MOED KATAN 15 (30 Av) - Today's study material has been dedicated by Al and Sophie Ziegler of Har Nof, Yerushalayim, in honor of the Yahrzeit of Al's father, Bernard B. Ziegler - Binyamin Baruch ben Avraham (and Miryam) - on 30 Menachem Av.

[15a - 47 lines; 15b - 40 lines]

1)[line 2]ולכבסL'CHABES- to wash [clothing]

2)[line 3]סוקלין את ארונוSOKLIN ES ARONO- they stone his coffin

3)[line 4]גלGAL- a pile

4)[line 5]כגלו של עכןGALO SHEL ACHAN

(a)Partaking of the spoil of Yericho (see Background to Ta'anis 14:10 and 14:44) was forbidden. The traitorous Achan ben Karmi ben Zavdi ben Zerach of the tribe of Yehudah ignored this directive, and, unbeknownst to the rest of Klal Yisrael, helped himself to some of the booty. As a result of this transgression, Klal Yisrael lost the following battle at Ai, and thirty-six men perished.

(b)HaSh-m instructed Yehoshua to draw lots to uncover the guilty party, and sentence him to death. Upon discovering that the culprit was Achan, Yehoshua confronted him and he admitted to his guilt. Achan was then put to death to atone for his sin. Stones were piled over his grave as a sign that he had died an ignominious death (Yehoshua 7:1-26).

5)[line 8]בעטיפת הראשATIFAS HA'ROSH- wrapping one's head [with a Talis or scarf such that the upper face is covered until the upper lip]

6)[line 9]מדקאמר ליה רחמנאKA'AMAR LEI RACHMANA- HaSh-m told him [through the Torah]

7)[line 9]"[האנק דם מתים אבל לא תעשה פארך חבוש עליך ונעליך תשים ברגליך] ולא תעטה על שפם [ולחם אנשים לא תאכל]""[HE'ANEK DOM, MESIM EVEL LO SA'ASEH; PE'ERCHA CHAVOSH ALECHA, U'NE'ALECHA TASIM B'RAGLECHA,] V'LO SA'ATEH AL SAFAM, [V'LECHEM ANASHIM LO SOCHEL.]" - "[Son of man, I am about to take your beloved (your wife) from you through a plague. Do not eulogize her, weep, shed tears, sigh, nor exhibit any signs of mourning; don your glory (your Tefilin), place your shoes on your feet,] do not cover the upper half of your face, [and do not eat the bread sent to you by others.]" (Yechezkel 24:17) (YECHEZKEL IS TOLD NOT TO MOURN)

(a)Shortly before the destruction of the first Beis ha'Mikdash, Yechezkel ha'Navi received a prophecy containing instructions that contravened virtually all customary practices of mourning. Indeed, many laws of mourning are derived from the customs detailed in these verses. Yechezkel followed HaSh-m's orders after the death of his wife, which indeed occurred the following night.

(b)The strange actions of Yechezkel were meant to serve as a warning to Klal Yisrael and a premonition of what was to happen during the impending Churban: although many people would perish, nobody would be left to mourn.

8)[line 12]והן מתעטפין ויושבין...V'HEN MIS'ATFIN V'YOSHVIN... (TA'ANIS TZIBUR)

(a)When a community suffers from lack of rain or some other calamity, Beis Din enacts public fasts to encourage people to repent so that the divine decree is rescinded. When a drought occurs, thirteen fasts are enacted in groups of three, three, and seven. Only Torah scholars fast on the first set of three fasts (Ta'anis 10a). The next sets of three and seven are observed by the entire community (ibid. 12b).

(b)The groups of three take place in a pattern of Monday-Thursday-Monday. During the last seven, which follow the pattern M-T-M-T-M-T-M, the Shali'ach Tzibur recites a special Shemoneh Esreh prayer consisting of twenty-four Berachos, as specified in the Mishnah (Ta'anis 15a). The six additional Berachos are inserted between the seventh and eighth Berachos of the regular Shemoneh Esreh prayer.

