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Today's Daf Yomi

August 6, 2017 | י״ד באב תשע״ז

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the Refuah Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sanhedrin 21

The king can’t have lots of horses or gold and silver but he can have them for his needs as king, particularly as head of the army.  There is a debate regarding how many Torahs a king needs to have written for him and for what purpose?   One who holds two learns is from “mishne torah” – other learn that “mishne” means that will be changed and refers to the fact that the Torah was orignally written in ktav ivri and later in ashurit.  A debate regarding details of that is brought.  There are certain things one cannot do out of respect for the king – so that one will remain in awe of the king always.  These details are discussed.  From here the gemara discusses Avishag Hashunamit and digresses to discuss divorce, first wives, how hard it is to lose a spouse, etc.


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וימשחו לה׳ לנגיד ולצדוק מקיש נגיד לצדוק מה צדוק מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו אף נגיד מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו

“And they made Solomon, son of David, king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be leader, and Tzadok to be priest” (I Chronicles 29:22). This verse compares a leader, referring to King Solomon, to Tzadok, the High Priest: Just as for Tzadok, half of the shewbread given to the priests is for him, the High Priest, and half is for all his brothers, the other priests, so too for the leader, half is for him and half is for his brothers, the rest of the army.

וצדוק גופיה מנלן דתניא רבי אומר ׳והיתה לאהרן ולבניו׳ מחצה לאהרן ומחצה לבניו

The Gemara asks: And with regard to Tzadok himself, from where do we derive that the High Priest takes half? The Gemara responds: As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The Torah states with regard to the apportionment of the shewbread: “And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place” (Leviticus 24:9), from which it is inferred: Half for Aaron and half for his sons.

מתני׳ לא ירבה לו נשים אלא שמנה עשרה רבי יהודה אומר מרבה הוא לו ובלבד שלא יהו מסירות את לבו רבי שמעון אומר אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זה לא ישאנה אם כן למה נאמר לא ירבה לו נשים דאפילו כאביגיל

mishna The king “shall not add many wives for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only eighteen. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may add many wives for himself, provided that they are not like those who turn his heart away from reverence for God. Rabbi Shimon says: Even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. If so, why is it stated: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? This teaches that even if his wives are like Abigail, who was righteous and prevented David from sin (see I Samuel, chapter 25), it is prohibited for him to have many wives.

גמ׳ למימרא דרבי יהודה דריש טעמא דקרא ורבי שמעון לא דריש טעמא דקרא והא איפכא שמעינן להו

gemara The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Rabbi Yehuda interprets the rationale behind the mitzva in the verse and draws halakhic conclusions based on that interpretation, and Rabbi Shimon does not interpret the rationale in the verse? But didn’t we hear them hold the opposite opinions with regard to interpreting the rationale behind a mitzva in a verse?

דתניא אלמנה בין שהיא עניה בין שהיא עשירה אין ממשכנין אותה שנאמר ׳לא תחבל בגד אלמנה׳ דברי רבי יהודה רבי שמעון אומר עשירה ממשכנין אותה ענייה אין ממשכנין אותה ואתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה

As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Bava Metzia 10:3): In the case of a widow, whether she is poor or whether she is wealthy, one may not take collateral from her for a loan, as it is stated: “You may not take the garment of a widow for a pledge” (Deuteronomy 24:17); this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: In the case of a wealthy widow, one may take collateral from her. But in the case of a poor widow, one may not take collateral from her, because you are obligated to return it to her, and you will give her a bad name among her neighbors.

ואמרינן מאי קאמר הכי קאמר מתוך שאתה ממשכנה אתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה אלמא רבי יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ורבי שמעון דריש טעמא דקרא

And we say about this dispute: What is Rabbi Shimon saying? This is what he is saying: Because you take collateral from her, you are required to return it to her, as the verse states: “And if he is a poor person, you shall not sleep with his pledge; you shall restore the pledge to him when the sun goes down” (Deuteronomy 24:12–13), and you thereby give her a bad name among her neighbors, who will suspect licentious behavior when they see a man come to her house every morning and evening. Evidently, according to this dispute Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse and Rabbi Shimon does interpret the rationale in the verse.

בעלמא רבי יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ושאני הכא דמפרש טעמא דקרא מה טעם לא ירבה לו נשים משום דלא יסור לבבו

The Gemara explains: Generally, Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse, but it is different here, as the verse itself explains the rationale in the verse: What is the reason that “he shall not add many wives for himself”? He should not add many wives because of what is articulated in the continuation of the verse: “His heart should not turn.”

ורבי שמעון אמר לך מכדי בעלמא דרשינן טעמא דקרא אם כן לכתוב קרא לא ירבה לו נשים ולישתוק ואנא אמינא מה טעם לא ירבה משום דלא יסור לא יסור למה לי אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זו לא ישאנה אלא מה אני מקיים לא ירבה דאפילו כאביגיל

And Rabbi Shimon could have said to you: Since generally we interpret the rationale in the verse, then if it is so that the prohibition against marrying many wives applies only to wives that are likely to lead his heart astray, the verse should write only: “He shall not add many wives for himself” and then be silent. In that case, I would say, on my own, what is the reason that he shall not add many wives? It is so that his heart should not turn away. Accordingly, why do I need the additional phrase “his heart should not turn away”? It serves to teach another halakha, that even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. But then how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? It means that he should not have many wives even if they are like Abigail.

הני שמונה עשרה מנלן דכתיב ויולדו לדוד בנים בחברון ויהי בכורו אמנון לאחינעם היזרעאלית ומשנהו כלאב לאביגיל אשת נבל הכרמלי והשלישי אבשלום בן מעכה והרביעי אדניה בן חגית והחמישי שפטיה בן אביטל והששי יתרעם לעגלה אשת דוד אלה ילדו לדוד בחברון

§ As for those eighteen women that the king may marry, from where do we derive that number? The Gemara responds: As it is written: “And to David sons were born in Hebron; and his firstborn was Amnon, from Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; and his second, Chileab, from Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom, son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah, son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah, son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron” (II Samuel 3:2–5). In these verses, a total of six wives are mentioned.

וקאמר ליה נביא אם מעט ואסיפה לך כהנה וכהנה כהנה שית וכהנה שית דהוו להו תמני סרי

And the prophet Nathan said to King David in his rebuke: “And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that were too little, then I would add to you like these and like those” (II Samuel 12:8). “Like these”; this is referring to the wives enumerated above, meaning another six. “And like those”; this is referring to another six, so that all together there are eighteen he would be permitted to marry.

מתקיף לה רבינא אימר כהנה תרתי סרי וכהנה עשרין וארבע

Ravina objects to this explanation: Say instead: “Like these”; this is referring to an additional six, like the wives enumerated above, totaling twelve. “And like those”; this is referring to all of those enumerated previously, totaling twenty-four.

תניא נמי הכי ׳לא ירבה לו נשים׳ יותר מעשרים וארבע למאן דדריש ויו ארבעים ושמנה הוו תניא נמי הכי ׳לא ירבה לו נשים׳ יותר מארבעים ושמנה

The Gemara adds: Support for Ravina’s interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than twenty-four women. The Gemara comments: According to the one who interprets the letter vav, translated as the conjunction “and” in the term “and like those,” to add and expand upon what came before, the vav is written in order to add more, and therefore, there are forty-eight women. The Gemara comments: Support for this interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than forty-eight women.

ותנא דידן מאי טעמיה אמר רב כהנא מקיש כהנה בתרא לכהנה קמא מה כהנה קמא שית אף כהנה בתרא שית

The Gemara asks: And as for the tanna of our mishna, what is his reason for limiting the number to eighteen? Rav Kahana says: The verse compares the latter term: “Like those [kahenna],” to the former term: “Like these [kahenna],” teaching that just as the former term: “Like these,” means six, so too, the latter term: “Like those,” means six and no more.

