ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
Prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
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(a) Our Mishnah Darshens the Pasuk in ...
1. ... Bereishis "Lo Yadon Ruchi ba'Adam Le'olam" - that the Dor ha'Mabul will experience neither Din nor Ru'ach (i.e. that they will not arise, either to be judged or to receive reward together with the Tzadikim in Olam ha'Ba).
2. ... No'ach "Vayafetz Hash-m Osam u'mi'Sham Hefitzam Hash-m" - that the Dor Haflagah (of the Tower of Bavel) were destroyed both from this world and from the World to Come.
3. ... in Lech-L'cha "ve'Anshei S'dom Ra'im" - in this world. "ve'Chata'im la'Hashem Me'od" - 'in the World to Come.
(b) In the opinion of the Tana Kama, the people of S'dom will differ from those of the generation of the Mabul - inasmuch as they will arise in order to be judged, whereas the latter will not (see Rashash).
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(a) In the Pasuk in Tehilim "al-Kein Lo Yakumu Resha'im ba'Mishpat, va'Chata'im ba'Adas Tzadikim" ...
1. ... "Resha'im" refers to - the Dor ha'Mabul.
2. ... "Chata'im" to - the men of S'dom.
(b) Rebbi Nechemyah extrapolates from this Pasuk - that neither of the two will even arise to be judged.
(c) The Chachamim retorted - that the words "ba'Adas Tzadikim" written by the men of S'dom, suggests that they will not arise to join the Tzadikim, but they will arise to be judged.
(d) Rebbi Akiva Darshens the Pasuk in ...
1. ... Sh'lach-L'cha "Bamidbar ha'Zeh Yitamu, ve'Sham Yamusu" (in connection with the Dor ha'Midbar) - "Yitamu", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh"; "ve'Sham Yamusu", 'la'Olam ha'Ba'.
2. ... Korach "Vat'chas Aleihem ha'Aretz, va'Yovdu mi'Toch ha'Kahal" (in connection with the congregation of Korach) - "Vat'chas Aleihem ha'Aretz", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh'; "va'Yovdu mi'Toch ha'Kahal", 'la'Olam ha'Ba'.
(e) Rebbi Eliezer, on the other hand, learns from the Pasuk in ...
1. ... Tehilim "Isfu Li Chasidai Korsei B'risi Alei Zevach" - that the Dor ha'Midbar are considered a pious generation, who are bound to receive a portion in Olam ha'Ba.
2. ... Shmuel "Hash-m Meimis u'Mechayeh, Morid She'ol va'Ya'al" - that even the congregation of Korach will arise at Techi'as ha'Meisim.
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(a) Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira in a Beraisa interprets the Pasuk in Bereishis (in connection with the generation of the Mabul) "Lo Yadon Ruchi ba'Adam la'Olam" like we learned in our Mishnah. Rebbi Akiva interprets the Pasuk - "Vayimach es Kol ha'Yekum", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh'; "Vayimachu min ha'Aretz", 'la'Olam ha'Ba' (but they will arise to be judged, according to him).
(b) We might also interpret "Lo Yadon Ruchi ... " to mean - that their Neshamos will not return to their bodies (from the word 'Nadenah', meaning a scabbard [and presumably, that is how Rebbi Akiva interprets it])
(c) And Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Yossi says - that even when Hash-m returns the Neshamos to their bodies at the time of Techi'as ha'Meisim, the Neshamos of the Dor ha'Mabul, which will have turned into fire, will burn their bodies.
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(a) The Beraisa attributes the Dor ha'Mabul's arrogance to - the fact that they had it too good. Hash-m granted them their every need, and there was nothing to disturb their peace of mind.
(b) This caused them to say to Hash-m - that they had no need of Him or His ways.
(c) Even His rain was superfluous, they claimed, because they had plenty of rivers and fountains.
(d) Hashem's response was - that seeing as they used the source of His blessings (the rain) to anger Him, He would use it to punish them.
