[47a - 55 lines; 47b - 53 lines]

1)[line 4]דבעיתיD'VE'ISEI- they (the bears) are afraid [to attack if there is no forest nearby into which they can escape]

2)[line 12]"[וילך המלך גבענה לזבוח שם כי היא הבמה הגדולה] אלף עולות יעלה שלמה על המזבח ההוא""[VA'YELECH HA'MELECH GIV'ONAH LI'ZEBO'ACH SHAM, KI HI HA'BAMAH HA'GEDOLAH;] ELEF OLOS YA'ALEH SHLOMO AL HA'MIZBE'ACH HA'HU" - "[And the King went to Giv'on to sacrifice there, for that is where the large Bamah was situated;] a thousand burned-offerings Shlomo brought on that Mizbe'ach" (Melachim I 3:4) (SHLOMO HA'MELECH IN GIV'ON)

(a)Giv'on was where the Mishkan stood from the time that Shaul ha'Melech destroyed Nov until Shlomo built the Beis ha'Mikdash shortly after the following incident.

(b)In the preceding verse, Shlomo ha'Melech is taken to task for unnecessarily delaying the building of the Beis ha'Mikdash by four years, as Rashi explains.

(b)It was in Giv'on that HaSh-m appeared to the twelve-year-old king, granting him one wish.

(c)After acknowledging HaSh-m's kindness in keeping the promise that He made to his father and placing him on the throne, and pointing out that he - with his young age and inexperience - now stood at the head of a large nation, he asked for a wise and understanding heart, to be able to judge the people. This answer pleased HaSh-m immensely, and, as a result, He promised Shlomo that not only would He grant him his wish but that He would also grant him wisdom the likes of which had never been seen before, and wealth and honor the likes of which no king had ever experienced. He would also be granted long life, provided that he would follow in his father's footsteps.

3)[line 18]משכלתMESHAKELES- kills its inhabitants

4)[line 22]שגירהSHE'GIRAH- that he incited against them

5)[line 23]לגחזיGECHAZI

(a)Elisha was a great prophet and was well known as a worker of miracles. One time an Aramean general (Na'aman), who was suffering from Tzara'as, was persuaded by his Jewish maidservant to seek the help of Elisha to cure him of his disease. He hesitatingly agreed, and to his surprise Elisha cured him completely. Overcome with gratitude, he offered great sums of money as a tribute to Elisha, who refused to accept anything, preferring not to diminish the honor of HaSh-m by lending a commercial aspect to his actions.

(b)Elisha's attendant Gechazi, however, allowed his greed to get the better of him. He ran after the general and falsely claimed that Elisha had changed his mind and did indeed want a talent of silver and two changes of clothing as payment for his services. Na'aman enthusiastically complied, saying: "Swear to me [that you are telling the truth] and take two talents!" Gechazi acceded to his wish and Na'aman wrapped up two talents of silver in two pouches, and sent them, along with the two changes of clothing, with two of his servants (Melachim II 5:1-24). See more below, entry #8.

6)[line 24]"ואלישע חלה את חליו אשר ימות בו [וירד אליו יואש מלך ישראל ויבך על פניו ויאמר אבי אבי רכב ישראל ופרשיו]""V'ELISHA CHALAH ES CHOLYO ASHER YAMUS BO..." - "And Elisha was stricken with the illness from which he was destined to die; [and Yo'ash (king of Yisrael) came down to visit him and he cried out, 'Father father, chariot of Yisrael and its horsemen!'"] (Melachim II 13:14) (YO'ASH'S FOLLY)

(a)As the Gemara explains, Elisha's third and final illness was one from which he would not recover. The Gemara in Bava Metzia points out that Elisha actually had been the first person since Creation to recover from an internal illness.

(b)The extent to which Yo'ash revered Elisha, considering that Yo'ash was a Rasha, is interesting. Moreover, Yo'ash used the very same words with regard to Elisha's death that Elisha used with regard to Eliyahu, when he was taken away in a fiery chariot. The words imply that when Eliyahu in his time and Elisha in his time prayed on behalf of Klal Yisrael, their Tefilos were as effective as chariots and horsemen in defending them.

(c)Elisha commanded Yo'ash to set an arrow on to the bow and to open the window and shoot it out of the window, adding that this was an arrow of salvation against Syria (who was currently tormenting Yisrael), whom they were destined to defeat totally.

(d)Yo'ash shot three arrows out of the window. Elisha was angry with him for stopping. He would indeed have achieved victory had he shot all of the arrows in the quiver, but now that he shot only three, he would go on to defeat them three times, but they would survive (and continue to be a thorn in Yisrael's side).

