[55a - 54 lines; 55b - 48 lines]
We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any other important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos.
 Rashi 55b DH v'Ha Kesiv Ma'avirim ד"ה והא כתיב מעבירים:
"Amar Rav Huna ... Kasheh b'Einai Shem he'Chacham ha'Nizkar Kan" אמר רב הונא... קשה בעיני שם החכם הנזכר כן
In the earlier printings of Shas the Girsa in Rashi is "Amar Rava brei d'Rebbi Yehoshua" אמר רבא ברי דרבי. However, this Girsa is certainly a printing error, since the Girsa in the Dikdukei Sofrim and the manuscripts is also Rav Huna, like our Girsa, in Rashi which is based on the emendation of the Maharshal. (Consequently, the explanation of Rashi that the Maharsha suggests is refuted.)
With regard to meaning of Rashi's statement that the "name of the Chacham is questionable," see Maharam, who explains as follows: Rashi feels that were it not for the fact that the Gemara's answer was brought in the name of a specific Chacham, it would be appropriate to emend the Gemara, since it was surely a confused student that added this answer of the Gemara. However, since a specific Chacham is mentioned, it stands to reason that the line is authentic, since it is unlikely that the name of a Chacham (who is not yet mentioned in this Sugya) would be added to our Gemaras by mistake. Therefore, Rashi is uncertain how to deal with this line of Gemara. The Chacham Tzvi (#33) concurs with this explanation.
(For an alternative solution to Rashi's question, see Tosfos and Insights to the Daf. Moreover, the Hagahos Dikdukei Sofrim brings a Girsa from the manuscript of the Yalkut Shimoni where this line is actually recorded without mentioning the name of any Chacham.)
1)[line 4]ולא הוה משגח בהV'LO HAVAH MASHGACH BAH- and he (Shmuel) did not pay any attention to her
2)[line 5]"אוטם אזנו מזעקת דל גם הוא יקרא ולא יענה""OTEM AZNO MI'ZA'AKAS DAL, GAM HU YIKRA V'LO YE'ANEH"- "He who seals his ear from hearing the outcry of an impoverished man, he too shall cry out and will not be answered" (Mishlei 21:13).
3)[line 6]שיננאSHINENA- well-learned person
4a)[line 6]רישך בקריריREISHACH B'KRIREI- your leader will not be punished (lit. will be in cold water)
b)[line 6]רישא דרישיך בחמימיREISHA D'REISHICH B'CHAMIMEI- your leader's leader will be punished (lit. will be in hot water, i.e. he is responsible)
5)[line 8]"בית דוד...""BEIS DAVID..."- "O House of David, Thus says HaSh-m, pass judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings" (Yirmeyahu 21:12) - This verse proves that it is the judges who are accountable for the oppressed.
6)[line 11]לוכחינהו מרLOCHECHINHU MAR- you, Sir, should reprove then
7)[line 16]"ויאמר...""VA'YOMER..."- "and HaSh-m said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Yerushalayim, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry on account of all the abominations that are done in her midst'" (Yechezkel 9:4) - This verse describes marking the righteous. Although HaSh-m did not intend to save them, the marking process shows how those who keep the Torah and do its Mitzvos are set apart from the wicked. However, their merits were not enough to save them at that point in time.
8)[line 20]תיו של דיוTAV SHEL DEYO- the letter Tav written in ink
9)[line 21]מלאכי חבלהMAL'ACHEI CHABALAH- Angels of destruction
10)[line 29]"... זקן...""… ZAKEN..."- "Slay the old, the youths and maidens, little children and women, but come not near any man upon whom is the mark, and begin at My sanctuary" (ibid. 9:6) - This verse shows that the [potential] good that was promised was retracted. "My sanctuary" refers to the most righteous people of the nation.
11)[line 35]"והנה ששה אנשים באים...""V'HINEH SHISHAH ANASHIM BA'IM..."- "And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies towards the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed in linen, with a writer's ink well by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the bronze Mizbe'ach" (ibid. 9:2) - Even though this verse appears at the beginning of the chapter (before the previous verses), it is quoted here because the Gemara is relating the story of the beginning of the destruction, where the six agents of destruction are employed.
