[18a - 52 lines; 18b - 50 lines]
1)[line 3]שעלו למטהALU L'MITAH- took to bed [due to illness]
2)[line 4]לגרדוםGARDOM- [Roman] executioner's scaffold [upon which capital judgement was passed]
3)[line 15]"כבסי מרעה לבך [ירושלם למען תושעי]""KABSI ME'RA'AH LIBECH [YERUSHALAYIM, L'MA'AN TIVASHE'I...]"- "Cleanse your heart from evil, [Yerushalayim, so that you may be saved ...]" (Yirmeyahu 4:14)
4)[line 15]"כי אם תכבסי בנתר ותרבי לך בורית נכתם עונך""KI IM TECHABSI BA'NESER, V'SARBI LACH BORIS, NICHTAM AVONECH LEFANAI..."- "Even if you were to wash with niter (a cleaning agent) and use much soap, your sin is like a [permanent] stain before Me." (Yirmeyahu 2:22)
5)[line 24]"ולכן נשבעתי לבית עלי אם יתכפר עון בית עלי בזבח ובמנחה עד עולם""V'LACHEN NISHBAITI L'VEIS ELI: IM YISKAPER AVON BEIS ELI B'ZEVACH UV'MINCHAH AD OLAM." - "Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the house of Eli will not be atoned for through sacrifices and flour-offering." (Shmuel I 3:14) (THE SONS OF ELI)
(a)Eli was the Shofet and Kohen Gadol when Shmuel ha'Navi first arrived at the Mishkan in Shiloh. He had two sons, Chofni and Pinchas, who were two of the most righteous people in the history of Klal Yisrael. Many generations earlier, when Avraham Avinu gave seven of his sheep to Avimelech, king of the Pelishtim, without asking HaSh-m beforehand if such an action was appropriate (Bereishis 21:30), HaSh-m informed him that he would receive a punishment for doing so. Seven exemplary descendants of Avraham Avinu would be destined to meet their deaths at the hand of descendants of Avimelech. Chofni and Pinchas are two of the seven descendants listed (Bereishis Rabah 54:4). Furthermore, their names were engraved upon two golden stalks rising from a golden bowl containing pure olive oil for the Menoros of the throne of Shlomo ha'Melech (TARGUM SHENI to Megilas Esther).
(b)The verses state that these Tzadikim "slept with married women" (Shmuel I 3:14). The Gemara (Shabbos 55b) states that anyone who claims that the sons of Eli sinned with married women is mistaken. Although the verse seems to state this clearly, what is meant is that they failed to make themselves sufficiently available to provide service to those who wished to offer Korbanos, and this sometimes led to a delay in married women becoming permissible again to their husbands following childbirth. On their lofty level, they were held accountable for this delay. That was their sin. Had they actually sinned with married women, the verse would never have associated them with those honorable Kohanim who descended from them, as it proudly does (Shabbos ibid.).
(c)Another verse implies that anyone who did not agree to give Chofni and Pinchas a portion of the sacrificial meat to roast before the sacrifice was completed was threatened with bodily harm (Shmuel I 2:16). Although the verses state that it was the servants of the Kohanim ("Na'ar ha'Kohen," "Chatas ha'Ne'arim") who committed the offenses (see METZUDAS DAVID), the Gemara (Sanhedrin 58a) attributes them to the sons of Eli themselves, apparently as an expression of the responsibility of Chofni and Pinchas for their servants. These great individuals certainly did not stoop to such low tactics themselves. Either a slight irreverence for the Korbanos according to their lofty level, or a slight lack of supervision on their subordinates, causes the Navi to speak of them harshly.
(d)Chofni and Pinchas suffered their deaths at the hands of the Pelishtim. Based upon a later verse (Shmuel I 2:33), and as our Gemara explains, a curse was placed upon the male descendents of Eli such that without special efforts of piety, all of them would die as young men.
6)[line 31]שיתיןSHITIN- sixty
7)[line 34]"... וכל מרבית ביתך ימותו אנשים""... V'CHOL MARBIS BEISCHA YAMUSU ANASHIM"- "... and all those raised in your house will die as [young] men." (Shmuel I 2:33) - See above, entry #5.
8)[line 37]נחתםNECHTAM- sealed
9)[line 37]"נכתם עונך לפני...""NICHTAM AVONECH LEFANAI"- "... your sin is like a [permanent] stain before Me." (Yirmeyahu 2:22) - This verse implies that a verdict arrived at in judgment is irreversible.