7)[line 28]לאחד מתלמידיוL'ECHAD MI'TALMIDAV- to one of his students (some editions of the Talmud have the Girsa, Yeshu ha'Notzri)

8)[line 28]"ויאמר נעמן הואל קח ככרים; [ויפרץ בו ויצר ככרים כסף בשני חרטים ושתי חלפות בגדים ויתן אל שני נעריו וישאו לפניו]... ויאמר אליו לא לבי הלך כאשר הפך איש מעל מרכבתו לקראתך; העת לקחת את הכסף ולקחת בגדים וזיתים וכרמים וצאן ובקר ועבדים ושפחות. וצרעת נעמן תדבק בך ובזרעך לעולם; ויצא מלפניו מצרע כשלג""VA'YOMER NA'AMAN, 'HO'EL KACH KIKARAYIM' [VA'YIFROTZ BO VA'YATZAR KIKARAYIM KESEF BI'SHNEI CHARITIM U'SHTEI CHALIFOS BEGADIM, VA'YITEN EL SHNEI NE'ARAV VA'YIS'U L'FANAV]... VA'YOMER ELAV, 'LO LIBI HALACH KA'ASHER HAFACH ISH ME'AL MERKAVTO LIKRASECHA? HA'ES LAKACHAS ES HA'KESEF V'LAKACHAS BEGADIM V'ZEISIM U'KERAMIM V'TZON U'BAKAR VA'AVADIM U'SHEFACHOS? V'TZARA'AS NA'AMAN TIDBAK BECHA UV'ZAR'ACHA L'OLAM!' VA'YETZEI MI'LEFANAV METZORA KA'SHALEG" - "And Na'aman said, 'Please accept two Kikar' (although Gechazi asked for only one); [and he persuaded him to take it. So he wrapped up two silver Kikarim in two pouches, and [he also gave him] two suits of clothing which he handed to his (own) two servants, who carried them before him]... And he (Elisha) said to him (Gechazi), 'Did my heart not go along when a man turned from on his chariot to greet you? Is this the time to accept the money, together with the garments, the olive-trees and the vineyards, the sheep and the cattle, the slaves and the maidservants? So the Tzara'as of Na'aman shall cleave to you and to your children forever!' And he (Gechazi) left his presence stricken with leprosy like snow" (Melachim II 5:23, 26, 27) (ELISHA'S REJECTION OF GECHAZI)

(a)When Elisha cured Na'aman from his leprosy (see above, entry #5), Na'aman offered Elisha a gift which he declined to accept on the grounds that it contained some Avodah Zarah, or because one does not accept payment for a miracle. Consequently, he sent Na'aman on his way in awe of the G-d of Yisrael and His prophet. As a mark of his new-found belief in HaSh-m, Na'aman took with him as much earth from Eretz Yisrael as could be drawn by a pair of mules, on which he would offer sacrifices to HaSh-m, and to Him alone. See also Background to Nedarim 37:18.

(b)However, Gechazi, Elisha's servant (an unsavory character; see Erchin 16a), considered it a pity to let such an opportunity slip by, so he raced after Na'aman who stopped his chariot and turned to greet him. Gechazi then lied and told Na'aman that Elisha had just received two unexpected guests, young men from among the student prophets, who could do with a little extra cash and a new suit. So Na'aman obliged, as the verse explains.

(c)When Elisha questioned Gechazi as to where he had been, Gechazi declined to disclose his secret. Gechazi soon discovered that it is not so easy to hide one's actions from a Navi.

(d)The punishment meted out to him by the Navi was unduly harsh, as Chazal explain, and it is because his rejection of Gechazi was total and he left no opening for him to do Teshuvah that he was stricken with one of his three illnesses.

(e)The four lepers mentioned in the following chapter in Melachim are none other than Gechazi and his three sons.

9)[line 30]ומי שקיל כולי האי?!U'MI SHAKIL KULEI HAI?!- Did he take all of that?!

10)[line 30]כסף ובגדים הוא דשקילKESEF U'VGADIM HU D'SHAKIL- he only took silver and clothes (see Melachim II 5:23, cited above, entry #7)

11)[line 32]"וארבעה אנשים היו מצורעים [פתח השער; ויאמרו איש אל רעהו מה אנחנו יושבים פה עד מתנו]""V'ARBA'AH ANASHIM HAYU METZORA'IM PESACH HA'SHA'AR, [VA'YOMRU ISH EL RE'EHU, 'MAH ANACHNU YOSHVIM POH AD MASNU?']" - "There were four men who were lepers [at the city gates, and one said to the other, 'Why should we sit here until we die?']" (Melachim II 7:3) (THE FOUR LEPERS)

(a)This incident took place in the time of Yehoram, son of Achav. Shomron was under siege, and there was no food to be had. It had reached a stage where the head of a donkey went for eighty silver pieces, and a quarter Kav of pigeon dung for five. Elisha already predicted that at the same time on the morrow there would be so much food available that one Se'ah of wheat-flour and two Se'ah of barley-flour would cost a Shekel at the gate of Shomron. One of the king's officers scoffed when he heard that ("'Even if HaSh-m were to open the skylights of the heavens,' he mocked, 'that would not be possible!'"). Elisha's response was to inform him that for scoffing at the words of a Navi he would see it take place but he would not partake of it.

