NACHTOMIN SEPARATING MA'ASER SHEINI FROM D'MAI
Nachtomin are exempt from all tithes except Terumas Ma'aser and Chalah.
A logic is given for each exemption, except as follows:
Question: Why are they exempt from separating and bringing Ma'aser Sheini to Yerushalayim?
Answer: Chazal were lenient because of the oppressive market conditions (created by the Parhadrin) the Nachtomin worked under.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND BAYIS
The first Mikdash stood for 410 years and there were only 18 Kohanim Gedolim (the longevity mentioned in the Pasuk).
The second Mikdash had more than 300 Kohanim Gedolim in 420 years (R. Yochanan goes on to make the calculation that none of the later Kohanim Gedolim survived the year).
Shiloh was destroyed because...(proof texts for each)
Gilui Arayos [not really the Aveirah as implied].
The first Mikdash was destroyed because... (proof texts from Yeshayah and Melachim).
The second Mikdash, where there was Torah, Mitzvos and Gemilus Chasadim, was destroyed on account of Sinas Chinam.
The Beraisa which says that their Bitachon was false is speaking of the first Mikdash.
Three punishments (all related to the destruction of Yerushalayim) followed in the wake of the sins committed with confidence that Hash-m would not make retribution.
Question: But it seems from Yechezkel that the first Mikdash did have Sinas Chinam!?
Answer: That was speaking only of the leadership.
To those (first Mikdash) whose Aveiros were revealed by the Pasuk, the end to their exile was also revealed, whereas the second Mikdash...
(R. Yochanan): The earlier ones (first Mikdash) were better.
(Resh Lakish): No, we are better (for we study Torah even in the face of foreign dominion).
The return of the Mikdash seems to support R. Yochanan.
RESH LAKISH AND THE BABYLONIAN
Resh Lakish indicated to Rabah bar bar Chanah his hatred for the Babylonians for not coming en masse to Eretz Yisrael during the days of Ezra.
Had they done so, the Mikdash would not have been subject to deterioration (we are not silver but rather cedar).
The rotting of the cedar is a Mashal to Bas Kol (remaining vestige of prophecy).
Question: But surely Resh Lakish would not have spoken with Rabah bar bar Chanah (who was of a lesser stature than R. Elazar, with whom Resh Lakish would not speak in public)?!
Answer: (R. Papa): Names in the story need to be changed.