10)[line 38]"... כה' אלקינו בכל קראנו אליו""... KA'SH-M ELOKEINU B'CHOL KAR'ENU ELAV."- "[For what other nation is so great as to have G-d close to them,] as HaSh-m our G-d [is to us] whenever we call to Him?" (Devarim 4:7)
11)[line 39]"דרשו ה' בהמצאו [קראהו בהיותו קרוב]""DIRSHU HASH-M B'HIMATZ'O; [KERA'UHU BI'YEHOSO KAROV]"- "Seek HaSh-m when He is to be found; [call Him when He is near.]" (Yeshayah 55:6) - This verse implies that HaSh-m is not always accessible to us, unlike the verse previously quoted.
12)[line 39]אימתEIMAS?- when [is HaSh-m nearby]?
13)[line 40]"ויהי כעשרת הימים ויגף ה' את נבל וימת""VA'YEHI KA'ASERES HA'YAMIM; VA'YIGOF HASH-M ES NAVAL VA'YAMOS" - "And it was in ten days' time, that HaSh-m plagued Naval, and he died." (Shmuel I 25:38) (NAVAL HA'KARMELI)
(a)While on the run from Shaul ha'Melech, David and his men cultivated a relationship with Naval ha'Karmeli, guarding his flocks and performing other services for him. Later, David ran out of provisions and sent ten messengers to Naval, requesting assistance. Although Naval fed the men, he referred to David as a rebel and refused to send provisions back to David's camp. Because Naval was aware that David had already been coronated by Shmuel ha'Navi, this was an act of rebellion and treason against the king.
(b)David mobilized a force of four hundred men to attack Naval and his household. Before they could do so, however, Naval's wife Avigayil saved the situation by bringing the requested provisions to David at night.
(c)When Avigayil informed her husband of her actions, he fell faint. HaSh-m had struck him in retaliation for his treatment of David. At a later date, David ha'Melech married Avigayil.
14)[line 42]לגימותLEGIMOS- meals
15)[line 44]כבני אמרנאBNEI IMRANA (MA'ASER BEHEMAH)
(a)Once a year, one must designate every tenth Kosher animal born into his herd/flock over the course of the previous year as Ma'asar Behemah (Vayikra 27:32). This is accomplished by gathering all of each type of animal born in the previous year into a corral. They are then made to leave the corral in a single-file line through a narrow opening. Their owner stands by and counts them, marking every tenth one. Our Gemara explains that our Mishnah refers to the young sheep counted one by one when describing how we are judged on Rosh Hashanah.
(b)Animals designated as Ma'asar Behemah are eaten by their owner. If they are unblemished, they are offered as a Korban Shelamim (see Background to 6:10) and eaten by their owner in Yerushalayim. If they have a Mum, their owner may slaughter and eat them as he would any Kosher animal.
(c)Animals born in different years may not be joined together for the purpose of being counted for Ma'asar Behemah. For this purpose, the year begins on the first day of Elul.
16)[line 45]כמעלות בית מרוןMA'ALOS BEIS MARON- the ascent of Beis Maron, which wound up a steep, narrow path that was impossible to traverse two abreast
17)[line 45]כחיילות של בית דודCHAYALOS SHEL BEIS DAVID- the soldiers of David ha'Melech's army [who marched in single file to ease their counting]
18)[line 46]וכולן נסקרין בסקירה אחתKULAN NISKARIN B'SEKIRAH ACHAS- [although they are judged as they pass in single file,] they are all viewed in one gaze (see Insights)
19a)[line 48]דברנהו לכולי עלמאD'BARNAHU L'CHULEI ALMA- that He created the entire world
b)[line 48]ומייחד לבייהו כהדדיU'MEYACHED LIBAIHU K'HADADI- and united their hearts to function identically
20)[line 49]היוצר רואה יחד לבם ומבין אל כל מעשיהםHA'YOTZER RO'EH YACHAD LIBAM, U'MEVIN EL KOL MA'ASEIHEM- Our Gemara explains that in order to arrive at the correct understanding of this verse, one must read it together with the preceding verse (see Background to 16:4). The interpretation is, "The Creator views all of their hearts together, and comprehends all of their deeds."
21)[line 50]השלוחין יוצאיןSHELUCHIM YOTZ'IN (EDUS HA'CHODESH)
(a)The Hebrew calendar month which determines the Jewish holidays begins with each new revolution of the moon, at the point after it wanes completely and begins to wax anew.
(b)When the Sanhedrin of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish "supreme court") convened in Eretz Yisrael, the new month was fixed and sanctified according to the testimony of witnesses. A person who sees the moon (as it begins to grow and is just visible) would travel to the Sanhedrin, or to a Beis Din appointed by the Sanhedrin, to testify. The place where the Beis Din convened to accept testimony was known as the Beis ha'Va'ad. The testimonies were examined there, and when Beis Din was convinced of the witnesses' accuracy, they announced the beginning of the new month.