(b)Meanwhile, Gechazi and his three sons were in a dilemma. As lepers, they were forbidden to enter the city. Consequently, if they remained where they were, they would die of starvation, whereas if they surrendered to the Syrians who were surrounding the city, they would probably be killed outright. They decided on the latter option, which at least gave them a slight chance of survival. When they arrived at the Syrian camp, they were surprised to find it devoid of soldiers. They entered the first tent that they came to and ate and drank their fill, before taking silver, gold, and clothes from that tent and from the next, and hiding them.

(c)Then, realizing that it was wrong to keep the good news to themselves, they went immediately (even though it was the middle of the night) and announced their discovery to the gatekeeper, who passed on the message to the king.

(d)At first, Yehoram suspected a trap. The Syrians, he suggested, must be hiding in the field waiting for the starving Jews to leave Shomron to help themselves to the food, at which point they would fall upon them and massacre them. However, one of his servants convinced him that they did not have much to lose by sending a small group (who were destined to die anyway) riding five of the few horses that still remained alive.

(e)What had actually happened was that HaSh-m caused the Syrians to hear the sound of an approaching army and, thinking that the Jews had hired mercenaries from the Chitim and the Egyptians, they simply fled via the Jordan River, leaving their entire camp intact. Indeed, the small troop sent by Yehoram soon discovered a long line of clothes and vessels that the fleeing Syrian soldiers had discarded, that led all the way to the Jordan.

(f)Exactly as Elisha had predicted the day before, one Se'ah of wheat-flour and two Se'ah of barley-flour were sold at a cost of a Shekel at the gate of Shomron. As for the officer who scoffed, he saw but did not partake; he was trampled underfoot, as the Navi had predicted.

12)[line 33]"ויבא אלישע דמשק [ובן הדד מלך ארם חלה; ויגד לו לאמר בא איש הא-לקים עד הנה. ויאמר המלך אל חזהאל קח בידך מנחה ולך לקראת איש הא-לקים; ודרשת את ה' מאותו לאמר האחיה מחלי זה]""VA'YAVO ELISHA DAMESEK..." - "Elisha came to Damascus, [and it was told to ben-Hadad, king of Syria, who was sick (at the time), that the man of G-d had arrived there. And the king said to Chaza'el, 'Take with you a gift and go and meet the man of G-d and ask him for the word of HaSh-m as to whether I will recover from this illness]" (Melachim II 8:7-8) (ELISHA AND CHAZA'EL, THE FUTURE KING OF SYRIA)

(a)Chaza'el took a gift, plus a train of forty camels laden with all the goods of Damascus, and put the question of the king's recovery to Elisha. After replying in the negative, the Navi turned around and wept. In reply to Chaza'el's question as to why he wept, he answered that he foresaw how he (Chaza'el) was destined to succeed ben-Hadad on the throne of Syria, and would set fire to Yisrael's fortresses, put their young men to the sword, cut-up their babies, and split their pregnant women. Chaza'el replied that he was not a dog to behave in this manner, but the Navi of HaSh-m knew better.

(b)By the next day, ben-Hadad was dead, and Chaza'el reigned in his place.

13)[line 35]אבן שואבתEVEN SHO'EVES- a lodestone

14)[line 35]לחטאת ירבעםL'CHATAS YERAV'AM - for the "sin" of Yerav'am, the two golden calves (YERAV'AM)

(a)Yerav'am ben Nevat, of the tribe of Efrayim, was the first king of the ten tribes of Yisrael after their secession from the kingdom of the Davidic dynasty (subsequently known as Yehudah), as recorded in Melachim I 11:26-12:20. Upon the death of Shlomo ha'Melech, Rechav'am, his son, took the counsel of his young advisors to increase the high tax and hard labor that Shlomo had instituted (Melachim I 12:14). As a result, the people rebelled under the leadership of Yerav'am ben Nevat.

(b)In order to prevent the people of the ten tribes from returning to the leadership of the Davidic kings, Yerav'am outlawed the Mitzvah of Aliyah l'Regel, forbidding his people to travel to the Beis ha'Mikdash for Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukos. Instead, he built two other "Temples," one in Beis El and one in Dan, where golden calves were worshipped (ibid. I 12:28).

15)[line 36]חקקCHAKAK- he engraved

16)[line 36]רבנן דחה מקמיהRABANAN DACHAH MI'KAMEI- he would send away prospective students

17)[line 37]"ויאמרו בני הנביאים אל אלישע הנה נא המקום אשר אנחנו יושבים שם לפניך צר ממנו""VA'YOMRU B'NEI HA'NEVI'IM EL ELISHA, 'HINEH NA HA'MAKOM ASHER ANACHNU YOSHVIM SHAM LEFANECHA TZAR MIMENU" - "And the prophets' disciples said to Elisha, 'Behold the place that we are sitting before you has become too crowded for us'" (Melachim II 6:1) (ELISHA'S MIRACLE OF THE AXE)

(a)When Gechazi stricken with Tzara'as and removed from the vicinity of Elisha and his disciples, many Talmidim gained entry to the Beis ha'Midrash, as the Gemara explains. They obtained permission from Elisha to create a new clearing by chopping down some trees from the forest by the banks of the Jordan River, and for each man to take a beam. Meanwhile, the new clearing would serve as the spot for the new Beis ha'Midrash. He also agreed to accompany them down to the new location when they went to chop down the trees. Unfortunately, however, one of the axes fell off its the handle into the water of the river and was lost. To complicate matters, the axe was borrowed, and the Talmid did not have money to pay for it.