והא הואי מיכל אמר רב עגלה זו מיכל ולמה נקרא שמה עגלה שחביבה עליו כעגלה וכן הוא אומר לולי חרשתם בעגלתי וגו׳

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only six wives. But there was also Michal, and so he had at least seven wives. Rav said: One of those six wives, Eglah, is Michal, and why was she called Eglah in the verse? It was because she was dear to him like a calf [egla], and so the verse states that Samson referred to his wife with the same term: “If you had not plowed with my calf you would not have found my secret” (Judges 14:18).

ומי הוו למיכל בני והכתיב ולמיכל בת שאול לא היה לה ולד עד יום מותה אמר רב חסדא עד יום מותה לא היה לה ביום מותה היה לה

The Gemara challenges the identification of Eglah with Michal: And did Michal have children? But isn’t it written: “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death” (II Samuel 6:23)? Rav Ḥisda said: Until the day of her death she had no child, but on the day of her death she had a child.

מכדי בנים היכא קא חשיב להו בחברון ואילו מעשה דמיכל בירושלים הוה דכתיב ומיכל בת שאול נשקפה בעד החלון ותרא את המלך דוד מפזז ומכרכר לפני ה׳ ותבז ואמר רב יהודה ואיתימא רב יוסף שקלתה מיכל למיטרפסה אלא אימא עד אותו מעשה היה לה מכאן ואילך לא היה לה

The Gemara challenges this: Now, these children of David’s, where does it count them? In Hebron, as Eglon was listed above with David’s wives in Hebron. But the incident with Michal, in the context of which the verse says she had no children, was in Jerusalem, as it is written: “And it was so, as the Ark of the Lord came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart” (II Samuel 6:16). And Rav Yehuda says, and some say it is Rav Yosef who says: Michal received her punishment [lemitarpesah] immediately, and therefore could not have had children afterward. Rather, say a different explanation: Until that incident, she had a child; from that point forward, she did not have a child.

והכתיב ויקח דוד עוד פלגשים ונשים בירושלים למלויי שמונה עשר מאי נשים ומאי פלגשים אמר רב יהודה אמר רב נשים בכתובה ובקידושין פלגשים בלא כתובה ובלא קידושין

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only this limited number of wives. But isn’t it written: “And David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem after he came from Hebron” (II Samuel 5:13). The Gemara responds: All of these were to complete the tally of eighteen and no more. The Gemara asks about this verse: What is the meaning of “wives” and what is the meaning of “concubines” in that verse? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Wives receive a marriage contract and betrothal; concubines are taken without a marriage contract and without betrothal.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ארבע מאות ילדים היו לו לדוד וכולן בני יפת תואר היו ומגדלי בלוריות היו וכולן יושבין בקרונות של זהב ומהלכין בראשי גייסות היו והם היו בעלי אגרופין של בית דוד

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David had four hundred children in his army, and all of them were sons of beautiful women taken captive from their gentile homes during war (see Deuteronomy 21:10–14). And they grew their hair in a gentile hairstyle, and they all sat in carriages [bikronot] of gold. And they walked at the head of the troops, and they were the strong-arm enforcers of the house of David, on whose loyalty David’s monarchy relied.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב תמר בת יפת תואר היתה שנאמר ועתה דבר נא (על) [אל] המלך כי לא ימנעני ממך ואי סלקא דעתך בת נישואין הואי אחתיה מי הוה שריא ליה אלא שמע מינה בת יפת תואר היתה

And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David’s daughter Tamar was the daughter of a beautiful woman taken captive in war and was born before her mother converted. Therefore, Tamar was not considered the daughter of David according to halakha. The proof of this is in what she said to Amnon, son of David, as it is stated: “Now, therefore, speak, please, to the king, for he will not withhold me from you” (II Samuel 13:13). And if it enters your mind to say that she was the daughter of a woman David married, would David have permitted Amnon’s sister to him as a wife? Rather, learn from this verse that she was the daughter of a beautiful woman who converted after Tamar was born, so halakhically Tamar was not a daughter of David.

ולאמנון רע ושמו יונדב בן שמעה אחי דוד (והיה) איש חכם וגו׳ אמר רב יהודה אמר רב איש חכם לרשעה

The Gemara continues to interpret the story of Amnon and Tamar. The verse states: “And Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very wise man” (II Samuel 13:3). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: A wise man for wickedness.

ויאמר מדוע אתה ככה דל בן המלך ויאמר לו יונדב שכב על משכבך והתחל וגו׳ עד ועשתה לעיני את הבריה ותקח המשרת ותצק לפניו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שעשתה לו מיני טיגון

The verse recounts Jonadab’s words to Amnon: “And he said to him: Why, son of the king, are you so becoming leaner from day to day…and Jonadab said to him: Lie on your bed and feign illness, and when your father comes to see you, say to him: Let my sister Tamar come, please, and give me bread, and she should dress the food in my sight…And she took the pan and poured them out before him” (II Samuel 13:4–5, 9). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: This means that Tamar prepared various kinds of fried [tiggun] food for Amnon.

וישנאה אמנון שנאה גדולה מאד מאי טעמא אמר רבי יצחק נימא נקשרה לו ועשאתו כרות שפכה וכי נקשרה לו איהי מאי עבדה אלא אימא קשרה לו נימא ועשאתו כרות שפכה

At the end of the story, the verse states: “Then Amnon hated her with exceeding, great hatred, for greater was the hatred with which he hated her than the love with which he had loved her” (II Samuel 13:15). The Gemara asks: What is the reason for Amnon’s intense hatred? Rabbi Yitzḥak says: While he raped her, a hair [nima] of hers became tied around his penis and caused him to be one whose penis has been severed. The Gemara asks: But if the hair became tied around his penis, what did she do? Why would Amnon hold this against her? Rather, say that she intentionally tied a hair around his penis during intercourse, and she made him one whose penis has been severed in order to take revenge on him, and for this he hated her.

איני והא דרש רבא מאי דכתיב ויצא לך שם בגוים ביפיך שאין להן לבנות ישראל לא שער בית השחי ולא בית הערוה שאני תמר דבת יפת תואר הואי

The Gemara challenges this: Is that so? But didn’t Rava interpret a verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And your renown went forth among the nations about your beauty” (Ezekiel 16:14)? This teaches that Jewish women do not have armpit hair or pubic hair. Therefore, Tamar would have had no hair to injure Amnon in that way. The Gemara responds: Tamar is different, as she was the daughter of a beautiful woman, who was a gentile.

ותקח תמר אפר על ראשה ואת כתנת הפסים אשר עליה קרעה תנא משמיה דרבי יהושע בן קרחה גדר גדול גדרה תמר באותה שעה אמרו לבנות מלכים כך לבנות הדיוטות על אחת כמה וכמה אם לצנועות כך לפרוצות על אחת כמה וכמה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב באותה שעה גזרו

The verse relates that after Amnon raped her: “And Tamar put ashes on her head and rent her garment of many colors that was on her” (II Samuel 13:19). The Sages taught in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa: Tamar established a great fence at that time by way of her public outcry, as people said: If such an occurrence could happen to the daughters of kings, all the more so could it happen to the daughters of ordinary people. If such an occurrence could happen to modest women like Tamar, who resisted, all the more so could it happen to licentious women. Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: At that time they decreed

על הייחוד ועל הפנויה

about seclusion, that a man should not be secluded with women who are forbidden to him, and about a single woman.

