ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Menachos 29
(a) When Rav gave the height of the Menorah as nine Tefachim, Rav Shimi bar
Chiya queried him from a Beraisa concerning the three steps leading up to
the Menorah. Now if the height of the Menorah was only nine Tefachim, he
asked, what was the point of the steps?
(b) Rav reconciled his statement with the Beraisa - by qualifying his
statement, confining it to the top half of the Menorah only, from the
beginning of the branches until the top of the Menorah.
(c) The Pasuk ...
1. ... states that the flowers, the lamp-holders and the tweezers - were all
made of gold.
(d) In this connection, Rav Ami cited Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, who states -
that initially, Shlomoh used a thousand Kikar of Zahav Sagur in the
manufacture of the ten Menoros that he made, but that, after returning it
one thousand times to the furnace, each one was reduced to one Kikar.
2. ... adds "Meichlos Zahav" - meaning that the Menoros consumed Shlomoh's
entire stock of Zahav Sagur (called by that name because when it came on the
market, all other stores selling gold would close) .
(a) We reconcile our interpretation of "Meichlos Zahav" with the Pasuk in
Melachim, which, after discussing Shlomoh's drinking vessels and the Beis
Ya'ar ha'Levanon, adds that silver was valueless in the name of Shlomoh - by
stressing that it is only the Zahav Sagur that were consumed by the Menoros,
but that the remainder of his wealth remained intact.
(b) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah relates that once one of the Menoros of the
Beis-Hamikdash turned out to be fractionally heavier (by only one Kurdinki
Dinar) than the Menorah of Moshe (of one Kikar). They reduced it to a Kikar
by returning it to the furnace another eighty times?
(c) This clashes with Rav Yehudah Amar Rav's previous statement - in that he
maintained that the gold was reduced by one Kikar each time it was returned
to the furnace, whilst according to the current statement, it was reduced by
only an eightieth of a Dinar each time.
(d) We answer - that once Shlomoh had finished with the gold, its ability to
be smelted had been used up.
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan explains the Pasuk "al
ha'Menorah ha'Tehorah" to mean - that it came from a Tahor place (meaning
that Moshe was shown how to construct the Menorah from Heaven [as we shall
(b) We interpret the Pasuk "al ha'Shulchan ha'Tahor" to mean - that although
it was Tahor now, it was fit to become Tamei.
(c) We cannot make the same D'rashah with regard to the Menorah - because it
is obvious that the Menorah, which is made of metal, is subject to Tum'ah.
(a) It is necessary to teach us that the Shulchan is subject to Tum'ah, Resh
Lakish explains, because we would normally expect it not to be - since
generally, a table remains in one place (and is therefore not comparable to
a sack, which the Torah mentions together with wooden vessels and) which is
made to be carried.
(b) What makes it subject to Tum'ah however - is the fact that the Kohanim
used to lift up the Shulchan to show the Lechem ha'Panim to the people.
(c) The reason for this is based on a statement by Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi,
who explains - that the Lechem ha'Panim was as fresh when they took it off
the Table as when they put it on (a week earlier), as the Pasuk writes in
Shmuel "Lasum Lechem Cham ke'Yom Hilakcho".
(d) The purpose of the demonstration was - to show the people how the Lechem
ha'Panim was still steaming hot one week later.
(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "u'Re'ei Va'asei
ke'Savnisam Asher Atah Mor'eh ba'Har" - that Moshe was shown an Aron of
fire, a Shulchan of fire and a Menorah of fire, all of which descended from
(b) The Pasuk ...
1. ... "Va'hakemosa es ha'Mishkan ke'Mishpato Asher Hor'eisa ba'Har", which
uses the Lashon "ke'Mishpato" rather than "be'Savnisam", is teaching us that
Moshe was taught the Halachos that he learned on Har Sinai, and not that a
Mishkan of fire descended, too.
(c) According to Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael, Moshe had difficulty with the
Menorah, Rosh Chodesh and the Sheratzim. 'Rosh Chodesh' means - the tiny
sliver of moon which is seen for the first time that month, and which is
extremely difficult to discern.
2. ... "ve'Zeh Ma'aseh ha'Menorah", refers to Gavriel, who, wearing a belt
(into which he tucked the long gown that he was wearing, to prevent it from
dragging on the floor) showed Moshe the Menorah.
