ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
Prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
1) click for question
(a) The reason that Rav Yehudah Amar Rav gives for not asking Hash-m for a Nisayon (a trial) is - because David, King of Yisrael did so, and failed.
(b) What caused David to do so - was Hashem's reply to his request that Yisrael should add 'Elokei David' to the existing 'Elokei Avraham, Elokei Yitzchak ve'Elokei Ya'akov' (that he had not undergone Nisyonos like the Avos had).
(c) The advantage that David received over the Avos was - that he was told in advance, not only that he was about to be tried, but in which area that Nisayon would occur.
(d) To counter the impending Nisayon, Rav Yehudah explains, David was intimate with one of his wives during the day (thinking that he would placate the Yeitzer ha'Ra, making it easier to withstand the Nisayon when it came).
(e) He erred however, in forgetting - the 'Halachah' which states that 'a man has a little limb which is more easily satisfied when starved, and wants more when satiated'.
2) click for question
(a) When David went up on the roof, bas-Sheva (Achitofel's granddaughter) was washing her hair, but her body was hidden from view by a wickerwork screen. He saw her revealed however, when the Satan, disguised as a bird, flew in front of it. David promptly took aim with his bow and shot an arrow at it, but the bird flew away and the arrow hit the screen and broke it, leavineg Bas-Sheva revealed.
(b) When David inquired after her, she turned out to be the daughter of Eliam (the granddaughter of Achitofel) and the wife of Uri'ah h'Chiti.
(c) When David was intimate with her, he knew that she was not a Nidah - because she informed him that she had just Toveled.
(d) Following this episode - David admitted that he had failed the test ...
(e) ... and sincerely regretted having asked for it in the first place.
3) click for question
(a) Rava explains the Pasuk in Tehilim ...
1. ... "la'Menatze'ach le'David B'cha Hash-m Chasisi Eich Tomri le'Nafshi Nudi Harchem Tzipor" - in the form of a request that Hash-m should forgive him his sin, so that people should not say that the 'mountain' was moved by a bird.
2. ... "Lecha Levadcha Chatasi ... Lema'an Titzdak be'Dovrecha Tizkeh be'Shoftecha" to mean - that in reality, he could have passed the test had he so wished. He didn't, he claimed, in order not to vanquish Hash-m (see also Agados Maharsha).
(b) Rava, supported by Tana de'bei Rebbi Yishmael, also states that bas-Sheva bas Eliam was fit for David since the six days of the creation. And when ...
1. ... he adds 'Ela she'Ba'ah Alav be'Mach'ov', he means - that he took her be'Isur (when he could have waited and married her be'Heter).
2. ... Tana de'bei Rebbi Yishmael adds 'Ela she'Achlah Pagah', he means - that he took her prematurely (like unripe figs), when he could have waited and married her later, when the time was ripe.
4) click for question
(a) David describes in Tehilim how his enemies rejoiced when he sinned with bas-Sheva. When he writes ...
1. ... "Ne'esfu Alai Neichim", he means - that the people who were mocking him were themselves tarnished ('Nechei' means 'lame' [blemished]).
2. ... "ve'Lo Yada'ti" - he means that he made out that he didn't know, or that the sin and the opportunity to knock him caught him completely off guard.
3. ... "Kar'u ve'Lo Damu" - that if they would have torn him open, they would have seen that his blood had congealed from shame.
(b) And when they asked him surreptitiously what happens to someone who commits adultery, he replied - that he is sentenced to Chenek, but at least he does forfeit his portion in Olam ha'Ba - whereas someone who shames a fellow-Jew in public does.
(c) When Rav Yehudah Amar Rav says that ...
1. ... even during David's illness, he kept eighteen Onos, he meant - that he continued to keep the Onah (the conjugal rights) of each of his eighteen wives.
2. ... David Hamelech wanted to worship Avodah-Zarah - he means that, for fear of the terrible Chilul Hash-m that would ensue on account of his own son trying to kill him (which he thought, was undeserved), he figured that it was better for him to be the only one to desecrate Hashem's Name than everyone else (who would now be able to justify his punishment).