(b)When the disciple pointed out the exact location where the axe had fallen into the river, Elisha cut a piece of wood and cast it into the water, and the metal axe floated to the surface.

18)[line 37]דעד האידנא לא הוה דחיקD'AD HA'IDNA LO HAVAH DACHIK- that until now it was not cramped

19)[line 38]כדהוה קא קטיל ינאי מלכא לרבנןKED'HAVAH KA KATIL YANAI MALKA L'RABANAN- when King Yanai was killing the Sages

20)[line 38]ינאי מלכאYANAI MALKA

(a)Before Yochanan Kohen Gadol (Yochanan Hyrkanus), the grandson of Matisyahu, died, he commanded that his reign as ruler of the land of Yehudah be passed on to his wife. However, his son, Yehudah Aristobulus, paid no attention to his father's testament. He imprisoned his mother and brothers, except for one brother named Antigonus, and seized power for himself. He appointed Antigonus as head of the army. Aristobulus was the first Hasmonean ruler to call himself "king"; all of his predecessors had the title of "prince." He was hostile to the Sages and pursued them with ruthlessness. He ruled over Yehudah for only one year and died childless in the year 3658 (103 BCE).

(b)He was succeeded by his widow, Queen Shlomtziyon or Shelomis [Salome] Alexandra, a sister of Shimon ben Shetach, the leading Sage of the period, to whom she was loyal even when married to an archenemy of the Sages. After her husband died, she freed his brothers from prison. The oldest brother, Alexander Yanai, performed Yibum with her, and later succeeded his dead brother to the throne.

(c)Under the influence of his wife, Yanai halted the suppression of the Perushim and the Sages for a time, so that he could pursue the war against the hostile Nochri enclave in the Land of Yisrael. He did this throughout most of the twenty-seven years of his reign, motivated by lust for battle and glory. As time went on, however, he used the foreign soldiers in his army to suppress his own people and hunt down the Perushim.

(d)One year during Sukos, when officiating as Kohen Gadol, he poured the Nisuch ha'Mayim (libation water) on his feet instead of on the Mizbe'ach, in accordance with the teachings of the Tzedukim who deny the Halachah of Nisuch ha'Mayim. He intended to incite the people to riot. Those assembled could not contain themselves and they pelted him with their Esrogim. His soldiers then slew more than 6,000 people in the courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash. This marked his declaration of war against the Sages and their followers, a violent oppression that lasted for six years, in the course of which some 50,000 Jews lost their lives. At the end of his life he imprisoned 800 Perushim and tortured them in a horrible manner, according to the custom of the Romans, executing their families in their presence. He then executed the prisoners themselves. He witnessed the ghastly carnage himself.

(e)Before dying, he transferred power to Queen Shelomis and advised her to make peace with the Perushim. He told her, "Do not fear the Perushim, nor the non-Perushim, but only the hypocrites, who masquerade as Perushim. For their deeds are like those of Zimri and they demand a reward like that of Pinchas" (Sotah 22b). He had finally realized where his Tzeduki connections had brought him, and saw that his wife was right in trying to help the Perushim. His reign of 27 years lasted until either 3684 or 3685 (77 or 76 BCE).

(f)During the next 11 years, when Shelomis was queen, peace and tranquility reigned in the land. It was the only golden era during the time of the Second Temple. (-From The History of the Jewish People/The Second Temple Era, Artscroll Publishers, Brooklyn, New York, 1982, adapted by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm from Dr. E. Ebner's translation of Yekusiel Friedner's Divrei Yemei ha'Bayis ha'Sheni.)

21)[line 38]שמעון בן שטח אטמינהו אחתיהSHIMON BEN SHETACH ATMINHU ACHATEI- Shimon ben Shetach's sister (Queen Shlomtziyon, King Yanai's wife) hid him

22)[line 39]ערקARAK- ran away

23)[line 39]כי הוה שלמאKI HAVAH SHELAMA- when there was peace (between King Yanai and the Sages)

24)[line 39]שלח ליה שמעון בן שטחSHALACH LEI SHIMON BEN SHETACH- Shimon ben Shetach sent to Yehoshua ben Perachyah

25)[line 39]מניMINI- from me

26)[line 40]אלכסנדריא של מצרים אחותיALEKSANDRIYA SHEL MITZRAYIM ACHOSI- Alexandria of Egypt, my sister [city]