12a)[line 40]תמה זכות אבותTAMAH ZECHUS AVOS- the protective attributes of the merits of the forefathers have been used up
b)[line 40]תחון זכות אבותTACHON ZECHUS AVOS- the merits of the forefathers will provide grace [to those marked with the Tav of ink]
13)[line 41]חותמוCHOSAMO- His seal
14)[line 43]"[ועתה] אגלה את נבלתה...""[V'ATAH] AGALEH ES NAVLUSAH..."- "And now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no person (even the Avos) shall deliver her out of my hand" (Hoshea 2:12).
15)[line 44]"וחזאל מלך ארם...""VA'CHAZA'EL MELECH ARAM..."- "And Chaza'el the king of Aram oppressed Yisrael all the days of Yeho'achaz, and HaSh-m was gracious to them, because of His covenant with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov, and did not want to destroy them, and He did not cast them away from His presence until now" (Melachim II 13:22-23) - This implies that from that time onwards, Bnei Yisrael will not benefit from the covenant of the Avos.
16)[line 47]"ויהי בעלות המנחה""VA'YEHI BA'ALOS HA'MINCHAH..." - "And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Eliyahu the prophet came near and said, 'HaSh-m, G-d of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov, let it be known this day that You are G-d in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things by Your word'" (Melachim I 18:36) (ELIYAHU AND THE PROPHETS OF BA'AL)
(a)When the wicked king Achav referred to Eliyahu ha'Navi as "Ocher Yisrael" (the one who destroys Yisrael) for having decreed a famine in the land, Eliyahu arranged a confrontation with the 850 prophets of the idol Ba'al on Mount Carmel. All of Yisrael was invited to witness the event, at which Eliyahu intended to demonstrate to Yisrael that HaSh-m was the true G-d.
(b)After challenging Yisrael to decide whether to worship HaSh-m or Ba'al, Eliyahu took two bulls; the prophets of Ba'al would choose one, leaving him with the other. Both parties would then prepare an altar and firewood on which they would place their cut-up bull as a sacrifice. Each party would then beseech his god to send fire from the heavens and consume his animal. The One which responded would prove Himself to be the true G-d.
(c)The entire morning, until close to Minchah time, accompanied by the taunts of Eliyahu, the prophets of Ba'al ranted and raved, pranced on their altar and, in their frenzy, even cut themselves in an attempt to arouse their god, but to no avail.
(d)The Midrash relates how the prophets of Ba'al attempted to cheat by placing one of their men (Chi'el of Beis El, who built up Yericho and lost all of his children in the process) underneath their Mizbe'ach, with instructions to set fire to the wood and to burn the bull. What they did not know was that a snake had bitten him and killed him (perhaps because he transgressed the decree of Yehoshua bin Nun not to build up Yericho, for so it is said that "someone who breaches the fence [that the Chachamim build] will be bitten by a snake").
(e)Eliyahu then called upon Yisrael to watch carefully as he proceeded to rebuild a Mizbe'ach that Shaul ha'Melech had once built and that the idolaters had demolished, and to dig a ditch around it. Then, after cutting up the bull and placing it on the wood which he arranged on the altar, he ordered four large jugs of water to be poured over the animal and the wood, and to repeat this three times. A terrible famine was currently ravaging the land and there was no water to be found, but the fingers of Elisha (Eliyahu's disciple and successor) turned into fountains from which the water gushed out and filled the ditch.
(f)It was at Minchah time that he finished his preparations and prayed to HaSh-m to answer his prayers and demonstrate once and for all that He is G-d. The next verse records his prayer: "Answer me, HaSh-m, answer me! And let this people know that You are HaSh-m Who is G-d, and thus You will turn their hearts back to You!"
(g)The commentaries explain the double expression at the beginning of the verse in a number of ways: "Answer me with fire; answer me with rain" (since a terrible famine was currently ravaging the land, as mentioned earlier); "Answer me with fire; answer me that the people should accept my actions as miracles and not as witchcraft!" When Eliyahu said (in the previous verse), "Let them know that you are G-d in Yisrael and that I am Your servant, he meant that if HaSh-m would answer him now then they will also believe him when he will come in the future to herald the coming of Mashi'ach.
