MEGILAH 20 - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Aharon Dovid ben Elimelech Shmuel Kornfeld (Muncasz/Israel/New York), who passed away on 3 Av 5761, by his daughter, Shifra, and family. May his love for Torah and for Eretz Yisrael be preserved in all of his descendants.

[20a - 42 lines; 20b - 45 lines]

1)[line 21]מזיןMAZIN (HAZA'AH)

If a person (or utensil) became Tamei through touching a Mes, he must wait seven days to become Tahor. On the third and seventh days he must have spring water mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah (Mei Chatas) sprinkled on him. A person who is Tahor dips three Ezov branches that have been bound together into the mixture, and sprinkles them on the person who is Tamei. On the seventh day, he immerses in a Mikvah after the mixture is sprinkled on him in order to complete his Taharah. (Bamidbar 19:17-19)

2)[line 21]שומרת יום כנגד יוםSHOMERES YOM KENEGED YOM

(a)The eleven days that follow the seven days of Nidah are "days of Zivah." If a woman experiences bleeding during these days for one or two consecutive days, she becomes a Zavah Ketanah and is Teme'ah.

(b)If she does not experience bleeding the following night and day, she may immerse in a Mikvah during the day to become Tehorah. She may even immerse on the morning immediately following the day on which she saw blood, but her Tum'ah and Taharah are contingent upon whether or not she sees blood afterwards on that day. She is called a Shomeres Yom k'Neged Yom, because she must watch the following day to confirm whether or not she sees blood.

(c)If a woman has a show of blood for three consecutive days during her 11 days of Zivah, she becomes a Zavah Gedolah. In order for her to become Tehorah, she must count seven "clean days" during which she verifies that she has no other show of blood. On the morning of the seventh clean day she immerses in a Mikvah. If she does not experience bleeding during the rest of the day she is Tehorah and no longer a Zavah. A Zavah Gedolah must bring a Korban Zavah to permit her to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash or to eat Kodshim. The Korban is two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (common doves), one offered as an Olah and one as a Chatas.

3)[line 35]זבZAV

(a)A Zav, a man who emits Zov two or three times (see Background to Shabbos 84:1), whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, is an Av ha'Tum'ah. Zov is a clear discharge with the appearance of the white of a sterile or spoiled egg, in contrast with semen, which has the consistency of fresh egg white. Zov can also be a pus-like discharge resembling the liquid from barley dough or soft barley batter.

(b)A man who emits a discharge that may be Zov is "checked" to determine whether or not he becomes a Zav. If the discharge came about b'Ones (due to an external cause), he is Tahor. Some examples of Ones are: 1. eating too much; 2. drinking too much; 3. jumping; 4. being sick; etc. (see Zavim 2:2).

(c)A Zav must count seven "clean" days in which he sees no Zov in order to start his purification process, as it states in Vayikra 15:13. On the seventh day or afterwards, he must immerse in a spring during the day. At nightfall he becomes Tahor, if he did not emit Zov again beforehand (ibid.).

(d)If a Zav emits Zov only two times, he does not bring a Korban. If he emitted Zov three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, he has to bring a Korban after he becomes Tahor in order to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash and to eat Kodshim and Terumah.

4)[line 38]לבעל קריBA'AL KERI

A man who has emitted Keri (semen) becomes a Rishon l'Tum'ah. He may not enter the Machaneh Leviyah (i.e. the Temple Mount), nor may he eat Ma'aser, Terumah or Kodshim. After he immerses in a Mikvah during the day he becomes Tahor and may eat Ma'aser and enter Machaneh Leviyah once again (mid'Oraisa; the Rabanan however prohibited him from entering the Ezras Nashim until nightfall). He remains a "Tevul Yom" until nightfall, after which he may once again eat Terumah or Kodshim.


