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Today's Daf Yomi

January 28, 2022 | כ״ו בשבט תשפ״ב

This month’s shiurim are dedicated by Efrat Arnold in loving memory of Joshua Carr, Yehoshua Aryeh Leib ben Yonatan Chaim and Malka Esther HaCohen.

This month's shiurim are dedicated by Tova and David Kestenbaum in honor of their children and grandchildren.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

Moed Katan 16

One gets excommunicated if one refuses a subpoena to the court. Rava explains various details of a subpoena to court. Who sends it? What details need to be there? Some of these laws are derived from the story of Korach. From where do we derive that someone can be excommunicated for not showing up to court and that we publicize their sins? That and other related issues are derived from verses in the Song of Deborah (Shoftim 5:23). An excommunicated person’s possession are rendered ownerless. What else can done to him/her? A story is told of a butcher who was excommunicated for acting brazen with a rabbi. Once they made peace, they wanted to undo the excommunication. There was a deliberation about whether or not that could be done. A distinction is made between one who is excommunicated over a monetary issue and disrespect for a Torah scholar. One could be excommunicated to a particular section of people but not to everyone – how? If one excommunicated someone and dies, can the excommunication be repealed by another? What is the standard amount of time for nidui and nezifa? What was the difference between the custom in Israel and Babylonia regarding this?Nezifa is Israel is seven days. However, this is difficult as in a story with Rebbi and Rabbi Chiya, it is thirty days. Rebbi decreed that teaching should only go on in the beit midrash. Rabbi Chiya taught Torah in the marketplace. They engage in a debate but Rebbi wins and Rabbi Chiya puts himself in nezifa. Nezifa in Babylonia is one day. This is proven from a story of Shmuel and Mar Ukva and another story of a woman who partially blocked the road when a Torah scholar was passing. A third story on this same topic relates to verses in Shmuel 2 Chapter 22 and 23 regarding songs of King David. After the story is told, the Gemara delves into verses from those chapters and explains them.

זו עשירית האיפה שלו דברי רבי יהודה

this is the meal-offering of a tenth of an ephah of flour, which every priest would bring on the day he began serving in the Temple. But as long as he is ritually impure, whether because he had come into contact with a corpse or due to leprosy, he may not send his offerings to the Temple; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.

רבי שמעון אומר בבאו יקריב בזמן שראוי לביאה ראוי להקרבה בזמן שאינו ראוי לביאה אינו ראוי להקרבה

Rabbi Shimon says: The verse states: “And on the day that he goes into the Sanctuary, into the inner court, to minister in the Sanctuary he shall sacrifice his sin offering.” This teaches that when he is fit to enter the Sanctuary, he is fit to sacrifice an offering. But when he is not fit to go into the Sanctuary, i.e., when he is ritually impure, he is not fit to sacrifice an offering. This implies that a leper may not send his offerings to the Temple to be sacrificed on the altar, as he himself is not fit to enter the Temple.

אמר רבא מנלן דמשדרין שליחא דבי דינא ומזמנינן ליה לדינא דכתיב וישלח משה לקרא לדתן ולאבירם בני אליאב ומנלן דמזמנינן לדינא דכתיב ויאמר משה אל קרח אתה וכל עדתך

§ Having discussed some of the restrictions applying to a person who was ostracized, the Gemara explains some of the basic principles relating to ostracism: Rava said: From where do we derive that a court agent is sent to summon the defendant to appear before the court before he is ostracized? As it is written: “And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab” (Numbers 16:12). And from where do we derive that we summon the defendant, that he himself must appear before the court? As it is written: “And Moses said to Korah: Be you and all your congregation before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow” (Numbers 16:16).

לקמי גברא רבה דכתיב לפני ה׳ את ופלניא דכתיב אתה והם ואהרן דקבעינן זימנא דכתיב מחר זימנא בתר זימנא דכתיב קראו שם פרעה מלך מצרים שאון העביר המועד

From where is it derived that the defendant must be told that he is being summoned to appear before a great man? As it is written: “And Moses said to Korah: Be you and all your congregation before the Lord” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that the summons must mention the names of both parties: You and so-and-so, the plaintiff? As it is written: “You, and they, and Aaron” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that we set a date for the court proceedings? As it is written: “Tomorrow” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that a second date must be set after the first date, if the defendant did not heed the first summons? As it is written: “They did cry there, Pharaoh, king of Egypt is but a noise; he has passed the time appointed…Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come” (Jeremiah 46:17). Although a time had been appointed and it had passed, it was not canceled entirely but pushed off to a later date.

ומנלן דאי מתפקר בשליחא דבי דינא ואתי ואמר לא מיתחזי כלישנא בישא דכתיב העיני האנשים ההם תנקר

And from where do we derive that if the summoned person behaves disrespectfully toward the agent of the court, and the agent comes back and reports his conduct, that this is not considered slander? As it is written: “Will you put out the eyes of these men?” (Numbers 16:14). Dathan and Abiram spoke these words to the messenger that Moses had sent to them, and the messenger reported them back to Moses.

ומנלן דמשמתינן דכתיב אורו מרוז דהכי סברא דגברא רבה דכתיב אמר מלאך ה׳ ומנלן דמחרמינן דכתיב אורו ארור

From do we derive that we ostracize one who does not obey a court summons? As it is written: “Curse Meroz” (Judges 5:23), who was ostracized for not coming to battle after having been summoned. From where is it derived that the ostracized person must be told that it was the decision of a great man to ostracized him? As it is written: “Curse Meroz, said the messenger of the Lord” (Judges 5:23). And from where do we derive that, if he fails to mend his ways, we excommunicate such a person more harshly, putting him under the most severe form of excommunication? As it is written: “Curse Meroz…curse bitterly its inhabitants” (Judges 5:23), implying that one curse is followed by another, i.e., lesser ostracism is followed by harsh excommunication.

דאכיל ושתי בהדיה וקאי בארבע אמות דידיה דכתיב יושביה ומנלן דפרטינן חטאיה בציבורא דכתיב כי לא באו לעזרת ה׳

From where is it derived that the curse applies to anyone who eats or drinks with, or stands within, four cubits of the ostracized person? As it is written: “Curse bitterly its inhabitants” (Judges 5:23), in reference to all those sitting together with Meroz. And from where do we derive that we detail his sin in public? As it is written: “Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they did not come to the help of the Lord” (Judges 5:23).

ואמר עולא בארבע מאה שיפורי שמתיה ברק למרוז איכא דאמרי גברא רבה הוה ואיכא דאמרי כוכבא הוה שנאמר מן שמים נלחמו הכוכבים

And Ulla said: Barak ostracized Meroz with the blowing of four hundred shofarot due to his failure to come. As for the identification of Meroz, some say that he was a great man and that he was ostracized because he did not join in the war effort. And others say that the reference is to a star and not a human being, and that it did not aid the Jewish people in their battle, as it is stated: “The stars fought from heaven; in their courses they fought against Sisera,” (Judges 5:20). This star, which did not help the Jewish people, was cursed.

ומנלן דמפקרינן נכסיה דכתיב וכל אשר לא יבא לשלשת הימים בעצת השרים והזקנים יחרם כל רכושו והוא יבדל מקהל הגולה

And from where do we derive that the court may declare the property of one who does not obey its orders as ownerless? As it is written: “And that whoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the Elders, all his substance shall be forfeited [yaḥoram] and himself separated from the congregation of the exiles” (Ezra 10:8). “Shall be forfeited” is referring to excommunication.

ומנלן דנצינן ולייטינן ומחינן ותלשינן שיער ומשבעינן דכתיב ואריב עמם ואקללם ואכה מהם אנשים ואמרטם ואשביעם

And from where do we derive that we may contend with such a person, and curse him, and beat him, and pull out his hair, and make him take an oath in order to prevent him from sinning? As it is written: “And I contended with them, and cursed them, and beat some of them, and pulled out their hair, and made them take oath by God” (Nehemiah 13:25).

