[32a - 36 lines; 32b - 54 lines]

1)[line 2]ותרצה לדרבי נחמיה הכיV'TARTZAH LED'REBBI NECHEMYAH HACHI- and read [the statement of] Rebbi Nechemyah as follows: ...


2)[line 12]ווידוי מעשרVIDUY MA'ASER

(a)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.

(b)In the afternoon of Erev Pesach in the fourth and seventh years, the owner first performs Bi'ur, giving all remaining Terumah and Terumas Ma'aser to Kohanim, Ma'aser Rishon to Leviyim, and Ma'aser Ani to the poor. All remaining Ma'aser Sheni, Pidyonos of Ma'aser Sheni (coins on which Ma'aser Sheni was redeemed), and Bikurim must be destroyed wherever they are.

(c)He then says Viduy Ma'aser, declaring that he has set aside all of the required tithes and gifts, and that he kept 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. According to the RAMBAM, (Hilchos Ma'aser Sheni 11:1-3), it is stated in the afternoon of the last day of Pesach.

(d)The words of Viduy Ma'aser "Bi'arti ha'Kodesh Min ha'Bayis, (or v'Gam Nesativ la'Levi - Rashi Devarim 26:13 based on the Yerushalmi Ma'aser Sheni 5:5) refer to Bikurim. (According to Rebbi Shimon, Viduy Bikurim refers to the verses that are recited when the owner holds the basket of fruits on his shoulder — see below entry #6.)

3)[line 12]קרית שמעKERI'AS SHEMA

(a)There is a Mitzvah for every Jewish male to read Keri'as Shema every evening and morning. The three chapters or Perakim of Keri'as Shema are Shema (Devarim 6:4-9), v'Hayah Im Shamo'ah (Devarim 11:13-21) and va'Yomer (Bamidbar 15:37-41). The phrase "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso li'Olam va'Ed" is recited in an undertone between Shema and v'Hayah Im Shamo'a. There is a difference of opinion as to whether the obligation is from the Torah or mid'Rabanan.

(b)The reason for the Mitzvah is in order for a person to accept upon himself HaSh-m's kingship and to remember His Oneness, to help him refrain from sinning and being led astray by his animal instincts. (SEFER HA'CHINUCH #420)

4)[line 13]ושבועת העדותSHEVU'AS HA'EDUS

(a)One of the litigants in a court case has the right to force a person to take an oath when he feels that the person is concealing testimony about the case. The oath that the alleged witness takes to claim that he is not harboring any testimony is called a Shevu'as ha'Edus (Vayikra 5:1).

(b)For example, a person asks two witnesses to testify on his behalf, in order to oblige the opposing litigant to pay him. The witnesses deny all knowledge of the case and even swear in court to that effect. If they admit afterwards that they did know testimony, they must bring a Korban Oleh v'Yored. If they are wealthy, they each bring a female sheep or female goat. If they cannot afford the animal, they may each bring two turtledoves or two common doves, one as a Chatas and one as an Olah. If they cannot even afford birds, they may each bring an offering of 1/10 of an Eifah of flour as a Minchas Chatas (ibid. 5:5-13).

5)[line 13]ושבועת הפיקדוןSHEVU'AS HA'PIKADON

If one of the litigants in a court case claims that his opponent owes him money or is unjustly holding onto an item that belongs to him, the claimant has the right to force the accused to take an oath that he holds no such money. The oath that the accused takes to assert that he is not harboring any money or item is called a Shevu'as ha'Pikadon. If the accused later admits to his sin, he must return what he stole, pay a fine of Chomesh (a fifth of the ensuing total, or a fourth of the original value, of the money he withheld) and bring a Korban Asham to receive atonement (Vayikra 5:20-26).

