1)

(a)"Va'yigdal ha'Na'ar (Shimshon), Va'yevarcheihu Hash-m". With does Rav Yehudah Amar Rav say that Hash-m blessed him with?

(b)Before Shimshon died, he asked Hash-m to avenge the removal of one of his eyes by restoring his strength (so that he would be able to bring the house down on the P'lishtim who had gathered to watch him). On what merit did he request this?

(c)What reward did he expect for his second eye?

(d)What does Rebbi Chiya bar Aba say, to explain why, on an earlier occasion, he used three hundred foxes to avenge himself from the P'lishtim?

1)

(a)"Va'yigdal ha'Na'ar (Shimshon), Va'yevarcheihu Hash-m". Rav Yehudah Amar Rav Hash-m explains that Hash-m blessed him with a lot of Zera for Tashmish (just as he wished for).

(b)Before Shimshon died, he asked Hash-m to avenge the removal of one of his eyes by restoring his strength (so that he would be able to bring the house down on the P'lishtim who had gathered to watch him). Rav explains that his request was based on the merit - that throughout the twenty years that he had led Yisrael, he never even asked anyone to move his stick from one location to another.

(c)For his second eye - he expected to be rewarded in the World to Come.

(d)On an earlier occasion, says Rebbi Chiya bar Aba, he used three hundred foxes to avenge himself from the P'lishtim, - to hint to them that by going back on their word, they had behaved like a fox, who, when trapped, does not run away, but backtracks.

2)

(a)What did Shimshon do one night when the P'lishtim thought they had trapped him in Aza?

(b)What does this teach us about the width of his shoulders (see Agados Maharsha)?

(c)How does Rebbi Yochanan explain the Pasuk "Va'yehi Tochein be'Veis ha'Asurim"?

(d)Which folk-saying matches this episode?

2)

(a)One night when the P'lishtim thought they had trapped Shimshon in Aza - he arose at midnight, tore out the gates of the town together with the posts and the bolt, placed them on his shoulders and escaped with them still perched there.

(b)This teach us, says Rebbi Shimon Chasida - that the width of his shoulders were sixty Amos, because that was the size of the gates of Aza (see Agados Maharsha), though it is doubtful whether this is meant to be understood literally.

(c)Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Va'yehi Tochen be'Veis ha'Asurim" (which has connotations of Tashmish) "Tochen" to mean - that all the P'lishtim brought him their wives for Tashmish in the hope that he would produce in the P'lishti camp, a man with his strength.

(d)The folk-saying that matches this episode is - 'Before a farmer and someone who digs in the fields one places a basket of vegetables'.

3)

(a)What do people mean when they say 'He is busy with large pumpkins, and she, with small ones'? In connection with which statement of Rebbi Yochanan do we quote this saying?

(b)And how does Rebbi Yochanan explain the Pasuk in Va'yechi "Dan Yadin Amo ke'Achad Shivtei Yisrael"?

(c)Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Shemesh u'Magen Hash-m Elokim", that Shimshon (from the word "Shemesh" - meaning a protective wall), was called after the Name of Hash-m. What did he really mean to say? Why can he not have meant what he actually said?

(d)How does Rebbi Yochanan explains the discrepancy between the Pasuk in Balak (in connection with Bilam) "Va'yeilech Shefi", and the Pasuk in Vayechi (in connection with Shimshon), "Shefifon Alei Orach"?

3)

(a)When people say 'He is busy with large pumpkins, and she, with small ones', they mean to say - that 'a man's wife works in the same profession (in a small way) as her husband does (in a big way)'. This saying is brought in connection with Rebbi Yochanan, who said - that there where a man behaves immorally, his wife is likely to follow suite.

(b)Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Dan Yadin Amo ke'Achad Shivtei Yisrael" - that Shimshon judged Yisrael with integrity like Hash-m Himself (Others explain "judged ... " to mean that he avenged Yisrael single-handedly like Hash-m, who is the 'Ish Milchamah' - see Agados Maharsha).

