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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Avodah Zarah 5



(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Halach Lefanecha Tzidkecha ... " - that every Mitzvah that a Yisrael performs will walk in front of him in Olam ha'Ba.
2. ... "Yilafsu Orchos Darkam" - that every sin that he perpetrated will envelop him and lead him to be judged.
(b) Rebbi Elazar takes the latter idea even further. He extrapolates from the Pasuk "Lishkav Etzlah (ba'Olam ha'Zeh) Lih'yos Itah" (la'Olam ha'Ba) - that the sin sticks to him like a dog.

(c) Resh Lakish interprets the Pasuk "Ani Amarti Elokim Atem, u'Benei Elyon Kulchem. Achein ke'Adam Temusun ... " - that had Yisrael not sinned by the Eigel, they would never have died.

(d) That is a good reason for us to be grateful, he says - because had they not died, there would have been no need for us to be born.

(e) If, as Resh Lakish maintains, had our ancestors not sinned by the Golden Calf, they would never have died, the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Ve'atem P'ru u'Revu" - will pertain to the time prior to Matan Torah, but not after it.
2. ... (in connection with Yisrael returning to their wives after Matan Torah) "Lech Emor Lahem Shuvu Lachem le'Ohalechem" - will pertain to the Mitzvah of Onah, but not to that of having children.
3. ... (in connection with Yisrael after Matan Torah) "Lema'an Yitav Lahem ve'Livneihem Achareihem" - to the children who were already born prior to Matan Torah.
(a) Resh Lakish interprets the Pasuk "Zeh Sefer Toldos Adam" to mean (not that Adam wrote a Sefer, but) - that Hashem showed him the Sefer that He had written, containing the history of each and every generations, with its ambassadors, its sages and its lay leaders.

(b) When Adam read about Rebbi Akiva - he rejoiced at his Torah, but was sad at his cruel death.

(c) Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa learned from the Pasuk "Ki Lo le'Olam Ariv ve'Lo la'Netzach Ektzof, Ki Ru'ach mi'Lefanai Ya'atof, u'Neshamos Asher Asisi" - that Mashi'ach will only come once all the Neshamos in the Heavenly store-house called 'Guf' have been born.

(d) This proves - that people were destined to continue being born, even after Matan Torah, a Kashya on the latest statement of Resh Lakish (that had they not sinned by the Eigel, those living then would have lived forever, and nobody would have subsequently needed to be born).

(a) To answer the Kashya, we amend Resh Lakish's statement ' ... Anu Lo Banu le'Olam' to - 'ke'Mi she'Lo Banu le'Olam', meaning that anyone born into a world where nobody dies would be insignificant.

(b) If, as Resh Lakish maintains, they would not have died had they not worshipped the Eigel - the Parshah of Yibum and that of Nachalos would have been conditional to their sinning.

(c) We learn this concept of 'condition' from another statement of Resh Lakish, who extrapolates from the extra 'Hey' in "Yom ha'Shishi" - that Hashem made a condition with the creation that its continuity was dependent upon Yisrael's accepting the Torah on the sixth of Sivan ... , as we explained earlier.

(a) Commenting on the Pasuk "Mi Yiten Ve'hayah Levavam Zeh Lahem le'Yir'ah Osi Kol ha'Yamim", the Beraisa explains that Yisrael cannot have received the Torah on the understanding that they would live forever - because Hashem had already decreed that Adam and all his descendants would die.

(b) Consequently, based on the Pasuk "Lema'an Yitav Lahem ve'li'Veneihem Achareihem", what they would have gained by receiving the Torah was - to become invincible.

(c) We answer by establishing Resh Lakish like Rebbi Yossi in a Beraisa, who learns from the Pasuk "Ani Amarti Elohim Atem ... Achein ke'Adam Temusun" - that it is only because they sinned by the Eigel that they have to die (like Adam, upon whom death was decreed when *he* sinned), but if they hadn't, they would have lived forever.


1. Rebbi Yossi interprets "Lema'an Yitav Lahem" - to incorporate everlasting life (as what could be better than that?)
2. The Tana Kama interprets "Achein ke'Adam Temusun" (implying that they were punished with death only because they sinned, but that otherwise, they would have lived forever) - to refer (not to actual death, but) to poverty, which is considered like death.
(e) Mar learns this from the Pasuk "Ki Meisu Kol ha'Anashim ha'Mevakshim es Nafshecha" (in connection with Dasan and Aviram, who, we know, were still alive) . And he learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "be'Machashakim Hoshivani ke'Meisei Olam" - that a blind person is considered like dead.
2. ... (in connection with Miriam) "Al Na Tehi ka'Meis" - that a Metzora is considered like dead.
3. ... (said by Rachel to Ya'akov) "Havah Li Banim, ve'Im Ayin, Meisah Anochi" - that someone who has no children is considered like dead.
(a) In light of the Pasuk "Lu Ami Shome'a Li ... ki'Me'at Oyveihem Achni'a" and the Pasuk "Lu Hikshavta le'Mitzvosai, Vi'yehi ka'Nahar Kolecha", the Beraisa interprets the Pasuk "Im be'Chukosai Teilechu" - as Hashem's supplication to Yisrael to go in the ways of the Torah.

