[37a - 26 lines; 37b - 29 lines]

1)[line 8]פיסוק טעמיםPISUK TE'AMIM- [for teaching] the cantillations with which the verses are read

2)[line 23]הבלעה היאHAVLA'AH HI- the wages for Shabbos are absorbed in and are an indiscernible part of the wages that are paid for the rest of the year

37b----------------------------------------37b

3a)[line 2]שבתSHABBOS- a week

b)[line 2]שבועSHAVU'AH- a seven-year Shemitah cycle

4)[line 5]דיפנו אבהתהון דינוקי למצותא דשבתאD'YIFNU AVHAS'HON D'YENUKEI L'MITZVASA D'SHABATA- so that the children's fathers should be free and busy themselves with the Mitzvah of Shabbos

5)[line 7]ויקיר עליהון עלמאV 'YAKIR ALEIHON ALMA- they feel heavy from eating a big meal

6)[line 8]שינוי וסת תחילת חולי מעייםSHINUY VESES TEHCILAS CHOLI ME'AYIM- a change in one's regular pattern [of eating] is the beginning of bowel diseases

7)[line 14]"ויקראו בספר תורת האלהים מפורש ושום שכל ויבינו במקרא""VA'YIKRE'U BA'SEFER SORAS ELOKIM MEFORASH, V'SOM SECHEL VA'YAVINU BA'MIKRA" - "And they read in the Sefer Torah of HaSh-m, a clear reading, and they applied themselves, and they understood the reading." (Nechemyah 8:8) (EZRA READS THE TORAH TO THE PEOPLE)

(a)The men and women gathered in the plaza (i.e. Ezras Nashim) in front of the Water Gate on Rosh Hashanah to hear Ezra ha'Sofer read the Torah from atop a wooden platform.

(b)When Ezra opened the Sefer, the people all stood up, and when he recited the Berachah, they replied, "Amen, Amen," with hands outstretched, before kneeling and prostrating themselves on the ground. He read until around midday.

(c)The people wept as Ezra read, as they realized how lax they had become in their observance of Torah and Mitzvos. Nechemyah, Ezra, and the Leviyim reminded them that it was Rosh Hashanah, which is in essence a Yom Tov, on which one does not weep. They instructed them to go home and eat and drink sweet things and to send food to those who did not have.

8)[line 17]מקראMIKRA- the traditional pronunciation of the words

9)[line 18]פיסוק טעמיםPISUK TE'AMIM- the cantillations with which the verses are read

10)[line 19]המסורותHA'MASOROS- the traditional spelling of the Scriptural text

11)[line 20]מקרא סופריםMIKRA SOFRIM- the way the early teachers taught us to read the words, i.e. if the word Eretz comes in the very middle of a verse (with an Esnachta under it) it is read "Aretz," and the word "Mitzrayim" is read as such and not "Mitzrim"

12)[line 20]ועיטור סופריםV'ITUR SOFRIM- (a) and words that come to beautify the text (RAN); (b) letters that seem to be purposely missing from words (TOSFOS, ROSH)

13)[line 25]"[ויך דוד את הדדעזר בן רחב מלך צובה בלכתו להשיב ידו בנהר] פרת. וילכד דוד ממנו אלף ושבע מאות פרשים ועשרים אלף איש רגלי ויעקר דוד את כל הרכב ויותר ממנו מאה רכב""[VA'YACH DAVID ES HADADEZER BEN RECHOV MELECH TZOVAH, B'LECHTO L'HASHIV YADO BI'NEHAR] PERAS. VA'YILKOD DAVID MIMENU ELEF U'SHEVA ME'OS PARASHIM, V'ESRIM ELEF RAGLI; VA'YE'AKER DAVID ES KOL HA'RACHEV, VA'YOSER MIMENU ME'AH RECHEV" - "[And David smote Hadadezer the son of Rechov, King of Tzovah, when he went to widen his borders by the River] Peras. [And David took captive from them 1,700 cavalrymen and 20,000 foot-soldiers; and David destroyed all the chariots (each led by four horses), leaving intact only 100.]" (Shmuel II 8:3-4) (DAVID'S MILITARY SUCCESSES)

(a)The Navi just described David's defeat of the Pelishtim and Mo'av, the latter vassals to him. He goes on to describe how the King of Syria came to Hadadezer's aid, and how David defeated his army, too, killing 22,000 Syrians in battle. Moreover, he captured their land and the people became slaves to David, who brought him regular gifts.

