Mishnah 1
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1)

(a)What does Rebbi mean when he advises a person (see Tos. Yom-Tov) to choose a path in life which is splendid (beneficial) for oneself and splendid for others?

(b)What is an example of an act that is splendid for...

1. ... oneself but not for others (where others do not praise him for his actions)?

2. ... others but not for oneself?

(c)What does he say about a 'Mitzvah Kalah'?

(d)Why is that?

1)

(a)When Rebbi advises a person (see Tos. Yom-Tov) to choose a path in life which is splendid for himself and splendid ((beneficial) for others he means that - one should in principle, always take the middle path in Midos, so that it is relatively easy for oneself to accomplish and acceptable to the people who are affected by his actions.

(b)An example of where an act is splendid for...

1. ... oneself but not for others is - where he behaves in a miserly way with his money (such as insisting on paying rock-bottom prices for his purchases and buying as little as possible of everything, in which case he amasses a fortune, but nobody benefits from him).

2. ... others but not for himself is - where he is excessively spend-thrifty (so that he becomes a pauper, whilst others make money out of him).

(c)He also rules that - one should treat a 'Mitzvah Kalah' (a relatively smaller Mitzvah) with the same respect as one does a 'Mitzvah Chamurah' ...

(d)... because nobody knows the reward that is due for each Mitzvas Asei (and what looks like a Mitzvah Kalah to us may well turn out to be a Mitzvah Chamurah in the eyes of Hash-m (see also Tos. Yom-Tov DH 've'Hevei Zahir', 'she'Ein'& 'Matan S'charan').

2)

(a)What does Rebbi advise a person to do before ...

1. ... indulging in an Aveirah that stands to bring a person pleasure?

2. ... desisting from performing a Mitzvah that stands to cause a person significant loss?

(b)To prevent a person from sinning, he advises him to remember that he is being observed from above (see Tos. Yom Tov). The ramifications of this are three-fold. Firstly, 'a seeing eye'. What are the two other items?

2)

(a)Rebbi also says that before ...

1. ... indulging in an Aveirah that stands to bring a person pleasure - he should weigh-up that pleasure against the ultimate losses that he will suffer should he transgress.

2. ... desisting from performing a Mitzvah that stands to cause a person significant loss - he should weigh-up those losses against the ultimate gains (see Tos. Yom-Tov), should he not perform it.

(b)To prevent a person from sinning, he advises him to remember that a. he is being observed from above (see Tos. Yom-Tov) by ... 'a seeing eye = a hearing ear and all his deeds are being recorded in the Divine Book of Chronicles' (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

Mishnah 2
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3)

(a)Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi considers the combination of Torah and Derech Eretz a good thing. What does 'Derech Eretz' mean in this context?

(b)How does the combination cause a person to forget about sin?

(c)What does he say about Torah without Melachah?

(d)Why is that?

3)

(a)Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi considers the combination of Torah and Derech Eretz a good thing. In this context - 'Derech Eretz' in this context means physical work (see also Tiferes Yisrael).

(b)Torah weakens a person and physical work subsequently wears him out, draining him of any interest in sinning.

(c)In fact, he says - Torah without Melachah will not last ...

(d)... because someone who does not have a Parnasah will inevitably turn to theft (and will soon forget everything he learned).

4)

(a)What does Rabban Gamliel ... also say about communal workers?

(b)On what merit do they succeed in their tasks?

(c)In spite of what we just said, what is the Mishnah's closing comment?

(d)How else might we interpret Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi's threefold statement?

(e)How does the Rambam explain the Mishnah's final statement?

4)

(a)Rabban Gamliel ... also states that - communal worker should perform his work - le'Shem Shamayim (for the sake of Hash-m, and not for his own glorification).

(b)Communal workers succeed in their work - on the eternal merits of the community's ancestors as well as their own.

(c)In spite of what we just said, the Mishnah's closing comment is - Hash-m will reward them as if they had been personally responsible for their successes.

(d)Alternatively, we might interpret Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi's threefold statement to mean that - the communal workers who collect funds for Tzedakah (forcing people to pay towards Tzedakah) or the redemption of captives, should do their work L'shem Shamayim, because Hash-m will enable the people to give whatever is asked of them on the merits of their fathers, and of the Tzedakah that they give, and as far as the workers is concerned, Hash-m will reckon it as if they have paid out of their own pockets.

