ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafShabbos 56
(a) The Navi writes, with regard to the sons of Shmuel "va'Yatu Acharei
ha'Batza", suggesting that they were dishonest. The Gemara however,
explains that they were not guilty of such a severe sin, only that they did
not follow in their father's footsteps, by traveling round the country to
administer justice to the people.
(b) The Gemara proves this from the Pasuk "Vayehi Ki Zaken Shmuel, ve'Lo
Halchu Banav bi'Derachav", from which we can see what the extent of their
(c) 'Chazaneihem ve'Sofreihem' were their attendants (whose job it was to
call the litigants to court), and their scribes, respectively. And it was
in order to pay them better wages, that Shmuel's sons decided to remain at
home, rather than to travel the country, like their father did.
(d) According to Rebbi Meir, Shmuel's sons sin was to ask for Ma'aser
Rishon (since they were Levi'im). This was considered a sin, because nobody
would refuse the request of such important as the sons of Shmuel, with the
result that other very poor Levi'im, to whom the owners would otherwise
have given their Ma'aser, were deprived.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, Shmuel's sons gave various people
merchandise to trade, from which they would receive half the profits.
Later, when those same people came to them for judgment, they were unable
to judge them impartially.
(b) According to Rebbi Akiva, they claimed Ma'aser excessively, from many
people; whereas Rebbi Yossi learns that they actually took Matnos Kehunah
(Zero'a, Lechayayim and the Keivah) in spite of the fact that they were not
Kohanim. Alternatively, they took Ma'asros by force - and the Torah writes
in Devarim "*ve'Nasan* la'Kohen" the Mitzvah of all Matnos Kehunah
(incorporating Matnos Leviyah) is for the Yisrael to give, not for the
Kohen, or the Levi, to take.
(a) The Navi writes that Hashem was with David, inconceivable if David had
been guilty of adultery.
(b) "Madu'a Bazisa ... *La'asos* ha'Ra" means that David onlo *intended* to
commit adultery (to have relations with Bas-Sheva before she received a Get
from Uri'ah), but refrained from doing so. It is Rebbi who sought to
lighten David's sin, because he descended from David.
(c) David should have judged Uri'ah in Beis-Din, and not issued the
(d) David was not guilty of adultery, because it was customary for all the
soldiers who went to the battle-front to give a Get to their wives, to
avoid any problems should they not return. This custom is also reflected in
the Pasuk "ve'es Arubasam Tikach", which Yishai asked of David (when he
went to visit his brothers at the barracks), and which the Gemara
interprets to mean that David was to take that what guaranteed their
co-existence (the Kidushin) from them, by means of a Get, which the
brothers were to give him to take home.
(a) "ve'Oso Haragta be'Cherev B'nei Amon" teaches us that, just as the
Amonites were not held guilty for killing Uri'ah, neither was David.
(b) David was not guilty of murder for having Uri'ah put to death, because
Uri'ah had earned the death-sentence for what Chazal describe as 'Mored
(c) Uri'ah's sin was to refer to Yo'av as 'his master' in the presence of
(See also Tosfos, d.h. 'de'Amar').
(d) Rav himself, who says in one place that David's only sin was the one
mentioned above, says in another, that he was also guilty of accepting
(a) Mefivoshes was the son of Yonasan ben Shaul, and Tziva was his slave.
(b) David gave half the field to Tzivah (effectively setting him free at
the same time), because Tzivah had told him that Mefivoshes remained in
Yerushalayim (having failed to accompany David when he fled from Avshalom),
because he was waiting for the opportunity to regain the Kingship, which
had been taken from his family after Shaul's death.
(c) It was when David saw that Mefivoshes came unkempt and with unwashed
clothes, that he believed Tziva. This was a proof, he thought, that
Mefivoshes was in semi-mourning because he, David, had returned safely.
(See Mesores ha'Shas for Mefivoshes' genuine motive for not grooming
(d) Rav Yehudah quoting Rav, says that when David told Mefivoshes that he
must split the field with Tziva, a Heavenly voice proclaimed that Rechavam
and Yeravam will split the Kingdom. And he added that, if David had not
accepted Tziva's Lashon ha'Ra, the Kingdom of David would not have been
split, Yisrael would not have served idols and we would not have been sent
(a) Mefivoshes did not accompany David, according to his account, because
Tziva tricked him, by riding off with his donkey - and he (Mefivoshes) was
lame, and was unable to walk.
