prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) We just cited the Beraisa which differentiates between the way that a Tamei and a Tahor fish breed. What distinction does the Tana also draw between creatures that give birth and those that lay eggs?
(b) What is the sole exception to the rule? Which is the only creature to lay eggs, yet it has nipples to suckle its young?
(c) How does Rav Yehudah translate 'Dulfanin'?
(d) What does the Tana say about them?
(a) What distinction does the Beraisa then draw between creatures whose Beitzim are external and those whose Beitzim are internal?
(b) We query this however, from a statement of Shmuel. What reason does Abaye give to explain why Shmuel considers a goose and a wild goose Kil'ayim?
(c) What is now the problem?
(d) How do we therefore amend the Beraisa? If the Tana's distinction does not pertain to the Beitzim, to what does it pertain?
(a) What distinction does the Tana draw between species that cohabit exclusively by day, those that cohabit exclusively by night, and those that cohabit sometimes by day and sometimes by night?
(b) If the latter category refers to humans, which species cohabits exclusively ...
1. ... by day?
2. ... by night?
(c) The ramifications of this statement concern chickens, and are connected with a statement by Rav Mari b'rei de'Rav Kahana. What does he say about someone who, after having examined the chicken-run on Erev Yom-Tov and failed to find an egg, finds one on Yom-Tov?
(d) This cannot be because we assume that he did not examine it properly on Erev Yom-Tov, because he knows that he did. Then what is the reason for this ruling?
(e) The Heter to eat such an egg is based on a ruling of Rebbi Yochanan. What did he say?
(a) What does the Tana then say about species whose time of cohabitation and period of pregnancy coincide?
(b) The vast majority of species in the world cohabit front to back, except for four. In what way are camels unique in this regard?
(c) Which three species cohabit face to face?
(d) When Rav Dimi arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he explained that this was because Hash-m spoke to all three of them. If He spoke to the snake in Gan Eden, where did He speak to the fish?
(a) Which animal has ...
1. ... the shortest incubation period of all the animals?
2. ... the longest pregnancy?
(b) If the correspondingly shortest budding period of all fruit is the hazel-nut (twenty0two days), which is the correspondingly longest (from the time of planting)?
(c) How many of those years comprise the budding period)?
(d) If figs take fifty days to bud, berries fifty-two days and apples, sixty, which animals have corresponding pregnancy periods?
(a) What, besides Sheratzim, has a pregnancy period of six months (the equivalent ripening period among trees is produce).
(b) Since when is produce fall under the category of tree?
(c) The pregnancy period of large Beheimos Temei'os is twelve months (the equivalent budding period of fruit is dates), what is the pregnancy period of Tahor ...
1. ... small animals?
2. ... large animals?
(d) If the equivalent budding period of the former is grapes, what is the equivalent budding period of the latter?
(a) What is the pregnancy period of a wolf, a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a Bard'les (a hyena, a panther or a weasel)?
(b) Which other three species are included in this list?
(c) And which fruit has the equivalent budding period?
(d) The last animal listed in the Beraisa is a snake. What is the pregnancy period of a snake?
(e) Some say that its equivalent among the fruit-trees is Muchsasim (a species of wild figs). What do others say?
(a) In what context do we explain the snake's curse?
(b) What problem does Rav Yehudah Amar Rav (and some add Rebbi Yehoshua ben Chananyah) then have with the Pasuk in Bereishis, which declares the snake more accursed than all the animals and than all the wild beasts of the field?
(c) Why can we not answer simply that it is even more cursed than the lion and the bear ... (three years)?
(d) So he answers that the Torah is coming to correlate the snake with the Beheimah, just as the Beheimah correlates with the Chayah. What does he mean when he refers to the corollary between ...
1. ... the Beheimah and the Chayah?
2. ... the snake and the Beheimah?
(a) Why do we not explain the Pasuk to mean that the snake is cursed three times more than the lion (whose pregnancy lasts three years), who in turn, is cursed three times more than a donkey (which lasts one year) - in which case the incubation period of a snake ought to last for nine years?