יחוד דאורייתא הוא דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יהוצדק רמז לייחוד מן התורה מניין שנאמר כי יסיתך אחיך בן אמך וכי בן אם מסית בן אב אינו מסית אלא לומר לך בן מתייחד עם אמו ואין אחר מתייחד עם כל עריות שבתורה

The Gemara objects: Seclusion with a woman forbidden by familial ties is prohibited by Torah law, and was not a rabbinic decree issued in the time of David. As Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: From where is there an allusion to the halakha that seclusion is forbidden by Torah law? As it is stated: “If your brother, the son of your mother, entices you” (Deuteronomy 13:7). One can ask: But does the son of a mother entice, and does the son of a father not entice? Why mention only the son of a mother? Rather, this verse serves to tell you that only a son may be secluded with his mother. Sons are frequently with their mother, and two half-brothers of one mother consequently have the opportunity to grow close to one another. But another individual may not be secluded with those with whom relations are forbidden by the Torah, including a stepmother. Therefore, half-brothers of one father spend less time together.

אלא אימא גזרו על ייחוד דפנויה

Since seclusion, then, is prohibited by Torah law, how did Rav say that it was prohibited by a decree issued in King David’s time? Rather, say that they decreed against seclusion of a man with a single woman, to prevent occurrences like that of Amnon and Tamar.

ואדניה בן חגית מתנשא לאמר אני אמלך אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מלמד שביקש להולמו ולא הולמתו

Apropos Amnon, the Gemara cites traditions about another son of David: “Now Adonijah, son of Haggith, exalted himself, saying: I will be king” (I Kings 1:5). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The term “exalted himself” teaches that he sought for the monarchy to fit him, but it did not fit him.

ויעש לו רכב ופרשים וחמשים איש רצים לפניו מאי רבותא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כולן נטולי טחול וחקוקי כפות רגלים היו

The verse continues: “And he prepared for himself chariots and riders and fifty people to run before him” (I Kings 1:5). The Gemara asks: What is the novelty of these actions, since other wealthy people do the same, even if they are not the sons of kings, with designs on the throne? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: What was unique was that the runners all had their spleens removed and had the soles of their feet hollowed, removing the flesh of their feet, and these two procedures enhanced their speed.

מתני׳ לא ירבה לו סוסים אלא כדי מרכבתו וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו מאד אלא כדי ליתן אספניא וכותב לו ספר תורה לשמו יוצא למלחמה מוציאה עמה נכנס הוא מכניסה עמו יושב בדין היא עמו מיסב היא כנגדו שנאמר והיתה עמו וקרא בו כל ימי חייו

MISHNA: The king “shall not accumulate many horses for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:16), but only enough for his chariot in war and in peace. “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance [aspanya]. And the king writes himself a Torah scroll for his sake, as stipulated in Deuteronomy 17:18. When he goes out to war, he brings it out with him. When he comes in from war, he brings it in with him. When he sits in judgment, it is with him. When he reclines to eat, it is opposite him, as it is stated: “And it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:19).

גמ׳ תנו רבנן ׳לא ירבה לו סוסים׳ יכול אפילו כדי מרכבתו ופרשיו תלמוד לומר ׳לו׳ לו אינו מרבה אבל מרבה הוא כדי רכבו ופרשיו הא מה אני מקיים ׳סוסים׳ סוסים הבטלנין מניין שאפילו סוס אחד והוא בטל שהוא ב׳לא ירבה׳ תלמוד לומר ׳למען הרבות סוס׳

GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “He shall not accumulate many horses [susim] for himself nor return the people to Egypt for the sake of accumulating horses [sus]” (Deuteronomy 17:16): One might have thought that he shall not have even enough horses for his chariot and riders. Therefore, the verse states: “For himself,” teaching that only if the horses are for himself, for personal pleasure, he shall not accumulate them, but he may accumulate horses for his chariot and riders. How, then, do I realize the meaning of “horses [susim]” in the verse? It is referring to idle horses, which serve no purpose other than glorifying the king. From where is it derived that even if the king has one horse that is idle, that he transgresses “he shall not accumulate”? The verse states: “For the sake of accumulating horses [sus],” with the term for horses written in the singular.

וכי מאחר דאפילו סוס אחד והוא בטל קאי בלא ירבה סוסים למה לי לעבור בלא תעשה על כל סוס וסוס

The Gemara asks: But once the verse taught that even one horse that is idle stands to be included in the prohibition of “he shall not accumulate,” why do I need the plural form “horses” in the first clause of the verse? The Gemara responds: Its purpose is to teach that a king would transgress the prohibition an additional time for each and every idle horse.

טעמא דכתב רחמנא לו הא לאו הכי הוה אמינא אפילו כדי רכבו ופרשיו נמי לא לא צריכא לאפושי

The Gemara questions this ruling: The specific reason for limiting the prohibition to idle horses is that the Merciful One writes: “He shall not accumulate for himself,” which indicates, consequently, that if the Torah had not written this, I would say that even enough horses for his chariot and riders are not permitted; and this is unreasonable, since the king needs an army. The Gemara responds: No, the term “for himself” is necessary to teach that it is permitted for the king to add a reasonable number of horses beyond the necessary minimum, and it is only strictly personal use that is prohibited.

׳וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו׳ אלא כדי ליתן אספניא תנו רבנן ׳וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו׳ יכול אפילו כדי ליתן אספניא תלמוד לומר ׳לו׳ לו אינו מרבה אבל מרבה הוא כדי ליתן אספניא

The mishna teaches: “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance. The Sages taught in a baraita: From the command “neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself,” one might have thought that he should not have even enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance. To counter this, the verse states: “For himself,” teaching that only if the silver and gold is for himself, for personal pleasure, he shall not accumulate it, but he may accumulate enough silver and gold to provide his soldiers’ sustenance.

טעמא דכתב רחמנא לו הא לאו הכי הוה אמינא אפילו כדי ליתן אספניא נמי לא לא צריכא להרווחה

The Gemara questions this ruling: The specific reason for limiting the prohibition to personal wealth accumulation is that the Merciful One writes: “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself,” which indicates, consequently, that if the Torah had not written this, I would say that it is not permitted for the king to accumulate even enough silver and gold to provide his soldiers’ sustenance; this is unreasonable, since the king needs an army. The Gemara responds: No, the term “for himself” is necessary to teach that the king is permitted to allow for a liberal appropriation to the military budget, so that the army has a comfortable financial cushion.

השתא דאמרת לו לדרשה לא ירבה לו נשים מאי דרשת ביה למעוטי הדיוטות

The Gemara asks: Now that you have said that the term “for himself” in the verse is stated for the purpose of a derivation for practical halakha, which limits and narrows the verse’s scope, what do you derive from the next phrase in the verse: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? The Gemara answers: That usage of “for himself” serves to exclude ordinary people, to specify that only the king is restricted from having many wives, but a civilian may marry as many women as he wants, provided he can support them financially.

רב יהודה רמי כתיב ויהי לשלמה ארבעים אלף ארות סוסים למרכבתו וכתיב ויהי לשלמה ארבעת אלפים ארוות סוסים הא כיצד אם ארבעים אלף איצטבלאות היו כל אחד ואחד היו בו ארבעת אלפים ארוות סוסים ואם ארבעת אלפים איצטבלאות היו כל אחד ואחד היו בו ארבעים אלף ארוות סוסים

§ Rav Yehuda raises a contradiction: It is written in one verse: “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots” (I Kings 5:6), and it is written in another verse: “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots” (II Chronicles 9:25). How can these texts be reconciled? If there were forty thousand large stables [itztablaot], each and every one of them had in it four thousand stalls, or rows, for horses. And alternatively, if there were four thousand large stables, each and every one had in it forty thousand stalls for horses. Therefore the two verses are reconciled.

