ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sanhedrin 14
(a) The Romans killed Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava - because, despite their decree
prohibiting it, he gave Semichah to the five Talmidim whom we mentioned
(b) The significance of his issuing the Semichah between Usha and Shefor'am
(two big cities, and between two big mountains and two Techumei Shabbos is -
that the decree incorporated the city and the borders in which the Semichah
took place, which would also be destroyed (see Ya'avetz).
(c) The Romans killed Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava - by means of three hundred
arrows, which they shot into his body.
(d) They did not also kill the Talmidim, in compliance with the decree -
because the latter followed their Rebbe's instructions and made good their
(a) What Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan really meant, when he
emphatically stated that Rebbi Akiva gave Rebbi Meir Semichah was - that he
wanted to give him Semichah, only Rebbi Meir declined to accept it because
he was not yet married.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi said 'Ein Semichah be'Chutz la'Aretz'. He cannot
have meant that Semichah is ineffective in Chutz la'Aretz (and that no-one
there can rule Diynei K'nasos) - since we have learned in the Mishnah in
Makos 'Sanhedrin Noheges Bein ba'Aretz Bein be'Chutz la'Aretz'.
(c) What Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi therefore meant was - that one cannot give
Semichah in Chutz la'Aretz, even to rule Diynei K'nasos in Eretz Yisrael.
(d) Following the previous ruling, we now ask -whether it is possible to
initiate someone in Eretz Yisrael, even though he is currently in Chutz
(a) We resolve the She'eilah from Rebbi Yochanan, who was upset - because
Rav Sh'man bar Aba, whom he was keen to give Semichah, was not available to
receive Semichah, a proof that Semichah can only be given in the presence of
(b) Likewise, when they wanted to give Semichah to Rav Shimon bar Zirud and
Rav Yonasan ben Achna'i (though we don't know which of them was the senior
partner) - the one who was present at the time received Semichah, whereas
the one who wasn't, didn't.
(c) The problem Rebbi Yochanan had with Rebbi Chanina and Rebbi Hoshaya
was - that somehow, whenever they were with him, he didn't manage to find
another two Semuchim to form a Beis-Din to give them Semichah.
(d) They themselves (both from the family of Beis Eli) attributed the
problem to a statement of Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni Amar Rebbi Yonasan, who
interpreted the Pasuk in Shmuel ...
1. ... "Kol Marbis Beischa Yamusu Anashim" to mean - that all Eli's
descendants would die young.
2. ... "Lo Yih'yeh Zakein be'Veischa Kol ha'Yamim" - that they would never
(a) Rebbi Elazar said ...
1. ... that in order to live long, one should avoid the Rabbanus, initially
causing Rebbi Zeira to shun Semichah".
(b) The people sang 'Without eye-paint, face-pack or a hair-do, yet full of
Chein!' - on the occasion of Rebbi Zeira's Semichah.
2. ... when a person rises to greatness, all his sins are forgiven, causing
Rebbi Zeira to change his mind, and make every effort to obtain it.
(c) And when Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi received Semichah, what they meant when
they sang 'Kol min Dein, ve'Chol min Dein!' was - that they should only give
Semichah to people of that caliber.
(d) They added 'Do not give Semichah to Chamisin (who refuse to give over
the reasons of Torah) or to Turmisin (empty people)'. Alternatively, they
added 'Lo mi'Sarmisin ve'Lo mi'Sarmitin' - meaning 'but not to people who
twist the Torah's reasons or 'Sh'mates (rags)', who are unable to give
reasons for their teachings.
(a) When the women from the royal palace sang ...
1. ... 'Rabah de'Ameih' - they meant 'Prince of his people'.
(b) They were referring - to Rebbi Avahu, as he made his way from the
Beis-Hamedrash to the palace.
2. ... 'Madbarna de'Umseih' - leader of his nation', which the called him
because, due to his close association with the ruling power, that is what he
3. ... 'B'rich Masyach li'Shelom'! - 'May he come in peace!'
4. ... 'Butzina de'Nura' - 'lamp of fire', which they called him because of
his incredibly good looks.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yatz'u Zekeinecha
ve'Shoftecha" - that five judges are required to go out to the Eglah Arufah.
(b) According to Rebbi Shimon, three Dayanim will suffice. He learns from
"ve'Shoftecha" - that they must be members of the Sanhedrei Gedolah.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah learn this - from "Ziknei/ Zekeinecha" (meaning that if
mot for that, the Torah could have written "Ziknei").
(d) Rebbi Shimon learns from ...
1. ... "Ziknei/Ziknecha" - that Eglah Arufah requires expert judges.
2. ... "ve'Shoftecha" - that they must even be from the Sanhedrei Gedolah.
(a) We refute the suggestion that Rebbi Yehudah learns the previous D'rashah
from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ziknei" "Ziknei" (from 'Semichas Zekeinim') -
because, if he does, why should he not also learn the number (five) from
(b) We conclude that Rebbi Yehudah learns 'Meyuchadin she'bi'Zekeinecha'
from "Shoftecha" - and the five Zekeinim, from the extra 'Vav'
(c) Rebbi Shimon learns - nothing from the 'Vav' in "ve'Shoftecha", because
in his opinion, it is just a manner of speech.