(b) Then why can we not explain it to mean that just as a goat (a hundred and fifty days) is cursed three times the amount of a cat (fifty-two days), so is the snake cursed three times that of a goat, so that its incubation period would then be four hundred and fifty days (and not seven years)?
(c) What alternative answer do we give?
(d) This also explains why we do not give the time period as two years (twice that of a donkey, like the donkey's is twice that of fox). How else could we refute that suggestion?
(a) When Rebbi Yehoshua informed the Emperor of Rome that the incubation period of a snake lasts seven years, how did the latter try to prove to him that it lasts only three (see Agados Maharsha)?
(b) What did the he reply ...
1. ... to that?
2. ... when the Emperor pointed out that pregnant animals do not mate?
3. ... when the Emperor reminded him that the sages of Athens were wise?
(c) What did the Emperor order him to do, to prove his superiority?
(d) And what did Rebbi Yehoshua request from the Emperor, when he informed him that there were sixty sages?
(a) Upon arriving in Athens, what was the first problem that confronted Rebbi Yehoshua?
(b) How did he ...
1. ... trick a butcher into obtaining his services?
2. ... get him to point out the entrance to the sages' court, without endangering himself?
(c) Nobody was allowed to enter or leave the court without permission. How did the elders ensure that they would always know whether anyone had entered or left?
(d) What made it virtually impossible to gain entry?
(a) In order to gain entry, Rebbi Yehoshua had all the guards killed. How did he do that?
(b) What problem did he have to deal with once inside?
(c) How did he solve it?
(d) What was the sages' response, when he informed them that he was the sage of the Jews and that he had come to learn from them?
(e) What terms did he offer them?
Note: all of the questions posed by the Sages of Athens were aimed at proving that Yisrael were no better than the other nations, and that, even if they originally had been, they lost the title of 'the chosen people' once they were exiled from their land (see Agados Maharsha).
(a) What did Rebbi Yehoshua reply, when the sages asked him whether ...
1. ... a person who has been refused a woman's hand in marriage, will then attempt to win the hand of a woman of higher status?
2. ... Reuven, who had trouble in retrieving his loan (i.e. which was in part a business transaction, from which he stood to gain) from Shimon, would then lend Levi money?
(b) The sages then decided to switch roles. What did they ask Rebbi Yehoshua to do?
(c) He told them about a mule that gave birth, and round whose neck they tied a document that someone owed its father a thousand Zuz. On what grounds did they refute the story?
(d) What did he reply?
(a) What did they ask in surprise when, in answer to their query with what one preserves salt that is going bad, Rebbi Yehoshua replied 'with the placenta of a mule'?
(b) What did he retort?
(c) What did he do when they asked him to build a house in the sky?
(a) What did he reply when they asked him ...
1. ... to point out the middle of the world?
2. ... to prove it?
3. ... to carry the pit they had dug outside the town into town?
4. ... to stitch their broken mill together?
(b) And what did he answer, when they asked him ...
1. ... with what one cuts a row of daggers growing in a field?
2. ... since when donkeys have horns?
3. ... which one of two eggs was laid by a black hen and which one, by a white hen?
4. ... from which end of the egg the life leaves a chick that died in its shell?
(c) Finally, how did he respond when they asked him to define an object that is not worth the damage that it causes?
(d) When all sixty sages were on the boat, he instructed the captain to set sail. What did he do to get them all to wait patiently for the meal to begin, without arousing their suspicion?
(a) He took some of the local earth with him. Which other commodity did he arrive with in Rome?
(b) Why did the Emperor not at first believe that they were the sages of Athens?
(c) How did Rebbi Yehoshua convince him that they were?
(a) What did the Emperor say to Rebbi Yehoshua, when the sages began to speak to him arrogantly?
(b) How did Rebbi Yehoshua respond to that? What did he instruct the sages of Athens to do?
(c) What happened next?