ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sanhedrin 16
SANHEDRIN 16 (21 Tishrei, Hoshana Raba) - dedicated by Gedalyah Jawitz of
Wantagh, N.Y., honoring the Yahrtzeit of his father, Yehuda ben Simcha Volf
(a) In our Mishnah ('Ein Danin es ha'Sheivet ...') in light of the Kashya
from the Beraisa of Rebbi Yashiyah and Rebbi Yonasan, Rav Masna establishes
the meaning of 'Sheivet' (not literally as 'tribe', but) as the 'Nasi of the
tribe', who now requires the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol to judge him ...
(b) ... with regard to any sin that he performed which carries with it the
(c) And we interpret it this way on the basis of Rav Ada bar Ahavah, who
will shortly interpret the Pasuk ''Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Eleicha" to
mean (not literally 'ha'Davar ha'Gadol', but) - 'matters pertaining to a
great man (as we shall see), and a Nasi is also a great man.
(d) Despite the fact that the Pasuk is talking about bringing his lawsuit to
Moshe, we extrapolate from there that a great man requires seventy-one -
because Moshe is considered a Beis-Din of seventy-one.
(a) Ula Amar Rebbi Elazar attempts to re-establish the Mishnah literally,
not with regard to Avodah-Zarah, but with regard to 'Nachalos'. What he
means is - that just as the original distribution of Eretz Yisrael required
a Beis-Din of seventy-one - so too, will any subsequent query in that regard
require the same.
(b) We reject this suggestion however, on the grounds that, in that case,
three other things, which the Tana omits, should also be required - a box
(for drawing lots), the Kohen Gadol wearing the U'rim ve'Tumim and the
presence of the whole of Yisrael.
(c) So we are forced to revert to the previous explanation of Rav Masna.
Ravina however, re-establishes our Mishnah with regard to a tribe that
served Avodah-Zarah. He resolves the problem of the fact that the
inhabitants are punished like individuals and receive Sekilah - by making a
comprise; on the one hand, they are sentenced to death like individuals,
whereas on the other, they require the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol to pass that
(d) And he bases this on Rebbi Chama b'Rebbi Yossi Amar Rebbi Oshaya, who
interprets the Pasuk in Shoftim "ve'Hotzeisa es habit ha'Hu ... el
She'arecha" 'Ish ve'Ishah Atah Motzi li'She'arecha, ve'I Atah Motzi Kol
ha'Ir el She'arecha'. The ramifications of this twin D'rashah are - that
both an entire city and an entire tribe are put to death (not by the gate of
the city where they sinned [i.e. at the hand of the Sanhedrin ha'Katan],
but) - at the hand of the Sanhedrin ha'Gadol.
(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learns the Din of the Mishnah that a Navi
Sheker requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one via a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Hazadah"
("Ach ha'Navi Asher Yazid") "Hazadah" ("ve'ha'Ish Asher Ya'aseh be'Zadon")
from a Zakein Mamrei. We reject this 'Gezeirah-Shavah' however - on the
grounds that the latter Pasuk is written in connection with *the death* of
the Zakein Mamrei, which requires only twenty-three judges.
(b) So Resh Lakish learns it from "Davar" ("Asher Yazid Le'daber") "Davar"
("ve'Asisa al-Pi ha'Davar Asher Yorucha") - which is written in connection
with *his judgment*, which requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one.
(c) We cannot then learn from "Hazadah" "Hazadah" from a Navi Sheker that
the death of a Zakein Mamrei should also require seventy-one judges -
because whereas the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' of "Davar" "Davar" was handed down
traditionally from their Rebbes, that of "Hazadah" "Hazadah" was not (and
no-one can Darshen his own 'Gezeirah-Shavah' without a Kabalah.
(a) As the source of our Mishnah, which requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one
for a Kohen Gadol, Rav Ada bar Ahavah quotes - the Pasuk (that we quoted
earlier) "Kol ha'Davar ha'Gadol Yavi'u Eilecha", which he interprets as
'Devarav shel Gadol'.
(b) We have a problem with this however, from a Beraisa. Based on the Pasuk
there "es ha'Davar ha'Kasheh Yevi'un el Moshe", the Tana interprets the
previous Pasuk to mean - literally major or complicated matters (which, he
maintains, indicates that that is what "es Davar ha'Gadol" means too).
(c) We answer that Rav Ada bar Ahavah bases his interpretation on another
Beraisa. Bearing in mind the D'rashah of the first Tana, this Tana
interprets "ha'Davar ha'Gadol" like Rav Ada bar Ahavah - because in his
opinion, the Pasuk "es ha'Davar ha'Kasheh" indicates that "Kol ha'Davar
ha'Gadol must mean something else.
(d) He declines to learn like the first Tana, because he does not see why
would we need two Pesukim to teach us the same thing.
(a) Initially, Rebbi Avahu tries to learn the Din in our Mishnah 'Ein
Motzi'in le'Milchemes ha'Reshus Ela al-Pi Beis-Din shel Shiv'im-ve'Echad'
from the Pasuk in Pinchas "ve'Lifnei Elazar ha'Kohen Ya'amod. He interprets
the continuation ...
1. ... "Hu" (referring to Yehoshua) - as the king.
(b) We reject this proof however, on the grounds that, the Pasuk is not
speaking about going to war - but about on whose behalf one consults the
2. ... "ve'Chol B'nei Yisrael Ito"- as the "Mashu'ach Milchamah (the Kohen
Gadol for war).
3. ... "ve'Chol ha'Eidah" - as the Sanhedrin?
