(a)Which sin does the Navi ascribe to the sons of Shmuel, and how does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan explain it?
(b)Why can the Pasuk not be taken literally?
(c)Who were 'Chazaneihem' and 'Sofreihem'? What was their connection with the sin of Shmuel's sons?
(a)With regard to the sons of Shmuel - the Navi writes, "va'Yatu Acharei ha'Batza", suggesting that they were dishonest. Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan however explains - that what they were really guilty of was not following in the footsteps of their father, who would travel round the country to administer justice to the people.
(b)The Pasuk cannot be taken literally, he explains - because of the Pasuk "Vayehi Ki Zaken Shmuel, ve'Lo Halchu Banav bi'Derachav", indicating the extent of their sin.
(c)'Chazaneihem ve'Sofreihem' - were their attendants (whose job it was to call the litigants to court), and their scribes, respectively. And it was in order to pay them better wages, that Shmuel's sons decided to remain at home, rather than to travel the country, like their father did.
(a)According to Rebbi Meir, their sin was not based on what they did, or did not, do, but on what they said. What was it?
(b)'Rebbi Yehudah Omer, Melai Hitilu Al Ba'alei-Batim'. What does that mean, and why should it be a sin?
(c)According to Rebbi Akiva, they claimed Ma'aser excessively, from many people. What does Rebbi Yossi say?
(d)What else might 'Matanos' refer to? Then what was their sin?
(a)According to Rebbi Meir, their sin was not based on what they did, or did not, do, but on what they said - because they used to ask for Ma'aser Rishon (since they were Levi'im). This was considered a sin - because nobody would refuse the request of such important dignitiries, with the result that other poor Levi'im, to whom the owners would otherwise have given their Ma'aser, were deprived of it.
(b)'Rebbi Yehudah Omer, Melai Hitilu Al Ba'alei-Batim' - meaning that Shmuel's sons would give various people merchandise to trade, from which they would receive half the profits. Later, when those same people came to them for judgment, they accepted their cases, despite the fact that they could not possibly judge them impartially.
(c)According to Rebbi Akiva, they claimed Ma'aser excessively, from many people; whereas Rebbi Yossi learns that they actually took Matnos Kehunah (the Zero'a, Lechayayim and the Keivah) in spite of the fact that they were not Kohanim.
(d)Alternatively, they took Ma'asros by force - and the Torah writes in Devarim "ve'Nasan la'Kohen" the Mitzvah of all Matnos Kehunah (incorporating Matnos Leviyah) is for the Yisrael to give, not for the Kohen or the Levi to take.
(a)What does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learn from the Pasuk in Shmuel "Vayehi David le'Chol Derachav Maskil, va'Hashem Imo"?
(b)How does Rebbi explain the Pasuk "Madua Bazisa es Devar Hash-m La'asos (as opposed to Asah) ha'Ra"? Why should Rebbi of all people, be the one to make this Derashah?
(c)What did David do wrong in the way he handled Uri'ah ha'Chiti?
(d)How is it that David was not guilty of adultery? How do we learn this from Yishai's words to David "ve'es Arubasam Tikach"?
(a)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learns from the Pasuk "Vayehi David le'Chol Derachav Maskil, va'Hashem Imo" - that (if the Navi writes such praise about David), it is inconceivable that David was guilty of adultery (as would appear from the Pasuk in Shmuel).
(b)Rebbi explains the Pasuk "Madu'a Bazisa ... La'asos ha'Ra" (as opposed to Asah) to mean - that David only intended to commit adultery (to have relations with Bas-Sheva before she received a Get from Uri'ah), but refrained from doing so. It is Rebbi who sought to lighten David's sin, - because he descended from David.
(c)What David did wrong in the way he handled Uri'ah ha'Chiti - was to issue his death-sentence independently, not as a member of Sanhedrin.
(d)David was not guilty of adultery - because it was customary for all the soldiers who went to the battle-front to give a Get to their wives, to avoid any problems should they not return, as Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan wxplains. This custom is also reflected in the Pasuk "ve'es Arubasam Tikach", which Yishai asked of David (when he went to visit his brothers at the barracks) - which the Tana de'Bei Rav Yosef interprets to mean that David was to take from them what guaranteed their co-existence (the Kidushin) from them, by means of a Get, which the brothers were to give him to take home.
(a)What do we learn from the Pasuk "ve'Oso Haragta be'Cherev B'nei Amon"?
(b)Why was David not guilty for having Uri'ah put to death?
(c)What was Uri'ah's sin?
(d)Which other sin might David have been guilty of?
(a)"ve'Oso Haragta be'Cherev B'nei Amon" teaches us - that, just as the Amonites were not guilty for killing Uri'ah, neither was David.
(b)David was not guilty of murder for having Uri'ah put to death - because Uri'ah had earned the death-sentence for what Chazal describe as 'Mored be'Malchus' (in this case, showing the king disrespect).