6)[line 14]מקרא ביכוריםMIKRA BIKURIM

(a)The Mitzvah of Bikurim consists of bringing the first fruits to emerge in one's field every year to the Beis ha'Mikdash. While the basket was on his shoulder, the owner recites the Mikra Bikurim, specific verses from Devarim (26:3, 5-10) thanking HaSh-m for taking us out of Egypt and giving us the land of Yisrael. He then places the basket of fruit at the base of the southwestern corner of the Mizbe'ach (RAMBAM Hilchos Bikurim 3:12) and bows down before HaSh-m. Afterwards, he gives the Bikurim to a Kohen (Mishnah Bikurim 3:8, RAMBAM ibid. 3:1).

(b)The Mitzvah of Bikurim applies only to the seven species with which the land of Eretz Yisrael was blessed (Devarim 8:8) — wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates (Bikurim 1:3, RAMBAM ibid. 2:2). (Although many other types of produce now grow in Eretz Yisrael, these are the only species of produce truly indigenous to Yisrael. Other, "immigrant," species can be destroyed by drought or harsh weather, but these seven species will always be part of the land. -Heard once from a leading botanist, -MK.)

(c)In certain instances, the owner only brings the fruit without reciting the declaration (Mevi v'Eino Korei). For example, if he brings them between Sukos and Chanukah, he does not recite the verses (see Gemara Pesachim 36b and Rashi there).

(d)Kohanim eat the Bikurim within the walls of Yerushalayim. If a person eats them outside of Yerushalayim after the Bikurim have entered Yerushalayim (according to the Rambam, or after the Bikurim have entered the Azarah according to Rashi in Makos 18b), he receives Malkos. They must be brought back into Yerushalayim and eaten there.

7)[line 15]וחליצהCHALITZAH (YIBUM / CHALITZAH)

(a)If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum.

(b)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.

(c)The connection of the brother to the dead man's wife, which obligates one of the two, is called Zikah. It is comparable to the state of Eirusin (betrothal) before a marriage. The Tana of the Mishnah from Yevamos rules that the Zikah "connects" the Yevamah with all of the brothers, not only the oldest. While the Yevamah is waiting for Yibum or Chalitzah, she is called a Shomeres Yavam.

8)[line 15]ברכות וקללותBERACHOS U'KELALOS

(a)The Torah commands that as soon as Bnei Yisrael were to enter the land of Kena'an, they were to perform a ceremony to accept upon themselves certain blessings and curses (Devarim 11:29-32; 27:1-26). During the ceremony, six tribes stood on Har Gerizim (Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Yosef, and Binyamin) and six on Har Eival (Re'uven, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Dan, and Naftali). The Elders of the Kohanim and the Leviyim stood below with the Aron ha'Kodesh in the valley between the mountains.

(b)The Elders first faced Har Gerizim and pronounced the verses in Devarim 27:15-26 in the form of a blessing, e.g. "Blessed is the person who does not make an idol...," contrary to the form of the verse. They next turned towards Har Eival and pronounced the same verse as it is written, and so on for all twelve verses (Sotah 37b).

(c)The twelve stones that the people cut from the dry bed of the Yarden River (Yehoshua 4:3, 20) were used to build a Mizbe'ach on Har Eival. They sacrificed Olos and Shelamim there and ate and drank and rejoiced in the Simchah of the Mitzvos.

(d)According to one opinion of the Tana'im, Har Gerizim and Har Eival are mountains in the Shomron, in the vicinity of Shechem. Another Tana claims that they were actually two hillocks that were named Har Gerizim and Har Eival for the ceremony, and were near Gilgal, in the vicinity of Yericho (TOSFOS to Sotah 33b DH Mul).

9)[line 15]ברכת כהניםBIRKAS KOHANIM

The Kohanim are required to bless the people with the three-fold blessing, as described in Bamidbar 6:22-27. In the Beis ha'Mikdash the blessing was said with the Shem ha'Mefurash (the Tetragrammaton — Sotah 38a). According to Tosfos DH Harei Hu Omer (ibid.), this is only true when there is Giluy Shechinah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since there was no Giluy Shechinah after the passing of Shimon ha'Tzadik, the Kohanim stopped saying Birkas Kohanim with the Shem ha'Mefurash.