רבי יצחק רמי כתיב אין כסף נחשב בימי שלמה למאומה וכתיב ויתן שלמה את הכסף בירושלים כאבנים לא קשיא כאן קודם שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה כאן לאחר שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה

Rabbi Yitzḥak raises a contradiction: It is written in one verse: “Silver was not worth anything in the days of Solomon” (II Chronicles 9:20), and it is written in another verse: “And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones” (I Kings 10:27), i.e., gems. The Gemara responds: It is not difficult: Here, where silver was worthless, this was before Solomon sinfully married Pharaoh’s daughter. There, where the silver was valuable, this was after Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter.

אמר רבי יצחק בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה ירד גבריאל ונעץ קנה בים והעלה שירטון ועליו נבנה כרך גדול שברומי

Rabbi Yitzḥak says: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, the angel Gabriel descended from Heaven and implanted a pole in the sea. And it gradually raised up a sandbar [sirton] around it, creating new, dry land, and on it the great city of Rome was built. This shows that the beginning of the Jewish people’s downfall to Rome came with Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter.

ואמר רבי יצחק מפני מה לא נתגלו טעמי תורה שהרי שתי מקראות נתגלו טעמן נכשל בהן גדול העולם כתיב לא ירבה לו נשים אמר שלמה אני ארבה ולא אסור וכתיב ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו

And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: For what reason were the rationales of Torah commandments not revealed? It was because the rationales of two verses were revealed, and the greatest in the world, King Solomon, failed in those matters. It is written with regard to a king: “He shall not add many wives for himself, that his heart should not turn away” (Deuteronomy 17:17). Solomon said: I will add many, but I will not turn away, as he thought that it is permitted to have many wives if one is otherwise meticulous not to stray. And later, it is written: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4).

וכתיב לא ירבה לו סוסים ואמר שלמה אני ארבה ולא אשיב וכתיב ותצא מרכבה ממצרים בשש וגו׳

And it is also written: “Only he shall not accumulate many horses for himself nor return the people to Egypt for the sake of accumulating horses” (Deuteronomy 17:16), and Solomon said: I will accumulate many, but I will not return. And it is written: “And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver” (I Kings 10:29), teaching that not only did Solomon violate the Torah, but he also failed in applying the rationale given for its commandments. This demonstrates the wisdom in the Torah’s usual silence as to the rationale for its mitzvot, as individuals will not mistakenly rely on their own wisdom to reason that the mitzvot are inapplicable in some circumstances.

וכותב ספר תורה לשמו תנא ובלבד שלא יתנאה בשל אבותיו

§ The mishna teaches that the king writes a Torah scroll for his sake. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 4:4): The king fulfills the mitzva provided that he does not beautify himself with the Torah scroll of his ancestors for this purpose, i.e., he must write his own scroll.

אמר רבא אף על פי שהניחו לו אבותיו לאדם ספר תורה מצוה לכתוב משלו שנאמר ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה איתיביה אביי וכותב לו ספר תורה לשמו שלא יתנאה בשל אחרים מלך אין הדיוט לא

Rava says: With regard to the mitzva for every Jew to write himself a Torah scroll, even if a person’s ancestors left him a Torah scroll, it is a mitzva to write a scroll of one’s own, as it is stated: “Now, therefore, write for yourselves this song and teach it to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19). Abaye raised an objection to him from a baraita concerning the king’s Torah scroll: And he writes himself a Torah scroll for his sake, so that he does not beautify himself with the Torah scroll of others. Read precisely, this indicates that a king, yes, he is included in the halakha not to have a scroll inherited from his ancestors suffice, but an ordinary person is not.

לא צריכא לשתי תורות וכדתניא ׳וכתב לו את משנה׳ וגו׳ כותב לשמו שתי תורות אחת שהיא יוצאה ונכנסת עמו ואחת שמונחת לו בבית גנזיו

The Gemara dismisses Abaye’s objection: No, the ruling of that baraita is necessary to teach that the king is commanded to write two Torah scrolls; he writes one scroll as does any Jew, and he writes an additional scroll because he is king. And this is as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “That he shall write for himself a second Torah in a scroll, out of that which is before the priests the Levites” (Deuteronomy 17:18). This teaches that he writes for his sake two Torah scrolls, one that goes out and comes in with him at all times, and one that is placed in his treasury.

אותה שיוצאה ונכנסת עמו עושה אותה כמין קמיע ותולה בזרועו שנאמר ׳שויתי ה׳ לנגדי תמיד כי מימיני בל אמוט׳ אינו נכנס בה לא לבית המרחץ ולא לבית הכסא שנאמר ׳והיתה עמו וקרא בו׳ מקום הראוי לקראת בו

The baraita continues: With regard to the one that goes out and comes in with him, he makes it very small, like an amulet, and he hangs it on his arm, as it is stated: “I have set the Lord always before me; He is at my right hand, that I shall not be moved” (Psalms 16:8). This alludes to the small Torah scroll that is always on his right hand. He does not go into the bathhouse with it, nor into the bathroom, as it is stated: “And it shall be with him and he shall read from it” (Deuteronomy 17:19), meaning, it shall remain in a place that is appropriate for reading from it.

אמר מר זוטרא ואיתימא מר עוקבא בתחלה ניתנה תורה לישראל בכתב עברי ולשון הקודש חזרה וניתנה להם בימי עזרא בכתב אשורית ולשון ארמי ביררו להן לישראל כתב אשורית ולשון הקודש והניחו להדיוטות כתב עברית ולשון ארמי

§ Mar Zutra says, and some say that it is Mar Ukva who says: Initially, the Torah was given to the Jewish people in Ivrit script, the original form of the written language, and the sacred tongue, Hebrew. It was given to them again in the days of Ezra in Ashurit script and the Aramaic tongue. The Jewish people selected Ashurit script and the sacred tongue for the Torah scroll and left Ivrit script and the Aramaic tongue for the commoners.

מאן הדיוטות אמר רב חסדא כותאי מאי כתב עברית אמר רב חסדא כתב ליבונאה

The Gemara asks: Who are these commoners? Rav Ḥisda said: The Samaritans [Kutim]. The Gemara asks: What is Ivrit script? Rav Ḥisda says: Libona’a script.

תניא רבי יוסי אומר ראוי היה עזרא שתינתן תורה על ידו לישראל אילמלא לא קדמו משה במשה הוא אומר ׳ומשה עלה אל האלהים׳ בעזרא הוא אומר ׳הוא עזרא עלה מבבל׳ מה עלייה האמור כאן תורה אף עלייה האמור להלן תורה

It is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 4:5): Rabbi Yosei says: Ezra was suitable, given his greatness, for the Torah to be given by him to the Jewish people, had Moses not come first and received the Torah already. With regard to Moses the verse states: “And Moses went up to God” (Exodus 19:3), and with regard to Ezra the verse states: “This Ezra went up from Babylon and he was a ready scribe in the Torah of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given” (Ezra 7:6). Just as the going up stated here, with regard to Moses, is for the Torah, which he received from God and transmitted to the Jewish people, so too, the going up stated there, with regard to Ezra, is for the Torah, as he taught Torah to the Jewish people and was suitable to have originally merited to give it.

במשה הוא אומר ׳ואתי צוה ה׳ בעת ההיא ללמד אתכם חקים ומשפטים׳ בעזרא הוא אומר ׳כי עזרא הכין לבבו לדרש את תורת ה׳ אלהיו ולעשת וללמד בישראל חק ומשפט׳ ואף על פי שלא ניתנה תורה על ידו נשתנה על ידו הכתב שנאמר

The baraita continues: With regard to Moses the verse states: “And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances” (Deuteronomy 4:14), and with regard to Ezra the verse states: “For Ezra had set his heart to seek the Torah of the Lord his God and to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances” (Ezra 7:10). And even though the Torah was not given literally by him, the script of the Torah was changed by him, as it is stated:

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the Refuah Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

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Sanhedrin 21

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sanhedrin 21

וימשחו לה׳ לנגיד ולצדוק מקיש נגיד לצדוק מה צדוק מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו אף נגיד מחצה לו ומחצה לאחיו

“And they made Solomon, son of David, king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be leader, and Tzadok to be priest” (I Chronicles 29:22). This verse compares a leader, referring to King Solomon, to Tzadok, the High Priest: Just as for Tzadok, half of the shewbread given to the priests is for him, the High Priest, and half is for all his brothers, the other priests, so too for the leader, half is for him and half is for his brothers, the rest of the army.

