[23a - 47 lines; 23b - 46 lines]

1)[line 6]מוכה שחיןMUKEH SHECHIN- one who is afflicted with boils

2)[line 6]אין חוסמין אותהEIN CHOSMIN OSAH- lit., we do not muzzle her; i.e., we prevent the Yavam from performing Yibum if the Yevamah does not desire it

3)[line 17]כל חד וחד לפום גביה עבדינן ליהKOL CHAD V'CHAD L'FUM GABEI AVDINAN LEI- for each individual [sentenced to Malkus], we make [a whip] corresponding to [the width of] his back

4)[line 19]אבקתאAVKASA- an adjustable knot

5)[line 19]מיקטר ביהMIKTAR BEI- he tightens it

6)[line 19]מרפה בהMERAPEH BAH- he loosens it

7)[line 28]אין מזרזין אלא למזרזEIN MEZARZIN ELA L'MEZORAZ- we motivate only whose who are already motivated

8)[line 32]מצוה לצמצםMITZVAH L'TZAMTZEM- there is a mitzvah to be precise

9)[line 38]כפתוהוKEFATUHU- they bound him [to the post]

10)[line 39]קלהKALAH- if one was disgraced (by soiling himself)


(a)Kares is a severe punishment which takes the form of an early death delivered through natural means. The word "Kares" implies that the soul of the sinner is "severed" from its connection to the Eternal.

(b)The commentaries explain that there are two major differences between Kares and Misah b'Yedei Shamayim (see TOSFOS to YEVAMOS 2a DH Eshes Achiv; RABEINU YONAH in Sha'arei Teshuvah, 3:6; TIFERES YISRAEL to Sanhedrin 9:6):

1.One who is punished with Kares will die before age 60 (according to Moed Katan 28a, or before the age of 50, according to the Yerushalmi Bikurim 2:1). One punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim will die after the age of 60 but before his time has come (according to Moed Katan ibid., or before the age of 60, according to the Yerushalmi ibid.)

2.When one is punished with Kares, even his children (who are minors at the time of his sin) die, and he bears no further children. When one is punished with Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, only he is punished and not his children (Yevamos 55a and RASHI there). (See, however, RIVA in Tosfos to Yevamos 2a DH Eshes, who maintains that Kares only involves the death of one's children in the two cases where the Torah adds the word "Ariri." However, he might be referring to the death of children who are not minors.)

3.Some add that when punished with Kares, the sinner's cattle and possessions slowly expire until he is left destitute - see Insights to Yevamos 73:2.

(c)For a number of specific sins, the Torah assigns a form of Kares in which the sinner not only dies before his time but is not granted a portion in the World to Come (Sanhedrin 64b).

(d)There are thirty-six Aveiros listed in the Torah for which one receives Kares (Mishnah, Kerisus 2a): the sixteen forbidden conjugal relations listed in the Torah (Vayikra 18); one who curses G-d; an idol worshipper; one who worships Molech (see Background to Sanhedrin 53:5); one who practices Ov (see Background to Pesachim 113:62); one who desecrates Shabbos; one who ate Kodshim or entered the Mikdash while in a state of Tum'ah; one who consumed blood, Nosar (see Background to Pesachim 120:9), or Pigul (see Background to 6:60); one who slaughters or offers a sacrifice outside of the Mikdash; one who eats Chametz on Pesach; one who eats or performs Melachah on Yom Kipur; one who compounds Shemen ha'Mishchah (the oil made by Moshe Rabeinu to anoint the Mishkan and its vessels, Kohanim Gedolim, and the kings of the Davidic dynasty) or the Ketores (see Background to 11:25) for his own use; one who anoints himself with Shemen ha'Mishchah; one who neglects to give himself a Bris Milah; and one who neglects to offer a Korban Pesach.


12)[line 6]קצה ממנוKATZAH MIMENU- he is disgusted from it

13)[line 15]חייבי כריתות בכלל היוCHAYAVEI KERISUS BICHLAL HAYU- all forbidden relations are included in the category of the penalty of Kares. (Why, then, was the prohibition against relations with a sister singled out?)