10)[line 16]וברכת כהן גדולBIRKAS KOHEN GADOL

See the Mishnah and Gemara below, 40b-41a.

11)[line 16]ופרשת המלךPARASHAS HA'MELECH (HAKHEL)

All of the Jewish people are obligated in the Mitzvah of Hakhel once every seven years, as it states in Devarim 31:10-13, "At the end of every seven years, in the Shemitah year, during the festival of Sukos, when all of Yisrael comes to appear before HaSh-m in the place which He shall choose, you shall read this Torah before all of Yisrael. Gather the people together, men, women and children... that they may hear, and learn, and fear HaSh-m, your Elokim, and observe all the words of this Torah." This takes place in the Beis ha'Mikdash on the second day of Sukos in the year following the Shemitah year. During Hakhel, the King reads from the Torah portions of Devarim, as specified in the Mishnah Sotah 41a.

12)[line 17]ופרשת עגלה ערופהPARASHAS ELGAH ARUFAH

(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). The procedure is as follows:

(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).

13)[line 17]ומשוח מלחמהMESHU'ACH MILCHAMAH

(a)There is a Mitzvah to appoint a Kohen at the onset of a war to speak to the soldiers and encourage them. This Kohen is anointed with the Shemen ha'Mishchah, and is therefore called the Meshu'ach Milchamah.

(b)Before the soldiers leave for the front the Kohen reads the verses in Devarim (20:5-7) which order certain people to return to their homes. These people are:

1.a person who recently built a house but did not yet consecrate it,

2.a person who recently planted a vineyard but did not yet redeem the fourth-year fruits,

3.a person who recently became engaged but did not yet marry the woman.

4.A Shoter (officer) present also reads the next verse (ibid. 20:8) that instructs all of those who are afraid of the battle (because of their personal sins) to return to their homes, lest they instill fear in the rest of the soldiers going to battle.

(c)Before the onset of each battle, the Kohen admonishes the soldiers not to fear the battle, reading verses 20: 3-4. He encourages them that even if their only merit is the fact that they read Keri'as Shema twice daily, this is enough to save them. (RAMBAM Hilchos Melachim 7:1-3, SEFER HA'CHINUCH #526)

14)[line 25]"הלא המה בעבר הירדן אחרי דרך מבוא השמש בארץ הכנעני הישב בערבה מול הגלגל אצל אלוני מרה""HALO HEMAH B'EVER HA'YARDEN, ACHAREI DERECH MEVO HA'SHEMESH, B'ERETZ HA'KENA'ANI HA'YOSHEV BA'ARAVAH, MUL HA'GILGAL ETZEL ELONEI MOREH"- "Behold, they are on the other side of the Yarden, far from the road where the sun goes down (alt. comes up), in the land of the Kena'anim, who live in the Aravah, opposite Gilgal, beside Elonei Moreh" (Devarim 11:30).

15)[line 29]מקיפיןMEKIFIN- surround

16)[line 30]"וכל ישראל וזקניו ושטרים ושפטיו עמדים מזה ומזה לארון נגד הכהנים הלוים נשאי ארון ברית ה' כגר כאזרח חציו אל מול הר גרזים והחציו אל מול הר עיבל כאשר צוה משה עבד ה' לברך את העם ישראל בראשנה""V'CHOL YISRAEL U'ZKENAV V'SHOTRIM V'SHOFTAV OMDIM MI'ZEH UMI'ZEH LA'ARON NEGED HA'KOHANIM HA'LEVIYIM NOSE'EI ARON BRIS HASH-M KA'GER KA'EZRACH CHETZYO EL MUL HAR GERIZIM VEHA'CHETZYO EL MUL HAR EIVAL..." - "And all Yisrael, their elders, their policemen, and their judges were standing on either side of the Aron, opposite the Kohanim, the Leviyim who carried the Aron of Covenant of HaSh-m, both the converts and the natives, half towards Mount Gerizim and half towards Mount Eival, just as Moshe the servant of HaSh-m had commanded, to bless Yisrael at first" (Yehoshua 8:33) (HAR GEIZIM AND HAR EIVAL)