27a)[line 40]בעלי שרוי בתוכךBA'ALI SHARUY V'SOCHECH- my husband dwells within you

b)[line 40]ואני יושבת שוממהVA'ANI YOSHEVES SHOMEMAH- and I am sitting alone and destitute

28)[line 41]אקלע לההוא אושפיזאIKLA LEHA'HU USHPIZA- they stayed at a certain inn

29)[line 41]קם קמייהו ביקרא שפירKAM KAMAIHU B'YEKARA SHAPIR- she (the [female] innkeeper) stood for them, as a sign of honor

30)[line 41]עבדי ליה יקרא טובאAVDI LEI YEKARA TUVA- she honored him very much

31)[line 42]!כמה נאה אכסניא זוKAMAH NA'AH ACHSANYA ZU!- How pleasing is this innkeeper!

32)[line 42]טרוטותTERUTOS- (a) round (TOSFOS, ROSH, RAN, RASHI to Shabbos 31a, 2nd explanation); (b) tender, bleary (MEFARESH, RASHI to Shabbos 31a, 1st explanation)

33)[line 42]אפיק ארבע מאה שפורי ושמתיהAPIK ARBA ME'AH SHIFUREI V'SHAMTEI- he sent out four hundred Shofar blowers (to announce the excommunication)

34)[line 43]ושמתיהV'SHAMTEI - and he excommunicated him (NIDUY)

(a)The minimum period of Niduy is thirty days in Eretz Yisrael or seven days in Bavel and elsewhere. If the Menudeh does not repent from his ways he is put into Niduy for a second thirty-day period. If he still does not repent, he is then put into Cherem. The laws of Cherem are much more stringent.

(b)No one may come within four Amos of the Menudeh, except for his wife and family. He is not permitted to eat or drink with other people, nor is he included in a Zimun or any other Mitzvah that requires a quorum of ten men. He may not wash his clothes, shave or take a haircut or wear shoes. Learning and teaching Torah, however, are permitted, as well as engaging in work. The last two are not permitted to a Muchram, who must learn by himself and engage in work to the minimum that will provide him daily sustenance. People may speak with the Menudeh or the Muchram unless Beis Din specifically prohibits it.

(c)Even if the period of Cherem or Niduy has ended, a person remains in Niduy or Cherem until he is permitted by three commoners or by an expert sage (SHULCHAN ARUCH Yoreh De'ah 334:27 and REMA ibid. 334:24).

35)[line 44]אחוי ליה בידיהACHAVI LEI B'YADEI- he motioned to him with his hand [that he was willing to accept him back]

36)[line 44]סבר מדחא דחי ליהSAVAR, MIDCHA KA DACHI LEI- he thought that he was sending him away

37)[line 44]זקף לבינתאZAKAF LEVEINASA- he stood a brick erect on its end

38)[line 44]פלחאPALCHA- he worshipped it

39)[line 45]כישףKISHEF- he practiced witchcraft

40)[line 45]והסית והדיחV'HESIS V'HEDI'ACH- and he caused others to worship Avodah Zarah

41)[line 47]תצא ותרעה בעדרTETZEI V'SIR'EH B'EDER- it can be returned to the herd, i.e. it is Chulin and is not Asur b'Hana'ah

42)[line 48]שעל ספק באתה מתחילתהSHE'AL SAFEK BA'ASAH MI'TECHILASAH- it is brought initially because of a doubt [as to the identity of the murderer]

43)[line 48]כיפרה ספיקה והלכה להKIPRAH SEFEIKAH V'HALCHAH LAH- it atoned for [the status of] doubt and left (i.e. it accomplished everything that it was supposed to accomplish; as such, the Eglah is Asurah b'Hana'ah.)

44)[line 51]הרוצחניןHA'ROTZCHANIN- the assassins, murderers

45)[line 53]"לא אפקוד על בנותיכם כי תזנינה ועל כלותיכם כי תנאפנה, כי הם [עִם הזנות יפרדו ועם הקדשות יזבחו; וְעָם לא יבין ילבט]""LO EFKOD AL BENOSEICHEM KI SIZNENAH V'AL KALOSEICHEM KI SENA'AFNAH, KI HEM [IM HA'ZONOS YEFAREDU, V'IM HA'KEDESHOS YEZABECHU; V'AM LO YAVIN YILAVET]"- "[I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, for they (the men) themselves [seclude themselves with harlots, and they sacrifice with prostitutes; therefore the people who do not understand shall stumble]" (Hoshea 4:14).

46)[line 54]האשכלותHA'ESHKOLOS- complete and flawless scholars, who accomplished perfection in Torah, perfection in fear of sin and perfection of character

47)[line 54]"... אין אשכול לאכול, בִּכּוּרָה אִוְּתָה נפשי""... EIN ESHKOL LE'ECHOL, BIKURAH IVESAH NAFSHI"- "[Woe is me! For I am like the last of the summer fruits, like the grape gleanings of the vintage;] there is no cluster to eat, no first ripe fruit which my soul desires" (Michah 7:1).

