[13a - 50 lines; 13b - 49 lines]

1)[line 7]"איתי גוברין יהודאין""ISAI GUVRIN YEHUDA'IN..." - "There are certain Jews [whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not regarded you; they serve not your gods, nor worship the golden image that you have set up.]" (Daniel 3:12) (CHANANYAH, MISHA'EL AND AZARYAH REFUSE TO BOW DOWN TO THE IDOL)

(a)Nevuchadnetzar constructed a gigantic golden image and issued orders for all peoples of all nationalities to prostrate themselves before it at the moment the horn began to blow and the orchestra began to play. Whoever did not comply, he warned, would be thrown into a fiery furnace built specially for the occasion.

(b)At the given signal the huge crowd complied and fell on their faces - everyone, that is, except for Chananyah, Misha'el, and Azaryah (whom Nevuchdnetzar referred to as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego).

(c)Some Babylonians - who had been waiting for just such an opportunity - reported the three Jews to Nevuchadnetzar. Although Daniel also had not prostrated himself before the image, the Babylonians knew that Nevuchadnetzar considered Daniel a god (after Daniel's interpretation of his dream), and nobody expected one god to prostrate himself before another god, and thus they deliberately excluded him from their report.

(d)Chananyah, Misha'el, and Azaryah informed Nevuchadnetzar that they refused to prostrate themselves before his god, and that their G-d was capable of saving them from the fiery furnace. The infuriated king ordered that the furnace be heated sevenfold.

(e)The Gemara in Sanhedrin (93b) relates that after the three Tzadikim were miraculously saved (and those who had heated the furnace, together with many other dignitaries, were burned in their place), the following episode occurred. The nations of the world - who had just witnessed the series of incredible miracles - expressed amazement at the fact that with such a G-d protecting them, the Jewish people had the nerve to prostrate themselves before Nevuchadnetzar's graven image. The Jewish people responded contritely, "To you belongs righteousness, whilse to us belongs shamefacedness."

(f)See Background to Sanhedrin 92:89.

2)[line 12]"ותרד בת פרעה לרחץ על היאר""VA'TERED BAS PAR'OH LI'RECHOTZ AL HA'YE'OR" - "And the daughter of Pharaoh descended to bathe in the river, [and her maidens walked along the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and she sent her maidservant and she took it.]" (Shemos 2:5). (BISYAH, DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH)

(a)The Gemara derives from this verse that Bisyah (the daughter of Pharaoh) rejected the idolatry of her father's home and became a Jew. How does the Gemara derive this from the verse, which seems to relate merely that she entered the water to bathe?

(b)The Maharsha in Sotah (13a) ascribes it to the fact that the Torah uses the wording, "Al ha'Ye'or," instead of "b'Soch ha'Ye'or," which would have meant that she went down to bathe.

(c)The Torah Temimah agrees with the Maharsha's explanation, and he adds a second one. He cites Targum Onkelus and the commentaries in Parshas Miketz who explain that the Egyptians could not eat together with the Jews because they considered the latter's custom to eat lamb (which the Egyptians worshipped) abhorrent. Since the Egyptians also worshipped the Nile River, the daughter of Pharaoh never would have bathed in the river if she had not rejected the idolatrous practice of her father.

3)[line 18]כסוכהK'SUKAH- similar to a Sukah; like a protective covering

4)[line 18]שהזניח עונותיהן של ישראלSHE'HIZNI'ACH AVONOSEIHEN SHEL YISRAEL- he cleansed the sins of Israel

5)[line 29]ירקרוקתYERAKROKES- with a pale complexion. ("Yarok" in Hebrew means both "green" and "yellowish," TOSFOS Sukah 31b DH ha'Yarok. In this case it appears to mean the latter.)