(e)The Rambam explains the last statement to mean that - if in the course of their communal work, they are prevented from performing a Mitzvah, Hash-m will reckon it as if they performed it (see also Tos. Yom-Tov).

Mishnah 3
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5)

(a)On what grounds does the Tana advise the communal workers to keep their distance from the ruling power?

(b)Why does he find it necessary to issue a special warning in this regard?

5)

(a)The Tana advises the communal workers to keep their distance from the ruling power - because the latter tend to befriend people whose services they require. They convey the impression of being good friends, but when it comes to the crunch, they do nothing to help 'their friends' when they (their 'friends') need them.

(b)He finds it necessary to issue a special warning in this regard - because in the course of their work, there are times when the communal workers inevitably need the assistance of the ruling power (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

Mishnah 4
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6)

(a)Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi also used to say 'Asei Retzono ki'Retzonecha'. In the context of giving Tzedakah, what did he mean?

(b)How will Hash-m will react to someone who fulfils this maxim?

(c)What did he further say about someone who negates his own will before that of Hash-m ('R'tzon Acherim')?

(d)What else might 'R'tzon Acherim' mean?

6)

(a)Rabban Gamliel the son of Rebbi Yehudah ha'Nasi also used to say 'Asei Retzono ki'Retzonecha'. In the context of giving Tzedakah, he meant that - one should give to the poor with the same extravagance as one purchases one's own needs (see also Tos. Yom-Tov).

(b)Hash-m will react to someone who fulfils this maxim - by treating the giver in the same way.

(c)He said further that - Hash-m will negate the will of others before the will of someone who negates his own will before that of Hash-m (see also Tos. Yom-Tov).

(d)Alternatively - 'R'tzon Acherim' refers to His Own will. It is a modest way of saying that Hash-m will cancel any evil decree that He had in mind to bring upon him.

7)

(a)What does Hillel mean when he says 'Do not separate from the community'?

(b)What will happen to someone who ignores Hillel's advice?

(c)He also warned against believing in one's own virtues until one's day of death. Which precedent supports this warning?

(d)What does he say about ...

1. ... judging one's fellow-Jew?

2. ... issuing vague statements?

7)

(a)When Hillel says 'Do not separate from the community', he means that - one should share in their suffering.

(b)Someone who ignores Hillel's advice - will not share in their consolation either (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(c)He also warned against believing in one's own virtues until one's day of death. The precedent that supports this warning is that - of Yochanan Kohen Gadol, who served as Kohen Gadol for eighty years before becoming a Tzedoki.

(d)And he also warns against ...

1. ... judging one's fellow-Jew - before having been in his shoes and emerging successful.

2. ... issuing vague statements - on the assumption that the listeners will make sense of them on their own 'Al Tomar Davar she'I Efshar Lishmo'a, she'Sofo Lishmo'a' (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

8)

(a)What else might the last statement mean?

(b)According to Rashi's text, the Mishnah reads 'Al Tomar "Davar she'Efshar Lishmo'a she'Sofo Lishmo'a" '. What does Hillel then mean to say?

(c)And the Mishnah ends with the warning not to say 'le'che'she'Epaneh Eshneh' (When I am free I will sit down to learn). Why not? What is the danger in saying that?

(d)What should one therefore do?

8)

(a)The last statement might also mean that - one should not verbalize one's secrets, even to oneself, assuming that nobody will hear them, because in the end "The birds ... will spread the word" (as the Pasuk says in Mishlei [see Tos. Yom-Tov]), and one's secret will become known.

(b)According to Rashi's text, the Mishnah reads 'Al Tomar "Davar she'Efshar Lishmo'a she'Sofo Lishmo'a" ', and what the Tana means to say is that - one should not put off hearing a D'var Torah now on the grounds that one will hear it later, because one has no guarantee that he will indeed hear it later.

(c)The danger in saying 'le'che'she'Epaneh Eshneh' (When I am free I will sit down to learn) is that - one may find that he will end up not being free (see end of Tos. Yom-Tov. DH 'Hillel Omer' & DH 'le'che'she'Epaneh Eshneh').

(d)One should therefore - learn first and indulge in one's other business afterwards.

Mishnah 5
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9)

(a)What is the difference between an Am ha'Aretz (an ignoramus) and a Boor?

(b)What does Hillel say about ...

1. ... a Boor? What is a 'Boor'?

