ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
MEGILAH 26 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas HaRav Ze'ev Wolf Rosengarten of Zurich, Switzerland, a person of "Sheleimus" in every way, who passed away on 14 Adar 5760. Dedicated in honor of his Yahrzeit by his nephew and Talmid, Eli Rosengarten of Zurich.
(a) The residents of a town are permitted to use the proceeds from the sale of ...
1. ... the main street of the town - to buy a Shul (or anything else mentioned in the Mishnah).
2. ... the Shul - to buy a Bimah (Sefarim, or a Sefer Torah).
3. ... the Bimah - to buy Sefarim (or a Sefer Torah).
4. ... Sefarim - to buy a Sefer Torah.
5. ... a Sefer Torah - to buy another Sefer Torah (as we shall see later in the Sugya).
(b) 'Sefarim' - means Nevi'im and Kesuvim (written in scroll form [see Tiferes Yisrael]).
(c) The Tosefta learns the principle of ...
1. ... 'Ma'alin ba'Kodesh' - from the fact that Betzalel made the Mishkan, but Moshe, who was greater than Betzalel, erected it.
2. ... 'v'Lo Moridin' - from the fact that the (sanctified) pans brought by Korach's congregation, had to be used to overlay the Mizbe'ach (and could not be used for mundane purposes). See Mesores ha'Shas.
(d) the Tana rules - that the same applies to money that is leftover from the sale of one of the above.
(a) The author of our Mishnah (who restricts the usage of the proceeds from the sale of a main street) is Rebbi Menachem bar Yosi Stimta'ah (see Rashi 2a. DH 'Stimta'ah'), who holds that the main street has a certain sanctity - because the Tosefta says so explicitly.
(b) His reason is - because they tended to Daven there on Ta'aniyos (and some say on the Ma'amados too, as we shall see shortly).
(a) According to the Chachamim - the street has no Kedushah whatsoever, because they only Davened there occasionally.
(b) Some add the word 'uv'Ma'amados' to Rebbi Menachem's statement - with reference (not to the actual men of the Ma'amados, but) to the cities of the Ma'amados, which served as centers for the groups of people bringing their first-fruits. They in turn, deliberately remained in the street overnight (to avoid becoming Tamei), so they Davened in the street too.
(c) The men of the Ma'amados themselves Davened in Shul.
(d) The Rabanan countered Rebbi Menachem - with the argument that since they Davened in the street only on rare occasions, the streets remain mundane.
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan confines our Mishnah to selling the Shul of a village, but he forbids selling the Shul of a town - because it is jointly owned by people from all over the world (see Tosfos DH 'Keyvan').
(b) Rav Ashi declared that he would be permitted to sell the Shul of Masa Machsaya, in spite of the fact that Masa Machsaya was a large town - because the people who came to Masa Machsaya, came there only because of him (in which case, everybody would place the authority with him to do with the Shul as he saw fit).
(c) Rebbi Eliezer was permitted to buy the Shul of the coppersmiths in Yerushalayim - because it was a private Shul belonging to the coppersmiths, and not to the public.
(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk in Tazri'a "b'Veis Eretz Achuzaschem" - that only houses in a town that is possessed by one of the tribes is subject to Tum'as Nega'im, to preclude Yerushalayim, which belonged to the whole of Yisrael, and not to any particular tribe (in which case, it is not classified as an 'Achuzah').
(b) Rebbi Yehudah says that only the 'Makom ha'Mikdash' is precluded - implying that all other houses in Yerushalayim are considered an 'Achuzah' and are subject to Tum'as Nega'im, including Shuls (implying that Shuls of large towns are owned by the residents of that town, and are not universal property, clashing with Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan).
(c) We therefore amend 'Makom Mikdash' - to 'Makom Mekudash', meaning that all holy places in Yerushalayim (including Shuls) are precluded from Tum'as Nega'im (concurring with the opinion of Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan), but the other houses in Yerushalayim are.
(d) The basis of the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the Tana Kama is - whether Yerushalayim was distributed among the tribes (Rebbi Yehudah) or not (the Tana Kama).
(a) According to the Tana of another Beraisa, the Har ha'Bayis, the rooms (in the Chil) and the Azaros (i.e. the Ezras Nashim, the Ezras Yisrael and the Ezras Kohanim - i.e. the eleven Amos that reached up to the Mizbe'ach) were all situated in Yehudah's territory - whereas the Ulam (including 'between the Ulam and the Mizbe'ach', as well as the Mizbe'ach itself), the Heichal and the Kodesh Kodshim belonged to Binyamin.
(b) A small strip went out from Yehudah and absorbed part of the Mizbe'ach - the one Amah of the Yesod on the east side of the Mizbe'ach was actually in Yehudah's portion. It was noticeable by the fact that the east side of the Mizbe'ach did not have a Yesod (except for one Amah by the north-eastern corner). Note, that it is unclear, according to Rashi, why the south side did not have a Yesod either (except for one Amah by the southwestern corner).
(c) Binyamin's deeply concern about that one Amah earned the right to play host to the Shechinah (i.e. that the Aron was situated in his portion too).
(a) The Tana of yet another Beraisa forbids renting out houses in Yerushalayim - because he holds (like the Tana Kama in the previous Beraisa) that Yerushalayim belonged to the whole of Yisrael, and not to any one tribe (consequently, nobody was able to own a house there).
(b) Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon is even more strict - forbidding renting out beds as well (because the beds are placed on ground which is public property).
(c) The house-owners in Yerushalayim therefore used to - take the skins of the Kodshim (Kalim) by force (in lieu of rental).
