[49a - 43 lines; 49b - 38 lines]

1a)[line 1] TEHEI LUTA- you should be the recipient of a curse

b)[line 1] V'LO SEHEI LE'ATAH- and you should not be the one who curses


(a)Avner was the commander-in-chief of the army of King Shaul, who crowned Shaul's son Ish Boshes as Shaul's successor (Shmuel II 2:8-9). Asah'el, who was a nephew of David and a military commander, was pursuing Avner during the war between David and the house of Shaul. Asah'el was extremely swift, "as fleet as a deer" (ibid. 2:18), and thus he thought that he would be able to capture and kill Avner. Avner called out to him, begging him to turn away so that he would not be forced to kill him. Asah'el ignored Avner's pleas and continued the pursuit. Avner, defending his own life, killed Asah'el in a single blow (ibid. 2:17-23). For a short time there was a break in the fighting, with each side regrouping and counting their casualties. Asah'el was laid to rest (ibid. 2:28-32).

(b)The war dragged on, with David's men slowly gaining the upper hand (ibid. 3:1). One day, Avner was terribly insulted by Ish Boshes, and he decided to desert to David's side. He went to Chevron, wishing to unite all of the people under the leadership of David (ibid. 3:8-21). David, eager to have such a major figure join his ranks, greeted him warmly, guaranteeing him amnesty and safety in his kingdom. David's chief of the army, Yoav, who was Asah'el's brother, despised Avner for having killed his brother and he treacherously and underhandedly assassinated him (ibid. 3:27). David was infuriated at Yoav's insubordination, and he cursed him with the following formidable condemnation: "It (the guilt for Avner's blood) shall rest upon Yoav's head and upon all his father's family. May there never cease from Yoav's house a [male descendant who is a] Zav (see Background to Erchin 3:1), a leper, he who leans on a crutch, he who falls [in battle] by the sword, and he who lacks bread [to eat]" (ibid. 3:29).


(a)The Go'el ha'Dam is the "avenger of the blood." When a person who killed unintentionally is banished to one of the six Arei Miklat (cities of refuge) or one of the forty-two cities of the Leviyim, he must stay there and not leave the city or its Techum for any reason whatsoever until the death of the Kohen Gadol who served at the time that he was sentenced to banishment. If the unintentional murderer leaves his city of refuge, the Go'el ha'Dam (the closest relative of the murdered person) is permitted to avenge the death of his relative and kill the murderer. In the case of intentional murder as determined by Beis Din, the Go'el ha'Dam is the one who carries out the death penalty.

(b)Yoav, the commander-in-chief of David's army, was the brother of Asah'el, who was killed by Avner (see previous entry). Since he was his brother, Yoav considered himself to be the Go'el ha'Dam of Asah'el, and thus he felt that he was entitled to kill Avner to avenge his brother's death. Yoav brought Avner to the Sanhedrin (according to the simple understanding of the Gemara) in order to clarify Avner's status. The Sanhedrin did not come to any conclusive decision regarding Avner's guilt in killing Asah'el (for perhaps he was justified in killing him to protect his own life. On the other hand, perhaps he was not justified since he should have only wounded Asah'el to protect himself and not killed him). Yoav then asked Avner how a woman with no arms can perform the rite of Chalitzah, which requires her to remove the Yavam's shoe. Avner told him that it can be done with the teeth. Yoav asked him to demonstrate how it is done, and when Avner bent down to show him, Yoav slew him with his sword.

4)[line 3] ASAH'EL RODEF HAYAH - Asah'el was a Rodef, a pursuer (see above, entry #2) (RODEF)

(a)A person is allowed to save himself from a "Rodef" (an assailant pursuing him with the intention of murdering him), even by killing the Rodef, if he cannot save himself in any other way. In this situation, the Torah teaches, "ha'Ba l'Horgecha, Hashkem v'Horgo" - "When someone tries to kill you, rise up and kill him first." It is permitted not only for the Nirdaf, the one being pursued, to kill the Rodef, but anyone may kill the Rodef.

