SANEHDRIN 14 (7 Av) - Dedicated in memory of Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens, N.Y., Niftar 7 Av 5757, by his wife and daughters. G-d-fearing and knowledgeable, Simcha was well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah. He will long be remembered.

[14a - 58 lines; 14b - 46 lines]

1)[line 2]מלכות הרשעהMALCHUS HA'RESHA'AH- the evil empire [of Rome]

2)[line 4]ותחומיןTECHUMIN- environs (see next entry)

3)[line 7]תחומי שבתTECHUMEI SHABBOS- boundaries beyond which one may not go on Shabbos; namely, 2000 Amos beyond city limits

4)[line 7]אושא... שפרעםUSHA... SHEFAR'AM- names of cities

5)[line 12]הריני מוטל לפניהם כאבן שאין לה הופכיםHAREINI MUTAL LIFNEIHEM K'EVEN SHE'EIN LAH HOFCHIM- I will place myself before them as a stone that cannot be overturned [even though it means my death]

6)[line 13]לא זזו משםLO ZAZU MI'SHAM- they did not move from that place

7)[line 14]שנעצו בוNA'ATZU BO- they thrust into him

8)[line 14]לונביאותLUNBI'OS- spears

9)[line 15]ככברהKAVRA- a sieve

10)[line 16]אחריני הוו בהדיהACHARINEI HAVU BAHADEI- [two] others were with him

11)[line 16]חשיבCHASHIV- mentioned

12)[line 21]ולא קיבלוLO KIBLU- [the populace] did not accept [the Semichah, since Rebbi Meir was still young]

13)[line 25]סנהדרין נוהגתSANHEDRIN NOHEGES- [assuming that its members received Semichah in Eretz Yisrael,] a Sanhedrin functions [normally]

14)[line 27]פשיטא סומכין בחוצה לארץ ונסמכין בארץ, הא אמרינן דלאPESHITA SOMCHIN B'CHUTZAH LA'ARETZ V'NISMACHIN BA'ARETZ, HA AMRINAN D'LO- it is obvious that we have said that the sages in Bavel may not grant Semichah to one who is in Eretz Yisrael

15)[line 30]הוה מצטער עליה דרב שמן בר אבאHAVAH MITZTA'ER ALEI D'RAV SHEMEN BAR ABA- was distressed regarding Rav Shemen bar Aba

16)[line 31]וחד דעימיהCHAD D'IMEI- one who was with him (it seems that this terminology implies that the one with him was a lesser authority)

17)[line 36]הוה קא משתקיד רבי יוחנןHAVAH KA MISHTAKEID REBBI YOCHANAN- Rebbi Yochanan was making regular attempts

18)[line 36]לא הוה מסתייעא מילתאLO HAVAH MISTAYEI'A MILSA- the matter was not working out (as when they were near Rebbi Yochanan, he did not have two others with him to comprise the three necessary to grant Semichah)

19)[line 37]מרMAR- a third-person term of respect

20)[line 37]דאנן מדבית עלי קאתינןANAN MID'BEIS ELI KA'ASINAN- we are from the family of Eli [ha'Kohen] (see next entry)

21)[line 37]מדבית עליBEIS ELI

(a)Eli was the Kohen ha'Gadol at the time when Shmuel ha'Navi first arrived at the Mishkan, when it was located in Shiloh. He had two sons, Chofni and Pinchas, who were two of the most righteous people in the history of Klal Yisrael. When Avraham Avinu gave seven of his sheep to Avimelech, king of the Pelishtim, without asking HaSh-m beforehand if such an action was appropriate (Bereishis 21:30), HaSh-m informed him that he would receive a punishment for doing so. Seven exemplary descendents of Avraham Avinu would be destined to meet their deaths at the hand of descendents of Avimelech. Chofni and Pinchas are two of the seven descendants listed (Bereishis Rabah 54:4). Furthermore, their names were engraved upon two golden stalks rising from a golden bowl containing pure olive oil for the Menoros of the throne of Shlomo ha'Melech (TARGUM SHENI to Megilas Esther).