(h)As Eliyahu finished his prayer, a fire came from the heavens and consumed the bull, together with the wood and the stones of the altar, and it even licked up the water in the ditch and dried it up. The people declared unanimously, "HaSh-m is G-d! HaSh-m is G-d!"
(i)With the people on his side, he immediately had the prophets of Ba'al seized, taken down to the valley of Kishon, and put to death.
(j)Incidentally, Chazal also learn the importance of Minchah from the fact that the Navi mentions the fact that this event took place at Minchah time.
(k)A short while later, a cloud appeared and a heavy rain broke the famine. (See Background to Menachos 98:13.)
(l)Since Eliyahu mentioned "this day," we infer that from then on, HaSh-m will not "let it be known" in the merit of the Avos.
17)[line 50]"למרבה המשרה""L'MARBEH HA'MISRAH..."- "For the increase of the realm and for peace without end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice; from henceforth for ever, the zeal of HaSh-m of Hosts shall perform this" (Yeshayah 9:6) - From the time of Chizkiyahu and onward, the zeal of HaSh-m will be needed, implying that the merit of the Avos will not be effective.
18)[line 52]אמר רב אמי אין מיתה...AMAR RAV AMI EIN MISAH...- (This statement is connected with the previous Sugya, which dealt with the suffering of the righteous)
19)[line 52]חטאCHET- an unintentional sin
20)[line 52]עוןAVON- an intentional sin (see Tosfos DH Ein Misah)
21)[last line]"ופקדתי בשבט פשעם, ובנגעים עונם""U'FAKATDI V'SHEVET PISH'AM, UVI'NEGA'IM AVONAM"- "Then I will punish their transgression with a rod and their iniquity with plagues" (Tehilim 89:33) - Suffering occurs directly because of sin, whether it is intentional or unintentional.
22)[line 14]"ואת עמשא שם אבשלום תחת יואב על הצבא ועמשא בן איש ושמו יתרא הישראלי אשר בא אל אביגיל בת נחש אחות ערויה אם יואב""V'ES AMASA SAM AVSHALOM TACHAS YO'AV AL HATZAVA, VA'AMASA BEN ISH U'SHEMO YISRA HA'YISRE'ELI ASHER BA EL AVIGAYIL BAS NACHASH ACHOS TZERUYAH EM YO'AV" - "... Avshalom appointed Amasa to replace Yo'av as head of the army; and Amasa was the son of a great man whose name was Yisra ha'Yisre'eli, who married Avigayil, daughter of Nachash (Yishai), who was the sister of Tzeruyah, the mother of Yo'av" (Shmuel II 17:25) (AMASA AND YO'AV)
(a)When he saw that the famous general, Yo'av, had been appointed to command David's army, Avshalom appointed Amasa (who happened to be Yo'av's cousin) to replace him as his commander-in-chief. Both, in fact, were nephews of David. Avigayil, David's sister, should not be confused with his wife Avigayil, the ex-wife of Naval ha'Karmeli.
(b)Interestingly, although Amasa's father was a leading sage of that time, Amasa himself joined the ranks of Avshalom in his rebellion against his father, David.
23)[line 16]"ואחיתיהם צרויה ואביגיל [ובני צרויה אבשי ויואב ועשה אל שלשה]""V'ACHYOSEIHEM TZERUYAH VA'AVIGAYIL U'VNEI TZERUYAH AVSHAI, YO'AV AND ASAH'EL SHELOSHAH" - "... their sisters were Tzeruyah and Avigayil [and the sons of Tzeruyah were Avshai, Yo'av, and Asah'el — three]" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 2:17) (THE FAMILY OF DAVID'S SISTERS)
(a)The verse lists the sisters of David and his six older brothers, with their families.
(b)The verse goes on to list Avigayil's son Amasa, whose father was Yisra ha'Yishme'eli (so called because he lived in Eretz Yishmael). (In Shmuel, he is called Yisra ha'Yisre'eli.)