(c)Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Shemesh u'Magen Hash-m Elokim", that Shimshon (from the word "Shemesh" - meaning a protective wall), was called after the Name of Hash-m. What he really meant was - that through his immense strength, he could be compared ('Kevayacol') to the Name of Hash-m. He could not have meant what he actually said - because then "Shimshon" ought to be included in the names that may not be erased.

(d)To explain the discrepancy between the Pasuk in Balak (in connection with Bilam) "Va'yeilech Shefi", and the Pasuk in Vayechi (in connection with Shimshon), "Shefifon Alei Orach", Rebbi Yochanan explains - that whereas Bil'am was lame in one of his legs, Shimshon was lame in both legs.

4)

(a)What do Shimshon, Shaul, Avshalom, Tzidkiyah and Asa have in common?

(b)The Divine attributes listed by the Tana are Shimshon's strength, Shaul's neck, Avshalom's hair, Tzidkiyah's eyes and Asa's legs. What ultimately happened to ...

1. ... Shaul?

2. ... Tzidkiyah?

3. ... Asa?

(c)When Mar Zutra B'rei de'Rav Nachman asked his father how Padgera feels, he replied 'Like a needle sticking into a person'. Besides the fact that he may have suffered the illness himself, or that his Rebbe may have taught him the explanation, how else might he have known what it feels like?

4)

(a)Shimshon, Shaul, Avshalom, Tzidkiyah and Asa, says the Tana in a Beraisa - were all blessed with certain Divinely-given attributes, and all of them were ultimately punished through them.

(b)The Divine attributes listed by the Tana are Shimshon's strength, Shaul's neck, Avshalom's hair, Tzidkiyah's eyes and Asa's legs. Ultimately ...

1. ... Shaul - fell on his sword so that it pierced his neck.

2. ... Tzidkiyah - had his eyes blinded by Nevuchadnetzar.

3. ... Asa - become ill in his legs (with the illness known as 'Padgera').

(c)When Mar Zutra B'rei de'Rav Nachman asked his father how the illness feels, he replied 'Like a needle sticking into a person'. Besides the fact that he may have suffered the illness himslf, or that his Rebbe may have taught him the explanation - he might also have known it due to the Pasuk in Tehilim "Sod Hash-m li'Yerei'av, u'Verisam La'hodi'am".

5)

(a)What did Asa (who was a Tzadik) do to deserve such a punishment?

(b)What does Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learn from the Pasuk (written in this connection) "Ein Naki"?

(c)So how do we know that he also enlisted Talmidei-Chachamim?

5)

(a)Asa deserved such a punishment - because he included Talmidei-Chachamim in a head-tax to assist in carrying heavy stones in his battle against the Ten Tribes.

(b)Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk "Ein Naki" - that he even employed newly-wed Chasanim and Kalos (in which connection the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei uses the word "Naki") ...

(c)... in which case he certainly enlisted Talmidei-Chachamim.

6)

(a)The Pasuk in Va'yeishev (in connection with Yehudah) speaks about going up to Timnah, whilst another Pasuk in Shoftim (in connection with Shimshon) mentions going down. According to Rebbi Elazar, this is due to the fact that Yehudah was elevated through that particular journey, whereas Shimshon was downgraded. In what way was ...

1. ... Yehudah elevated?

2. ... Shimshon downgraded?

(b)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains that there were two different towns by the name of Timnah. How does Rav Papa resolve the discrepancy?

(c)The Torah writes with regard to Tamar "va'Teishev be'Pesach Einayim", which, according to Rav Alexandri, means the entrance to Avraham Avinu's tent. How does he imply that from the Pasuk? Why did she choose specifically that spot?

(d)According to Rav Chanin Amar Rav, "Einayim" is a place-name, whereas Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains 'she'Nasnah Einayim li'Devarehah'. What did she reply when Yehudah asked her whether ...

1. ... she was a Nochris (what does 'Nochris' mean in this context)?

2. ... she was married?

3. ... her father had received Kidushin on her behalf?

