BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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[117a - 17 lines; 117b - 16 lines]
1) [line 1] L'YOTZ'EI MITZRAYIM NISCHALKAH HA'ARETZ - to those who left Mitzrayim the land was apportioned. That is, Eretz Yisrael was divided into the number of portions equal to the number of adult males (over the age of 20) who left Mitzrayim. Even though the people who left Mitzrayim died in the desert, their portions in Eretz Yisrael became their possession and were granted as an inheritance to their children who entered Eretz Yisrael.
2) [line 5] L'HOTZI ES HA TEFALIM - to exclude the children (only the people who were over 20 years old at the time of Yetzi'as Mitzrayim were apportioned a share of Eretz Yisrael)
3) [line 6] L'VA'EI HA'ARETZ NISCHALKAH HA'ARETZ - to those who entered Eretz Yisrael the land was apportioned. That is, Eretz Yisrael was divided into the number of portions equal to the number of adults males (over the age of 20) who entered Eretz Yisrael.
4) [line 9] MESHUNAH - different, unique
5a) [line 10] CHAYIN YORSHIN MESIM - those who are living inherit those who are deceased
b) [line 11] MESIM YORSHIN CHAYIN - those who are deceased inherit those who are living. Although the land was apportioned to those who entered Eretz Yisrael, their portions are passed back to their deceased ancestors (who left Mitzrayim). The portions are then consolidated and divided equally among the parents, and then re-distributed to their children (who entered Eretz Yisrael). For example, Reuven and Shimon left Mitzrayim and died in the desert. Reuven had 9 sons who entered Eretz Yisrael, and Shimon had 1 son. Reuven's sons are given 9 portions, and Shimon's son is given only 1 portion. However, those 10 portions are then passed back to Reuven and Shimon and divided equally (this is equivalent to passing it back to their father), so that the 9 sons of Reuven receive 5 portions, and the son of Shimon receives 5 portions.
6) [line 16] MACHAZIRIN ETZEL AVIHEN - the portions go back to their fathers (to be divided equally among them)
7) [line 1] LA'ELU VELA'ELU NISCHALKAH HA'ARETZ - both to these people (who left Mitzrayim) and to these people (who entered Eretz Yisrael) the land is apportioned
8) [line 5] MERAGLIM, YEHOSHUA V'CHALEV NATLU CHELKAM - regarding the spies (i.e. the ten spies who spoke Lashon ha'Ra about Eretz Yisrael), Yehoshua and Kalev received their portions [in Eretz Yisrael]
9) [line 6] MISLONENIM - the complainers (the Gemara will conclude that this refers to the 250 members of Korach's assembly -- see next entry)
10) [line 6] ADAS KORACH - the assembly of Korach
(a) The Torah describes the tragic events that transpired when Korach ben Yitzhar ben Kehas ben Levi challenged Moshe Rabeinu's authority as the leader of Benei Yisrael (Bamidbar 16:1 - 17:15). Secretly, he was jealous of Moshe's appointments of Aharon as the Kohen Gadol and Elitzafan ben Uziel as the Nasi of the family of Kehas. His pride was wounded when he was passed over for these prestigious positions of leadership.
(b) Korach proclaimed that all of the people were holy and equally shared the revelation of HaSh-m on Har Sinai, and as such, a caste system of Kohanim, Leviyim and Yisraelim was irrelevant and discriminatory. Dasan and Aviram, of the tribe of Reuven, always ready to contest any dictate of Moshe Rabeinu, joined Korach's rebellion, along with 250 chieftains who were mostly from the tribe of Reuven. Moshe tried to dissuade them by showing Korach that he and his tribe were indeed on a lofty level of spiritual advancement, and should be content with their lot. He tried to speak to Dasan and Aviram, but they would not even meet with him.
(c) As a result, Moshe instructed them that each person who thought himself worthy of being the Kohen Gadol should assemble on the next morning along with Aharon, with a fire-pan of incense, which all of them would light. He warned them that only one person would survive from the event.
(d) During the night, Korach persuaded a sizable portion of the entire populace to side with him, by providing them with food and drink and presenting words of ridicule and contempt for the laws of the Torah that Moshe taught them. Most of his speeches dealt with the priestly gifts and other Halachos that he wished to dispute. By the morning, Moshe was faced with a full-blown rebellion among the people. HaSh-m threatened to wipe out the entire people for this infraction, to which Moshe responded with a prayer that HaSh-m only punish the instigators and not those swept in by Korach's rhetoric.
(e) Moshe announced that a sign would come from Heaven that HaSh-m sent him and that He was behind all of the appointments and all of the Halachos that Moshe taught the people. The sign was that the ground opened up and Korach, Dasan, Aviram and all of their families and all of their possessions fell in and were lost from the congregation forever.
11) [line 12] SIMAN LA'RAV TZELOFCHAD V'YOSEF ICHPAL MENASHEH YECHASHEV - this is an mnemonic device for remembering the following six questions that Rav Papa asked Abaye:
1. la'Rav refers to "Amar Lei Rav Papa l'Abaye... la'Rav Tarbeh Nachalaso..." (line 14)
2. Tzelofchad refers to "v'Amar Lei Rav Papa l'Abaye... d'ka Tzavchan Benos Tzelofchad..." (Daf 118a, line 2)
3. v'Yosef refers to "bi'Shlama l'Man d'Amar... d'ka Tzavchan Benei Yosef..." (Daf 118a, line 6)
4. Ichpal refers to "v'Amar Lei Rav Papa l'Abaye... Ichpul Yehoshua v'Chalev..." (Daf 118b, line 22)
5. Menasheh refers to "v'Amar Lei Rav Papa l'Abaye... va'Yipelu Chevlei Menasheh Asarah..." (Daf 118b, line 25)
6. Yechashev refers to "v'Amar Lei Rav Papa l'Abaye, Kera Mai Ka Chashiv?" (Daf 118b, line 35)
12) [last line] "LA'RAV TARBEH NACHALASO VELA'ME'AT TAM'IT NACHALASO, ISH LEFI FEKUDAV YUTAN NACHALASO." - "To the abundant one, you shall increase his inheritance, and to the smaller one, you shall decrease his inheritance, every man according to his count shall be given his inheritance." (Bamidbar 26:54)
Index to Background for Maseches Bava Basra