The Navi has just informed us that, immediately upon crossing the Jordan River (see Rashi), they built a Mizbe'ach with one of the sets of twelve complete stones that they had taken from the riverbed as they crossed it. After they sacrificed Olos and Shelamim on it, Yehoshua wrote on it the Book of Devarim. After the blessings and curses (note the sequence), they were to take the Mizbe'ach apart and reconstruct it in Gilgal upon their arrival there.

17a)[line 32]פסלPESEL- an idol

b)[line 32]ומסכהU'MASECHAH- and a molten image

18)[line 35]וסדוהו בסידV'SADUHU B'SID- and they plastered it with plaster


19)[line 7]במקידה של חרשB'MEKEIDAH SHEL CHERES- with a type of earthenware vessel

20)[line 10]שלא להוציא לעז על מים המריםSHE'LO L'HOTZI LA'AZ AL MAYIM HA'MARIM- in order not to cause bad rumors to be spoken about the Mei Sotah

21)[line 12]"ואמרת לפני ה' א-לקיך, בערתי הקדש מן הבית [וגם נתתיו ללוי ולגר ליתום ולאלמנה ככל מצותך אשר צויתני; לא עברתי ממצותיך ולא שכחתי]""V'AMARTA LIFNEI HASH-M EL-KECHA, 'BI'ARTI HA'KODESH MIN HA'BAYIS, [V'GAM NESATIV LA'LEVI VELA'GER LA'YASOM VELA'ALMANAH, K'CHOL MITZVASECHA ASHER TZIVISANI; LO AVARTI MI'MITZVOSECHA V'LO SHACHACHTI]'"- "Then you shall say before HaSh-m, your G-d, 'I have removed all of the holy things from my house, [and also have given them to the Levi, and to the convert, to the orphan, and to the widow, according to all of Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them]'" (Devarim 26:13).

22)[line 16]גרידתאGREIDASA- [that is written] alone

23a)[line 19]שבחוSHIVCHO- his praise

b)[line 19]וגנותוU'GENUSO- and his disgrace

24)[line 24]לא חלק הכתוב מקום בין חטאת לעולהLO CHILEK HA'KASUV MAKOM BEIN CHATAS L'OLAH- the verse did not specify different places for the Shechitah (ritual slaughter) of a Chatas (sin-offering) and the Shechitah of an Olah (burnt-offering); they were both slaughtered in the northern part of the Azarah

25)[line 25]חטאתCHATAS

(a)If a person transgresses a sin b'Shogeg (unintentionally) for which he is liable to Kares b'Mezid (intentionally), he is liable to bring a Korban Chatas. The Korban Chatas is a female goat or sheep. Since it is one of the Kodshei Kodashim (the highest sanctity of sacrifices), it may be slaughtered only in the northern part of the Azarah. Before its slaughter, the owner presses his hands on the head of the animal (Semichah) and confesses his sin.

(b)The offering of the Chatas Behemah consists of five procedures:

1.SHECHITAH - Standing on the floor of the Azarah north of the Mizbe'ach, the Kohen slaughters the animal, making sure to cut two Simanim (the trachea and the esophagus).

2.KABALAS HA'DAM - A Kohen catches the life-blood of the animal in a utensil. The Eimurim (the fats and other parts of the Korban that are burned on the Mizbe'ach) are removed from the animal.

3.HOLACHAH - The Kohen walks with the blood up to the top of the Mizbe'ach.

4.NESINAS HA'DAM - Using his finger, the Kohen applies some of the blood to each of the four Keranos of the Mizbe'ach.