(c)Uri'ah's sin - was to refer to Yo'av as 'his master' in the presence of David. (See also Tosfos, DH 'de'Amar').
(d)Rav himself, who says in one place that David's only sin was the one mentioned above, says in another - that he was also guilty of accepting Lashon ha'Ra (as we will now explain).
(a)Who were Mefiboshes and Tziva?
(b)Why did David give half of Mefivoshes' field to Tzivah?
(c)What caused him to substantiate that gift?
(d)The repercussions of this sin changed history. What were they?
(a)Mefivoshes - was the son of Yonasan ben Shaul, and Tziva was his slave.
(b)David gave half the field to Tziva (effectively setting him free at the same time) - because Tziva had told him that Mefivoshes remained in Yerushalayim (having failed to accompany David when he fled from Avshalom), because he was waiting for the opportunity to regain the throne, which had been taken from his family after Shaul's death.
(c)It was when David saw that Mefivoshes came unkempt and with unwashed clothes - that he believed Tziva, and substantiated the gift. This was a proof, he thought, that Mefivoshes was in semi-mourning because he, David, had returned safely. (See Mesores ha'Shas for Mefivoshes' genuine motive for not grooming himself.)
(d)Rav Yehudah quoting Rav, says that when David told Mefivoshes that he must split the field with Tziva - a Heavenly voice proclaimed that Rechavam and Yeravam will split the Kingdom. And he added that, if David had not accepted Tziva's Lashon ha'Ra, the Kingdom of David would not have been split, Yisrael would not have served idols and we would not have been sent into exile.
(a)Why did Mefivoshes not accompany David when he left Yerushalayim?
(b)What was Mefivoshes' reaction to David's ruling donating half the field to Tziva? Whom did he blame for his troubles?
(c)How does this connect with the Pasuk - also in Shmuel "u'Ven Yehonasan Meiriv Ba'al"?
(d)And what is the connection between this Pasuk and the Pasuk written in connection with Shaul "va'Yarev ba'Nachal"?
(a)Mefivoshes did not accompany David, according to his account, because Tziva tricked him, by riding off with his donkey - and he (Mefivoshes) was lame, and was unable to walk.
(b)Following David's ruling donating half the field to Tziva - Mefivoshes replied that he may as well take the entire field, also implying that he held it not against David, but against the One who had returned him safely to Yerushalayim and to his throne.
(c)The connection with the Pasuk (also in Shmuel) "u'Ven Yehonasan Meiriv Ba'al" - is the fact that 'Meiriv Ba'al' means one who quarrels with the master, which as we just saw, is what Mefivoshes was guilty of doing.
(d)Taking Hash-m to task was a trait that Mefivoshes, it seems, inherited from his grandfather Shaul, who did the same when commanded by Shmuel to wipe out Amolek - men, women and children. 'What have all these innocent people done to deserve genocide', he asked? That is what is meant by the Pasuk there "va'Yarev ba'Nachal". He quarreled (with Hash-m), in connection with the 'Eglah Arufah', the calf that had its neck broken in the valley - to atone for the death of just one man! So how could he possibly justify killing all of those innocent people, he argued?
(a)What does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learn from the Pasuk in Melachim (in connection with Shlomoh) "ve'Lo Hayah Levavo Shalem Im Hash-m Elokav ki'Levav David Aviv"?
(b)If Shlomoh was not guilty of sinning, then why does the Navi say that he was? How does Rebbi Nasan explain the Pasuk "Nashav Hitu es Levavo", implying that Shlomoh joined his wives in their idolatrous practices?
(c)On what grounds do we reject the contention that (based on the future tense of "Yivneh") "Az Yivneh Shlomoh Bamah li'Kemosh Shikutz Mo'av" must mean that he only wanted to build an altar, but did not actually do so?
(d)How does Rebbi Yossi then explain the Pasuk in Melachim which describes how Yoshiyahu destroyed the Bamos that Shlomoh built?
(a)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learns from the Pasuk (in connection with Shlomoh) "ve'Lo Hayah Levavo Shalem Im Hash-m Elokav ki'Levav David Aviv" - that Shlomoh's sin was not having attained the level of righteousness of his father David, but not of turning his heart away from Hash-m, to go astray after other gods - of which the Navi seems to accuse him.
(b)The Navi accuses him of that doing so - because he did not stop his wives from their idolatrous practices. Rebbi Nasan explains the Pasuk "Nashav Hitu es Levavo" (implying that Shlomoh joined his wives in their idolatrous practices) - to mean that they attempted to do so, but did not succeed
(c)We reject the contention that (based on the future tense of "Yivneh") "Az Yivneh Shlomoh Bamah li'Kemosh Shikutz Mo'av" must mean that he only wanted to build an altar, but did not actually do so - because then we will also have to explain the Pasuk in Yehoshua: "Az Yivneh Yehoshua Mizbei'ach la'Hashem" in the same way, which of course, would be incorrect.
