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Shabbos 56


QUESTION: The Gemara cites a verse discussing Mefivoshes, and it calls him the son of Shaul (Shmuel II 19:25). Why does it call him the son of Shaul if he was really the son of Yehonasan? ANSWERS:
(a) The IYUN YAKOV explains that in this incident, Mefivoshes displayed animosity towards David ha'Melech by saying that Hashem should not have helped him to overthrow Avshalom. Therefore, the verse relates him to Shaul, who also hated David, and not to Yehonasan who loved him.

(b) Since, in this incident, Mefivoshes complained about the way Hashem was conducting the affairs of the world the same way that Shaul complained (as our Gemara says on 56b), the Gemara relates him to Shaul and not to Yehonasan. (M. Kornfeld)


AGADAH: The Gemara says that as a result of David ha'Melech accepting Rechilus about Mefivoshes (as the verse says, "va'Yeragel Avdecha") and taking away half of his property, Hashem punished him by taking away half of his kingdom a few generations later.

SEFER NIFLA'OS M'TORASECHA (Rav Mordechai Aran, Jerusalem, 1997) points out that a computer search showed that in only two places in the entire Torah, do "Sofei Teivos" (the last letters of consecutive words) spell out "Rechilus" ("Rechilus" never appears as "Roshei Teivos," an acronym comprised of the initial letters of consecutive words).

The first is Bereishis 3:11, where Hashem asks Adam, "Did you eat from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?" -- (asheR tzivisiCHa l'viltI achoL mimenU achalTa). The Midrash (Tanchuma Bereishis 8:8) teaches that it was Lashon ha'Ra that brought death to Adam ha'Rishon, who believed the serpent when it told him that Hashem does not want Adam to eat from the Tree of Knowledge because then man will be as great as He (that is, Hashem is greedy). Appropriately, the Torah hints this to us through the Sofei Teivos which spell the word, "RECHILUS."

The second place is Melachim I 14:8, where the prophet tells Yeravam, "I have *taken away the Malchus* from David and given it to you, but you have not kept all the Mitzvos the way David did" (asheR halaCH acharaI b'choL levavO la'asoS). Here, also, the prophet was hinting that David, although he was nearly perfect, had one sin, and that was that he believed the RECHILUS which Tziva told him about Mefivoshes. It was because of that sin that Hashem divided his kingdom, as our Gemara states!

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