(b)The verses state that these Tzadikim slept with married women (Shmuel I 14:3). The Gemara (Shabbos 55b) states that anyone who claims that the Bnei Eli sinned with married women is mistaken. Although the verse seems to state this clearly, what is meant is that despite their lofty spiritual level, they did not make themselves as available as they should have to those who wished to offer sacrifices. This sometimes led to a delay in married women being able to return home to their husbands when they offered their sacrifices following childbirth. Had they actually sinned with married women, the verse would never have associated them with the honorable Kohanim who descended from them, as it proudly does (Shabbos ibid.).

(c)Another verse seems to state that anyone who did not agree to first give Chofni and Pinchas a portion of the meat of the sacrifices to roast before the sacrifice was completed was threatened with bodily harm (Shmuel I 2: 16). Although the verses state that it was the servants of the Kohanim ("Na'ar ha'Kohen," "Chatas ha'Ne'arim") who committed the offenses (see METZUDAS DAVID), the Gemara (Sanhedrin 58a) attributes them to the Bnei Eli themselves. This is either an alternate explanation, or an expression of the responsibility of Chofni and Pinchas for their servants. These great individuals certainly did not stoop to such low tactics. Either a slight irreverence for the Korbanos according to their lofty level, or that which they did not keep a close enough eye on the actions of their subordinates, causes the Navi to speak of them harshly.

(d)Chofni and Pinchas were also punished with death at the hands of the Pelishtim. In addition, a curse was placed upon their descendents such that without special efforts of piety, all of their male descendents would die as young men (Rosh Hashanah 18a, based upon Shmuel I 2:33, 3:14).

22)[line 39]"... (וְ)לֹא יִהְיֶה זָקֵן בְּבֵיתְךָ כָּל הַיָּמִים""... (V')LO YIHEYEH ZAKEN B'VEISCHA KOL HA'YAMIM"- "... (and) there will be no old men in your house for all time" (Shmuel I 2:32). This prophecy was said regarding the descendants of Eli ha'Kohen.

23)[line 39]"... (וְ)כָל מַרְבִּית בֵּיתְךָ יָמוּתוּ אֲנָשִׁים""... (V')CHOL MARBIS BEISCHA YAMUSU ANASHIM"- "... [and] all those who reach maturity in your house will die as men" (Shmuel I 2:33). This verse prophesies that the descendants of Eli ha'Kohen would, as a rule, not live past their eighteenth birthday.

24)[line 40]אלא סמיכהELA SEMICHAH- Although descendants of Eli ha'Kohen are destined to die young, they are able to extend their lifespan through learning Torah and the performance of acts of kindness (Gemilus Chasadim). However, even if such descendants reach the level at which they are deserving of Semichah, they will not receive it.

25)[line 40]הוה מיטמר מלמיסמכיהHAVAH MITAMAR MILE'MISMECHEI- was careful not to receive Semichah

26)[line 41]לעולם הוי קבל וקייםL'OLAM HEVEI KAVAL, V'KAYAM- one should always be in the shadows, and [then] he will survive; i.e., avoid positions of leadership, for it causes one to die young (Pesachim 87b)

27)[line 42]אמצי (ליה א)נפשיהAMTZI (LEI A')NAFSHEI- he made efforts [to acquire Semichah]

28)[line 43]לא כחל, ולא שְׂרַק, ולא פירכוס, ויעלת חןLO KECHAL, V'LO SERAK, V'LO PIRCHUS, V'YA'ALAS CHEN- [she has] not eye powder, rouge, nor braided hair, and yet she is charming. This tribute is utilized to praise a bride. Here it is borrowed to refer to the scholarship of Rebbi Zeira, which needed no embellishment.

29)[line 44]כל מן דין כל מן דין סמוכו לנאKOL MIN DEIN KOL MIN DEIN SEMUCHU LANA- ordain any and all such as these

30a)[line 45]מסרמיטיןSARMITIN- rag-like individuals; i.e., those who do not defend their Halachic positions well

b)[line 45]מסרמיסיןSARMISIN- those who interpret the Torah in a manner that is the opposite of the truth

c)[line 45]מחמיסיןCHAMISIN- extorters; i.e., those who refrain from giving Torah-based reasons for their actions

d)[line 45]מטורמיסיןTURMISIN- (a) we do not know the meaning of this word (RASHI here; RASHI to Kesuvos 17a, first explanation); (b) empty-headed individuals (RASHI to Kesuvos 17a, second explanation)

31)[line 46]כי הוה אתי ממתיבתא לבי קיסרKI HAVAH ASI MI'MESIVTA L'BEI KEISAR- when he would come from the Yeshivah to the palace of the Caesar. Rebbi Avahu was the political representative of the Jewish people in the Roman Empire.