(d)Rebbi Yossi explains that the Pasuk in Melachim, which describes how Yoshiyahu destroyed the Bamos that Shlomoh built - is merely comparing the building of Shlomoh to the destruction of Yoshiyahu: just as Yoshiyahy could not possibly have destroyed the Bamos from the time of Shlomoh (since Asa and Yehoshafat had already demolished them), yet the Navi ascribes the task to him (because of the later altars that he destroyed), so too did Shlomoh not actually build the altar; only it was ascribed to him, because he allowed his wives to build it.
(a)What does Rav Yehudah say regarding the disgrace brought on Shlomoh from the Pasuk, which writes "va'Ya'as ha'Ra be'Einei Hash-m"?
(b)What did Bas Par'oh do on the day that Shlomoh married her, and how did Shlomoh react to it?
(c)What happened on the day that Shlomoh married Bas Par'oh?
(d)What occasion caused the humble beginnings of Rome, and what shape did those beginnings take?
(a)Rav Yehudah comments on the Pasuk ("va'Ya'as ha'Ra ... ") - that it would have been better for Shlomoh to become an attendant for idolatry (to chop wood and draw water) rather than to have such a terrible thing written about him. And this comes to teach us how important it is to rebuke, when one has the power to do so!
(b)On the day that Shlomoh married bas Par'oh - she brought in a thousand kinds of musical instruments, and proceeded to give him a demonstration of how they would play for this god and for that one. Shlomoh remained silent!
(c)On that fateful day ... the Angel Gavriel descended, and planted a reed in the Mediterranean Sea. Mud rose to the surface and surrounded the reed, and it grew until it became Rome (Italy).
(d)And it was when Yeravam built his two calves in Beis-El and in Dan, that the first hut was built - on the spot that later developed into Rome.
(a)What does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan Darshen from the Pasuk in Melachim (regarding Yoshiyahu ha'Melech) "Vaya'as ha'Yashar be'Einei Hash-m, Vayelech be'Chol Derech David Aviv"?
(b)How does he then explain the Pasuk "u'Kemohu Lo Hayah Lefanav Melech Asher Shav"?
(c)And what does he learn from the words "be'Chol Me'Odo"?
(a)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan Darshen from the Pasuk in Melachim (regarding Yoshiyahu ha'Melech) "Vaya'as ha'Yashar be'Einei Hash-m, Vayelech be'Chol Derech David Aviv" - that Yoshiyahu was not a Ba'al Teshuvah, but that he had always gone in the ways of David.
(b)He then explains the Pasuk "u'Kemohu Lo Hayah Lefanav Melech Asher Shav" - in connection with all the monetary rulings that he had issued from the age of eight (when he ascended the throne) till he turned eighteen (when this Pasuk is written), to teach us that he now rescinded them, because it was Chilkiyah's finding of the Sefer-Torah that caused him to study both the written and the oral Torah more carefully, and which brought him to the realisation that his previous rulings were not in accordance with Da'as Torah.
(c)And he learns from "u've'Chol Me'odo" that all of the losses that were incurred as a result of these changes, he payed out of his own pocket (just like "be'Chol Me'odecha" in the Shema means 'with all your money').
(a)Rav disagrees with Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan. He learns the Pasuk literally. How does he describe Yoshiyahu ha'Melech?
(b)Rav Yosef added that there was also someone in his generation who could join that list of unique Ba'alei Teshuvah, by the name of Yosef Tzutzisa. Why was he called by that name? By which name was he better known?
(c)What did he do that made him so praiseworthy?
(a)Rav disagrees with Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan. He describes Yoshiyahu ha'Melech - as being the greatest Ba'al Teshuvah, he together with a certain man who lived in Rav's generation, by the name of Aba, the father of Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba (according to one version).
(b)Rav Yosef added that there was also someone in his generation who could join that list of unique Ba'alei Teshuvah, and he was called Nasan Tzutzisa, alias Mar Ukva. The resaon that he was called Nasan Tzutzisa, either because of sparks of fire that shot from him (from the word 'Nitzutzin - meaning sparks), when the Angel stretched out his hand and accepted his Teshuvah; or because the Angel held him by the hair of his head (from the word 'Tzitzis Roshi' meaning strands of hair).
(c)What he did that made so praiseworthy - was that before he became a Ba'al Teshuvah, he fell madly in love with a woman, who spurned his advances, as a result of which he fell ill. One day, the woman had urgent need of a loan and because he was able to help her, she acquiesced. But Mar Ukva took hold of himself, overcame his desire for her and recovered. Subsequently, whenever he went in the street, a celestial Menorah would burn above his head (perhaps our version of a halo). According to some, this is a third reason why he became known as 'Nasan Tzutzisa' (Rashi Sanhedrin).
HADRAN ALACH 'BA MEH BEHEIMAH!'