ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Re'iyah" "Re'iyah" from Hakhel - that a deaf and a dumb person are Patur from Re'iyah, just like they are Patur from the Mitzvah of Hakhel.
(b) The source for the initial Derashah is the Pasuk in Vayelech "Lema'an Yishme'u, u'Lema'an Yilmedu". The Beraisa ...
1. ... learns from "Lema'an Yishme'u" - that a deaf person is Patur from Hakhel.
2. ...tries to learn from "Lema'an Yilmedu" - that a dumb person is Patur from Hakhel, too ...
(c) ... because, we assume, he cannot hear either, in which case he cannot learn either.
(a) We refute this Derashah however, from the story of the two dumb nephews of Rebbi Yochanan ben Gudgoda (or of Rebbi Yochanan) - who would sit in front of Rebbi and nod their heads as he taught Torah.
(b) After Rebbi prayed for them to be healed, they were found to be conversant in Hilch'sa, Sifra and Sifri.
1. Hilchesa means - Mishnah.
2. They had also mastered - Shas.
(c) This proves that a dumb person is capable of hearing and of learning (in which case we cannot preclude him from Hakhel from "Lema'an Yilmedu").
(d) Amr Zutra therefore interprets "Lema'an Yilmedu" as if the Torah had written 'Lema'an Yelamedu' - changing the meaning from "in order that they should learn, to "in order that they should teach", precluding a dumb person, who is certainly unable to do teach others.
(a) According to Rav Ashi, "Lema'an Yilmedu" cannot be taken literally anyway (as we at first believed) - because if, as we assumed, they cannot hear, we have already precluded them from "Lema'an Tishme'u".
(b) What it must therefore mean is - "Lema'an Yelamedu", as we explained according to the first explanation.
(a) Rebbi Tanchum learns (with regard to Hakhel) from "b'Ozneihem" - that someone who is deaf in one ear is Patur from Hakhel.
(b) We know that it extends to Re'iyah too - from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' of "Re'iyah" "Re'iyah".
(c) And we learn from the Pasuk there ...
1. ... "Neged Kol Yisrael" - that the king must read the Torah in the presence of all Yisrael.
2. ... "Lema'an Yishme'u" - that they must be close enough to hear him.
(a) Rebbi Tanchum learns from the Pasuk in ...
1. ... Mishpatim "Shalosh Regalim" - that a man who is lame in one leg is Patur from Re'iyah.
2. ... Mishpatim "Shalosh Pe'amim" - that someone who has a stump instead of a foot is Patur from Re'iyah.
3. ... Yeshayah "Teramasnah Regel, Raglei Ani, Pa'amei Dalim" - that "Pe'amim" means feet.
4. ... Shir ha'Shirim "Mah Yafu Pe'amayich ba'Ne'alim Bas Nediv" - that "Pe'amim" relates to a foot on which one normally wears shoes.
(b) Rava Darshens "Mah Yafu Pe'amayich ba'Ne'alim" - as Hash-m's praise of Klal Yisrael ... 'How lovely are the feet of Yisrael when they go to Yerushalayim on Yom Tov'.
(c) "Bas Nediv" refers to Avraham Avinu, as we learn from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Nedivei Amim Ne'esafu Am Elokei Avraham". Avraham (as opposed to Yitzchak and Yakov) is referred to as 'Nediv' - because he was the first (i.e. he volunteered) to become a Ger.
(d) Rebbi Tanchum extrapolates that there were snakes and scorpions in the pit into which the brothers threw Yosef - from the phrase "Ein Bo Mayim" (which, having already written "v'ha'Bor Rek", is redundant).
(a) Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah and Rebbi Elazar Chisma were reluctant to tell Rebbi Yehoshua what Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah had Darshened in the Beis ha'Medrash the previous day. Rebbi Yehoshua insisted they tell him, adding 'Shabbos shel Mi Hayesah?' What he meant was - 'Was it the turn of Raban Gamliel (after he had been re-instated as Nasi) to Darshen, or that of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah (who had re-placed him during the period that he was deposed and who continued to Darshen once every three or four weeks after Raban Gamliel's had been re-instated).
(b) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah Darshened from the Pasuk "Hakhel es ha'Am, ha'Anashim, v'ha'Nashim v'ha'Taf*" - the men, to learn (which for them, is an intrinsic Mitzvah), the women, to hear (their obligations), and the children (who have not yet reached the age of Chinuch - see Agados Maharsha), to give reward to their parents.
(c) Rebbi Yehoshua was so impressed with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah's Derashah that he asked Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah and Rebbi Elazar Chisma why they wanted to hide from him such a precious jewel.