32)[line 46]מטרוניתאMATRONIYASA- Roman noblewomen

33a)[line 47]רבה דעמיהRABAH D'AMEI- prince of his people

b)[line 47]מדברנא דאומתיהMADBARNA D'UMSEI- leader of his nation

c)[line 47]בוצינא דנהוראBUTZINA D'NEHORA- beacon of light. Rebbi Avahu's face shone (Bava Metzia 84b).

d)[line 47]בריך מתייך לשלםBERICH MESAYACH LI'SHLAM- your coming is blessed for peace

34)[line 48]"וְיָצְאוּ זְקֵנֶיךָ וְשֹׁפְטֶיךָ, [וּמָדְדוּ אֶל הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹת הֶחָלָל]""V'YATZ'U ZEKEINECHA V'SHOFTECHA, [U'MADEDU EL HE'ARIM ASHER SEVIVOS HA'CHALAL]"- "And your elders and judges shall go out, [and they shall measure to the cities that surround the corpse]" (Devarim 21:2). This verse refers to the beginning of the process of Eglah Arufah (see Background to Sanhedrin 2:14).

35a)[line 48]"זקניך" שנים"ZEKEINECHA" SHENAYIM- "your elders" implies two (since any plural word, at the minimum, refers to two)

b)[line 48]"שופטיך" שנים"SHOFTECHA" SHETAYIM- "your judges" implies two

36)[line 49]ואין בית דין שקולEIN BEIS DIN SHAKUL- a court cannot be even; i.e., it must consist of an odd number of judges so as to avoid the possibility of a hung verdict

37)[line 51]למיוחדין שבשופטיךMEYUCHADIN SHEB'SHOFTECHA- those unique among your judges; i.e., members of the Great Sanhedrin of seventy-one who sit in the Beis ha'Mikdash

38)[line 52]מ"זקני" "זקניך" נפקאMI"ZIKNEI" "ZEKEINECHA" NAFKA- it is derived from [that which the Torah could have written] "the elders of [your judges]" [but instead writes] "your elders"

39)[line 52]זקני השוקZIKNEI HA'SHUK- elders in the marketplace; i.e., those who are not judges

40)[line 53]סנהדרי קטנהSANHEDRIA KETANAH- a minor court

41)[line 54]גמר "זקני" "זקני"GAMAR "ZIKNEI" "ZIKNEI" (GEZEIRAH SHAVAH - A Derivation that Connects Two Subjects through a Common Word or Phrase)

(a)In a Beraisa found in the introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash on Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists the thirteen methodologies employed by Chazal when determining Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of these is Gezeirah Shavah, in which two identical words (or two words that share the same root) that appear in two different sections of the Torah reveal that the Halachos applicable to one section apply to the other and vice versa.

(b)One may apply a Gezeirah Shavah only if he has received a tradition from his teachers that such a connection between the two words exists. Once the connection is established, however, then one may derive Halachos that were not specified in the tradition.

(c)A Gezeirah Shavah is unlimited; one may not pick and choose which Halachos he would like to apply. This facet of a Gezeirah Shavah is termed "Ein Gezeirah Shavah l'Mechetzah." This rule is waived in the case of an explicit teaching that precludes the application of a specific Halachah.

42)[line 54]"וְסָמְכוּ זִקְנֵי הָעֵדָה אֶת יְדֵיהֶם [עַל רֹאשׁ הַפָּר לִפְנֵי ה'...]""V'SAMCHU ZIKNEI HA'EDAH ES YEDEIHEM [AL ROSH HA'PAR LIFNEI HASH-M...]"- "And the elders of the people shall lean their hands [upon the head of the bull before HaSh-m...]" (Vayikra 4:15). See Background to Sanhedrin 13:25

43)[line 56]לילף כולה מהתם?LEILIF KULAH ME'HASAM?- learn the entire matter from there [including that which five judges are necessary (as this was derived on 13b)]?

