SANHEDRIN 37 (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), which occurs on 30 Menachem Av.

[37a - 46 lines; 37b - 55 lines]

1)[line 1] SHALOSH SHUROS- three rows [of Talmidim, student judges]. These three rows are comprised of young, potential judges. If the need arises to add additional judges to the Beis Din of 23 judging a capital case (for example, 12 of the judges said the defendant was guilty, and 11 said that he was innocent, in which case the verdict cannot be passed, since a guilty verdict needs a majority of 2 judges), the judges are added from those who are sitting in these three rows. Each of the student rows also consists of 23 judges, such that three rows are necessary in order to provide up to 48 additional judges (to reach a Beis Din of 71).

2)[line 6] ECHAD MIN HA'KAHAL- one [of the Talmidim] from the assembly. The students of the assembly are less qualified and less experienced that those who sit in the three rows as candidate judges.

3)[line 9]" ; ""SHARERECH AGAN HA'SAHAR, AL YECHSAR HA'MAZEG; BITNECH AREMAS CHITIM, SUGAH BA'SHOSHANIM"- "Your navel is like a goblet shaped like the moon, that never lacks blended wine; your stomach is like a heap of wheat, fenced in with roses" (Shir ha'Shirim 7:3).

4)[line 12] TIBURO SHEL OLAM- the center (lit. navel, which is at the center of the body) of the world. The Sanhedrin convened in the Beis ha'Mikdash, which is the center of the world.

5)[line 13] SHE'HI DOMAH L'SAHAR- for it is similar to the moon (in that the Sanhedrin sits in the shape of a semi-circle, like a crescent moon)

6)[line 20] AFILU K'SUGAH SHEL SHOSHANIM- [a protective measure] even [as thin] as a fence of roses [keeps the Jewish people away from sin]

7)[line 21] HA'HU MINA- that certain heretic

8)[line 23]NE'ORES- thoroughly beaten flax

9)[line 23]MEHAVHEVES- (O.F. flamer) catch fire, combust

10)[line 25]" ""K'FELACH HA'RIMON RAKASECH..."- "As a section of a pomegranate is your cheek [within your veil]" (Shir ha'Shirim 6:7) - Reish Lakish reads this verse to mean: "As many as a pomegranate's seeds are the merits of your unworthiest" (The word for "your cheek," "Rakasech," hints at the word "" "Reik," or "empty.")

11)[line 25]REIKANIN- the empty ones

12)[line 26]"[ ,] [...]""... VA'YARACH ES REI'ACH BEGADAV [VAY'VARECHEIHU...]"- "... and he smelled the fragrance of his clothing, [and blessed him...]" (Bereishis 27:27) - The Torah relates that when Yakov came to receive the blessing from Yitzchak, Yitzchak smelled the fragrance of his son's clothing.

13)[line 27]BOGDAV- his sinners (lit. traitors), referring to the Jewish descendants of Yakov who would sin (even they have a good fragrance - see Insights)

14)[line 27]BIRYONEI- ruffians

15)[line 27] SHIVEVUSEI D'REBBI ZEIRA- the neighborhood of Rebbi Zeira

16)[line 27] D'HAVAH MEKAREV LEHU KI HEICHI D'NIHADRU LEHU BI'TEYUVTA- he (Rebbi Zeira) would bring them close [to him] in order that they return in repentance

17)[line 28] HAVU KAPDEI RABANAN- the Rabanan were strict with Rebbi Zeira (they did not want him to bring those sinners close to him, as they felt that the sinners were doing Teshuvah only to impress Rebbi Zeira)

18)[line 28] KI NACH NAFSHEI D'REBBI ZEIRA- when Rebbi Zeira died

19)[line 28] AD HA'IDNA HAVAH CHARIKA KATIN SHAKEI- until now, the burned, short-legged one was alive (referring to Rebbi Zeira, who was short and who had burned his legs; see Bava Metzia 85a, which describes the incident in which Rebbi Zeira went into a fiery oven in order to test himself)

20)[line 29] D'HAVAH BA'I ALAN RACHAMEI- who would pray for mercy for us

21)[line 30] , KI NAIDEI, KULHU NAIDEI- when they moved (the one or two candidate judges who were selected from the front of the three rows to become members of Beis Din), all of them moved (all of the candidate judges in the three rows moved, by shifting seats, each person moving up one (or two) seats)

22)[line 31] HASHTA MOSVISU LI B'DANVEI- now they are seating me at the tail (one who was seated at the head of the second row, for example, would be seated at the end of the first row when they all moved up one seat)

23)[line 33]ME'AIMIN- threaten, frighten, intimidate

24a)[line 34]ME'OMED- based on a conjecture [of what occurred]

b)[line 34]MI'SHEMU'AH- based on hearsay

25)[line 34] ED MI'PI ED- a witness who testifies based on what he heard from an actual witness (and not what he himself saw)

26)[line 43]RASHUYOS- powers

27)[line 44] ADAM TOVE'A KAMAH MATBE'OS B'CHOSAM ECHAD- a person mints many coins with a single mold


28)[line 2]"[ ,] ; ""[V'NEFESH KI SECHETA V'SHAM'AH KOL ALAH,] V'HU ED O RA'AH O YADA; IM LO YAGID V'NASA AVONO"- "[And if a person sins, and hears (and accepts) the demand for an oath,] and he is a witness, whether he has seen or known of it; if he does not utter it (i.e. testify), then he shall bear his iniquity" (Vayikra 5:1).

29)[line 4]"[] ""[U']VA'AVOD RESHA'IM RINAH"- "... and with the destruction of the wicked, there is joyous song" (Mishlei 11:10).