(d) Rebbi Yishmael learns them from - "ve'Zeh Ma'aseh ha'Menorah" (Terumah),
"ha'Chodesh ha'Zeh Lachem" (Bo) and "ve'Zeh Lachem ha'Tamei" (Shemini),
(e) The Beraisa quotes the Pasuk in Tetzaveh "ve'Zeh Ta'aseh al
ha'Mizbe'ach" - which some add, represents the difficulty Moshe had with
Hilchos Shechitah (see also Tosfos DH 'Sheloshah').
(a) The problem with ...
1. ... our Mishnah, which rules that even one letter renders a Mezuzah Pasul
is - that this is obvious (since the Torah writes "u'Chesavtam", which is
the acronym of 'Kesivah Tamah', as we explained earlier).
(b) So we establish the Mishnah's statement by a ruling of Rav Yehudah Amar
Rav, who invalidates a letter that is not surrounded on all four sides -
meaning that one letter touches another.
2. ... the suggested answer, that the Tana is referring to the Kutzo shel
Yud (meaning the right-hand leg of the 'Yud' [see also Tosfos DH 'Kutzo'])
is - that this too, is obvious, seeing as the letter is written incorrectly.
(a) When Rav Ashi'an bar Nidvach rules in the name of Rav Yehudah 'Nikav ...
1. ... Tocho shel Hey Kasher', he is referring either to a hole that breaks
the left-hand leg of the 'Hey' (which some write in the middle of the
letter, rather than on the left), or to a hole that fills the middle of the
(b) Rav Huna (or Rav Yehudah) qualifies the latter ruling - confining it to
where nothing of the leg remains; but if enough to form a 'Yud' remains
attached to the roof of the 'Hey, then even 'Nikav Yereicho shel 'Hey' will
be Kasher (see Hagahos Redal).
2. ... Yereicho, Pasul', he is referring to a hole that breaks the
(c) When Rebbi Aba's father-in-law Agra told him that the right foot of the
'Hey' of "ha'Am" had a hole in it, he replied that - if enough to form a
'Yud' remains attached to the roof of the 'Hey', then the Tefilin are
(d) We are currently referring to Hilchos Tefilin, which we know - because
the episode with Agra occurred with Tefilin and not Mezuzah, since the word
"ha'Am" appears in the Parshah of 'Kadeish', which does not occur in the
two Parshiyos of Mezuzah (see Hagahos Redal).
(a) When Rami bar Tamri, the father-in-law of Rami bar Dikuli discovered the
leg of the 'Vav' in "Va'yaharog"(in the Parshah of "Ve'hayah ki Yevi'acha")
to be broken - Rebbi Zeira advised him to ask a child who was neither
precocious nor stupid to read it.
(b) To render it Pasul - the child would have had to read it as 'Yehareg'.
(c) The child needed to be ...
1. ... not precocious - because a precocious child would know that "Yehareg"
in connection with Hashem is blasphemy.
2. ... not stupid - since a stupid child would not be able to read an
incomplete letter in any event.
(a) When Moshe ascended Har Sinai to receive the Torah he found Hashem -
tying crowns (i.e. the Tagin) on to the letters that require them (as we
shall soon see).
(b) Moshe asked Hashem why He needed to be reminded of the letters of the
Torah (see Agados Maharsha). Hashem explained to him that the significance
of the Tagin He was tying was - related to a great man who many years later,
would Darshen stacks of Halachos on every Tag.
(c) The man to whom Hashem was referring was -Akiva ben Yosef (Rebbi Akiva).
(a) After Hashem acceded to Moshe's request for him to see Akiva ben Yosef -
he sat among his Talmidim, at the end of the eighth row, but could not
understand what they were saying.
(b) His spirits were revived however - when, at a certain point, Rebbi
Akiva's Talmidim asked him where he knew that from, and he replied that it
was 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai.
(c) The 'reward' that Moshe saw Rebbi Akiva receiving was - when the Romans
tore off his flesh with iron combs.
(d) When Moshe asked Hashem ...
1. ... why He did not then give the Torah through Rebbi Akiva, He ordered
him to be silent, since that was what He had decided, and He gave the same
response, when Moshe asked him ...
2. ... whether that was the apt reward for Rebbi Akiva's Torah (because
Tzadikim receive their punishment in this world, in order to receive the
full reward for their good deeds in the World to Come [Agados Maharsha]). In
fact, the former reflects the extent of the latter.
(a) The seven letters listed by Rava that require three Tagin are - those
that form the words 'Sh.A.T.Ne.Z Ga.Tz. (all of which have a leg in the
shape of a 'Zayin' [see also Chidushei ha'Rashba]).
