SANHEDRIN 38 (1 Elul) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Esther Chaya Rayzel (Friedman) bas Gershon Eliezer (Yahrzeit: 30 Av, Yom Kevurah: 1 Elul) by her daughter and son-in-law, Jeri and Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel. Esther Friedman was a woman of valor who was devoted to her family and gave of herself unstintingly, inspiring all those around her.


(a)R. Chiya's sons Chizkiyah and Yehudah were at a meal in front of Rebbi. They were silent. Rebbi gave them wine to open them up.

(b)When they were drunk, they said '(Moshi'ach) ben David will not come until two great houses will cease, i.e. the Roshei Galusa in Bavel, and the Nesi'im in Eretz Yisrael - "v'Hayah l'Mikdash ul'Even Negef ul'Tzur Michshol li'Shnei Vatei Yisrael" (Moshi'ach will be the Mikdash of Yisrael, but he will end the greatness of two houses).

1.Rebbi (the Nasi): You put thorns in my eyes!

2.R. Chiya: Don't be angry at them. The Gematri'a of wine is 70, just like Sod (secret). When wine enters, secrets come out.

(c)(Rav Chisda) Question: "Va'Yishkod Hash-m Al ha'Ra'ah... Ki Tzadik Hash-m" - was Hash-m quick to bring evil on us because He is a Tzadik?!

(d)Answer #1 (Rav Chisda): Yes! It was Tzedakah to bring the exile of Tzidkiyahu (11 years after the exile of Yechanyah) while those exiled with Yechanyah (the Chachamim) were still alive. (We expound the verse that discusses these exiles.)

1."Vehe'Charash" - they are called Cheresh, because when they discuss Torah, all are like Chershim (they have nothing to add);

2."Veha'Masger" - if they cannot resolve a Halachic matter, it is Sagur (no one opens it).

3."Elef" - there were 1000 of them.

(e)Answer #2 (Ula): The Tzedakah was to bring the exile (after 850 years) two years before (852,) the Gematri'a of "v'Noshantem". (Had Yisrael been a full 852 years in Eretz Yisrael, the next verse "Avod Toveidun" would have applied.)

(f)(Rav Acha bar Yakov): We learn from this that for Hash-m, 852 years is considered "Meherah" (quickly).


(a)(Mishnah): Therefore (Hash-m originally created only one man...)

(b)(Beraisa): Hash-m originally created only one man, to prevent Minim from saying that there are different powers that created;

1.Alternatively, it was for the sake of Tzadikim and Resha'im.

i.Tzadikim should not think 'we descend from a Tzadik, so it is easy for us to be Tzadikim, and we need not distance ourselves far from sin.'

ii.Resha'im should not think 'we descend from a Rasha, so repentance will not help us'

2.Also, it was to prevent contention among families;

i.Even though we all descend from one man, families contend with each other. If we descended from two men, there would be even more contention!

3.Also, this dissuades theft and extortion:

i.Even though we all descend from one man, people steal. If we descended from two men, even more people would steal (they would say 'this belonged to my father')!

(c)(Mishnah): Also, this shows Hash-m's greatness...

(d)(Beraisa): This shows Hash-m's greatness. If a person makes a stamp to mint coins, they all look the same;

1.Hash-m made all people in the mold of Adam ha'Rishon, yet no two people look alike.

2."Tis'hapech k'Chomer Chosam" (after death, a man's stamp will become physical. It will be a garment for him after Techiyas ha'Mesim.)

3.Question: Why don't people look the same?

4.Answer: If everyone looked the same, one could see a nice house or woman and claim 'it is mine' (and no one could disprove him) - "v'Yimana me'Resha'im Oram."

(e)(Beraisa - R. Meir): People are different from each other in three ways: voice, appearance and thinking.

1.They differ in voice and appearance, lest men have Bi'ah with others' wives;

2.They differ in thinking, due to thieves and extortionists (people think of different places to hide valuables).

(f)(Beraisa): Man was created on Erev Shabbos (at the end of creation) lest Minim be able to say that man was a partner in creation.

1.Also, if a man will get haughty, we will tell him that mosquitoes were created before him.

2.Also, it was so he should immediately guard the Mitzvah of Shabbos. (Ramah - he would have merited Torah and Mitzvos, including Shabbos, had he not sinned.)