6)[line 37]קדלי דחזיריKADLEI D'CHAZIREI- (a) (O.F. bacons) [fatty] sides of salty bacon (RASHI) - that she did not eat (TOSFOS); (b) heads of lettuce (ARUCH)

7)[line 38]זרעוניםZER'ONIM- seeds

8)[line 38]"ויהי המלצר נשא את פת בגם ויין משתיהם ונתן להם זרענים""VA'YEHI HA'MELTZAR NOSEI ES PAS BAGAM V'YEIN MISHTEIHEM, V'NOSEN LAHEM ZER'ONIM" - "And the waiter removed the dishes prepared for their food and the wine for drinks, and gave them legumes." (Daniel 1:16) (DANIEL, CHANANYAH, MISHA'EL, AND AZARYAH ARE BROUGHT TO THE KING'S COURT)

(a)Following Nevuchadnetzar's defeat of Yehoyakim, king of Yehudah, he exiled many of the aristocracy of Yehudah to Bavel. When he ordered some of the finest and best-looking youthful exiles to be brought to the royal court and to be trained as courtiers, Daniel, Chananyah, Misha'el, and Azaryah were chosen. Their names were changed to Beltshatzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. Part of the three-year course included learning the Babylonian language and script, and they were made to stand for long hours before the king.

(b)Nevuchadnetzar ordered the chief waiter to feed the lads well, from the same dishes and wines that he himself ate. Daniel decided, however, that they would not defile themselves with the non-Kosher foods, and he requested from the chief valet to serve them only legumes together with their bread, and to omit the cooked dishes and the wine.

(c)The chief valet was initially loath to accept Daniel's request, since this would mean contravening the king's orders. Moreover, if the four servants would appear any less strong than their Babylonian counterparts who were well-fed and healthy, the King would have him executed. Miraculously, however, he did not get angry with Daniel, but discussed the matter with him civilly. Moreover, when Daniel suggested a ten-day trial period, during which time they would be fed only legumes, and after which he would compare the looks of the four Jewish youths with their Babylonian counterparts, the chief valet acquiesced. Indeed, at the end of ten days, Daniel and his friends' appearance was superior to that of all the other courtiers.

(d)At the end of the three-year course, all of the trainees were brought before the king, for him to choose his courtiers. Without hesitation, he picked Daniel, Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah, since no one of the entire group could compare with them. In addition, he discovered that they were superior ten-fold to the best of the magicians and the physicians in the entire kingdom.

9)[line 32]"... ולרש אין כל כי אם כבשה אחת קטנה אשר קנה ויחיה ותגדל עמו ועם בניו יחדו מפתו תאכל ומכסו תשתה ובחיקו תשכב ותהי לו כבת""... VELA'RASH EIN KOL, KI IM KIVSAH ACHAS KETANAH ASHER KANAH VA'YECHAYEHAH, VA'TIGDAL IMO V'IM BANAV YACHDAV, MI'PITO SOCHEL UMI'KOSO TISHTEH, UV'CHEIKO TISHKAV, VA'TEHI LO K'VAS." - "[And HaSh-m sent Nasan to David, and he came and said to him, 'Two neighbors lived in the same town, one rich and one poor. The rich man owned an abundance of sheep and cattle,] and the poor man owned nothing except for the one little lamb that he had purchased. He sustained it and it grew up together with him and with his children, it ate from his bread, drank from his cup, and slept in his bosom; it was like a daughter to him." (Shmuel II 12:1-3). (THE RICH MAN AND HIS POOR NEIGHBOR'S LAMB)

(a)This is the allegory that Nasan ha'Navi told David ha'Melech after David sent Uriyah ha'Chiti to his death and took Bas Sheva.

(b)It ends with the rich man receiving a guest and deciding that it is a pity to waste his own flocks on his guest. He took his poor neighbor's only lamb, slaughtered it, and prepared it in honor of his guest.

(c)When David heard the story, he became incensed and - not realizing the metaphor - he pronounced a death sentence upon the callous wealthy man, and he obligated him to repay the poor man fourfold for the lamb that he stole. At that point, the prophet pointed a finger at David and declared, "You are the man!"

(d)It was for this act, together with that of causing Uriyah ha'Chiti to be killed (by sending him to the front line during a battle against the Plishtim and then having Yoav withdraw the rest of the army, leaving Uriyah alone in the line of fire; see Background to Kidushin 43:5), that the Navi informed David of the terrible troubles that he was now destined to suffer. He prophesied that "the sword would not depart from his house for the rest of his life," and that his "friend, a member of his own household" (i.e. his own son Avshalom) would defile his wives before his very eyes. He added that although David had acted in secret, HaSh-m would punish him in public.

(e)When David reacted to the Navi's words by confessing and having remorse for his deeds, the Navi replied that HaSh-m removed his sin and that he would not die. Nevertheless, because he angered HaSh-m with the episode of Bas Sheva, the baby that she was expecting would die.

