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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 3



(a) Seeing as the Nochrim did not even observe their own seven Mitzvos, it is obvious that they will not be asking for another six hundred plus. So we finally present their complaint against Hashem as - the fact that Yisrael did not observe all their Mitzvos either.

(b) They will reject Hashem's answer that ...

1. ... He will testify how Yisrael had observed the Mitzvos on the grounds - that He is their Father, and the Torah disqualifies a father from testifying for (or even against) his own son.
2. ... Heaven and earth will testify on Yisrael's behalf on the grounds - that they are prejudiced, since their own existence is linked to Yisrael's righteousness, as we shall now see.
(c) Resh Lakish extrapolates from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Vayehi Erev ... Yom *ha*'Shishi" - that, at the time of the creation, Hashem made a condition with the world that it would only be finally established on *the* sixth of Sivan, if Yisrael would accept the Torah; if not, then He would revert it null and void, as it was before it was before it was created.
2. ... "mi'Shamayim Hishma'ta Din, Eretz Yar'ah ve'Shakatah" is - that at first, the world was apprehensive, and that it only calmed down after Yisrael declared 'Na'aseh ve'Nishna'.
(d) Hashem replied - that if so, He would bring witnesses from among the Nochrim themselves who would attest to Yisrael's righteousness.
(a) Nimrod will testify that Avraham did not worship idols and Lavan, that Ya'akov did not steal ...
1. ... Potifera's wife - that Yosef did not commit adultery ...
2. ... Nevuchadnetzar, that Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah did not worship idols ...
3. ... and Daryavesh - that Daniel did not negate Tefilah.
(b) The last set of three men were Beldad ha'Shuchi, Tzofer ha'Na'amasi and Elifaz ha'Teimani (friends of Iyov) - the ones referred to in the Pasuk in Yeshayah that we cited above "Yitnu Eideihen Ve'yitzdaku", who will testify on behalf of Yisrael's loyalty to Hashem.

(c) It would not be correct to add 'Elihu ben Berechel ha'Buzi' to this group - because he was a Yisrael.

(a) The Nochrim will then ask Hashem - to give them another chance.

(b) Hashem's initial response will be - to cite the Ma'amar Chazal 'Mi she'Tarach be'Erev Shabbos Yochal be'Shabbos'. How can someone who did not prepare here in this world, expect to receive reward in the World to Come?

(c) In spite of that, Hashem will concede to their request and give them the Mitzvah of Sukah, which He will describe as - an easy Mitzvah.

(d) We query Hashem's benevolent act from Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who Darshened from the Pasuk in the Sh'ma "Asher Anochi Metzaveh Eschem *ha'Yom*" - 'ha'Yom La'asosam, ve'Lo le'Machar La'asosam. ha'Yom La'asosam, ve'Lo ha'Yom Litol S'charam'.

(a) The Nochrim will accept Hashem's offer and build a Sukah on their rooftops - which is the most convenient spot to build Sukos for people with flat rooftops.

(b) Hashem will test the Nochrim - by causing a midsummer sun to begin beating down on them (despite the fact that this will occur at the tail end of Tishri).

(c) The adage 'Ein Hakadosh Baruch Hu Ba bi'Terunya al Biryosav' mean - that Hashem does not test a person excessively.

(d) Nevertheless, He will test the Nochrim in this way - because, seeing as it sometimes happens to us that the summer season extends into Sukos, this is not considered excessive.

(e) The Nochrim react to the test - by exiting their Sukos, giving it a kick on their way out.

(a) A Yisrael is Patur from Sukah under the above circumstances.

(b) Consequently, It is not the exiting itself that will be faulty - but rather the way they will exit. To give it a kick demonstrates the attitude that Hashem (Kevayachol) is rejecting their favors. A Yisrael on the other hand, would leave dejectedly (as the Mishnah explains in Sukah), because he feels that it is not he who does Hashem a favor, but Hashem who grants him the privilege of serving Him, a privilege of which he has currently been deemed unworthy.

(c) Hashem will react to the Nochrim's behavior - by laughing, as the Pasuk writes in Tehilim "He dwells in the Heaven and laughs".

(d) Rebbi Yitzchak comments - that this will be the only occasion on which Hashem will ever have laughed in this world.




(a) In the second Lashon, Rebbi Yitzchak's comment refers to a statement of Rebbi Yossi, who says in a Beraisa that in the days of Mashi'ach Ovdei Kochavim will convert. Another Beraisa states - that they will not accept converts in the days of Mashi'ach, just as they did not accept them in the days of David and Shlomoh.

(b) The reason for this is - because it is only when Yisrael are impoverished that one accepts the Geirim who come to convert (because it is only then that the Geirim are sincere), but not when they are well-off.

(c) We reconcile Rebbi Yossi with that Beraisa - by establishing the Geirim there as 'Geirim Gerurim', converts who will convert of their own volition, who will attach Tzitis to their clothes, wear Tefilin and fix Mezuzos to their doorposts.

