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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 56



(a) The Navi writes, with regard to the sons of Shmuel "va'Yatu Acharei ha'Batza", suggesting that they were dishonest. The Gemara however, explains that they were not guilty of such a severe sin, only that they did not follow in their father's footsteps, by traveling round the country to administer justice to the people.

(b) The Gemara proves this from the Pasuk "Vayehi Ki Zaken Shmuel, ve'Lo Halchu Banav bi'Derachav", from which we can see what the extent of their sin was.

(c) 'Chazaneihem ve'Sofreihem' were their attendants (whose job it was to call the litigants to court), and their scribes, respectively. And it was in order to pay them better wages, that Shmuel's sons decided to remain at home, rather than to travel the country, like their father did.

(d) According to Rebbi Meir, Shmuel's sons sin was to ask for Ma'aser Rishon (since they were Levi'im). This was considered a sin, because nobody would refuse the request of such important as the sons of Shmuel, with the result that other very poor Levi'im, to whom the owners would otherwise have given their Ma'aser, were deprived.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, Shmuel's sons gave various people merchandise to trade, from which they would receive half the profits. Later, when those same people came to them for judgment, they were unable to judge them impartially.

(b) According to Rebbi Akiva, they claimed Ma'aser excessively, from many people; whereas Rebbi Yossi learns that they actually took Matnos Kehunah (Zero'a, Lechayayim and the Keivah) in spite of the fact that they were not Kohanim. Alternatively, they took Ma'asros by force - and the Torah writes in Devarim "*ve'Nasan* la'Kohen" the Mitzvah of all Matnos Kehunah (incorporating Matnos Leviyah) is for the Yisrael to give, not for the Kohen, or the Levi, to take.

(a) The Navi writes that Hashem was with David, inconceivable if David had been guilty of adultery.

(b) "Madu'a Bazisa ... *La'asos* ha'Ra" means that David onlo *intended* to commit adultery (to have relations with Bas-Sheva before she received a Get from Uri'ah), but refrained from doing so. It is Rebbi who sought to lighten David's sin, because he descended from David.

(c) David should have judged Uri'ah in Beis-Din, and not issued the death-sentence independently.

(d) David was not guilty of adultery, because it was customary for all the soldiers who went to the battle-front to give a Get to their wives, to avoid any problems should they not return. This custom is also reflected in the Pasuk "ve'es Arubasam Tikach", which Yishai asked of David (when he went to visit his brothers at the barracks), and which the Gemara interprets to mean that David was to take that what guaranteed their co-existence (the Kidushin) from them, by means of a Get, which the brothers were to give him to take home.

(a) "ve'Oso Haragta be'Cherev B'nei Amon" teaches us that, just as the Amonites were not held guilty for killing Uri'ah, neither was David.

(b) David was not guilty of murder for having Uri'ah put to death, because Uri'ah had earned the death-sentence for what Chazal describe as 'Mored be'Malchus' (treason).

(c) Uri'ah's sin was to refer to Yo'av as 'his master' in the presence of David.
(See also Tosfos, d.h. 'de'Amar').

(d) Rav himself, who says in one place that David's only sin was the one mentioned above, says in another, that he was also guilty of accepting Lashon ha'Ra.

(a) Mefivoshes was the son of Yonasan ben Shaul, and Tziva was his slave.

(b) David gave half the field to Tzivah (effectively setting him free at the same time), because Tzivah had told him that Mefivoshes remained in Yerushalayim (having failed to accompany David when he fled from Avshalom), because he was waiting for the opportunity to regain the Kingship, which had been taken from his family after Shaul's death.

(c) It was when David saw that Mefivoshes came unkempt and with unwashed clothes, that he believed Tziva. This was a proof, he thought, that Mefivoshes was in semi-mourning because he, David, had returned safely. (See Mesores ha'Shas for Mefivoshes' genuine motive for not grooming himself.)

(d) Rav Yehudah quoting Rav, says that when David told Mefivoshes that he must split the field with Tziva, a Heavenly voice proclaimed that Rechavam and Yeravam will split the Kingdom. And he added that, if David had not accepted Tziva's Lashon ha'Ra, the Kingdom of David would not have been split, Yisrael would not have served idols and we would not have been sent into exile.




(a) Mefivoshes did not accompany David, according to his account, because Tziva tricked him, by riding off with his donkey - and he (Mefivoshes) was lame, and was unable to walk.