(c)Today, mathematical calculations are used to determine the beginning of the new month. According toRAMBAM(Hilchos Kidush ha'Chodesh 5:2) it is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai to determine the beginning of the month mathematically when there is no Sanhedrin, and through testimony when there is one.
22)[line 51]תקנת המועדותTAKANAS HA'MO'ADOS- the affixing of the festivals [of Yom ha'Kipurim, Sukos, and Shemini Atzeres in their proper time]
23)[last line]פסח קטןPESACH KATAN (PESACH SHENI)
(a)In the Midbar, after Klal Yisrael were instructed regarding the Korban Pesach (see Background to Sukah 42:39), those who were Tamei and therefore unable to offer it complained to Moshe Rabeinu. They, too, wished to participate in the Korban. HaSh-m responded with, "Any man who is Tamei Mes, or who is far away... [who wishes to] make a Pesach for HaSh-m, in the second month, on the fourteenth day in the afternoon they shall make it; together with Matzah and Maror they shall eat it" (Bamidbar 9:10-11).
(b)The Gemara explains that this verse refers not only to one who is Tamei with Tum'as Mes, but also to one who cannot eat a Korban Pesach due to Tum'ah of any kind. The Gemara defines one who is "far away" as one who is more than fifteen Mil away from the walls of Yerushalayim on midday of Erev Pesach. The Gemara concludes that the Halachah of Pesach Sheni applies to almost anyone who is unable to offer the Korban Pesach on Pesach Rishon (the fourteenth of Nisan; see Pesachim 93a-b).
(c)As the verse states, the Korban Pesach Sheni is offered on the fourteenth of Iyar. There is discussion among the commentaries whether the Pesach Sheni should be offered specifically after the afternoon Korban Tamid, or whether it may be offered even before the Korban Tamid. (See Tosfos to Yoma 29a, DH Ela, and Sha'ar ha'Melech 3:9.)
24)[last line]וליפקוLI'FKU- they should go
25)[line 2]"כה אמר ה' צבקות צום הרביעי וצום החמישי וצום השביעי וצום העשירי יהיה לבית יהודה לששון ולשמחה ולמעדים טובים והאמת והשלום אהבו""KOH AMAR HASH-M TZEVAKOS: TZOM HA'REVI'I V'TZOM HA'CHAMISHI V'TZOM HA'SHEVI'I V'TZOM HA'ASIRI YIHIYEH L'VEIS YEHUDAH L'SASON UL'SIMCHAH UL'MO'ADIM TOVIM VEHA'EMES VEHA'SHALOM EHAVU"- "Thus said HaSh-m, Master of Legions: The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth will be to the House of Yehudah for joy and for gladness and for happy festivals. Only love truth and peace!" (Zecharyah 8:19) - The Navi Zecharyah describes some of the changes that will occur when Mashi'ach will come. Our Gemara understands that these changes apply not only when Mashi'ach will come, but any time the Beis ha'Mikdash stood. Accordingly, these fast days were instead festive days as long as the second Beis ha'Mikdash was standing.
26)[line 12]והוכפלו בו צרותHUCHPELU BO TZAROS- many tragedies occurred on it
27)[line 13]ונלכדה ביתרNILKEDAH BEITAR- Beitar (a very large settlement to the southwest of Yerushalayim; center of the Bar Kochva rebellion) was entrapped
28)[line 14]ונחרשה העירNECHRESHAH HA'IR- the city [of Yerushalayim] was plowed over
29)[line 16]ט' בתמוזTISH'AH B'TAMUZ- the ninth of Tamuz. This was the day on which Yerushalayim was overrun in the times of the first Beis ha'Mikdash, as opposed to the seventeenth of Tamuz, which was when this occurred in the times of the second Beis ha'Mikdash. TOSFOS DH Zeh (the first one) quotes a Yerushalmi which is of the opinion that Yerushalayim was overrun on the seventeenth even in the times of the first Beis ha'Mikdash, but the nation were so muddled by the events of the time that they confused the date.
30)[line 16]הובקעה העירHUVKE'AH HA'IR- the city [of Yerushalayim] was overturned
31)[line 22]גדליה בן אחיקםGEDALYAH BEN ACHIKAM
(a)Gedalyah ben Achikam was both a prophet and the Kohen Gadol at the time of the destruction of the first Beis ha'Mikdash. He was to have headed the remnant of the Jews who planned to remain in the holy city. Because his harsh, prophetic words of rebuke were poorly received, he was unpopular. He refused to accept a report that there were those who planned to kill him, and as a result was murdered on the second day of Rosh Hashanah following the destruction of the first Beis ha'Mikdash.