(d) The Pasuk "Lamah Ragshu Goyim, u'Le'umim Yehegu Rik" refers to Gog and Magog coming to attack Hashem and His Mashi'ach (and K'lal Yisrael), and that of "Nenatkah es Mosroseimo ve'Nashlich Mimenu Avoseimo" - to the Geirim Gerurim, who, the moment they discover Gog and Magog's intentions, will take promptly off their Tzitzis and Tefilin and the Mezuzos from their doorposts, and forget about their 'conversions'.

(a) The Pasuk there describing Hashem's reactions - writes "Yoshev ba'Shamayim Yischak", which according to Rebbi Yitzchak (in the second Lashon) - will be the only time that Hashem will ever have laughed up until then.

(b) The Beraisa describes Hashem's daily schedule. During ...

1. ... the first three hours of the day, He studies Torah, during the second - He judges the world.
2. ... the third three hours He feeds all the creatures in the world from the largest beast down to the eggs of lice, during the last three - He laughs with the Livyasan (as the Pasuk writes in Borchi Nafshi "Livyasan Zeh Yatzarta Lesachek Bo").
(a) In the second period, when Hashem sees that the world cannot exist on Midas ha'Din - He moves from the Throne of Din to the Throne of Rachamim).

(b) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak reconciles Rebbi Yossi with this Beraisa, from which we see that Hashem does laugh in this world - by simply differentiating between 'laughing at' (the first Beraisa [which Hashem only did that once]) and 'laughing with' (the second Beraisa [which He does every day]).

(c) He could not however, have answered that Rebbi Yossi, who is a Tana, argues with this Beraisa - because the author of the second Beraisa can only be Rebbi Yossi, who holds in Rosh Hashanah that people are judged every day (and not just once a year like the Chachamim, according to whom this Beraisa cannot go).

(a) Rav Acha told Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak that, from the day of the Churban Beis Hamikdash and onwards - Hashem does not laugh (even with the Livyasan).

(b) We reject the source for this as being the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Vayikra Hashem Elokim Tzevakos ba'Yom ha'Hu le'Bechi u'le'Misped" - because that Pasuk refers to the day of the Churban only, and no more.
2. ... Tehilim "Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim, Tishkach Yemini ... " - because this Pasuk only speaks about never forgetting the day of the Churban, but not about not laughing (see Tosfos' explanation of the Pasuk DH 'Im').
(c) We finally cite Rav Acha's source for his statement as the Pasuk "Hecheshesi ne'Olam, Acharish Es'apak' (describing Hashem's silence following the Churban). In that case, during the fourth period of the day, Hashem studies Torah with the children who died young.

(d) Before the Churban - either the Angel Matatron studied with them, or Hashem used to learn with them in addition to playing with the Livyasan.

(a) At nighttime, Hashem may well follow the same timetable as He does by day. Alternatively, based on the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Rechev Elokim Ribosayim Alfei Shin'an" - which means that the Chariot of Hashem is twenty thousand minus two (thousand ['Al Tikri "Sha'anan", Ela "she'Einan"]), He might fly through the eighteen thousand worlds on one of His swift cherubs.
2. ... "Yomam Yetzaveh Hashem Chasdo, u'va'Laylah Shiroh Imi" - He might sit and listen to the Songs of Praise sung by the Chayos ha'Kodesh.
(b) What does Rebbi Levi says that someone who stops learning Divrei Torah in order to talk idle chatter - will eventually be fed burning coals.

(c) Based on the Pasuk that we just quoted "Yomam Yetzaveh Hashem Chasdo, u'va'Laylah Shiroh Imi", Resh Lakish says - that David Hamelech, who sang Hashem's praises and studied Torah by night - merited a special Divine 'thread of kindness' (to find favor in the eyes of everyone) by day (see also Agados Maharsha).

(d) In the second Lashon, he explains - that anyone who learns Torah in this world (which is compared to night), will merit that 'thread of kindness' in Olam ha'Ba (which is compared to day).

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns an analogy from the Pasuk "Va'ta'aseh Adam ki'Degei ha'Yam" - comparing Adam (Yisrael) to fish.

(b) The first comparison is - that a Yisrael who relinquishes Torah and Mitzvos, just like a fish that leaves water, cannot survive.

(a) The second comparison is based on the fact that when fish are exposed to the sun they die. Likewise - when a person is exposed to the sun's heat, he dies, either in this world, or in the World to Come.

(b) The first of these is based on a statement by Rebbi Chanina, who said - that the only two things that are not in the Hands of Hashem are colds and overheating.

(c) The second, is based on a statement by Resh Lakish, who said - that in the time of Mashi'ach, there will be no Gehinom per se; only Hashem will take the sun out of its bag and the Resha'im will be punished by means of its excessive heat.

(d) He learns from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Ve'zarchah Lachem Yir'ei Hashem Shemesh Tzedakah u'Marpei bi'Chenafehah" - that the very same sun that will punish the Resha'im, will cure the Tzadikim of all their ailments.
2. ... "Vi'yetzasem u'Pishtem be'Eglei Marbeik" - that in addition, they will actually derive pleasure from the sun.
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