44)[line 56]וי''ו ושופטיך למניינא"VAV" [D']"V'SHOFTECHA" L'MINYANA- [Rebbi Yehudah does not utilize a Gezeirah Shavah, and he derives that which members of the Sanhedrin are necessary from the word "Shoftecha", and] the letter "Vav" [of] "v'Shoftecha" teaches us the number (i.e., another two judges as part of the accounting)

45)[line 57]ויצאו... ומדדו"V'YATZ'U... U'MADEDU"- see above, entry #34


46)[line 1]בעליל לעירBA'ALIL L'IR- clearly [closer] to [one] city [than any other]

47)[line 12]מצאן אבית פגיMATZA'AN A'BEI PAGI- if [the Zaken Mamrei (see next entry)] found [the Sanhedrin] in Beis Pagi (a place just outside of the Temple Mount)

48)[line 12]והמרה עליהןHIMREH ALEIHEN (ZAKEN MAMREI - A Rebellious Sage)

(a)A Zaken Mamrei is a Torah Sage who defies the ruling of the Great Sanhedrin of seventy-one judges who sit in the Lishkas ha'Gazis (The Chamber of Hewn Stone, TY #27) in the Beis ha'Mikdash.

(b)The following conditions are necessary for one to become a Zaken Mamrei:

1.He is one of the outstanding Torah Sages of his time, authorized to judge and teach Halachah;

2.He was involved in a dispute with other Sages in a Halachic matter, and they brought the case to the Great Sanhedrin for judgment;

3.The Sanhedrin ruled against him, after which he returned to his city and obstinately continued to rule according to his original opinion.

(c)One who fulfills these three conditions after having received a proper warning by valid witnesses is put to death by Chenek (choking). His sentence is carried out in Yerushalayim when Bnei Yisrael arrive to fulfill the Mitzvah of Aliyah l'Regel (traveling to the Beis ha'Mikdash on each of the three festivals) on the next holiday. This is to inspire them to act properly and shy away from sin (Devarim 17:12-13).

(d)The Beraisa cited by our Gemara discusses a Zaken Mamrei who came upon the Sanhedrin outside of the Lishkas ha'Gazis and received their ruling there; if he later rules in opposition to that ruling of the Sanhedrin, he is not liable to the death penalty.

49)[line 13]"... וְקַמְתָּ וְעָלִיתָ אֶל הַמָּקוֹם [אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ בּוֹ]""... V'KAMTA V'ALISA EL HA'MAKOM [ASHER YIVCHAR HASH-M ELOKECHA BO]"- "... and you shall arise and go up to the place [that HaSh-m you G-d shall choose]" (Devarim 17:8). This verse appears at the beginning of the topic that leads to the laws of a Zaken Mamrei.

50)[line 14]דנפוק כמה?D'NAFUK KAMAH?- how many [members of the Sanhedrin] left [the Lishkas ha'Gazis]?

51)[line 15]הנך דאיכא גואי קיימי כוותיהHANACH D'IKA GAVA'I KAIMEI KAVASEI- those [members of the Sanhedrin] who remain inside [the Lishkas ha'Gazis] hold of his ruling [and would support him]

52)[line 17]לדבר הרשותDVAR HA'RESHUS- an optional matter

53)[line 17]מי מצו נפקי?MI MATZU NAFKEI?- may [most of the Sanhedrin] leave [when such is not mandated when the Sanhedrin is in session]?

54)[line 18]"שָׁרְרֵךְ אַגַּן הַסַּהַר, אַל יֶחְסַר הַמָּזֶג...""SHARERECH AGAN HA'SAHAR, AL YECHSAR HA'MAZEG..."- "Your navel is a round goblet; it lacks not watered wine..." (Shir ha'Shirim 7:3). Our Gemara understands that this verse refers to the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin sits in the Beis ha'Mikdash, which is referred to as the "navel" of Eretz Yisrael (since it where we connect to HaSh-m and receive His sustenance). They sit is a semicircle so as to be able to see one another. Wine is diluted one part wine to two parts water; so, too, one third of the Sanhedrin must remain in the Lishkas ha'Gazis at all times. (This equals twenty-three when rounded down.) (See also TOSFOS HA'ROSH to Sotah 45a.)

