[109a - 20 lines; 109b - 42 lines]
1)[line 1]דהכא תרתי והכא חדאHACHA TARTEI V'HACHA CHADA- here [in our attempt to prove that a son is a closer relative than a brother] there are two [proofs (namely, from Yi'ud and Sedei Achuzah)], and here [in our attempt to prove that a brother is a closer relative than a son] there is [only] one [proof (namely, from that which only a brother can perform Yibum)]
2)[line 2]דקא קיימא ליה לתנאKA KAIMA LEI L'TANA- the Tana established [that it is a son and not a brother whose redemption of the field allows it to return to its original owner at Yovel (see Erchin 25b)]
3)[line 4]מלמד שהאב קודם לבתMELAMED SHEHA'AV KODEM L'VAS- this teaches [us] that one's father [should inherit his estate] before one's daughter. At this point, the Gemara suggests the following order of inheritance: son, father, brother, daughter. This is because there is no Torah law in which a daughter takes the place of her father, whereas a brother takes the place of his brother in the case of Yibum (RASHBAM as explained by the MAHARSHA).
4a)[line 6]כיון דלענין יבום, בן ובת כי הדדי נינהוKEIVAN DEL'INYAN YIBUM, BEN U'VAS KI HADADEI NINHU- since regarding Yibum a son and a daughter are equal [in that the brother of one who dies having left only a daughter does not have a Mitzvah of Yibum (see Insights)]
b)[line 7]לענין נחלה נמי בן ובת כי הדדי נינהוL'INYAN NACHALAH NAMI BEN U'VAS KI HADADEI NINHU- regarding inheritance, a son and a daughter are equal [in that they both inherit before the father of the deceased]. The reasoning behind this is that just as that which there is no Mitzvah of Yibum when the deceased leaves a son demonstrates that a son is a closer relative than a brother (see Background to 108:21b), so too that which there is no Mitzvah of Yibum when the deceased leaves a daughter demonstrates that a daughter is a closer relative than a brother.
5)[line 11]מכח מאן קא אתו?MI'KO'ACH MAN KA ASU?- through whose influence do they come [to inherit]?
6)[line 12]קאי אב, קא ירתי אחי האב?!KA'I AV, KA YARSEI ACHEI HA'AV?!- [is it therefore logical that if] the father [of the deceased] is alive, the father's brothers should inherit [him]?!
7)[line 13]והא קראי לאו הכי כתיבי!V'HA KERA'EI LAV HACHI KESIVEI!- but the verses (Bamidbar 27:8-11) are not written in this [order, and we should therefore say that although it is illogical, the father inherits only after his own brothers since the Torah writes the word "She'ero" at the end of the order of inheritance]!
8)[line 14]קראי שלא כסדרן כתיביKERA'EI SHE'LO K'SIDRAN KESIVEI- (the Gemara answers) the verses are written out of order [as evidenced by the derivation of "ha'Karov Karov Kodem" (see Background to 108:15)]
9)[line 15]והאי תנא מייתי לה מהכאHAI TANA MAISI LEI ME'HACHA- that [other] Tana derives (lit. brings) [that which the father of the deceased inherits him before the brothers of the deceased do] from here (i.e., the following source, which differs from that of the Beraisa cited on 108b that we have been discussing until this point)
10)[line 17]"... אִישׁ כִּי יָמוּת וּבֵן אֵין לוֹ, [וְהַעֲבַרְתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לְבִתּוֹ]""... ISH KI YAMUS U'VEN EIN LO, [VEHA'AVARTEM ES NACHALASO L'VITO]"- "If a man should die and he has no son, [then you shall pass his inheritance on to his daughter]" (Bamidbar 27:8). The word "veha'Avertem" - "then you shall pass on" - differs from the verb used in the subsequent verses. In those verses the verb "u'Nesatem" - "then you shall give" - is used (Bamidbar 27:9-11).
11)[line 17]במקום בת אתה מעביר נחלה מן האבB'MAKOM BAS ATAH MA'AVIR NACHALAH MIN HA'AV- in the place that a daughter [is in line to receive the inheritance] you should divert the inheritance from the father [and give it to the daughter]. Although according to this Tana the word "She'ero" does not refer to a father and the verses are written in order, it is still obvious that a father should receive his son's inheritance at some point. This can be inferred through the inverse of the logic expressed by the Gemara on lines 11-13, as follows: if the father's brothers are in line to receive the inheritance, which is clearly stated in the Torah (Bamidbar 27:10), then certainly a father should be in line to receive the inheritance (SIFRI to Pinchas #134, cited by the RASHBAM)!