10)[line 39]בשמן המורSHEMEN HA'MOR- myrrh oil

11)[line 40]סטכתSatkas- oil prepared with spices (myrrh oil)

12)[line 41]אנפקינוןANPEKINON- a type of oil, that is mentioned regarding Menachos. The Mishnah (Menachos 85b) states that l'Chatchilah it may not be used for Menachos.

13)[line 41]שמשיר את השיערMESHIR ES HA'SEI'AR- it makes hair fall out

14)[line 42]ומעדן את הבשרME'ADEN ES HA'BASAR- rejuvenates the flesh

15)[line 48]דלי כרגאDALEI KARGA- he lifted (removed) the taxes [in all of the countries under his dominion]

16)[line 49]שדר פרדישניSHADAR PARDISHNEI- he sent gifts [to the ministers of all of the countries in her name]


17)[line 1]"לא יגרע מצדיק עיניו""LO YIGRA MI'TZADIK EINAV..."- "He will not remove His eyes from a righteous person until he is on the throne with kings; He establishes them [there] forever, and they are exalted." (Iyov 36:7) - The Gemara shows that HaSh-m fulfills the wish of the righteous by rewarding them with descendents who follow in their footsteps.

18)[line 5]"ויגד יעקב לרחל כי אחי אביה הוא""VA'YAGED YAKOV L'RACHEL KI ACHI AVIHAH HU" - "And Yakov told Rachel that he was her father's brother [and that he was the son of Rivkah, and then she ran and told her father.]" (Bereishis 29:12) (LOSHON HA'RA FOR A GOOD PURPOSE)

(a)The Gemara explains that Yakov was not Lavan's brother, but his nephew. He called himself Lavan's brother merely in response to Rachel's statement that her father was a swindler and that he would likely give Yakov her older sister in place of herself. Yakov replied that he was Lavan's equal in trickery.

(b)The Torah Temimah extrapolates from this incident that even though the Halachah (YD 241:6) prohibits treating one's father with disrespect even if he is a Rasha and even not in his presence, one is permitted to do so when necessary (such as for the sake of a Shiduch).

19)[line 9]לסגויי ברמיותאLISGUYEI B'REMIYUSA- to act crookedly

20)[line 10]"עם נבר תתבר ועם עקש תתפל""IM NAVAR TITAVAR V'IM IKESH TITAPAL"- "With the pure You show Yourself pure; and with the perverse You show Yourself cunning." (Shmuel II 22:27) - This verse describes the ways of HaSh-m. The Gemara takes it as a requirement for the conduct of a righteous person.

21)[line 15]"ויהי בבקר והנה הוא לאה""VA'YEHI VA'BOKER V'HINEH HI LE'AH" - "And it was in the morning, and behold it was Leah, [and he said to Lavan, 'What did you do to me? Is it not for Rachel that I worked for you, and why did you trick me?'" (Bereishis 29:25) (RACHEL'S MODESTY)

Rachel had warned Yakov about her father's cunning. Yakov prepared for it by arranging hand signals for Rachel to give at night to ensure that it was Rachel whom Lavan gave to Yakov in marriage. Rachel, however, realized the shame that her sister Leah would experience if she would be discovered, and she handed over to her sister the hand signals in order to prevent her sister from suffering such shame, even though it meant losing her own husband.

22)[line 20]"[ויאמר שאול אל דודו הגד הגיד לנו כי נמצאו האתנות] ואת דבר המלוכה לא הגיד לו אשר אמר שמואל""[VA'YOMER SHAUL EL DODO, HAGED HIGID LANU KI NIMTZE'U HA'ASONOS,] V'ES DEVAR HA'MELUCHAH LO HIGID LO, ASHER AMAR SHMUEL" - "[And Shaul said to his uncle, 'He informed us that the asses were found,'] but the matter concerning the kingdom he did not mention to him, regarding what Shmuel had said." (Shmuel I 10:16) (SHAUL'S MODESTY)

(a)Shaul, accompanied by one of his servants, had been sent by his father to search for some lost asses. After searching futilely for three days, he decided to visit Shmuel ha'Navi, who lived nearby, to ask him for advice. The Navi informed him that the asses had been found, and invited him to join him the following day at the Bamah where he intended to bring a Korban. Shaul accepted the invitation, and Shmuel treated him with great honor. Before sending him home the next day, Shmuel informed Shaul that he was to become the first king of Yisrael, and he crowned him with a jar of oil.