(c)The Beraisa quoted in our Gemara describes the actions required by those who have already observed these thirteen fasts.

9)[line 16]"[והצרוע אשר בו הנגע בגדיו יהיו פרמים וראשו יהיה פרוע] ועל שפם יעטה [וטמא טמא יקרא]""[VEHA'TZARU'A ASHER BO HA'NEGA BEGADAV YIHEYU FERUMIM, V'ROSHO YIHEYEH FARU'A,] V'AL SAFAM YA'ATEH; [V'TAMEI TAMEI YIKRA.]"- "[And the Tzaru'a who is afflicted with the mark - his clothing should be torn, his head should be uncovered,] and wrapped until his upper lip; [and he shall call, 'Tamei, Tamei!']" (Vayikra 13:45)

10)[line 18]"פארך חבוש עליך""PE'ERCHA CHAVOSH ALECHA"- see above, entry #7

11)[line 20]תיקוTEIKU

The Gemara often leaves a question unanswered with the word "Teiku." The PRI MEGADIM (Igeres preceding his introduction to Orach Chaim, #9) cites three explanations for this term:

1.[this question shall remain] sealed in its container (ARUCH, Erech Tik)

2.let [the question] stand ("Tehei Ka'I"; MUSAF HA'ARUCH)

3.Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos v'Ibayos - Eliyahu ha'Navi will answer difficulties and questions (TOSFOS YOM TOV, end of Eduyos)

12)[line 22]מקורעיםMEKURA'IM- torn

13)[line 23]הוייהHAVAYAH- the state of being. This refers to the words "Rosho Yiheyeh Faru'a" and "Begadav Yiheyu Ferumim" (see above, entry #9)

14a)[line 26]אכומתאKUMSA- a large skullcap

b)[line 26]וסודראSUDRA- a scarf

15)[line 26]בשאילת שלוםSHE'EILAS SHALOM- greeting others

16)[line 27]"האנק דום...""HE'ANEK DOM"- see above, entry #7

17)[line 28]הנזופיןNEZUFIN (NEZIFAH)

(a)One who has been sternly reprimanded by a respected Torah scholar is termed a Nazuf. This status obligates the Nazuf to behave in certain ways. A Nazuf must distance himself from people out of shame, and must not show himself to he who rebuked him. He may speak, laugh, and conduct his business only minimally, and demonstrate public distress. Even if one merely senses that a great Talmid Chacham bears resentment against him, he must act as a Nazuf.

(b)A Nazuf may eat and drink with others, and ask after their welfare. He need not act as if he is in mourning, nor need he ask forgiveness of he toward whom he acted arrogantly. The period of Nezifah concludes automatically after seven days in Eretz Yisrael, and after one day in Chutz la'Aretz (Daf 16a).

18)[line 28]הנזופין למקוםNEZUFIN LA'MAKOM- sternly reprimanded by HaSh-m (lit. The Place) (see previous entry)

19)[line 29]שיהו שפתותיו מדובקות זו בזוSHE'YEHU SIFSOSAV MEDUBAKOS ZU B'ZU- that his lips should be [as if they are] sealed together. The words "Sifsosav Medubakos" are alluded to by the word "SafaM".

20)[line 31]מי קתני שאסור?MI KETANI SHE'ASUR?- Does the Beraisa state "[like an Avel and a Menudeh] who are forbidden ..."? [Rather, it states and he is forbidden ...]