(b)The reason why he destroyed the bulk of the chariots that he captured from Hadadezer was because the Torah forbids a king to have more horses than he needs. Consequently, he kept the 100 for which he had need, destroying all the rest.

(c)The reason why Syria did not become part of Eretz Yisrael was because David captured it before having captured the whole of Eretz Yisrael proper.

14)[line 26]"[ועצת אחיתפל אשר יעץ בימים ההם כאשר ישאל] איש [בדבר האלקים כן כל עצת אחיתפל גם לדוד גם לאבשלם]""[VA'ATZAS ACHITOFEL ASHER YA'ATZ B'YAMIM HA'HEM KA'ASHER YISH'AL] ISH [BI'DEVAR HASH-M, KEN KOL ATZAS ACHITOFEL GAM L'DAVID GAM L'AVSHALOM]" - "[And the advice that Achitofel dispensed in those days was as valuable as if] a man [would consult the word of HaSh-m, so was all the advice of Achitofel both to David and to Avshalom.]" (Shmuel II 16:23) (ACHITOFEL AND CHUSHAI HA'ARKI)

(a)Following Avshalom's rebellion, David was forced to flee from Yerushalayim. He then made the wise move of sending his elderly friend, Chushai ha'Arki, back to Yerushalayim to join the ranks of Avshalom, with instructions to give him counter advice regarding whatever Achitofel would suggest. He would offer a short prayer to HaSh-m to foil any plan that Achitofel would come up with (a combination that would save his life, as we shall now see).

(b)That is precisely what the wily Chushai did. When Achitofel suggested that David and his men, who had just fled from Yerushalayim, were bound to be weak, and now was the time to catch them weak and off-guard, Chushai countered that David was far too clever to be caught napping and that he certainly prepared for such a contingency and had laid an ambush against such an attack. In fact, Achitofel, as always, was right; but miraculously, Avshalom accepted Chushai's suggestion and did not attack there and then, giving David and his men time to escape.

(c)For the first time in his life, Achitofel's advice had been rejected, and he went on to commit suicide.

15)[line 28]"ויען בעז ויאמר לה הגד הגד לי כל אשר עשית את חמותך אחרי מות אישך ותעזבי אביך ואמך וארץ מולדתך ותלכי אל עם אשר לא ידעת תמול שלשום""VA'YA'AN BOAZ VA'YOMER LAH: HUGED HUGAD LI KOL ASHER ASIS ES CHAMOSECH ACHAREI MOS ISHECH, VA'TA'AZVI AVICH V'IMECH V'ERETZ MOLADTECH, VA'TELCHI EL AM ASHER LO YADA'AT TEMOL SHILSHOM" - "And Boaz replied and said to her, 'It has surely been told to me all that you did for your mother-in-law following the death of your husband, how you left your father and mother and the land of your birthplace, and how you went to a country with which you were not familiar, yesterday and the day before.'" (Rus 2:11)

See Background to Yevamos 48:13.

16)[line 28]"[ותאמר אליה כל אשר תאמרי] אלי [אעשה]""[VA'TOMER ELEHAH: KOL ASHER TOMRI] ELAI [E'ESEH]." - "[And she (Rus) said to her (Naomi), 'Whatever you tell] me [to do I will do].'" (Rus 3:5) (NAOMI'S UNUSUAL INSTRUCTIONS)

Although Rus speaks in the future, she is obviously referring to the somewhat strange instruction that she has just received from Naomi. Naomi instructed her to go down to the barn of Boaz that night, where Boaz would be sleeping that night, having just finished winnowing the produce (the end of the harvesting process), in order to guard the produce against robbers. She was to wear her Shabbos clothes, anoint herself and apply make-up, before proceeding to the barn. (Rus, however, switched the order so that people whom she met on the way would not suspect her of being a prostitute.) Once there, she was not to let Boaz see her before he concluded his festive meal and went to lie down. Only later, when Boaz was already asleep, was she to uncover his feet and await further instructions from him.

