ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
CHAGIGAH 16 - dedicated by Ari Friedman and family of Lawrence, N.Y., in memory of Ari's father, Reb Yakov Yosef ben Rav Nosson Neta Z'L, in honor of his second Yahrzeit (1 Iyar 5767). Always brimming with joy and generosity, Jack Friedman exemplified true Ahavas Yisrael and Ahavas Chesed. May he be a Melitz Yosher for his children and grandchildren and all of Klal Israel.
(a) Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk "v'Asah mi'Rivevos Kodesh" (and Rebbi Avahu from the Pasuk in Shir ha'Shirim "Dagul m'Revavah", and Resh Lakish from the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Hash-m Tzevakos Hu") - that Hash-m's place is marked ("Asa" from the word 'Os' - a sign) among the angels (and that He is unique among all the angels) ...
(b) ... making it possible to avoid looking at the Shechinah (and confusing any angel with Him, like Acher did - see Agados Maharsha).
(c) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan quotes the Pasuk in Melachim "Lo b'Ru'ach Hash-m ... Lo b'Ra'ash Hash-m ... Lo b'Esh Hash-m". In fact - Hash-m was where the silent, thin voice was (see Agados Maharsha).
(d) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan quote this Pasuk - because he learns from it what the previous Amora'im learned from their respective Pesukim (that the silence marks the location of the Shechinah [see Agados Maharsha]).
(a) Like angels, Sheidim (demons) have wings, they can fly from one end of the world to the other (see Agados Maharsha), and they hear from behind the heavenly curtain what is going to happen. On the other hand, they resemble human beings - inasmuch as they eat and drink, have children and die like them (see Tosfos DH 'k'Bnei Adam').
(b) Like angels, human beings have knowledge, they walk upright and they speak (Lashon ha'Kodesh - see Agados Maharsha). They resemble animals - in that they eat and drink, have children and defecate like them.
(a)To explain what is wrong with questioning what happened before the world was created, seeing as it is something of the past, Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar give a Mashal - to a king who built a palace on a trash-heap, and who does not want people to associate the beautiful palace with the trash-heap.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that anyone who does not have respect for the Kavod of Hash-m would have been better not to have been born. Rav Yosef interprets this to mean that one should not perform a sin in private. According to Rebbi Aba - it refers to someone who looks at the rainbow (as will be explained shortly).
(b) In light of Rav Yosef, who just explained that not having respect for the Kavod of Hash-m refers to someone who performs a sin in private, the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Koh Amar Hash-m, ha'Shamayim Kis'i, v'ha'Aretz Hadom Raglai", we will explain the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Koh Amar Hash-m, ha'Shamayim Kis'i, v'ha'Aretz Hadom Raglai", to mean - that if someone does so, it is as if he had pushed away the legs of the Shechinah.
(c) If someone feels that the Yetzer ha'Ra is getting the better of him, Rav Ila'a ha'Zaken advises him - to go to a place where he is not known, wear black clothes and sin there, in order to avoid desecrating Hash-m's holy Name.
(d) To reconcile Rav Ila'a ha'Zaken with Rav Yosef, we establish the former - by someone who feels that he is unable to avoid sinning (and whose motivation is purely in order to avoid Chilul Hash-m); whereas Rav Yosef is speaking - about someone who is able to avoid sinning, and who sins in secret purely in order not to be seen by people (because he is more afraid of people than he is of Hash-m).
(a) Rebbi Yehudah Bar Nachmeni (Resh Lakish's translator), lists three things that cause one's eyes to go dim by looking at them: two of them are a rainbow and the Nasi - the third is the Kohanim when they Duchen.
(b) The reason for that is common to all three cases is - that the Shechinah is present.
(c) The third case of looking at the Kohanim when they Duchen - applies only in the time when the Beis Hamikdash is standing, but not nowadays.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah Bar Nachmeni also said - that if the Yetzer ha'Ra tries to convince someone that he may go ahead and sin and not worry about retribution because Hash-m is kind and is bound to pardon him, he should not believe a word of what he says (because there is no such thing as pardon without Teshuvah).
(b) Some say that it is the stones and the beams of his house that will testify against him at the Heavenly Tribunal. According to the Chachamim, based on the Pasuk "mi'Shocheves Cheikecha Shemor Pischei Picha" - it is a person's own Neshamah that will testify against him.
(c) Whereas according to ...
1. ... Rebbi Zerika, based on the Pasuk "Ki Mal'achav Yetzaveh Lach ... " - it is the two angels who accompany each person constantly who will testify.
2. ... Yesh Omrim, based on the Pasuk in Yeshayah "v'Atem Eidai, Ne'um Hash-m va'Ani Kel" - it is the person's very limbs who testify at the Heavenly Tribunal.
(a) The first Machlokes among the Chachmei Yisrael - was whether or not, one may perform Semichah on Yom Tov, or whether one has to make it before Yom Tov.
(b) According to the Tana of our Mishnah (Rebbi Meir), the common factor between ...
1. ... Yosef ben Yo'ezer, Yehoshua ben Perachya and Yehudah ben Tabai, all of whom hold that Semichah was not performed on Yom Tov, is - that they all held the title of Nasi.
