1)ANSWERING MINIM (cont.)

(a)(R. Yochanan): R. Meir had 300 parables about foxes. We know only three, based on these verses:

1."Avos Yochlu Boser v'Shinei ha'Banim Tikhenah" (Rashi - this teaches that children are punished for their fathers' sins (if they also sin). Maharsha - all the parables teach that Resha'im hope to get a full share in the world to come for minimal effort in this world. In truth, they do not get any share in the world to come.)

2."Moznei Tzedek Avnei Tzedek";

3."Tzadik mi'Tzarah Nechelatz va'Yavo Rasha Tachtav." (Rashi did not explain the Mashalim based on the middle verse. The Maharsha explains it.)

(b)Question (a Min): Your G-d steals! "Va'Yapel Hash-m Tardemah Al ha'Adam (and he took a Tzela (rib or side)"!

(c)Raban Gamliel's daughter: Allow me to answer.

1.His daughter (to the Min): Bring a judge, to hear our claim. Thieves stole a silver flask from us and left a gold flask in its place.

2.The Min: I wish such thieves would steal from me!

3.His daughter: Wasn't it advantageous for Adam to lose a Tzela and receive a servant!

4.The Min: I meant that Hash-m should have taken it openly.

5.His daughter: Bring me raw meat. (She roasted it on hot ashes in front of him, and offered him to eat it.)

6.The Min: It is repulsive to me (because I saw it before it was ready).

7.His daughter: Likewise, had Adam seen his Tzela taken, Chavah would have been repulsive to him.

(d)A Min: I know what your G-d is doing.

1.Raban Gamliel sighed.

2.The Min: What is wrong?

3.Raban Gamliel: I have a son overseas, and I long to see him. Please show him to me.

4.The Min: I don't know where he is!

5.Raban Gamliel: You don't know the whereabouts of those on earth, do you know about the One in Heaven?!

(e)A Min: It says "(Hash-m) Moneh Mispar la'Kochavim/" What is so special about this?

1.Version #1 - the Min: Even I could do so!

2.Raban Gamliel put quince (fruits) in a strainer, and was shaking them around. He asked him to count them.

3.The Min: First stop moving them.

4.Raban Gamliel: The stars also move!

5.Version #2 - the Min: I counted the stars!

6.Raban Gamliel: How many molars and teeth do you have? The Min put his hand in his mouth to count them.

7.Raban Gamliel: You do not know what is in your mouth. Do you know what is in Heaven?!

(f)A Min: Mountains and wind were created by different powers - "Hinei Yotzer Harim u'Vorei Ru'ach." (If one creator made both, it would have say Yotzer or Borei about both!)

(g)Rejection (Raban Gamliel): In the creation of man, it says "va'Yivra" and "va'Yitzer". Will you say that different creators made man together?!

1.If you want to say this, will you say so even about two (organs in) holes right near each other - "ha'Note'a Ozen... Yotzer Ayin"?!

2.The Min: Yes, different creators made them!

3.Raban Gamliel: When a man dies, do all his creators simultaneously agree that it is time for him to die?!

(h)A witch (to Ameimar): I know (through witchcraft) that the upper half of your body belongs to Hormiz (a Shed (demon)), and the lower half belongs to Hash-m.

(i)Rejection (Ameimar): If so, why would Hash-m allow Hormiz to pass wastes of his region (from what I eat) through Hash-m's region (from which I excrete)?!

(j)The Kaiser (to R. Tanchum): Let us be one united nation!

(k)R. Tanchum: We are circumcised. We cannot be like you. You can circumcise yourselves and be like us!

(l)The Kaiser: You are right, but anyone who outwits the king is thrown to the quarry of wild animals.

1.They threw him in, but the animals did not eat him.

2.A Tzeduki: They did not eat him because they are not hungry.

3.They threw the Tzeduki in, and the animals ate him.

(m)A Min (to Raban Gamliel): You say that the Shechinah dwells among any 10 Yisraelim. How many Shechinos are there?

(n)Raban Gamliel called for the Min's servant, and hit him on the neck. He asked, why did you let the sun enter the Min's house?

