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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Avodah Zarah 4


(a) (Reish Lakish): The wicked are judged through the sun - "Hinei ha'Yom Ba Bo'er ka'Tanur...v'Chol Ose Rish'a Kash...Lo Ya'azov Lahem Shoresh v'Anaf";
1. They will not have a root in this world, nor a branch in the world to come.
(b) Tzadikim are cured through it - "Shemesh Tzedakah u'Marpei bi'Chnafeha";
1. Further, they will delight in it - "U'Pishtem k'Eglei Marbek".
(c) Answer #3 (to Question 4:d, 3B): Just as bigger fish swallow smaller fish, also bigger people would swallow smaller people, if not that they fear the king.
1. (Mishnah - R. Chanina Segan ha'Kohanim): Pray for the wellbeing of the kingdom, if not that people feared it, people would swallow each other alive.
(d) Question (R. Chinena bar Papa): It says "Shakai Lo Metzanuhu Sagi Cho'ach"; but it also says "Gadol Adoneinu v'Rav Ko'ach" and "Yeminecha Hash-m Nedari ba'Ko'ach"!
(e) Answer: Hash-m does not act with strength when He judges (i.e. He does not decree destruction), he acts with strength in war.
(f) Question (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): It says "Chemah Ein Li", it also says "Nokem Hash-m u'Va'al Chemah"!
(g) Answer #1 (R. Chama): He lacks anger against Yisrael, he has anger against Nochrim.
1. Version #1 -Tosfos - (R. Chinena bar Papa): Hash-m swore not to use Chemah against Yisrael, and regrets this.
(h) Version #2 -Rashi - Answer #2 (R. Chinena bar Papa): It all refers to Yisrael; Hash-m has Chemah, but he swore not to use it, and regrets this.
(a) Question (R. Alexandri): "Avakesh l'Hashmid Es Kol ha'Goyim" - from whom will Hash-m request?
(b) Answer: Hash-m will examine the record of their deeds: if they have enough merits, He will redeem them; if not, He will destroy them.
(c) Question (Rava): What does it mean "Ach Lo B'i Yishlach Yad Im b'Fido Lahen Shu'a"?
(d) Answer #1 (Rava): Hash-m does not judge Yisrael like the Nochrim;
1. Version #1 (Rashi): Regarding Nochrim, "Avah Avah Avah Asimenah" (He repays them at once for all their sins)";
i. Regarding Yisrael, Hash-m punishes b'Fido, bit by bit, like a pecking chicken.
2. Version #2 (Maharsha): Regarding Yisrael, "Avah Avah Avah Asimenah" - He punishes for each sin immediately, b'Fido, bit by bit, like a pecking chicken. (He does not allow their liability to grow great, as he does regarding Nochrim.) (end of Version #2)
(e) Answer #2: Even if Yisrael have merits as little as pecks of a chicken, Hash-m joins them and turns (Shu'a) to save them.
(f) Answer #3: In the merit that Yisrael MeSHAvim (pray) to Hash-m, He is MoSHi'A (saves) them.
1. (R. Aba): "V'Anochi Efdem v'Hemah Dib'ru Alai Kezavim" - Hash-m wanted to redeem Yisrael through monetary afflictions in this world in order that they will receive the world to come, but they denied this.
2. Question (Rav Papi): What does it mean "Yisarti Chizakti Zero'osam v'Elai Yichashevu Ra" - Hash-m intended to afflict Yisrael in this world in order to strengthen them in the world to come, but they thought Hash-m was doing evil to them.
(g) R. Avahu told the Minim that Rav Safra was a great man; they exempted him from taxes for 13 years.
1. Once they asked Rav Safra: "Rak Eschem Yadati...Al Ken Efkod Aleichem Es Kol Avonoseichem" - one does not afflict his beloved! He did not answer; they started hurting him.
2. R. Avahu: Why are you hurting him?
3. Minim: You said that he is a great man, but he could not explain the verse!
4. R. Avahu: He is great in the oral Torah; he does not have people like you asking questions about written Torah, he has not delved as deeply into it as us (of whom you normally ask).
5. Minim: How do you answer?
6. R. Avahu: I explain through a parable: a man lent to someone he loves and to someone he hates;
i. He collects from his friend bit by bit, he collects from the other all at once.
(h) Question (R. Aba bar Kahana): "Chalilah Lecha...Lehamis Tzadik Im Rasha" - what does this mean?
(i) Answer: It is Chulin (profane) for You to kill Tzadikim along with Resha'im.
(j) Question: But it says "V'Hichrati Mimech Tzadik v'Rasha"!
(k) Answer: That refers to one who is not a complete Tzadik.