3.Also, it was so that he should find everything (already created and) ready for him to eat.

4.A parable explains this. A king built palaces and fixed them up. He prepared a banquet, then he brought the guests in - "Chachmos Bonsah Veisah...";

i."Chachmos Bonesah Veisah" - Hash-m created the world with Chachmah;

ii.(The verse continues) "Chotzevah Amudeha Shiv'ah" - these are the seven days of creation;

iii."Tovchah Tivchah Moschah Yeinah Af Orchah Shulchanah" are seas, rivers and all needs in this world.

iv."Sholchah Na'aroseha Sikra" refers to Adam and Chavah;

(g)Contradiction (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This verse continues "Al Gapei (a high place)", and later it says "Al Kisei"!

(h)Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): Before he sinned, he was Al Gapei. After he sinned, he was Al Kisei.

(i)"Mi Pesi... Chasar Lev Omerah Lo" - Hash-m said 'who enticed Adam?'

(j)The woman did (she is called lacking understanding) - "No'ef Ishah Chasar Lev."


(a)(Beraisa - R. Meir): The dirt from which Adam was created was taken from all over the world - "Golmi Ra'u Einecha."

(b)(R. Oshaya): (The dirt for) his body was taken from Bavel, his head was from Eretz Yisrael, and his limbs (Rashi - hands and feet) were from other lands;


(c)(Rav Acha): His buttocks came from Bavel.

(d)(R. Yochanan ben Chanina): There are 12 daytime hours. In the first hour, his dust was gathered;

1.In the second hour, he was made into a form;

2.In the third hour, his limbs were formed;

3.In the fourth hour, a Neshamah was put into him;

4.In the fifth hour, he stood on his feet;

5.In the sixth hour, he named the animals;

6.In the seventh hour, Chavah was made for him;

7.In the eighth hour, they had Bi'ah and two children were born;

8.In the ninth hour, he was commanded not to eat from Etz ha'Da'as;

9.In the 10th hour, he transgressed;

10.In the 11th hour, he was judged;

11.In the 12th hour, he was expelled - "v'Adam bi'Kar Bal Yalin" (he did not spend the night in the grandeur of Gan Eden).

(e)(Rami bar Chama): Wild animals rule over a man only if he appears to them like an animal - "Nimshal ka'Behemos Yidmu."

(f)(Rav Yehudah): When Hash-m wanted to create man, He created a group of angels and asked if He should create man.

1.The angels asked how man would act. After Hash-m told them, they said "Mah Enosh Ki Sizkerenu"?

2.Hash-m stuck His small finger among them. It burned them. He created a second group of angels, and the same happened with them.

3.The third group asked 'what did the first groups accomplish? The whole world is Yours. Do as You wish!'

4.When the generations of the flood and the dispersion came, which transgressed greatly, the angels said 'the first groups were right!'

5.Hash-m: "V'Ad Ziknah... Ani Esbol" (I will forever bear man).

(g)(Rav Yehudah): Adam extended from one end of the world to the other - "Bora Elokim Adam Al ha'Aretz ulmi'Ktze ha'Shamayim v'Ad Ketze ha'Shamayim."

1.After he sinned, Hash-m put His hand on him and diminished him - "...Va'Tashes Alai Kapecha."

(h)(R. Elazar): Adam extended from the ground until Shamayim - "Al ha'Aretz ulmi'Ktzei ha'Shamayim";

1.After he sinned, Hash-m diminished him - "va'Tashes Alai Kapecha."

(i)Contradiction: The verse says that he stretched from one end of the world to the other. It also implies that he reached from the ground until Shamayim!

(j)Answer: These are the same size.

(k)(Rav Yehudah): Adam spoke Arame'ic - "v'Li Mah Yakru Re'echa." (Ramah - Yakru (esteemed) is Arame'ic. Alternatively, Re'echa (your thoughts) is Arame'ic.)

(l)(Reish Lakish): "Zeh Sefer Toledos Adam" teaches that Hash-m showed Adam every generation, its expounders, and its Chachamim.

1.When he saw R. Akiva, he delighted in his Torah but was saddened by his death - "v'Li Mah Yakru Re'echa."

(m)(Rav Yehudah): Adam was a Min. "(Hash-m asked) Ayeka" - where is your heart leaning (i.e. to idolatry! R. Chananel - this and the next two Drashos are how Minim defend themselves, by falsely expounding that also Adam did as they do. Ramah - they are true Drashos of Chachamim.)