(d) Chushai ha'Arki (the ex-servant of David's father Yishai), who came out to greet David when he fled from Yerushalayim, stopped him from carrying out his plan (as we shall now see).
(e) Chushai ha'Arki greeted David - wearing a torn shirt and with ashes on his head.
6) click for question
(a) When Chushai asked David why he married a Y'fas-To'ar (from whom Avshalom was born), he replied - that the Torah permitted it ...
(b) ... to which Chushai retorted - that even if it did, it is only with reluctance that the Torah permits it, and that that is why the Parshah of a ben Sorer u'Moreh follows immediately (to teach us that the one leads to the other).
(c) Chushai brought up the question of a Y'fas-To'ar - to prove that Avshalom's rebellion was not a Chilul Hash-m, as David thought it was, but the outcome of his having married a Y'fas To'ar, which, as we just explained the Torah frowns upon.
7) click for question
(a) Hash-m agreed to forgive every aspect of David's sin, the Shogeg, the Meizid, both what was hidden and what was revealed, and He even agreed to stop the Rabbanan from speaking about him. The only request of David that Hash-m refused was when he asked - for the sin to be eradicated from the Torah.
(b) Hash-m brought a precedent from - the 'Yud' in Sarai's name, which was replaced by a 'Hey', but which was unhappy ...
(c) ... until Yehoshua, following his name-change from Hoshe'a to Yehoshua, came and took it.
(d) Shlomoh Hamelech said - that someone who 'carries fire in his bosom - must expect his clothes to get burned, and someone who walks on coals' - his feet (and so someone who commits adultery, which is like playing with fire, cannot expect to get off scott-free).
8) click for question
(a) Hash-m agreed to pardon David for his sin - on condition that he accepted suffering.
(b) We learn from the Pasuk in Tehilim ...
1. ... "Techat'eni be'Eizov ve'Et'har" - that David was stricken with Tzara'as (since a Metzora requires a hyssop during his purification ceremony).
2. ... Hashivah Li S'son Yish'echa, ve'Ru'ach Nedivah Sismecheni" - that as his second punishment, the Shechinah departed from him
(c) David's third punishment was - that the Sanhedrin separated from him too.
(d) We learn that he had to suffer for six months until his sin was forgiven - from the Pasuk in Melachim, which counts the seven years that David ruled in Chevron and the forty years that he ruled in Yerushalayim, omitting the extra six months that he ruled in Chevron (as the Pasuk in Shmuel informs us), intimating the six months that he was a Metzora were not counted.
9) click for question
(a) When David Hamelech said the Pasuk "Asei Imi Os le'Tovah ve'Yir'u Son'ai ve'Yevoshu ki Atah Hash-m Azartani ve'Nichamtani" - which he said after Hash-m informed him that he was forgiven for his sin, he was asking for a sign by which everyone would know that he was indeed forgiven.
(b) Hashem's reply was - that He would comply with his request, but (not in his lifetime) only during the lifetime of Shlomoh his son.
10) click for question
(a) Shlomoh said twenty-four Renanos - (all the times that the words 'Tefilah', 'Techinah' and 'Rinah' occur during the Tefilah of Shlomoh that he said following the completion of the Beis-Hamikdash) without achieving his objective.
(b) Shlomoh's objective was - to get the gates leading to the Kodesh Kodshim to open, to allow him to bring in the Aron ha'Kodesh.
(c) The gates of the Beis-Hamikdash refused to open in spite of all the praises contained in the Kapitel of "le'David Mizmor", but they did open - when Shlomoh said the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim "Hash-m Elokim, Al Tashev P'nei Meshichecha, Zachrah le'Chasdei David Avdecha".
(d) This proved beyond any shadow of doubt - that David's sin had finally been forgiven, throwing David's enemies into a mood of depression.
11) click for question
(a) The last of the Hedyotos who, according to our Mishnah, does not receive a portion in Olam ha'Ba, is Gechazi - who was living in Damascus when Elisha went to bring him back.