ומנלן דכפתינן ואסרינן ועבדינן הרדפה דכתיב הן למות הן לשרושי הן לענש נכסין ולאסורין מאי לשרושי אמר אדא מרי אמר נחמיה בר ברוך אמר רב חייא בר אבין אמר רב יהודה הרדפה מאי הרדפה אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב מנדין לאלתר ושונין לאחר שלשים ומחרימין לאחר ששים

And from where do we derive that we may shackle his hands and feet, chain him, and apply pressure? As it is written: “Whether it be for death, or for banishment [lishroshi], or for confiscation of goods, or for imprisonment” (Ezra 7:26). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the word “lishroshi,” translated here as banishment? Adda Mari said that Neḥemya bar Baruch said that Rav Ḥiyya bar Avin said that Rav Yehuda said: This is pressure. Since this expression is also unclear, the Gemara asks: What is pressure? Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilat, said in the name of Rav that this term refers to the following series of actions: They ostracize him immediately, and then once again after thirty days, and if he still does not repent, they excommunicate him after sixty days.

אמר ליה רב הונא בר חיננא הכי אמר רב חסדא מתרין ביה שני וחמישי ושני הני מילי לממונא אבל לאפקירותא לאלתר

Rav Huna bar Ḥinnana said to him: Rav Ḥisda said as follows: Before excommunicating a person, the court warns him three times, on Monday, Thursday, and the following Monday. The Gemara notes: This applies in a case where one ignores a monetary judgment that was issued against him. He is warned three times that he must repay his debt. But in a case where one behaves disrespectfully toward a Torah scholar, he is immediately ostracized.

ההוא טבחא דאיתפקר ברב טובי בר מתנה אימנו עליה אביי ורבא ושמתוהו לסוף אזל פייסיה לבעל דיניה אמר אביי היכי ליעביד לישרי ליה לא חל שמתא עליה תלתין יומין לא לישרי ליה קא בעו רבנן למיעל

§ The Gemara relates that a certain butcher behaved disrespectfully toward Rav Tuvi bar Mattana. Abaye and Rava were appointed to the case and ostracized him. In the end the butcher went and appeased his disputant, Rav Tuvi. Abaye said: What should we do in this case? Shall he be released from his decree of ostracism? His decree of ostracism has not yet been in effect for the usual thirty days. On the other hand, shall he not be released from ostracism? But the Sages wish to enter his shop and purchase meat, and they are presently unable to do so. What, then, is the most appropriate course of action?

אמר ליה לרב אידי בר אבין מידי שמיע לך בהא אמר ליה הכי אמר רב תחליפא בר אבימי אמר שמואל טוט אסר וטוט שרי אמר ליה הני מילי לממונא אבל לאפקירותא עד דחיילא שמתא עליה תלתין יומין

He said to Rav Idi bar Avin: Have you heard anything with regard to such a case? Rav Idi bar Avin said to Abaye: Rav Taḥlifa bar Avimi said that Shmuel said as follows: A shofar blast at the time of the ostracism makes it binding, and a shofar blast releases it. In other words, the shofar should be sounded now, as it had been sounded when the decree of ostracism was pronounced, and it should be canceled, although thirty days have not passed. Abaye said to him: This applies in a case where one ignores a monetary judgment that was issued against him; but in a case where one behaves disrespectfully, there must be no release until the decree of ostracism has been in effect for thirty days.

אלמא קסבר אביי הני בי תלתא דשמיתו לא אתו תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

The Gemara comments: Apparently, Abaye maintains that if three people ostracized one, three others may not come and release him. This is derived from the fact that Abaye was concerned about releasing the butcher from ostracism and did not delegate the task to someone else.

דאיבעיא להו הני בי תלתא דשמיתו מהו למיתי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה תא שמע מנודה לרב מנודה לתלמיד מנודה לתלמיד אינו מנודה לרב

As a dilemma was raised before the Sages: If three people ostracized someone, what is the halakha with regard to three others coming and releasing him from his decree of ostracism? The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from that which is taught in a baraita: One who was ostracized by the teacher of Torah for having acted disrespectfully toward him is considered ostracized with regard to the student, and the latter must keep his distance from him. However, one who was ostracized by the student is not considered ostracized with regard to the teacher.

מנודה לעירו מנודה לעיר אחרת מנודה לעיר אחרת אינו מנודה לעירו מנודה לנשיא מנודה לכל ישראל מנודה לכל ישראל אינו מנודה לנשיא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אחד מן התלמידים שנידה ומת חלקו אינו מופר

One who was ostracized by his own city is considered ostracized with regard to another city. However, one who was ostracized by another city is not considered ostracized with regard to his own city. One who was ostracized by the Nasi of the Sanhedrin is considered ostracized with regard to all the Jewish people; but one who was ostracized by all the Jewish people is not considered ostracized with regard to the Nasi of the Sanhedrin. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: If one of the students sitting as a judge on the court had ostracized someone, and he died before releasing him from the decree of ostracism, his portion of the decree of ostracism is not nullified.

שמע מינה תלת שמע מינה תלמיד שנידה לכבודו נידויו נידוי ושמע מינה כל אחד ואחד מיפר חלקו ושמע מינה הני בי תלתא דשמיתו לא אתו תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

The Gemara says: Learn three halakhot from this baraita. Learn from this that in the case of a student who ostracizes someone due to an insult to his dignity and not because the ostracized person was guilty of some transgression, his decree of ostracism is valid. Were the case one where one was ostracized due to sin, everyone is required to respect the decree of ostracism, even the student’s teacher. And learn from this that each and every one who participated in the decree of ostracism nullifies his own portion of the decree of ostracism, as the baraita speaks of: His portion. And learn from this that if three people ostracized another person, three other people may not come and nullify the decree of ostracism. Were this not the case, it wouldn’t matter if a certain person’s portion was not nullified. His portion could be nullified by someone else.

אמר אמימר הלכתא הני בי תלתא דשמיתו אתו בי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה אמר ליה רב אשי לאמימר והא תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אחד מן התלמידים שנידה ומת חלקו אינו מופר מאי לאו אינו מופר כלל לא עד דאתו בי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

Ameimar said: The halakha is that if three people ostracize another person, three others may come and nullify the decree of ostracism. Rav Ashi said to Ameimar: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: If one of the students had ostracized another person, and he died before releasing him from the decree of ostracism, his portion is not nullified? What, is it not that it is not nullified at all, i.e., it cannot be nullified by another person? The Gemara rejects this argument: No, this means that the decree of ostracism remains in force until three other people come and nullify it.

תנו רבנן אין נידוי פחות משלשים יום ואין נזיפה פחות משבעה ימים ואף על פי שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר שנאמר ואביה ירק ירק בפניה הלא תכלם שבעת ימים

§ The Sages taught the following baraita: Ostracism does not apply for less than a period of thirty days, and admonition, which is less severe than ostracism, does not apply for less than a period of seven days. And although there is no proof with regard to the matter, i.e., the standard duration of admonition, there is an allusion to the matter, as it is stated: “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed for seven days?” (Numbers 12:14). This implies that admonition lasts for seven days.

אמר רב חסדא נידוי שלנו כנזיפה שלהן ונזיפה דידהו שבעה ותו לא והא רבי שמעון בר רבי ובר קפרא הוו יתבי וקא גרסי קשיא להו שמעתא אמר ליה רבי שמעון לבר קפרא דבר זה צריך רבי אמר ליה בר קפרא לרבי שמעון ומה רבי אומר בדבר זה

Rav Ḥisda said: Our decree of ostracism in Babylonia has the power of their admonition in Eretz Yisrael. Since the authorities in Eretz Yisrael are ordained with the title Rabbi, their admonition carries more weight than a decree of ostracism issued in Babylonia. The Gemara asks: Is their admonition in Eretz Yisrael only seven days and no more? But isn’t it related that Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, and bar Kappara were sitting and studying, and they posed a difficulty with a certain halakha. Rabbi Shimon said to bar Kappara: This issue requires my father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, to explain it. Bar Kappara said to Rabbi Shimon, somewhat mockingly: And what can your father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, say about this issue? What can he add and teach us about it?

אזל אמר ליה לאבוה איקפד אתא בר קפרא לאיתחזויי ליה אמר ליה בר קפרא איני מכירך מעולם ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה תלתין יומין

Rabbi Shimon went and told his father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, what bar Kappara had said, and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi became angry with him. When bar Kappara came at some later point to visit, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: Bar Kappara, I do not know you at all. Bar Kappara understood that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had taken his statement to heart, i.e., was insulted. He subsequently behaved as if he had been admonished, as a self-imposed punishment, for thirty days.

