ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Menachos 64
(a) Rabah then tries to equate Rebbi Yishmael in our Mishnah with Rebbi
Chanina S'gan ha'Kohanim there - on the grounds that the latter, like the
former, forbids more Tircha that necessary.
Once again however, we reject this suggestion on two scores. Rebbi ...
(b) And again, we reject his suggestion on two scores, inasmuch as ...
1. ... Rebbi Yishmael might well agree with the Rabbanan of Rebbi Chanina
S'gan ha'Kohanim (who prescribe three men, three scythes, three boxes, even
on Shabbos) - because of the importance of publicising the Mitzvah (to
negate the opinion of the Tzedokim, who would always cut the Omer (and count
it too) on a Sunday.
(c) Rav Ashi then tries to equate Rebbi Yishmael with Rebbi Yossi in the
Mishnah in Rosh Hashanah. The Tana Kama there permits the witnesses of the
new moon to travel to Yerushalayim even on Shabbos, in order to testify,
even if the moon was seen in the middle of the sky ('ba'Alil'). Rebbi Yossi
says - 'Im Nir'eh ba'Alil, Ein Mechalelin Alav es ha'Shabbos' since we can
assume that people in Yerushalayim saw the new moon, too (so what is the
point of allowing Chilul Shabbos for no reason?).
2. ... Rebbi Chanina S'gan ha'Kohanim might well agree with the Rabbanan of
Rebbi Yishmael (who require three Sa'ah to be cut, even on Shabbos) -
because, as we have already explained, this results in the best quality
(d) Rav Ashi now equates the two opinions in that - Rebbi Yossi, like Rebbi
Yishmael, permits only as much Chilul Shabbos as necessary, but no more.
1. ... Yishmael may well agree with the Rabbanan of Rebbi Yossi (who permit
the witnesses to break Shabbos, even if the moon was seen in the middle of
the sky) - in order to discourage apathy on the part of the witnesses, who
will continue to assume that they are not needed, and not bother to go to
Yerushalayim in the future.
2. ... Yossi may well agree with the Rabbanan of Rebbi Yishmael - because,
whereas in the case of the witnesses, it is not necessary to break Shabbos
at all, in our case, cutting the barley to begin with, which the Torah
permits, constitutes breaking Shabbos, and once that is permitted, he will
concede that one may finish the job in the best possible way.
(a) Rabah (or Rebbi Ami) rules that if the Kohen Shechted two Chata'os
Tzibur on Shabbos ...
1. ... where only one was needed - he is Chayav a Chatas ...
(b) We query this however, from another statement of Rabah, where he rules
that if the Kohen had two Chata'os Tzibur before him on Shabbos, a strong
one and a weak one, and he Shechted them in that order. he is Chayav. In a
case where he Shechted ...
2. ... even if, in addition, the blood of the first one spilled, and it was
the second one that ultimately attained the Kaparah ...
3. ... or where the first one turned out to be weak - before he went ahead
and Shechted the second one.
1. ... them in the reverse order - not only is he Patur Bedieved, but even
if he has Shechted ...
(c) Rabah now appears to contradict himself - in that his latter statement
even permits him Lechatchilah to bring the second strong animal rather than
the first weak first one, whilst his former statment rendered the Kohen
Chayav for doing so even Bedi'eved?
2. ... the weak one only - we instruct him to go ahead and Shecht the
stronger one, because of the principle ("Hakriveihu Na le'Pechasecha"
['Would you offer such a sacrifice to a himan king'?]).
(d) One answer to this Kashya is that the author of this second statement is
not Rabah, but Rebbi Ami. The other answer is - that we need to erase the
case of the weak and the strong Chatas from Rabah's first ruling.
(a) Ravina asked Rav Ashi about a case where the someone Shechted the second
Chatas, when the first one which initially appeared to be strong, was later
discovered to have had weak intestines. The She'eilah was - whether,
according to Rabah, we go after the Shochet's intentions when he Shechted
the second Chatas (to Shecht an animal that was forbidden), or after the
facts (that the second animal was in fact, the better of the two).
(b) Rav Ashi replied by citing a Machlokes between Rabah and Rava, who
discuss a case where a child fell into the sea, and someone cast a net to
catch fish, and he caught fish plus the child. In a case where he caught
only fish, both rule - that he is Chayav.
(c) If he caught the child as well, Rabah holds that he is Patur, whereas
Rava holds - Chayav (though some reverse the opinions).
(a) In the second Lashon, Rav Ashi connects the two sides of Ravina's
She'eilah to the Machlokes (Rabah holds Patur, Rava, Chayav). But in the
first Lashon - he maintains that even Rabah exempts the fisherman only
because he knew about the child having fallen into the sea (which is why
Rabah exempts him); whereas in our case, where the Kohen was unaware of the
first animals weak intestines, he will be Chayav, even according to Rabah.
(b) In the first Lashon, they needed to mention that the fisherman knew that
a child had fallen into the sea (despite the fact that that is not the
reason that Rabah rules Patur) - to teach us that if he caught only fish, he
is Chayav in spite of that kowledge.
(a) If ten men ran and fetched ten figs on Shabbos, for a dangerously ill
man for whom the doctor has prescribed one fig, Rava absolves them all from
a Chatas. And this ruling even extends to where ...
1. ... they all left at different times - because when it comes to
life-threatening situations, the more Zariz (agile, quick) a person is, the
(b) Rava asked another She'eilah regarding a sick person who needs two figs,
and one is faced with cutting either two figs on one stalk, or three figs on
one stalk - which would be forbidden (because of Marbeh be'Shi'urin) if one
had the alternative of cutting two figs on one stalk.