12)[line 1]ואי אתה מעביר נחלה מן האב אפילו במקום בתV'IY ATAH MA'AVIR NACHALAH MIN HA'AV AFILU B'MAKOM BAS- but you should not divert the inheritance from the father even when the daughter would otherwise be in line to receive the inheritance. This is not directly implied by the verse. Rather, the Gemara suggests that it is possible that the verse merely implies that the inheritance should be given to the daughter of the deceased in place of the brother of the deceased. We can then conclude on our own that the father should be in line to inherit before either of them, since he is the closest of the three to the deceased (RASHBAM; see also TOSFOS to 109a DH b'Makom and DH v'Iy, and DH v'Eima).
13)[line 4]זו אשתוZO ISHTO- this refers to his wife. A wife is described as "Basar Echad" - "one flesh" - with her husband (Bereishis 2:24), which implies that she is a very close relative of her husband. Furthermore, the word "She'erah" is used in the description of a husband's duties toward his wife (Shemos 21:10).
14)[line 7]בכולן נאמר בהן "נתינה"B'CHULAN NE'EMAR BA'HEN "NESINAH"- the term used in all of [the other verses in the discussion of inheritance (Bamidbar 27:9-11)] is "giving"
15)[line 9]שאין לך שמעביר נחלה משבט לשבטEIN LECHA SHE'MA'AVIR NACHALAH MI'SHEVET L'SHEVET- you will not find any that pass an inheritance [that they received] from [a member of] one tribe to [the member of] another tribe [to whom they bequeath it]
16)[line 10]הואיל ובנה ובעלה יורשין אותהHO'IL U'VENAH U'VA'ALAH YORSHIN OSAH- since her son and her husband (who may well be from a different tribe than her father) inherit her. According to this opinion, the word "She'ero" teaches that one inherits his mother as well as his wife.
17)[line 11]"[עֶרְוַת אֲחוֹת אָבִיךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה;] שְׁאֵר אָבִיךָ הִוא""[ERVAS ACHOS AVICHA LO SEGALEI;] SHE'ER AVICHA HI"- "[Do not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister;] she is your father's relative" (Vayikra 18:12). This verse prohibits one from having an incestuous relationship with his paternal aunt. Although the term "She'er" does not directly refer to one's father, it is written in conjunction with the word "Avicha."
18)[line 11]"[עֶרְוַת אֲחוֹת אִמְּךָ לֹא תְגַלֵּה;] כִּי שְׁאֵר אִמְּךָ הִוא""[ERVAS ACHOS IMCHA LO SEGALEI;] KI SHE'ER IMCHA HI"- "[Do not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister,] for she is your mother's relative" (Vayikra 18:13). This verse prohibits one from having an incestuous relationship with his maternal aunt. Although the term "She'er" does not directly refer to one's mother, it is written in conjunction with the word "Imcha."
19)[line 13]"[וְאִם אֵין אַחִים לְאָבִיו, וּנְתַתֶּם אֶת נַחֲלָתוֹ לִשְׁאֵרוֹ הַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו] מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ, וְיָרַשׁ אֹתָהּ...""[V'IM EIN ACHIM L'AVIV, U'NESATEM ES NACHALASO LI'SHE'ERO HA'KAROV EILAV] MI'MISHPACHTO, V'YARASH OSAH..."- "[And if his father has no brothers, then you should give his estate to his relative who is closest to him] from his family, and he shall inherit it..." (Bamidbar 27:11). From this verse it is clear that only those who are termed one's "family" inherit his estate.
