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1) [line 1] "U'CHESAV HA'NISHTEVAN KASUV ARAMIS U'MESURGAM ARAMIS" - "The text of the letter was in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic language." (Ezra 4:7) - The Gemara interprets the word "ha'Nishtevan" (a rare word, appearing only in this verse, which Rashi and others on the verse explain to mean "letter") to mean "the changed" or "the altered" (from the root "Shoneh"), implying the change made to the Hebrew script.
2) [line 2] "[... V']LO CHAHALIN KESAVA L'MIKREI U'FISHREI L'HODA'AH L'MALKA." - "... and they could not read writing like this, and inform the king as to its interpretation." (Daniel 5:8)
3) [line 5] SHE'ALAH IMAHEM ME'ASHUR - it went up with them from Ashur (Assyria). (This does not refer to the Assyrian script, which is completely different from the Hebrew "Kesav Ashuris." Rather, it means that this Kesav, which was revealed to Ezra in Bavel, was later studied and adopted by the Jews living in Ashur. After Belshatzar was killed on that night, the kingdom was taken over by Persian-controlled Mede (see Background to Bava Metzia 55:8), the capital of which was Elam, which was adjacent to Ashur, and thus the entire kingdom was known as Ashur -- see ETZ YOSEF.)
4) [line 6] BI'CHESAV ZEH NITNAH TORAH - in this script (Kesav Ashuris) the Torah was given
5) [line 7] RO'ETZ - a frustration (Hashem caused them to forget this script due to their sins)
6) [line 8] "SHUVU L'VITZARON, ASIREI HA'TIKVAH! GAM HA'YOM MAGID MISHNEH, 'ASHIV LACH.'" - "Return to the fortified city (Yerushalayim), prisoners of hope! Today, also, the announcement is repeated, 'I shall return to you." (Zecharyah 9:12) - The Gemara interprets this to mean that "I shall return to you that which you have forgotten."
7) [line 11] ME'USHERES BI'CHESAV - its script is most praiseworthy (beautiful)
8) [line 12] "VAVEI HA'AMUDIM" - "The hooks of the pillars." (Shemos 27:10) - The word for hooks is "Vavim," because the letter Vav is shaped like a hook. The Gemara derives from the fact that the verse refers to hooks as "Vavim" that the letter Vav is written today in the same way that it was written at the time that the Torah was given.
9) [line 13] VAVIM - the letters of Vav (see previous entry)
11) [line 21] YaTaS YaTaS (IDaCH) [ADaCH] PUGCHaMaT - these were the words written in code (see previous entry) which no one could decipher (the word "Adach" should be written without a letter Yud, since it is the word "Tekel" using A"t Ba"sh)
12) [line 21] MAI PARISH LEHU? - What did he (Daniel) explain them (the words) to mean?
13) [line 21] "MENEI MENEI TEKEL U'FARSIN" - "Counted, counted, weighed, and divided them." (Daniel 5:25) - These were the cryptic, prophetic words that Daniel needed to interpret, the "handwriting on the wall."
14) [line 22] "MENEI: MANA ELAKA MALCHUSACH [V'HASHLEMAH]" - "[This is the interpretation of the matter:] 'Menei' (counted): HaSh-m has counted [the years of] your kingship and has completed it." (Daniel 5:26)
15) [line 22] "TEKEL: TEKILTA V'MOZNAYA V'HISHTECHACHT CHASIR." - "'Tekel' (weighed): you were weighed in the scales and you were found to be lacking." (Daniel 5:27)
16) [line 23] "[PEREIS:] PERISAS MALCHUSACH VI'HIVAS L'MADAI U'FARAS." - "'Pereis' (divided): your kingdom has been divided and given to Mede and Persia." (Daniel 5:28) - The word "Pereis" also implies Persia ("Paras"), and as such, the word "Farsin" is in the plural form.
17) [line 24] MiMTOS NiNKeFeI A'ALRaN - the message was not written as an A"T Ba"SH code, but rather it was written as three words which comprised the letters of the five words of the message. These three words had to be decoded into five other words (Menei Menei Tekel u'Far Sin (splitting the last word into two)), the first letters of which were written together as one word (Mem, Mem, Tav, Vav, Samech), and the second letters of each of the five words written together as a second word (Nun, Nun, Kuf, Peh, Yud), and the third letters of each of the five words written together as a third word (Alef, Alef, Lamed, Reish, Nun). Graphically, the words were written as follows, and misread by being read horizontally instead of vertically:
18) [line 24] ANAM ANAM LAKAS NISREFU - the message (the four words, Menei Menei Tekel u'Farsin) were each written backwards.M M T V S N N K P Y A A L R N
19) [line 25] NAMA NAMA KATAL PURSIN - the message (the four words, Menei Menei Tekel u'Farsin) were coded by switching the place of the first and second letter of each word.