(c)The reason why David's nephews are listed here is in honor of David, to teach that his sister's sons were all famous, mighty warriors.
24)[line 20]כל האומר ראובן חטאKOL HA'OMER REUVEN CHATA- This subject is discussed here because it leads in to the statements that Pinchas the son of Eli, and Shlomo ha'Melech, were punished because they did not reprove others.
25)[line 22]בלבל מצעו של אביוBILBEL MATZA'O SHEL AVIV- he moved his father's bed from one place to another
26)[line 26]עלבון אמו תבעELBON IMO TAVA- he sought compensation for the embarrassment of his mother
27)[line 28]"אז חללת יצועי עלה""AZ CHILALTA YETZU'I ALAH"- "[because you moved your father's bed] you then profaned that which went up on my couch" (Bereishis 49:4).
28)[line 29]"פחז כמים אל תותר""PACHAZ KA'MAYIM AL TOSAR"- "Because you were hasty to sin like the flow of water, you will no longer receive more than your brothers" (ibid.).
29)[line 29]פזתה חבתה זלתהPAZTAH, CHAVTAH, ZALTAH- you were hasty, you were at fault, you disgraced
30)[line 30]פסעתה על דת חטאת זניתPASATAH AL DAS, CHATASA, ZANISA- you transgressed Mitzvos of the Torah, you sinned, you were immoral
31)[line 30]פיללתה חלתה זרחה תפלתךPILALTAH, CHALTAH, ZARCHAH TEFILASCHA- you entreated, you pleaded [to be saved from sin], your prayer rose up. According to Raban Gamliel and Rebbi Elazar ha'Moda'i, Reuven only strongly desired to have relations with Bilhah. He was saved from the sinful deed by crying out to HaSh-m to give him the strength to withstand this test. His prayers were answered and he did not sin (similar to Yosef with Potifar's wife). (MAHARSHA)
32)[line 31]עדיין צריכין אנו למודעיADAYIN TZERICHIN ANU L'MODA'I- we are still in need of the teaching of Rebbi Elazar ha'Moda'i
33)[line 32]זעזעתה הרתעתה פרחה חטא ממךZI'ATATAH, HIRTATAH, PARCHAH CHET MIMCHA- you shook, you trembled, the urge subsided (lit. sin flew away from you)
34)[line 36]"[ועלה האיש ההוא מעירו מימים ימימה להשתחות ולזבח לה' צבקות בשלה] ושם שני בני עלי חפני ופנחס כהנים לה'""V'ALAH HA'ISH HA'HU ME'IRO MI'YAMIM YAMIMAH L'HISHTACHAVOS V'LIZBO'ACH LA'SH-M B'SHILOH], V'SHAM SHNEI BNEI ELI, CHOFNI U'PINCHAS, KOHANIM LA'SH-M" - "[And that man (Elkanah) would go up from his hometown year by year (on each Yom Tov) to Shiloh.. And there were the two sons of Eli, Chofni and Pinchas, Kohanim to HaSh-m" (Shmuel I 1:3) (ELKANAH MAKES HIS PILGRIMAGE TO THE MISHKAN IN SHILOH)
(a)Elkanah, a descendant of Korach's son, Avi'asaf, lived in Ramatayim (in Har Efrayim). He would travel to the Mishkan in Shiloh each Yom Tov to fulfill the Mitzvah of Aliyas ha'Regel and to bring Korbanos. Chazal inform us that each year he would take a different route so that he would be able to influence different people to fulfill the Mitzvah together with him.
(b)Elkanah had two wives: Chanah, who was barren, and Peninah, who bore him a number of children. In Shiloh, he would give Peninah and her children portions, but for Chanah, he reserved a special portion in order to cheer her up, because he loved her dearly and she had no children. It was then that Peninah chose to taunt Chanah. Her intentions may have been good (to encourage Chanah to pray more fervently to HaSh-m for children), but her taunts caused Chanah terrible anguish to the point that she declined to eat, crying bitterly while the family ate the Korbanos. Elkanah would try his utmost to dispel her depression by trying to convince her that his love for her was better than ten children (with reference to the children that Peninah had born him), but to no avail. According to some opinions, Peninah would eventually pay dearly for her heartlessness.