(b)As Shmuel predicted, Shaul experienced a number of incidents on his way home. One of these incidents comprised a sudden surge of Ru'ach ha'Kodesh that enveloped him, enabling him to prophesy together with a group of young prophets. When people saw Shaul among that group they declared, "Is Shaul, too, among the prophets?"

(c)After prophesying, Shaul continued on his way. When he arrived at the Bamah he met his uncle, who asked him where he had been. Upon replying that he had been searching for the asses and had decided to consult the Navi for advice, his uncle asked him what the Navi had said. Shaul's reply is recorded in the above verse.

(d)As the Gemara teaches, Shaul's remarkable ability to remain silent (an indication of his supreme modesty) was inherited from his forebear, Rachel, who displayed the same Midah, and it was from him that Esther inherited the same trait, which she displayed when she defied Achashverosh and refused to divulge her nationality. Other Midrashim include in the list Binyamin, who knew that Yosef was alive but remained silent for all of the years that they were separated. Accordingly, Binyamin's stone on the Choshen Mishpat was the Yashpeh, which is the acronym of "Yesh Peh" ("he has a mouth"), implying that Binyamin was able to divulge Yosef's whereabouts but declined to do so, a trait that he inherited from his mother Rachel.

(e)Shaul's remarkable modesty emerges on a number of other occasions in Sefer Shmuel. For example, when Shmuel was about to crown him, he was "hiding among the vessels." Also, when he needed to relieve himself, he entered a cave inside a cave in order to do so.

23)[line 23]הגיס דעתוHEGIS DA'ATO- he becomes haughty

24)[line 26]"בימים ההם ומרדכי ישב בשער המלך קצף בגתן ותרש [שני סריסי המלך משמרי הסף ויבקשו לשלח יד במלך אחשורש]""BA'YAMIM HA'HEM, U'MORDECHAI YOSHEV B'SHA'AR HA'MELECH, KATZAF BIGSAN VA'SERESH [SHNEI SARISEI HA'MELECH MI'SHOMREI HA'SAF, VA'YEVAKSHU LI'SHELO'ACH YAD BA'MELECH ACHASHVEROSH.]" - "In those days, when Mordechai was sitting at the gate of the king, Bigsan and Teresh, [the two guards of the inner gate, became angry, and they sought to assassinate the king.]" (Esther 2:21) (BIGSAN AND TERESH)

(a)The Gemara ascribes the anger of Bigsan and Teresh to their extended hours of work that resulted from the many drinks that they were suddenly ordered to serve as a result of Esther's arrival upon the scene (as Rashi explains).

(b)The Torah Temimah cites a Midrash which offers a different interpretation of Bigsan and Teresh's anger. According to the Midrash, Esther asked Achashverosh why he did not follow in the footsteps of his illustrious forerunners and appoint a Tzadik at the gate of the king, in the manner that Nevuchadnetzar had appointed Daniel, much to the king's advantage. The king thought it a good idea and asked her whether she knew of a righteous Jew, and Esther recommended Mordechai.

(c)Achashverosh promptly appointed Mordechai to guard the king's gate, replacing Bigsan and Teresh who fulfilled that role until then. According to the Midrash's explanation, it is clear why the verse associates Mordechai's sitting at the king's gate and the anger of the two conspirators.

(d)Assuming that the Midrash agrees with the Gemara that the two guards spoke in front of Mordechai unaware that he understood their language, the miracle is even more pronounced. They plotted and planned in the presence of the very man who was the object of their anger. Moreover, the mere fact that they vented their ire against Achashverosh and not against Mordechai was also a miracle.

25)[line 30]טרסייםTARSIYIM- Tarsians, people who came from Tarsus (RASHI, TOSFOS Chulin 57b DH Matlis, ARUCH)

26)[line 32]לשכת הגזיתLISHKAS HA'GAZIS- The Room of the Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges that was located in the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash. The Great Sanhedrin was the highest Halachic authority before which the most difficult cases were brought (Devarim 17:8).