וצדוק גופיה מנלן דתניא רבי אומר ׳והיתה לאהרן ולבניו׳ מחצה לאהרן ומחצה לבניו

The Gemara asks: And with regard to Tzadok himself, from where do we derive that the High Priest takes half? The Gemara responds: As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: The Torah states with regard to the apportionment of the shewbread: “And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place” (Leviticus 24:9), from which it is inferred: Half for Aaron and half for his sons.

מתני׳ לא ירבה לו נשים אלא שמנה עשרה רבי יהודה אומר מרבה הוא לו ובלבד שלא יהו מסירות את לבו רבי שמעון אומר אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זה לא ישאנה אם כן למה נאמר לא ירבה לו נשים דאפילו כאביגיל

mishna The king “shall not add many wives for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only eighteen. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may add many wives for himself, provided that they are not like those who turn his heart away from reverence for God. Rabbi Shimon says: Even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. If so, why is it stated: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? This teaches that even if his wives are like Abigail, who was righteous and prevented David from sin (see I Samuel, chapter 25), it is prohibited for him to have many wives.

גמ׳ למימרא דרבי יהודה דריש טעמא דקרא ורבי שמעון לא דריש טעמא דקרא והא איפכא שמעינן להו

gemara The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Rabbi Yehuda interprets the rationale behind the mitzva in the verse and draws halakhic conclusions based on that interpretation, and Rabbi Shimon does not interpret the rationale in the verse? But didn’t we hear them hold the opposite opinions with regard to interpreting the rationale behind a mitzva in a verse?

דתניא אלמנה בין שהיא עניה בין שהיא עשירה אין ממשכנין אותה שנאמר ׳לא תחבל בגד אלמנה׳ דברי רבי יהודה רבי שמעון אומר עשירה ממשכנין אותה ענייה אין ממשכנין אותה ואתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה

As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Bava Metzia 10:3): In the case of a widow, whether she is poor or whether she is wealthy, one may not take collateral from her for a loan, as it is stated: “You may not take the garment of a widow for a pledge” (Deuteronomy 24:17); this is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Shimon says: In the case of a wealthy widow, one may take collateral from her. But in the case of a poor widow, one may not take collateral from her, because you are obligated to return it to her, and you will give her a bad name among her neighbors.

ואמרינן מאי קאמר הכי קאמר מתוך שאתה ממשכנה אתה חייב להחזיר לה ואתה משיאה שם רע בשכנותיה אלמא רבי יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ורבי שמעון דריש טעמא דקרא

And we say about this dispute: What is Rabbi Shimon saying? This is what he is saying: Because you take collateral from her, you are required to return it to her, as the verse states: “And if he is a poor person, you shall not sleep with his pledge; you shall restore the pledge to him when the sun goes down” (Deuteronomy 24:12–13), and you thereby give her a bad name among her neighbors, who will suspect licentious behavior when they see a man come to her house every morning and evening. Evidently, according to this dispute Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse and Rabbi Shimon does interpret the rationale in the verse.

בעלמא רבי יהודה לא דריש טעמא דקרא ושאני הכא דמפרש טעמא דקרא מה טעם לא ירבה לו נשים משום דלא יסור לבבו

The Gemara explains: Generally, Rabbi Yehuda does not interpret the rationale in the verse, but it is different here, as the verse itself explains the rationale in the verse: What is the reason that “he shall not add many wives for himself”? He should not add many wives because of what is articulated in the continuation of the verse: “His heart should not turn.”

ורבי שמעון אמר לך מכדי בעלמא דרשינן טעמא דקרא אם כן לכתוב קרא לא ירבה לו נשים ולישתוק ואנא אמינא מה טעם לא ירבה משום דלא יסור לא יסור למה לי אפילו אחת ומסירה את לבו הרי זו לא ישאנה אלא מה אני מקיים לא ירבה דאפילו כאביגיל

And Rabbi Shimon could have said to you: Since generally we interpret the rationale in the verse, then if it is so that the prohibition against marrying many wives applies only to wives that are likely to lead his heart astray, the verse should write only: “He shall not add many wives for himself” and then be silent. In that case, I would say, on my own, what is the reason that he shall not add many wives? It is so that his heart should not turn away. Accordingly, why do I need the additional phrase “his heart should not turn away”? It serves to teach another halakha, that even if he wants to marry only one wife, if she turns his heart away, he should not marry her. But then how do I realize the meaning of the verse: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? It means that he should not have many wives even if they are like Abigail.

הני שמונה עשרה מנלן דכתיב ויולדו לדוד בנים בחברון ויהי בכורו אמנון לאחינעם היזרעאלית ומשנהו כלאב לאביגיל אשת נבל הכרמלי והשלישי אבשלום בן מעכה והרביעי אדניה בן חגית והחמישי שפטיה בן אביטל והששי יתרעם לעגלה אשת דוד אלה ילדו לדוד בחברון

§ As for those eighteen women that the king may marry, from where do we derive that number? The Gemara responds: As it is written: “And to David sons were born in Hebron; and his firstborn was Amnon, from Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; and his second, Chileab, from Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom, son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah, son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah, son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron” (II Samuel 3:2–5). In these verses, a total of six wives are mentioned.

וקאמר ליה נביא אם מעט ואסיפה לך כהנה וכהנה כהנה שית וכהנה שית דהוו להו תמני סרי

And the prophet Nathan said to King David in his rebuke: “And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that were too little, then I would add to you like these and like those” (II Samuel 12:8). “Like these”; this is referring to the wives enumerated above, meaning another six. “And like those”; this is referring to another six, so that all together there are eighteen he would be permitted to marry.

מתקיף לה רבינא אימר כהנה תרתי סרי וכהנה עשרין וארבע

Ravina objects to this explanation: Say instead: “Like these”; this is referring to an additional six, like the wives enumerated above, totaling twelve. “And like those”; this is referring to all of those enumerated previously, totaling twenty-four.

תניא נמי הכי ׳לא ירבה לו נשים׳ יותר מעשרים וארבע למאן דדריש ויו ארבעים ושמנה הוו תניא נמי הכי ׳לא ירבה לו נשים׳ יותר מארבעים ושמנה

The Gemara adds: Support for Ravina’s interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than twenty-four women. The Gemara comments: According to the one who interprets the letter vav, translated as the conjunction “and” in the term “and like those,” to add and expand upon what came before, the vav is written in order to add more, and therefore, there are forty-eight women. The Gemara comments: Support for this interpretation is also taught in a baraita: “He shall not add many wives to himself”; this means he may not marry more than forty-eight women.

ותנא דידן מאי טעמיה אמר רב כהנא מקיש כהנה בתרא לכהנה קמא מה כהנה קמא שית אף כהנה בתרא שית

The Gemara asks: And as for the tanna of our mishna, what is his reason for limiting the number to eighteen? Rav Kahana says: The verse compares the latter term: “Like those [kahenna],” to the former term: “Like these [kahenna],” teaching that just as the former term: “Like these,” means six, so too, the latter term: “Like those,” means six and no more.

והא הואי מיכל אמר רב עגלה זו מיכל ולמה נקרא שמה עגלה שחביבה עליו כעגלה וכן הוא אומר לולי חרשתם בעגלתי וגו׳

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only six wives. But there was also Michal, and so he had at least seven wives. Rav said: One of those six wives, Eglah, is Michal, and why was she called Eglah in the verse? It was because she was dear to him like a calf [egla], and so the verse states that Samson referred to his wife with the same term: “If you had not plowed with my calf you would not have found my secret” (Judges 14:18).