21)[line 32]במילי אחרנייתאMILI ACHRANAISA- other matters [such as wrapping one's head, and other laws discussed in that Beraisa]

22a)[line 34]שונהSHONEH- may teach Torah to others

b)[line 34]ושונין לוSHONIN LO- may be taught Torah by others

23a)[line 34]נשכרNISKAR- may be hired [as a worker]

b)[line 35]ונשכרין לוNISKARIN LO- may hire others [to work for him]

24)[line 35]מוחרםMUCHRAM (NIDUY / CHEREM)

(a)The following twenty-four people are placed into Niduy (excommunication) by Beis Din (SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De'ah 334:43, based on the RAMBAM Hilchos Talmud Torah 6:14):

1.One who denigrates a Talmid Chacham worthy of ruling on Halachic matters, even after his death

2.One who denigrates a messenger of Beis Din

3.One who defames another by calling him a slave

4.One who did not arrive in Beis Din when summoned

5.One who treats a Mitzvah - whether Biblical or Rabbinic in origin - with contempt

6.One who refuses to accept the verdict of Beis Din (until he complies)

7.One who retains that which damages others in his possession (until he removes it)

8.One who sells his property to a powerful Nochri (until he agrees to pay for all damages incurred by those who own the adjoining properties)

9.One who testifies against another in a Nochri court - causing that Jew to lose money - when the ruling does not conform with Torah law (until he makes restitution)

10.A Kohen, working as a butcher, who refuses to give Matnas Kehunah (the twenty-four priestly gifts; see Background to Megilah 28:1) to other Kohanim (until he agrees to do so)

11.One who refuses to observe the second day of Yom Tov outside of Eretz Yisrael

12.One who performs Melachah on Erev Pesach after midday

13.One who takes HaSh-m's name in vain or in an unnecessary vow

14.One who causes many people to eat Kodshim outside of the places in which it is permitted to eat

15.One who is the cause for many others to act in a way that brings about a Chilul HaSh-m (a desecration of HaSh-m's name)

16.One who makes his own calculation of the lunar calendar, and publicizes it outside of Eretz Yisrael

17.One who causes another to sin

18.One who prevents the public from performing a Mitzvah

19.A butcher who sold a non-kosher animal

20.A butcher who did not have a Chacham check his knife before slaughtering (this no longer applies)

21.One who willfully arouses his desires (ha'Maksheh Atzmo la'Da'as)

22.One who enters into a business partnership with his ex-wife (since this puts them into contact with each other)

23.A Talmid Chacham who has a bad reputation

24.One who places another into Niduy unjustly

(b)One who is placed into Niduy remains in that status for at least thirty days in Eretz Yisrael, and seven days outside of Eretz Yisrael. If the Menudeh does not repent after this period, then he is placed into Niduy for a second thirty-day period. If he still does not repent, then he is then put into Cherem. Cherem is a state of excommunication whose laws are more stringent than those of Niduy.

(c)One may not approach to within four Amos of a Menudeh (regarding his wife and other family members, see Insights). He may not eat or drink with others, nor may he be counted toward a Minyan, Zimun, or any other Mitzvah that requires a quorum of ten men. He may not wash his clothing, shave or cut his hair, nor wear shoes. He may, however, both learn and teach Torah, as well as engage in work. A Muchram, by contrast, must learn by himself, and may only engage in the minimum amount of work necessary to provide him with his needs for the day. Others may speak with a Menudeh or Muchram unless this is specifically prohibited by Beis Din.

(d)Once the period of Niduy or Cherem is up, the Menudeh or Muchram may not rejoin society until he is expressly permitted by either three others or one Talmid Chacham who is an expert in these matters. (SHULCHAN ARUCH 334:27 and REMA 334:24)

25)[line 36]חנות קטנהCHANUS KETANAH- a small stall [in the marketplace]

26)[line 37]זבוני מיא בפקתא דערבותZEVUNEI MAYA B'PIKSA D'ARAVOS- [a Muchram may] sell water in (a) the marketplace of Aravos (RASHI); (b) the valley of Aravos (Steppes) in Bavel (a place chronically lacking in water)

27)[line 38]"והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך. יום אשר עמדת לפני ה' אלקיך בחרב""V'HODATAM L'VANECHA V'LIVNEI VANECHA. YOM ASHER AMADTA LI'FNEI HASH-M ELOKECHA B'CHOREV"- "... and you shall teach them to your children and your children's children. The day upon which you stood before HaSh-m your G-d at Chorev (Sinai)...." (Devarim 4:9-10) - The first verse refers to Torah. From the conjunction of these verses, our Gemara derives that one must learn Torah in the same manner in which it was received at Sinai.