שובפעם אחד גזר רבי שלא ישנו לתלמידים בשוק מאי דרש חמוקי ירכיך כמו חלאים מה ירך בסתר

Once again, on another occasion, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi decreed that students not be taught in the marketplace but only in a study hall. What verse did he expound to serve as the basis for this decree? The verse states: “Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist” (Song of Songs 7:2). Just as a thigh is ordinarily hidden and kept covered with clothes,

אף דברי תורה בסתר

so too, the words of Torah, which are “the work of the hands of an artist,” i.e., God, must remain hidden in the study hall.

יצא רבי חייא ושנה לשני בני אחיו בשוק לרב ולרבה בר בר חנה שמע רבי איקפד אתא רבי חייא לאיתחזויי ליה אמר ליה עייא מי קורא לך בחוץ ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה תלתין יומין

Despite Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s decree, Rabbi Ḥiyya went out and taught his two nephews, Rav and Rabba bar bar Ḥana, in the marketplace. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi heard what he had done and became angry with him. When Rabbi Ḥiyya came at some later date to visit him, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi mockingly said to him: Iyya, who is calling you outside? By asking this question Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was intimating that Rabbi Ḥiyya should leave his house. Rabbi Ḥiyya understood that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had taken the matter to heart and was insulted, and so he conducted himself as if he had been admonished, as a self-imposed punishment, for thirty days.

ביום תלתין שלח ליה תא הדר שלח ליה דלא ליתי

On the thirtieth day, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi sent him a message, saying: Come and visit me. However, he later reversed his opinion and sent him another message, telling him not to come.

מעיקרא מאי סבר ולבסוף מאי סבר מעיקרא סבר מקצת היום ככולו ולבסוף סבר לא אמרינן מקצת היום ככולו

The Gemara asks: At the outset what did he hold, and ultimately what did he hold? Initially, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi held that the legal status of part of the day is like that of an entire day, and since the thirtieth day already begun, Rabbi Ḥiyya’s time of admonition had ended. But ultimately he held that with regard to this issue we do not say that the legal status of part of the day is like that of an entire day.

לסוף אתא אמר ליה אמאי אתית אמר ליה דשלח לי מר דליתי והא שלחי לך דלא תיתי אמר ליה זה ראיתי וזה לא ראיתי קרי עליה ברצות ה׳ דרכי איש גם אויביו ישלים אתו

In the end Rabbi Ḥiyya came on that same day. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi asked him: Why have you come? Rabbi Ḥiyya responded: Because you, Master, sent me a message that I should come. He said to him: But I sent you a second message that you should not come. He responded: This messenger that you sent, i.e., the first one, I saw him and I did as he said, but that messenger, i.e., the second one, I did not see. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi read the verse about Rabbi Ḥiyya: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7), as it was clear to him that Rabbi Ḥiyya had merited divine assistance.

מאי טעמא עבד מר הכי אמר ליה דכתיב חכמות בחוץ תרונה אמר ליה אם קרית לא שנית ואם שנית לא שילשת ואם שילשת לא פירשו לך

§ Concerning the issue with which the entire incident had begun, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi asked Rabbi Ḥiyya: What is the reason that you, the Master, acted as you did, ignoring my instructions not to teach Torah in the marketplace? Rabbi Ḥiyya said to him: As it is written: “Wisdom cries aloud in the streets” (Proverbs 1:20), which implies that Torah should be publicized in the streets. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: If you read this verse once, you certainly did not read it a second time in greater depth; and if you read it a second time, you certainly did not read it a third time; and if you read it a third time, then it was not adequately explained to you, as it is clear that you do not understand it properly.

חכמות בחוץ תרונה כדרבא דאמר רבא כל העוסק בתורה מבפנים תורתו מכרזת עליו מבחוץ

The words: “Wisdom cries aloud in the streets,” should be understood in accordance with the opinion of Rava. As Rava said: With regard to everyone who occupies himself with Torah study inside the privacy of his home, his Torah knowledge will proclaim his greatness outside, as it will be revealed to the masses and they will see his greatness.

והא כתיב לא מראש בסתר דברתי ההוא ביומי דכלה

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “From the beginning I have not spoken in secret” (Isaiah 48:16), implying that the Torah should be taught and proclaimed in public? The Gemara answers: That verse is referring to the days of the kalla, the gathering for Torah study held during Elul and Adar, when many people come to listen to Torah discourses. During this time, it is not only permitted but even recommended to teach Torah to the masses. In this way, the verse can be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

ורבי חייא האי חמוקי ירכיך מאי עביד לה מוקי לה בצדקה ובגמילות חסדים

The Gemara asks: And what did Rabbi Ḥiyya do with this verse: “Your rounded thighs are like jewels”? How did he understand it? This verse implies that the Torah must be kept hidden in the study hall and not publicized in the marketplace. The Gemara explains: He interprets it not as a reference to Torah, but as referring to acts of charity and loving-kindness, which should certainly be performed in private.

אלמא נזיפה דידהו תלתין יומין נזיפת נשיא שאני

This incident demonstrates that, apparently, admonition of those who live in Eretz Yisrael lasts for thirty days and not for seven days. The Gemara answers that this is not a conclusive proof, since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was the Nasi. The admonition of the Nasi of the Sanhedrin is different i.e., more severe, than the admonition of anyone else.

ונזיפה דידן כמה הוי חד יומא כי הא דשמואל ומר עוקבא כי הוו יתבי גרסי שמעתא הוה יתיב מר עוקבא קמיה דשמואל ברחוק ארבע אמות וכי הוו יתבי בדינא הוה יתיב שמואל קמיה דמר עוקבא ברחוק ארבע אמות והוו חייקי ליה דוכתא למר עוקבא בציפתא ויתיב עילויה כי היכי דלישתמען מיליה

The Gemara asks: And how long is our admonition in Babylonia? The Gemara answers: It is only one day, as in the case involving Shmuel and the Exilarch Mar Ukva. When they would sit and study halakha, Mar Ukva would sit before Shmuel at a distance of four cubits as a sign of respect. Mar Ukva would conduct himself as though Shmuel were his teacher because Shmuel was much greater than him in Torah matters. And when they would sit together in judgment, Shmuel would sit before Mar Ukva at a distance of four cubits because Mar Ukva was the Exilarch and the chief judge. But they would lower a place for Mar Ukva in the matting upon which he sat, and he would sit on it so that he could hear Shmuel’s words of Torah even when they were engaged in judgment.

כל יומא הוה מלוי ליה מר עוקבא לשמואל עד אושפיזיה יומא חד איטריד בדיניה הוה אזיל שמואל בתריה כי מטא לביתיה אמר ליה לא נגה לך לישרי לי מר בתיגריה ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה חד יומא

Every day, Mar Ukva would accompany Shmuel to his lodgings, in the manner that a student would show honor toward his teacher. One day, Mar Ukva was so heavily preoccupied with a case that had been brought before him for judgment that he did not realize that Shmuel was walking behind him to show him respect due to his position as the Exilarch. When Mar Ukva reached his home, Shmuel said to him: Is it not enough for you that I accompanied you until here? Release me, Master, from my obligation, so that I may return home. Mar Ukva understood that Shmuel had taken the matter to heart and was insulted. Therefore, he conducted himself as if he had been admonished, for one day as a self-imposed punishment.

ההיא איתתא דהוות יתבה בשבילא הוות פשטה כרעה וקא מניפה חושלאי והוה חליף ואזיל צורבא מרבנן ולא איכנעה מקמיה אמר כמה חציפא ההיא איתתא אתאי לקמיה דרב נחמן אמר לה מי שמעת שמתא מפומיה אמרה ליה לא אמר לה זילי נהוגי נזיפותא חד יומא בנפשיך

It was related that a certain woman was sitting alongside a path with her leg extended while she was sifting barley. A Torah scholar passed by her on this path, but she did not yield to him and move her leg to make room for him. He said: How rude is that woman! The woman came before Rav Naḥman to ask if this statement should be deemed as excommunication. He said to her: Did you hear the word excommunication explicitly issue from his mouth? She said to him: No. He said to her: If this is the case, then go and observe an admonition for one day, as it appears that the Torah scholar sought only to admonish you.