ומי הוו למיכל בני והכתיב ולמיכל בת שאול לא היה לה ולד עד יום מותה אמר רב חסדא עד יום מותה לא היה לה ביום מותה היה לה

The Gemara challenges the identification of Eglah with Michal: And did Michal have children? But isn’t it written: “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death” (II Samuel 6:23)? Rav Ḥisda said: Until the day of her death she had no child, but on the day of her death she had a child.

מכדי בנים היכא קא חשיב להו בחברון ואילו מעשה דמיכל בירושלים הוה דכתיב ומיכל בת שאול נשקפה בעד החלון ותרא את המלך דוד מפזז ומכרכר לפני ה׳ ותבז ואמר רב יהודה ואיתימא רב יוסף שקלתה מיכל למיטרפסה אלא אימא עד אותו מעשה היה לה מכאן ואילך לא היה לה

The Gemara challenges this: Now, these children of David’s, where does it count them? In Hebron, as Eglon was listed above with David’s wives in Hebron. But the incident with Michal, in the context of which the verse says she had no children, was in Jerusalem, as it is written: “And it was so, as the Ark of the Lord came into the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart” (II Samuel 6:16). And Rav Yehuda says, and some say it is Rav Yosef who says: Michal received her punishment [lemitarpesah] immediately, and therefore could not have had children afterward. Rather, say a different explanation: Until that incident, she had a child; from that point forward, she did not have a child.

והכתיב ויקח דוד עוד פלגשים ונשים בירושלים למלויי שמונה עשר מאי נשים ומאי פלגשים אמר רב יהודה אמר רב נשים בכתובה ובקידושין פלגשים בלא כתובה ובלא קידושין

The Gemara challenges the notion that David had only this limited number of wives. But isn’t it written: “And David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem after he came from Hebron” (II Samuel 5:13). The Gemara responds: All of these were to complete the tally of eighteen and no more. The Gemara asks about this verse: What is the meaning of “wives” and what is the meaning of “concubines” in that verse? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Wives receive a marriage contract and betrothal; concubines are taken without a marriage contract and without betrothal.

אמר רב יהודה אמר רב ארבע מאות ילדים היו לו לדוד וכולן בני יפת תואר היו ומגדלי בלוריות היו וכולן יושבין בקרונות של זהב ומהלכין בראשי גייסות היו והם היו בעלי אגרופין של בית דוד

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David had four hundred children in his army, and all of them were sons of beautiful women taken captive from their gentile homes during war (see Deuteronomy 21:10–14). And they grew their hair in a gentile hairstyle, and they all sat in carriages [bikronot] of gold. And they walked at the head of the troops, and they were the strong-arm enforcers of the house of David, on whose loyalty David’s monarchy relied.

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב תמר בת יפת תואר היתה שנאמר ועתה דבר נא (על) [אל] המלך כי לא ימנעני ממך ואי סלקא דעתך בת נישואין הואי אחתיה מי הוה שריא ליה אלא שמע מינה בת יפת תואר היתה

And Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: David’s daughter Tamar was the daughter of a beautiful woman taken captive in war and was born before her mother converted. Therefore, Tamar was not considered the daughter of David according to halakha. The proof of this is in what she said to Amnon, son of David, as it is stated: “Now, therefore, speak, please, to the king, for he will not withhold me from you” (II Samuel 13:13). And if it enters your mind to say that she was the daughter of a woman David married, would David have permitted Amnon’s sister to him as a wife? Rather, learn from this verse that she was the daughter of a beautiful woman who converted after Tamar was born, so halakhically Tamar was not a daughter of David.

ולאמנון רע ושמו יונדב בן שמעה אחי דוד (והיה) איש חכם וגו׳ אמר רב יהודה אמר רב איש חכם לרשעה

The Gemara continues to interpret the story of Amnon and Tamar. The verse states: “And Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very wise man” (II Samuel 13:3). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: A wise man for wickedness.

ויאמר מדוע אתה ככה דל בן המלך ויאמר לו יונדב שכב על משכבך והתחל וגו׳ עד ועשתה לעיני את הבריה ותקח המשרת ותצק לפניו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שעשתה לו מיני טיגון

The verse recounts Jonadab’s words to Amnon: “And he said to him: Why, son of the king, are you so becoming leaner from day to day…and Jonadab said to him: Lie on your bed and feign illness, and when your father comes to see you, say to him: Let my sister Tamar come, please, and give me bread, and she should dress the food in my sight…And she took the pan and poured them out before him” (II Samuel 13:4–5, 9). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: This means that Tamar prepared various kinds of fried [tiggun] food for Amnon.

וישנאה אמנון שנאה גדולה מאד מאי טעמא אמר רבי יצחק נימא נקשרה לו ועשאתו כרות שפכה וכי נקשרה לו איהי מאי עבדה אלא אימא קשרה לו נימא ועשאתו כרות שפכה

At the end of the story, the verse states: “Then Amnon hated her with exceeding, great hatred, for greater was the hatred with which he hated her than the love with which he had loved her” (II Samuel 13:15). The Gemara asks: What is the reason for Amnon’s intense hatred? Rabbi Yitzḥak says: While he raped her, a hair [nima] of hers became tied around his penis and caused him to be one whose penis has been severed. The Gemara asks: But if the hair became tied around his penis, what did she do? Why would Amnon hold this against her? Rather, say that she intentionally tied a hair around his penis during intercourse, and she made him one whose penis has been severed in order to take revenge on him, and for this he hated her.

איני והא דרש רבא מאי דכתיב ויצא לך שם בגוים ביפיך שאין להן לבנות ישראל לא שער בית השחי ולא בית הערוה שאני תמר דבת יפת תואר הואי

The Gemara challenges this: Is that so? But didn’t Rava interpret a verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And your renown went forth among the nations about your beauty” (Ezekiel 16:14)? This teaches that Jewish women do not have armpit hair or pubic hair. Therefore, Tamar would have had no hair to injure Amnon in that way. The Gemara responds: Tamar is different, as she was the daughter of a beautiful woman, who was a gentile.

ותקח תמר אפר על ראשה ואת כתנת הפסים אשר עליה קרעה תנא משמיה דרבי יהושע בן קרחה גדר גדול גדרה תמר באותה שעה אמרו לבנות מלכים כך לבנות הדיוטות על אחת כמה וכמה אם לצנועות כך לפרוצות על אחת כמה וכמה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב באותה שעה גזרו

The verse relates that after Amnon raped her: “And Tamar put ashes on her head and rent her garment of many colors that was on her” (II Samuel 13:19). The Sages taught in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa: Tamar established a great fence at that time by way of her public outcry, as people said: If such an occurrence could happen to the daughters of kings, all the more so could it happen to the daughters of ordinary people. If such an occurrence could happen to modest women like Tamar, who resisted, all the more so could it happen to licentious women. Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: At that time they decreed

על הייחוד ועל הפנויה

about seclusion, that a man should not be secluded with women who are forbidden to him, and about a single woman.

יחוד דאורייתא הוא דאמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי שמעון בן יהוצדק רמז לייחוד מן התורה מניין שנאמר כי יסיתך אחיך בן אמך וכי בן אם מסית בן אב אינו מסית אלא לומר לך בן מתייחד עם אמו ואין אחר מתייחד עם כל עריות שבתורה

The Gemara objects: Seclusion with a woman forbidden by familial ties is prohibited by Torah law, and was not a rabbinic decree issued in the time of David. As Rabbi Yoḥanan says in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yehotzadak: From where is there an allusion to the halakha that seclusion is forbidden by Torah law? As it is stated: “If your brother, the son of your mother, entices you” (Deuteronomy 13:7). One can ask: But does the son of a mother entice, and does the son of a father not entice? Why mention only the son of a mother? Rather, this verse serves to tell you that only a son may be secluded with his mother. Sons are frequently with their mother, and two half-brothers of one mother consequently have the opportunity to grow close to one another. But another individual may not be secluded with those with whom relations are forbidden by the Torah, including a stepmother. Therefore, half-brothers of one father spend less time together.