1.The Min: It enters everywhere!

2.Raban Gamliel: The sun is one of billions of servants of Hash-m, and it shines everywhere. All the more so, the Shechinah (can be in many places)!

(o)Question #1 (a Min, of R. Avahu): Your G-d is a jokester. He told Yechezkeil "Shechav Al Tzidecha ha'Smoli", then he told him "v'Shochavta Al Tzidecha ha'Yemini"!

(p)Question #2 (a Talmid, of R. Avahu): What is the reason for the Mitzvah of Shemitah?

(q)Answer (to both questions - R. Avahu): Hash-m told Yisrael to farm for six years and cease in the seventh, in order that they will know that the land is Hash-m's;

1.They did not obey, therefore they were exiled.

2.If the people of a province rebelled against their (mortal) king:

i.If the king is cruel, he will kill all of them. If he is merciful, he will kill half. If he is full of mercy, he will afflict the most important people.

3.Likewise, Hash-m afflicted Yechezkeil in order to cleanse the sins of Yisrael.

2)ANSWERING MINIM (cont.)

(a)Question (a Min, of R. Avahu): Your G-d is a Kohen. He commanded "va'Yikchu Li Terumah";

1.After he buried Moshe, in what Mikveh did He immerse?

2.Suggestion: Perhaps He immersed in water.

3.Rejection: "Mi Modad b'Sha'alo Mayim" - all of the water in the world does not even contain His hand!

(b)Answer (R. Avahu): He immersed in fire - "Ki Hinei Hash-m b'Esh Yavo."

(c)Question (the Min): Does immersing in fire really count in place of immersion?!

(d)Answer (R. Avahu): Indeed, that is the preferred immersion - "v'Chol Asher Lo Yavo ba'Esh Ta'aviru va'Mayim."

(e)Question (a Min, of R. Avahu): It says "u'Mi ch'Amcha Yisrael Goy Echad ba'Aretz";

1.What is special about you? "Kol ha'Goyim k'Ayin Negdo (all the nations, including Yisrael, are insignificant compared to Hash-m)"!

(f)Answer (R. Avahu): Your Navi (Bil'am, who was a Nochri) testified that Yisrael are counted separately - "uva'Goyim Lo Yischashav."

39b----------------------------------------39b

(g)Contradiction (R. Elazar): It says "Tov Hash-m la'Kol", and it says "Tov Hash-m l'Kovav."

(h)Answer (R. Elazar): A parable explains this. If a man owns an orchard, when he waters it (this is done all at once), he waters all the trees. When he prunes (this is done one tree at a time), he only prunes the good trees.

3)DESTRUCTION OF RESHA'IM

(a)(Mishnah): Therefore, everyone must say...("uva'Avod Resha'im Rinah").

(b)(Rav Acha bar Chanina): "Va'Ya'avor ha'Rinah ba'Machaneh" - the joy was the death of Achav.

(c)Question: Hash-m is not happy with the downfall of Resha'im!

1.(R. Yochanan): "B'Tzeis Lifnei ha'Chalutz v'Omrim Hodu la'Shem Ki l'Olam Chasdo" - it does not say "Ki Tov", because Hash-m is not happy with the downfall of Resha'im.

2.(R. Shmuel bar Nachman): "V'Lo Karav Zeh El Zeh Kol ha'Laylah" - the angels wanted to sing in front of Hash-m on the night of Kri'as Yam Suf;

i.Hash-m: My creations are drowning in the sea, and you want to sing in front of Me?!

(d)Answer (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): Hash-m is not happy, but he makes others rejoice;

1.It says "Yasis" (He will make our enemies rejoice over our downfall), it does not say 'Yasos' (He will rejoice).

(e)(R. Elazar): "Veha'Zonos Rachatzu (when Achav died)" - his death cleansed (clarified) two Chezyonos (prophetic visions), of Michayhu and Eliyahu.

1.It says in Michayhu "Im Shov Tashuv b'Shalom" (i.e. you will not return safely);

2.It says in Eliyahu "bi'Mkom Asher Lakeku ka'Kelavim Es Dam Navos (they will lick your blood)."

