ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Moed Katan 28
MOED KATAN 28 & 29 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz
Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) Rebbi Elazar learns from the Pasuk in Chukas "va'Tamas Sham Miriam
va'Tikaver Sham" - that one buries all women as close to their death as
possible (without putting them down in the street).
Rav Ami learns from the juxtaposition of the death of Miriam to the Parah
Adumah, and Rebbi Elazar from that of the death of Aharon to the Bigdei
Kehunah - that the death of a Tzadik atones for the world just like the
Parah and the Bigdei Kehunah.
(b) The Neherda'i maintain - that it is only a woman who died in childbirth
(and whose blood is prone to continue pouring after her death) whose body
one does not put down in the street.
(c) Rebbi Elazar learns from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Sham" "Sham" from
Moshe - that Miriam, like her brother Moshe, died through Misas Neshikah (a
kiss from Hashem).
(d) The Torah writes this by both Moshe and Aharon, but not by Miriam -
because it is not Derech Kavod for Hashem to say so explicitly.
(a) If someone dies suddenly, the Beraisa calls it a 'Misah Chatufah'. If he
dies following a one day illness, the Tana Kama refers to it as 'Misah
Dechufah'. Rebbi Chananyah ben Gamliel learns from the Pasuk in Yechezkel
"ben Adam, Hineni Lokei'ach Mimcha ... ba'Mageifah" after which, his wife
died the following evening - that, if someone dies after an illness lasting
one day, it is called a 'Misas Mageifah'.
(b) If he dies after two days, it is called a 'Misah Dechuyah'...
1. ... after three days - a 'Misas Ga'arah'.
(c) Dying after an illness of five days - constitutes a normal death.
2. ... after four days - a 'Misas Nezifah'.
(d) We learn this from the Pasuk in va'Yeilech (regarding the death of Moshe
Rabeinu) "Hein Karvu Yamecha la'Mus" - because "Hein" (in Greek) means
'one', and "Karvu" and "Yamecha" each implies two days.
(a) The Tana describes death at the age of ...
1. ... fifty - as Kareis.
(b) In reality, death between the ages of fifty and sixty constitutes
Kareis. The Beraisa did not mention it - in deference to Shmuel ha'Ramasi.
2. ... fifty-two - as the death od Shmuel ha'Ramasi.
3. ... sixty - as Misah bi'Yedei Shamayim.
4. ... seventy - as 'Seivah' (old age).
5. ... eighty - as 'Gevuros' (ripe old age).
(c) When Rav Yosef reached the age of sixty, he arranged a party - as a sign
of thnks to Hashem for having passed the possible age of Kareis.
(d) He certainly realized that he could still be Chayav Kareis and die on
one of the days mentioned in question 3. However, he acknowledged the
milestone that was relevant.
(a) In spite of what we learned above in 3a. (that sudden death constitutes
a 'Misah Chatufah'), Rav Huna (who was vertainly not Chayav Kareis) died
suddenly - because he had passed the age of eighty, in which case, dying
suddenly is a sign of Misas Neshikah.
(b) Rabah and Rav Chisda were both Tzadikim of great caliber, yet the former
died at the age of forty, whereas the latter lived to the ripe old age of
ninety-two - because life is one of the three things that do not depend on
merit, but on Mazel.
(c) Likewise ...
1. ... their life-styles too, differed completely - inasmuch as Rav Chisda
was extremely wealthy, whereas Rabah was extremely poor.
(d) Children and sustenance, besides life, are dependant upon Mazel rather
2. We demonstrate their compatibility - by pointing out that they both had
the power to pray for rain.
(a) Rava prayed for the wisdom of Rav Huna ...
1. ... for the wealth of Rav Chisda (his father-in-law), and ...
(b) He was granted the wisdom of Rav Huna and the wealth of Rav Chisda, but
not the humility of Rabah bar Rav Huna.
2. ... for the humility of Rabah bar Rav Huna.
(c) Rava asked his brother Rav Se'orim to plead with the Angel of Death not
to hurt him when taking his Neshamah. Even though he was friendly with the
Mal'ach ha'Maves, he not do this himself - because at the time of death,
one's Mazel is down, and one's power wanes.