אלא אימא גזרו על ייחוד דפנויה

Since seclusion, then, is prohibited by Torah law, how did Rav say that it was prohibited by a decree issued in King David’s time? Rather, say that they decreed against seclusion of a man with a single woman, to prevent occurrences like that of Amnon and Tamar.

ואדניה בן חגית מתנשא לאמר אני אמלך אמר רב יהודה אמר רב מלמד שביקש להולמו ולא הולמתו

Apropos Amnon, the Gemara cites traditions about another son of David: “Now Adonijah, son of Haggith, exalted himself, saying: I will be king” (I Kings 1:5). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The term “exalted himself” teaches that he sought for the monarchy to fit him, but it did not fit him.

ויעש לו רכב ופרשים וחמשים איש רצים לפניו מאי רבותא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כולן נטולי טחול וחקוקי כפות רגלים היו

The verse continues: “And he prepared for himself chariots and riders and fifty people to run before him” (I Kings 1:5). The Gemara asks: What is the novelty of these actions, since other wealthy people do the same, even if they are not the sons of kings, with designs on the throne? Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: What was unique was that the runners all had their spleens removed and had the soles of their feet hollowed, removing the flesh of their feet, and these two procedures enhanced their speed.

מתני׳ לא ירבה לו סוסים אלא כדי מרכבתו וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו מאד אלא כדי ליתן אספניא וכותב לו ספר תורה לשמו יוצא למלחמה מוציאה עמה נכנס הוא מכניסה עמו יושב בדין היא עמו מיסב היא כנגדו שנאמר והיתה עמו וקרא בו כל ימי חייו

MISHNA: The king “shall not accumulate many horses for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:16), but only enough for his chariot in war and in peace. “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance [aspanya]. And the king writes himself a Torah scroll for his sake, as stipulated in Deuteronomy 17:18. When he goes out to war, he brings it out with him. When he comes in from war, he brings it in with him. When he sits in judgment, it is with him. When he reclines to eat, it is opposite him, as it is stated: “And it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life” (Deuteronomy 17:19).

גמ׳ תנו רבנן ׳לא ירבה לו סוסים׳ יכול אפילו כדי מרכבתו ופרשיו תלמוד לומר ׳לו׳ לו אינו מרבה אבל מרבה הוא כדי רכבו ופרשיו הא מה אני מקיים ׳סוסים׳ סוסים הבטלנין מניין שאפילו סוס אחד והוא בטל שהוא ב׳לא ירבה׳ תלמוד לומר ׳למען הרבות סוס׳

GEMARA: The Sages taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “He shall not accumulate many horses [susim] for himself nor return the people to Egypt for the sake of accumulating horses [sus]” (Deuteronomy 17:16): One might have thought that he shall not have even enough horses for his chariot and riders. Therefore, the verse states: “For himself,” teaching that only if the horses are for himself, for personal pleasure, he shall not accumulate them, but he may accumulate horses for his chariot and riders. How, then, do I realize the meaning of “horses [susim]” in the verse? It is referring to idle horses, which serve no purpose other than glorifying the king. From where is it derived that even if the king has one horse that is idle, that he transgresses “he shall not accumulate”? The verse states: “For the sake of accumulating horses [sus],” with the term for horses written in the singular.

וכי מאחר דאפילו סוס אחד והוא בטל קאי בלא ירבה סוסים למה לי לעבור בלא תעשה על כל סוס וסוס

The Gemara asks: But once the verse taught that even one horse that is idle stands to be included in the prohibition of “he shall not accumulate,” why do I need the plural form “horses” in the first clause of the verse? The Gemara responds: Its purpose is to teach that a king would transgress the prohibition an additional time for each and every idle horse.

טעמא דכתב רחמנא לו הא לאו הכי הוה אמינא אפילו כדי רכבו ופרשיו נמי לא לא צריכא לאפושי

The Gemara questions this ruling: The specific reason for limiting the prohibition to idle horses is that the Merciful One writes: “He shall not accumulate for himself,” which indicates, consequently, that if the Torah had not written this, I would say that even enough horses for his chariot and riders are not permitted; and this is unreasonable, since the king needs an army. The Gemara responds: No, the term “for himself” is necessary to teach that it is permitted for the king to add a reasonable number of horses beyond the necessary minimum, and it is only strictly personal use that is prohibited.

׳וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו׳ אלא כדי ליתן אספניא תנו רבנן ׳וכסף וזהב לא ירבה לו׳ יכול אפילו כדי ליתן אספניא תלמוד לומר ׳לו׳ לו אינו מרבה אבל מרבה הוא כדי ליתן אספניא

The mishna teaches: “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself” (Deuteronomy 17:17), but only enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance. The Sages taught in a baraita: From the command “neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself,” one might have thought that he should not have even enough to provide his soldiers’ sustenance. To counter this, the verse states: “For himself,” teaching that only if the silver and gold is for himself, for personal pleasure, he shall not accumulate it, but he may accumulate enough silver and gold to provide his soldiers’ sustenance.

טעמא דכתב רחמנא לו הא לאו הכי הוה אמינא אפילו כדי ליתן אספניא נמי לא לא צריכא להרווחה

The Gemara questions this ruling: The specific reason for limiting the prohibition to personal wealth accumulation is that the Merciful One writes: “Neither shall he greatly accumulate silver and gold for himself,” which indicates, consequently, that if the Torah had not written this, I would say that it is not permitted for the king to accumulate even enough silver and gold to provide his soldiers’ sustenance; this is unreasonable, since the king needs an army. The Gemara responds: No, the term “for himself” is necessary to teach that the king is permitted to allow for a liberal appropriation to the military budget, so that the army has a comfortable financial cushion.

השתא דאמרת לו לדרשה לא ירבה לו נשים מאי דרשת ביה למעוטי הדיוטות

The Gemara asks: Now that you have said that the term “for himself” in the verse is stated for the purpose of a derivation for practical halakha, which limits and narrows the verse’s scope, what do you derive from the next phrase in the verse: “He shall not add many wives for himself”? The Gemara answers: That usage of “for himself” serves to exclude ordinary people, to specify that only the king is restricted from having many wives, but a civilian may marry as many women as he wants, provided he can support them financially.

רב יהודה רמי כתיב ויהי לשלמה ארבעים אלף ארות סוסים למרכבתו וכתיב ויהי לשלמה ארבעת אלפים ארוות סוסים הא כיצד אם ארבעים אלף איצטבלאות היו כל אחד ואחד היו בו ארבעת אלפים ארוות סוסים ואם ארבעת אלפים איצטבלאות היו כל אחד ואחד היו בו ארבעים אלף ארוות סוסים

§ Rav Yehuda raises a contradiction: It is written in one verse: “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots” (I Kings 5:6), and it is written in another verse: “And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots” (II Chronicles 9:25). How can these texts be reconciled? If there were forty thousand large stables [itztablaot], each and every one of them had in it four thousand stalls, or rows, for horses. And alternatively, if there were four thousand large stables, each and every one had in it forty thousand stalls for horses. Therefore the two verses are reconciled.