(l) Question: Is it really true that a complete Tzadik will not be punished with Resha'im?
1. (Rav Yosef): "Umi'Mikdashi Tachlu (You will start killing in My Mikdash)" - read this 'Mi'Mekudoshai (my holy ones)', people who kept the entire Torah.
(m) Answer: Those people should have protested against the sinners. so they were not complete Tzadikim.
(a) Question (Rav Papa): It says "V'Kel Zo'em b'Chol Yom", but it also says "Lifne Zamo Mi Ya'amod" (how do people survive?)
(b) Answer: If Hash-m directed his fury at an individual, he could not survive; he directs it at the congregation, the congregation can survive it.
(c) (Beraisa): "V'Kel Zo'em b'Chol Yom" - his fury is for a Rega (moment); this is one part in 53, 848 of an hour (about one part in 15 of a second);
1. The only creature that knew when this moment comes was Bilam, of whom it says "V'Yode'a Da'as Elyon".

2. Question: He did not even know his donkey's mind, how could he know Hash-m's?!
i. When the Moabite nobles asked why he was riding on a donkey and not a horse, Bilam said that he left his horse grazing.
ii. His donkey: "Ha'Lo Anochi Asonecha".
iii. Bilam: For carrying burdens.
iv. His donkey: "Asher Rachavta Alai".
v. Bilam: Only occasionally.
vi. His donkey: "Me'Odecha Ad ha'Yom ha'Zeh!" You ride on me by day, and sleep with me at night - "Ha'Hasken Hiskanti" (a virgin was picked to be a SoCHENes to David, to warm him).
3. Answer: Rather, it says "V'Yode'a Da'as Elyon", for Bilam knew when is the moment of Hash-m's fury.
(d) (R. Elazar): "Ami Zechor...u'Meh Anah Oso Bilam...Lema'an Da'as Tzidkos Hash-m" - we should know what Hash-m did for us, He was not angry for a moment the entire time Bilam was trying to curse us;
1. Had He been angry, (Bilam would have succeeded to curse us and) there would be no remnant of us.
(e) This explains "Mah Ekov Lo Kaboh Kel u'Mah Ez'om Lo Za'am Hash-m".
(f) Question: What is the source that Hash-m's fury is a Rega?
(g) Answer #1: "Ki Rega b'Apo".
(h) Answer #2: "Chavi Chim'at Rega Ad Ya'avor Za'am".
(i) Question: When does this Rega come?
(j) Answer (Abaye): In the first three hours of the day, when a rooster's mane turns white.
(k) Question: Its mane is always white!
(l) Answer: All other times, it has red speckles; during the Rega, it is totally white.
(m) A certain Min was bothering R. Yehoshua ben Levi with (perverted explanations of) verses. R. Yehoshua ben Levi set a rooster between the legs of his bed, intending to curse him when the mane turned all white.
1. At the time, R. Yehoshua ben Levi fell asleep; he realized that Hash-m did not want him to curse him - "V'Rachamav Al Kol Ma'asav";
i. Also, it says "Gam Anosh la'Tzadik Lo Tov".
(a) (Beraisa - R. Meir): When kings put on their crowns and bow to the sun, immediately Hash-m gets angry.
(b) (Rav Yosef): An individual should not pray Musaf during the first three hours of the day on Rosh Hashanah - since Hash-m judges then, perhaps He will scrutinize his deeds, and his prayer will be rejected.
(c) Question: If so, also the congregation should not pray then!
(d) Answer: Since the congregation has many merits, its prayer is heard.
(e) Question: Likewise, an individual should not pray Shachris at this time!
(f) Answer: Since the congregation prays at this time, his prayer will not be rejected.
(g) Question: But we said that the first three hours Hash-m engages in Torah!
(h) Answer #1: Rather, the first three hours He judges, the next three He engages in Torah.
(i) Answer #2: Really, He engages in Torah then;
1. Since Torah is called Emes ("Emes Kene v'Al Timkor"), He does not go beyond the letter of the law at this time;
2. Judgment is not called Emes, when He engages in judgment He goes beyond the letter of the law.
(j) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): "Asher Anochi Metzavecha ha'Yom" - today (this world) is for doing Mitzvos, not tomorrow (the world to come); today (this world) is for doing Mitzvos, not for receiving their reward.
(k) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi):"Yitenu Edeihem v'Yitzdaku" - Mitzvos that Yisrael do in this world testify for them in the world to come;
1. "Va'Yomeru Emes" - this refers to the Nochrim.
(l) (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): Mitzvos that Yisrael do in this world strike the Nochrim on the face in the world to come - it does not say '...u'Vinaschem Neged ha'Amim', rather "L'Einei ha'Amim", in their eyes.
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