2. ... an Am ha'Aretz?

3. ... a Bayshan (who is shy and self-conscious)?

4. ... a Kapdan - (who is short-tempered and who cannot tolerate his pupils asking questions)?

(c)What does he say, based on the Pasuk in Nitzavim "ve'Lo me'Eiver la'Yam hi"?

(d)And what does he mean when he advises what to do in a place where there are no 'men'?

(e)What does he suggest that one does?

9)

(a)The difference between an Am ha'Aretz (an ignoramus) and a Boor is - that whereas the former has an occupation, the latter does not.

(b)Hillel says that ...

1. ... a Boor - cannot possess Yir'as Shamayim.

2. ... an Am ha'Aretz - cannot be a Chasid (a pious pweson who goes beyond the letter of the law).

3. ... a Bayshan (who is shy and self-conscious) - cannot learn (properly).

4. ... a Kapdan (who is short-tempered and who cannot tolerate his pupils asking questions) - cannot be a competent teacher.

(c)Based on the Pasuk in the Pasuk in Nitzavim "ve'Lo me'Eiver la'Yam hi", he also says that - someone who is deeply involved in business (see Tos. Yom-Tov) will not become a Talmid-Chacham.

(d)He also gives advice about what to do in a place where there are no 'men', by which he means that - there is no-one to lead the community and to issue rulings.

(e)He suggest that in such a case - one should step forward and be a man (to attempt to fill the breach).

Mishnah 6
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10)

(a)What did Hillel remark when he once saw a skull floating on the water?

(b)Why is Reuven not considered praiseworthy for killing Shimon if the latter is Chayav Misah?

(c)Then why did Hash-m deliver Shimon specifically into the hands of Reuven?

(d)What do we learn from the sequence of events in the Mishnah?

10)

(a)When Hillel once saw a skull floating on the water, he remarked that - he was drowned because he drowned somebody else, and that in the end, those who had drowned him (see Tos. Yom-Tov 'Metayfayich Yetufun') would suffer the same fate (see Tos. Yom-Tov DH 'Al de'Ateift').

(b)Reuven is not considered praiseworthy for killing Shimon who is Chayav Misah - because it is up to Beis-Din to sentence a murderer to death, not every Tom, Dick and Harry who hates him (see Tos. Yom-Tov DH 'Yetufun')

(c)Hash-m delivered Shimon specifically into the hands of Reuven - because he deserves to receive the death-sentence for killing him (see Hagahos ha'G'ra).

(d)We learn from the sequence of events - that Hash-m always punishes 'Midah K'neged Midah' (measure for measure).

Mishnah 7
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11)

(a)What does Hillel have to say about a person who ...

1. ... eats a lot of meat (who is self-indulgent)?

2. ... amasses property?

(b)A certain Chasid would Daven to Hash-m to save him from 'Pizur ha'Nefesh'. What did he mean by that?

(c)And what does Hillel also say about someone who has ...

1. ... many wives?

2. ... maidservants?

3. ... slaves?

(d)What is the significance of the sequence of the above cases?

11)

(a)Hillel said that a person who ...

1. ... eats a lot of meat (who is self-indulgent) - will feed more worms after his death (and Chazal have already said that a worm is as painful to the flesh after death as a needle is to the flesh of a live person [see Tos. Yom-Tov]).

2. ... amasses property - will have more reason to worry (in case it is stolen from him or in case robbers kill him for his property).

(b)When a certain Chasid would Daven to Hash-m to save him from 'Pizur ha'Nefesh', he meant that - he should not have property in many places, for then he would to keep track of what he owned in each place and worry about each one.

(c)And Hillel said furthermore that someone who has ...

1. ... many wives - will have to contend with much witchcraft (as they cast spells in order to induce him to spend more time with them [and witchcraft is more rampant among women]).

2. ... maidservants - will have to contend with much adultery (as they set about seducing the male members of his household).

3. ... Avadim - will have to contend with a lot of theft (since Avadim Cana'anim are inveterate thieves.

(d)What is significant about the sequence of the above is that - it follows the natural order of events. First a person tends to indulge in excessive eating, then property, then women who require maidservants. And finally, he needs Avadim to look after his growing estate.

12)

(a)What does Hillel say further regarding someone who increases ...

1. ... Torah?

2. ... Yeshivah (meaning Talmidim)?

