MODELS FOR TESHUVAH
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Yisrael made the golden calf (Rashi - because Hash-m made the temptation overwhelming) in order to teach sinners that repentance is always possible;
"Levavam Zeh Lahem Leyir'ah Osi" (they were full of fear of Hash-m, they would not have sinned on their own).
Version #1 - Rashi - (R. Yochanan): David was not apt to sin with Bas Sheva (had Hash-m not made such an overwhelming temptation), nor were Yisrael apt to make the calf. It says "v'Libi Chalal b'Kirbi (the evil inclination has no power in me)", and "Levavam... Leyirah Osi";
(Hash-m caused that) David sinned to teach that repentance of an individual is always possible. Yisrael sinned to teach that repentance of a congregation is always possible.
It was necessary for Hash-m to induce both of these sins.
Version #2 - Tosfos - (R. Yochanan): David and Yisrael were great Tzadikim. It was not proper that the Torah record their sins) - "v'Libi...", "Levavam...";
David sin was recorded to teach that repentance of an individual is always possible. Yisrael's sin was to teach that repentance of a congregation is always possible.
It was necessary for both of these sins to be recorded.
From David's sin, we would not know that repentance can help a congregation, for their sin becomes known and there is Chilul Hash-m;
From the calf, we would not know that repentance can help an individual. One might have thought that it helps only a congregation for (collectively) it has more merits (Bach's text).
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): "David... ha'Gever Hukam Al" - he is the one who raised the Oleh (burnt offering; Iyun Yakov - the Ol (yoke)) of repentance.
(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): "V'Halach Lefanecha Tzidkecha" - anyone who does a Mitzvah in this world, it goes in front of him in the world to come;
"Yilafesu Orechos Darkam" - anyone who does a sin in this world, it envelops him and leads him to the day of judgment.
(R. Elazar): It is tied to him like a dog;
"V'Lo Shama Eleha Lishkav Etzlah Lihyos Imah" - Yosef did not heed Potifar's wife to lie with her, lest he be with her in the world to come.
THE LEVEL YISRAEL ATTAINED AT SINAI
(Reish Lakish): Had our ancestors not made the calf, we would not be here!
They would have been like angels (that do not reproduce) - "Ani Amarti Elohim Atem... (but because you sinned) k'Adam Temusun." (Angels are called Elohim.)
Questions: How can we say that had they not sinned, they would not have had children?!
Question #1: Hash-m commanded "Peru u'Rvu"!
Answer: That would have applied only until the Torah was given on Sinai.
Question #2: After receiving the Torah, we were told "Shuvu Lachem l'Ohaleichem (return to your (wives in your) tents"!
Answer: That was to enjoy the Mitzvah of relations (but it would not lead to children).
Question #3: Had Yisrael continued to fear Hash-m like at Sinai, "Yitav Lahem v'Livneihem"!
Answer: That refers to the children they already had.
Question #4: Reish Lakish taught that "Zeh Sefer Toldos Adam" teaches that Hash-m showed Adam the leaders and Chachamim of every generation;
Adam delighted in the Torah of R. Akiva, but was saddened by his death - "v'Li Mah Yokeru Re'echa Kel";
(Rav Asi): Mashi'ach will not come until all the souls in (a storehouse called) Guf come to the world - "Ru'ach mi'Lefanai Ya'atof u'Nshamos Ani Asisi."
Answer: Reish Lakish meant that had they not sinned, we would be as if we were not here (we would have no eminence, for they would still be alive).
Question: This implies that had they not made the calf, they would never have died;
If so, the Parshiyos of Yibum and inheritance would not apply!
Answer: They were given on condition (that they will sin and become mortal).
Question: Are Parshiyos of the Torah written on condition?!
(Reish Lakish): "Yom ha'Shishi" - Hash-m created the world on condition that Yisrael will accept His Torah on the sixth of Sivan. If they will not, the world will revert to emptiness.
Question (Beraisa #1): "Mi Yiten v'Hayah Levavam Zeh" - we cannot say that (had they continued to fear Hash-m), He would have abolished death, for death was already decreed;
Rather, Yisrael accepted the Torah in order that the nations would not rule over them - "Lema'an Yitav Lahem v'Livneihem l'Olam"!
Answer: Tana'im argue about whether or not they became immortal (until they made the calf). Reish Lakish holds like R. Yosi;
(Beraisa - R. Yosi): Yisrael accepted the Torah so that the angel of death would not rule over them - "Ani Amarti Elohim Atem... (but because you sinned) k'Adam Temusun."
Question: It says "Lema'an Yitav Lahem" (it will be good for them), but it does not say that they will not die!