(d) We know that his request was granted - because before he died, his
brother asked that he appear to him in a dream and inform him to that
effect. In fact, all he felt was the pain that someone feels when the
bloodletters gently make a cut in one's neck to draw blood.
(a) Rav Nachman too, died with litle pain from the Mal'ach ha'Maves (only
like pulling a hair out of a bowl of milk). He nevertheless told Rava in a
dream that he would not wish to return to this world (even with an assurance
that he would not suffer more the next time) - because of the terrifying
confrontation with the Mal'ach ha'Maves.
(b) Rebbi Elazar, who was a Kohen, managed to postpone his death, when the
Mal'ach ha'Maves came to take his Neshamah - by pointing out to him that he
was eating Terumah, which would become Tamei if he took it at that moment.
The Mal'ach ha'Maves went away, and somehow, Rebbi Elazar had an extended
lease of life.
(c) Rav Sheishes postponed his death until he arrived home, by arguing that
he was not an animal, that he should die in the market-place. Rav Ashi
managed to postpone his demise by thirty days - by asking the Mal'ach
ha'maves for thirty days in which to revise all his learning (based on the s
aying 'How fortunate is the person who arrives at the Heavenly Tribunal with
his Torah-learning in his hand.
(d) The Mal'ach ha'Maves was unable to take the Neshamah of ...
1. ... Rav Chisda, because he was perpetually learning Torah. He finally
succeeded in killing him - by making a noise in the cedar tree just outside
the Beis ha'Medrash (using the same tactics as he used on David ha'Melech).
When Rav Chisda, still immersed in his studies, climbed the tree to
investigate, the Mal'ach ha'Maves cut down the tree and Rav Chisda stopped
learning. That is when he caught him.
2. Rebbi Chiya, seemed to keep the Mal'ach ha'Maves at bay with his
sanctity. The Mal'ach ha'Maves manage to persuade him to give up his
Neshamah - by asking him for mercy, to let him do the job for which he was
created. If he could show mercy to a poor man (as which he had disguised
himself, and was currently receiving bread from Rebbi Chiya), then why could
he not show him mercy too. Rebbi Chiya relented, and the Mal'ach ha'Maves
took his Neshamah.
(a) According to the Tana Kama, women are Me'anos on Chol ha'Mo'ed, but
*not* Metapchos (beat their hearts). Rebbi Yishmael however, qualifies the
latter statement. According to him - those who are standing close to the bed
on which the Meis is lying, *are*.
(b) On Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim - the women are permitted to beat
(c) Kinah however, is forbidden even on Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim.
'Me'anos' is when they all chant in unison - whereas 'Mekonenos' is when
one of them does the chanting, and the others respond.
(d) In order to conclude the Maseches with something good - the Tana
concludes with the Pasuk "Bila ha'Maves la'Netzach, u'Machah Hashem Elokim
Dim'ah me'Al Kol Panim".
(a) The women of Shechintziv (Me'onos and Mekonenos) had a variety of dirges
which they would chant at funerals. A typical example is 'Woe to the one who
has gone, and woe to the security (his Neshamah) that he has to account for'
. The meaning of ...
1. ... 'Gud Garma mi'Kachi, ve'Namti Maya le'Antuchi' - is 'A young baby
died. Warm up water in a small kettle (to bathe him) - Pirush ha'Rosh.
(b) Death is good for a poor man - because he has run out of food.
2. ... 'Atof ve'Kasi Turi, de'Bar Rami u'Bar Ravrevi Hu' - Mountains! Cover
yourselves well, because this man, who is about to be buried by you, is of
(c) The man who spent so much energy running to make a living - eventually
without money (he did not even leave sufficient money to buy his own
1. 'Achana Tagri Azavzagi Mivdeku' - means that one can really tell how much
our brothers the merchants are worth, when they die, leaving no money to pay
for their burial.
2. 'Mosa ki Mosa, u'Mar'in Chibula' - 'He died like everybody else; the pain
that he suffered though, was extra.
(a) Rebbi Meir say that someone who eulogizes others, buries others and
carries others (to their final resting-place) - us assured that the same
will be done for him when *he* dies.
