hebrew
1)

Why did Hashem need to "go down" to see what was going on in Sedom?

1.

Rashi #1: To teach the Dayanim not to issue rulings in capital cases before seeing (whatever needs to be seen).

2.

Rashi #2 and Targum Yonasan: What Hashem meant was that that He needed to delve into what their behavior will lead to 1 (to examine whether they were truly deserving of extinction or whether they would perhaps relent and receive a smaller punishment 2 ).

3.

Seforno: To delve into their behavior, to determine the extent of their wickedness, and how low they would sink.

4.

Lev Eliyahu (Bereishis p.57): This teaches that Hashem does not run the world according to His knowledge (that Avraham's Tefilah will not help, for there are not even 10 Tzadikim), rather, through cause and effect. He gave to Avraham a chance to pray for them.


1

Presumably this too, was a lesson for the Dayanim, to do everything in their power to avoid the death-sentence, even when it seems obvious that the defendant is guilty.

2

Or get off without punishment (Targum Yonasan).

2)

Which cries was Hashem referring to?

1.

Rashi and Ramban (on Pasuk 20): the cries of the oppressed that emanated from the entire city.

2.

Rashi #2, Hadar Zekenim and Targum Yonasan: The cries of a girl (Pleitis, the daughter of Lot) whom they killed in a most cruel manner for giving a poor man some food.

3.

Seforno: What Hashem meant was that He would test them to see whether they would put their inherent evil into practice when Lot would attempt to rescue the angels from their hands -so that the world would know that their punishment was well-deserved.

3)

What did Hashem mean when He said "Asu Kalah" and " ... if not, I will know"?

1.

Rashi and Rashbam: If they continue to rebel (against Hashem [Rashi]); If they did indeed behave in this way (Rashbam), Hashem will destroy them. 1 Otherwise, He will not destroy them, but commute their sentence to Yisurin (suffering).

2.

Ramban (on Pasuk 20): He will see for Himself if they all sinned, and if not, He will 'visit their sin with a staff and their iniquity with plagues". 2

3.

Seforno: He meant that the following incident will demonstrate how ... they would all be guilty; not one person in Sedom would stand up for Lot! 3

4.

Targum Yonasan (See 18:21:2:2.), but if they have done Teshuvah, they will be meritorious; it will be as if I did not know about their sins, and they will not be punished.

5.

Moshav Zekenim: If they have no merit, I will finish them off. If not, I will afflict them.


1

The line in between 'Asu" and "Kalah" indicates that there is a break between the two words (Rashbam)

2

Hashem was merely indicating that the final judgment had not yet been passed (in which case there was room for Teshuvah and Tefilah).

3

As the Pasuk will later testify (See Bereishis 19:4). The Seforno does not offer an explanation to the latter phrase. Presumably, he will explain it like the Ramban (Refer to 18:21:3:2).

4)

Why didn't Hashem send a prophet to rebuke Sedom before destroying them, like He did for Ninveh?

1.

Moshav Zekenim: He did! Lot told the people that the men (angels) were sent to rebuke us; they said "va'Yishpot Shafot" (we do not want this).

5)

רש"י: למד לדיינים שלא יפסקו דיני נפשות אלא בראיה: כיצד יש ללמוד מכאן לדיינים?

1.

גור אריה: הוא יתברך יודע הכל בלא ראיה, ולכן זה בא ללמד לדיינים שיפסקו רק בראיה גמורה.

6)

רש"י: דבר אחר ארדה נא לסוף מעשיהם: בפרוש הראשון הסביר רש"י מהו "ואראה" ואילו בפרוש זה הסביר רש"י רק את "ארדה נא"?

1.

גור אריה: פשוט שראייה יכולה להתפרש על ראייה שכלית, אלא שלפרוש הראשון שמדובר על ירידה גמורה הוזקק לפרש שמדובר כאן גם על ראייה גמורה, אבל לפרוש השני מדובר על ירידה וראייה שכלית- אדקדק במעשיהם.

7)

רש"י: הכצעקתה - של מדינה: מה בא רש"י לחדש?

1.

גור אריה: רש"י מחדש שכתוב "צעקתה" בלשון יחיד כי זה מורה על כל המדינה שבה חמישה כרכים.

8)

רש"י: ואם עומדים במרדם כלה אני עושה בהם: למה הוסיף רש"י "ואם עומדים במרדם"?

1.

גור אריה: בודאי חטאו ככתוב "זעקת סדום...רבה", ומהי שאלת "הכצעקתה הבאה אלי"? אלא לראות "אם עומדים במרדם" והעשיה שלהם היא עשיה גמורה כי אינם שבים, וזהו "עשו".

9)

רש"י: ולפיכך יש הפסק נקודת פסיק בין עשו לכלה, כדי להפריד תיבה מחברתה: ממה בא רש"י להוציא?

1.

גור אריה: אל תפרש שאנשי סדום עשו כלה, אלא אם הם עשו, אז אעשה בהם כלה.

10)

רש"י: צעקת ריבה אחת שהרגוה מיתה משונה על שנתנה מזון לעני: במה משתנה פירוש הפסוק לפי המדרש?

1.

גור אריה: לדבריהם "כצעקתה" נאמר בלשון יחיד כי זה צעקת הריבה.

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