POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
prepared by Rabbi Yisrael Shaw
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Chagigah 14
CHAGIGAH 14 & 15 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah
in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
1) THE ORIGIN OF THE MALACHEI HA'SHARES
(ii) Hashem spread them out in each ensuing generation.
4. (R. Nachman b. Yitzchak) This River spills onto the
Talmidei Chachamim as a reward for uprooted themselves in
this world for the sake of Torah.
(iii) They are the most brazen people in each generation.
(a) (Shmuel in the name of Rav) Every day, Malachei ha'Shares are
created from the River Dinor, they say Shirah, and are
annulled (Eichah 3:23).
2) CHARACTERISTICS OF HASHEM
(b) (R. Shmuel b. Nachmeni in the name of R. Yonasan) Every time
speech issues forth from Hashem, one Malach ha'Shares is
created (Tehilim 33:6).
(a) Question: One verse says that Hashem's "hair," as it were,
is white (Daniel 7:9), while another verse says that it is
black (Shir ha'Shirim 5:2)!
3) THE CURSES PROPHECIZED BY YESHAYAH HA'NAVI
(b) Answer: At times of Yeshivah, it is white (like a wise elder),
and at times of Milchamah, it is black (like a youthful soldier).
(c) Question: The verse at one point says that there is one heavenly
throne (Daniel 7:9), while at another point says there are two
(d) Answer #1 (R. Akiva): One is for Hashem, one is for David.
(e) Answer #2 (R. Yosi): Do not equate Hashem with worldly
creatures! Rather, one throne is for Din, the other for Tzedakah.
(f) Answer #3 (R. Elazar b. Azaryah): One is the chair, and one is
the footstool (as in Yeshayah 66:1).
(a) (R. Dimi) Yeshayah prophecized 18 curses against Yisrael
(b) He did not stop until he said the verse, "The young will be
haughty with the old, and the disgraceful with the honorable"
(c) (R. Katina) Even at the time of the downfall of Yerushalayim,
there were still people of trustworthiness (as derived from
1. Question: But did Rava not say that Yerushalayim was
destroyed only when people of trustworthiness ceased to
exist (as derived from Yirmiyahu 5:1)!?
4) SAGES WHO EXPOUNDED MA'ASEH MERKAVAH
2. Answer: People of trustworthiness in business ceased to
exist, but people of trustworthiness in Torah continued.
(a) R. Elazar b. Arach expounded Ma'aseh Merkavah in front of his
rebbi, R. Yochanan b. Zakai.
5) THE FOUR PEOPLE WHO ENTERED THE "PARDES"
1. A fire came down from the heavens, surrounding all of the
trees in the field.
(b) R. Yehoshua expounded Ma'aseh Merkavah in front of his colleage,
R. Yosi ha'Kohen.
2. The trees opened up in praise to Hashem.
3. A Malach proclaimed from the fire that R. Elazar had
accurately expounded Ma'aseh Merkavah.
4. R. Yochanan b. Zakai kissed him on his head and praised him.
1. It was the middle of summer, and yet the sky suddenly became
full of clouds, and an appearance of a rainbow in a cloud
(c) Question: Did R. Elazar b. Arach really expound Ma'aseh Merkavah?
2. The Malachei ha'Shares gathered around to hear, like the
people at a wedding gathering around the Chasan and Kalah.
3. When R. Yosi ha'Kohen informed R. Yochanan b. Zakai what
had happened, R. Yochanan praised them.
1. But the Beraisa says that three people expounded Ma'aseh
Merkavah in front of others, and R. Elazar is not mentioned!
(d) Answer: The Beraisa mentions only those who both expounded and
who had others expound in front of them (or who expounded in
front of someone else who expounded).
(a) Four people entered the "Pardes:" Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and
1. Rebbi Akiva warned them, when they enter and approach the
rocks of crystal, not to say, "Water! Water!" for "the
speaker of falsehood shall not stand before Me" (Tehilim
(b) Ben Azai gazed and died.
1. About him the verse says, "Difficult in the eyes of Hashem
is the death of His righteous ones" (Tehilim 116:15).
(c) Ben Zoma gazed and went out of his mind.
1. About him the verse says, "If you find sweet honey, eat
only what suffices for you, lest it fill you up and you
vomit it out" (Mishlei 25:16).
2. They asked Ben Zoma several Halachic questions (to test
him if he was still out of his mind).