14)[line 18]מאן סליק לעילא ואתאMAN SALIK L'ILA V'ASA V'AMAR- who went up to the heavens, came back, and said this?

15)[line 21]קראי קא דרשינןKERA'EI KA DARSHINAN- we are expounding the verses

16)[line 23]ושאילת שלום בשםV'SHE'EILAS SHALOM BA'SHEM- and extending a greeting with the Name of HaSh-m

17)[line 23]והבאת מעשרV'HAVA'AS MA'ASER - and the bringing of Ma'aser

Ezra ha'Zofer penalized the Leviyim because they did not return with him to Eretz Yisrael from Bavel. He ordered them to bring all of the produce of Ma'aser they received to the Lishkas ha'Gazis, and he enacted that the Kohanim are equally entitled to the tithe. The king, Chizkiyahu, had special chambers set up in the Beis ha'Mikdash and he appointed officials to oversee the proper distribution of the produce to the Kohanim and Leviyim that deserved it. He also instituted that tithes be set aside from species of fruits and vegetables that are not included in the Torah's obligation of Ma'aser.

18)[line 24]והנה בעז בא מבית לחם ויאמר לקוצרים ה' עמכם ויאמרו לו יברכך ה'"V'HINEI BOAZ BA MI'BEIS LECHEM VA'YOMER LA'KOTZRIM HASH-M IMACHEM VA'YOMRU LO YEVARECHECHA HASH-M" - "Behold, Boaz arrived from Beis Lechem. He said to the harvesters, 'May HaSh-m be with you.' And they answered him, 'May HaSh-m bless you.'" (RUS AND BOAZ'S FIRST ENCOUNTER)

(a)Naomi and Rus returned to Beis Lechem from Mo'av as paupers. Naomi lost everything. Rus inherited a field from her deceased husband, Machlon, which needed to be redeemed. She volunteered to collect Leket and Shichechah as the poor used to do in the surrounding fields. She "happened" to pick the field that belonged to Boaz, the nephew of her father-in-law (Elimelech), who was the leader (Shofet) of that generation.

(b)When Boaz returned from Beis Lechem he was surprised to see an unknown woman collecting Leket in his field. The Chachamim explain that two things about her struck him which prompted him to inquire about her from his foreman: her exceptional modesty, and the care she took to avoid collecting three grains that had fallen on the same spot, in accordance with the laws of Leket. These two modes of conduct, combined, considerably limited the amount of grain that she would be able to collect. After informing Boaz who Rus was, the foreman pointed out to him how little she had managed to collect despite having spent a full day in the field.

(c)Boaz, who already knew all about Rus (but did not know that the woman in his field was she) approached her and instructed her to remain in his field with his girls until the end of the harvest season. He told her how he had already ordered his workers not to bother her, and he granted her permission to help herself to the water that they drew for themselves. Rus reacted by expressing her gratitude to Boaz for his kindness, adding that as a total stranger she did not deserve it.

(d)Boaz, however, reminded her of her kindness towards her mother-in-law and her deceased husband. She had left her parental home and her birthplace to accompany Naomi to a foreign country with which she was totally unacquainted.

(e)Rus' response is interesting: "Let me find favor in your eyes, my master, for you have consoled me, and because you spoke words that entered the heart of your maidservant; and I am not worthy of being like one of your maidservants." Her total humility after the preferential treatment that she received from the Gadol ha'Dor is a lesson in itself.

19)[line 25]וירא אליו מלאך ה' ויאמר אליו ה' עמך גבור החיל"VA'YERA ELAV MAL'ACH HASH-M VA'YOMER ELAV, 'HASH-M IMCHA GIBOR HE'CHAYIL'" - "And an angel of HaSh-m appeared to him (Gid'on), and he said to him, 'HaSh-m is with you, mighty warrior!'" (Shoftim 6:12) (GID'ON AND THE ANGEL)

(a)The Jewish people were suffering under the heavy yoke of the Midyanim. One day, Gid'on, the Shofet, was beating wheat in the winepress. An angel appeared to him and sat underneath the oak-tree in Ofrah that belonged to his father, Yo'ash, from the family of Aviezer and the tribe of Menasheh. The angel informed him that HaSh-m was with him. When he asked that if HaSh-m was with Yisrael then why were they subjugated by their oppressors, the angel replied that it was precisely on account of his defense of the people that he had been chosen to lead them to victory against the Midyanim, and that is why he would succeed.

