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Sotah 42

More statements about the damaging nature of flattery. The new chapter deals with the kohen who gives a speech to the people before going out to war both to exempt certain people from war as well as to encourage those who are going not to be fearful because God is with them. 聽From here the mishna (and the gemara in turn) sidetracks to Goliath and extrapolates the verses about him and David’s fight against him.


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鈥淎nd when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he laid hold on Jeremiah the prophet, saying: You shall fall to the Chaldeans. Then Jeremiah said: It is false; I shall not fall to the Chaldeans鈥 (Jeremiah 37:13鈥14). And it is then written: 鈥淪o Irijah laid hold on Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes鈥 (Jeremiah 37:14). Irijah was the grandson of Hananiah, and Jeremiah was punished by falling into his hands because he had flattered his grandfather.

And Rabbi Elazar says: Any congregation in which there is flattery is as repulsive as a menstruating woman, as it is stated: 鈥淔or a flattering congregation shall be desolate [galmud]鈥 (Job 15:34), and in the cities overseas they call a menstruating woman galmuda. What is the meaning of the word galmuda? It means separated [gemula] from her husband [mibbala].

And Rabbi Elazar says: Any congregation in which there is flattery is ultimately exiled. It is written here: 鈥淔or a flattering congregation shall be desolate [galmud]鈥 (Job 15:34), and it is written there: 鈥淭hen you will say in your heart: Who has begotten me these, seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary [galmuda], an exile, and wandering?鈥 (Isaiah 49:21). The verse states: 鈥淎n exile,鈥 as an appositive to 鈥galmuda,鈥 indicating that they are the same.

Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: Four classes of people will not greet the Divine Presence: The class of cynics, and the class of flatterers, and the class of liars, and the class of slanderers.

The proof for this statement is as follows: The class of cynics, as it is written: 鈥淗e draws His hand from cynics鈥 (Hosea 7:5), i.e., God does not want to be in their presence; the class of flatterers, as it is written: 鈥淭hat a flatterer cannot come before Him鈥 (Job 13:16); the class of liars, as it is written: 鈥淗e who speaks falsehood shall not dwell before My eyes鈥 (Psalms 101:7).

The class of slanderers will not greet the Divine Presence, as it is written: 鈥淔or You are not a god who has pleasure in wickedness, evil shall not sojourn with You鈥 (Psalms 5:5), which means: You, the Lord, are righteous and evil shall not dwell with You in Your dwelling place. 鈥淓vil鈥 here is referring to slanderers, as is evident from the continuation of the chapter, which states: 鈥淔or there is no sincerity in their mouth; their inward part is a yawning gulf, their throat is an open tomb, they make smooth their tongue鈥 (Psalms 5:10).

MISHNA: With regard to the priest who was anointed for war, at the time that he would speak to the nation, he would speak to them in the sacred tongue, Hebrew, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd it shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2). This priest identified in the verse is the priest anointed for war, the priest who is inaugurated specifically to serve this function. 鈥淎nd speak to the people鈥; he addresses them in the sacred tongue, Hebrew.

The Torah dictates the priest鈥檚 address: 鈥淎nd he shall say to them: Hear Israel, you draw near today to battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). The priest expounds: 鈥淎gainst your enemies鈥 and not against your brothers. This is not a war of the tribe of Judah against Simon and not Simon against Benjamin, such that if you fall into their hands your brothers will have mercy on you, as it is stated with regard to a war between Judah and Israel: 鈥淎nd the men that have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto their brethren; then they returned to Samaria鈥 (II聽Chronicles 28:15). Rather, you are marching to war against your enemies, and if you fall into their hands, they will not have mercy on you.

The priest continues: 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). 鈥淟et not your heart faint鈥 due to the neighing of horses and the sharpening of the enemy鈥檚 swords. 鈥淔ear not鈥 due to the knocking of shields [terisin] and the noise of their boots [calgassin]. 鈥淣or be alarmed鈥 by the sound of trumpets. 鈥淒o not be terrified鈥 due to the sound of shouts.

The priest explains why the soldiers need not be terrified. 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:4). Remember that they come to war championed by flesh and blood, and you are coming championed by the Omnipresent. The Philistines came championed by Goliath. What was his end? In the end, he fell by the sword, and they fell with him (see I聽Samuel, chapter 17). The Ammonites came championed by Shobach. What was his end? In the end, he fell by the sword, and they fell with him (see II聽Samuel, chapter 10). But as for you, you are not so, reliant upon the strength of mortals: 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥; this verse is referring to the camp of the Ark of the Covenant that accompanies them out to war.