5.HAKTARAS HA'EIMURIM - The Eimurim are cast into the fire on the Mizbe'ach.

(c)The Kohanim eat the rest of the Chatas Behemah in the Azarah.

26)[line 25]עולהOLAH (OLAS YACHID)

(a)A person may offer a Korban in the Beis ha'Mikdash as a voluntary sacrifice (Olas Nedavah), as it states in Vayikra 1:2. Voluntary Korbanos may be Olos (which are burned entirely on the Mizbe'ach, see Vayikra 1:2-17, 6:1-6), Shelamim (parts of which are eaten, see Vayikra 3:1-17, 7:11-21, 7:28-37), or Menachos (flour offerings, see Vayikra 2:1-13, 6:7-11, 7:9-10).

(b)Korbenos Olah are Kodshei Kodashim and therefore they may be slaughtered only in the northern part of the Azarah. Before its slaughter, the owner presses his hands on the head of the animal (Semichah). The blood of the Olah is cast at the northeastern and southwestern corners of the Mizbe'ach (Shenayim she'Hen Arba), below the Chut ha'Sikra (dividing line halfway up the Mizbe'ach). Nesachim (a meal offering consisting of flour and oil and a wine libation) are brought as part of the Korban (Bamidbar 15:3-12). The meal offering is completely burned on the Mizbe'ach and the wine is poured into one of the Sefalim (the silver libation pipes located at the top of the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach) (RAMBAM and RA'AVAD Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 2:1). The amount of flour, oil, and wine needed depends upon the animal offered, as specified in Bamidbar (ibid., see Background to Sotah 15:9).

(c)The skin of the Olah is given to the Kohanim and the rest of the animal is dismembered and entirely burned on the Mizbe'ach.

27)[line 26]"... וטמא טמא יקרא""... V'TAMEI TAMEI YIKRA"- "[And the Tzaru'a in whom the affliction is found, his clothes shall be torn, and his head shall remain uncut, and he shall cover his head until his upper lip,] and shall call out, 'Unclean, unclean'" (Vayikra 13:45) - The purpose for announcing that he is Tamei is so that people will pray for him.

28)[line 28]מבקשים עליו רחמיםMEVAKSHIM ALAV RACHAMIM- ask mercy for him (i.e. pray for him)

29)[line 28]שאירע בוSHE'IRA BO- to whom happens

30)[line 34]דם חטאת למעלה ודם עולה למטהDAM CHATAS L'MA'ALAH V'DAM OLAH L'MATAH- see above, entries 25:b:4 and 26:b

31)[line 36]מיכסיא באליהMICHASYA B'ALYA- [the genitals] are covered by the fat-tail

32a)[line 37]כבשהKIVSAH- a female sheep

b)[line 37]שעירהSE'IRAH- a female goat

33)[line 38]איהו דקא מיכסיף נפשיהIHU D'KA MICHSIF NAFSHEI- he is the one who causes himself the embarrassment

34)[line 39]חטאת דעבודת כוכביםCHATAS D'AVODAS KOCHAVIM

(a)A person who b'Shogeg (unintentionally) commits an act of idolatry that carries a Chiyuv Kares when performed b'Mezid (intentionally) must bring a male goat as a Korban Chatas (Bamidbar 15:27).

(b)Four acts of idolatry carry the Kares punishment regardless of which Avodah Zarah is worshipped:

1.ha'Mishtachaveh (one who bows down),

2.ha'Zove'ach (one who offers a sacrifice),

3.ha'Maktir (one who burns incense),

4.ha'Menasech (one who pours a libation).

(c)In addition, if a person performs an act that is the normal form of worshipping that particular Avodah Zarah, he is also liable to Kares (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodah Zarah 3:2-3).

35)[line 48]למפרעL'MAFRE'A- [starting with a later verse and reciting the verses] in reverse [order]