5)[line 3]למאיר ובא קראו יוםLA'ME'IR U'VA KERA'O YOM- He (HaSh-m) called the dawn (lit. the time when it begins to become light), "day"

6)[line 8]"וחצים מחזיקים ברמחים""V'CHETZYAM MACHAZIKIM BA'REMACHIM"- "and half of them held the spears" (Nechemyah 4:15)

7)[line 8]"ואנחנו עשים במלאכה וחצים מחזיקים ברמחים מעלות השחר עד צאת הכוכבים... והיו לנו הלילה משמר והיום מלאכה""VA'ANACHNU OSIM BA'MELACHAH V'CHETZYAM MACHZIKIM BA'REMACHIM ME'ALOS HA'SHACHAR AD TZES HA'KOCHAVIM... V'HAYU LANU HA'LAILAH MISHMAR VEHA'YOM MELACHAH" - "And we carried on working by day, while half of them held on to their spears from dawn until nightfall. [Also at that time, I said to the people: Let each man and his servant sleep inside Yerushalayim;] and the day was for working and the night for guarding." (Nechemyah 4:16-17). (GUARDING AND BUILDING)

(a)Eighteen years after Koresh put a stop to the construction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, Nechemyah and the returnees received permission from Daryavesh the second to resume with the building.

(b)When Sanbalat the Samaritan and his friend Tuvyah the Amoni heard that the building of the wall of Yerushalayim was proceeding nicely, they became furious. (It will be remembered that it was due to their intervention that the building was stopped in the first place.) At first they merely mocked the workers and taunted them, but when they saw that the work continued to proceed, they plotted - together with Yisrael's old enemies the Arabs, the Amonim, and the Ashdodim (from Pelishtim) - to attack Yerushalayim to put a stop to the building at all costs.

(c)Nechemyah and the leaders decided to divide the camp into two sections. Half would build, and the other half would stand on guard to protect the builders from the attack of Sanbalat and his men, should it materialize.

(d)So hazardous was the situation that for fear of being attacked in the middle of the night, Nechemyah and his men would sleep fully clothed. In fact, the only ones to remove their clothes at nighttime were those who were Tamei and who therefore had to immerse in a Mikvah.

8)[line 12]ואינהו מקדמי ומחשכיV'INHU MEKADMEI U'MECHASHCHEI- they stay late and come early

9)[line 16]ולוידוי הפריםVIDUY PARIM

(a)When the bulls that were called Par He'elem Davar Shel Tzibur and Par Kohen Mashi'ach were brought, Semichah was performed on them while the sin for which they were brought was confessed.

(a)PAR HE'ELEM DAVAR SHEL TZIBUR - The Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court) must bring a Korban if they issued a mistaken ruling permitting an act that carries a Chiyuv Kares and the Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael (the majority of the people or the majority of the tribes) conducted themselves based on this ruling. The sages bring a young bull as a Chatas on behalf of each of the tribes. The people are exempt, since they relied on the Beis Din ha'Gadol. If the sin committed was idolatry, the sages bring a young bull as an Olah and a goat as a Chatas for each tribe. Each of these bulls is called a Par He'elem Davar Shel Tzibur (RAMBAM Hilchos Shegagos 12:1).

(b)The blood of these bulls was sprinkled in the Heichal on the Paroches and the Mizbach ha'Zahav. The Sheyarei ha'Dam (the remainder of the blood) was poured on the Western Yesod (foundation) of the Mizbe'ach. The remains of the bulls were burned outside of the city of Yerushalayim (Vayikra 4:13-21).

(c)PAR KOHEN MASHI'ACH - The Par Kohen Mashi'ach is the young bull brought as a Korban Chatas by a Kohen Gadol who transgresses an Isur Kares thinking that the Torah did not prohibit such an act. (The bull is brought by a Kohen Gadol for the same sins that a Par He'elem Davar is brought when the people commit transgressions upon being misled by Beis Din in a Halachic matter.)

(d)The blood of the bull is sprinkled seven times on the Paroches, and is applied to the Keranos (raised corners) of the Mizbe'ach ha'Ketores in the Heichal. The Sheyarei ha'Dam (the remainder of the blood) is poured on the Western Yesod (foundation) of the Mizbe'ach while the Eimurim are offered on the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon.