זוטרא בר טוביה הוה קפסיק סידרא קמיה דרב יהודה כי מטא להאי פסוקא ואלה דברי דוד האחרונים אמר ליה אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי נינהו

§ Zutra bar Toviyya was once reading the portion of the Bible before Rav Yehuda. When he reached the verse: “Now these are the last words of David” (II Samuel 23:1), Zutra bar Toviyya said to Rav Yehuda: If it is written that these are the last of David’s words, by inference there are first words as well. If this is the case, what are these first words of David? Prior to this, it mentions only David’s song, but not his words.

שתיק ולא אמר ליה ולא מידי הדר אמר ליה אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי היא אמר ליה מאי דעתך דלא ידע פירושא דהאי קרא לאו גברא רבה הוא ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה חד יומא

Rav Yehuda remained silent and said nothing to him. Zutra bar Toviyya thought that Rav Yehuda did not hear what he had said, so he then said to him a second time: If it is written that these are the last of David’s words, by inference there are first words as well. If this is the case, what are these first words of David? He said to him: What do you think? Do you think that anyone who does not know the meaning of this verse is not a great man? Why are you stressing the fact that I do not know the answer to your question? Zutra bar Toviyya understood that Rav Yehuda had taken the matter to heart and was insulted. Therefore, he conducted himself as if had been admonished for one day as a self-imposed punishment.

ודאתן עלה מיהא אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי היא וידבר דוד לה׳ את דברי השירה הזאת ביום הציל ה׳ אותו מכף כל אויביו ומכף שאול

The Gemara asks: But now that we have come to discuss this issue, since the verse mentions David’s last words, by inference there are also first words. What then are these first words of David? The Gemara answers: The first words are: “And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul” (II Samuel 22:1), as that song is also referred to as words.

אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לדוד דוד שירה אתה אומר על מפלתו של שאול אלמלי אתה שאול והוא דוד איבדתי כמה דוד מפניו

The Gemara elaborates: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to David: David, do you recite a song over the fall of Saul? Had you been Saul and he were David, then I would have destroyed many Davids before him. Although I decreed that Saul’s kingdom would not continue, as an individual he was far greater and more important than you.

היינו דכתיב שגיון לדוד אשר שר לה׳ על דברי כוש בן ימיני וכי כוש שמו והלא שאול שמו אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף שאול משונה במעשיו

The response to this admonishment is found in the verse, as it is written: “Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjaminite” (Psalms 7:1). Is Cush his name? Saul is his name. Rather, this is a designation that indicates: Just as a Cushite, a native of the ancient kingdom of Cush in eastern Africa, is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Saul was distinguished by his actions, as he was absolutely righteous and performed many good deeds. Therefore, David uses the word shiggaion as an allusion to the error [shegia] that he had made when he sang a song of praise over Saul’s downfall.

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר על אודות האשה הכושית אשר לקח וכי כושית שמה והלא ציפורה שמה אלא מה כושית משונה בעורה אף ציפורה משונה במעשיה כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר וישמע עבד מלך הכושי וכי כושי שמו והלא צדקיה שמו אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף צדקיה משונה במעשיו

The Gemara notes: Similarly, you can explain the verse: “And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses due to the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had taken a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1). But is her name Cushite? Zipporah is her name. Rather, just as a Cushite is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Zipporah was distinguished by her actions. The Gemara continues: Similarly, you can explain the verse: “Now when Ebed-Melech the Cushite heard” (Jeremiah 38:7). Is his name Cushite? Zedekiah is his name. Rather, just as a Cushite is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Zedekiah was distinguished by his righteous actions.

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר הלא כבני כושיים אתם לי בית ישראל וכי כושיים שמן והלא ישראל שמן אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף ישראל משונין במעשיהן מכל האומות

Similarly, you can explain the verse: “Are you not as much Mine as the children of the Cushites, O children of Israel?” (Amos 9:7). Is their name Cushite? Israel is their name. Rather, just as a Cushite stands out because of his dark skin, so too, the Jewish people are distinguished by their actions, and they are different from all the other nations.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב נאם דוד בן ישי ונאם הגבר הוקם על נאם דוד בן ישי שהקים עולה של תשובה

§ Having mentioned the last words of David, the Gemara continues to explain other expressions in that passage. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The saying of David, son of Yishai, and the saying of the man who was raised up on high [al ]” (II Samuel 23:1)? It means as follows: The saying of David, son of Yishai, who raised the yoke of [ulla] repentance, as through his actions he taught the power of repentance. The word al, on high, and the word ulla are comprised of the same consonants in Hebrew.

אמר אלהי ישראל לי דבר צור ישראל מושל באדם צדיק מושל יראת אלהים מאי קאמר אמר רבי אבהו הכי קאמר אמר אלהי ישראל לי דבר צור ישראל אני מושל באדם מי מושל בי צדיק שאני גוזר גזרה ומבטלה

The passage continues: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be righteous, ruling in the fear of God” (II Samuel 23:3). The Gemara asks: What is this verse saying? What does it mean? Rabbi Abbahu said: This is what the verse is saying: The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: Although I rule over man, who rules over Me? It is a righteous person. How is it possible to say that a righteous person rules over God, as it were? As I, God, issue a decree and the righteous person nullifies it.

אלה שמות הגבורים אשר לדוד יושב בשבת וגו׳ מאי קאמר אמר רבי אבהו הכי קאמר ואלה שמות גבורותיו של דוד

Similarly, the verse states there: “These are the names of David’s warriors; Josheb-Basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite; he raised his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time” (II Samuel 23:8). The Gemara asks: What is this verse saying? Rabbi Abbahu said: This is what the verse is saying: These are the names of the mighty actions of David. These expressions should not be read as names of people but instead as descriptions of David’s good deeds.

יושב בשבת בשעה שהיה יושב בישיבה לא היה יושב על גבי כרים וכסתות אלא על גבי קרקע דכל כמה דהוה רביה עירא היאירי קיים הוה מתני להו לרבנן על גבי כרים וכסתות כי נח נפשיה הוה מתני דוד לרבנן והוה יתיב על גבי קרקע אמרו ליה ליתיב מר אכרים וכסתות לא קביל עליה

Josheb-Basshebeth [yoshev bashevet] indicates that when David would sit [yoshev] in the study hall, he would not sit upon pillows and cushions, as an important person ordinarily would. Rather, he would sit on the ground like one of the students. For as long as David’s teacher, Ira the Jairite, was alive, Ira would teach the Sages while sitting on pillows and cushions. When Ira passed away, David would teach the Sages, and he did this while sitting on the ground. They said to him: Master, you should sit upon pillows and blankets. He did not accept their suggestions, since in his humility he did not wish to appear as the teacher of the Jewish people.

תחכמוני אמר רב אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא הואיל והשפלת עצמך תהא כמוני שאני גוזר גזרה ואתה מבטלה

In this verse, David is described as “a Tahchemonite [taḥkemoni].” Rav said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Since you have humbled yourself, be you now like Me [tehe kamoni]. How so? As I issue a decree, and you, owing to your righteousness, may nullify it.

ראש השלישים תהא ראש לשלשת אבות הוא עדינו העצני כשהיה יושב ועוסק בתורה היה מעדן עצמו כתולעת ובשעה שיוצא למלחמה היה מקשה עצמו כעץ

David is also described here as “chief of the captains [rosh hashalishim]” because God said to him: You will be the head [rosh] of the three [sheloshet] Patriarchs. “The same was Adino the Eznite”; this alludes to the fact that when David would sit and occupy himself with Torah, he would make himself soft [me’aden] as a worm, and when he would go out to war, he would make himself hard and strong as a tree [etz].

על שמונה מאות חלל בפעם אחת שהיה זורק חץ ומפיל שמונה מאות חלל בפעם אחת והיה מתאנח על מאתים דכתיב איכה ירדף אחד אלף

The expression: “Against eight hundred people, which he slew at one time,” means that he would throw an arrow in the air and with it kill eight hundred people at one time. And David would sigh over the two hundred who were missing from fulfillment of the Torah’s promise, as it is written: “How should one man chase a thousand” (Deuteronomy 32:30).

יצתה בת קול ואמרה רק בדבר אוריה החתי

A Divine Voice issued forth and said by way of explanation as to why the promise was not entirely fulfilled: “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (I Kings 15:5). Had David not committed this sin, then all of the promises mentioned in the Torah would have been fulfilled in their entirety through him.