(b)If, however, it is possible to save the Nirdaf by wounding the Rodef, then it is not permitted to kill him. If one kills the Rodef when it is possible to save the Nirdaf by merely wounding the Rodef, then the savior is considered a killer and is Chayav Misah.

5)[line 4] HAYAH LO L'HATZILO B'ECHAD ME'EVARAV- he should have saved him[self] by [wounding his pursuer in] one of his limbs (see previous entry)

6)[line 6] B'DOFEN CHAMISHIS KIVEIN LEI- he intended [to pierce him] in his fifth rib (thus mortally wounding him)

7)[line 6]"[ ,] [ , ...]""... VA'YAKEHU AVNER B'ACHAREI HA'CHANIS EL HA'CHOMESH..."- "[and Asah'el refused to turn back,] and Avner struck him with the back of the spear at the fifth rib..." (Shmuel II 2:23).

8)[line 8] BA'MAKOM SHE'MARAH V'CHAVED TELUYIN BO- in the place where the gallbladder and the liver are suspended

9)[line 9] NEIZIL AVNER- let [our accusation against you concerning the death of] Avner go

10)[line 10]AMASA

Amasa was a great warrior who was to be appointed commander of David's army after Avshalom's rebellion was crushed. Yoav, who had been the commander until then, was going to be demoted because he killed Avshalom. David sent Amasa to gather soldiers to suppress the rebellion started by Sheva ben Bichri (Shmuel II 20:1). David gave Amasa three days to return with the soldiers. Amasa, however, returned late, because he found them engaged in Torah learning and did not want to disturb them. Because of the delay, Yoav considered Amasa to be a "Mored b'Malchus," someone who rebels against the king, because he did not obey the king's command (and was thus deserving of death). Yoav killed Amasa by arranging his sword in its sheath in such a way that it would fall out easily without arousing Amasa's suspicion. Yoav then picked up the sword in his left hand and engaged Amasa in conversation, pretending to ask him about his welfare while taking hold of Amasa's beard with his right hand as if to kiss him. He then killed him in a single blow, as described in Shmuel II 20: 8-10.

11)[line 11]" [] (), ; [ ]. , [ ]""VA'YOMER HA'MELECH (L') [EL] AMASA, 'HAZ'EK LI ES ISH YEHUDAH SHELOSHES YAMIM; [V'ATAH PO AMOD].' VA'YELECH AMASA L'HAZ'IK ES YEHUDAH, VA'YOCHER [MIN HA'MO'ED ASHER YE'ADO]"- The king said to Amasa, 'Marshal for me the men of Yehudah in three days; and you shall then stand here.' And Amasa went to marshal Yehudah, but he was late from the appointed time that he (the king) had set for him" (Shmuel II 20:4-5).

12)[line 13] ACHIN V'RAKIN DARASH- he expounded Halachos based on the words "" "Ach" (but) and "" "Rak" (only) found in the Torah

13)[line 13] ASHKECHINHU DI'FESI'ACH LEHU B'MASECHTA- he found them with their tractates open [in front of them, learning]

14)[line 14]" ; ""KOL ISH ASHER YAMREH ES PICHA V'LO YISHMA ES DEVARECHA L'CHOL ASHER TETZAVENU YUMAS; RAK CHAZAK VE'EMATZ!"- "Any man who will rebel against your command and will not listen to your words regarding all that you will command him shall die; only be strong and be brave!" (Yehoshua 1:18) - Yehoshua was, for all intents and purposes, the "king," i.e. leader, of Yisrael, and a Halachah is learned from this verse regarding kings. Because the word "Rak" limits the scope of the previous part of the verse, Amasa learned that there were to be times when the king's command could be disobeyed.