(b)His death resulted in an utter lack of a Jewish settlement in Yerushalayim after the Churban. The third of Tishrei was declared a public day (Tzom Gedalyah), since it is the first day upon which it is permitted to fast following the anniversary of the murder.
32)[line 25]סמך מלך בבל אל ירושלםSAMACH MELECH BAVEL AL YERSHALAYIM- [Nevuchadnetzar] king of Babylonia marched on Yerushalayim [prior to its destruction]
33)[line 30]באת שמועה לגולה שהוכתה העירBA'AS SHEMU'AH LA'GOLAH SHE'HUKSAH HA'IR- the report that Yerushalayim had been struck reached the [Jews in the Babylonian] exile
34)[line 31]הפליטPALIT- one who escaped
35)[line 35]מגילת תעניתMEGILAS TA'ANIS
(a)Megilas Ta'anis is a document written in the times of the Tana'im, at the end of the period of the second Beis ha'Mikdash. It lists those dates set aside as holidays due to the miracles that occurred on them to Klal Yisrael. Depending on the event, either fasting or delivering a eulogy was prohibited, or both were. These days were recorded in the Megilah so that they would not be forgotten.
(b)Following the destruction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, the holidays of Megilas Ta'anis are no longer observed. The exceptions to this rule are the holidays of Chanukah and Purim (Daf 19b). The Gemara (Shabbos 13b) explains that since we experience Divine help so frequently under the rule of the nations since the destruction, it is impossible to celebrate every occurrence of Divine salvation.
36)[line 40]תעניתTA'ANIS- a fast [similar to Yom ha'Kipurim and Tish'ah b'Av, in which not only eating and drinking but anointing, washing, wearing shoes, and marital relations were forbidden as well]
37)[line 40]בחנוכהCHANUKAH- the festival of Chanukah [whose existence as a festival was due to its inclusion in Megilas Ta'anis]
38)[line 41]וסיפרSIPER- cut his hair
39)[line 41]והתענו על מה שהתעניתםHIS'ANU AL MAH SHE'HIS'ANEISEM- fast [to atone] for that which you fasted [on Chanukah]
40)[line 43]דמיפרסם ניסאD'MIFARSEM NISA- that the miracle [that occurred then] is well publicized [through the Mitzvah of lighting Chanukah lights, which had already been fully accepted throughout Klal Yisrael]
41)[line 44]בתלתא בתשרי בטילת אדכרתא מן שטרייאB'TELATA B'TISHREI BETEILAS ADKARTA MIN SHETARAYA- on the third day of Tishrei the practice of writing the name of HaSh-m on documents was annulled. This is a quote from Megilas Ta'anis.
42)[line 45]מלכות חשמונאיMALCHUS CHASHMONA'I (BEIS CHASHMONA'EI)
(a)When the Syrian-Greeks (Yevanim) infiltrated Eretz Yisrael and attempted to defile all that was holy, the members of a family of Kohanim, named the Chashmona'im (Hasmoneans), were prepared to sacrifice their lives and fight for the honor of HaSh-m. In response, HaSh-m fought their battles and miraculously saved them from their enemies.
(b)The Yevanim had succeeded in breaching the Beis ha'Mikdash and wreaking havoc. When the Chashmona'im returned to this holiest of places, they found that the Mizbe'ach had been made Tamei, and that all of the pure olive oil stored for lighting the Menorah had been defiled. Miraculously, one sealed jar of oil was discovered. Although eight days were required to manufacture new olive oil and the oil found was enough for only one day, it was decided to light the Menorah for that one day. HaSh-m responded with yet another miracle, and the oil burned for eight full days. These events resulted in the institution of the holiday of Chanukah.
(c)Following the period of Chanukah, the members of this priestly family ruled the nation, taking for themselves the title of "prince." This was because only members of the Shevet of Yehudah may rule as "kings." Eventually, descendants of the Chashmona'im who were not as fiercely loyal to HaSh-m as their ancestors seized the kingship. Before the destruction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, Herod, slave of the Chashmona'im, rebelled. He murdered every member of the family and declared himself king. Thus the Chashmona'i family no longer has any living members.
43)[line 48]פורעPORE'A- repay
44)[line 48]מוטל באשפהMUTAL B'ASHPAH- placed in the garbage
45)[line 49]קמייתא בטול אחרנייתא מוסיפיןKAMAISA BATUL, ACHARANAISA MOSIFIN?- [once] the original [dates recorded in Megilas Ta'anis] were nullified, does it make sense to] add additional ones? Our Gemara at this point assumes that the story which was just related took place after the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash.