IDENTIFICATION OF CERTAIN CITIES
R. Yochanan identified three cities:
Chamas is Teverya. It is called Chamas because of its Chamim (hot springs).
Rekes is Tzipori. It is called Rekes because it is elevated, like Riksa (the bank) of a river is above the river.
Kineres is Ginosar. It is called Kineres because its fruit is as sweet as the voice of Kinarei (lyres).
Question (Rava): Everyone must agree that Rekes is Teverya!
When someone dies here (in Bavel), they eulogize there (in Teverya) 'He was great in Shishak (Bavel) and famous in Rekes';
When the coffin is sent for burial in Teverya, they eulogize 'Lovers of Yisrael, dwellers of Rekes, go out and receive those killed in the valley!'
When R. Zeira died, he was eulogized (in Teverya) 'The land of Shinar (Bavel) conceived and gave birth; Eretz ha'Tzevi (Eretz Yisrael) raised her (Bavel's) delight; 'woe to her' says Rekes, for she has lost her precious vessel!'
Rava argues with R. Yochanan about two matters:
(Rava holds that) Chamas is Chamei (the hot springs of) Gerar.
(Rava holds that) Rekes is Teverya. It is called Rekes because even the Reikanim (empty people) in it are full of Mitzvos like a pomegranate.
R. Yirmeyah argues: The real name of the city is Rekes; it is called Teverya because it sits b'Tiburah (in the middle) of Eretz Yisrael.
(Rabah): Its name is Rekes; it is called Teverya because Tovah Re'iyasah, its view is good.
(Ze'ira): Kitron is Tzipori; it is called Tzipori because it sits at the top of the mountain like a bird.
Question: Kitron cannot be Tzipori, for Kitron is in Zevulun!
"Zevulun did not expel the inhabitants of Kitron and Nahalol."
"Zevulun Am Charef Nafsho Lamus" - they complained to Hash-m, "Naftoli is on the high fields, the other Shevatim received fields and vineyards, and I received mountains and hills! They received land, and I received seas and rivers!"
Hash-m answers: All of them will need you for the Chilazon (a fish from which Techeiles, which is needed for Tzitzis, is obtained).
(Rav Yosef): (Regarding Zevulun's portion it says) "... u'Sfunei Temunei Chol"- Sefunei refers to the Chilazon; Temunei refers to Tiryas (a fish, perhaps what we call tuna); Chol refers to Zechuchis Levanah (a precious crystal).
Zevulun: Who will tell me (if people steal the Chilazon)!
Hash-m: "Sham Yizbechu Zivchei Tzedek" - anyone who steals it will not succeed in his business.
Summation of question: If Kitron is Tzipori, why did Zevulun complain? Tzipori is excellent!
Suggestion: Perhaps Tzipori is not flowing with milk and honey.
Rejection: Reish Lakish saw an area 16 Mil by 16 Mil flowing with milk and honey in Tzipori.
Suggestion: Perhaps the other Shevatim received more such land.
Rejection (Rabah bar bar Chanah): All the land flowing with milk and honey in Eretz Yisrael equals a strip 22 Parsa'os by 6 Parsa'os of 'milk and honey' land (Tzipori has 16 square Parsa'os, which is more than one part in nine of the total)!
Answer: In any case, Zevulun preferred fields and vineyards.
Support: "v'Naftoli Al Merumei Sadeh".
(R. Avahu): "Ekron will be uprooted" refers to Kisari of Edom, which is amidst the sand. It was a dagger to harm Yisrael in the days of the Yevanim;
When the Chashmona'im overpowered the Yevanim, they called it Achidas Migdal Shir.
(R. Yosi bar Chanina): (Regarding Tzur, the eminent city of Edom, it says) "I will remove his bloods from his mouth and his abominations from between his teeth" - this is Beis Bamya and Beis Galya (their primary idolatries); "and also he will remain to Elokeinu" - these are the Batei Kenesiyos and Batai Medrashos in Edom.
"And it will be like a school in Yehudah, and Ekron will be like Yevusi (Yerushalayim)" - these are the meeting places, in which leaders of Yehudah will publicly teach Torah.
(R. Yitzchak): Leshem is Pamyas (the source of the Yarden River); "Ekron will be uprooted" refers to Kisari of Edom, which was the matriarch of kings.
Some say that it is where they raise kings.
Others say that it is where kings are appointed.
YISRAEL AND EDOM
Yerushalayim and Kisari cannot both be desolate, nor can both be settled. If one is settled, the other is desolate.
Support: "I will fill the destroyed" - if one is full, the other is destroyed.
(Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): We learn from "A nation will overpower the (other) nation."
(R. Yitzchak): "Yuchan Rasha Bal Lamad Tzedek" - Yitzchak asked Hash-m to be gracious to Esav.
Hash-m: He is evil!
Yitzchak: Is there no one to advocate for him?
Hash-m: "b'Eretz Nechochos Ye'avel" (he will destroy Yerushalayim in the future).
Yitzchak: If so, he should not see the greatness of Hash-m!
(R. Yitzchak): "Hash-m, do not grant the desires of a Rasha" - Yakov said this regarding Esav.
"Do not let him carry out his plot" refers to Germamya of Edom. If they would be released, they would destroy the entire world.
(R. Chama bar Chanina): Germamya has 300 crowned princes, and 365 provinces in Edom. Every day, they confront one another, and kill one of them, and they are busy appointing a new king.
(R. Yitzchak): Do not believe one who says that he toiled in Torah and did not find (success), nor one who says that he found without toiling.
If he says that he toiled and found, believe him.
In business all is possible with help from Heaven.
Even in Torah, the guarantee is only that anyone who toils will become sharp. He is not guaranteed the Divine help needed to remember the teachings.
(R. Yitzchak): "Al Tischar ba'Mre'im" - if a Rasha is enjoying good fortune, do not confront him;
"Yachilu Derachav b'Chol Es" - he will constantly succeed;
"Marom Mishpatecha mi'Negdo" - he will win in his case (Your judgments are removed from him);
"Kol Tzorerav Yafi'ach ba'Hem" - he will easily defeat his enemies.
Question: R. Yochanan taught that we may confront Resha'im in this world - "Those that abandon the Torah praise a Rasha; those that guard the Torah will confront him!
(Beraisa - R. Dostoi bar Maton): We may confront Resha'im in this world.
Question: It says "Al Tischar ba'Mre'im v'Al Tekanei b'Osei Avlah"!
Answer: One who fears because he has sinned explains the verse to forbid confronting Resha'im. Really, it forbids to desire to be like them or to go in their ways.
Support: "Al Yekanei Libcha ba'Chata'im".
Answer #1: One should confront a Rasha in spiritual matters, but not in worldly matters.
Answer #2: Both discuss worldly matters; only an absolute Tzadik may confront a Rasha.
Support (Rav Huna): "... B'Vala Rasha Tzadik Mimenu" - a Rasha may swallow one more righteous than himself, but not an absolute Tzadik.
Answer #3: Normally, one may confront a Rasha, but not when he (the Rasha) is enjoying good fortune.
(Ula): Italya of Yavan is a great city of Rome; it is 300 Parsa'os by 300 Parsa'os;
It has 365 markets, like the number of days in the year. The smallest market is of fowl vendors, which is 16 Mil by 16 Mil.
Each day, the king eats in a market. Whoever lives there (even if not born there), or was born there (even if he does not live there) is fed from the king's house.
It has 3000 bathhouses, and 500 windows spew smoke outside the wall.
It is surrounded by the sea on one side, one side is hills and mountains, one side is an iron barrier, and one side is fine rocks.
WHICH HALACHOS APPLY IN EACH ADAR
Mishnah: If the Megilah was read in Adar Rishon, and the year was declared a leap year, we read it again in Adar Sheni;
The only differences between Adar Rishon and Sheni are Keri'as ha'Megilah and Matanos l'Evyonim.
Inference: Adar Rishon and Sheni are the same regarding the four special (Maftir) portions.
Question: The Mishnah is not like any of the three Tana'im of the coming Beraisa!
(Beraisa): If the Megilah was read in Adar Rishon, and the year was declared a leap year, we read it again in Adar Sheni. All Mitzvos which apply in Adar Sheni apply in Adar Rishon, except for Keri'as ha'Megilah;
R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Yosi says, we do not read it in Adar Sheni, because all Mitzvos that apply in the second apply in the first;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, we also read in Adar Sheni, since all Mitzvos that apply in the second don't apply in the first.
Eulogies and fasting are forbidden on the 14th and 15th of both months.
Question: What is the difference between the first Tana and R. Shimon ben Gamliel?
Answer (Rav Papa): They argue about the four Parshiyos. The first Tana says that if they were read in Adar Rishon, one need not repeat them; R. Shimon ben Gamliel requires repeating them.
Summation of question: The Mishnah is unlike the first Tana, who says that even Matanos l'Evyonim do not apply in Adar Rishon. It is not like R. Eliezer bar R. Yosi, who says that the Megilah may be read in Adar Rishon. It is not like R. Shimon ben Gamliel, who says that even the Parshiyos must be repeated.
Answer #1: Really, the Mishnah is like the first Tana. When he says 'except for Keri'as ha'Megilah', he includes Matanos l'Evyonim, since these depend on the reading.
Answer #2: The Mishnah is like R. Shimon ben Gamliel. It means as follows:
The only difference between the 14th of Adar Rishon and Sheni is Keri'as ha'Megilah and Matanos l'Evyonim. They are the same regarding eulogies and fasting; the Mishnah does not discuss the Parshiyos.
(R. Chiya bar Avin): The Halachah follows R. Shimon ben Gamliel.
(R. Yochanan): R. Eliezer and R. Shimon both learned from the same verse, "In every year and year."
R. Eliezer says, every year we celebrate in the month next to Shevat.
R. Shimon says, every year we celebrate in the month adjacent to Nisan.
We understand R. Eliezer's reason - we do not pass over Mitzvos.
Question: What is R. Shimon's reason?
Answer #1 (R. Tavi): It is better to put redemptions close to each other.
Answer #2 (R. Elazar): He learns from "Lekayem Es Igeres ha'Purim ha'Zos ha'Shenis".