2. ... the first fig had already cured him by the time the others arrived.
(c) We conclude - that it is obviously better to minimise the actual cutting
(and to therefore cut the one stalk containing three figs) ...
(d) ... in spite of Rebbi Yishmael, who limits the cutting of the Omer to
three Sa'ah, forbidding five - because there by cutting three Sa'ah instead
of five, one also decreases the acts of cutting, whereas here, cutting the
two figs would actually increase the cutting (as it would entail cutting two
twigs instead of one).
(a) Our Mishnah cites the vicinity of Yerushalayim as the location from
which the barley for the Omer has to be cut.
(b) One may nevertheless bring it from produce that grew further afield - if
the barley crops in the vicinity of Yerushalayim are late that year.
(c) They once had to bring ...
1. ... the Omer (the first of the barley harvest) from Gagos Tzerifin.
(d) During the civil war between the two ChaShimona'i brothers, Hurkanus and
Aristobulus, when the former besieged Yerushalayim, those inside the city
managed to bring Korbanos - by letting down a large basket full of gold
coins, which those outside would replace with the necessary animals for the
2. ... the Sh'tei ha'Lechem (the first of the wheat harvest) from Ein
(a) A certain traitor inside Yerushalayim - who had studied Greek philosophy
(Chochmas Yevanis) conveyed to the besieging army the message - that as long
as the men of Aristobulus continued to bring Korbanos, they would remain
(b) The besieging army reacted upon this advice - by taking the money from
the basket, but instead of replacing it with the lambs for the Korban Tamid,
they replaced it with a Chazir ...
(c) ... which, as it was being hauled up in the basket, dug its cloven hoofs
into the wall, upon which the whole of Eretz Yisrael to shudder.
(d) The Chachamim subsequently issued a curse on - whoever would teach his
children Chochmas Yevanis (besides the curse on whoever reared Chazerim).
(a) The connection between this episode and the Seifa of our Mishnah (see
also Tosfos DH 've'al Osah Sha'ah') is - that it was during the time of the
siege currently under discussion that the Omer and the Sh'tei ha'Lechem came
from a different area (as described there).
(b) The problem that arose the following Pesach and Shavu'os, as a result of
the siege (even assuming that it had already been lifted) was - the fact
that, due to the devastation wrought by the besieging army, there was no
wheat and barley to be had in the vicinity that year.
(c) In reply to an announcement - it was a Cheresh (who was dumb but able to
hear) who advised the men of Yerushalayim to fetch barley from Gagos
Tzerifin, and wheat from Ein Socher, when Pesach and Shavu'os respectively,
(d) Since he was unable to speak (or, it appears write), he informed them
1. ... Gagos Tzerifin (when Pesach came round) - by placing one hand on a
roof, and the other, on a wigwam (which is the literal meaning of 'Gagos
2. ... Ein Socher, when Shavu'os arrived - by placing one hand on his eye,
and the other, on the hole in the doorpost, into which one slips the bolt
that locks the door (since that is the literal meaning of 'Ein Socher').
(a) The one to decipher the Cheresh's hints was none other than Mordechai
(of Shushan fame, though, bearing in mind that he was already a member of
Sanhedrin in the time of the first Beis-Hamikdash, this would make his age
something in the region of four hundred years (see Tosfos D.H. 'Amar ... ').
(b) He did it, following the hint of that Cheresh, by asking the people
whether there were such places as 'Gagos Tzerifin' or 'Tzerifei Gagos' and
'Ein Socher' or 'Socher Ayin', upon which they discovered that there were
indeed two such places.
(a) Three women brought their Kinin (following Zivus). A 'Kein' is - a pair
(b) The Kohanim initially explained the 'le'Zivasi' said by the one, the
'le'Yamasi', by the second, and the 'le'Onasi' said by the third all as - to
mean a fulfillment of the obligation of each one's Zivus ('le'Yamasi' refers
to the woman having shed blood like the sea, and 'le'Onasi', to the woman
having brought her Korban Zivus in its right time (on the eighth day).
(c) Mordechai however, interpreted these expressions to mean - that they
came as a thanksgiving for having saved them from a. a Zivus that was
life-threatening, b. from the sea and c. from a dangerous eye-illness.
(d) The difference whether they were actually Kinei Zavos, or whether the
women had designated them as thanks for being saved would have been -
whether one bird was an Olah and one, a Chatas, or whether they were both
(a) The Mishnah in Shekalim states that Pesachyah (alias Mordechai) was in
charge of the Kinin. He was called by that name - because he was able to
open the proceedings with regard to word-riddles (such as the above) and
So we conclude that Mordechai was an expert in deciphering double names such
as Gagos Tzerifin and Ein Socher - which earned him the additional nickname
'Mordechai Balshan' (meaning 'one who mixes expressions').
(b) The objection to the statement that he also knew all seventy languages
is - that so did all the other members of the Sanhedrin (so why was only
Mordechai called Pesachyah).
(c) The members of Sanhedrin had to be wise, good-looking and tall. In
addition to knowing all seventy languages, they also needed to be elderly
and to know the rudiments of witchcraft.
(d) They needed to know ...
1. ... the rudiments of witchcraft - in case the defendant bewitched the
fire or the sword that were meant to kill him.
2. ... know all the languages - so that they would hear from foreign
witnesses directly, and not through a translator.