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(a) According to Rebbi Yossi, it was the fact that - the Dor ha'Mabul had followed their eyes to indulge in their licentious pleasures, that caused Hash-m to punish them with water (which is similar to the surface of the eye [see also Agados Maharsha]).
(b) According to Rebbi Yochanan, the Pasuk adds the word "Rabah" to the expression "Kol Ma'aynos T'hom ... " - to conform with their sins, about which the Torah writes "Vayar Hash-m Ki Rabah Ra'as ha'Adam".
(c) Three of the hot springs that Hash-m used to punish the Dor ha'Mabul remain, 'Belu'ah of Geder' and the large springs of Biram and - 'The Hot Springs of Teverya'.
(d) Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Ki Hishchis Kol Basar es Darko al ha'Aretz" - to mean that the people would interbreed animals with beasts and vice-versa, all species with people and people with all species.
(e) Rebbi Aba bar Kahana says - that all species of animals later stopped this practice, except for the Sushalmi bird, which continued to interbreed with all different species.
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(a) The Dor ha'Mabul perpetrated every conceivable sin. Nevertheless, Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk in No'ach "Vayomer Hash-m le'No'ach Ketz Kol Basar Ba Lefanai ki Mal'ah ha'Aretz Chamas mi'Panai" - that the last straw in the eyes of Hash-m was 'Chamas', which is synonymous with theft.
(b) He pointed out that Chamas must be a terrible thing - since the final decree of the men of S'dom was based on it.
(c)'Chamas' itself stood erect and announced before Hash-m - that there is nothing to be gained from them as individuals, as a community or from their business ventures.
(c) Tana de'bei Rebbi Yishmael learns from the Pasuk in Bereishis "Ki Nichamti Ki Asisim ve'No'ach Matza Chein be'Einei Hash-m" - that in reality, No'ach was included in the decree ...
(e) ... an he was spared only because he found favor in the eyes of Hash-m.
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(a) We establish the word "ba'Aretz" (in the Pasuk in Bereishis "Vayinachem Hash-m ki Asah es ha'Adam ba'Aretz") with reference to Hashem's having prepared a burial place for man in the earth.
(b) Based on the Pasuk in Vay'chi, "va'Yanchem Osam Vayedaber al Libam", when Rav Dimi arrived in Bavel from Eretz Yisrael, he explained the Pasuk to mean - that Hash-m was comforted that he had done so (because mankind did not deserve to live any longer).
(c) Whereas according to other, based on the Pasuk "Vayinachem Hash-m al ha'Ra'ah Asher Diber La'asos le'Amo" to mean - that Hash-m was sorry that He had already prepared them graves, because perhaps if He were to give them longer, they would relent from their evil ways.
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(a) Rebbi Yochanan interprets "No'ach Ish Tzadik be'Dorosav" to mean that he was only considered a Tzadik in his generation, but not in any other. Whereas Resh Lakish holds - that if he excelled in his Tzidkus in such an evil generation, then how much more would he have excelled in a better generation.
(b) Rebbi ...
1. ... Chanina draws an analogy between Rebbi Yochanan's interpretation and a barrel of wine - which emits a fragrant smell nice when it is lying in a cellar among barrels of vinegar, but not when it is moved anywhere else.
2. ... Oshaya draws an analogy between Resh Lakish's interpretation and a bottle of P'laiton (a type of strong perfume) - which emits a fragrant smell even when it stands in a filthy place, and certainly when is stands among spices.
(c) To explain why Hash-m destroyed the entire world, even the innocent animals, because of man's sins, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah gives a Mashal to a wedding feast - which, in the event that the Chasan dies, the father simply gives away, because he has no more use for it. So too, did Hash-m create the world, including the animals, only for the sake of man. Consequently, once man was destroyed, the animals became redundant.
(d) We extrapolate from the Pasuk "mi'Kol Asher be'Charavah Meisu" - that the fish did not die in the flood.
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(a) According to Rebbi Yossi from Caesaria, No'ach ha'Tzadik warned the people - that if they did not do Teshuvah, Hash-m would bring on them a flood and their corpses would float on the water, and what's more, they would be an eternal symbol of curse from which the whole world would learn.