(e)The meat of the bull, together with the other parts that are not sacrificed, is burned outside of the city of Yerushalayim (Vayikra 4:3-12). Those who carry the carcass out of the Azarah are Metamei Begadim. (According to Rebbi Shimon, Yoma 67b, those who are involved in burning the meat are Metamei Begadim.)

10)[line 16]ולוידוי מעשרVIDUY MA'ASER

(a)After a crop is harvested and brought to the owner's house or yard, the produce is called Tevel until he separates Terumos and Ma'asros from it. He first must separate Terumah from the crop, which he gives to a Kohen. Although the Torah does not specify the amount to be given, the Rabanan set the requirement at approximately one fiftieth.

(b)After Terumah is removed from the produce, one tenth of the produce that remains must be designated "Ma'aser Rishon" and given to a Levi. The Levi, in turn, must separate one tenth of his Ma'aser Rishon as Terumas Ma'aser, which is also given to a Kohen.

(c)The produce may not be eaten until both Terumos have been removed. The punishment for eating Tevel is Misah b'Yedei Shamayim.

(e)A second tithe is separated from the remaining produce every year after Ma'aser Rishon has been separated. The tithe that is separated in the third and sixth years of the 7-year Shemitah cycle is called Ma'aser Ani and is given to the poor. The tithe that is separated during the first, second, fourth and fifth years is called Ma'aser Sheni.

(f)The Torah requires that Ma'aser Sheni be brought and eaten by its owner in Yerushalayim. Alternatively, Ma'aser Sheni produce may be redeemed, in which case the money used to redeem it retains Kedushas Ma'aser Sheni and is brought to Yerushalayim. If the owner himself redeems the produce, he must add an additional fifth of its value (that is, a fifth of the ensuing total, or a quarter of the original value). In Yerushalayim, the money is used to purchase food items. The food that is bought with this money in Yerushalayim becomes Kodesh with Kedushas Ma'aser Sheni and must be eaten b'Taharah.

(g)The Torah requires that at two times during the seven-year Shemitah cycle the owner of a field must recite Viduy Ma'aser, as is learned from Devarim 26:12-13. He declares that he has set aside all of the required tithes and gifts, and that he observed all the Mitzvos with regard to them. The declaration is found in Devarim 26:13-15, and may be recited in any language that the owner understands. According to the Mishnah (Ma'aser Sheni 5:6), Rashi (Sanhedrin 11b), and Tosfos (Rosh Hashanah 4a DH u'Ma'asros), this declaration is stated in the afternoon of Erev Pesach in the fourth and seventh years. According to the Rambam (Hilchos Ma'aser Sheni 11:1-3), it is stated in the afternoon of the last day of Pesach in the fourth and seventh years.

11)[line 17]ולוידוי יום הכפוריםVIDUY YOM HA'KIPURIM

On Yom ha'Kipurim the Kohen Gadol performs Semichah on his bull while confessing his sins. He likewise performs Semichah on the Sa'ir of Bnei Yisrael that will be sent to Azazel while confessing the sins of the people.

12)[line 17]לסמיכהSEMICHAH

Semichah refers to the Mitzvah for a person to press his hands with all his might on the head of his sacrifice before it is slaughtered, as described in Vayikra (1:4).

13)[line 17, 19]לשחיטה לתנופה/ ולהזיהSHECHITAH/KABALAH/HAZAYAH

Offering a Korban is comprised of four main actions. These four "Avodos" are Shechitah (slaughtering), Kabalas ha'Dam (collecting the blood of the Korban that will be thrown on the Mizbe'ach), Holachah (carrying the blood towards the Mizbe'ach), and Zerikah (throwing the blood on the outer Mizbe'ach). Hazayah in our Mishnah refers to Zerikah and to the sprinkling of the blood of some Korbanos on the Mizbe'ach in the Heichal.