רבי יצחק רמי כתיב אין כסף נחשב בימי שלמה למאומה וכתיב ויתן שלמה את הכסף בירושלים כאבנים לא קשיא כאן קודם שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה כאן לאחר שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה

Rabbi Yitzḥak raises a contradiction: It is written in one verse: “Silver was not worth anything in the days of Solomon” (II Chronicles 9:20), and it is written in another verse: “And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones” (I Kings 10:27), i.e., gems. The Gemara responds: It is not difficult: Here, where silver was worthless, this was before Solomon sinfully married Pharaoh’s daughter. There, where the silver was valuable, this was after Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter.

אמר רבי יצחק בשעה שנשא שלמה את בת פרעה ירד גבריאל ונעץ קנה בים והעלה שירטון ועליו נבנה כרך גדול שברומי

Rabbi Yitzḥak says: When Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, the angel Gabriel descended from Heaven and implanted a pole in the sea. And it gradually raised up a sandbar [sirton] around it, creating new, dry land, and on it the great city of Rome was built. This shows that the beginning of the Jewish people’s downfall to Rome came with Solomon’s marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter.

ואמר רבי יצחק מפני מה לא נתגלו טעמי תורה שהרי שתי מקראות נתגלו טעמן נכשל בהן גדול העולם כתיב לא ירבה לו נשים אמר שלמה אני ארבה ולא אסור וכתיב ויהי לעת זקנת שלמה נשיו הטו את לבבו

And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: For what reason were the rationales of Torah commandments not revealed? It was because the rationales of two verses were revealed, and the greatest in the world, King Solomon, failed in those matters. It is written with regard to a king: “He shall not add many wives for himself, that his heart should not turn away” (Deuteronomy 17:17). Solomon said: I will add many, but I will not turn away, as he thought that it is permitted to have many wives if one is otherwise meticulous not to stray. And later, it is written: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4).

וכתיב לא ירבה לו סוסים ואמר שלמה אני ארבה ולא אשיב וכתיב ותצא מרכבה ממצרים בשש וגו׳

And it is also written: “Only he shall not accumulate many horses for himself nor return the people to Egypt for the sake of accumulating horses” (Deuteronomy 17:16), and Solomon said: I will accumulate many, but I will not return. And it is written: “And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver” (I Kings 10:29), teaching that not only did Solomon violate the Torah, but he also failed in applying the rationale given for its commandments. This demonstrates the wisdom in the Torah’s usual silence as to the rationale for its mitzvot, as individuals will not mistakenly rely on their own wisdom to reason that the mitzvot are inapplicable in some circumstances.

וכותב ספר תורה לשמו תנא ובלבד שלא יתנאה בשל אבותיו

§ The mishna teaches that the king writes a Torah scroll for his sake. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 4:4): The king fulfills the mitzva provided that he does not beautify himself with the Torah scroll of his ancestors for this purpose, i.e., he must write his own scroll.

אמר רבא אף על פי שהניחו לו אבותיו לאדם ספר תורה מצוה לכתוב משלו שנאמר ועתה כתבו לכם את השירה איתיביה אביי וכותב לו ספר תורה לשמו שלא יתנאה בשל אחרים מלך אין הדיוט לא

Rava says: With regard to the mitzva for every Jew to write himself a Torah scroll, even if a person’s ancestors left him a Torah scroll, it is a mitzva to write a scroll of one’s own, as it is stated: “Now, therefore, write for yourselves this song and teach it to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19). Abaye raised an objection to him from a baraita concerning the king’s Torah scroll: And he writes himself a Torah scroll for his sake, so that he does not beautify himself with the Torah scroll of others. Read precisely, this indicates that a king, yes, he is included in the halakha not to have a scroll inherited from his ancestors suffice, but an ordinary person is not.

לא צריכא לשתי תורות וכדתניא ׳וכתב לו את משנה׳ וגו׳ כותב לשמו שתי תורות אחת שהיא יוצאה ונכנסת עמו ואחת שמונחת לו בבית גנזיו

The Gemara dismisses Abaye’s objection: No, the ruling of that baraita is necessary to teach that the king is commanded to write two Torah scrolls; he writes one scroll as does any Jew, and he writes an additional scroll because he is king. And this is as it is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “That he shall write for himself a second Torah in a scroll, out of that which is before the priests the Levites” (Deuteronomy 17:18). This teaches that he writes for his sake two Torah scrolls, one that goes out and comes in with him at all times, and one that is placed in his treasury.

אותה שיוצאה ונכנסת עמו עושה אותה כמין קמיע ותולה בזרועו שנאמר ׳שויתי ה׳ לנגדי תמיד כי מימיני בל אמוט׳ אינו נכנס בה לא לבית המרחץ ולא לבית הכסא שנאמר ׳והיתה עמו וקרא בו׳ מקום הראוי לקראת בו

The baraita continues: With regard to the one that goes out and comes in with him, he makes it very small, like an amulet, and he hangs it on his arm, as it is stated: “I have set the Lord always before me; He is at my right hand, that I shall not be moved” (Psalms 16:8). This alludes to the small Torah scroll that is always on his right hand. He does not go into the bathhouse with it, nor into the bathroom, as it is stated: “And it shall be with him and he shall read from it” (Deuteronomy 17:19), meaning, it shall remain in a place that is appropriate for reading from it.

אמר מר זוטרא ואיתימא מר עוקבא בתחלה ניתנה תורה לישראל בכתב עברי ולשון הקודש חזרה וניתנה להם בימי עזרא בכתב אשורית ולשון ארמי ביררו להן לישראל כתב אשורית ולשון הקודש והניחו להדיוטות כתב עברית ולשון ארמי

§ Mar Zutra says, and some say that it is Mar Ukva who says: Initially, the Torah was given to the Jewish people in Ivrit script, the original form of the written language, and the sacred tongue, Hebrew. It was given to them again in the days of Ezra in Ashurit script and the Aramaic tongue. The Jewish people selected Ashurit script and the sacred tongue for the Torah scroll and left Ivrit script and the Aramaic tongue for the commoners.

מאן הדיוטות אמר רב חסדא כותאי מאי כתב עברית אמר רב חסדא כתב ליבונאה

The Gemara asks: Who are these commoners? Rav Ḥisda said: The Samaritans [Kutim]. The Gemara asks: What is Ivrit script? Rav Ḥisda says: Libona’a script.

תניא רבי יוסי אומר ראוי היה עזרא שתינתן תורה על ידו לישראל אילמלא לא קדמו משה במשה הוא אומר ׳ומשה עלה אל האלהים׳ בעזרא הוא אומר ׳הוא עזרא עלה מבבל׳ מה עלייה האמור כאן תורה אף עלייה האמור להלן תורה

It is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 4:5): Rabbi Yosei says: Ezra was suitable, given his greatness, for the Torah to be given by him to the Jewish people, had Moses not come first and received the Torah already. With regard to Moses the verse states: “And Moses went up to God” (Exodus 19:3), and with regard to Ezra the verse states: “This Ezra went up from Babylon and he was a ready scribe in the Torah of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given” (Ezra 7:6). Just as the going up stated here, with regard to Moses, is for the Torah, which he received from God and transmitted to the Jewish people, so too, the going up stated there, with regard to Ezra, is for the Torah, as he taught Torah to the Jewish people and was suitable to have originally merited to give it.

במשה הוא אומר ׳ואתי צוה ה׳ בעת ההיא ללמד אתכם חקים ומשפטים׳ בעזרא הוא אומר ׳כי עזרא הכין לבבו לדרש את תורת ה׳ אלהיו ולעשת וללמד בישראל חק ומשפט׳ ואף על פי שלא ניתנה תורה על ידו נשתנה על ידו הכתב שנאמר

The baraita continues: With regard to Moses the verse states: “And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances” (Deuteronomy 4:14), and with regard to Ezra the verse states: “For Ezra had set his heart to seek the Torah of the Lord his God and to do it and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances” (Ezra 7:10). And even though the Torah was not given literally by him, the script of the Torah was changed by him, as it is stated:

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