20)[line 14]משפחת אב קרויה משפחה; משפחת אם אינה קרויה משפחהMISHPACHAS AV KERUYAH MISHPACHAH; MISHPACHAS EM EINAH KERUYAH MISHPACHAH- one's family on his father's side is termed "family" [for the purposes of inheritance]; one's family on his mother's side is not termed "family" [for the purposes of inheritance]
21)[line 15]"[שְׂאוּ, אֶת רֹאשׁ כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל] לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם...""[SE'U ES ROSH KOL ADAS BNEI YISRAEL] L'MISHPECHOSAM L'VEIS AVOSAM..."- "[Take a census (lit. lift the heads) of all of the congregation of Bnei Yisrael] according to their families of their father's houses..." (Bamidbar 1:2). From that which the verse stresses that the families referred to are those on the father's side, we see that only "Mishpachas Av Keruyah Mishpachah."
22)[line 17]"וַיְהִי נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה, מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה; וְהוּא לֵוִי, וְהוּא גָר שָׁם""VA'YEHI NA'AR MI'BEIS LECHEM YEHUDAH, MI'MISHPACHAS YEHUDAH; V'HU LEVI, V'HU GAR SHAM" - "And there was a youth from Beis-Lechem Yehudah from the family of Yehudah, and he was a Levi and he sojourned there" (Shoftim 17:7, 13) (THE LEVI WHO BECAME A KOHEN)
(a)The Gemara concludes that the youth in question was really a Levi (a grandson of Moshe Rabeinu), as we shall see later, and the reason that he is described as being from the family of Yehudah is that he behaved as the wicked king Menasheh, who was from the tribe of Yehudah, would many years later. This is why the letter Nun (albeit suspended) is added to his grandfather Moshe's name (see following Amud, "Shevu'el ben Gershom ben Moshe").
(b)Having problems with making a livelihood, the Levi left his home and went to look for Parnasah in Har Efrayim. Michah had established a house of idolatry there (verses 4-5) and when he offered the Levi the job of Kohen for ten silver Sela'im annually, plus a new set of clothes and sustenance, he accepted. The Levi became an integral member of Michah's household, where his benefactor treated him like a son. Meanwhile, Michah was convinced that HaSh-m would be good to him, considering that a Levi was working for him as a Kohen. (See below, entry #25.)
23)[line 19]אלמא מלוי אתיALMA MI'LEVI ASI- we see that he came from [the tribe of] Levi
24)[line 23]לא; גברא דשמיה לויLO; GAVRA DI'SHEMEI LEVI- no; he was a man whose name was Levi
25)[line 24]"[וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָה] 'עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי יֵיטִיב ה' לִי, כִּי הָיָה לִי הַלֵּוִי לְכֹהֵן""[VA'YOMER MICHAH,] 'ATAH YADATI KI YEITIV HASH-M LI, KI HAYAH LI HA'LEVI L'CHOHEN'"- "[And Michah said,] 'Now I know that HaSh-m has favored me, for I have a Levi to act as a priest'" (Shoftim 17:13). Our Gemara contends that it does not seem likely that Michah would have been pleased with his new priest simply because his name was Levi.
26)[line 25]אין דאיתרמי ליה גברא דשמיה לויIN; D'ISRAMI LEI GAVRA D'SHMEI LEVI- (the Gemara answers) indeed; [he was pleased] that he chanced upon a man whose name was Levi
27)[line 27]"[וַיָּקִימוּ לָהֶם בְּנֵי דָן אֶת הַפָּסֶל,] וִיהוֹנָתָן בֶּן גֵּרְשֹׁם בֶּן-מְנַשֶּׁה הוּא וּבָנָיו הָיוּ כֹהֲנִים לְשֵׁבֶט הַדָּנִי [עַד יוֹם גְּלוֹת הָאָרֶץ]""[VA'YAKIMU LAHEM B'NEI DAN ES HA'PASEL,] VI'YEHONASAN BEN GERSHOM BEN MENASHEH HU U'VANAV HAYU KOHANIM LE'SHEIVET HA'DANI [AD YOM GELOS HA'ARETZ]" - "[And the B'nei Dan set up for themselves the image,] and Yehonasan ben Gershom ben Menasheh and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan [up until the day they went into exile]" (Shoftim 18:30) (THE LEVI WHO BECAME A KOHEN TO THE IDOL OF MICHAH AND DAN)
(a)It was a time when Yisrael did not yet have a king, and each tribe was forced to fend for itself. The tribe of Dan sent five of their soldiers to spy out the land in order to expand their deficient territory. They arrived in Har Efrayim and, as the verse explains, they were surprised to find Yehonasan, Moshe's grandson serving in the capacity of a priest to an idol (see 110a). Thinking that he had access to Divine knowledge, they asked him to use his powers to determine whether they would succeed in their endeavors, and he replied in the affirmative.