15)[line 16] HA'HU GAVRA- that person, i.e. Yoav

16)[line 16]" , , ; [ ' ]""VEHA'SHEMU'AH BA'AH AD YOAV KI YOAV NATAH ACHAREI ADONIYAH, V'ACHAREI AVSHALOM LO NATAH..."- "The news reached Yoav [and worried him], because Yoav had turned after Adoniyah, but he had not turned after Avshalom; [and Yoav fled to the tent of HaSh-m, and he grabbed hold of the horns of the Mizbe'ach (altar)]" (Melachim I 2:28).

17)[line 19] LICHLUCHIS SHEL DAVID KAYEMES- the vitality (lit. moisture) of David was still in existence (and he was able to punish those who rebel)

18)[line 19] ITZTAGNINEI SHEL DAVID KAYAMIN- the powerful influencing agents of David were still in existence (this refers to the mighty warriors of David's army, on whose word David relied when they advised him to go into or emerge from battle. The word "Itztagninus" usually refers to astrological influence, and it is used here to show that David followed the word of his warriors like a person follows the astrological signs RASHI)

19)[line 21] YEFAS TO'AR

See Background to Sanhedrin 21:21.

20)[line 21] MEGADLEI BELURIS- they would grow Beluris (the long hair grown at the back of the head by idol-worshipping youths of the upper classes in honor of their gods, and that was offered to their gods once a year) in order to look formidable, so that others would be afraid of them (RASHI)

21)[line 21] MEHALCHIN B'ROSHEI HA'GAYASOS- they would walk at the head of the battle troops (however, they went into battle only in order to frighten the enemy, but they were not actual members of the army, since they were not of pure lineage Kidushin 76b)

22)[line 22] BA'ALEI EGROFIN- strong men (lit. men of fists)

23)[line 22]PELIGA- argues with

24)[line 27]" , ; [ ]""VA'YETZEI YOAV ME'IM DAVID, VA'YISHLACH MAL'ACHIM ACHAREI AVNER, VA'YASHIVU OSO MI'BOR HA'SIRAH; [V'DAVID LO YADA]"- "Yoav went out from with David, and he sent messengers after Avner, and they brought him back from Bor ha'Sirah; [and David did not know]" (Shmuel II 3:26).

25a)[line 29]BOR - a water flask (TZAPICHIS HA'MAYIM SHEL SHAUL)

The Bor in this verse refers to the flask of Shaul ha'Melech, which David had taken from Shaul while Shaul was sleeping. Shaul had been pursuing David and had encamped at Giv'as ha'Chavilah near Yeshimon. The soldiers surrounding Shaul to protect him as he slept had themselves fallen asleep, and David used the opportunity to take Shaul's sword and his water flask, as a sign that he did not want to kill him but that he wanted Shaul to live and to let him live (Shmuel I 27:5-12). Avner, however, told Shaul that David never had the opportunity to harm Shaul, but rather some of the young soldiers probably gave Shaul's sword and flask to David (RASHI), or that David's men found the flask at a water pit after Shaul forgot it there (RABEINU CHANANEL).

b)[line 29]SIRAH - a thorn (KENAF HA'ME'IL SHEL SHAUL)

The Sirah in this verse refers to the corner of Shaul's garment which David cut off clandestinely, when Shaul was pursuing David and entered a cave to relieve himself, unaware that David was hiding in that cave. David did not kill Shaul even though he had the opportunity to do so, but rather he took the piece of Shaul's garment as a sign that he did not want to kill him, but that he wanted Shaul to live and to let him live (Shmuel I 24:4-17). Avner, however, told Shaul that David never had the opportunity to harm Shaul, but rather his garment was probably torn by being caught on a thorn, and David found it. Because of Avner's words, David's actions were downplayed and Shaul continued to pursue him.

26)[line 29]"[ ,] ; [ , ]""... VA'YATEHU YOAV EL TOCH HA'SHA'AR L'DABER ITO BA'SHELI..."- "[And Avner returned to Chevron,] and Yoav took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, [and struck him there at the fifth rib, and he died, for the blood of Asah'el his brother]" (Shmuel II 3:27).