28a)[line 39]באימהEIMAH- awe

b)[line 39]וביראהYIR'AH- fear

c)[line 39]וברתתRESES- trembling

d)[line 39]ובזיעהZI'A- shuddering

29)[line 39]הזביןZAVIN

See Background to 14:2.

30)[line 40]ובועלי נדותBO'ELEI NIDOS

One who has intimate relations with a Nidah becomes Tamei for seven days, similar to the Nidah herself. His Tum'ah, however, is less stringent than that of a Nidah. Any object that he comes into contact with (Maga'o), as well as any object that lies underneath him (Tachtono), acquire the same status of an object that lies above a Nidah (Elyonah), namely, that of a Rishon l'Tum'ah (Vayikra 15:24; see Background to 10:6:b, Nidah 33a, and Charts to Nidah 33:8b). Once the seven days are over, he may immerse in a Mikvah during the daytime in order to complete his purification process.

31a)[line 41]ובש''סSH'S- Shishah Sedarim, the six orders of Mishnayos (Zera'im, Mo'ed, Nashim, Nezikin, Kodshim, and Taharos)

b)[line 41]בהלכותHALACHOS- the Halachic discussions of the Gemara

c)[line 41]ובאגדותAGADOS- the homiletic discussions of the Gemara

32)[line 41]ובעלי קרייןBA'ALEI KERYIN (BA'AL KERI)

(a)One who has emitted Keri (semen) becomes a Rishon l'Tum'ah (see Background to 10:6:b). He may not enter the Machaneh Leviyah (see Background to Pesachim 67:6), nor may he eat Ma'aser, Terumah or Kodshim. He may immediately immerse in a Mikvah in order to become Tahor, and at that point he may enter Machaneh Leviyah and eat Ma'aser. Until nightfall, however, he remains a "Tevul Yom" (see Background to Yoma 48:16). Until nighttime arrives, he may eat neither Terumah nor Kodshim. Furthermore, the Rabanan decreed that he may not enter the Ezras Nashim of the Beis ha'Mikdash until nightfall as well.

(b)Because a Ba'al Keri arrived at his condition due to lightheadedness and an overabundance of merriment, he may not learn Torah which requires "awe, fear, trembling, and shuddering."

33)[line 41]בתכבוסתTICHBOSES- washing [clothing]

34)[line 42]"וישלח יואב תקועה ויקח משם אשה חכמה ויאמר אליה התאבלי נא ולבשי נא בגדי אבל ואל תסוכי שמן והיית כאשה זה ימים רבים מתאבלת על מת""VA'YISHLACH YO'AV TEKO'AH, VA'YIKACH MI'SHAM ISHAH CHACHAMAH; VA'YOMER ELEHAH, 'HIS'ABLI NA, V'LIVSHI NA BIGDEI EVEL; V'AL TASUCHI SHEMEN, V'HAYIS K'ISHAH ZEH YAMIM RABIM MIS'ABELES AL MES'" - "And Yo'av sent [a message] to Teko'ah, and chose a wise woman from there; and he said to her, 'Please act as if you are in mourning, and wear clothing worn by mourners; do not anoint yourself with oil, and be like a woman who has been in mourning for some time.'" (Shmuel II 14:2) (YO'AV'S PLAN)

(a)Avshalom, son of David ha'Melech, was incensed at the rape and subsequent mistreatment of his sister Tamar by his half-brother Amnon (see Background to Yoma 22:42:b). Two years after that incident, he arranged to have Amnon murdered. Rightly fearing his father's wrath, Avshalom fled to his mother's family - that of the king of Geshur - where he remained for three years. During this time, David wished to see his son returned and punished for his evil deed.