27)[line 36]"כרפאי לישראל ונגלה עון אפרים""K'ROF'I L'YISRAEL V'NIGLAH AVON EFRAYIM..."- "When I would have healed Yisrael, then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, [along with the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood; and a thief comes, the bandits rob outside.]" (Hoshea 7:1)

28)[line 41]תא ניכלינהוTA NEICHLINHU- come, let us destroy them

29)[line 41]מסתפינאMISTEFINA- I am afraid

30)[line 45]"דמפקי לכולא שתא בשה'י פה'י"D'MAFKEI L'CHOLA SHATA B'SHaHI PaHI (or "SHABBOS HA'YOM, PESACH HA'YOM")- they waste the whole year by saying: today is Shabbos, today is Pesach [and we cannot work]

31)[line 50]שקליםSHEKALIM

(a)In the Beis ha'Mikdash, many public sacrifices were offered (for example, the daily Temidim, the Korbenos Musaf of Rosh Chodesh and the festivals, etc.). In order to finance these Korbanos, one half-Shekel was collected from every Jew, from those living in Eretz Yisrael and in the Golah, once a year.

(b)The half-Shekalim were collected before Rosh Chodesh Nisan so that the Korbanos of the new year (which starts with the month of Nisan) would be offered from the money that was collected for the new year. On the first of Adar, Beis Din announced that the Shekalim should be collected, in order to ensure that all of the Shekalim would be collected before Rosh Chodesh Nisan (see Insights to Shekalim 2a). Some commentaries contend that a portion of the Shekalim would not arrive until after Rosh Chodesh Nisan, while others claim that all of the Shekalim arrived by Rosh Chodesh Nisan, since the Shekalim were collected from the regions farther from Yerushalayim earlier in the year. (This latter opinion appears to be the conclusion of the Yerushalmi, Shekalim 2a; see Mishnas Eliyahu ibid. 2b.)

(c)The amount that was collected from each Jew was not fixed at half a Shekel. Rather, the amount given was always half of the "Matbe'a ha'Yotzei" (the primary coin in use at the time), provided that it was not less than the value of half a Shekel.

(d)The word "Shekel," as used in the phrase "Machatzis ha'Shekel," refers to the Shekel that was in use at the time of Moshe Rabeinu, which was equivalent to the "Sela" of the times of the Gemara. Machatzis ha'Shekel is half of a Sela, or two Dinarim. People became accustomed to calling the coin that was valued at half of a Sela, "Shekel," since it was "paid out" ("Shoklim Oso") in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Machatzis ha'Shekel each year (RAMBAN to Shemos 30:13).

32)[last line]הכלאיםKIL'AYIM (KIL'EI ZERA'IM)

(a)The word Kil'ayim means "forbidden mixture," which refers to two items, each of which is permitted, which the Torah prohibits to combine. The term "Kil'ayim" can refer to many different types of forbidden mixtures. Three types of Kil'ayim apply to plants: Kil'ei ha'Kerem (see Background to Chulin 82:10), Kil'ei Zera'im (see below), and Harkavas ha'Ilan (see Background to Kidushin 39:23a:d). Two types of Kil'ayim apply to animals: Harba'ah (see Background to Chulin 71:2) and Charishah b'Shor va'Chamor (see Background to Bava Metzia 90:34:c). One type of Kil'ayim applies to clothing: Sha'atnez (see Background to Menachos 39:5). (It is also prohibited to cook meat and milk together, but this is not referred to as "Kil'ayim.") Our Gemara refers to the Kil'ayim of Zera'im.

(b)It is forbidden to plant different types of crops together (Kil'ei Zera'im) as it states in the Torah, "Sadecha Lo Sizra Kil'ayim" - "Do not plant different species (together) in your field" (Vayikra 19:19). The resulting produce is not Asur b'Hana'ah.

(c)With regard to sowing different types of crops in a vineyard, the verse states "Lo Sizra Karmecha Kil'ayim, Pen Tikdash ha'Melei'ah ha'Zera Asher Tizra u'Sevu'as ha'Karem" - "You shall not sow your vineyard with other species, lest the fruit of the seed which you have sown, and the fruit of the vineyard, be forfeited" (Devarim 22:9). If one sows Kil'ayim in a vineyard, the produce becomes prohibited ("Kidesh," from the word in the verse, "Tikdash").

(d)The Mishnayos in Maseches Kil'ayim specify the distance that one must leave between different crops.