(b) He also says that if someone mourns others warmly, then others will
mourn him warmly when *he* dies. According to the second Lashon - it is if
he fails to mourn others warmly that they will ,ourn him warmly (meaning
that he will die soon).
(c) Tov la'Leches el Beis Eivel ... ve'ha'Chai Yitein el Libo". When the
four Tana'im went in to visit Rebbi Yishmael upon the death of his two sons,
Rebbi Tarfon warned them about getting involved in Divrei Agadah (see Agados
Maharsha), because Rebbi Yishmael was an expert in Agadah. Rebbi Akiva
insisted upon speaking last.
(d) The opening Darshan said 'They are guilty of many sins, so they have to
mourn again and again. They troubled their Rebbes to come and visit them
twice'. The opening Darshan was Rebbi Yishmael - who was referring to
(a) Each of the four Tana'im referred to the one Mitzvah that a famous (or
infamous) person had performed. All of them were saying - that if that
particular person was so warmly eulogized for the one Mitzvah that he had
performed, then how much more so the sons of Rebbi Yishmael, who had
performed many Mitzvos.
(b) Rebbi Tarfon referred to the one Mitzvah of Nadav and Avihu and Rebbi
Elazar ben Azaryah to the one Mitzvah of Tzidkiyahu Hamelech. The one
Mitzvah performed by ...
1. ... Nadav and Avihu (on that day, with regard to the inauguration of the
Mishkan - Agados Maharsha) - was the bringing of the blood of the various
Korbanos to Aharon for sprinkling.
(c) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili referred to the one Mitzvah of Aviyah ben
Yerav'am. Some say that he shut-down all the border-posts set up by his
father - others say that he closed his own border post (over which his
father had placed him) and went to Yerushalayim.
2. ... Tzidkiyahu Hamelech - was saving Yirmiyahu from the pit into which
his enemies had thrown him (see above 17b., where the Gemara refers to
Tzidkiyahu as an outstanding Tzadik).
(a) Rebbi Akiva quoted the Pasuk in Zecharyah, which refers to the great
Hesped of Hadadrimon in the valley of Megido. No such Hesped ever took
place, so Rav Yosef cites the Targum Yonasan, who explains that the Pasuk is
referring to the two Hespedim of two different people.
1. Hadadrimon (King of Syria) - killed King Achav.
(c) The Mitzvah that Achav performed - was to stand erect in his charriot
(in spite of being mortally wounded) until the evening, so that the Jewish
army should become panic-stricken (when they saw their king dead) and flee.
2. Paroh the Lame - killed Yoshiyahu ha'Melech in the valley of Megido.
(d) Rabah bar Mari quoting Rebbi Yochanan (in answer to Rava's Kashya)
explains the Pasuk ...
1. ... (in connection with Tzidkiyah) "be'Shalom Tamus" (in spite of the
fact that they blinded him) - to mean that he outlived his tormentor
2. ... (in connection with Yoshiyahu) " ... ve'Ne'esafta el Avosecha
be'Shalom" (in spite of the fact that he died after they had riddled his
body with arrows) - to mean that the Beis ha'Mikdash was not destroyed in
(a) Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Acharei-Chein Pasach Iyov es Piv ... va'Ya'an Elifaz ha'Teimani" -
that the Aveil should be the one to open the conversation.
(b) "Yenachem" does indeed imply the comforter, and not the mourner.
However - since there is no 'Aleph' (see Tosfos DH 'Yenachem') in
"Yenachem", we read it "Yinachem" (meaning 'are comforted').
2. ... "Evchar Darkam ve'Eishev Rosh ve'Eshkon ka'Melech ba'G'dud Ka'asher
Eveilim Yenachem" - that the Aveilim should sit at the head.
(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak learns this from the Pasuk "ve'Sar Merzach
la'Seruchim" - meaning 'The Aveil becomes the head of the others'.
(d) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Kidashto" - that in all matters of Kedushah, the Kohen comes
2. ... in Yeshayah "ke'Chasan Yechahen Pe'er - that a Chasan is compared to
a Kohen in this regard.