(b)Eventually, they found a nation in the north, in a city called Layish. Its habitants had no enemies and lived tranquilly, and were too far from Tzidon to call for help in the event that they were attacked.
(c)They returned to their homes in Tzar'ah and Eshta'ol and reported what they had seen. The tribe of Dan immediately dispatched six hundred armed men to capture Layish, accompanied by the five spies. On the way, they passed Har Efrayim, and the five spies informed the troop of the idol, and the Levi who was serving there as priest, with the intention of kidnapping him.
(d)The five men entered Michah's house, and took Michah's idol and other icons. When the Levi asked them what they were doing, they ordered him to remain silent and to accompany them, offering him to become the father and priest of the entire tribe, which, they assured him, was far preferable to being the priest of one man. The Levi was only too pleased to accept their offer, so he took his images and joined their ranks.
(e)When Michah and his men set up a hue and cry and chased after them, they demanded that the B'nei Dan return his gods and his Kohen. The latter told him to be quiet or suffer the consequences. Seeing that there was nothing to be gained by insisting, they turned back, without Michah's gods and without his Kohen.
(f)The B'nei Dan arrived at Layish, killing all its inhabitants and setting the city on fire. They subsequently rebuilt it and renamed it Dan, after their founding father. They set up the image, and Yehonasan and his descendants served as priests up until the day that they went into exile.
28)[line 31]מעשה מנשהMA'ASEH MENASHEH - The Wicked King Menasheh
(a)Menasheh was the son of the righteous King Chizkiyah. A direct descendant of David ha'Melech, he was the longest reigning king of Yehudah; his reign lasted for fifty-five years. His reign was marked by evil and terror. He murdered so many innocent Jews that "he filled Yerushalayim from one end to the other [with blood]" (Melachim II 21:16). Among those murdered by Menasheh was his own grandfather, Yeshayah ha'Navi. Menasheh actively caused idolatry to spread throughout Yehudah and went so far as to place an idol in the Beis ha'Mikdash. This was among the chief reasons why HaSh-m destroyed His Temple four generations later.
(b)Our Gemara equates the actions of Yehonasan, who served as a priest to an idol, with those of the wicked Menasheh.
29)[line 31]תלאו הכתוב במנשהTELA'O HA'KASUV BI'MENASHEH- the verse attributes (lit. hangs) his [lineage] to Menasheh (and the "Nun" is "hanging"). Although Menasheh would not yet be born for many centuries, the verse was clearly written with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh (Divine Inspiration). It is fascinating to note that according to the SEDER HA'DOROS, the idol erected by Menasheh in the Beis ha'Mikdash was none other than Pesel Michah.
30)[line 33]שתולין את הקלקלה במקולקלTOLIN ES HA'KALKALAH B'MEKULKAL- we attribute corruption (in this case, that which Yehonasan served as the priest to an idol) to he who is corrupt (in this case, Menasheh)
31)[line 34]"[וַאֲדֹנִיָּה בֶן חַגִּית מִתְנַשֵּׂא לַאמֹר 'אֲנִי אֶמְלֹךְ'; וַיַּעֲשׂ לוֹ רֶכֶב וּפָרָשִׁים וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ רָצִים לְפָנָיו. וְלֹא עֲצָבוֹ אָבִיו מִיָּמָיו לֵאמֹר 'מַדּוּעַ כָּכָה עָשִׂיתָ';] וְגַם הוּא טוֹב תּוֹאַר מְאֹד, וְאוֹתוֹ יָלְדָה אַחֲרֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם""[VA'ADONIYAH VEN CHAGIS MISNASEI LEIMOR 'ANI EMLOCH'; VA'YA'AS LO RECHEV U'FARASHIM VA'CHAMISHIM ISH RATZIM LEFANAV. V'LO ATZAVO AVIV MI'YAMAV LEIMOR, 'MADU'A KACHAH ASISA?'] V'GAM HU TOV TO'AR ME'OD, V'OSO YALEDAH ACHAREI AVSHALOM" - "[And Adoniyah ben Chagis boasted, saying, 'I am destined to rule!' So he made himself a chariot and riders, with fifty men running ahead of him. And his father had never scolded him, saying 'Why do you do this?'] And also he (like Avshalom) was extremely good-looking and his mother bore him after Avshalom." (Melachim I 1:5-6) (ADONIYAHU'S UPRISING)
(a)Adoniyahu wanted to usurp the throne upon David's death, and therefore he adopted royal protocol. The fifty runners had their spleens and the soles of their feet removed, so that they were able to run for long distances without feeling pain in their feet and without getting tired (RASHI loc.cit.). Avshalom had done the same prior to his rebellion against his father David (Shmuel II 15:1).