30)[line 6]CHURVAH- a ruined building

31)[line 7]SAYIF- a sword

32)[line 7] DAMO METEFTEF- his blood was dripping

33)[line 8] HARUG MEFARPER- the murdered was convulsing

34)[line 10] ER'EH BA'NECHAMAH...- (a) "I will see the [day that Benei Yisrael will be in a state of] comfort (and will be redeemed from Galus)" (BEREISHIS RABAH 65:12, see MAHARSHA to Pesachim 54b). This phrase is a euphemism meaning, "I will not see the Day of Redemption (if the following is not true)" (RASHI to Makos 5b DH Er'eh, 1st explanation); (b) "[I take an oath that my sons shall die and] I will see [the period of mourning in which people will come to] comfort [me] (if the following is not true)" (RASHI to Makos 5b DH Er'eh, 2nd explanation).

35)[line 18]HIKISHO- it bit him

36)[line 18] ?!HAI BAR NACHASH HU?!- Was this one (the presumed murderer) deserving [of being killed by] a snake?! (Being bitten by a snake is similar to the death penalty of Sereifah. Murder is punishable by the death penalty of Hereg.)


Arba Misos Beis Din, the four death penalties administered by Beis Din, in their order of stringency are:

1.Sekilah (stoning, whereby the transgressor is thrust down from the height of two stories, and then (if he is still alive) a large rock is thrown down upon him). Some examples of sins for which Sekilah is administered: desecrating the Shabbos; idol worship; cursing (Chas v'Shalom) G-d; bestiality; sodomy; certain illicit relations (Sanhedrin 53a).

2.Sereifah (burning with molten lead, which is poured down the throat). Sereifah is administered for certain illicit relations (Sanhedrin 75a).

3.Hereg (killing with a sword) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #50). Hereg is administered for Avodah Zarah, when performed along with most of the inhabitants of an Ir ha'Nidachas, and for murder (Sanhedrin 76b).

4.Chenek (strangulation) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #47) - Chenek is administered for wounding one's parents; Zaken Mamrei; Navi Sheker; certain illicit relations (Sanhedrin 84b).

38)[line 22] DIN ARBA MISOS LO BATLU- the liability to receive the four death penalties of Beis Din has not been annulled

39)[line 24]DORASTO- tramples him to death

40)[line 25]MAKISHO- bites him

41a)[line 26] NIMSAR LA'MALCHUS- he is handed over (by informers) to the ruling power

b)[line 26] LISTIN BA'IN ALAV- armed bandits come upon him

42)[line 28]SERUNCHI- (O.F. bon malant) quinsy, a severe development of heat, pain, redness and swelling in the throat

43)[line 33]HA'OCHER- (a) engaged in mating (RASHI's preferred explanation); (b) biting (RASHI)

44)[line 37] " "HU AMAR LI SHE'ANI CHAYAV LO- [witnesses testify that] he said to me that "I owe him money"

45)[line 40] AMRINAN LEHU B'DINEI NEFASHOS- we say it to them (i.e. the witnesses, that certain forms of testimony, such as "Ed mi'Pi Ed," are invalid, only) in cases of Dinei Nefashos

46a)[line 42]CHABUROS- wounds

b)[line 42]PETZI'OS- stabs

47)[line 45]" ...""MI'KENAF HA'ARETZ ZEMIROS SHAMANU TZVI LA'TZADIK..."- "From the edge of the earth we heard songs: 'Glory to the righteous one'..." (Yeshayah 24:16).

48)[line 46]" [ ; ]""VA'TIFTACH HA'ARETZ ES PIHAH..."- "And the ground opened up its mouth [and swallowed them and their houses; and all of the men who were with Korach, and all of the property]" (Bamidbar 16:32) - From here we see that the ground did open up another time, after opening up to swallow the blood of Hevel.

49)[line 48]"[ ;] [ ]""... V'HAYISI NA VA'NAD [BA'ARETZ...]"- "... and I will be constantly wandering [the earth...]" (Bereishis 4:14).

50)[line 48]"[ ',] [ ]""... VA'YESHEV B'ERETZ NOD..."- "... and he settled in the land of Nod..." (Bereishis 4:16).

51)[line 49]" [] ; [] [], ""HA'YOSHEV BA'IR HA'ZOS YAMUS BA'CHEREV UVA'RA'AV UVA'DAVER; V'HA'YOTZEI V'NAFAL AL HA'KASDIM HA'TZARIM ALEICHEM V'CHAYAH, V'HAYESAH LO NAFSHO L'SHALAL"- "He who dwells in this city will die by the sword or by famine or by plague; but he who leaves and falls into the hands of the Kasdim who are besieging you will live, and his life will be his spoils" (Yirmeyahu 21:9).

52)[line 52]"[ ',] , ; ""... KISVU ES HA'ISH HA'ZEH ARIRI, GEVER LO YITZLACH B'YAMAV; KI LO YITZLACH MI'ZAR'O ISH YOSHEV AL KISEI DAVID U'MOSHEL OD BI'YEHUDAH"- "Inscribe this man as childless, a man who will not succeed in his life; for none of his offspring will succeed as a man sitting on the throne of David and a ruler over Yehudah anymore" (Yirmeyahu 22:30).

53)[line 53]" ""U'VNEI YECHONYAH: ASIR SHE'ALTI'EL BENO"- "The sons of Yechonyah: Asir, Shealtiel, his son" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 3:17).

54)[last line]SHASLO- He (HaSh-m) implanted him [at the time of his conception]