(b)Yo'av ben Tzeruyah, David's general and confidant, realized that David had been comforted over the loss of Amnon, and that his desire to punish Avshalom had somewhat abated. He developed a plan to convince David to accept Avshalom back to Yerushalayim.

(c)The inhabitants of Teko'ah were exceptionally wise, since olives were produced there and olive oil is a source of wisdom. As per Yo'av's plan, the woman from Teko'ah told a sad story of a fight between her two sons, resulting in one murdering the other. She was a widow, and her extended family now demanded that she hand over the culprit so that they could avenge the blood of his brother. Having no desire to be bereft of her entire family, she now wished for the intervention of the king. David ha'Melech promised to save her remaining son from the rest of her family.

(d)Dropping the ruse, she challenged the king as to why he did not do the same for himself. He had already lost Amnon; would he now drive Avshalom away as well? David understood the message and its wisdom. Recognizing the hand of Yo'av, the king sent for him and instructed him to return Avshalom from Geshur with a full pardon.

35)[line 45]בקריעהKERI'AH- rending [his clothing]

36)[last line]בכפיית המטהKEFIYAS HA'MITAH- overturning his bed (a sign of mourning)

15b----------------------------------------15b

37)[line 1]דמות דיוקני נתתי בהןDEMUS DEYUKNI NASATI BA'HEN- I have placed my form in them. This refers to the verse which states, "For He created man in the form of G-d" (Bereishis 9:6).

38)[line 1]ובעונותיהםBA'AVONOSEIHEN- through their sins (namely, that of Adam ha'Rishon)

39)[line 3]בעשיית מלאכהASIYAS MELACHAH- the performance of Melachah [relating to profitable enterprise]

40)[line 4]"והפכתי חגיכם לאבל...""V'HAFACHTI CHAGEICHEM L'EVEL..." - "[And it will be on that day, says HaSh-m Elokim, and I will bring in the sun at midday, and I will darken the land on a light day.] I will turn your festivals into mourning [and all your songs into a dirge; I will cause all the loins to wear sackcloth and all the heads to have a bald patch. I will turn it into a private mourning, and its end will be like a bitter day.]" (Amos 8:9-10) (THE PREDICTION OF KING YOSHIYAH'S DEATH)

(a)This verse refers to the impending death of the righteous king Yoshiyahu, which precipitated the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash and the exile.

(b)See Background to Ta'anis 22:22.

(c)It was a particularly sad event for Klal Yisrael, since it marked the beginning of the last era leading up to the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash and the exile to Bavel some forty years later, as all the ensuing kings were Resha'im.

41)[line 7]כשאמרוKESHE'AMRU- when they said [regarding the conduct required following the thirteen fasts observed in response to a drought or other calamity (see above, entry #8)]

42)[line 10]אשאראA'SHARA- regarding the rest [of the subjects discussed in the Beraisa, such as wrapping one's head]

43)[line 19]בנעילת הסנדלNE'ILAS HA'SANDAL- wearing leather shoes

44)[line 22]כשאמרוKESHE'AMRU- when they said [regarding the conduct required following the thirteen fasts observed in response to a drought or other calamity (see above, entry #8)]

45a)[line 23]נועלNO'EL- he may wear his shoes

b)[line 23]חולץCHOLETZ- he must remove his shoes

46)[line 25]בתשמיש המטהTASHMISH HA'MITAH- intimate relations with one's wife

47)[line 25]"וינחם דוד את בת שבע אשתו ויבא אליה [וישכב עמה...]" ""VA'YENACHEM DAVID ES BAS SHEVA ISHTO, VA'YAVO ELEHAH [VA'YISHKAV IMAH ...]"- "And David comforted Bas Sheva, his wife, and he came to her [and lay with her ...]" (Shmuel II 12:24). This verse refers to the events following the death of the first son born to David and Bas Sheva (see Background to Yoma 22:38a). From that which the verse specifies that David was intimate with Bas Sheva only after she was comforted, our Gemara derives that an Avel may not have relations (see Insights for further explanation of how this is implied by this episode).