(b)The alternative version of this latter statement is - 'Marbeh Chochmah, Marbeh Yeshivah'. Why is that?

(c)What does he mean when he says 'Merbeh Eitzah, Marbeh Tevunah'?

(d)What does he finally say about someone who ...

1. ... gives a lot of Tzedakah?

2. ... has acquired a good name?

3. ... words of Torah?

12)

(a)Hillel says further that - someone who increases ...

1. ... Torah increases life (and he based this on the Pasuk in va'Yeilech "Ki hi Chayecha ve'Orech Yamecha").

2. ... Yeshivah (meaning Talmidim) increases wisdom (since his Talmidim sharpen him with their questions).

(b)The alternative version of this latter statement is 'Marbeh Chochmah, Marbeh Yeshivah' - because when potential Talmidim hear about his wisdom they will all come to learn from him.

(c)When he says 'Merbeh Eitzah, Marbeh Tevunah', he means that t- he more one consults with others, the more understanding one obtains.

(d)And he finally says that someone who ...

1. ... gives a lot of Tzedakah - will bring an abundance of peace.

2. ... has acquired a good name - has acquired it for himself (see Bi'urei ha'G'ra).

3. ... words of Torah - has acquired for himself life in the World to Come.

Mishnah 8
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13)

(a)Who received the oral tradition from Hillel and Shamai?

(b)What does he say about a person who has learned much Torah?

(c)Why is that?

(d)Why does the statement suit the person who said it?

(e)Three of his star Talmidim (see Tos. Yom Tov) were R. Yossi ha'Kohen, R. Shimon ben Nesanel and R. Elazar ben Arach. The best known of his Talmidim however, are the first two on the list. What are there names?

13)

(a)The one to receive the oral tradition from Hillel and Shamai was - Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai.

(b)He says that a person who has learned much Torah should not - pat himself on the back for doing so ...

(c)... because that is what he was created for (see Tos. Yom Tov).

(d)The statement suits the person who said it - because there was not a Pasuk in T'nach, a Mishnah, a Halachah or an Agadah that he had not learned.

(e)Three of his star Talmidim (see Tos. Yom Tov) were R. Yossi ha'Kohen, R. Shimon ben Nesanel and R. Elazar ben Arach. The best known of his Talmidim however, are the first two on the list - R. Eliezer (ben Hurkanus) and R. Yehoshua (ben Chananyah).

14)

(a)Listing their praises, how does Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai describe R. Eliezer?

(b)What is the simple meaning of his praise of R. Yehoshua 'Ashrei Yoladto'

(c)Others say that he was actually referring to R. Yehoshua's mother. What is the statement then referring to?

(d)She never removed his cot from the Beis-Hamedrash from the day that he was born. Why did she do that?

14)

(a)Listing their praises, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai describes R. Eliezer as - a cemented pit that does not lose a drop.

(b)The simple meaning of his praise of R. Yehoshua 'Ashrei Yoladto' is that - he had so many good qualities that everyone ho knew him would say how fortunate was the mother who bore him.

(c)Others say that he was actually referring to R. Yehoshua's mother - who during her pregnancy, would constantly make her rounds of all the Batei-Medrash in town and implore the Talmidei Chachamim who studied there to pray that the son with whom she was pregnant should be a Talmid-Chacham.

(d)She never removed his cot from the Beis Hamedrash from the day that he was born - so that nothing but Divrei Torah should ever enter his ears.

15)

(a)According to the Tana Kama, the greatest of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai's Talmidim, according to his assessment, was R. Eliezer. What did Aba Shaul say?

(b)How is it possible to reconcile the two opinions?

(c)And what did he mean when he described ...

1. ... R. Yossi ha'Kohen as 'a Chasid'?

2. ... R. Shimon ben Nesanel as a 'Yerei Chet'?

15)

(a)According to the Tana Kama, the greatest of Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai's Talmidim, according to his assessment, was R. Eliezer. Aba Shaul maintained that it was - R. Elazar ben Arach.

(b)It is possible to reconcile the two opinions - by ascribing the former to R. Eliezer's wide knowledge (Beki'us), and the latter to R. Elazar ben Arach's depth of knowledge (Charifus ve'Pilpul).

(c)When he described ...

1. ... R. Yossi ha'Kohen as 'a Chasid', he meant that - he always went beyond the letter of the law (which is what 'Chasidus' really means).