אמר רבי תנחום בריה דרבי חייא איש כפר עכו אמר רבי יעקב בר אחא אמר רבי שמלאי ואמרי לה אמר רבי תנחום אמר רב הונא ואמרי לה אמר רב הונא לחודיה

The Gemara returns to the halakhot of ostracism and mentions that Rabbi Tanḥum, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, of the village of Akko, said that Rabbi Ya’akov bar Aḥa said that Rabbi Simlai said, and some say that this tradition was transmitted in the following manner: Rabbi Tanḥum said that Rav Huna said, and others say that Rav Huna himself made this statement without the chain of transmission:

This month’s shiurim are dedicated by Efrat Arnold in loving memory of Joshua Carr, Yehoshua Aryeh Leib ben Yonatan Chaim and Malka Esther HaCohen.

And by Tova and David Kestenbaum in honor of their children and grandchildren.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

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Moed Katan 16

זו עשירית האיפה שלו דברי רבי יהודה

this is the meal-offering of a tenth of an ephah of flour, which every priest would bring on the day he began serving in the Temple. But as long as he is ritually impure, whether because he had come into contact with a corpse or due to leprosy, he may not send his offerings to the Temple; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda.

רבי שמעון אומר בבאו יקריב בזמן שראוי לביאה ראוי להקרבה בזמן שאינו ראוי לביאה אינו ראוי להקרבה

Rabbi Shimon says: The verse states: “And on the day that he goes into the Sanctuary, into the inner court, to minister in the Sanctuary he shall sacrifice his sin offering.” This teaches that when he is fit to enter the Sanctuary, he is fit to sacrifice an offering. But when he is not fit to go into the Sanctuary, i.e., when he is ritually impure, he is not fit to sacrifice an offering. This implies that a leper may not send his offerings to the Temple to be sacrificed on the altar, as he himself is not fit to enter the Temple.

אמר רבא מנלן דמשדרין שליחא דבי דינא ומזמנינן ליה לדינא דכתיב וישלח משה לקרא לדתן ולאבירם בני אליאב ומנלן דמזמנינן לדינא דכתיב ויאמר משה אל קרח אתה וכל עדתך

§ Having discussed some of the restrictions applying to a person who was ostracized, the Gemara explains some of the basic principles relating to ostracism: Rava said: From where do we derive that a court agent is sent to summon the defendant to appear before the court before he is ostracized? As it is written: “And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab” (Numbers 16:12). And from where do we derive that we summon the defendant, that he himself must appear before the court? As it is written: “And Moses said to Korah: Be you and all your congregation before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow” (Numbers 16:16).

לקמי גברא רבה דכתיב לפני ה׳ את ופלניא דכתיב אתה והם ואהרן דקבעינן זימנא דכתיב מחר זימנא בתר זימנא דכתיב קראו שם פרעה מלך מצרים שאון העביר המועד

From where is it derived that the defendant must be told that he is being summoned to appear before a great man? As it is written: “And Moses said to Korah: Be you and all your congregation before the Lord” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that the summons must mention the names of both parties: You and so-and-so, the plaintiff? As it is written: “You, and they, and Aaron” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that we set a date for the court proceedings? As it is written: “Tomorrow” (Numbers 16:16). From where is it derived that a second date must be set after the first date, if the defendant did not heed the first summons? As it is written: “They did cry there, Pharaoh, king of Egypt is but a noise; he has passed the time appointed…Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come” (Jeremiah 46:17). Although a time had been appointed and it had passed, it was not canceled entirely but pushed off to a later date.

ומנלן דאי מתפקר בשליחא דבי דינא ואתי ואמר לא מיתחזי כלישנא בישא דכתיב העיני האנשים ההם תנקר

And from where do we derive that if the summoned person behaves disrespectfully toward the agent of the court, and the agent comes back and reports his conduct, that this is not considered slander? As it is written: “Will you put out the eyes of these men?” (Numbers 16:14). Dathan and Abiram spoke these words to the messenger that Moses had sent to them, and the messenger reported them back to Moses.

ומנלן דמשמתינן דכתיב אורו מרוז דהכי סברא דגברא רבה דכתיב אמר מלאך ה׳ ומנלן דמחרמינן דכתיב אורו ארור

From do we derive that we ostracize one who does not obey a court summons? As it is written: “Curse Meroz” (Judges 5:23), who was ostracized for not coming to battle after having been summoned. From where is it derived that the ostracized person must be told that it was the decision of a great man to ostracized him? As it is written: “Curse Meroz, said the messenger of the Lord” (Judges 5:23). And from where do we derive that, if he fails to mend his ways, we excommunicate such a person more harshly, putting him under the most severe form of excommunication? As it is written: “Curse Meroz…curse bitterly its inhabitants” (Judges 5:23), implying that one curse is followed by another, i.e., lesser ostracism is followed by harsh excommunication.

דאכיל ושתי בהדיה וקאי בארבע אמות דידיה דכתיב יושביה ומנלן דפרטינן חטאיה בציבורא דכתיב כי לא באו לעזרת ה׳

From where is it derived that the curse applies to anyone who eats or drinks with, or stands within, four cubits of the ostracized person? As it is written: “Curse bitterly its inhabitants” (Judges 5:23), in reference to all those sitting together with Meroz. And from where do we derive that we detail his sin in public? As it is written: “Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they did not come to the help of the Lord” (Judges 5:23).

ואמר עולא בארבע מאה שיפורי שמתיה ברק למרוז איכא דאמרי גברא רבה הוה ואיכא דאמרי כוכבא הוה שנאמר מן שמים נלחמו הכוכבים

And Ulla said: Barak ostracized Meroz with the blowing of four hundred shofarot due to his failure to come. As for the identification of Meroz, some say that he was a great man and that he was ostracized because he did not join in the war effort. And others say that the reference is to a star and not a human being, and that it did not aid the Jewish people in their battle, as it is stated: “The stars fought from heaven; in their courses they fought against Sisera,” (Judges 5:20). This star, which did not help the Jewish people, was cursed.

ומנלן דמפקרינן נכסיה דכתיב וכל אשר לא יבא לשלשת הימים בעצת השרים והזקנים יחרם כל רכושו והוא יבדל מקהל הגולה

And from where do we derive that the court may declare the property of one who does not obey its orders as ownerless? As it is written: “And that whoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the Elders, all his substance shall be forfeited [yaḥoram] and himself separated from the congregation of the exiles” (Ezra 10:8). “Shall be forfeited” is referring to excommunication.

ומנלן דנצינן ולייטינן ומחינן ותלשינן שיער ומשבעינן דכתיב ואריב עמם ואקללם ואכה מהם אנשים ואמרטם ואשביעם

And from where do we derive that we may contend with such a person, and curse him, and beat him, and pull out his hair, and make him take an oath in order to prevent him from sinning? As it is written: “And I contended with them, and cursed them, and beat some of them, and pulled out their hair, and made them take oath by God” (Nehemiah 13:25).

ומנלן דכפתינן ואסרינן ועבדינן הרדפה דכתיב הן למות הן לשרושי הן לענש נכסין ולאסורין מאי לשרושי אמר אדא מרי אמר נחמיה בר ברוך אמר רב חייא בר אבין אמר רב יהודה הרדפה מאי הרדפה אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב מנדין לאלתר ושונין לאחר שלשים ומחרימין לאחר ששים

And from where do we derive that we may shackle his hands and feet, chain him, and apply pressure? As it is written: “Whether it be for death, or for banishment [lishroshi], or for confiscation of goods, or for imprisonment” (Ezra 7:26). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the word “lishroshi,” translated here as banishment? Adda Mari said that Neḥemya bar Baruch said that Rav Ḥiyya bar Avin said that Rav Yehuda said: This is pressure. Since this expression is also unclear, the Gemara asks: What is pressure? Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilat, said in the name of Rav that this term refers to the following series of actions: They ostracize him immediately, and then once again after thirty days, and if he still does not repent, they excommunicate him after sixty days.

אמר ליה רב הונא בר חיננא הכי אמר רב חסדא מתרין ביה שני וחמישי ושני הני מילי לממונא אבל לאפקירותא לאלתר

Rav Huna bar Ḥinnana said to him: Rav Ḥisda said as follows: Before excommunicating a person, the court warns him three times, on Monday, Thursday, and the following Monday. The Gemara notes: This applies in a case where one ignores a monetary judgment that was issued against him. He is warned three times that he must repay his debt. But in a case where one behaves disrespectfully toward a Torah scholar, he is immediately ostracized.