Answer: Not dying is the ultimate good!
Question: How does the Tana of Beraisa #1 expound "... Achen k'Adam Temusun"?
Answer: 'Misah' refers to poverty.
Four types of people are considered dead - one who is poor, blind, a Metzora, or has no children.
We learn a poor person from "Mesu Kol ha'Anashim." This refers to Dasan and Aviram;
They did not really die. Rather they lost their wealth, so they are called dead.
We learn a blind person from "b'Machashakim Hoshivani k'Mesei Olam";
We learn a Metzora from "Al Na Sehi (Miryam) ka'Mes";
We learn a childless person from "Havah Li Vanim v'Im Ayin Mesah Anochi."
(Beraisa): "Im b'Chukosai Telechu" is a request - "Lu Ami Shome'a Li."
(Beraisa): "Mi Yiten v'Hayah Levavam Zeh Lahem" - Moshe rebuked Yisrael 'you are ingrates, the sons of an ingrate. You should have asked Hash-m to help you fear Him (but you did not want to feel indebted to Him);'
They are ingrates (they complained that the manna contains no waste, which was a great benefit for them) - "v'Nafshenu Katzah ba'Lechem ha'Kelokel";
They descend from an ingrate (Adam, who did not appreciate the woman given to him) - "ha'Ishah Asher Nasatah... Nasnah Li... va'Ochel."
Version #1 (Rashi): Moshe did not realize (that Hash-m wanted them to ask Him to help) until the end of the 40 years in the wilderness - "after 40 years... Nosan Lachem Lev La'da'as";
(Rabah): This teaches that a Talmid (Moshe) does not understand the full intention of his Rebbi until 40 years.
Version #2 (Ri): Moshe (initially assumed that they did not realize that Hash-m wanted them to ask, so he) did not rebuke them until the end of the 40 years (then, surely they knew, but did not ask because they we ingrates) - "after 40 years... Nosan Lachem Lev La'da'as";
(Rabah): This teaches that a Talmid does not understand the full intention of his Rebbi until 40 years. (end of Version #2)
(R. Yochanan): "Ashreichem Zore'ei Al Kol Mayim Meshalechei Regel ha'Shor veha'Chamor" - Happy are Yisrael! When they engage in Torah and Chesed, their Yetzer ha'Ra (evil inclination) is delivered into their hands, but they are not delivered into their Yetzer;
'Zeriyah' refers to Tzedakah. "Mayim" refers to Torah. (Rashi - "Meshalechei Regel" refers to casting off the Yetzer ha'Ra.) Also "ha'Shor veha'Chamor" refer to Torah;
(Tana d'Vei Eliyahu): One should bear the yoke of Torah like an ox, and make himself like a donkey to bear the burden.
THE TIME OF PREPARATION FOR THE FESTIVAL
(Mishnah): Three days before Nochri festivals, one may not buy from or sell to them...
Question: Are we really concerned lest one prepares for the festival so far in advance (Rashi - that he will thank his idolatry; R. Tam - that we suspect that he buys the animal for it)?!
(Mishnah): There are four days in the year on which (most animals bought are for slaughter that same day, so) one who sells an animal must tell the buyer if he already sold the mother or child that same day (lest both will be slaughtered that day, and the buyer transgress). They are the days preceding each of these Yomim Tovim: Shemini Atzeres, Pesach, Shavu'os, and Rosh ha'Shanah. (He need not tell if he sold the mother in the last three days, for people do not prepare for festivals so far in advance!)
R. Yosi ha'Galili says, in Galil, the same applies to Erev Yom Kipur.
Answer: One day suffices to buy an animal to be eaten. Three days are needed to prepare a Korban.
Question: Three days do not suffice to prepare a Korban!
(Mishnah): We start teaching laws of Pesach 30 days before Pesach;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, we start two weeks before.
Answer: Even tiny blemishes, such as a film covering the eye disqualify a Korban for a Yisrael, so more time is needed;
A Nochri may offer (to Hash-m on a private altar; their idolatrous rites are similar) a blemished animal, as long as it is not missing a limb. Therefore, three days suffice.
Question (R. Elazar): What is the source that a Nochri may not offer an animal missing a limb?
Answer (R. Elazar): "Umi'Kol ha'Chai" - its limbs must be Chayim (intact).
Question: That verse is needed to exclude a Treifah!
Answer: We exclude a Treifah from "Lechayos Zera."
Question: This is like the opinion that a Treifah cannot have children;
According to the opinion that a Treifah can have children, how can we answer?
Answer: "Itach" - the animals should resemble you (Noach, who was not (visibly) a Treifah).