ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Avodah Zarah 10
(a) With regard to the Sh'tar Chov (with no mention of any kingdom), that
came before them that was pre-dated by six years, the Rabbanan said to
Rava - that it was obviously a 'Sh'tar Me'uchar' in which case the creditor
was Mochel the Shibud for those six years ...
(b) ... and one could purchase a field from the borrower with the knowledge
that the creditor would not be able to claim it, since the date of the sale
pre-dated that on the Sh'tar Chov.
(c) Rav Nachman informed them however - that it was more likely to have been
the work of a 'Safra Dukna' (a Sofer who wrote the date according to the
Greeks initial rise to power [ignoring the Minhag to begin only six years
later, as we explained earlier]), in which case, it was valid immediately.
(a) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov queried Rav Nachman's principle - that in Galus,
the Sh'taros must be dated according to Malchus Yavan. Perhaps, he
suggested, the Sofrim dated their Sh'taros - according to Yetzi'as
Mitzrayim, only they dropped the thousand from the date (like we tend to do
(b) According to Rav Acha's theory - the Sh'tar was Me'uchar (predated by
six years [as we explained earlier]).
(c) What led him to believe that such a thing was possible is - the fact
that if one drops the thousand years, incredibly, there is no discrepancy
between the two dates. This is because, the Churban took place 1380 years
after the Exodus from Egypt (480+410+70+420). Consequently, three hundred
and eighty years on a Sh'tar could just as well refer to Yetzi'as Mitzrayim
as to the Greeks' rise to power.
(d) Rav Nachman replied - that in Galus, the Sofrim would date Sh'taros
specifically after the Greek kingdom.
(e) Rav Acha discovered that Rav Nachman was not just pushing him off - when
he found a Beraisa that supported his opinion.
(a) Ravina substantiates Rav Nachman's statement still further, from the
Mishnah in Rosh Hashana. Rav Chisda explains the Tana's statement there
'be'Echad be'Nisan Rosh Hashanah li'Melachim ... ' - in reference to dating
(b) We reconcile this with the same Mishnah 'be'Echad be'Tishri Rosh
Hashanah le'Shanim' (which Rav Chisda also establishes by Sh'taros) - by
establishing the former by Jewish kings, and the latter, by Nochri kings ...
(c) ... negating Rav Acha bar Ya'akov's Kashya that the Sh'tar might have
been dated according to the years of Yetzi'as Mitzrayim - since from there
it is evident that in Eretz Yisrael, we date our documents according to
Malchus Yisrael, whereas in Galus, we date them according to the Malchus of
(a) Based on Rav Yehudah's interpretation of 'Yom Genusya' as coronation
day, we initially explain the Beraisa 'Yom Genusya ve'Yom she'Ma'amidin Bo
es Malkom' to mean - Coronation Day.
(b) The Pasuk in Ovadyah presents us with a problem. We learn from the Pasuk
1. ... "Hinei Katon Nesatich" - that the Roman Emperor's children did not
succeed their fathers.
(c) So we try to re-interpret 'Yom Genusya' to mean - the king's birthday.
2. ... "Bazuy Atah Me'od" - that they neither had their own script nor their
(d) Even after explaining the Beraisa 'Yom Genusya ve'Yom ha'Leidah'
however, like we explained it a moment ago 'Ha Dideih, Ha de'Berei', we are
still left with a problem, because another Beraisa specifically states all
four cases - 'Yom Genusya she'Lo, 'Yom Genusya shel B'no, ve'Yom ha'Leidah
she'Lo ve'Yom ha'Leidah shel B'no' (a Kashya from the Pasuk 'Hinei Katon
Nesatich', as we just explained).
(a) So we re-establish 'Yom Genusya' to mean Coronation Day, and the Beraisa
means 'Ha Dideih, Ha di'Berei'. And we get round the Pasuk 'Hinei Katon
Nesatich' - by establishing the Beraisa in cases where the reigning emperor
received special permission from the senate, for his son to succeed him.
(b) Antoninus wanted permission from the Senate - for his son Asveirus to
succeed him, and for Teverya to be exempt from paying taxes (because Rebbi
and other Chachamim lived there, and, apart from his close relationship with
Rebbi, Antoninus loved Chachamim).
(c) He needed Rebbi's advice - because the senate would only permit one
special request, and no more.
(d) When Rebbi brought before him one man riding on the back of another, and
the man at the bottom told the one on top to send away the bird he was
holding, he meant to answer - that Antoninus himself should ask the senate
permission for his son to rule after him, and that he should instruct his
son to ask permission to exempt Teverya from paying taxes.
(a) When, in response to Antoninus query what to do about the Roman
dignitaries who were causing him trouble, he pulled out one radish each day
from the ground - he was hinting to him to deal with them one at a time and
(b) Rebbi found it necessary to answer Antoninus by way of hint, and not ...
1. ... directly - because he was afraid that his advice might reach the
2. ... in a whisper - because of the Pasuk in Koheles "Ki Of ha'Shamayim
Yolich es ha'Kol".
(a) Antoninus sent Rebbi ...
1. ... a plant called Gargira - as an indication that his daughter, who was
called Gira, had committed adultery (since the word 'Giyora' also means
adultery [Rabeinu Chananel]), and Rebbi sent him back Kusbarta (coriander) -
which is the acronym of 'Kus B'rata', meaning 'kill your daughter'.