4. ... she was a Nidah?

6)

(a)The Pasuk in Va'yeishev (in connection with Yehudah) speaks about going up to Timnah, whilst another Pasuk in Shoftim (in connction with Shimshon) mentions going down. According to Rebbi Elazar, this is due to the fact that Yehudah was elevated through that particular journey, whereas Shimshon was downgraded. This is because ...

1. ... on the one hand, from Yehudah's ensuing union with Tamar, Peretz nd Zerach were born, and Peretz was the ancestor of Mashi'ach, whilst ...

2. ... on the other - this heralded the beginning of Shimshon illicit relationships with P'lishti women.

(b)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains that there were two different towns by the name of Timnah. Rav Papa resolve the discrepancy - by pointing out that Timnah was built on a slope, and could therefore be approached from the top of the hill or from the bottom.

(c)The Torah writes with regard to Tamar "va'Teishev be'Pesach Einayim", which, according to Rav Alexandri, means the entrance to Avrahamm Avinu's tent - because all eyes would turn towards it in the knowledge that board and lodging were available there. She chose specifically that spot to make sure that Yehudah would not fail to see her.

(d)According to Rav Chanin Amar Rav, Einayim is a place-name, whereas Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains 'she'Nasnah Einayim li'Devarehah'. She replied, when Yehudah asked her whether ...

1. ... she was a Nochris (an idolater) - that she was a Giyo'res (a believer in G-d).

2. ... she was married - in the negative.

3. ... her father had received Kidushin on her behalf - that she was an orphan.

4. ... she was a Nidah - that she was Tehorah.

7)

(a)Resh Lakish translates the Pasuk in Va'yeira "Va'yita Eishel bi'Ve'er Sheva" as an orchard in which he planted a variety of exotic fruit-trees. This follows the opinion of either Rebbi Yehudah or Rebbi Nechemyah, who argue over the interpretation of this Pasuk. How does the other Tana explain it?

(b)How does this opinion explain the expression "Va'yita Eishel"?

(c)How do we support this latter interpretation with an acronym based on the word 'Eishel'?

(d)How does Resh Lakish interpret the Pasuk "Va'yikra Sham Keil Elokei Yisrael"? What did Avraham say to his guests after they had eaten?

7)

(a)Resh Lakish translates the Pasuk in Va'yeira "Va'yita Eishel bi'Ve'er Sheva" as an orchard in which he planted a variety of exotic fruit-trees. This follows the opinion of either Rebbi Yehudah or Rebbi Nechemyah, who argue over the interpretation of this Pasuk. According to the other Tana - it refers to an inn that he set up to provide board and lodging.

(b)This opinion explains the expression "Va'yita Eishel" - to mean 'to set up an inn' (like we find in Daniel "Va'yita Ohalei Apadno").

(c)We support this latter interpretation with an acronym based on the word "Eishel"- 'Achilah, Shesiyah, Levayah'.

(d)Resh Lakish interprets the Pasuk "Va'yikra Sham Keil Elokei Yisrael" - as if it had written "Va'yakri Sham ... " meaning that Avraham caused others to call out the Name of Hash-m. After his guests had eaten and got up to thank him for his services - he would ask them to thank, not him, but the One who created the world, to whom everything belonged.

10b----------------------------------------10b

8)

(a)We have a problem with the Pasuk "Va'yir'ehah Yehudah Va'yachshevehah le'Zonah Ki Chis'sah Panehah", seeing as it was not customary for prostitutes to cover their faces. How does Rebbi Elazar explain the Pasuk?

(b)What does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan extrapolate from Tamar's behavior and reward?

(c)What tradition does Rebbi Levi cite concerning Amotz and Amatzyah?

(d)What does it prove?

8)

(a)We have a problem with the Pasuk "Va'yir'ehah Yehudah Va'yachshevehah le'Zonah Ki Chis'sah Panehah", seeing as it was not customary for prostitutes to cover their faces. Rebbi Elazar therefore explains - that Yehudah did not recognize Tamar (whose face was uncovered) because she had always kept it covered when, as his daughter-in-law, she lived in his house.