48)[last line]יוחנן כהן גדולYOCHANAN KOHEN GADOL- Yochanan Hyrkanus

49)[last line]הודיית המעשרHODAYAS HA'MA'ASER (VIDUY 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 (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.

50)[last line]המעורריןHA'ME'ORERIN- "Those who try to rouse, to wake up." The Gemara below (Daf 48a) explains that the Leviyim of his time used to recite the verse, "Urah, Lamah Sishan, HaSh-m?" - "Awake! Why do You sleep, HaSh-m?" (Tehilim 44:24), beseeching HaSh-m to wake up. He annulled this custom, as is explained below (ibid.).

51)[last line]הנוקפיןHA'NOKFIN- The Gemara below (Daf 48a) offers two explanations: (a) "Those who made incisions" [in the forehead of a large animal Korban so that its blood would flow into its eyes. As a result, the animal became disoriented, and it was easier to bring it down to the ground for slaughter]. He annulled this custom, as is explained below (ibid.); (b) "Those who beat" [a large animal Korban to bring it down to the ground for slaughter]. He annulled this custom, as is explained below (ibid.).


52)[line 1]היה פטיש מכה בירושליםHAYAH PATISH MAKEH B'YERUSHALAYIM- the sound of hammers banging was heard in Yerushalayim [on Chol ha'Moed, for Meleches Davar ha'Aved - work to prevent a loss - see Insights to Moed Katan 10:1]

53)[line 2]הדמאיDEMAI

(a)Produce bought from an Am ha'Aretz (an unlearned Jew who is lax in his Torah-observance; see Berachos 47b) is referred to as Demai ("Da Mai?" - "what is this?").

(b)Yochanan Kohen Gadol decreed that Terumas Ma'aser and Ma'aser Sheni must be separated from this produce since a minority of Amei ha'Aretz cannot be trusted to have separated them before selling the produce. Terumah Gedolah, however, because of its stringency is presumed to have been separated. Ma'aser Rishon and Ma'aser Ani are separated from the produce, but they are eaten by the owner and not given to the Levi or the Ani (in keeping with the principle "ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav ha'Re'ayah").

54)[line 7]דמכחיש ליהD'MAKCHISH LEI- that he contradicts him

55)[line 15]כל מקום שהאמינה תורה עד אחד הרי כאן שניםKOL MAKOM SHE'HE'EMINAH TORAH ED ECHAD, HAREI KAN SHENAYIM

(a)Although the Torah requires two witnesses to prove a fact in Beis Din, there are three places where a single witness suffices to provide evidence:

1.to prove that a Safek Sotah was unfaithful to her husband after the steps of Kinuy and Stirah have taken place (Sotah 31b);

2.to prove the identity of a killer in order to exempt the city closest to a disclosed corpse from bringing an Eglah Arufah (our Sugya);

3.in order to testify that a woman's husband died so that she may be able to remarry (Yevamos 117b). (It is not clear whether this latter case is mid'Oraisa or mid'Rabanan; see Insights to Yevamos 88:1.)

(b)In all of these places the witness does not have to be a male who is fit to testify; a woman or a slave, who is generally Pasul l'Edus, may also testify.

(c)If one witness testifies and is contradicted by another single witness, we do not consider the case a Safek. Rather, the first witness is believed, because "any place where one witness is believed he has the authority of two witnesses" with regard to refuting the testimony of the witness who follows him.

(d)If the single witness is contradicted by more than a single witness, sometimes we decide in favor of those who contradict him because they are the majority. (See Yevamos Chart #26.)

56a)[line 20]בבת אחתB'VAS ACHAS- (lit. at the same time) "Toch Kedei Dibur" of the first testimony

b)[line 21]בזה אחר זהB'ZEH ACHAR ZEH- more than "Kedei Dibur" of the first testimony

c)[line 20, 21]בבת אחת/בזה אחר זהB'VAS ACHAS / B'ZEH ACHAR ZEH (TOCH KEDEI DIBUR K'DIBUR DAMI)

"Toch Kedei Dibur" is the length of time that it takes for a student to say a greeting to his teacher (e.g. "Shalom Alecha Rebbi"). "k'Dibur Dami" means that within this small amount of time, we view an act or speech as not yet completed and still continuing. Thus, even though the person has, with regard to his actions, already stopped performing the act, within this amount of time he may act or say something that will abrogate his previous actions or words. For example, if a person sells an object and changes his mind within Toch Kedei Dibur, the sale is nullified.