(b) When Antoninus sent Rebbi a leather sack full of gold every day, he
ensured that it was not discovered - by filling the mouth of the sack with
2. ... Karsi (leek) - indicating that this would mean cutting off his
descendants, as she was his only child, and Rebbi sent him back Chasa
(lettuce) - as an indication that in that case, he should take pity on her.
(c) When Rebbi claimed that he did not need them because he was a rich man,
he responded - by telling him to put the money aside, so that when his
(Rebbi's) descendants would be threatened by his own successors, they would
have funds with which to bribe them.
(a) Antoninus would visit Rebbi to study Torah each day undetected - by
means of an underground tunnel.
(b) He would kill the two guards that he posted, one at the entrance and one
at the exit (see Tosfos DH 'Chad Katil').
(c) When Antoninus discovered Rebbi Chanina bar Chama there, despite his
instructions that Rebbi was to have no man with him when he arrived, Rebbi
explained - that this was not a man (meaning that he was more like an
(d) Antoninus put Rebbi Chanina to the test - by asking him to fetch the man
who was sleeping outside.
(a) When ...
1. ... Rebbi Chanina found the man outside the door was dead - he was in a
quandary, because on the one hand, he did not want to be the harbinger of
bad news, whilst on the other, he did not wish to disobey the king. So he
prayed that the man should come back to life, and brought him before
(b) Rebbi Chanina's stand-in as the one to serve Rebbi was none other - than
2. ... Rebbi Chanina returned with the guard - Antoninus expressed his
belief that every Tana was able to revive the dead, but insisted that Rebbi
be alone whenever he came to see him.
(c) When Rebbi wished to go and lie down - Antoninus would crouch, so that
Rebbi should climb via his back on to the bed.
(d) When Rebbi told that it was undignified for a king to behave like that -
he retorted that he wished that he would be a mat for Rebbi to stand on in
the World to Come.
(a) When Antoninus asked Rebbi whether he would receive a portion in Olam
ha'Ba, he replied - in the positive.
(b) And when he quoted him the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Lo Yih'yeh Sarid le'Veis Eisav" - Rebbi (based on the extra word
'le'Veis') retorted 'be'Oseh Ma'aseh Eisav' (that the Pasuk pertains to
those who behave like Eisav).
(c) Rebbi also extrapolated from "Kol Nesi'ehah" - "Kol Nesi'ehah", 've'Lo
Kol Sarehah', to preclude all its important dignitaries (one of whom is not
destined to enter Gehinom).
2. ... (in connection with Gehinom) "Shamah Edom Melachehah ve'Chol
Nesi'ehah" - "Melachehah", 've'Lo Chol Melachehah' (to preclude Antoninus
(d) An independant Beraisa attaches this D'rashah to - Keti'a bar Shalom.
(a) When the Emperor asked the important men of Rome what one does with a
painful growth on one's leg (with reference to Yisrael, whom he [they]
hated, they replied - that one cuts it out [gets rid of them]).
(b) When Keti'a bar Shalom quoted the Pasuk (in connection with Yisrael) "Ki
ke'Arba Ruchos ha'Shamayim Perasti Eschem" - he meant that the world can
exist without Yisrael no more than it can exist without the four winds.
(c) And besides, he added - a nation without any Jews is called 'Malchus
Keti'a (a deficient nation).
(d) He not want to explain the Pasuk to mean that Hashem scattered Yisrael
to all the four corners of the earth - because then the Torah ought to have
written "Ki *le*'Arba Ruchos ... " (rather than "ke'Arba Ruchos ... ").
(a) The Emperor was forced to admit that Keti'a bar Shalom was right.
However, he cited the law that whoever outsmarts the Emperor must die (by
being buried alive in a house full of earth [for putting the Emperor to
(b) Keti'a fell on his male organ and removed the Orlah, as he was being led
to his death - when an important Roman matron announced what a shame it was
that here he was giving up his life on behalf of the Jews, yet he cold not
join them because he was uncircumcised )'Woe to the pot that does not have a
(c) Rebbi Akiva interpreted Keti'a's announcement bequeathing his property
to 'Rebbi Akiva and his colleagues' to mean - half to himself and half to
(d) He based this ruling on Chazal's interpretation of the Pasuk "Va'hayah
le'Aharon u'le'Vanav" - with reference to the twelve Lechem ha'Panim.
(e) The ramifications of this D'rashah regarding ...
1. ... the Lechem ha'Panim are - that Aharon (the Kohen Gadol) received four
five of the twelve loaves (as the Sugya in Yoma explains).
2. ... the Sh'tei ha'Lechem on Shavu'os are - that Aharon took one of the
(a) After Keti'a bar Shalom's death - a bas-Kol (a Heavenly Voice) declared
that Keti'a bar Shalom was ready for life in the World to Come, causing
Rebbi to cry.
(b) Rebbi cried - because it struck him that some people acquire their
portion in Olam ha'Ba in one moment, whereas others acquire it after many
years of hard work (see Agados Maharsha).
(c) After Antoninus death, Rebbi announced - 'Nispardah Chavilah' (the
bundle has fallen apart), with reference to their friendship (and that is
what Rav announced after the death of Adrechan, a Nochri dignitory who
served him like Antoninus served Rebbi).