2. ... R. Shimon ben Nesanel as a Yerei Chet, he meant that - he would always steer clear of things that were otherwise permitted, for fear that of sinning. Otherwise - any Am ha'Aretz can become a Yerei Chet (as we learned earlier).

Mishnah 9
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16)

(a)What did he ask each of his Talmidim to go and find out (see Tos. Yom-Tov)?

(b)What did R. Eliezer mean when he replied 'Ayin Tovah'?

(c)R. Yehoshua said 'a good friend'. What did R. Yossi ha'Kohen say?

(d)What is the advantage of a good ...

1. ... friend over a good neighbor?

2. ... neighbor over a good friend?

16)

(a)He asked each of his Talmidim to go and find out (see Tos. Yom-Tov) - the most important Midah that will guide a person through life (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(b)R. Eliezer replied 'Ayin Tovah', by which he meant - to always be satisfied with what one has (not to seek luxuries and never to be jealous of what others have).

(c)R. Yehoshua said 'a good friend'; R. Yossi ha'Kohen - 'a good neighbor'.

(d)The advantage of a good ...

1. ... friend over a good neighbor is that - he is not afraid to rebuke friend when he sins.

2. ... neighbor over a good friend is that - he is there constantqly, both by day and by night.

17)

(a)R. Shimon ben Nesanel said 'ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad', and R. Elazar ben Arach 'Leiv Tov'. What does 'ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad' mean?

(b)On what grounds did R. Yochanan ben Zakai praise the opinion of R. Elazar ben Arach?

(c)Why is that?

17)

(a)R. Shimon ben Nesanel said 'ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad', and R. Elazar ben Arach 'Leiv Tov'. 'ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad' means - someone who foresees the consequences of his actions (causing him to desist from performing them should the anticipated losses exceed the gains).

(b)R. Yochanan ben Zakai praised the opinion of R. Elazar ben Arach - since it incorporates all the other opinions ...

(c)... because the heart governs all of one's actions.

18)

(a)He then asked them to go and find out which path a person should avoid. Why was it not obvious that they would simply say the opposite of their initial statements?

(b)What is an example of a Midah that is superlative, yet the opposite is not bad?

(c)All of them did in fact, give the exact opposite, except for R. Shimon ben Nesanel ('ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad'). What did he say?

(d)In what way can his answer be construed as the opposite of his previous one?

(e)Why in fact, did he not simply say 'Mi she'Eino Ro'eh es ha'Nolad'?

18)

(a)He then asked them to go and find out which path a person should avoid. It was not obvious that they would simply say the opposite of their initial statements - because the opposite of good is not necessarily bad.

(b)An example of a Midah that is superlative, yet the opposite is not bad is - someone who goes beyond the letter of the law (whilst not doing so is not a bad Midah).

(c)All of them did in fact, give the exact opposite, except for R. Shimon ben Nesanel ('ha'Ro'eh es ha'Nolad'), who replied - 'Someone who borrows and does not repay' ...

(d)... which in fact, can be construed as the opposite of his original statement - in that someone who does that, will soon discover that nobody wants to lend him money (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(e)He did not simply say 'Mi she'Eino Ro'eh es ha'Nolad' - because it is sometimes possible for a person who did not foresee the outcome of his actions to save himself from the consequences afterwards.

19)

(a)R. Shimon ben Nesanel quoted the Pasuk in Tehilim "Loveh Rasha ve'Lo Yeshalem, ve'Tzadik Chonen ve'Nosen". To which Tzadik and Rasha is David referring here?

(b)Whose answer did R. Yochanan ben Zakai praise this time?

19)

(a)R. Shimon ben Nesanel quoted the Pasuk in Tehilim "Loveh Rasha ve'Lo Yeshalem, ve'Tzadik Chonen ve'Nosen" - which refers to Hash-m (see Tos. Yom-Tov), who continues to 'lend' us, however lax we are in not repaying outstanding loans.

(b)This time too, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakai praised - the answer of R. Elazar ben Arach.

Mishnah 10
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20)

(a)How many statements does the Mishnah record issued by each of the above five Tana'im.

(b)R. Eliezer'e first statement was that one should treat the Kavod of one's friend with as much respect as one's own (see Tos. Yom-Tov). What was his second?

(c)What did he mean when he prescribed doing Teshuvah the day before one's death?