(c)This went on for some years, until one year when Chanah arose from the table in her bitterness and entered the Mishkan to pray. She prayed silently, her lips moving but uttering not a sound. As she prayed, Eli ha'Kohen, who had just been appointed Kohen Gadol on that day, watched her.
35)[line 38]שהו את קיניהןSHAHU ES KINEIHEN (KORBAN YOLEDES)
(a)In Vayikra 12:1-8, the Torah discusses the laws of Tum'ah and Taharah after childbirth. (The same Halachos apply to a woman who miscarries after the fetus has reached a certain stage of development.) After a woman gives birth, she must wait for a certain amount of time before she can enter the Beis ha'Mikdash or eat Kodshim. That time period is divided into two stages:
1.During the initial stage, she has the status of a Nidah (even if she had not seen any blood). If she gave birth to a male, this lasts for seven days. If a female was born, this stage lasts for two weeks. At the end of this period, she may go to the Mikvah after nightfall. After she has gone to the Mikvah, she is known as a "Tevulas Yom Aroch" (a "long" Tevulas Yom — see Background to Nidah 71:23b), and she is permitted to her husband and to eat Ma'aser Sheni.
2.During the second stage, any bleeding that she experiences does not give her the status of a Nidah as it normally would. This blood is called Dam Tohar. Nevertheless, during this period, she may not eat Terumah, Kodshim or enter the Beis ha'Mikdash. This lasts for thirty-three days for a male, and sixty-six days for a female. Thus, the total waiting period for a male is forty days and for a female, eighty days. (The current practice is to consider a woman a Nidah even if she experiences bleeding during the period of Dam Tohar — see Insights to Nidah 25a.)
(b)Any bleeding that the woman experiences after the conclusion of the above two terms is the start of her regular cycle (Dam Nidah).
(c)At the end of the above two stages, the woman may eat Kodshim and enter the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash only after she brings a Korban Yoledes. Until then she is a Mechuseres Kaparah (see Background to Me'ilah 8:4). Her Korban includes a male sheep as an Olah and a Tor (turtledove) or a Ben Yonah (common dove) as a Chatas. If she could not afford a sheep, she brings two Torim or two Bnei Yonah, one as an Olah and one as a Chatas.
36)[line 38]"ועלי זקן מאד ושמע את כל אשר יעשון בניו לכל ישראל ואת אשר ישכבן את הנשים הצבאות פתח אהל מאד""[V'ELI ZAKEN ME'OD, V'SHAMA ES KOL ASHER YA'ASUN BANAV L'CHOL YISRAEL,] V'ES ASHER YISHKEVUN HA'NASHIM [HA'TZOV'OS PESACH OHEL MO'ED]" - "[... Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all of Yisrael,] and how they lay with the women [who congregated outside the Ohel Mo'ed]" (Shmuel I 2:22) (THE SINS OF ELI'S SONS)
(a)Although Eli's sons, Chofni and Pinchas, were not guilty of adultery per se, as implied by the verse, they did delay the Korbanos brought by the women who gave birth and by the Zavos whose period of Tum'ah had terminated, and as a result those women needed to remain overnight instead of returning the same day to their husbands. In addition, they were guilty of helping themselves to portions of the Korbanos that people brought, even before the Chalavim had been offered on the Mizbe'ach (as the verse describes earlier in the chapter). Their sins were so bad that they were considered the cause of the destruction of the Mishkan. In addition, the Aron ha'Kodesh was captured in the ensuing battle with the Pelishtim, and not only did Chofni and Pinchas fall in battle, but their father died indirectly as a result of the news of the capture of the Aron. The final tragedy that occurred was that Pinchas' wife, who was expecting a baby at the time, gave birth and died at the news of the death of her husband and father-in-law.