27)[line 33] AL ISKEI SHALO- concerning the matter of the removal [of the shoe]

28a)[line 36] HEN B'FEH- they [refused to obey the king's command even though the king commanded them] with his mouth (orally). Avner refused to obey King Shaul's command to kill the Kohanim of the city of Nov (see Background to Sanhedrin 20:7), and Amasa refused to obey the king's command because it would have meant stopping the Torah learning of the soldiers

b)[line 36] HU B'IGERES- he [obeyed the king's command to have Uriyah ha'Chiti killed, even though the king only commanded him] through a letter

29)[line 41]"[ ,] ""... V'YOAV YECHAYEH ES SHE'AR HA'IR"- "[And he (David) built the city all around...] and Yoav repaired the rest of the city" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 11:8). - The word for the restoration and repair of the city is "Yechayeh," which has the connotation that he caused it to live. As such, our Gemara learns that he provided the poor people of the city with food and sustenance.

30)[line 41] , MONINEI V'TZACHANASA TA'IM, PARIS LEHU- he would taste [the food first to make sure of its quality and then] distribute [to the poor people] small fish (RASHI) or fish brine (ARUCH), and hashed fish (a mixture of salted small fish, the majority of which are whole, and the rest hashed (RAN to Nedarim 51b), or hashed fish (TOSFOS ibid. 1st explanation, ROSH ibid.)



31)[line 5] KOL MAKOM SHE'SHANU CHACHAMIM DERECH MINYAN- in every place [in the Mishnayos] that the Chachamim taught Halchos in an orderly form, counting out one after the other


(a)The Mishnah (Nidah 61b) lists seven cleansing agents that are used to check whether a stain on an article of clothing is blood of Nidus or another substance, such as paint. If the article of clothing is treated with these cleansing agents in the order that they are listed, a stain of blood of Nidus will disappear at the end of the cleaning process. Any other stain will remain.

(b)If the stain is proven to be the blood of Nidus, which is Metamei, any items that were Tehorim (ritually pure) that touched the article of clothing must be considered Teme'im and must be treated accordingly.

33a)[line 8] ROK TAFEL- tasteless saliva; a person's saliva upon awakening in the morning after not having eaten since midnight. (See Insights to Nidah 63:1)

b)[line 8] MEI GERISIN- shelled beans that have been chewed (and mixed with saliva)

c)[line 8] MEI RAGLAYIM- fermented urine that is at least three days old

d)[line 8]NESER- natron, native carbonate of soda

e)[line 9]BORIS- an alkaline plant

f)[line 9]KIMOLYA / KIMONYA- an alkaline clay

g)[line 9]() []ASHLACH / ASHLAG- a kind of alkali or mineral used as a soap (Ashlag is the Hebrew word used currently for potash)

34)[line 14] BI'PELUGSA LO KA MAIRI- he (Rava Amar Rav Sechora Amar Rav Huna) was not listing the Mishnayos of this type that contain a Tanaic argument (and he does not argue with regard to our Mishnah)

35)[line 15] SEDER YOMA- the order of the day (the order of the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash on Yom Kippur)

36)[line 17] HA'HU CHUMRA B'ALMA- that (the order of the Avodah on Yom Kippur) is due merely to the austerity of the day (and is not because one part of the Avodah is more important than another part RASHI)

37)[line 19] SEDER TAMID- the order of the offering of the Korban Tamid (as detailed in Maseches Tamid)

38)[line 20] L'MITZVAH B'ALMA- [the order of the offering of the Korban Tamid is] merely for a Mitzvah (and if the order is changed, it does not invalidate the service)

39)[line 21]CHALITZAH- see Background to Sanhedrin 18:2

40)[line 22] HAYU NOSNIN LO ETZAH HA'HOGENES LO- they would give advice that is suitable for him (not to marry a woman who is too old or too young for him)

41)[line 24]"[ ; , ] [ , ]""ME'EN YEVAMI..."- "[And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the Beis Din (lit. the gate) to the elders, and say,] 'My husband's brother refuses [to raise for his brother a name in Yisrael; he will not perform the Mitzvah of Yibum with me']" (Devarim 25:7).

