More Discussions for this daf
1. Moshe's Aramaic reply to Pinchas 2. Yefas To'ar as special case of living with a Nochris 3. Status of Pinchas as a Kohen
4. Spear in the Beis Midrash 5. כמה הערות באגדתא

Raffi asks:

At the bottom of 82a the gemara learns that we don't take weapons into a beis medrash because you see that Pinchas had to take one when he went out.

How can you bring a proof from such an incident? Would you have expected Pinchas to have a spear on him? The simple understanding would be that he went to get a spear because he didn't have one, not because there is an issur on bringing it into the beis medrash! How can the gemara make a proof like this?



Raffi, Passaic, NJ, USA

The Kollel replies:

Dear Raffi,

The Torah Temimah asks your question (Bamidbar 25:7), but he does not explain the words of Rashi.

I think that the word "va'Yikach" can be read here with a different placement -- "v'Romach Lakach b'Yado" -- "He got up from the Eidah and took a spear in his hand." Rashi means that the word "va'Yikach" inserted after "Mitoch ha'Edah" shows that "to take" the spear is permissible only after leaving the Beis ha'Midrash.

All the best,

Reuven Weiner

Raffi asks further:

Yes, but the Torah Temimah's answer doesn't much solve the problem. He says that the fact that Pinchas needed to disguise his spear indicates that it was not commonplace to carry it around. But that STILL doesn't prove it's forbidden to carry it into a beis midrash!

As far as the different reading, I am totally lost here. Which Rashi? Where are you seeing this?

Thanks so much! Raffi

The Kollel responds:

Dear Raffi,

I am not coming to explain the Torah Temimah, but to suggest a different answer:

The Torah could have said, "He got up from the Edah and a spear in his hand," but instead adds, "He got up from the Edah and took (va'Yikach) a spear in his hand," to point out that the taking itself had to be after leaving the Edah -- i.e. the Sanhedrin / Beis ha'Midrash.

All the best,

Reuven Weiner

Raffi asks further:

Yes, but that's not a proof that it's prohibited to heave a spear in his hand. Most people just don't carry spears into the beis midrash. Of course he took it after he left. Even if it hadn't said vayikach, it would be very bizarre to assume he had a spear in the beis midrash with him. the normal assumption would be that he left the beis midrash and went and got one.

If we were talking about a cup of coffee, perhaps that would indicate a prohibition on drinking in the beis midrash, because the the fact that he didn't have one would be indicative. But there's no reason to view it in such a way in the case of a spear!

Thanks very much, Raffi

The Kollel replies:

(a) But that is exactly Rabbi Weiner's point, Raffi. Since it would be bizarre to assume that the spear was in Pinchas' hand while he stood in the Beis Midrash, it should go without saying that he took it only upon leaving. So why did the Torah find it necessary to *emphasize* that Pinchas only took the spear after leaving the Beis Midrash?

The Torah must be trying to teach us a Halachic point; that one should *never* take weapons into the Beis Midrash. Even when it is convenient to take weapons there, one should leave them behind until exiting the Beis Midrash.

I must admit, though, that this does not fit easily into the words of Rashi. Rashi writes "We infer from here that he did not have a spear in his hand until now." According to what we have written, Rashi should have said, "We infer from here that he *was not allowed* to have a spear in his hand until now."

(b) I would like to suggest a different approach, which is more consistent with the words of Rashi.

It is true that you would not expect a person to bring a spear into the Beis Midrash if he came to discuss a question of whether one my use solar water-heaters on Shabbos, or the like.

But that is not what Pinchas came to discuss. He came to ask whether he had permission to kill the immoral Nasi and his Midianite prostitute who were causing the Jews to sin and the plague to continue. And if he was given permission to kill them, he would only have a few seconds to do so (because Kana'im Pog'in Bo only applies under very specific conditions, as the Gemara explains).

In such a case, it would be more than natural for him to bring his spear in hand to the Beis Midrash, so that he could execute the ruling (and the sinner) immediately upon receiving permission from the Sanhedrin, should they permit him to do so.

Best wishes,

Mordecai Kornfeld

Kollel Iyun Hadaf

Naftoli asks:

I thought the Halacha was that if a Kanoe ASKS then the answer has to be NO!!! (isn't that the definition of a Kanoe-one that acts on impulse?)

Kozbe certainly was not in the Bais medrash. So if Pinchas asked a Sheila.,went out and got his spear and then impaled them, then he would be a rotzeach ?!


The Kollel replies:

(a) Even a Kana'i must first confirm that he is not transgressing any Torah prohibitions. He may not act upon his convictions and kill someone - and then ask if what he did was OK!

Thus, even if a person learned that the law is Kana'im Pog'im Bo, he may ask whether or not that law applies in a particular case. And the answer must be to the point! That was the case of Pinchas' question, as the Gemara there explains.

(b) Even if one does not know the Halachah of Kana'im Pog'im Bo, I am not sure that Beis Din will tell him "it is prohibited to kill them."

Kana'im Pog'im Bo means 1. the Kana'i must kill them during the act, and not afterwards, 2. and that he is not obligated to kill them, but allowed to kill them. It does not mean that Beis Din tries to conceal this Halachah from those who do not know it.

Best regards, Mordecai Kornfeld

The Kollel adds:

Let me clarify what I wrote:

(a) In my reply, I suggested that Pinchas came to the Sanhedrin to ask if he may kill Zimri. The Gemara actually discusses whether or not Pinchas asked Moshe permission to kill Zimri. According to Rav, even though Pinchas had learned from Moshe the law of Kana'im Pog'im Bo, he asked Moshe out of respect so as not to be a "Moreh Halachah Bifnei Rabo." This conforms to my suggestion that Pinchas came to Beis Din to confirm the Halachah.

Although Shmuel and Rebbi Yitzchak argue that Pinchas did not feel it necessary to ask Moshe Rabeinu for permission, they may agree that he asked a lesser Beis Din to confirm the Halachah. The verse says that Pinchas arose "Mitoch ha'Edah" - from amidst the Sanhedrin (Rashi), which can either mean that he was himself part of Sanhedrin - or that he came to them to ask the Halachah. (According to the opinions that Pinchas was considered a Kohen before killing Zimri, Zevachim 101b, he was probably needed in the Mishkan and not available to be part of Sanhedrin.)

(b) Naftuli's question now applies to Rav's opinion in the Gemara; how could Moshe have told Pinchas to kill Zimri? (The Gemara implies that Moshe not only told Pinchas that he is correct, but actually encouraged him to kill Zimri.)

The Chidushei ha'Ran there asks your question. His first answer is similar to what I wrote in my first answer; Moshe did not tell Pinchas to kill Zimri, but simply confirmed that Kana'im were allowed to do so. His second answer is that this was indeed an exception to the rule of Ein Morin Ken, due to the circumstances.

(c) Regarding whether Beis Din will conceal the Halachah of Kana'im Pog'in Bo from those who do not know it on their own - it indeed seems from the words of Rashi here (DH Amar Rav Chisda) that Beis Din will tell people that one is *not* allowed to kill the sinners. "Pog'in Bo" is only permitted for one who has learned the Halachah on his own. (This is indeed the way Rashi translates "Halachah v'Ein Morin Ken" when it appears elsewhere in Shas - Ta'anis 26b etc.)

This is not like I wrote in part (b) of my answer.

Best regards, Mordecai Kornfeld