(f)(Rava): The verse discusses actual Zonos (harlots). Achav was easily chilled, so Izevel made two pictures of harlots in his chariot, to excite him and warm him. (When he died, they were washed with his blood.)

(g)(R. Elazar): "V'Ish Mashach ba'Keshes l'Sumo va'Yakeh" - it was l'Fi Tumo (he did not realize that this was Melech Yisrael);

(h)(Rava): This was in order Lesumam (to complete) the (above) prophecies.

4)OVADYAH

(a)Question: "Va'Yikra Achav El Ovadyahu... v'Ovadyahu Yarei Es Hash-m Me'od" - why does it digress to say this?

(b)Answer (R. Yitzchak): Achav asked Ovadyahu 'Lavan said to Yakov "Nichashti va'Yvoracheni Hash-m Biglalecha." It says about Yosef "va'Yvorech Hash-m Es Beis ha'Mitzri Biglal Yosef";

1.Why wasn't my house blessed? Perhaps you do not fear Hash-m?!'

2.A Bas Kol (voice from Heaven): "V'Ovadyahu Yarei Es Hash-m Me'od." Achav's house is not worthy to be blessed.

(c)(R. Aba): The verse praises Ovadyahu more than Avraham! The Torah says that Avraham feared Hash-m, but it does not say 'Me'od'

(d)(R. Yitzchak): Ovadyahu merited prophecy because he hid 100 Nevi'im in two caves - "b'Hachris Izevel Es Nevi'ei Hash-m va'Yikach Ovadyahu... Chamishim Ish ba'Me'arah."

(e)Question: Why did he put 50 in each cave (and not all 100 in one cave)?

(f)Answer #1 (R. Elazar): He learned from Yakov, who split his children into two camps. (If Esav will kill one,) "the other camp will survive."

(g)Answer #2 (R. Avahu): Neither cave had room for more than 50.

(h)Question: "Chazon Ovadyah... le'Edom" - why did Ovadyahu receive the prophecy for Edom?

(i)Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak): Ovadyahu lived among two Resha'im (Achav and Izevel), but he did not learn from their ways, therefore he prophecized about (the descendants of) Esav, who lived among two Tzadikim (Yitzchak and Rivka) and did not learn from their ways.

(j)Answer #2 (Efrayim Maksh'ah): Ovadyahu was a convert from Edom.

1.This is like people say, the handle of the ax used to chop trees of the forest comes from the forest itself. (The one who prophecized the downfall of Edom came from Edom.)

(k)(R. Yochanan): "Va'Yach (David) Es Mo'av..." - this is like people say 'the ax handle comes from the forest itself (the one who struck Mo'av descends from (Rus, who was from) Mo'av).

1.(Rav Dimi): A thigh decays from the inside.

5)MEISHA'S OFFERING (OF HIS SON)

(a)(Rav or Shmuel): "Va'Yikach (Meisha, the king of Mo'av) Es Beno... va'Ya'alehu Olah" - he intended for the sake of Heaven;

(b)(The other of Rav and Shmuel): He intended to serve idolatry.

(c)Question: "Va'Yhi Ketzef Gadol Al Yisrael" - this is like the opinion that he intended for the sake of Heaven (Yisrael was acting to anger Hash-m, so we were more liable by contrast);

1.However, according to the opinion that he intended for idolatry, why did this arouse Hash-m's anger against Yisrael?!

(d)Answer: We learn from R. Yehoshua ben Levi.

1.Contradiction (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): It says "uch'Mishpetei ha'Goyim... Lo Asisem", and it says "uch'Mishpetei ha'Goyim... Asisem"!

2.Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): We did not do like their good deeds. We did like their bad deeds. (Meisha's act alluded to sins of Yisrael.)

(e)(R. Chanina bar Papa): "Va'Yis'u me'Alav va'Yashuvu la'Aretz" - at that time, Yisrael's deeds reached the Aretz, i.e. the lowest level.

(f)(R. Chanina bar Papa): "Veha'Na'arah Yafah Ad Me'od" - it does not say (only) 'Me'od', for Avishag was not half as beautiful as Sarah.

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