(b)Gid'on then pointed out that the section of the family to which his father belonged was the least important in the wider family, and that he was the youngest of his father's children. How, he asked, could he possibly succeed in such an important mission? When HaSh-m replied that He would be with him and that he would defeat Midyan with ease, he asked HaSh-m for a sign that He was speaking with him.

(c)Asking HaSh-m to wait while he brought his gift, he returned a short while later with a kid-goat and an Eifah of Matzah-flour. He prepared the goat, placed the flesh in a basket and the gravy in a pot, and he placed everything under a local oak-tree. The angel instructed him to place the goat and the Matzos on a certain rock and to pour out the gravy.

(d)The angel then stretched out the edge of the staff he was holding and touched the meat and the Matzos, when fire emerged from the rock and consumed them. The angel himself disappeared. Realizing that he had just seen an angel face to face, Gid'on (like Mano'ach, Shimshon's father) was gripped with fear that he was about to die. HaSh-m assured him that all would be well and that he would not die. Gid'on built a Mizbe'ach there.

20)[line 27]הביאו את כל המעשר אל בית האוצר ויהי טרף בביתי ובחנוני נא בזאת אמר ה' צבקות אם לא אפתח לכם את ארבות השמים והריקתי לכם ברכה עד בלי די"HAVI'U ES KOL HA'MA'ASER EL BEIS HA'OTZAR, VI'YEHI TEREF B'VEISI, U'VECHANUNI NA B'ZOS, AMAR HASH-M TZEVAKOS, IM LO EFTCH LACHEM ES ARUBOS HA'SHAMAYIM VA'HARIKOSI LACHEM BERACHAH AD BELI DAI" - "Bring all the Ma'aser to the [public] storehouse [in the Beis ha'Mikdash], so that there should be provisions in My House. Test Me now with this, says HaSh-m, and see if I do not open for you the skylights of the heavens and pour for you so much blessing that there will not be enough room in the granaries." (Mal'achi 3:10) (THE NEW ENACTMENT FOR MA'ASEROS)

(a)Of the many sins the Jewish people committed during the early period of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, the one which HaSh-m was most concerned about was their depriving the Kohanim and the poor of their dues. When HaSh-m urged them to return to Him and that He would then return to them, they asked Him what they needed to repair. HaSh-m replied that they must stop robbing Him (by robbing the poor).

(b)It was to that end that He made a new enactment. From that time onward, the people would be obligated to bring all of their Ma'aseros to the Beis ha'Mikdash, where it would be distributed to HaSh-m's servants according to the Halachah (instead of the Kohanim having to go to them to collect it).

21)[line 30]שיבלוSHE'YIVLU- until they (your lips) wear out

22)[line 34]ממני יצאו כבושיםMIMENI YATZ'U KEVUSHIM- hidden things (decrees from HaSh-m) have come from Me

23)[line 36]ויאמר אליהם עד ה' בכם ועד משיחו היום הזה כי לא מצאתם בידי מאומה ויאמר עד"VA'YOMER ALEIHEM, 'ED HASH-M BACHEM V'ED HASH-M V'ED MESHICHO HA'YOM HA'ZEH, KI LO METZASEM B'YADI ME'UMAH,' VA'YOMER, 'ED!'" - "And he said to them, 'HaSh-m is a witness against you, and his anointed one (Shaul) is a witness today, that you did not find in my hands any faults,' and He (HaSh-m) said, 'I testify!'" (Shmuel I 12:5) (THE NATION ASKS FOR A KING)

(a)Shmuel sharply rebuked the people for asking for a king, particularly when he had proven himself to be a supreme leader, and, more importantly, when HaSh-m was their king and they did not need another one. They responded by conceding that they could find no fault in him, and a heavenly voice announced that HaSh-m agreed as well.