ההוא טבחא דאיתפקר ברב טובי בר מתנה אימנו עליה אביי ורבא ושמתוהו לסוף אזל פייסיה לבעל דיניה אמר אביי היכי ליעביד לישרי ליה לא חל שמתא עליה תלתין יומין לא לישרי ליה קא בעו רבנן למיעל

§ The Gemara relates that a certain butcher behaved disrespectfully toward Rav Tuvi bar Mattana. Abaye and Rava were appointed to the case and ostracized him. In the end the butcher went and appeased his disputant, Rav Tuvi. Abaye said: What should we do in this case? Shall he be released from his decree of ostracism? His decree of ostracism has not yet been in effect for the usual thirty days. On the other hand, shall he not be released from ostracism? But the Sages wish to enter his shop and purchase meat, and they are presently unable to do so. What, then, is the most appropriate course of action?

אמר ליה לרב אידי בר אבין מידי שמיע לך בהא אמר ליה הכי אמר רב תחליפא בר אבימי אמר שמואל טוט אסר וטוט שרי אמר ליה הני מילי לממונא אבל לאפקירותא עד דחיילא שמתא עליה תלתין יומין

He said to Rav Idi bar Avin: Have you heard anything with regard to such a case? Rav Idi bar Avin said to Abaye: Rav Taḥlifa bar Avimi said that Shmuel said as follows: A shofar blast at the time of the ostracism makes it binding, and a shofar blast releases it. In other words, the shofar should be sounded now, as it had been sounded when the decree of ostracism was pronounced, and it should be canceled, although thirty days have not passed. Abaye said to him: This applies in a case where one ignores a monetary judgment that was issued against him; but in a case where one behaves disrespectfully, there must be no release until the decree of ostracism has been in effect for thirty days.

אלמא קסבר אביי הני בי תלתא דשמיתו לא אתו תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

The Gemara comments: Apparently, Abaye maintains that if three people ostracized one, three others may not come and release him. This is derived from the fact that Abaye was concerned about releasing the butcher from ostracism and did not delegate the task to someone else.

דאיבעיא להו הני בי תלתא דשמיתו מהו למיתי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה תא שמע מנודה לרב מנודה לתלמיד מנודה לתלמיד אינו מנודה לרב

As a dilemma was raised before the Sages: If three people ostracized someone, what is the halakha with regard to three others coming and releasing him from his decree of ostracism? The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from that which is taught in a baraita: One who was ostracized by the teacher of Torah for having acted disrespectfully toward him is considered ostracized with regard to the student, and the latter must keep his distance from him. However, one who was ostracized by the student is not considered ostracized with regard to the teacher.

מנודה לעירו מנודה לעיר אחרת מנודה לעיר אחרת אינו מנודה לעירו מנודה לנשיא מנודה לכל ישראל מנודה לכל ישראל אינו מנודה לנשיא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אחד מן התלמידים שנידה ומת חלקו אינו מופר

One who was ostracized by his own city is considered ostracized with regard to another city. However, one who was ostracized by another city is not considered ostracized with regard to his own city. One who was ostracized by the Nasi of the Sanhedrin is considered ostracized with regard to all the Jewish people; but one who was ostracized by all the Jewish people is not considered ostracized with regard to the Nasi of the Sanhedrin. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: If one of the students sitting as a judge on the court had ostracized someone, and he died before releasing him from the decree of ostracism, his portion of the decree of ostracism is not nullified.

שמע מינה תלת שמע מינה תלמיד שנידה לכבודו נידויו נידוי ושמע מינה כל אחד ואחד מיפר חלקו ושמע מינה הני בי תלתא דשמיתו לא אתו תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

The Gemara says: Learn three halakhot from this baraita. Learn from this that in the case of a student who ostracizes someone due to an insult to his dignity and not because the ostracized person was guilty of some transgression, his decree of ostracism is valid. Were the case one where one was ostracized due to sin, everyone is required to respect the decree of ostracism, even the student’s teacher. And learn from this that each and every one who participated in the decree of ostracism nullifies his own portion of the decree of ostracism, as the baraita speaks of: His portion. And learn from this that if three people ostracized another person, three other people may not come and nullify the decree of ostracism. Were this not the case, it wouldn’t matter if a certain person’s portion was not nullified. His portion could be nullified by someone else.

אמר אמימר הלכתא הני בי תלתא דשמיתו אתו בי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה אמר ליה רב אשי לאמימר והא תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אחד מן התלמידים שנידה ומת חלקו אינו מופר מאי לאו אינו מופר כלל לא עד דאתו בי תלתא אחריני ושרו ליה

Ameimar said: The halakha is that if three people ostracize another person, three others may come and nullify the decree of ostracism. Rav Ashi said to Ameimar: But isn’t it taught in a baraita: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: If one of the students had ostracized another person, and he died before releasing him from the decree of ostracism, his portion is not nullified? What, is it not that it is not nullified at all, i.e., it cannot be nullified by another person? The Gemara rejects this argument: No, this means that the decree of ostracism remains in force until three other people come and nullify it.

תנו רבנן אין נידוי פחות משלשים יום ואין נזיפה פחות משבעה ימים ואף על פי שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר שנאמר ואביה ירק ירק בפניה הלא תכלם שבעת ימים

§ The Sages taught the following baraita: Ostracism does not apply for less than a period of thirty days, and admonition, which is less severe than ostracism, does not apply for less than a period of seven days. And although there is no proof with regard to the matter, i.e., the standard duration of admonition, there is an allusion to the matter, as it is stated: “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed for seven days?” (Numbers 12:14). This implies that admonition lasts for seven days.

אמר רב חסדא נידוי שלנו כנזיפה שלהן ונזיפה דידהו שבעה ותו לא והא רבי שמעון בר רבי ובר קפרא הוו יתבי וקא גרסי קשיא להו שמעתא אמר ליה רבי שמעון לבר קפרא דבר זה צריך רבי אמר ליה בר קפרא לרבי שמעון ומה רבי אומר בדבר זה

Rav Ḥisda said: Our decree of ostracism in Babylonia has the power of their admonition in Eretz Yisrael. Since the authorities in Eretz Yisrael are ordained with the title Rabbi, their admonition carries more weight than a decree of ostracism issued in Babylonia. The Gemara asks: Is their admonition in Eretz Yisrael only seven days and no more? But isn’t it related that Rabbi Shimon, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, and bar Kappara were sitting and studying, and they posed a difficulty with a certain halakha. Rabbi Shimon said to bar Kappara: This issue requires my father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, to explain it. Bar Kappara said to Rabbi Shimon, somewhat mockingly: And what can your father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, say about this issue? What can he add and teach us about it?

אזל אמר ליה לאבוה איקפד אתא בר קפרא לאיתחזויי ליה אמר ליה בר קפרא איני מכירך מעולם ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה תלתין יומין

Rabbi Shimon went and told his father, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, what bar Kappara had said, and Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi became angry with him. When bar Kappara came at some later point to visit, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: Bar Kappara, I do not know you at all. Bar Kappara understood that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had taken his statement to heart, i.e., was insulted. He subsequently behaved as if he had been admonished, as a self-imposed punishment, for thirty days.

שובפעם אחד גזר רבי שלא ישנו לתלמידים בשוק מאי דרש חמוקי ירכיך כמו חלאים מה ירך בסתר

Once again, on another occasion, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi decreed that students not be taught in the marketplace but only in a study hall. What verse did he expound to serve as the basis for this decree? The verse states: “Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist” (Song of Songs 7:2). Just as a thigh is ordinarily hidden and kept covered with clothes,

אף דברי תורה בסתר

so too, the words of Torah, which are “the work of the hands of an artist,” i.e., God, must remain hidden in the study hall.

יצא רבי חייא ושנה לשני בני אחיו בשוק לרב ולרבה בר בר חנה שמע רבי איקפד אתא רבי חייא לאיתחזויי ליה אמר ליה עייא מי קורא לך בחוץ ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה תלתין יומין

Despite Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi’s decree, Rabbi Ḥiyya went out and taught his two nephews, Rav and Rabba bar bar Ḥana, in the marketplace. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi heard what he had done and became angry with him. When Rabbi Ḥiyya came at some later date to visit him, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi mockingly said to him: Iyya, who is calling you outside? By asking this question Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was intimating that Rabbi Ḥiyya should leave his house. Rabbi Ḥiyya understood that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi had taken the matter to heart and was insulted, and so he conducted himself as if he had been admonished, as a self-imposed punishment, for thirty days.