57)[line 25]בפסולי עדותPESULEI EDUS- the people who are disqualified to judge or to give testimony (see Rosh Hashanah 22a)

58)[line 26]רוב דעותROV DE'OS- the majority of opinions

59)[line 28]ותרצה לדרבי נחמיה הכיV'TARTZAH LED'REBBI NECHEMYAH HACHI- and read [the statement of] Rebbi Nechemyah as follows:

60)[line 32]משרבו הרוצחנין בגלויMISHE'RABU HA'ROTZCHANIN B'GILUY- (this is an elaboration of the previous line - RASHASH)

61)[line 33]מנוקה מעוןMENUKEH ME'AVON- clear (lit. cleaned) of sin, i.e. that he did not have relations with his wife from the time that she became prohibited to him or with any other woman who is prohibited to him (RASHI)

62)[line 36]"כי הם עם הזונות יפרדו ועם הקדשות יזבחו""... KI HEM IM HA'ZONOS YEFAREDU V'IM HA'KEDESHOS YEZABECHU..." (Hoshea 4:14)- See above, entry #45.

63)[line 36]"ועם לא יבין ילבט""V'AM LO YAVIN YILAVET" (Hoshea 4:14)- See above, entry #45. Rebbi Elazar explains that this phrase contains a new admonition not specified by the interpretation of the first half of the verse. A husband is enjoined not to ignore his wife's promiscuous behavior. If he makes sure (Makpid) that his wife does not seclude herself with other men, his relations with her will be free of sin and he will be termed "Menukeh me'Avon." If, on the other hand, he notices promiscuity but keeps quiet, when he eventually does bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash as a Sotah, the Mei Sotah will not reveal her guilt (MINCHAS SOTAH).

64)[line 38]נתעותו הדיניןNIS'AVSU HA'DININ/HA'DAYANIN- the laws or judges became crooked

65)[line 38]ונתקלקלו המעשיםNISKALKELU HA'MA'ASIM- the actions of important people (such as the judges) became perverted

66)[line 38]רואי פנים בדיןRO'EI FANIM BA'DIN- those who show favoritism in judgment

67)[line 39]"לא תגורו [מפני איש]""LO SAGURU [MI'PENEI ISH]"- "You shall not be afraid of any person" (Devarim 1:17).

68)[line 39]"לא תכירו [פנים במשפט]""LO SAKIRU [FANIM BA'MISHPAT]"- "You shall not respect people in judgment" (Devarim 1:17) - This phrase is the beginning of the verse that include the previous phrase. RASHI (ibid.) interprets this to mean that one may not appoint a relative or a distinguished person as a judge when he is not an expert in legal matters.

69)[line 39]לוחשי לחישותLOCHASHEI LECHISHOS- bystanders in the courts who whisper suggestions to the judges to the favor or detriment of the litigants

70)[line 40]"בקרב... ישפוט""B'KEREV... YISHPOT"- "in the midst of the judges He shall judge" (Tehilim 82:1).

71)[line 40]"אחרי בצעם לבם הולך""ACHAREI VITZ'AM LIBAM HOLECH"- "their heart desires unjust gain" (Yechezkel 33:31).

72)[line 41]"[הוי] האומרים לרע טוב ולטוב רע; [שָׂמִים חושך לאור ואור לחושך, שמים מר למתוק ומתוק למר]""[HOY] HA'OMERIM LA'RA TOV VELA'TOV RA; [SAMIM CHOSHECH L'OR V'OR L'CHOSHECH, SAMIM MAR L'MASOK U'MASOK LMAR!]"- "[Woe to those] who call evil good, and good evil; [who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter]!" (Yeshayah 5:20)

73)[line 41]הויHOY- woe

74)[line 42]מושכי הרוקMOSHCHEI HA'ROK- arrogant people [who do not care for the feelings of others] who spit in public in a way that disgusts other people

75)[line 42]היהיריםHA'YEHIRIM- the haughty people

76)[line 42]חוזרת על לומדיהCHOZERES AL LOMDEHA- [the Torah] searches for someone who could learn her teachings

77)[line 43]שאין דורינו רואה אלא לפניםSHE'EIN DOREINU RO'EH ELA L'FANIM- since the generation only looks at [even important] matters superficially

78)[line 44]"גבר יהיר ולא ינוה""GEVER YAHIR V'LO YINVEH"- "[And though wine is treacherous,] the arrogant man shall not abide in his home. [He widens his soul like She'ol; and he, like death, cannot be satisfied; for he has gathered to himself all the nations, and collected all peoples as his own]" (Chabakuk 2:5) - The Gemara reads the word "Yinveh" as "Yinaveh," the people of his home will not be able to stand him.