(b)Shmuel gave a brief account of Yisrael's history. He pointed out how each time they forgot HaSh-m, He sent their enemies against them to put them in their place. They would cry out to HaSh-m and He would respond by sending saviors to redeem them, including Moshe, Aharon, Yeruba'al, Shimshon, Yiftach, and Shmuel. Now, when Nachash, the king of Amon, had attacked them, they demanded a king.

(c)Shmuel then pointed out that HaSh-m had acceded to their request and had given them a king. He promised them that as long as they feared HaSh-m from now on, all would be well.

(d)To prove his point, he demonstrated his prophetic powers by asking HaSh-m to produce thunder and lightning even though it was summer, and even though thunder and lightning in summer is a bad sign and something that HaSh-m is normally loathe to do.

(e)HaSh-m did as Shmuel requested, and the people, remorseful for having sinned, expressed fear of HaSh-m (for having sinned in their request for a king) and fear for Shmuel (for having rejected him in favor of a king). Afraid that they would die for their sin (which they saw as the last straw after all of their other sins), they asked Shmuel to pray to HaSh-m on their behalf. Shmuel reassured them that they had nothing to fear, and he reiterated what he had just told them - that despite this sin, if from now on they would obey HaSh-m's commands and serve Him with all of their heart, they, together with their king, would succeed.

24)[line 38]ויען המלך ויאמר תנו לה את הילוד החי והמת לא תמיתהו היא אמו"VA'YA'AN HA'MELECH VA'YOMER, 'TENU LAH ES HA'YALUD HA'CHAI, V'HA'MES LO SEMISUHU, HI IMO'" - "And the king said, 'Give her the living child; do not kill him. She is the mother!'" (Melachim I 3:27) (SHLOMO'S JUDGMENT IN THE CASE OF THE DISPUTED BABY)

(a)After Shlomo chose Hash-m's gift of wisdom over the gift of wealth, in order to judge the people wisely, he was informed in a dream that he had been granted both, and that he now possessed wisdom the likes of which had never been seen before or since. Awakening from his dream, Shlomo immediately realized its prophetic content. He suddenly understood the meaning of a bird's chirping and of a dog's barking nearby. The dream took place in Giv'on, and the twelve year-old Shlomo wasted no time in traveling to Yerushalayim where he stood before the Aron, offered Shelamim, and arranged a feast in honor of his new gift. His wisdom was put to the test almost at once by the following incident.

(b)Two women came before him with a dispute. Both had recently given birth to their respective babies in the same room. One woman claimed that on the previous night, while they were alone in the room, her friend had inadvertently suffocated her baby and that she got up and switched the babies while she (the claimant) slept. In the morning, when she awoke from her sleep, she got up to feed her baby and discovered that he was dead, and that the baby was not the one she had given birth to. The second woman argued that the live baby was hers and that it was her friend's baby that had died.

(c)The king sensed immediately that the first woman was telling the truth and that the second woman switched the babies in order to prevent her friend from gloating over the fact that her baby was alive. Otherwise, why would a woman want to feed somebody else's baby? After repeating the relevant details of the case, he asked for a sword, and he announced that he was about to split the baby into two parts so that each mother should receive half the baby. He knew that the second woman - who had stolen the baby and whose only interest was to prevent her friend from feeding the live one - would agree to the verdict, while the real mother would prefer that her friend take her baby rather than have him killed. That is precisely what happened, and he declared that she (the first woman) was the mother.

(d)When the people heard about the king's brilliant ruling, they realized that he was imbued with Divine wisdom and their respect for him knew no bounds. (For a brilliant, in-depth explanation of the wisdom of this ruling, see Parsha Page, Miketz 5757.)

25)[line 39]דחשיב ירחי ויומיD'CHASIV YARCHEI V'YOMEI- that he (Yehudah) calculated the months and days (at the beginning of the pregnancy)