48)[line 29]זיל הכא קמדחי ליה וזיל הכא קמדחי ליהZIL HACHA KA'MADCHI LEI, V'ZIL HACHA KA'MADCHI LEI- [if] one goes this way, [assuming that it is possible to derive a leniency from a case of Menudeh la'Shamayim,] it is possible to defer him [by claiming that Menudeh la'Shamayim is more stringent]; and [if] one goes this way, [assuming that it is possible to derive a stringency from a case of Menudeh la'Shamayim,] it is possible to defer him [by claiming that Menudeh la'Shamayim is more lenient]

49)[line 31]"לך אמור להם שובו לכם לאהליכם""LECH EMOR LAHEM, 'SHUVU LACHEM L'OHALEICHEM.'"- "Go say to them, 'Return to your tents.'" (Devarim 5:30) - This verse relates what HaSh-m said to Moshe Rabeinu regarding Bnei Yisrael following the Aseres ha'Dibros; prior to that, Moshe had instructed them to separate from their wives.

50)[line 34]משלח קרבנותיוMESHALE'ACH KORBANOSAV- send his Korbanos [to be offered through a messenger]

51)[line 35]שלםSHALEM- complete[ly at peace, and not in mourning]

52)[line 35]אונןONEN- see Background to 14:22. Most Rishonim understand that this ruling applies to an Avel as well; see Chart VI, note 5.

53)[line 39]"ואחרי טהרתו שבעת ימים יספרו לו. וביום באו אל הקדש אל החצר הפנימית לשרת בקדש יקריב חטאתו [נאם ה' אלקים]""V'ACHAREI TAHORASO, SHIV'AS YAMIM YISPERU LO. UV'YOM BO'O EL HA'KODESH, EL HE'CHATZER HA'PENIMIS L'SHARES BA'KODESH, YAKRIV CHATASO [-- NE'UM HASH-M ELOKIM.]"- "And following his purification, they shall count seven days for him. And on the day that he comes to the Beis ha'Mikdash, to the inner courtyard to serve in the Sanctuary, he shall offer his Chatas [-- the words of HaSh-m, G-d]" (Yechezkel 44:26-27). The previous verses make it clear that this verse is referring to a Kohen who had become Tamei through coming into contact with a corpse.

54)[line 39]שבעת ימים יספרוSHIV'AS YEMEI SEFIRO (TAHARAS METZORA)

(a)On the day that a Metzora is healed from his Tzara'as, he procures two kosher birds (Tziporei Metzora), a piece of cedar, some crimson wool and a hyssop branch. One of the birds is slaughtered over fresh spring water in a clay bowl. A Kohen dips the other bird, along with the other articles, into the spring water that is mixed with the blood and sprinkles it seven times on the Metzora. The living bird is sent away towards the fields. Both birds are Asur b'Hana'ah, but the Isur no longer applies to the living bird once it is sent off to the fields.

(b)The Metzora next shaves all places on his body that have a collection of hair and that are exposed, and immerses in a Mikvah. He is now considered Tahor to the extent that he may enter a settlement, but marital relations are forbidden (Moed Katan 7b). He waits seven days (his "Shiv'as Yemei Sefiro"), and on the seventh day he once more shaves and immerses. He is now completely Tahor but is still a Mechusar Kaparah (see Background to Pesachim 59:5).

(c)For other laws pertaining to a Metzora , including the details of the Korbanos which he must offer, see Background to 7:14.

(d)Rebbi Yehudah in the Beraisa quoted in our Gemara understands that although the first half of this verse clearly refers to a Kohen who has become Tamei from a corpse, the latter half refers to one who is undergoing the purification process following the Tum'ah of Tzara'as. This is because only a Metzora must count seven days before becoming Tahor; a Temei Mes must be sprinkled with Mei Chatas (see Background to Rosh Hashanah 28:21)) on the third and seventh days, but he need not count seven days.

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