(b) Mefivoshes implied with his words that he held it not against David, but against the One who returned him safely to Yerushalayim and to his throne.

(c) The reason for the Navi's reference to Mefivoshes as 'Meiriv Ba'al' - meaning the one who quarrels with his Master (G-d) - has now been revealed.

(d) Taking Hashem to task was a trait that he inherited from his grandfather, Shaul, who did the same when commanded by Shmuel to wipe out Amolek - men, women and children. 'What have all these innocent people done to deserve genocide', he wanted to know? That is what is meant by the Pasuk there "va'Yarev ba'Nachal". He quarreled (with Hashem), in connection with the 'Eglah Arufah', the calf that had its neck broken *in the valley* - to atone for the death of just one man! So how could he possibly justify killing all of those innocent people, he argued?

(a) We learn from "ve'Lo Hayah Levavo Shalem Im Hashem Elokav ki'Levav David Aviv", that Shlomoh's sin was not having attained the level of righteousness of his father David, but not of turning his heart away from Hashem, to go astray after other gods - of which the Navi accused him.

(b) The Navi accuses him of that, because he did not stop his wives from their idolatrous practices.

(c) If we explain the Pasuk "Az *Yivneh* Shlomoh" etc. to mean that he only intended to build, but refrained from doing so, then we will also have to explain the Pasuk in Yehoshua: "Az *Yivneh* Yehoshua Mizbei'ach la'Hashem" in the same light - which of course, would be incorrect.

(d) How is it possible, asks the Gemara, that the righteous Asa and Yehoshafat, (about whom the Navi testifies that they destroyed all the foreign altars), should have left the altars that Shlomoh ha'Melech (allowed to be) built, standing?
So we have to explain the Pasuk like this: Although Asa and Yehoshafat had already demolished the altars of Shlomoh, the Pasuk, wishing to stress the righteousness of Yoshiyahu, ascribes their demolition to Yoshiyahu - as if he had done the job. In the same way, does the same Pasuk ascribe the building of those very same altars, to Shlomoh, even though he did not really build them.

(a) Rav Yehudah comments on the Pasuk ("va'Ya'as ha'Ra" etc.) that it would have been better for Shlomoh to become an attendant for idolatry (to chop wood and draw water) rather than to have this written about him. To teach us how important it is to rebuke, when one has the power to do so!

(b) When Shlomoh married bas Par'oh, she brought in a thousand kinds of musical instruments, and proceeded to give him a demonstration of how they would play for this god and for that one. Shlomoh remained silent!

(c) On that fateful day, the Angel Gavriel descended, and planted a reed in the Mediterranean Sea. Mud rose to the surface and surrounded the reed, and grew until it became Rome (Italy).

(d) And it was when Yeravam built his two calves in Beis-El and in Dan, that the first hut was built - on the spot that later developed into Rome.

(a) The Gemara learns from the Pasuk "va'Ya'as ha'Yashar ... va'Yelech be'Chol Derech David Aviv", that Yoshiyahu was not a Ba'al Teshuvah, but that he had always gone in the ways of David.

(b) When the Pasuk writes "u'Kemohu Lo Hayah Melech Asher Shav" etc., it refers to all the monetary rulings that he had issued from the age of eight (when he ascended the throne) till he turned eighteen (when this Pasuk is written). Why is that?
Because it was Chilkiyah's finding of the Sefer-Torah that caused him to examine his rulings more carefully, and that brought him to the realization that he may have made mistakes.

(c) And from "u've'Chol *Me'odo*" we learn that all of the looses that were incurred as a result of these changes, he payed out of his own pocket (just like "be'Chol *Me'odecha*" in the Shema refers to one's money).

(a) Rav describes Yoshiyahu ha'Melech as being the greatest Ba'al Teshuvah, he and one man who lived in Rav's generation, by the name of Aba, the father of Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba (according to one version).

(b) Rav Yosef added that there was also someone in his generation who could join that list of unique Ba'alei Teshuvah, and he was called Nasan Tzutzisa, alias Mar Ukva.

(c) Mar Ukva was referred to as Nasan Tzutzisa, either because of spark of fire that shot from him (from the word 'Nitzutzin - meaning sparks), when the Angel stretched out his hand and accepted his Teshuvah; or because the Angel held him by the hair of his head (from the word '*Tzitzis* Roshi' meaning strands of hair)

Hadran Alach, 'ba'Meh Beheimah'

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