ביום תלתין שלח ליה תא הדר שלח ליה דלא ליתי

On the thirtieth day, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi sent him a message, saying: Come and visit me. However, he later reversed his opinion and sent him another message, telling him not to come.

מעיקרא מאי סבר ולבסוף מאי סבר מעיקרא סבר מקצת היום ככולו ולבסוף סבר לא אמרינן מקצת היום ככולו

The Gemara asks: At the outset what did he hold, and ultimately what did he hold? Initially, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi held that the legal status of part of the day is like that of an entire day, and since the thirtieth day already begun, Rabbi Ḥiyya’s time of admonition had ended. But ultimately he held that with regard to this issue we do not say that the legal status of part of the day is like that of an entire day.

לסוף אתא אמר ליה אמאי אתית אמר ליה דשלח לי מר דליתי והא שלחי לך דלא תיתי אמר ליה זה ראיתי וזה לא ראיתי קרי עליה ברצות ה׳ דרכי איש גם אויביו ישלים אתו

In the end Rabbi Ḥiyya came on that same day. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi asked him: Why have you come? Rabbi Ḥiyya responded: Because you, Master, sent me a message that I should come. He said to him: But I sent you a second message that you should not come. He responded: This messenger that you sent, i.e., the first one, I saw him and I did as he said, but that messenger, i.e., the second one, I did not see. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi read the verse about Rabbi Ḥiyya: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7), as it was clear to him that Rabbi Ḥiyya had merited divine assistance.

מאי טעמא עבד מר הכי אמר ליה דכתיב חכמות בחוץ תרונה אמר ליה אם קרית לא שנית ואם שנית לא שילשת ואם שילשת לא פירשו לך

§ Concerning the issue with which the entire incident had begun, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi asked Rabbi Ḥiyya: What is the reason that you, the Master, acted as you did, ignoring my instructions not to teach Torah in the marketplace? Rabbi Ḥiyya said to him: As it is written: “Wisdom cries aloud in the streets” (Proverbs 1:20), which implies that Torah should be publicized in the streets. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to him: If you read this verse once, you certainly did not read it a second time in greater depth; and if you read it a second time, you certainly did not read it a third time; and if you read it a third time, then it was not adequately explained to you, as it is clear that you do not understand it properly.

חכמות בחוץ תרונה כדרבא דאמר רבא כל העוסק בתורה מבפנים תורתו מכרזת עליו מבחוץ

The words: “Wisdom cries aloud in the streets,” should be understood in accordance with the opinion of Rava. As Rava said: With regard to everyone who occupies himself with Torah study inside the privacy of his home, his Torah knowledge will proclaim his greatness outside, as it will be revealed to the masses and they will see his greatness.

והא כתיב לא מראש בסתר דברתי ההוא ביומי דכלה

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written: “From the beginning I have not spoken in secret” (Isaiah 48:16), implying that the Torah should be taught and proclaimed in public? The Gemara answers: That verse is referring to the days of the kalla, the gathering for Torah study held during Elul and Adar, when many people come to listen to Torah discourses. During this time, it is not only permitted but even recommended to teach Torah to the masses. In this way, the verse can be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi.

ורבי חייא האי חמוקי ירכיך מאי עביד לה מוקי לה בצדקה ובגמילות חסדים

The Gemara asks: And what did Rabbi Ḥiyya do with this verse: “Your rounded thighs are like jewels”? How did he understand it? This verse implies that the Torah must be kept hidden in the study hall and not publicized in the marketplace. The Gemara explains: He interprets it not as a reference to Torah, but as referring to acts of charity and loving-kindness, which should certainly be performed in private.

אלמא נזיפה דידהו תלתין יומין נזיפת נשיא שאני

This incident demonstrates that, apparently, admonition of those who live in Eretz Yisrael lasts for thirty days and not for seven days. The Gemara answers that this is not a conclusive proof, since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was the Nasi. The admonition of the Nasi of the Sanhedrin is different i.e., more severe, than the admonition of anyone else.

ונזיפה דידן כמה הוי חד יומא כי הא דשמואל ומר עוקבא כי הוו יתבי גרסי שמעתא הוה יתיב מר עוקבא קמיה דשמואל ברחוק ארבע אמות וכי הוו יתבי בדינא הוה יתיב שמואל קמיה דמר עוקבא ברחוק ארבע אמות והוו חייקי ליה דוכתא למר עוקבא בציפתא ויתיב עילויה כי היכי דלישתמען מיליה

The Gemara asks: And how long is our admonition in Babylonia? The Gemara answers: It is only one day, as in the case involving Shmuel and the Exilarch Mar Ukva. When they would sit and study halakha, Mar Ukva would sit before Shmuel at a distance of four cubits as a sign of respect. Mar Ukva would conduct himself as though Shmuel were his teacher because Shmuel was much greater than him in Torah matters. And when they would sit together in judgment, Shmuel would sit before Mar Ukva at a distance of four cubits because Mar Ukva was the Exilarch and the chief judge. But they would lower a place for Mar Ukva in the matting upon which he sat, and he would sit on it so that he could hear Shmuel’s words of Torah even when they were engaged in judgment.

כל יומא הוה מלוי ליה מר עוקבא לשמואל עד אושפיזיה יומא חד איטריד בדיניה הוה אזיל שמואל בתריה כי מטא לביתיה אמר ליה לא נגה לך לישרי לי מר בתיגריה ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה חד יומא

Every day, Mar Ukva would accompany Shmuel to his lodgings, in the manner that a student would show honor toward his teacher. One day, Mar Ukva was so heavily preoccupied with a case that had been brought before him for judgment that he did not realize that Shmuel was walking behind him to show him respect due to his position as the Exilarch. When Mar Ukva reached his home, Shmuel said to him: Is it not enough for you that I accompanied you until here? Release me, Master, from my obligation, so that I may return home. Mar Ukva understood that Shmuel had taken the matter to heart and was insulted. Therefore, he conducted himself as if he had been admonished, for one day as a self-imposed punishment.

ההיא איתתא דהוות יתבה בשבילא הוות פשטה כרעה וקא מניפה חושלאי והוה חליף ואזיל צורבא מרבנן ולא איכנעה מקמיה אמר כמה חציפא ההיא איתתא אתאי לקמיה דרב נחמן אמר לה מי שמעת שמתא מפומיה אמרה ליה לא אמר לה זילי נהוגי נזיפותא חד יומא בנפשיך

It was related that a certain woman was sitting alongside a path with her leg extended while she was sifting barley. A Torah scholar passed by her on this path, but she did not yield to him and move her leg to make room for him. He said: How rude is that woman! The woman came before Rav Naḥman to ask if this statement should be deemed as excommunication. He said to her: Did you hear the word excommunication explicitly issue from his mouth? She said to him: No. He said to her: If this is the case, then go and observe an admonition for one day, as it appears that the Torah scholar sought only to admonish you.

זוטרא בר טוביה הוה קפסיק סידרא קמיה דרב יהודה כי מטא להאי פסוקא ואלה דברי דוד האחרונים אמר ליה אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי נינהו

§ Zutra bar Toviyya was once reading the portion of the Bible before Rav Yehuda. When he reached the verse: “Now these are the last words of David” (II Samuel 23:1), Zutra bar Toviyya said to Rav Yehuda: If it is written that these are the last of David’s words, by inference there are first words as well. If this is the case, what are these first words of David? Prior to this, it mentions only David’s song, but not his words.

שתיק ולא אמר ליה ולא מידי הדר אמר ליה אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי היא אמר ליה מאי דעתך דלא ידע פירושא דהאי קרא לאו גברא רבה הוא ידע דנקט מילתא בדעתיה נהג נזיפותא בנפשיה חד יומא

Rav Yehuda remained silent and said nothing to him. Zutra bar Toviyya thought that Rav Yehuda did not hear what he had said, so he then said to him a second time: If it is written that these are the last of David’s words, by inference there are first words as well. If this is the case, what are these first words of David? He said to him: What do you think? Do you think that anyone who does not know the meaning of this verse is not a great man? Why are you stressing the fact that I do not know the answer to your question? Zutra bar Toviyya understood that Rav Yehuda had taken the matter to heart and was insulted. Therefore, he conducted himself as if had been admonished for one day as a self-imposed punishment.