(n)(R. Yitzchak): Adam did not circumcise himself (Ramah - even though he was commanded to. Some say, he was born circumcised, but stretched his foreskin to conceal it.) It says here "k'Adam Avru Veris", and it says "Es Brisi Hefar."

(o)(Rav Nachman): He denied Hash-m. It says here "k'Adam Avru Veris", and it says "Asher Ozvu Es Bris Hash-m."


(a)(Mishnah - R. Eliezer): Be diligent to learn Torah, and know what to answer a Min.

(b)(R. Yochanan): This only refers to a Nochri Min. Answering a Yisrael Min (who already knew the truth and denied it) will only cause him to deny more.

(c)(R. Yochanan): For any verse that Minim use to 'prove' that there is more than one G-d, a (nearby or the same) verse refutes them.

1.It says "Na'aseh Adam b'Tzalmenu (let Us make man in Our image)", but it also says "va'Yivra Elokim Es ha'Adam b'Tzalmo" (singular).

2.It says "Neredah v'Novlah" (let us confuse), but it also says "va'Yered Hash-m" (singular).

3.It says "Niglu Elav Elokim (Hash-m appeared (plural) to him)", but it also says "la'Kel ha'Oneh Osi."

4.It says "Elokim Kerovim Elav", but it also says "b'Chol Kor'enu Elav."

5.It says "u'Mi ch'Amcha... Asher Holchu Elokim...", but it also says "Lifdos Lo l'Am";

6.It says "Ad Di Charsavan Remiv (thrones were set up for Hash-m)", but it also says "v'Atik Yomin Yesiv (singular)."

(d)Question: Why are all these verses written in the plural?

(e)Answer: R. Yochanan taught that Hash-m always consults with His Heavenly Court before doing anything - "bi'Gzeras Irin Pisgama uv'Memar Kadishin She'elsa."

(f)Question: That explains all of them, except for "Ad Di Charsavan Remiv"!

(g)Answer: This teaches that He set up a throne also for David.

1.(Beraisa - R. Akiva): ("Charsavan Remiv" -) Hash-m set up one throne for Himself, and one for David;

2.R. Yosi: Do not put mortals on equal standing with Hash-m! Rather, He has one throne for judgment, and one for Tzedakah.

(h)Question: Did R. Akiva accept R. Yosi's rebuttal?

(i)Answer (Beraisa - R. Akiva): ("Charsavan Remiv" -) Hash-m has one throne for judgment, and one for Tzedakah;

(j)R. Eliezer ben Azaryah: Use your Chachmah for the (very difficult) laws of Tzara'as and Tum'as Ohel, but not for Agada!

1.Rather, one is a throne, and one is a footstool.

(k)(Rav Nachman): If you cannot answer Minim as Rav Idis can, do not answer them.

1.A Min: It says "v'El Moshe Amar Ale El Hash-m" - it should say "Elai"!

2.Rav Idis: Hash-m did not say this to Moshe. The angel Metatron said it. His name has the same Gematri'a (314) as (Shakai,) a name of Hash-m (therefore, the Torah did not need to say that he said this) - "Ki Shemi b'Kirbo."

3.The Min: If so, we should serve Metatron!

4.Rav Idis: "Al Temar Bo" - do not put (serve) him in place of Me.

5.The Min: "Lo Yisa l'Fish'achem (he will not pardon your sins)." What benefit is there if Metatron leads Yisrael?

6.Rav Idis: Indeed, we rejected him (and insisted that Hash-m directly lead us in every way) - "...Im Ein Panecha Holchim..."

(l)Question (a Min, of R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi): Why does it say "va'Shem Himtir Al Sedom... va'Esh me'Es Hash-m" - it should say 'me'Ito"!

1.Counter-question (a launderer): Why does it say "va'Yomer Lemech l'Nashav Adah v'Tzilah Shema'an Koli Neshei Lemech"? It should say 'Neshai' (my wives)!

(m)Answer (to both questions - the launderer): This is the way the Torah speaks.

(n)R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi: Where did you learn this?

(o)The launderer: R. Meir taught this.

1.(R. Yochanan): R. Meir used to teach one third Halachos, one third Agados, and one third parables.