42)[line 25]"[ , ] ""LO CHAFATZTI L'KACHTAH"- "... I do not desire to marry her" (Devarim 25:8).

43)[line 25]" , [ ], ; ""V'NIGESHAH YEVIMTO ELAV L'EINEI HA'ZEKENIM, V'CHALTZAH NA'ALO [ME'AL RAGLO], V'YARKAH B'FANAV; V'ANSAH V'AMRAH 'KACHAH YE'ASEH LA'ISH ASHER LO YIVNEH ES BEIS ACHIV'"- "Then shall his brother's wife come to him in the presence of the elders, and pull off his shoe [from his foot], and spit [on the floor] in front of him; and shall raise her voice and say, 'So shall it be done to that man who will not build up his brother's house'" (Devarim 25:9).

44)[line 26] ROK HA'NIR'EH LA'DAYANIN- spittle that could be seen by the Beis Din

45)[line 27]" [ ]""V'NIKRA SHEMO B'YISRAEL 'BEIS CHALUTZ HA'NA'AL'"- " And his name shall be called in Yisrael, 'The house of him who has had his shoe pulled off'" (Devarim 25:10).

46)[line 29] IY APICH- if the order is switched

47)[line 31] KOHEN GADOL MESHAMESH B'SHEMONAH KELIM - the Kohen Gadol performs the Avodah while wearing eight vestments (BIGDEI KOHEN GADOL)

The Kohen Gadol must wear the eight vestments of the Kohen Gadol when he does the Avodah in the Beis ha'Mikdash (RAMBAM Hilchos Klei ha'Mikdash 4:12-13). The eight vestments are:

1.Tzitz (forehead-plate),

2.Efod (apron),

3.Choshen (breastplate),

4.Me'il (robe),

5.Kutones (long shirt),

6.Michnasayim (breeches),

7.Avnet (belt),

8.Mitznefes (turban).

48)[line 33]"[ ,] , [ , ; , ]""[KESONES BAD KODESH YILBASH,] U'MICHNESEI VAD YIHEYU AL BESARO, [UV'AVNET BAD YACHGOR, UV'MITZNEFES BAD YITZNOF...]"- "[He shall wear a holy tunic of linen,] and breeches of linen shall be upon his flesh, [and he shall gird himself with a belt of linen, and with a turban of linen he shall wrap his head...]" (Vayikra 16:4).

49)[line 35] , MISHUM D'MECHASYA KULEI GUFEI, ADIFA LEI- because it covers the entire body, it takes precedence

50)[line 36]MEGADEF

One is prohibited to curse HaSh-m (Shemos 22:27). One who does so in front of valid witnesses after having been properly warned is liable to receive Sekilah (stoning) (Vayikra 24:14-15). He is liable to receive this penalty, however, only if he expressed his curse in a format of "Yakeh Yosi Es Yosi." This means that he articulated in his curse that HaSh-m should smite Himself, while expressing two names of HaSh-m (derived from Vayikra 24:17; Mishnah and Gemara, Sanhedrin 56a). For further explanation, see Insights to Sanhedrin 55:1.

51)[line 37] POSHET YADO BA'IKAR- he has stretched his hand against the Source (he has denied the presence of HaSh-m in the world)


The daughter of a Kohen who commits adultery is put to death. She does not receive the death penalty of Chenek (choking), as in other cases of adultery, but rather Sereifah (molten lead is poured in her throat), as it states in Vayikra 21:9.

53)[last line] MECHALELES ES AVIHA- she desecrates her father's name, as the verse states, "The daughter of a Kohen who defiles herself through adultery her father she desecrates" (Vayikra 21:9).