(b)David, say Chazal, made a serious mistake by not rebuking his errant son Adoniyahu, thereby encouraging him to believe that all his actions were justified. This resulted in Adoniyahu's untimely death.
(c)Adoniyahu succeeded in obtaining the support of such leaders as Yo'av ben Tzeruyah (who knew that David would command his son Shlomo to have him put to death for having killed Avner, Amasa, and Avshalom; he therefore hoped that Adoniyahu would reign instead of Shlomo), and Evyasar ha'Kohen (who bore a grudge against David for having removed him from the Kehunah Gedolah during the uprising of Avshalom).
(d)On the other hand, Tzadok ha'Kohen, Benayahu ben Yehoyada, Nasan ha'Navi, and the other famous leaders of the generation remained loyal to David and declined to join forces with Adoniyahu.
(e)Adoniyahu further tightened his grip on the throne by sacrificing many animals next to a large stone called "Even ha'Zocheles" and by inviting virtually all of his brothers, the men of Yehudah, and the servants of the king to join in his banquet. He did not invite Nasan ha'Navi (who had prophesied that Shlomo was next in line to rule), Benayahu, or his brother Shlomo (who, he knew, was destined to succeed his father on the throne).
(f)Ultimately, however, with the intervention of Nasan ha'Navi and David's wife Bas Sheva (Shlomo's mother), David cut the rebellion short by announcing Shlomo as his successor and arranging for him to be publicly anointed while David was yet alive.
32)[line 35]והלא אדניה בן חגית, ואבשלום בן מעכה!VA'HALO ADONIYAH BEN CHAGIS, V'AVSHALOM BEN MA'ACHAH!- [why does the verse imply that the same woman birthed both Avshalom and Adoniyahu?] Adoniyahu was the son of [a woman by the name of] Chagis, and Avshalom was the son of [a woman by the name of] Ma'achah!
33)[line 37]לעולם ידבק אדם בטוביםL'OLAM YIDBAK ADAM B'TOVIM- one should be sure to marry into a family of those who have displayed fine qualities (lit. attach himself to good people)
34)[line 38]שנשאNASA- he married
35)[line 38]יתרוYISRO- the father-in-law of Moshe, who, prior to his conversion to Judaism and full acceptance of HaSh-m, had served as a priest to idols for many years
36)[line 38]עמינדבAMINADAV- a distinguished great-great-grandson of Yehudah; his son, Nachshon, served as the Nasi (leader) of Yehudah and was the first to enter the Yam Suf, causing it to split
37)[line 39]ופנחס לאו מיתרו אתי?PINCHAS LAV MI'YISRO ASI?- did Pinchas not descend from Yisro [as well]?
38)[line 39]"וְאֶלְעָזָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן לָקַח לוֹ מִבְּנוֹת פּוּטִיאֵל לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה, [וַתֵּלֶד לוֹ אֶת פִּינְחָס...]""V'ELAZAR BEN AHARON LAKACH LO MI'BNOS PUTI'EL LO L'ISHAH, [VA'TELED LO ES PIN'CHAS...]"- "And Elazar son of Aharon took a wife for himself from the daughters of Puti'el, [and she bore him Pinchas...]" (Shemos 6:25)
39)[line 40]שפיטם עגלים לע"זPITEM AGALIM L'AVODAH ZARAH- he fattened calves [as sacrifices] to idols
40)[line 41]שפטפט ביצרוPITPET B'YITZRO- he belittled [and conquered] his [evil] inclination [when the wife of Potifar attempted to seduce him]
41)[line 41]שבטים מבזים אותוSHEVATIM MEVAZIM OSO- the tribes would humiliate him