20) [line 26] SHARVITO - his staff (this refers to any personal object used by the king, as is clear from the Gemara)
21) [line 28] ADONIYAH - Adoniyah was the fourth son of David ha'Melech (Shmuel II 3:4). All of his older brothers (Amnon, Kil'av, and Avshalom) had died, and thus Adoniyah felt that he was the rightful heir to the throne. Consequently, when David ha'Melech had become advanced in age, Adoniyah declared himself the heir to the kingship of his father, and he garnered support for his cause from a number of influential people (as described at the beginning of Sefer Melachim I).
22) [line 32] SOCHENES - attendant, helper
25) [line 38] "V'ZOS SHENIS TA'ASU: KASOS DIM'AH ES MIZBACH HASH-M, BECHI VA'ANAKAH, ME'EIN OD PENOS EL HA'MINCHAH V'LAKACHAS RATZON MI'YEDCHEM. VA'AMARTEM, 'AL MAH?' AL KI HASH-M HE'ID BEINCHA U'VEIN ESHES NE'URECHA, ASHER ATAH BAGADETAH BAH, VE'HI CHAVERTECHA VE'ESHES BRISECHA!" - "And this, moreover, are you doing: You cover with tears the altar of HaSh-m, weeping and sighing, so that He does not anymore turn towards the offering and receive it willingly from your hands. And you say, 'For what reason?' It is because HaSh-m testified between you and between the wife of your youth, that you have rebelled against her, and yet she is your companion and the wife of your covenant!" (Malachi 2:13-14)
26) [line 44] "BEN ADAM, HINENI LOKE'ACH MIMECHA ES MACHMAD EINECHA B'MAGEFAH, [V']LO SISPOD V'LO SIVKEH V'LO SAVO DIM'ASECHA." - "Son of man, I hereby am taking from you the beloved of your eyes in a plague, and you shall not eulogize, and you shall not cry, and your tears shall not come." (Yechezkel 24:16)
27) [line 46] "HINENI MECHALEL ES MIKDASHI GE'ON UZCHEM MACHMAD EINEICHEM" - "I hereby am profaning My holy place, the pride of your strength, the beloved of your eyes." (Yechezkel 24:21)
28) [line 47] "OR CHASHACH B'OHALO, V'NERO ALAV YID'ACH." - "The light will darken in his tent, and his lamp upon him will be extinguished." (Iyov 18:7)
29) [line 48] PESI'OSAV MISKATZROS - his steps get shorter (i.e. he becomes weak)
30) [line 48] "YETZRU TZA'ADEI ONO, [V'SASHLICHEHU ATZASO]." - "The footsteps of his strength will become narrow, [and his counsel will throw him off]." (Iyov 18:7)
31) [line 48] ATZASO NOFELES - his advice fails
33) [line 49] "ELOKIM MOSHIV YECHIDIM BAISAH, MOTZI ASIRIM BA'KOSHAROS; [ACH SORERIM SHACHENU TZECHICHAH.]" - "Elokim settles individuals into a household; He releases prisoners at suitable moments; [only the rebellious dwell in the thirsty land.]" (Tehilim 68:7) - The Chachamim learn that the second part of this verse is referring to the Redemption from Egypt. They render "ba'Kosharos" as a contraction of the words "Bechi" (weeping) and "Shiros" (songs). When Benei Yisrael were released from slavery, it was a time of weeping for the Egyptians and of song for Benei Yisrael. HaSh-m redeemed Yisrael from Egypt in the most suitable (Kosher) season of the year, springtime, for then the weather is optimal for traveling on the road; it is neither to hot nor too cold (RASHI ibid.). According to Chazal, this phrase also relates to the formation of the family unit. When HaSh-m matches a couple, their union is undoubtedly suitable and has the potential for happiness. Ultimately, however, only the efforts of the husband and wife determine whether or not the match will succeed. If they appreciate HaSh-m's choice, the resulting happiness will cause them to sing "Shiros" (songs) of joy and gratitude; but if they refuse to accept their Divinely designated mates, they will be engulfed in unhappy "Bechi" (weeping) (Bereishis Rabah 68:4). Furthermore, if the couple is fearful of HaSh-m, they will be "Motzi Asirim ba'Kosharos," i.e. bring forth scholarly sons who are able to decide what is Halachically "Asur" or "Kasher." If the couple is not meritorious, however, their sons will be ignoramuses whose parched minds are barren of Torah knowledge (ARTSCROLL Tehilim ibid.).