(b) Mefivoshes implied with his words that he held it not against David,
but against the One who returned him safely to Yerushalayim and to his
(c) The reason for the Navi's reference to Mefivoshes as 'Meiriv Ba'al' -
meaning the one who quarrels with his Master (G-d) - has now been revealed.
(d) Taking Hashem to task was a trait that he inherited from his
grandfather, Shaul, who did the same when commanded by Shmuel to wipe out
Amolek - men, women and children. 'What have all these innocent people done
to deserve genocide', he wanted to know? That is what is meant by the
Pasuk there "va'Yarev ba'Nachal". He quarreled (with Hashem), in connection
with the 'Eglah Arufah', the calf that had its neck broken *in the valley*
- to atone for the death of just one man! So how could he possibly justify
killing all of those innocent people, he argued?
(a) We learn from "ve'Lo Hayah Levavo Shalem Im Hashem Elokav ki'Levav
David Aviv", that Shlomoh's sin was not having attained the level of
righteousness of his father David, but not of turning his heart away from
Hashem, to go astray after other gods - of which the Navi accused him.
(b) The Navi accuses him of that, because he did not stop his wives from
their idolatrous practices.
(c) If we explain the Pasuk "Az *Yivneh* Shlomoh" etc. to mean that he only
intended to build, but refrained from doing so, then we will also have to
explain the Pasuk in Yehoshua: "Az *Yivneh* Yehoshua Mizbei'ach la'Hashem"
in the same light - which of course, would be incorrect.
(d) How is it possible, asks the Gemara, that the righteous Asa and
Yehoshafat, (about whom the Navi testifies that they destroyed all the
foreign altars), should have left the altars that Shlomoh ha'Melech
(allowed to be) built, standing?
So we have to explain the Pasuk like this: Although Asa and Yehoshafat had
already demolished the altars of Shlomoh, the Pasuk, wishing to stress the
righteousness of Yoshiyahu, ascribes their demolition to Yoshiyahu - as if
he had done the job. In the same way, does the same Pasuk ascribe the
building of those very same altars, to Shlomoh, even though he did not
really build them.
(a) Rav Yehudah comments on the Pasuk ("va'Ya'as ha'Ra" etc.) that it would
have been better for Shlomoh to become an attendant for idolatry (to chop
wood and draw water) rather than to have this written about him. To teach
us how important it is to rebuke, when one has the power to do so!
(b) When Shlomoh married bas Par'oh, she brought in a thousand kinds of
musical instruments, and proceeded to give him a demonstration of how they
would play for this god and for that one. Shlomoh remained silent!
(c) On that fateful day, the Angel Gavriel descended, and planted a reed in
the Mediterranean Sea. Mud rose to the surface and surrounded the reed, and
grew until it became Rome (Italy).
(d) And it was when Yeravam built his two calves in Beis-El and in Dan,
that the first hut was built - on the spot that later developed into Rome.
(a) The Gemara learns from the Pasuk "va'Ya'as ha'Yashar ... va'Yelech
be'Chol Derech David Aviv", that Yoshiyahu was not a Ba'al Teshuvah, but
that he had always gone in the ways of David.
(b) When the Pasuk writes "u'Kemohu Lo Hayah Melech Asher Shav" etc., it
refers to all the monetary rulings that he had issued from the age of eight
(when he ascended the throne) till he turned eighteen (when this Pasuk is
written). Why is that?
Because it was Chilkiyah's finding of the Sefer-Torah that caused him to
examine his rulings more carefully, and that brought him to the realization
that he may have made mistakes.
(c) And from "u've'Chol *Me'odo*" we learn that all of the looses that were
incurred as a result of these changes, he payed out of his own pocket (just
like "be'Chol *Me'odecha*" in the Shema refers to one's money).
(a) Rav describes Yoshiyahu ha'Melech as being the greatest Ba'al Teshuvah,
he and one man who lived in Rav's generation, by the name of Aba, the
father of Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba (according to one version).
Hadran Alach, 'ba'Meh Beheimah'
(b) Rav Yosef added that there was also someone in his generation who could
join that list of unique Ba'alei Teshuvah, and he was called Nasan
Tzutzisa, alias Mar Ukva.
(c) Mar Ukva was referred to as Nasan Tzutzisa, either because of spark of
fire that shot from him (from the word 'Nitzutzin - meaning sparks), when
the Angel stretched out his hand and accepted his Teshuvah; or because the
Angel held him by the hair of his head (from the word '*Tzitzis* Roshi'
meaning strands of hair)