(d)And what warning did he issue together with the advice to warm oneself before the fire of the Chachamim?

20)

(a)The Mishnah records - three statements that each of the above five Tana'im made.

(b)R. Eliezer'e first statement was that one should treat the Kavod of one's friend with as much respect as one's own (see Tos. Yom-Tov). His second that - one should be the sort of person whose anger is not easily aroused.

(c)When he prescribed doing Teshuvah the day before one's death, he meant that - one should do Teshuvah every day, since nobody knows when he is going to die.

(d)Together with the advice to warm oneself before the fire of the Chachamim, he warned that - one should take care not to get burned by their coals (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

21)

(a)R. Eliezer compared the bite of a Talmid-Chacham to that of a fox (see Tos. Yom-Tov). What is the significance of a fox's bite?

(b)To what did he compare a Talmid-Chacham's ...

1. ... sting?

2. ... hiss (speech)?

(c)What (besides that a Talmid-Chacham punishes with his speech alone) does the latter statement mean?

(d)And to what did he compare all their words?

21)

(a)R. Eliezer compared the bite of a Talmid-Chacham to that of a fox (see Tos. Yom-Tov) - which is particularly difficult to heal - in that a fox's teeth are very thin as well as being crooked and bent (so that they pierce the flesh at an angle).

(b)He compares a Talmid-Chacham's ...

1. ... sting - to that of a scorpion.

2. ... hiss (speech) - to the hiss of a Saraf (a type of snake which burns with its hiss [Tos. Yom-Tov]).

(c)The latter statement (besides that a Talmid-Chacham punishes with his speech alone) means that - once provoked, he cannot be appeased (like the hiss of a Saraf is incurable).

(d)And all their words he compares - to burning coals (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

Mishnah 11
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22)

(a)Which two things, besides 'Ayin ha'Ra' , did R. Yehoshua say will take a person out of this world?

(b)Apart from the interpretation that we gave it in Mishnah 9, what might 'Ayin ha'Ra' mean?

(c)What does 'Yeitzer ha'Ra' refer to in this context (See Tos. Yom-Tov citing the Rambam)?

(d)'Sin'as a'Beriyos' is synonymous with Sin'as Chinam' (baseless hatred). How does the Rambam explain it?

(e)What else might it mean?

22)

(a)R. Yehoshua said 'Ayin ha'Ra' - Yeitzer ha'Ra ve'Sin'as ha'Beri'os (the evil inclination and hatred of people) take a person out of this world.

(b)'Ayin ha'Ra' (apart from the interpretation that we gave it in Mishnah 9) might also mean - giving others an Ayin ha'Ra (a jealous look, when they possess something that oneself does not have).

(c)'Yetzer ha'Ra' in this context, refers specifically - to the Yetzer ha'Ra of desire (Tos. Yom-Tov citing the Rambam).

(d)'Sin'as a'Beriyos' is synonymous with Sin'as Chinam' (baseless hatred). According to the Rambam however, it means refers to someone who shuns the company of people, preferring to live on his own (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(e)Alternatively, it refer to - a tough person who causes everyone to hate him.

Mishnah 12
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23)

(a)What did R. Yossi ha'Kohen say about other people's money?

(b)What did he mean when he said that one should prepare oneself before learning Torah?

(c)Why did he consider this necessary?

(d)And what did he mean when he added that all one's deeds should be performed 'le'Shem Shamayim'?

23)

(a)R. Yossi ha'Kohen said that - other people's money should be as precious in one's eyes as one's own (one should treat it with the same care as one does one's own money).

(b)When he said that one should prepare oneself before learning Torah, he meant that - one should take great care to remove all obstacles that detract a person whilst he is studying (see Tiferes Yisrael).

(c)And he considered this necessary - because Torah is not something that comes automatically (because one's father and grandfather were Talmidei-Chachamim). In fact, it requires much toil and self-sacrifice in order to acquire it.

(d)And when he added that all one's deeds should be performed 'le'Shem Shamayim', he meant that - even one's most mundane activities (such as eating and sleeping) should be performed in the service of Hash-m (to be strong and healthy, so as to serve Him properly). This seems to be synonymous with the Pasuk in Mishlei "be'Chol Derachecha De'eihu".

Mishnah 13
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24)

(a)What did R. Shimon ben Nesanel mean when he said that one should take care when reciting the Sh'ma and the Amidah?