(b) He refused however - because Elisha had taught him that someone who sins and causes others to sin is not given the opportunity to do Teshuvah (in which case, his Teshuvah would not have been accepted anyway [see Agados Maharsha]).
(c) Assuming that Gechazi's sin was connected to Yeravam's images, there are two versions of the sin. According to one version, he raised the image into the air by means of a gigantic magnet. According to the second version - he engraved the Name of Hash-m inside its mouth, as a result of which it would announce 'Anochi ... ' and 'Lo Yih'yeh l'cha'.
(d) We can extrapolate a different account of his sin from the Pasuk "ve'Amru B'nei ha'Nevi'im el Elisha Hinei Na ha'Makom Asher Anachnu Yoshvim Sham Lefanecha Tzar Mimenu" - implying that prior to that (i.e. as long as Gechazi was still around), there was plenty of room in the Beis-Hamedrash, because Gechazi would turn many Chachamim away.
12) click for question
(a) Elisha's mistake regarding Gechazi was - that he rejected him 'with both hands', instead of pushing him away with his left hand, and drawing him close with his right.
(b) Following the grateful Na'aman (the Syrian general)'s departure, Elisha asked Gechazi where he had been, to which he replied - that he had gone for a stroll.
(c) But he seemed to have forgotten that he was dealing with a Navi, who described - how he had seen a man on a chariot turn round, and how he had taken from him silver and clothes ... .
(d) Before giving him what he asked for, Na'aman said to Gechazi "Ho'el ve'Kach" - which means 'Swear (that Elisha sent you) and take'.
13) click for question
(a) Gechazi actually received from Na'aman - a Kikar (three thousand Shekel in weight) of silver and two suits.
(b) Elisha added olive-trees and vines, sheep and cattle, slaves and maidservants, listing eight things - a hint that he would receive his reward in this world for the Torah that he had learned. The last thing that Elisha had been learning with him was Perek Shemonah Sheratzim, and it was on that merit that Gechazi hoped to purchase the remaining six things on Elisha's list.
(c) Na'aman, who was stricken with leprosy, first found out about Elisha - from a Jewish maiden that he had captured in battle.
(d) When the Navi instructed him to bathe in the River Yarden seven times - Na'aman first became angry, because he thought that Elisha was making fun of him.
(e) He changed his mind however - when his men suggested that he had nothing to lose.
14) click for question
(a) Before Gechazi took his leave from Elisha, the Navi decreed - that the Tzara'as of Na'aman should cleave to him.
(b) What gave him the incentive to do that - was the fact that he already saw the Tzara'as hovering above his head.
(c) The four Metzora'im at the entrance of the gates of Shomron were - Gechazi and his three sons.
(d) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in a Beraisa lists three 'people' that one should push away with the left hand but draw close with the right: the Yeitzer ha'Ra, one's child and one's wife.
(e) It is necessary to bring close with the right hand ...
1. ... a child and a wife (even when they deserve to be chastized) - because they are not as strong as a man, and liable to go off the path altogether if one pushes them away completely.
2. ... the Yetzer-ha'Ra, because without him, the world would not be able to function (as we learned above). On the other hand, he needs to be pushed away with the left hand - because otherwise, he would have a free reign to cause everybody to sin.
15) click for question
(a) Elisha suffered three illnesses, the Beraisa informs us. The final illness was the one that led to his death. The other two were as a punishment for - inciting the bears against the forty children who came to mock him and for rejecting Gechazi totally.
(b) The first person to look old was Avraham and the first person to become ill before his death was Ya'akov.
1. Avraham asked for old age - so that people would stop confusing him with Yitzchak, who bore the splitting image of his father.
2. Ya'akov asked to become ill before dying - so that all his children should be present at his death.
(c) From the Pasuk ''ve'Elisha Chalah es Cholyo Asher Yamus bo" we can extrapolate - that Elisha suffered other illnesses from which he did not die ...
(d) ... which comes to teach us that - as a result of his prayers, he was the first person to recover from an illness.
Index to Review Questions and Answers for Maseches Sanhedrin