55)[line 22]להוסיף על העיר ועל העזרותL'HOSIF AL HA'IR V'AL HA'AZAROS- to extend the boundaries of Yerushalayim and the courtyards of the Beis ha'Mikdash [and bestow upon them the proper level of sanctity] (see Shevuos 14a)

56a)[line 32]פירות שהרקיבוPEIROS SHE'HIRKIVU- produce that has rotted [and must therefore be assessed]

b)[line 32]ויין שהקריםYAYIN SHE'HIKRIM- wine that has fermented

c)[line 32]ומעות שהחלידוMA'OS SHE'HICHLIDU- money that has rusted (or otherwise oxidized)

57a)[line 34]פודין אותוPODIN OSO- one must redeem it (i.e., transfer its value onto coins)

b)[line 34]בשלשה לקוחותB'SHELOSHAH LEKUCHOS- with [the professional valuation of] three merchants

58)[line 37]ומטילין לתוך כיס אחדMATILIN L'SOCH KIS ECHAD- lit. they cast into a single purse; i.e., they are partners (RABEINU CHANANEL)

59)[line 38]רב פפא ובת אבא סוראהRAV PAPA U'BAS ABA SURA'AH- Rav Papa and [his wife] the daughter of Aba Sura'ah [who was financially independent from her husband]

60)[line 40]צינוראTZINURA- (a) a small forked instrument used to spin gold into thread (RASHI); (b) firewood (a contraction of Atzei Nura) (RABEINU CHANAEL, cited by TOSFOS DH Tzinura)

61)[line 41]עשרה כהנים כתובין בפרשהASARAH KOHANIM KESUVIN B'PARSHAH- the word "Kohen" is written ten times in the chapter [dealing with the redemption of Hekdesh] (Vayikra 27)

62)[line 42]דכתיב בהו שלשהDI'CHSIV BEHU SHELOSHAH- the word "Kohen" is written three times [in the chapter dealing specifically with the redemption of sanctified animals] (Vayikra 27:9-12)

63)[line 43]קרקעותKARKA'OS- [in the chapter dealing specifically with the redemption of] land [of Hekdesh] (Vayikra 27:13-21) (see RASHI)

64)[line 43]תיסגיTISGEI- let it suffice

65)[line 44]דמשלמי בהו עשרהMESHALMEI BEHU ASARAH- [the count of] ten ["Kohanim"] is completed [in this chapter, and it includes those instances of the word "Kohen" from the previous chapters dealing with the redemption of Hekdesh]

66)[line 45]הקדשותHEKDESHOS- [the redemption of] sanctified [animals]

67)[line 45]דמשלמי בהו שיתאMESHALMEI BEHU SHISAH- [a count of] six ["Kohanim"] is completed [in this chapter, including the three found in the topic itself (Vayikra 27:9-12), plus the three from the previous topic of Erchin (Vayikra 27:1-8)]

68)[last line]ערך כלי זה עליERECH KLI ZEH ALAI (ERCHIN - The Torah-Mandated Value of a Person)

(a)There are two ways to measure the value of an individual for the purposes of pledging such a sum to Hekdesh. The first is to appraise how much he would fetch on the slave market. This takes into account factors such as physical strength, trade skills, health, etc. This is known as the Damim - worth - of a person. Every individual also has a Torah value, known as an Erech. The Torah designates a specific value for every person based upon his or her gender and age (Vayikra 27:1-8). When it comes to this Torah-mandated value, issues such as health, physical strength, skills etc. are of no import.



1 month - 5 years 5 Shekalim 3 Shekalim

5 years - 20 years 20 Shekalim 10 Shekalim

20 years - 60 years 50 Shekalim 30 Shekalim

60 years and over 15 Shekalim 10 Shekalim

(b)Any item that may be sold has a market value (Damim), but only human beings have an Erech. Therefore, there is no technical meaning to the vow of one who pledges to give the Erech of a vessel.