(d) Abaye learned from here - that it is Derech-Eretz (etiquette) for a guest to leave the jar (that contains his wine) and the skins of the animals, as a gift for his host.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that the money from the sale of a Shul (and from the other holy objects mentioned there that belong to the community) adopts the Kedushah of the object that it paid for (and the object too, retains its Kedushah). The condition of sale introduced by Rava, that will alter this is - if the sale is effected through the seven members of the town council in the presence of all the residents.
(b) Should one sell the Shul on that condition - then both the Shul and the money lose their Kedushah and may be used for anything (with limited restrictions, as we shall see later). Note: It is unclear however, as to how Kedushah can dissipate without being transferred on to something else - even under these circumstances.
(c) When Ravina wanted to purchase a ruined Shul from a community to plant seeds there - Rav Ashi advised him to buy it from the seven members of the town council in the presence of all the residents (see Tosfos 28b DH 'Batei').
(a) Rav Chisda - prohibited the demolition of an old Shul in order to build a new one.
(b) Rami bar Aba thought that this might not apply to him - because perhaps Rav Chisda only forbade demolishing the old Shul, in case one becomes negligent, and fails to build the new one, something that did not apply to him, seeing as he needed the materials of the old Shul in order to build the new one.
(c) When Rav Papa told him that it was nevertheless forbidden, he went and asked Rav Huna Brei d'Rav Yehoshua - who concurred with Rav Papa.
(d) Even though one is permitted to swap or sell a Shul to use for mundane purposes, one is not permitted to rent it out or to give it as a security - because in the former case the Kedushah of the Shul is transferred on to the money, whereas in the latter case, there is nothing on to which the Kedushah can be transferred.
(a) By the same token, one is permitted to swap or sell the bricks of a Shul that has been demolished, but not to lend them out. One may however, lend out bricks that were designated for a Shul that has not yet been built - because mere designation alone, does not place any Kedushah on the bricks.
(b) Even those who hold 'Hazmanah Milsa Hi' (e.g. that shrouds that have been woven for a dead person are Asur b'Hana'ah, even though they have not yet been used) will agree with this ruling - because whereas the shrouds are ready to wear immediately, the bricks are not ready to live in yet. In fact, the bricks are comparable to spun threads that were designated to weave shrouds, which even he admits, are not forbidden.
(c) Rav Acha and Ravina argue over giving a Shul (or the bricks of a demolished Shul) as a gift. This might be permitted - on the grounds that one does not tend to give a gift unless he previously received something from the recipient, in which case, it is like a sale.
(a) One may throw away the boards of a Sukah, an old Lulav, a disused Shofar or worn-out Tzitzis - because they are Tashmishei Mitzvah, and Tashmishei Mitzvah may be thrown away (though one should do this in a respectful way).
(b) One may not, however, throw away a sack that held Sefarim, a Mezuzah-case or a bag that held a Sefer-Torah, a Tefilin-bag or their straps - because they are Tashmishei Kedushah, which may not be sold.
(c) Rava changed his mind, from his initial contention that ...
1. ... a wooden Bimah is a Tashmish d'Tashmish d'Kedushah, because it is made to hold the cloth which holds the Sefer-Torah. He changed his mind however - when he saw that they sometimes placed the Torah directly on the Bimah; so he subsequently called it a Tashmish d'Kedushah.
2. ... the curtain inside the Aron ha'Kodesh is a Tashmish d'Tashmish d'Kedushah, because it is made to adorn the Aron ha'Kodesh (which holds the Sefer-Torah) - when he saw that they sometimes wrapped the Torah with it; so he called that too, a Tashmish d'Kedushah.
(d) A Tashmish d'Tashmish d'Kedushah, like a Tashmish d'Mitzvah - may be thrown away.
(a) Rava rules that taking an old large Aron ha'Kodesh ...
1. ... cutting it down to size and making a small Aron out of it - is permitted ...
2. ... whereas making a Bimah out of - is forbidden.
(b) Similarly, taking the curtain from inside the Aron ha'Kodesh and making out of it a mantle ...
1. ... for a Sefer Torah - is permitted, but ...
2. ... for one of the five Chumashim (in scroll form) - is not.
(c) Rava also classifies the sack or a box that held Sefarim as Tashmish Kedushah, which must be placed in Genizah. We might otherwise have thought - that the sack or the box is mainly to protect the Sefarim and not for Kavod, in which case they would not be considered Tashmishei Kedushah.
(a) Rava suggested that they block the entrance between the room where a dead man was lying and the Roman Shul - with the (low) Aron ha'Kodesh ...
(b) This was necessary - to enable the Kohanim of the Shul to Daven there.
(c) He based his ruling a. on the principle that any Kli that is meant to remain in its place is not subject to Tum'ah; b. That anything that is not subject to Tum'ah may serve as a Chatzitzah to block Tum'ah.
(d) He changed his mind however, when the Rabanan informed him - that they sometimes moved the Aron in order to Lein from it (in which case it was no longer a Kli that is meant to remain in its place).
(e) His final ruling on the matter was - that it was too bad, and that unless they blocked up the entrance permanently, the Kohanim would simply not be able Daven in that Shul.
(a) Rava says that one should bury a Sefer Torah that became worn out beside a Talmid Chacham - even if he only studied Mishnah, but not Gemara and Beraisos.
(b) Rav Acha bar Yakov requires a Sefer Torah to be buried - in an earthenware container, to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
(c) Rav Papi quoting Rava permits transforming a Shul into a Beis ha'Medrash, but not vice-versa - Rav Papa quotes Rava as saying exactly the opposite.
(d) Rav Acha agrees with Rav Papi - on the grounds that that is what Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi holds (see Tosfos 27a. DH 'Kavasei').