(b)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan extrapolates from Tamar - that a woman who behaves modestly in her father-in-law's house will merit that, like Tamar, kings and prophets will descend from her.

(c)Rebbi Levi cites a tradition - that Amotz (father of Yeshayah, who was a Navi too) and Amatzyah (King of Yehudah) were brothers ...

(d)... proving the previous D'rashah of Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan.

9)

(a)The Torah writes in Va'yeishev (in connection with Tamar) "Hi Mutzeis" suggesting that something was found. What does Rebbi Elazar Darshen from here?

(b)What would the Torah have written if not for this D'rashah?

(c)What happened to the Simanim after she found them? Why was Sama'el so concerned about them?

(d)Who ultimately produced them?

9)

(a)The Torah writes in Va'yeishev (in connection with Tamer) "Hi Mutzeis" suggesting that something was found. Rebbi Elazar Darshens from here - that Tamar was looking for the three Simanim that Yehudah gave her.

(b)If not for this D'rashah - the Torah would have written "Hi Misutzeis".

(c)After she found them, Samael (alias the Satan) hid them again - because he knew that Mashi'ach would descend from this union (and he wanted to prevent it, because the advent of Mashi'ach will out of a job).

(d)They were ultimately produced - by the Angel Gavriel.

10)

(a)In this connection, the Pasuk in Tehilim writes "la'Menatze'ach al Yonas Eilem Rechokim Michtam le'David (the ancestor of Mashi'ach)". Some explain 'Michtam' as an acronym 'Mach ve'Tam', others as 'Makaso Tamah'. What is the meaning of ...

1. ... 'Mach ve'Tam'?

2. ... 'Makaso Tamah'?

(b)How do others interpret 'Michtam'?

10)

(a)In this connection, the Pasuk in Tehilim writes "la'Menatzei'ach al Yonas Eilem Rechokim Michtam le'David (the ancestor of Mashi'ach)". Some explain 'Michtam' as an acronym 'Mach ve'Tam' ... (.

1. ... 'humble and perfect in his ways'; others as 'Makaso Tamo' ...

2. ... meaning that his Milah (which normally needs to be circumcised) was perfect (in other words, he was born circumcised).

(b)Others interpret 'Michtam' to mean - that he was perfect in his humility (because after he was crowned, he remained just as humble as he had been before).

11)

(a)Why did Tamar ...

1. ... send Yehudah the three signs? Why did she not confront him directly?

2. ... use the expression "Na"?

(b)Why was Yehudah confronted with the words "Haker Na"?

(c)Yehudah and Yosef both sanctified the Name of Hash-m. Why did the former merit that his name contain all four letters of Hash-m's Great Name, whereas Yosef only had one of the letters (the 'Yud') added to his name (in the Pasuk in Tehilim "Eidus bi'Yehosef Samo ... ")?

(d)What great reward did Yehudah receive later in history for saving three people from the fire?

11)

(a)Tamar ...

1. ... sent Yehudah the three signs, rather than confront him directly - because Rav (or Rebbi Shimon Chasida or Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai) said that one should rather cast himself into a furnace than shame somebody in public.

2. ... used the expression "Na" - in a plea to Yehudah to save three people (she and her two babies) from death.

(b)Yehudah was confronted with the words "Haker Na" - 'measure for measure', because they were the very words that he used when confronting his father following the sale of Yosef ("Haker Na, ha'Keso'nes Bincha Hi im Lo').

(c)Yehudah and Yosef both sanctified the Name of Hash-m, yet the former merited that his name contains all four letters of Hash-m's Great Name, whereas Yosef only had one of the letters (the 'Yud') added to his name (in the Pasuk in Tehilim "Eidus bi'Yehosef Samo ... ") - because whereas Yosef sanctified Hash-m's Name in private, Yehudah did so in public.

(d)The great reward that Yehudah received later in history for saving three people from the fire - was that three of his descendents (Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah) were saved from the furnace in Bavel.