(b) When they asked him that, seeing as the hundred and twenty years grace was over, why Hash-m did not get on with it, he answered them - that a great Tzadik was about to die, and Hash-m was waiting for the seven customary days of mourning to conclude (in the hope that the eulogies would bring them to do Teshuvah [Rashi on the Parshah]) before bringing the flood.
(c) They replied to this - that they would not then clear the paths of the vineyards and stop planting vines (see Agados Maharsha).
(d) When, during the hundred and twenty years No'ach rebuked the people with words that struck like flashes of lightning, they reacted - by mocking him (as we shall now see).
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(a) When No'ach informed the people of the impending flood, they mockingy dismissed the danger, assuming it was a flood of ...
1. ... fire - by assuring No'ach that they possessed a certain fireproof ointment which they would apply as an antidote against such a flood.
2. ... water from the underground fountains - by informing him that they would pave them with metal plates which would stop the water from flooding.
3. ... water in the form of rain from the sky - by telling him that they even had an antidote for that in the form of sponge (see Agados Maharsha) with which to prevent the water from spreading.
(b) When Noach replied, that Hash-m would bring a flood 'mi'Bein Ikvei Ragleichem', he meant either that Hash-m could create a flood from their 'Shichvas-Zera', should He so wish, or that he could cause water to flow from their legs (and there wasn't much they would be able to do about it).
(c) The Beraisa learns from the Pasuk in Iyov "Nachon le'Mo'adei Regel" (besides the previous D'rashah) - that the water of the Mabul was thick like semen.
(d) Hash-m punished them with boiling water - because they sinned with boiling water (semen, seeing as adultery was their most common sin).
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(a) Rav learns from the seven days grace that the Dor ha'Mabul received following Mesushelach's death - that a Hesped for a Tzadik postpones punishment that is imminent.
(b) According to others "Vay'hi le'Shiv'as ha'Yamim" implies that Hash-m changed the laws of nature - by making the sun rise in the west and set in the west.
(c) Others again, explain the seven day extension period by simple logic - in that Hash-m, in His mercy, fixed a long period followed by a short one.
(d) Whereas, according to still other opinions, Hash-m utilized those seven days to give the Dor ha'Mabul a taste of Olam ha'Ba - in the vain hope that they would realize what they would be missing by not going there, and do Teshuvah.
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(a) There is no such thing as Ishus with regard to animals - because one male mates with a number of females.
(b) The Torah nevertheless writes 'mi'Kol ha'Beheimah ha'Tehorah Tikach l'cha Shiv'ah Shiv'ah Ish ve'Ishto' - to preclude any animals that had mixed breeds with others from bein saved.
(c) According to Rav Chisda, No'ach knew which animals had cleaved only to their own species, because the Teivah let them in. According to Rebbi Avahu, he knew - because they came on their own initiative (which can only have been Divinely inspired).
(d) Rav Ada Amri de'bei Rav Shilo and Amri Lah argue over whether Gofer wood (with which No'ach built the Teivah) was better-known as 'Mavliga' or as 'Golmish'. Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Tzohar Ta'aseh la'Teivah" to mean - that No'ach should fix precious stones and pearls into the Teivah, to illuminate the Teivah like the sun at midday ('keTzaharayim') as a source of light,.
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1. The roof of the Teivah had to taper off at one Amah on top - for the water to drain. Otherwise, it would have sunk from the accumulation of water on its roof.
2. The Teivah itself had three floors - the bottom floor for the trash, the middle floor for the animals and the top floor as residential quarters for No'ach and his family.
(b) According to Resh Lakish, the irrefutable argument that the raven presented No'ach was that he was hated ...
1. ... by Hash-m, because He permitted seven Tahor birds to be taken into the Teivah, but only two of the Tamei ones (to which category he belonged).
2. ... by No'ach, too, because he picked him for the mission of testing whether the water of the flood had dried up, even though there were only two ravens altogether to choose from, rather than one of the seven Tahor birds. And what would have happened, he concluded, if he had succumbed to the heat or the cold, resulting in one of its species becoming extinct?