(b)For his part in not rebuking his sons' sins severely enough, Eli was cursed that all of his descendants would die before the age of twenty. At first sight, this seems a heavy penalty to pay, especially since he did rebuke his sons for their sins, as the next verse attests. This strict punishment teaches us the tremendous responsibility of Chinuch of one's children, and the extent that one needs to rebuke them (and perhaps others as well).
37)[line 40]"ואחיה בן אחטוב אחי איכבוד בן פינחס בן עלי, כהן ה' בשלו, נשא אפוד; והעם לא ידע כי הלך יונתן""VA'ACHIYAH VEN ACHITUV ACHI ICHAVOD BEN PINECHAS BEN ELI, KOHEN HASH-M B'SHILO, NOSEI EFOD; VEHE'AM LO YADA KI HALACH YONASAN" - "... Achyah, the son of Pinchas the son of Eli the Kohen of HaSh-m in Shilo, was wearing the Efod (i.e. the Choshen); and the people did not know that Yonasan had gone" (Shmuel I 14:3) (YONASAN AND HIS ARMOR-BEARER)
(a)Chazal derive from the fact that the verse presents the Yichus of Pinchas that he did not participate in the sin of which his brother Chofni was guilty. The fact that he died in battle together with him was due to the fact that, like his father Eli, he failed to rebuke his brother properly.
(b)This verse refers to the episode in which a large contingent of Pelishti soldiers were encamped in Michmas (which stood on a mountain), while Shaul ha'Melech was encamped on a mountain in Giv'ah with a group of 600 men.
(c)Shaul's son, Yonasan, decided to walk across to the Pelishti soldiers together with his armor-bearer, without telling either his father or the people.
(d)Looking for an opportunity to attack the Pelishtim, he hit upon the following plan. He and his armor-bearer would cross the valley and stand at the foot of the mountain, just below the contingent of Pelishtim. The Pelishtim would inevitably see them, and would either command them to wait for them to descend the mountain to meet them (though it is not clear what Yonasan would have done in that case), or they would invite them to ascend the mountain and join them. That, Yonasan understood, would be a sure sign that HaSh-m would help them to defeat the Pelishtim.
(e)That is precisely what happened. The Pelishtim invited them to ascend the mountain, and even made fun of them. Ordering his armor-bearer to follow him, he climbed the steep mountain with his hands and feet, and immediately set upon the Pelishtim. Catching them by surprise, he and his armor-bearer killed twenty of them in the first onslaught. The terrified Pelishtim fled in disarray.
(f)Meanwhile, the watchmen who were standing on guard in Giv'as Binyamin reported to Shaul ha'Melech that a lot of Pelishtim seemed to be coming towards them, though he was too far away to make out any details.
(g)Shaul immediately called Achiyah and instructed him to consult the Urim v'Tumim for how to proceed. In the meantime, however, the Pelishtim (who were actually fleeing from Yonasan and his armor-bearer) had come close enough that they were recognizable as Pelishtim, so he promptly mobilized his troops and joined ranks with Yonasan, causing the enemy to flee, and kill each other, in utter confusion.
(h)It is interesting to note that, as the Navi informs us in the previous chapter, as a result of the Pelishtim's heavy hand, the only two people in Yisrael who were allowed to possess a sword or a spear were Shaul and Yonasan.
38)[line 41]והכתוב מייחסוVEHA'KASUV MEYACHASO- That is, even though he certainly did sin by disgracing the sacrifices, this was not sufficient reason to refrain from mentioning that he was the ancestor of a line of honorable Kohanim. If he had sinned with married women, though, the verse would not mention that honorable Kohanim descended from him.
39)[line 42]"ער ועונה""... ER V'ONEH..."- "... the sharp and insightful Chachamim and the bright illustrious students..." (Malachi 2:12).
40)[line 43]"אל בני כי לוא טובה השמעה אשר אנכי שמע מעברים עם ה'""AL BANAI, KI LO TOVAH HA'SHEMU'AH ASHER ANOCHI SHOME'A MA'AVIRIM AM HASH-M"- "Don't my sons! For the report is not good [that I hear HaSh-m's people passing on]" (Shmuel I 2:24) - Eli, the Kohen Gadol, rebukes his sons for their sin.