NEDARIM 62 (9 Av) - Dedicated by Rabbi Dr. Eli Turkel of Ra'anana, Israel, in memory of his father, Reb Yisrael Shimon ben Shlomo ha'Levi Turkel. Isi Turkel, as he was known, loved Torah and worked to support it literally with his last ounce of strength. He passed away on 10 Av 5740.

[62a - 43 lines; 62b - 26 lines]

1)[line 5]מרהוןMARHON- their owner

2)[line 8]סניות מילתאSANYUS MILSA- (a) [he said it out of] ill will (RAN, MEFARESH); (b) [it would have been] a wicked thing [for him to say otherwise] (ROSH)

3)[line 17]אחתיה בשקאACHTEI B'SAKA- he placed Rebbi Tarfon in a sack

4)[line 17]ואמטייה למשדיה בנהראV'AMTEYEI L'MISHDEI B'NAHARA- and brought him [down to a river in order to] to throw him into the river

5)[line 19]וערקV'ARAK- and he ran away

6)[line 24]"ובאו בה פריצים וחיללוה""... U'VA'U VAH PARITZIM V'CHILELUHA"- "[I will also turn My face from them, and they shall profane My secret place;] for the robbers shall enter into it, and profane it" (Yechezkel 7:22) - Our Gemara interprets this verse as referring not only to the Beis ha'Mikdash, but to its utensils as well.

7)[line 25]"בה בליליא קטיל בלשצר [מלכא כשדאה]""BEH B'LEILYA KETIL BELSHATZAR [MALKA KASDA'AH]" - "That very night, Belshatzar, [king of the Kasdim,] was killed" (Daniel 5:30) (THE DEATH OF BELSHATZAR)

(a)Belshatzar, son of Nevuchadnetzar, succeeded his brother Evil Merodach on the throne of Bavel. To celebrate the defeat of the combined armies of Daryavesh (king of Medes) and Koresh (king of Persia), Belshatzar organized a big drinking party, at which he drank the equivalent of what a thousand men would normally drink. It was in this state of drunkenness that he decided to take out the holy vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash that his father had captured so that he and the princes, his wives and concubines could drink from them.

(b)As they drank, a hand appeared and wrote on the wall the famous words, "Mene Mene Tekel u'Farsin" (although that was not the order in which the words actually appeared). The king, visibly shaken, called in all of his wise men to read the mysterious words and to decipher them, promising that whoever was able to do so would wear purple robes and a gold chain around his neck, and that he would rule over a third of Bavel. Nobody could decipher the words, until the queen reminded him about Daniel (otherwise known as Beltshatzar), a man in his kingdom who possessed Divine wisdom and who superseded all if the sages of Bavel, and who was also a competent dream-interpreter.

(c)When Daniel was brought before the king, he reminded him of how, due to his incredible conceitedness, his father had been forced to live among the animals for seven years. Now Belshatzar had gone in his footsteps, displaying the audacity to take the vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash and use them for his own pleasure. For this reason, HaSh-m had "counted the days of his kingdom (and found them complete), and He weighed his merits (and found them deficient, and He would break up his kingdom and give it to Persia and Medes)."

(d)Daniel received his promised reward, but that did not prevent Belshatzar from receiving his just punishment. The defeated Daryavesh and Koresh rallied their troops and counter-attacked his army, defeating it and killing Belshatzar in the attack.

(e)The Midrash tells a different version of the story: When Belshatzar heard Daniel's interpretation of the "writing on the wall," he ordered his guards (among them Koresh and Daryavesh, who were currently on guard-duty) to decapitate anyone they found roaming the palace grounds that night, even if he claimed to be the king himself. Later that night, the king needed to relieve himself. As was customary in those days, the toilets were not built inside the royal palace but a slight distance away from it. Somehow, the guards did not notice Belshatzar's departure. They did, however, spot him upon his return, and challenged him to identify himself. He replied that he was the king. However, remembering the king's very own instructions, they took the base of the candelabra and smashed his head. He convulsed that night and the following day, the day that his reign was destined to terminate, when he succumbed to his wounds.

(f)The verse informs us that Daryavesh the Mede came to power when he was 62. According to the Midrash, this refers to the day, exactly 62 two years earlier, when Nevuchadnetzar entered the Heichal of the Beis ha'Mikdash before taking Yehoyachin into captivity. On that very day, Daryavesh, who would later destroy Nevuchadnetzar's empire and transfer the reins of power from Bavel to Persia and Medes, was born.

