah of) a k'Zayis of a Mes, all the more so for a (full) Mes!
Answer (R. Yochanan): The Mishnah teaches about a Nefel (miscarriage) whose limbs are not tied with Gidin (and the entire body is less than a k'Zayis).
This shows that the Isur Kodshim came first (for the Gidin are formed after the fetus).