ודאתן עלה מיהא אחרונים מכלל דאיכא ראשונים ראשונים מאי היא וידבר דוד לה׳ את דברי השירה הזאת ביום הציל ה׳ אותו מכף כל אויביו ומכף שאול

The Gemara asks: But now that we have come to discuss this issue, since the verse mentions David’s last words, by inference there are also first words. What then are these first words of David? The Gemara answers: The first words are: “And David spoke to the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul” (II Samuel 22:1), as that song is also referred to as words.

אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא לדוד דוד שירה אתה אומר על מפלתו של שאול אלמלי אתה שאול והוא דוד איבדתי כמה דוד מפניו

The Gemara elaborates: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to David: David, do you recite a song over the fall of Saul? Had you been Saul and he were David, then I would have destroyed many Davids before him. Although I decreed that Saul’s kingdom would not continue, as an individual he was far greater and more important than you.

היינו דכתיב שגיון לדוד אשר שר לה׳ על דברי כוש בן ימיני וכי כוש שמו והלא שאול שמו אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף שאול משונה במעשיו

The response to this admonishment is found in the verse, as it is written: “Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjaminite” (Psalms 7:1). Is Cush his name? Saul is his name. Rather, this is a designation that indicates: Just as a Cushite, a native of the ancient kingdom of Cush in eastern Africa, is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Saul was distinguished by his actions, as he was absolutely righteous and performed many good deeds. Therefore, David uses the word shiggaion as an allusion to the error [shegia] that he had made when he sang a song of praise over Saul’s downfall.

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר על אודות האשה הכושית אשר לקח וכי כושית שמה והלא ציפורה שמה אלא מה כושית משונה בעורה אף ציפורה משונה במעשיה כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר וישמע עבד מלך הכושי וכי כושי שמו והלא צדקיה שמו אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף צדקיה משונה במעשיו

The Gemara notes: Similarly, you can explain the verse: “And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses due to the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had taken a Cushite woman” (Numbers 12:1). But is her name Cushite? Zipporah is her name. Rather, just as a Cushite is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Zipporah was distinguished by her actions. The Gemara continues: Similarly, you can explain the verse: “Now when Ebed-Melech the Cushite heard” (Jeremiah 38:7). Is his name Cushite? Zedekiah is his name. Rather, just as a Cushite is distinguished by his dark skin, so too, Zedekiah was distinguished by his righteous actions.

כיוצא בדבר אתה אומר הלא כבני כושיים אתם לי בית ישראל וכי כושיים שמן והלא ישראל שמן אלא מה כושי משונה בעורו אף ישראל משונין במעשיהן מכל האומות

Similarly, you can explain the verse: “Are you not as much Mine as the children of the Cushites, O children of Israel?” (Amos 9:7). Is their name Cushite? Israel is their name. Rather, just as a Cushite stands out because of his dark skin, so too, the Jewish people are distinguished by their actions, and they are different from all the other nations.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן מאי דכתיב נאם דוד בן ישי ונאם הגבר הוקם על נאם דוד בן ישי שהקים עולה של תשובה

§ Having mentioned the last words of David, the Gemara continues to explain other expressions in that passage. Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said in the name of Rabbi Yonatan: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The saying of David, son of Yishai, and the saying of the man who was raised up on high [al ]” (II Samuel 23:1)? It means as follows: The saying of David, son of Yishai, who raised the yoke of [ulla] repentance, as through his actions he taught the power of repentance. The word al, on high, and the word ulla are comprised of the same consonants in Hebrew.

אמר אלהי ישראל לי דבר צור ישראל מושל באדם צדיק מושל יראת אלהים מאי קאמר אמר רבי אבהו הכי קאמר אמר אלהי ישראל לי דבר צור ישראל אני מושל באדם מי מושל בי צדיק שאני גוזר גזרה ומבטלה

The passage continues: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be righteous, ruling in the fear of God” (II Samuel 23:3). The Gemara asks: What is this verse saying? What does it mean? Rabbi Abbahu said: This is what the verse is saying: The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: Although I rule over man, who rules over Me? It is a righteous person. How is it possible to say that a righteous person rules over God, as it were? As I, God, issue a decree and the righteous person nullifies it.

אלה שמות הגבורים אשר לדוד יושב בשבת וגו׳ מאי קאמר אמר רבי אבהו הכי קאמר ואלה שמות גבורותיו של דוד

Similarly, the verse states there: “These are the names of David’s warriors; Josheb-Basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite; he raised his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time” (II Samuel 23:8). The Gemara asks: What is this verse saying? Rabbi Abbahu said: This is what the verse is saying: These are the names of the mighty actions of David. These expressions should not be read as names of people but instead as descriptions of David’s good deeds.

יושב בשבת בשעה שהיה יושב בישיבה לא היה יושב על גבי כרים וכסתות אלא על גבי קרקע דכל כמה דהוה רביה עירא היאירי קיים הוה מתני להו לרבנן על גבי כרים וכסתות כי נח נפשיה הוה מתני דוד לרבנן והוה יתיב על גבי קרקע אמרו ליה ליתיב מר אכרים וכסתות לא קביל עליה

Josheb-Basshebeth [yoshev bashevet] indicates that when David would sit [yoshev] in the study hall, he would not sit upon pillows and cushions, as an important person ordinarily would. Rather, he would sit on the ground like one of the students. For as long as David’s teacher, Ira the Jairite, was alive, Ira would teach the Sages while sitting on pillows and cushions. When Ira passed away, David would teach the Sages, and he did this while sitting on the ground. They said to him: Master, you should sit upon pillows and blankets. He did not accept their suggestions, since in his humility he did not wish to appear as the teacher of the Jewish people.

תחכמוני אמר רב אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא הואיל והשפלת עצמך תהא כמוני שאני גוזר גזרה ואתה מבטלה

In this verse, David is described as “a Tahchemonite [taḥkemoni].” Rav said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Since you have humbled yourself, be you now like Me [tehe kamoni]. How so? As I issue a decree, and you, owing to your righteousness, may nullify it.

ראש השלישים תהא ראש לשלשת אבות הוא עדינו העצני כשהיה יושב ועוסק בתורה היה מעדן עצמו כתולעת ובשעה שיוצא למלחמה היה מקשה עצמו כעץ

David is also described here as “chief of the captains [rosh hashalishim]” because God said to him: You will be the head [rosh] of the three [sheloshet] Patriarchs. “The same was Adino the Eznite”; this alludes to the fact that when David would sit and occupy himself with Torah, he would make himself soft [me’aden] as a worm, and when he would go out to war, he would make himself hard and strong as a tree [etz].

על שמונה מאות חלל בפעם אחת שהיה זורק חץ ומפיל שמונה מאות חלל בפעם אחת והיה מתאנח על מאתים דכתיב איכה ירדף אחד אלף

The expression: “Against eight hundred people, which he slew at one time,” means that he would throw an arrow in the air and with it kill eight hundred people at one time. And David would sigh over the two hundred who were missing from fulfillment of the Torah’s promise, as it is written: “How should one man chase a thousand” (Deuteronomy 32:30).

יצתה בת קול ואמרה רק בדבר אוריה החתי

A Divine Voice issued forth and said by way of explanation as to why the promise was not entirely fulfilled: “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, save only the matter of Uriah the Hittite” (I Kings 15:5). Had David not committed this sin, then all of the promises mentioned in the Torah would have been fulfilled in their entirety through him.

אמר רבי תנחום בריה דרבי חייא איש כפר עכו אמר רבי יעקב בר אחא אמר רבי שמלאי ואמרי לה אמר רבי תנחום אמר רב הונא ואמרי לה אמר רב הונא לחודיה

The Gemara returns to the halakhot of ostracism and mentions that Rabbi Tanḥum, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, of the village of Akko, said that Rabbi Ya’akov bar Aḥa said that Rabbi Simlai said, and some say that this tradition was transmitted in the following manner: Rabbi Tanḥum said that Rav Huna said, and others say that Rav Huna himself made this statement without the chain of transmission:

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