8)[line 35]עשה דברים לשם פעלםASEH DEVARIM L'SHEM PO'ALAM- do things for the sake of He Who caused them to be done

9)[line 36]קורדוםKURDOM- an axe or hatchet for chopping wood (Beitzah 31a) or a sharp spade for digging or hoeing (Sotah 15b)

10)[line 37]עודרODER- to hoe

11)[line 38]לאודועי נפשיהL'ODO'EI NAFSHEI- to let people know who he is (e.g. that he is G-d-fearing or that he is a great Talmid Chacham)

12)[line 39]"והיה אני אלך מאתך, ורוח ה' ישאך על אשר לא אדע, ובאתי להגיד לאחאב ולא ימצאך והרגני; ועבדך ירא את ה' מנערי""V'HAYAH, ANI ELECH ME'ITACH V'RU'ACH HASH-M YISA'ACHA AL ASHER LO EDA, U'VASI L'HAGID L'ACHAV V'LO YIMTZA'ACHA VA'HARAGANI; V'AVDECHA YAREI ES HASH-M MI'NE'URAI" - "And it will be that, no sooner will I take leave of you, than a wind from HaSh-m will carry you away to I know not where; then when I come and tell Achav, he will not find you, and he will kill me, and your servant has feared HaSh-m since my youth" (Melachim I 18:12) (OVADYAH MEETS ELIYAHU)

(a)It was the third year of the terrible famine that Eliyahu had decreed. HaSh-m appeared to Eliyahu and instructed him to go to Achav and inform him that He would send rain. Meanwhile, Achav and the Navi Ovadyah split up, each taking a different route to search for vegetation to feed the horses and the mules. That was when Ovadyah met Eliyahu.

(b)Eliyahu asked Ovadyah to inform Achav that Eliyahu was on his way to see him. Ovadyah complained bitterly how Achav had searched for Eliyahu high and low without success. He expressed his fear that the king would accuse him of mocking him, and he was a G-d-fearing man who did not deserve to die for no reason. Ovadyah reminded Eliyahu how, following Izevel's (Achav's wicked wife) persecution of the prophets of HaSh-m, he had personally taken responsibility for a hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty in one cave and fifty in another, providing for their upkeep from his own funds. Eliyahu responded by swearing that he would appear to Achav that very day.

13)[line 41]שרו לי תיגראי ברישאSHARU LI TIGRAI B'REISHA- (lit. free my conflict first) judge my case first


14)[line 1]לפתוח ראשוןLIFTO'ACH RISHON- to be the first one to read from the Sefer Torah

15)[line 3]לא יהיבנא אכרגאLO YEHIVNA A'KARGA- I refuse to give money for the head-tax

16)[line 4]"ולכם מהודעין די כל כהניא ולויא זמריא תרעיא נתיניא ופלחי בית א-להא דנה, מנדה בלו והלך לא שליט למרמא עליהם""U'LECHOM MEHOD'IN DI CHOL KAHANAYA, V'LEVAYEI, ZAMARAYA. TARA'AYA, NESINAYA, U'FALCHEI BEIS E-LAKA D'NA, MINDAH VELO VA'HALACH, LO SHALIT L'MIRMEI ALEIHOM" - "And to you (the tax-officers) we declare that concerning all the Kohanim, the Levi'im, the singers and the gate-keepers, the Nesinim and whoever serves in this House of HaSh-m, it shall not be lawful to impose upon them any tax, levy or duty" (Ezra 7:24) (THE MAGNANIMITY IF DARYAVESH, KING OF PERSIA)

(a)Eighteen years after Koresh, king of Persia, permitted the construction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, and then withdrew his permission after the foundations had laid, Daryavesh, son of Achashverosh and Esther, finally granted Ezra and Nechemyah permission to complete the construction.

(b)He further authorized Ezra to appoint judges who would judge Torah-law throughout the entire area, and issued instructions that whoever failed to comply would be severely punished.

(c)See Background to Rosh Hashanah 4:1.

17)[line 5]מנת המלךMENAS HA'MELECH- property tax (ROSH)

18)[line 5]כסף גולגלתאKESEF GULGALTA- head-tax

19)[line 6]ארנונאARNONA- (a) meals provided for the king when he is traveling (RAN, 1st explanation); (b) a yearly share of crops or animals given to the king (ROSH, RAN, 2nd explanation)

20)[line 7]עבדא דנורא אנאAVDA D'NURA ANA- I am the servant [of a priest] of fire-worshippers

21)[line 9]ההוא אבאHAHU IBA- a certain forest

22)[line 10]זבניה לבי נוראZABNEI L'VEI NURA- he sold it to a church of fire-worshippers

23)[line 15]''עד הגשמים'', ''עד שיהו הגשמים''''AD HA'GESHAMIM,'' ''AD SHE'YEHU HA'GESHAMIM''- that is, if a person makes either one of these statements

24)[line 16]רביעה שניהREVI'AH SHENIYAH- the second rains of the season

25)[last line]עד זמן גשמים קאמרAD ZEMAN GESHAMIM KA'AMAR- (a) until the time of the first rains (TOSFOS, ROSH); (b) until the time of the second rains (RAN); (c) until the time of the third rains (RAMBAM)