34) [line 51] ZIVUG/ZEVEG RISHON - first marriage (see Insights)
38) [line 2] MAKRI LEI - he read [and explained a verse] to him
42) [line 7] GOLEM - a shapeless (incomplete) form
43) [line 19] HO'IL U'MISHMAROS MISCHADSHOS (MISHMAROS) - since the
Mishmaros are renewed each week (and thus the Kohen Gadol must appear well
44) [line 21] "V'ROSHAM LO YEGALECHU, U'FERA LO YESHALECHU; KASOM YICHSEMU ES ROSHEIHEM." - "And they shall not shave their heads, nor let their hair grow unkempt; they shall trim [the hair of] their heads." (Yechezkel 44:20)
45) [line 23] "[KOL YEMEI NEDER NIZRO, TA'AR LO YA'AVOR AL ROSHO... KADOSH YIHEYEH,] GADEL PERA SE'AR ROSHO." - "[All the days of the vow of his Nezirus no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled, during which he separates himself for HaSh-m, he shall be holy,] and shall let the hair of his head grow unkempt." (Bamidbar 6:5)
46) [line 24] SETAM NEZIRUS SHELOSHIM YOM
47) [line 25] "KADOSH YIHEYEH" - "... he shall be holy" (Bamidbar 6:5). See above, entry 45.
48) [line 25] B'GEMATRIYA TELASIN HAVU - they (the letters of the word "Yiheyeh") equal 30 in Gematriya
49) [line 26] LO LIRBU KELAL - they should not grow their hair at all (even for thirty days; rather, they should cut it on the 29th day)
50a) [line 27] PERA LEHEVEI - it may be "Pera," a growth of a hair of 30
51) [line 27] HA'IDNA NAMI - nowadays (while the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing) also [the Kohanim should be required to cut their hair every 30 days]
52) [line 28] BI'ZEMAN BI'AH - at the time of entering the [Azarah of the] Beis ha'Mikdash
53) [line 30] SHE'TAKANASO KALKALASO - (a) (lit. his benefit stems from his destruction) the fact that the Beis ha'Mikdash has not been rebuilt for all of these years has been the reason that the Kohanim are permitted to drink wine. With regard to this Halachah, we do not consider the possibility that it will be rebuilt immediately after the Kohen drinks (RASHI to Ta'anis 17a); (b) since he does not know to which Beis Av he belongs, he is permitted to drink wine, because even if the Beis ha'Mikdash were to be rebuilt today, he will not do the Avodah until a Beis Din of Kohanim convenes to determine who belong to which family and to fix the days when each family of Kohanim are to perform the Avodah (RABEINU CHANANEL to Ta'anis 17a, and RASHI here)
54) [line 31] K'MAN SHASEI KOHANEI CHAMRA HA'IDNA? - In accordance with whose opinion do Kohanim drink wine nowadays?
55) [line 34] EFSHAR D'NAYIM PURTA V'AYIL - it is possible for him to sleep a little and then go up [into the Mikdash]
56) [line 34] DERECH MIL - walking a distance of one Mil (1 Mil = 2000 Amos = approximately 960 or 1152 meters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions)
57) [line 35] MEFIGIN ES HA'YAYIN - weaken and remove the effect of the wine
59) [line 37] TORADTO - confounds him
61) [line 41] "V'YAYIN LO YISHTU [KOL KOHEN B'VO'AM EL HE'CHATZER HA'PENIMIS.]" - "Amd they shall not drink wine, [any Kohen, when they enter the inner courtyard.]" (Yechezkel 44:21)
62) [line 45] "KOL BEN NECHAR EREL LEV V'EREL BASAR LO YAVO EL MIKDASHI (L'SHARSENI)" - "Any stranger with an uncircumcised heart or uncircumcised flesh shall not come into My holy place (to serve me)." (Yechezkel 44:9) - The word "l'Sharseni" ("to serve me") does not appear in the verse and should be omitted form the text of the Gemara -- DIKDUKEI SOFRIM #8)
63) [line 47] GEMARA GEMIREI LAH - we know it from the tradition that Moshe received on Mount Sinai (Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai)
64) [line 47] ASMECHAH A'KERA - he gave it a verse as support
66) [line 50] TISPORTA YECHIDA'AH - a unique (and comely) haircut (RASHI)
68) [line 51] BEN EL'ASHAH - Ben El'ashah, the son-in-law of Rebbi. He was a great Chacham and very wealthy (Seder ha'Doros).