(c) So Rav Acha bar Bizna Amar Rebbi Shimon Chasida learns it from David
Hamelech, who awoke every night - to the sound of the north-wind blowing on
the harp that hung above his bed.
(d) David would then - learn Torah until dawn-break.
(a) When the Chachamim informed David that Yisrael needed Parnasah, he would
reply - that the people should sustain each other (i.e. the rich should
sustain the poor).
(b) The Chachamim would react to that - by informing him that one cannot
fill a deep pit with the earth that one extricated from it (i.e. there was
simply not enough to go round).
(c) Before asking the Sanhedrin and the Urim ve'Tumim for a final decision -
they would consult Achitofel, because his advice was invariably correct, was
(a) Based on Pesukim in Divrei Hayamim and Shmuel, the role played by ...
1. ... Benayahu ben Yehoyada was - that of head of Sanhedrin
(b) Despite the fact that the Pasuk writes "u'Benayahu ben Yehoyada al
ha'Kereisi ve'al ha'Peleisi", we know that he was not in charge of the Urim
ve'Tumim - because in the Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim, he is placed before
Evyasar, indicating that Evyasar was entrusted with that task.
2. ... Evyasar, who was Kohen Gadol, was - that of the one to wear and
consult the Urim ve'Tumim.
3. ... Yo'av was - that of commander of the army.
(c) The Urim ve'Tumim was called ...
1. ... Kereisi - because its reply was clear-cut.
(d) Rebbi Yitzchak bar Avudimi learn from the Pasuk "Urah Chevodi Urah,
ha'Neivel ve'Chinor " - that a harp was suspended above David's bed ... , as
we just learned.
2. ... Peleisi - because its words were wondrous (since they always came
(a) Rav Shimi bar Chiya Darshen from the Pasuk in Terumah "ke'Chol Asher Ani
Mar'eh Oscha, es Tavnis ha'Mishkan ... ve'Chein Ta'asu" - that adding to
Yerushalayim or to the Azaros required the Beis-Din of seventy-one (like the
Mishkan which was sanctified by Moshe, who was considered a Beis-Din of
(b) The holy vessels of the Mishkan were sanctified by being anointed with
the anointing oil. The Beraisa rules - that subsequent vessels that needed
to be manufactured were sanctified by their service.
(c) We answer the discrepancy between our Mishnah and this Beraisa, by
quoting the Pasuk "va'Yimshachem va'Yekadesh Osam" - from which we Darshen
"Osam" bi'Meshichah, ve'Lo le'Doros
(d) The problem with that D'rashah is - that perhaps "Osam" comes to teach
us that Doros is different than the Mishkan, inasmuch as one has a choice of
either anointing or service.
(a) So Rav Papa quotes the Pasuk in Bamidbar "Asher Yesharsu Bam ba'Kodesh".
In spite of the fact that the Torah also writes "ve'Chein Ta'asu", we know
that the vessels require service exclusively, and that one does not have the
option of anointing them, like we just asked - because of the Pasuk
"va'Yimshachem va'Yekadesh *Osam*" excluding them from anointing (as we
(b) And we know that the option of service was not available in the Mishkan
too - since the Pasuk "Asher Yesharsu Bam ba'Kodesh" is written in the
future (and not in the present).
(a) We derive the obligation to appoint judges and law-enforcement officers
in Yisrael from the Pasuk "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha". And we learn
from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha bi'(Chol) She'arecha" - that one is
obligated to appoint them in every tribe.
(b) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel learns from "li'Shevatecha ve'Shaftu" - that a
litigant is not allowed to choose to go to a Beis-Din pertaining to another
2. ... "Shoftim ve'Shotrim Titen Lecha be'*Chol* She'arecha" - that it is
also obligatory to appoint them in each and every town.
(c) Rebbi Chiya bar Yosef Amar Rebbi Oshaya quotes the Pasuk "ve'Hotzeisa es
*ha'Ish ha'Hu* ... el She'arecha" - as the source of the Mishnah's ruling
that an Ir ha'Nidachas requires a Beis-Din of seventy-one (and not of
twenty-three) because it implies that only an individual is judged by a
Beis-Din of twenty-three, but not an entire town.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "mi'Kirbecha" - that Beis-Din cannot declare a border town an Ir
(b) Sometimes Rav would restrict the prohibition of declaring three towns
Arei Nidachas to one Beis-Din (but two or three Batei-Din may). On other
occasions - he extended the prohibition to even two or three Batei-Din.
2. ... "Arecha" - that two towns can be declared Arei Nidachas at one time.
3. ... "Achas" - that three towns cannot.
(c) The reason behind this latter opinion of Rav is - because, since the
reason for the prohibition is the fact that it leaves a bald patch
('Korchah'), and easy access to the enemy, what difference does the number
of Batei-Din make?
(a) Resh Lakish permits declaring two or three towns Arei ha'Nidachas in
different areas. Rebbi Yochanan hold that even that is forbidden - because
he is speaking about different towns that are situated in the same section
of Eretz Yisrael, as we shall now see, and he forbids it because of Korchah
(leaving a gap for the enemy to enter).
(b) In the Beraisa in support of Rebbi Yochanan, the Tana rules ...
1. ... that - one Ir ha'Nidachas in Yehudah and one in Galil is permitted.
(c) The reason the Tana gives for the prohibition of declaring an Ir
ha'Nidachas beside the border - is also because of Korchah.
2. ... that - two Arei Nidachas in Yehudah or two in Galil is forbidden.
(d) The Tana needs a reason, in spite of the fact that the Torah writes
"mi'Kirbecha" - because the author of the Beraisa is Rebbi Shimon, who
contends with the reasons of the Mitzvos (as we learned in Bava Metzi'a).