2. ... Yosef ben Yochanan, Nitai ha'Arbeli and Shimon ben Shetach, who all hold that it was, is - that they all held the title of Av Beis-Din.
3. ... Shemayah and Hillel, who both hold that Semichah was performed on Yom Tov, is - that both of them were Nesi'im.
4. ... Avtalyon and Shamai, who both hold that it was not is, that both were Av Beis Din.
(c) Menachem was the Av Beis Din before Shamai. Unlike all the other Avos Beis Din, he concurred with Hillel.
(d) The above is the opinion of Rebbi Meir. According to the Chachamim - Yehudah ben Tabai was the Av Beis-Din, and Shimon ben Shetach, the Nasi.
(a) Yehudah ben Tabai was particularly pleased at having sentenced to death one Eid Zomem even though the defendant had not yet been put to death - because this went against the Tzedokim, who maintained that an Eid was only sentenced if the defendant had already been put to death.
(b) When Yehudah ben Tabai informed Shimon ben Shetach of what he had done - the latter retorted that he had murdered an innocent soul, because one witness cannot become an Eid Zomem.
(c) We learn this from the Pasuk "v'Hinei Eid Sheker ha'Eid" - because, whenever the Torah writes "Eid", it implies two witnesses (unless the expression "Eid Echad" is used).
(d) Shimon ben Shetach applied the same ruling to an Eid Zomem who testified falsely that the defendant was Chayav Malkus or Chayav to pay money - as Shimon ben Shetach explicitly says in the Beraisa.
(a) Yehudah ben Tabai undertook that, from then on - he would not issue any rulings other than in the presence of Shimon ben Shetach.
(b) Every day, he would lie on the grave of the witness and weep bitterly - although the people who heard his voice believed it to be that of the dead witness.
(c) Yehudah ben Tabai tried to prove that it was his voice that they could hear (and not that of the witness) from the fact that, the moment he died, the voice would stop. Rav Acha Brei d'Rava refuted this proof however - on the grounds that, after his death, he may have succeeded in appeasing the witness or that the Heavenly Tribunal had issued a ruling one way or the other. Either way, the voice would then stop, even if it had been that of the witness.
(d) According to the Rabanan, who maintain that Yehudah ben Tabai was the Av Beis-Din, when the Tana says that he undertook not to issue rulings unless Shimon ben Shetach was present - he meant that he would not even participate in a Beis-Din to issue rulings, other than on the Beis-Din on which Shimon ben Shetach also sat.
(a) According to Abaye, Menachem went out to evil ways. Rava says - that he was called to the service of the king.
(b) According to the Tana of the Beraisa, which concurs with Rava - eighty pairs of Talmidim went with him, wearing ...
(c) ... royal robes.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan warns us not to treat a Shvus lightly - based on our Mishnah since the prohibition of Semichah is only a Shvus, yet the Chachamim of many generations argued over it.
(b) We ...
1. ... ask 'Peshita!?' - because we already know it from the Mishnah in Beitzah (which warns us about Shevusin).
2. ... refute the answer that we need Rebbi Yochanan to teach us this principle even by Semichah, which is a Mitzvah - because that too, is mentioned in the same Mishnah.
(c) We finally answer the Kashya - in that Rebbi Yochanan is coming to teach us that they are indeed arguing over whether or not, one may perform Semichah on Yom Tov, and not over Shalmei Chovah require Semichah or not (as one opinion learns in Beitzah).
(a) We extrapolate from here that Semichah must be performed with all one's strength - because otherwise (seeing as it is only considered making use of the animal if one is leaning with such force that, were it not for the animal, he would fall) there would be nothing wrong with making Semichah on Yom Tov.
(b) The Tana Kama of a Beraisa exempts women from Semichah on their Korbanos. His source for this - is the Pasuk in Vayikra "Daber el Bnei Yisrael v'Samach ... ", from which we extrapolate 'Bnei Yisrael Somchin, v'Ein Bnos Yisrael Somchos'.
(c) Rebbi Yosi and Rebbi Shimon say - that if a woman so wishes, she may perform Semichah (even though she is Peturah).
(a) Rebbi Yosi quoting Aba Elazar, related an incident in which they brought a calf of Shelamim (belonging to a woman) to the Ezras Nashim for the women to make Semichah 'to afford them satisfaction'. According to Rebbi Yochanan, whom we just cited, Semichah must be performed with all one's strength - so how can we permit women to make use of Kodshim simply in order to satisfy them?
(b) Rav Ami answers that the women were instructed to lean on the animal lightly. Nevertheless, the Tana was justified in saying 'Lo Mipnei she'Semichah b'Nashim ... ' - because what he meant was that there are two issues here: one, that it was not Semichah to begin with and two, that they did it in order to afford the women satisfaction.
(c) Rav Papa assumes that the head is like the side of the animal (seeing as the main decree prohibited riding an animal, and one does not usually ride on the head). He then proves from Rebbi Yochanan that Chazal forbade even using the side of an animal (and not only sitting on it) - because otherwise, what would be the problem with leaning one's hands on the head of the animal?
(d) Rav Ashi refutes Rav Papa's proof - on the grounds that the head (and any part of its body that is in line with its back) is considered like the back, and is included in the Gezeirah (even if the side of the animal is not). See Tosfos DH 'Rav Ashi'.