(b) Hashem's response to Yisrael's request for Moshe to transmit the remainder of the Torah to them, and not Hashem directly because they were afraid, - was to praise them and express the wish that they should always fear Him to such an extent.

(c) The Beraisa describes Yisrael's failure to respond to Hashem's praise - by asking Him to speak with them directly, as ingratitude.

(d) That rendered them 'Kefuyei Tovah' - Tosfos exlplains, because the reason for their silence was in order not to become indebted to Hashem (see also Agados Maharsha).

(a) The Beraisa also considers them Kefuyei Tovah for having referred to the Mana as ''Lechem he'Kelokel''. Nothing could have been more base than to grumble about the Mana's becoming absorbed in their limbs - seeing as to relieve themselves (which was not necessary with regards to those who at the Manna, would have entailed a trip outside the camp, a distance of anything up to three Parsah (twelve Mil).

(b) And when the Tana called them 'b'nei Kefuyei Tovah' - he was referring to Adam ha'Rishon, whose descendants they were, and who also displayed a streak of ingratitude when he complained that the woman that Hashem had given him handed him fruit from the forbidden tree (insinuating that he was blaming Hashem for giving him Chavah).

(c) Since Moshe only rebuked them on this point at the end of the fortieth year in the desert - we see that it takes forty years for a Talmid to develop a full understanding of his Rebbe. Moshe only rebuked them then, because it was only at then that their status as his Talmidim matured, and it was only from then that Hashem took them to task for this sin.




(a) Rebbi Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Ban'ah Darshens the Pasuk "Ashreichem Zor'ei al Kol Mayim, Meshalchei Regel ha'Shor ve'ha'Chamor". "Meshalchei Regel" refers to ridding oneself of the Yeitzer-ha'Ra; the good deed inherent in the word ...
1. ... "Zor'ei is - Gemilus-Chasadim (see Agados Maharsha).
2. ... "Mayim" - Torah-study.
(b) Tana de'Bei Eliyahu learns from "Meshalchei Regel ha'Shor ve'ha'Chamor" - that when it comes to Torah-study, one should make oneself 'like an ox for the yoke and a donkey for the burden'.
(a) The Mishnah in Chulin rules - that someone who sells a Kasher animal on Erev Shemini Atzeres, Erev Pesach, Erev Shevu'os and Erev Rosh Hashanah, must inform the purchaser if he sold its mother or its child for meat within twenty-four hours.

(b) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili adds Erev Yom Kipur in Galil to the list - because it is a Mitzvah to eat more than usual on Erev Yom Kipur, and in the Galil it seems, they used to celebrate more than in other places.

(c) We reconcile this Mishnah with our Mishnah, which suggests that someone purchases an animal in preparation for a festival already two or three days before the festival - by differentiating between purchasing for eating (which people tend to do only one day in advance) and purchasing for sacrificing (which requires a few days preparation).

(d) And we reconcile the three days in our Mishnah with the Beraisa, which speaks about thirty days before Pesach (fifteen according to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel) that one already begins to Darshen Hilchos Pesach - by differentiating between Yisre'eilim, who require time to examine the animal for a host of blemishes (even an eye disease called eye's-web) and Nochrim, who only need to examine for missing limbs for their sacrifices.

(a) Rebbi Elazar learned from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "u'mi'Kol ha'Chai mi'Kol Basar" - that No'ach had to take only such animals into the ark that were not missing any limbs.
2. ... "Lechayos Zera" - that they were not T'reifah either.
(b) Some opinions disagree with this latter Drashah - because they maintain that a T'reifah animal can give birth.

(c) Consequently, they learn from the word "Itcha" (comparing the animals to No'ach) - that, the animals, like No'ach, were not permitted to be T'reifos.

(d) We reject the suggestion that No'ach cannot have been a T'reifah because the Torah refers to him as "Tamim" (because the Torah writes "Tamim" for other reasons). We interpret ...

1. ... "Tzadik" - as righteous in deed.
2. ... "Tamim" - as righteous in his ways (good Midos - humble).
(a) And we learn that No'ach was not a T'reifah - from the fact that the Torah writes "Itcha", because if not to teach us that the T'reifah animals were precluded from the ark, why would the Torah compare the animals to No'ach?

(b) Nevertheless, the Torah needs to write "Lechayos Zera" - because otherwise, we might have thought that "Itcha" means simply that No'ach should take the animals into the ark, where they would be in his company for the twelve months period that he was to spend there.

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