(d) He (Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah) also Darshened the Pesukim "es Hash-m He'emarta ha'Yom ... v'Hu He'emircha ha'Yom" - to mean "Hash-m praised you ... and you praised Him" (see also Rashi in Chumash). Likewise, Yisrael said (in praise of Hash-m) "Shema Yisrael ... , and Hash-m said (in praise of Yisrael) "u'Mi k'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz?"
(a) Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah (see also Rabeinu Chananel and Hagahos ha'Rav Renshberg) also Darshened from the Pasuk in Koheles "Divrei Chachamim k'Dorbonos ... " - that the words of the Chachamim, are like the goad of the plowshare ...
(b) ... inasmuch as just as the plowshare guides the cow along the furrow to give life to the world, so too, do the words of Torah guide their students from the path that leads to death to the path that leads to life.
(c) The Pasuk then needs to add ...
1. ... "uk'Mismaros" - to teach us that Divrei Torah are not movable like a plowshare (but are fixed - firm - like nails in the wall).
2. ... "Netu'im" - that they do not make a hole in the wall (damage those who learn them like a nail), but on the contrary, they cause growth, like a tree). Alternatively, they do not deteriorate like a nail in the wall, but prosper and flourish like a tree.
(a) In the same Pasuk, "Ba'alei Asupos" refers to the groups of Talmidei-Chachamim learning together, some of whom rule, Tamei, others Tahor; some who say Asur, others, Mutar; some who rule Pasul, others Kasher. This creates a problem however - because it implies that there are different Toros; one says this, and one says that, as if they all came from different sources!?
(b) The final phrase "Kulan Nitnu me'Ro'eh Echad" alleviates the problem however - because we see from there that all the diverse opinions come from the same G-d, who allows for a difference of opinion in Halachah. Consequently, both opinions can be right (provided they conform with the rules and regulations of Torah she'be'Al Peh).
(c) We also learn from the Pasuk in Yisro "va'Yedaber Elokim es Kol ha'Devarim ha'Eileh" - that all the diverse opinions stem from the One G-d.
(d) One decides which opinion to follow - only after carefully studying both opinions and weighing them up (making one's ears like a mill-stone).
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua finally exclaimed in praise of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - 'The generation in which Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah lives is truly not an orphaned one'!
(a) Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah and Rebbi Elazar Chisma were initially reluctant to tell Rebbi Yehoshua what Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah had taught the previous day because of a similar incident that had occurred - with Rebbi Elazar and Rebbi Yosi ben Durmaskis.
(b) Rebbi Yosi ben Durmaskis told Rebbi Elazar 'Nimnu v'Gamru: Amon u'Mo'av Me'asrin Ma'aser Ani bi'Shevi'is'. The basis for this Halachah is the fact that the Kedushah with which Yehoshua sanctified Eretz Yisrael was only temporary (once they went into Galus, it dissipated). So when the Olei Bavel returned to build the second Beis Hamikdash, they did not re-sanctify certain parts of the surrounding countries regarding Shemitah, to enable the poor to receive Leket, Shichechah Pe'ah and Ma'aser Ani (arbitrarily introduced - because min ha'Torah, the Shemitah year is not subject to Ma'asros).
(c) Rebbi Elazar was upset with Rebbi Yosi ben Durmaskis for praising the Darshen who taught the Halachah in his own name, and then allowing a vote to take place, when Rebbi Eliezer citing Raban Yochanan ben Zakai, had already passed on the tradition that it was a 'Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai' (See also Agados Maharsha).
(d) He decreed that Rebbi Yosi becomes blind. He did not remain blind however - because, no sooner did Rebbi Elazar's anger abate than he prayed for his eyesight to be restored.
(a) The Beraisa offers three definitions of 'Shoteh' - 1. someone who takes solitary walks in the middle of the night; 2. someone who sleeps overnight in a cemetery - 3. Someone who tears his clothes.
(b) According to Rav Huna, he is only classified as a Shoteh if he performs all three; whereas Rebbi Yochanan certifies him - for any one of them.
(c) Both agree that he is only a Shoteh if he does these things in an abnormal manner - but not if he acts normally (with good reason for performing them).
(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan, even if a Shoteh does act abnormally, the Tana does not classify him as a Shoteh for just ...
1. ... sleeping overnight in a cemetery - because he may be a sane man who wants to have contact with demons for purposes of witchcraft.
2. ... taking solitary walks at night - because perhaps he is sick (with insomnia) or he feels too hot and goes out to cool down.
3. ... tearing his clothes - because we suspect that he is simply highly emotional.
(b) Nevertheless, once he performs all three - we ignore all the possible motives and simply assume that he is insane.
(c) This is comparable to an ox that gores three different species of animals - where we combine the three and say that it is by nature a goring ox for all species (whereas had it gored the same species three times, we would have labeled it a goring ox for that species exclusively (on the assumption that it is averse to that species, but not to any other).