More Discussions for this daf
1. The end of Maseches Ta'anis 2. Offensive dance? 3. Yefefiyos
4. How Many Died in the Midbar each day? 5. Yefefiyos

Efraim Goldstein asked:

I have heard siyumim in this mesechta many times. All speakers talk about the Soidos Hatorah found in the circle as well as the Tzadikim pointing their fingers at the center ....however, I am still searching for a more satisfying pshat

I would appreciate any insights and thoughts on this chazal as well as the connection to the previous piece with 15 of Av thanks for your efforts and work

The Kollel replies:

The Gemara's description of the circle of the Tzadikim pointing to the Shechinah in the center teaches that every Tzadik has his own unique Derech in Avodas Hash-m, which differs from the Derech of the other Tzadik (and sometimes even appears to be the exact opposite). Every person in the circle is facing a slightly different direction -- and those at opposite sides are facing opposite directions -- but they are all equidistant from the center. That is to say, all of their different Derachim in serving Hash-m are acceptable as long as they revolve around Kidush Shem Shamayim. In the future, Hash-m will reveal that the approaches of the different Tzadikim were all l'Shem Shamayim, and even though they followed different approaches from one another, they were all doing the Ratzon of Hash-m. (Rav Leibele Eiger in TORAS CHESED, quoting his grandfather Hagaon Rav Akiva Eiger)

(Rav Yakov D. Homnick adds in his explanation of this Gemara that not only are the unique Derachim of the Tzadikim acceptable, but they are necessary , for if any one Tzadik does not fulfill his particular type of service of Hash-m, the "circle" around Hash-m will be incomplete.)

The connection between this and the previous Sugya that discusses the Fifteenth of Av is that the celebration of the Fifteenth of Av represents the Simchah of the future Geulah and the building of the third Beis ha'Mikdash (see Insights). This will come about through the Achdus of the Jewish people, as the Midrash explains regarding the verse, "Vayehi b'Yeshurun Melech b'Hisasef Roshei Am, Yachad Shivtei Yisrael " -- "He is King in Yeshurun when the leaders of the people gather themselves together , when the tribes of Yisrael are united" (Devarim 33:5). The Fifteenth of Av was always a day celebrating Achdus (the Shevatim became permitted to marry into one another, the tribe of Binyamin was allowed back into the nation, etc.), and that is why the Mishnah says that "anyone who does not know his tribe (i.e. the day on which he is supposed to bring the Etzim for the Mizbe'ach)" brings the Etzim on the Fifteenth of Av. That is also why that day was designated for making Shiduchim.

For this reason we find that even though the Gemara (Megilah 13a) says that the greatest source of jealousy for a woman is the beauty of another woman, on the Fifteenth of Av each woman lent another their garment, creating a tremendous atmosphere of Achdus. (Rav Homnick demonstrates taht what the young women said during their dance reflects Achdus as well; when each person recognizes her own unique strengths and approach to serving Hash-m, and they all serve Hash-m together in their unique ways, that creates Achdus, just as the circle of the Tzadikim shows.)

For this reason the Masechta concludes with the circle of Tzadikim, showing how to unite the nation and thus to merit the final Geulah and return of the Beis ha'Mikdash that was destroyed on Tisha b'Av -- may we merit to see it with our own eyes, Bimherah Biyameinu.

M. Kornfeld