hebrew
1)

What are the implications of "ve'Atah Sechezeh"?

1.

Rashi: It means with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh. 1

2.

Seforno: Yisro was telling Moshe that, although the adjudication could be performed by the judges,, choosing the judges is something that only he could perform.


1

The Mechilta writes similarly

2)

What is the definition of "Anshei Chayil

1.

Rashi: Men of wealth, who need not flatter (they do not need others' money), men of integrity, on whose word one can rely, and to whom one therefore listens and - who are impervious to threat.

2.

Ramban #1, #2: Men who are capable of leading large groups of people or who are strong and competent 1 incorporating the other three Midos - men who are G-d-fearing, who love the truth and who detest extortion (dishonesty). 2

3.

Rashbam: Men who are wealthy and powerful and who are not afraid of anybody, men of integrity and men who detest bribery and what is stolen. 3

4.

Seforno: With four levels (incorporating "Yir'ei Elokim" and "Son'ei Batza") of judges, 4 litigants who were not satisfied with the first, would go to the second, from the second to the third and from the third to the fourth - with the result that very few litigants would need to come to Moshe, thereby lightening his burden. 5

5.

Mechilta: "Anshei Chayil Men who are trustworthy


1

See Ramban's elaborate definition of the word "Chayil".

2

And obviously, men who are wise and learned, which went without saying (Ramban).

3

See for example, Chavakuk, 2:9, Bereishis 37:26 (Rashbam).

4

In Pasuk 25, the Seforno translates "Anshei Chayil" as 'Charutzim' (knowledgeable and diligent).

5

Which, as the Torah indicates in the next Pasuk, was the main objective of Yisro's advice.

6

Mechilta: And Yir'ei Elokim" are men who will carry out compromise in Din.

3)

What is the meaning of "Son'ei Batza"?

1.

Rashi (citing Bava Basra 58b): Men who 'hate' their own money in Din. 1 If they take money from him, he is not a [proper] judge. 2

2.

Ramban #1 (citing R. Yehoshua in the Mechilta) and Targum Yonasan: They are loath to accept bribery. 3

3.

Ramban #2 (citing R. Eliezer in the Mechilta): They hate gain - even their own money 4 . That is, they have no interest in much wealth. 5

4.

Ramban #3 (citing Onkelos): They are loath to accept money 6 - even in the form of a gift or a loan. 7

5.

Ramban #5: Refer to 18:21:2:2.

6.

Mechilta: "Anshei Emes"


1

Ramban: This refers to property that is truly his, but others could take it in Din - he does not have a proof that he bought it. (Such a person hands it over voluntarily). The Mechilta implies not like this. Moshav Zekenim, Rosh

4)

Why does the Torah say "Son'ei Batza", and not just 'Einam Mekablim Shochad'?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: Because a Dayan who would like to take bribery 1 but desists because the Torah commands him to, is not a Dayan. 2


1

Refer to 18:21:3:4.

2

Oznyim la'Torah: As opposed to Chazal (See Rashi in Vayikra, 20:26), who say that a person should say "I would love to eat Chazir, but what can I do, the Torah prohibits it!'

5)

Why does the Torah begin the highest figure and progresses downwards - officers of a thousand to officers of ten?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan 1 (on Pasuk 25): Because as far as the number of officers is concerned, it begins from the least and progresses upwards - from six hundred officers of a thousand, six thousand officers of a hundred, twelve thousand officers of fifty and sixty thousand officers of ten. 2


1

See Peirush Yonasan there.

2

Sanhedrin, 18a): It transpires that there were seventy-eight thousand six hundred officers all in all.

6)

Why are so many judges (almost ten percent of the population) required to judge the people?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: Let alone the generation of Moshe


1

See Oznayim la'Torah for more detains.

7)

What is the significance of the fact that Yisro listed four categories of people and four groups of judges?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: It seems that the twolists are interconnected


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Like the officers of ten in Egypt.

2

Oznayim la'Torah: It transpires that the first two are law-oficers and the last two, judges

8)

It already says "Yir'ei Elokim." Surely they are truthful

1.

Moshav Zekenim: They get the correct Halachah. Beis Shamai and Abaye were Yir'ei Elokim, but [usually] the Halachah is not like them against Beis Hillel and it is like Rava against Abaye.

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

9)

Rashi writes that there were 600 officers of 1000, 6000 officers of 100, 12,000 officers of 50. This adds to 18,600; less than 600,000 Yisraelim remained. Why were there 60,000 officers of 10?

1.

Da'as Zekenim #1: First they appointed 60,000 officers of 10, and from the 60,000 they choose 12,000 officers of 50, and from them 6000 officers of 100, and from them 600 officers of 1000. 1 2., Hadar Zekenim #1, Riva: The judges were not among the count of 600,000, for they were above 60 years old (or from Shevet Levi - Moshav Zekenim citing R. Yeshayah). Da'as Zekenim #2


1

Da'as Zekenim, Riva: It says in Sanhedrin (18a) that there were 78,600 officers! This counts titles (i.e. a single judge can be counted up to four times, of he was a judge over 1000, 100, 50 and 10).

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