(b) The Tagin - which are written something like a 'Shiyn' (one head facing
to the right, one to the left and one upwards) are situated on the left
corner of the letter (see also Tosfos DH 'Sha'atnez').
(c) According to Rav Ashi, the Sofrim who wrote with due care used to write
1. ... the 'Ches' - with the top-left tip jutting upwards (see also Tosfos
(d) The former hints at - the fact that Hashem is 'alive and well' in the
upper realms (see Agados Maharsha).
2. ... the 'Hey' - with the left leg hanging in the air (not attached to the
top), which we will explain shortly.
(a) When Rebbi Yehudah Nesi'ah asked Rebbi Ami ...
1. ... about the Pasuk "Bit'chu ba'Hashem Adei ad, ki be'Kah Hashem Tzur
Olamim", he explained it to mean - that whoever places his trust in Hashem
in this world will earn His protection in both this world and the next.
(b) And he proved with the Pasuk "Eileh Toldos ha'Shamayim ve'ha'Aretz
be'Hibar'am" - that He created this world with the 'Hey' and Olam ha'Ba with
2. ... why the Pasuk writes "*be*'Kah" and not just "Kah", he quoted him
Rebbi Yehudah b'Rebbi Ilai, who translated it as 'for Hashem formed the two
worlds (Olam ha'Zeh and Olam ha'Ba) *with* the Yud and the Hey of His Name
(c) The significance of the fact that ...
1. ... Hashem created this world with a 'Hey' (which is shaped like an
Achsadra, which in turn, is enclosed on three sides) is - that figuratively
speaking, it is possible (through one's sins) to leave it via the fourth
side, which is open.
2. ... the left leg of the 'Hey' is suspended is - that through Teshuvah, it
is possible to climb up it and re-enter the world (to be given another
(a) The Ba'al Teshuvah cannot climb back in the same way that he went out -
because it is not that simple to gain re-entry, In fact, if he tries to do
that, he will not succeed.
(b) And we prove this with Resh Lakish, who said, based on the Pasuk "Im
le'Leitzim Hu Yalitz, ve'la'Anavim Yitein Chein" - that someone who comes to
purify himself (i.e. to do Teshuvah on his past sins) will receive Divine
Assistance; whereas if he wishes to render himself Tamei, by leaving the
fold, he will find all the doors open.
(c) This proves - that Teshuvah requires Divine Assistance, and cannot be
achieved on one's own. Note, this seems to be tied up with the principle
that Hashem will not accept the prosecutor as the defense counsel.
(d) The small Tag on the left-hand side of the 'Hey' represents - the crown
that Hashem ties on the Ba'al-Teshuvah's head.
(a) Based on what we have just explained, the 'Yud' is so small - because it
signifies the small numbers of Tzadikim who are to be found there. Note,
that although everyone has a portion in the World to Come, it seems that not
many people are able to consolidate it.
(b) The left-hand side of its head is bent slightly downwards) - signifying
the embarrassment that each Tzadik will feel at not having achieved
excellence in particular Midos that other Tzadikim did.
(c) Rav ruled that a Seifer-Torah whose each column contains ...
1. ... two mistakes - can still be rectified.
(d) We ask two Tiyuvtas on Rav however; the first, on the current ruling,
from a Beraisa, which states - 'Shalosh Yesaken; Arba, Yiganez'.
2. ... three mistakes - cannot be rectified, but must go into 'Sheimos'.
(a) The current ruling will not apply however, and the Seifer-Torah will
become rectifiable even with four mistakes per column - if there is just one
complete column which does not contain four mistakes.
(b) In addition, for the one column to save the Seifer from Genizah, Rebbi
Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Marsa in the name of Rav requires the rest of the
Seifer to be well-written.
(c) When Abaye asked Rav Yosef whether 'one complete column' incorporates a
column containing only three mistakes, Rav Yosef replied - in the
affirmative (seeing as that column is rectifiable).
(d) When the Tana requires a Seifer-Torah with four mistakes per column to
go into Genizah, he is referring to where the mistakes constitute Chaseros
(missing letters), but not Yeseiros (extra ones) - because, as Rav Kahana
explains, filling in the Chaseros causes the Seifer to look blotched, which
erasing the Yeseiros, does not.
(e) When Agra, Rebbi Aba's father-in-law, asked him about a Seifer-Torah
with four Yeseiros on each Amud (column) - he cited our previous ruling
permitting a Seifer-Torah with four Yeseiros on each Amud to be rectified.