17)[line 29]"[ותאמר שש השערים האלה נתן לי כי אמר] אלי [אל תבואי ריקם אל חמותך]""[VA'TOMER: SHESH HA'SE'ORIM HA'ELEH NASAN LI, KI AMAR] ELAI ['AL TAVO'I REIKAM EL CHAMOSECH']" - "[And she said: These six barley-grains he gave to me, for he said] to me, ['Do not come empty-handed to your mother-in-law']." (Rus 3:17) (THE HINT THAT BOAZ GAVE)

(a)When Boaz awoke in the middle of the night, he was startled to find what he at first thought might be a demon, but soon discovered was a woman, lying at his feet. When Rus identified herself and hinted broadly that she was available to him for Yibum, as he was a close relative of her deceased husband, he understood the message. He promptly blessed her for remaining loyal to her mother-in-law, and even more so for not running after the numerous boys (all of whom were attracted by her beauty) as one might have expected, and he praised her for her righteousness. He pointed out to her, however, that whereas he was only a cousin of her deceased husband, Machlon, there was an uncle named Tov, who was next of kin, and who had the first right to marry her and take possession of her property. He promised her, however, that he would settle the issue the very next morning (which he did).

(b)After swearing to his Yetzer ha'Ra that he would not touch her until they were married, he told her to remain there for the night.

(c)Sending her away at the crack of dawn so that nobody should recognize her and suspect her of frivolous behavior, he gave her six barley-grains and sent her on her way. The amount he gave her cannot be understood as six Se'ah, since that would have been far too much for a woman to carry back to town. It therefore must be meant literally, and the six grains were meant as an allusion that she would be blessed with a son (Mashi'ach) who would be blessed with six Berachos - "a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of G-d."

(d)Alternatively, he was hinting to the six Tzadikim who were destined to descend from her, each of whom possessed six outstanding qualities - David, Chizkiyahu, Yoshiyahu, Chananyah, Mishael, and Azaryah.

18)[line 29]"[לדבר הזה יסלח ה' לעבדך בבוא אדני בית רמון להשתחות שמה והוא נשען על ידי והשתחויתי בית רמון בהשתחויתי בית רמון יסלח] נא [ה' לעבדך בדבר הזה]" -"[LA'DAVAR HA'ZEH YISLACH HASH-M L'AVDECHA; B'VO ADONI BEIS RIMON L'HISHTACHAVOS SHAMAH, V'HU NISH'AN AL YADI, V'HISHTACHAVEISI BEIS RIMON. B' HISHTACHAVAYASI BEIS RIMON, YISLACH] NA [HASH-M L'AVDECHA BA'DAVAR HA'ZEH]" - "For this [one] thing may HaSh-m forgive your servant; when my master (the king of Syria) comes to Beis Rimon to prostrate himself there, and he leans on me, so that I, too, prostrate myself to Beis Rimon. When I prostrate myself before Beis Rimon, may HaSh-m forgive your servant for this thing." (Melachim II 5:18) (NA'AMAN BECOMES A GER TOSHAV)

(a)When the prophet Elisha first suggested that, in order to be cured from his leprosy, Na'aman should dip seven times in the Jordan River, the latter flew into a temper. He could see no reason why the Jordan River was superior to the Syrian Rivers of Amanah and Parpar. It was only after his servants calmed him down and pointed out that had the Navi asked him to perform some difficult mission, he gladly would have carried it out, and thus common sense dictated that now that the Navi had asked him to perform so simple a task, he had nothing to lose by trying it.

(b)Na'aman followed Elisha's instructions, and to his utter amazement he emerged from the Jordan completely cured. Convinced that the G-d of Yisrael is the true G-d, he offered the Navi a gift. Despite Na'aman's insistence, Elisha bluntly refused to accept it. Na'aman then asked for a large quantity of earth from Eretz Yisrael to take back with him to Syria, with which to erect a Mizbe'ach there, on which he would sacrifice from now on exclusively to HaSh-m. The sole exception was when - in his capacity as general of the army - he was obligated to accompany the king into the idolatrous temple, at which time he had no option but to prostrate himself before the idol as described in the verse. The Navi granted him this request, and blessed him that he should leave in peace.

(c)See Background to Sotah 47:5.

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