(b)And what did he say about Davenning?

(c)How did he base this on the Pasuk in Yo'el "ki Chanun ve'Rachum Hu Erech Apayim ve'Rav Chesed ve'Nicham al ha'Ra'ah")? What did he extrapolate from there?

(d)When he said 'Al T'hi Rasha bi'fenei Atzmecha', he may have meant that one should not do things today that one is bound to regret tomorrow (and brand oneself a Rasha). How does the Rambam interpret it?

(e)What else might R. Shimon ben Nesanel have meant?

24)

(a)When R. Shimon ben Nesanel said that one should take care when reciting the Sh'ma and the Amidah, he meant that - one should be careful to Daven them within the prescribed time (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(b)He also said that - one should Daven in a meaningful way (not by rote).

(c)He based this on the Pasuk in Yo'el "ki Chanun ve'Rachum Hu Erech Apayim ve'Rav Chesed ve'Nicham al ha'Ra'ah"), which implies that - Hash-m responds favorably to prayer only when it is offered in the form of a supplication (from the heart).

(d)When he said 'Al T'hi Rasha bi'fenei Atzmecha', he may have meant that one should not do things today that one is bound to regret tomorrow (and brand oneself a Rasha). The Rambam interprets it to mean that - one should not consider oneself a Rasha, as that leads a person to behave like one.

(e)R. Shimon ben Nesanel might also have meant that - one should not be a Rasha in that one separates from the community and lives on one's own.

Mishnah 14
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25)

(a)What did R. Elazar (ben Arach) mean when he said 'Hevei Shakud Lilmod Torah'?

(b)He also said that one should know how to answer an Apikores (see Tos. Yom-Tov). What is the definition of an Apikores?

(c)What did he mean when he added 'Da Lifnei Mi Atah Ameil'?

(d)And what was his third piece of advice?

25)

(a)R. Elazar (ben Arach) said 'Hevei Shakud Lilmod Torah', by which he meant that - one should learn Torah diligently.

(b)He also said that one should know how to answer an Apikores (see Tos. Yom-Tov) - someone who despises Torah (or those who learn it [Tos. Yom-Tov]), or oneself, by treating them like Hefker (which is the root of the word).

(c)When he added 'Da Lifnei Mi Atah Ameil', he meant that - when answering an Apikores, one should reinforce one's Emunah so as not to be swayed by him.

(d)His third piece of advice was - Hash-m can be relied upon to pay full reward for one's good deeds (see Tos. Yom-Tov & Tiferes Yisrael).

Mishnah 15
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26)

(a)R. Tarfon (who was not one of R. Yochanan ben Zakai's Talmidim) said 'ha'Yom Katzer, ve'ha'Melachah Merubeh, ve'ha'Po'alim Atzeilim, ve'ha'Sachar Harbeh'. What did he add to that?

(b)What does all this mean?

26)

(a)R. Tarfon (who was not one of R. Yochanan ben Zakai) said 'ha'Yom Katzer, ve'ha'Melachah Merubeh, ve'ha'Po'alim Atzeilim, ve'ha'Sachar Harbeh' - 'u'Ba'al ha'Bayis Dochek'.

(b)This means - that our life in this world is short, yet the Torah is so vast. We are lazy and do not tudy it diligently despite the fact that there is much reward awaiting us if we apply ourselves and Hash-m demands that we learn Torah day and night.

Mishnah 16
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27)

(a)R. Tarfon also said that the work is not ours to finish. Why is that a good thing?

(b)What did he say to counter that?

(c)And what did he say about someone who learns a lot of Torah?

(d)And finally, he said, Hash-m faithfully remunerates us for our work. How does he go on to reconcile this with the fact that many people do not seem to receive their wages (see Tiferfes Yisrael).

27)

(a)R. Tarfon also said that the work is not ours to finish. That is a good thing - because it means that - we will be rewarded for whatever we learn, whether we finish what we are learning or not.

(b)On the other hand, he countered - we are not free to stop learning Torah whenever we feel like it.

(c)He also said that someone who learns a lot of Torah - will receive a lot of reward (see Tos. Yom-Tov).

(d)And finally, he said, Hash-m faithfully remunerates us for our work. Nevertheless, many people do not seem to receive their wages - because in this world, Tzadikim are punished for their sins, so as to purify them for the World to Come; whereas the reward for their good deeds is only due in the World to Come.

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