(d) As a matter of fact, we ask, the Pasuk mentions another two plural words
"ve'Yatz'u" and "u'Madedu", in which case Rebbi Yehudah ought to require
nine judges here, and Rebbi Shimon, seven. And we answer this with a
Beraisa. The Tana learns from ...
1. ... "ve'Yatz'u" - that the Zekeinim themselves are obligated to go out,
and not to send a Sheli'ach.
2. ... "u'Madedu" - that measuring the distance between the two towns is
crucial, even if it is obvious to which town the murdered man is closer.
(a) Our Mishnah does not hold like Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov. According to
him, "Zekeinecha" (with reference to Eglah Arufah) refers to the Sanhedrin -
"Shoftecha" to the King ("Melech ba'Mishpat Ya'amid Aretz" [Mishlei]) and to
the Kohen Gadol ("u'Va'sa el ha'Kohanim ha'Levi'im ve'el ha'Shofet"
(b) What makes us think that perhaps Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov argues in two
points with the above Tana'im - is his statement "Z'keinecha", 'Zeh
Sanhedrin', which suggests that the entire Sanhedrin are obligated to go
out, and not just three or five.
(c) Rav Yosef resolves the She'eilah from a Beraisa, which learns from the
Pasuk "ve'Kamta ve'Alisa el ha'Makom" - that if a Zakein meets the Sanhedrin
in 'Beis Pagi' (an area within the walls of Yerushalayim (see Rabeinu
Chananel) and rebels against their ruling, he does not become a Zakein
Mamrei (because 'ha'Makom Goreim').
(d) We know that it was not ...
1. ... just some members of the Sanhedrin that the Zakein Mamrei met in Beis
Pagi - because then, maybe those that remained inside would have sided with
him, and it is obvious that he will not become a Zakein Mamrei.
2. ... all members of the Sanhedrin, who had gone out for a break - since we
learn from the Pasuk in Shir Hashirim "Sharerech Agan ha'Sahar ... Al
Yechsar ha'Mazeg", that the whole Sanhedrin is not permitted to leave the
Lishkas ha'Gazis at the same time.
(a) The maximum number of judges that are allowed to leave the Lishkas
ha'Gazis at one time is forty-eight, so that twenty-three (the equivalent of
a Sanhedrin Ketanah), always remain.
(b) The entire Sanhedrin must therefore have left the Lishkas ha'Gazis - for
a D'var Mitzvah. Which D'var Mitzvah, says Rav Yosef, if not that of Eglah
Arufah? The author must therefore be Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, a proof, he
maintains, that Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov requires the entire Beis-Din to go
(c) Abaye refutes Rav Yosef's proof however. Perhaps he suggests - the Pasuk
is talking about sanctifying an addition to Yerushalayim or to the Azaros,
which requires a ceremony led by the entire Sanhedrin.
(d) The Beraisa however, supports Rav Yosef. In following up the previous
one, the Tana explains - that the Sanhedrin must have left the Lishkas
ha'Gazis either for the Mitzvah of the Eglah Arufah or to add to the city or
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Neta Reva'i and Ma'aser Sheini whose
value is not known requires three judges. Bearing in mind that these
incorporate fruit, wine or money, by ' ... whose value is not known', the
Tana means - fruit that is turning moldy, wine that is turning sour and
money that is going rusty.
(b) To assess the Ma'aser Sheini, the Beraisa requires judges - who are
themselves businessmen (Lekuchos).
(c) Surprisingly perhaps, the Tana permits - even a Nochri or the owner to
sit on this Beis-Din?
(d) Rebbi Yirmiyah asks whether three people who share their resources are
eligible to act as Beis-Din in this case. We refute the proof from the
Beraisa 'Ish u'Sh'tei Nashav Podin Ma'aser Sheini' - on the grounds that
maybe the Tana is referring to a husband and wife like Rav Papa and bas Aba
Sura'ah, who was financially independant, as we learned in Kesuvos.
(a) Our Mishnah, which requires three judges to assess Hekdesh, does not
hold like Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, because according to him - even a
little fork for spinning gold requires ten judges to assess it.
(b) Logically speaking, Rav Papa remarked to Abaye, Rebbi Eliezer ben
Ya'akov is right because of a statement of Shmuel, who, based on Pesukim in
Bechukosai, comments - that 'Kohanim' appears ten times in the Parshah (of
(c) These are divided between Erchin (three), Hekdesh of animals (three) and
Hekdesh of Karka (four).
(a) Maybe, Rav Papa suggests, the Rabbanan hold three, because the Torah
writes three times Kohen by the redemption of Hekdesh animals. He
immediately refutes this suggestion however, from Hekdesh of Karka - which,
by the same token, should then require four Kohanim.
(b) And the reason that Tana requires ten Kohanim and not four is - because,
added to the 'Kohanim' mentioned earlier, the total at that stage, is ten.
(c) By the same token, the Tana ought then to require - six Kohanim by
Hekdesh of animals (since added to the three 'Kohanim' of Erchin, the total
at that stage, is six.
(d) The Sugya does not count the Pasuk "la'Kohen Tih'yeh Achuzaso" -
because, unlike all the other Pesukim, it is not talking about assessment.
(e) We finally have no way of explaining the Rabbanan - and conclude the
Sugya with 'Kashya'.