(c) When it suggested that No'ach was perhaps interested in its mate, No'ach retorted - 'Rasha, if I am (currently) forbidden to the species that generally permitted, how much more so am I forbidden to a species that is forbidden to me!'
(d) Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the change of order between the Pasuk "u'Vasa el ha'Teivah Atah u'Vanecha, ve'Isht'cha u'Neshei Vanecha Itach", and the Pasuk "Tzei min ha'Teivah Atah ve Isht'cha, u'Vanecha u'Neshei Vanecha Itach" - - that from the moment they entered the Teivah until they left it one year later, intimacy was forbidden.
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(a) The raven, the dog - and Cham were intimate (each with his own mate) in the Teivah.
(b) Their respective punishments were - to spit in lieu of regular Tashmish, to be bound on a leash, and to become black-skinned.
(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah extrapolates from the Pasuk "va'Yeshalach es ha'Yonah me'Ito" that Tahor birds dwell with the Tzadikim - from the use of the word "me'Ito" (which the Torah does not use in connection with the raven). What he means is - that Tahor birds recognize a Tzadik when they see one (see also Agados Maharsha).
(d) Rebbi Elazar explains the dove's return with an olive-leaf in its beak - as a hint that it was preferable to be fed bitter food directly from Hash-m to being fed food sweet as honey by human-beings (as it had been during the past year).
(e) In this context, does he interprets the word (in the Pasuk "ve'Hinei Aleh-Zayis Taraf be'Fihah") ...
1. ... "Taraf" (which translates as 'torn off') - as Parnasah (as in the Pasuk in Mishlei "Hatrifeni Lechem Chuki").
2. ... "be'Fihah" - as Tefilah (inasmuch as it was asking for Parnasah from Hash-m rather then from humans).
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(a) When Rebbi Yochanan says (with regard to the "le'Mihpechoseihem Yatz'u min ha'Teivah" 'le'Mishpechosam", 've'Lo Heim' he means - that in some cases, it was only the offspring of the animals that entered the Teivah that left it, since, any animal that has no backbone (such as a worm), cannot live for more than a year.
(b) Based on the assumption that "le'Mishpechoseihem" also pertains to the fact that each species was fed individually in the Teivah, when Eliezer Eved Avraham asked Shem (No'ach's son) how they managed in the Teivah, he replied - 'with great difficulty', since, depending on the animal's eating habits, they would feed some animals by day, and others, by night.
(c) No'ach found out what the Zekisa ate, when one day - a worm fell from a pomegranate that No'ach was peeling, and the Zekisa pounced on it and ate it.
(d) From then on, No'ach would prepare it a shrub that contained worms.
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(a) The lion was fed - by its own fever (thereby circumventing the need to kill and eat other animals, as it usually does.
(b) A fever dispels the need to eat between six and twelve days, according to Rav.
(c) When Rav refers to 'Shita' and 'T'reisar', he might also mean - between six or twelve months (though the first explanation is more plausible).
(d) When No'ach once found the Chol (a kind of bird) asleep in its cubicle, and asked it whether it does not need to eat, it replied - that since No'ach was so busy, it did not wish to disturb him.
(e) No'ach reacted to the Chol's reply by blessing it with longevity, and indeed it lives forever.
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(a) Rav Chanah bar Liva'i quotes a dialogue between Shem and Eliezer, where Shem asked Eliezer - how he and Avraham had managed to defeat the four kings.
(b) Based on the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Mi He'ir mi'Mizrach ... Yiten Lefanav Goyim ... Yiten ke'Afar Charbo ke'Kash Nidaf Kashto", Eliezer replied - that they possessed this wondrous earth that they threw at the kings and it turned into swords, and straw, which turned into arrows.
(c) Based on the Pasuk in Tehilim "Mizmor le'David, Ne'um Hash-m la'Adoni Shev li'Yemini ad Ashis Oyvecha Hadom le'Raglecha", they obtained the magical earth and straw - as a gift from Hash-m Himself.
Index to Review Questions and Answers for Maseches Sanhedrin