79)[line 44]מעיקרא קפצה עליהME'IKARA KAFTZAH ALEI- at first a young woman will want to marry (lit. will jump upon him) the haughty men

80)[line 44]מיתזיל עלייהוMITZIL ALAIHU- afterwards he will become shameful in their eyes (the eyes of his family)

81)[line 45]מטילי מלאיMATILEI MELAI- those [judges] who force their [business-oriented] constituents to sell their wares for them

82a)[line 45]מקבלני טובתךMEKABLANI TOVASECH- those [judges] who accept favors [from the rich]

b)[line 46]ומחזקני טובותיךU'MECHAZKANEI TOVASICH- and those [judges] who remember and act upon the favors that they received [when the person who did them the favor becomes a litigant before them]

83)[line 46]ומלכותא אזלא ונולאU'MALCHUSA AZLA V'NAVLA- and the realm [of Yisrael] wanes and becomes disreputable, [implying that the empires of the Greeks and the Roman become greater]

84)[line 47]צרי עיןTZAREI AYIN- miserly people

85)[line 47]וטורפי טרףV'TORFEI TEREF- (a) thieves (RASHI); (b) those who cut off the livelihood of others by entering into their professions and putting them out of business. Included in this is the "Mafki'ei She'arim," those who "break" the market value and diminish the amount of produce that a fixed amount of money will purchase, i.e. those merchants who cause the price of food to rise (MAHARSHA)

86)[line 47]מאמצי הלבME'AMTZEI HA'LEV- those who harden their hearts [from being kind to the poor]

87)[line 47]וקופצי ידים מלהלוותKOFTZEI YADAYIM MIL'HALVOS- those who "close their hands" [as they are about to give a loan] and do not lend [to the poor]

88)[line 47]"השמר לך פן יהיה דבר עם לבבך בליעל לאמר, קרבה שנת השבע שנת השמטה, ורעה עינך באחיך האביון ולא תתן לו...""HISHAMER LECHA PEN YIHEYEH DAVAR IM LEVAVCHA VELIYA'AL LEIMOR, 'KARVAH SHENAS HA'SHEVA, SHENAS HA'SHEMITAH,' V'RA'AH EINCHA B'ACHICHA HA'EVYON V'LO SITEN LO..."- "Beware of yourself lest there be a base thought in your heart saying, 'The seventh year is near, the year of Shemitah,' and you will look upon your needy brother with an evil eye and you will not give him [a loan]" (Devarim 15:9).


(a)The Torah requires that all loans shall be canceled every seventh year: "Shamot Kol Ba'al Masheh Yado" - "Every creditor who lends anything to his neighbor shall release it" (Devarim 15:2). To demand payment of a loan after the Shemitah year is a violation of the prohibition of "Lo Yigos Es Re'ehu v'Es Achiv" - "he shall not exact it of his neighbor or of his brother" (ibid.). Most Rishonim rule that the Shemitah year cancels loans at the end of the year, on the last day of the month of Elul (RAMBAM Hilchos Shemitah v'Yovel 9:1-4).

(b)Hashmatas Kesafim applies mid'Oraisa only when the Yovel year is in practice. Mid'Rabanan it applies today, whether inside or outside of Eretz Yisrael.

90)[line 48]נטויות גרון ומשׂקרות עיניםNETUYOS GARON U'MESAKROS EINAYIM- those [women] with "outstretched necks and tinted eyes." These words are a quote from the verse, "VA'YOMER... VA'TELACHNA NETUYOS GARON U'MESAKROS EINAYIM..." - "[And HaSh-m said, 'Because the daughters of Tziyon are haughty] and walk with outstretched necks and tinted eyes...'" (Yeshayah 3:16) - The Gemara in Yoma 9b explains that they would walk with erect stature (connoting haughtiness) and they would tint their eyes blue.

91a)[line 49]נתמעטו הימיםNISMA'ATU HA'YAMIM- (lit. the days become less) the person's days become unpleasant (based upon RASHI to Shabbos 105b DH Yamim)

b)[line 49]ונתקצרו השניםV'NISKATZRU HA'SHANIM- (lit. and the years become short) the person's life is shortened

92)[line 49]זחוחי הלבZECHUCHEI HA'LEV- (a) haughty people who do not pay attention to their teachers but rather rely on their own judgment and reach their own conclusions (RASHI); (b) students such as the Tzedukim and Baisusim who abandoned the words of the true Torah Sages and argued she'Lo l'Shem Shamayim (not for the sake of Heaven) (MAHARSHA)

93)[line 50]שימשוSHIMSHU- paid attention to the words of their teachers

94a)[last line]דיהבי ללויםD'YAHAVEI LA'LEVIYIM- [the Torah says that] they (Bnei Yisrael) should give [Ma'aser Rishon] to the Leviyim

b)[last line]דיהבי ללויםD'YAHAVEI LA'LEVIYIM (MA'ASER RISHON)

(a)After a crop is harvested and brought to the owner's house or yard, he must separate Terumah from the crop and give it to a Kohen (Bamidbar 18:12; Devarim 18:4). Although the Torah does not specify the amount to be given, the Rabanan set the requirement at one fiftieth of the total crop.

(b)After Terumah is removed from the produce, one tenth of the produce that remains must be designated "Ma'aser Rishon," and given to a Levi (Bamidbar 18:21).

(c)Ezra ha'Kohen fined the Leviyim of his time who did not come with him back to Eretz Yisrael and decreed that from then on Ma'aser Rishon shall be given to the Kohanim (Ezra 8:15, Yevamos 86b).