14)[line 18]לתנופהTENUFAH

Waving portions of certain Korbanos and meal-offerings is called Tenufah; the Kohen, together with the owner of the Korban (when it is not a Korban Tzibur), waves them in all four directions and up and down (RASHI Menachos 62a DH Molich; TOSFOS to Sukah 37b DH Kedei ponders whether all Tenufos were done in this fashion, or whether some Tenufos only required lifting and lowering).

15)[line 18]להגשהHAGASHAH

When a Korban Minchah (flour offering) is offered, a Kohen must take the utensil containing the Minchah and touch it to the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon.

16)[line 18]לקמיצהKEMITZAH

(a)When a Korban Minchah (flour offering) is offered, a Kohen must take off a Kometz (handful), which is burned upon the Mizbe'ach ha'Chitzon.

(b)A Kometz is the amount that can be held by the middle three fingers when they are pressed upon the palm. The Kohen puts his hand in the dough or baked goods and removes one handful. The excess of dough or baked goods that sticks out is then wiped off by the thumb and the smallest finger until only the Kometz remains.

17)[line 18]למליקהMELIKAH

Birds brought as Korbanos are not slaughtered from the neck. Instead, the Kohen performs Melikah by cutting the back of the neck of the bird with his right thumbnail, making sure to cut both Simanim (the trachea and the esophagus) of the Olas ha'Of or one Siman of the Chatas ha'Of. When performing Melikah on the Chatas ha'Of, he makes sure not to sever the entire neck of the bird.

18)[line 19]ולקבלהKABALAH

See above, entry #13.

19)[line 19]ולהזיהHAZAYAH

See above, entry #13.

20)[line 19]ולהשקיית סוטהHASHKAYAS SOTAH

(a)A Sotah is a woman who is suspected of committing adultery because she was warned by her husband not to seclude herself with a certain man and she violated the warning. The husband must bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash, along with a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approx. 2 quarts) of barley meal as a Minchah offering.

(b)The Kohen reads Parshas Sotah, the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed, out loud (in any language that the Sotah understands) and makes the Sotah swear that she has been faithful to her husband.

(c)An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor, and dirt from the floor of the Azarah is placed on top of the water. Parshas Sotah (that contains numerous appearances of HaSh-m's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, causing the ink to dissolve. The Sotah would afterwards drink from the water. If she was unfaithful to her husband and had been defiled, the water would enter her body and poison her, causing her belly to swell out and her thigh to rupture. If she were faithful to her husband, she would remain unharmed and would become pregnant. (Bamidbar 5:11-31)

21)[line 19]ולעריפת העגלהARIFAS HA'EGLAH

(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Israel) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1).

(b)Five elders of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it.

(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet and windpipe.

(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).

22)[line 20]ולטהרת המצורעTAHARAS METZORA (TZIPOREI METZORA)

On the day that a Metzora is healed from his Tzara'as, he takes two kosher birds (Tziporei Metzora), a piece of cedar, some crimson wool and an Ezov branch. One of the birds is slaughtered over fresh spring water in a clay bowl. A Kohen dips the other bird, along with the other articles, into the spring water that is mixed with the blood and sprinkles it seven times on the Metzora. The living bird is sent away towards the fields. Both birds are Asur b'Hana'ah, but the Isur is removed from the living bird after it is sent off to the fields. This is the first step in the purification process of a Metzora. (Vayikra 14:1-7)

23)[line 21]לקצירת העומרKETZIRAS HA'OMER

(a)There is a Mitzvah to bring the Korban ha'Omer on the second day of Pesach. A large quantity of barley is reaped after nightfall after the first day of Pesach. At this time the grain is still moist, and the process of extracting one Omer (approximately 2.5 or 4.3 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of barley flour is extremely difficult. The flour is baked and offered as a Korban Minchah on the 16th of Nisan. It is also referred to as the Minchas Bikurim (Vayikra 2:14-16).

(b)In addition, a lamb is offered as an Olah, as it states in Vayikra 23:12.

(c)The Korban ha'Omer is the first offering of the new grain of the year, and as such it removes the prohibition against eating from the new grain.