12)

(a)When Yehudah confessed to the truth, he declared "Tzadkah Mimeni". Why can this Pasuk not be understood literally?

(b)Then what does "Mimeni" mean?

(c)The Pasuk in Va'yeishev concludes "ve'Lo Yasaf Od Le'da'tah". Based on the Pasuk in Va'eschanan "Kol Gadol ve'Lo Yasaf", how does Shmuel Saba quoting Rav Shmuel bar Ami interpret this Pasuk?

12)

(a)When Yehudah confessed to the truth, he declared "Tzadkah Mimeni", which cannot be undersood literally - because Yehudah could not possibly have known that Tamar was pregnant from him and not from someone else.

(b)"Mimeni" - was not said by Yehudah, but by Hash-m, who was announcing that the entire episode was not the fault of Yehudah, but had been orchestrated by Him, so that the kings of Yehudah, who had to descend from Yehudah, should also descend from Tamar.

(c)The Pasuk in Va'yeishev concludes "ve'Lo Yasaf Od Le'da'tah". Based on the Pasuk in Va'eschanan "Kol Gadol ve'Lo Yasaf" - Shmuel Saba quoting Rav Shmuel bar Ami interprets this Pasuk to mean (not that he did not continue to live with her, but) that he did not stop living with her.

13)

(a)The Beraisa discusses Avshalom, who was a Nazir. On what basis was he allowed to cut his hair once a year?

(b)How much did his hair weigh?

(c)What is the proof from here that he was proud of his hair?

(d)How was he punished by his hair?

13)

(a)The Beraisa discusses Avshalom, who was a Nazir. He was allowed to cut his hair once a year - because he was a N'zir Olam, to whom this is permitted.

(b)His hair weighed two hundred Shekel by the weight used in Teveryah and Tzipori.

(c)The proof from here that he was proud of his hair lies in the fact - that - he weighed it each year.

(d)He was punished by his hair - when he was running away from Yo'av (David's general) during his rebellion against his father, when his hair became entangled in a large tree, and the mule on which he was riding continued on its way, leaving him hanging between heaven and earth, at the mercy of Yo'av and his men, who subsequently found him and killed him, as we learned earlier.

14)

(a)Why did Avshalom, who was wearing a sword, not cut himself free?

(b)David ha'Malech cried bitterly for his son. Why, in his lament, did he mention the word "B'ni" no less than eight times? How can the eighth time be explained in two ways?

(c)The Pasuk in Shmuel writes "ve'Avshalom Lakach Va'yatzev Lo be'Chayav es Matzeves Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech". What did he take for himself?

(d)How does Rav Chanina bar Papa interpret ...

1. ... "Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech"?

2. ... "Va'yishlacheihu me'Eimek Chevron" (Parshas Va'yeishev, in connection with Yosef)?

14)

(a)Even though Avshalom was wearing a sword, he did not cut himself free - because he saw Gehinom open underneath him and he froze with fear.

(b)David ha'Malech cried bitterly for his son. In his lament, he mention the word "B'ni" no less than eight times - seven times to take him out of the seven levels of Gehinom, and the eighth, either to enable him to enter Gan Eden, or so that his head, which Yo'av had severed, should be reconnected with his body.

(c)The Pasuk in Shmuel writes "ve'Avshalom Lakach Va'yatzev Lo be'Chayav es Matzeves Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech". Like Korach - he took for himself a bad acquisition.

(d)Rav Chanina bar Papa interprets ...

1. ... "Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech" - to mean that the episode with Avshalom was the fulfillment of the deep plan of the King of the World, who had promised David that, as a punishment for his killing of Uri'ah ha'Chiti, He would bring on him evil from his own house.

2. ... "Va'yishlacheihu me'Eimek Chevron" - to mean that Ya'akov's sending of Yosef to his brothers in Sh'chem was the fulfillment of the deep plan that Hash-m had already revealed to the one who was buried in Chevron (Avraham Avinu).

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