GEMARA: The Gemara clarifies an ambiguous point in the mishna: What is it saying when the mishna derives from the verse that the priest must address the people in Hebrew? The Gemara answers: This is what the mishna is saying: The ruling is derived from a verbal analogy, as it is stated here: 鈥淎nd speak鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2), and there, concerning the giving of the Torah, it is stated: 鈥淢oses spoke and God answered him by a voice鈥 (Exodus 19:19). Just as there, the voice spoke in the sacred tongue, so too here, the priest speaks in the sacred tongue.

The Sages taught: 鈥淭he priest shall approach and speak to the people鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2). One might have thought that any priest who would want to address the people may assume this role. To counter this idea, the verse states: 鈥淎nd the officers shall speak鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:5). Just as the officers described are those who have been appointed to discharge their responsibilities, so too, the priest described is one who has been appointed for this role. The Gemara asks: But if so, why not say that the High Priest should deliver this address, as he is also appointed? The Gemara replies: The appointed priest must be similar to an appointed officer. Just as an officer is one who has someone else, i.e., a judge, with greater authority appointed above him, so too, the priest described must be one who has someone else, i.e., the High Priest, appointed above him.

The Gemara rejects this answer: The High Priest also meets this qualification, as there is the king above him, and therefore, the High Priest should deliver the address. The Gemara clarifies: The caveat that one must have someone appointed above him is saying someone above him in his function. That there is a king is irrelevant to the station of the High Priest, who ranks highest in the priesthood. The Gemara suggests: Then say it may be the deputy High Priest, who is second to the High Priest; he should deliver the address. The Gemara answers: The deputy is not an appointed office, as this position has no particular function other than being a ready substitute for the High Priest. As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi 岣nina, the deputy High Priest, says: To what end is the deputy appointed? It is merely for the possibility that if some disqualification befalls the High Priest, the deputy steps in and serves in his stead. However, the deputy has no specific role of his own.

搂 The Torah says about the priest anointed for war: 鈥淎nd he shall say to them: Hear Israel鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). The Gemara asks: What is different in this setting that necessitates the usage of the phrase: 鈥淗ear Israel鈥? Rabbi Yo岣nan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yo岣i: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Jewish people: Even if you have not fulfilled any mitzva except reciting Shema of the morning and the evening, you will not be delivered into the hands of your enemies. As an allusion to this promise, the priest鈥檚 address borrows the phrase 鈥淗ear Israel,鈥 a phrase most familiar from the beginning of the recitation of Shema.

With respect to the mishna鈥檚 comments about the verse: 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3), the Sages taught (Tosefta 7:18): The priest speaks with them twice, one time when they are gathered for war at the border, and one time when they are on the battlefield itself. When they are at the border, what does he say?

 

Hear my words, the regulations of war, and consider who is fit to participate in the battle. And return home, all of you who are exempt from combat. What does he say on the battlefield? 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). These four cautions correspond to four actions done by the nations of the world: They clash their weapons, and they blast horns, they shout, and they trample heavily with their horses to frighten their adversaries.

The mishna recorded the particulars of the priest鈥檚 address: The Philistines came championed by Goliath. The Gemara describes the battle between David and Goliath. What is implied by the name Goliath? Rabbi Yo岣nan says: The verse indicates that he stood before the Holy One, Blessed be He, with brazenness [gilui panim], as it is stated: 鈥淐hoose yourselves a man [ish], and let him come down to me鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:8), and man [ish] is referring to none other than the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: 鈥淭he Lord is a man [ish] of war鈥 (Exodus 15:3). The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I will hereby fell him by the son of a man [ben ish], as it is stated: 鈥淣ow David was the son of that man [ben ish] of Ephrath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:12).

Rabbi Yo岣nan said in the name of Rabbi Meir: In three instances, his own mouth ensnared that wicked one and unwittingly foretold his own downfall. One time he said: 鈥淐hoose yourselves a man, and let him come down to me,鈥 describing himself at the bottom. And another time, he said: 鈥淚f he is able to fight with me and kill me then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall you be our servants, and serve us鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:9). There, he supposed that his opponent would defeat him, before supposing that he, Goliath, would be victorious. Finally, the other time was when he said to David (I聽Samuel 17:43): 鈥淎m I a dog, that you come to me with staves?鈥 The Gemara asks: But didn鈥檛 David also speak in this manner? David also said to him: 鈥淵ou come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:45). The Gemara answers: David then said to him, immediately afterward: 鈥淏ut I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:45).

The verse says: 鈥淎nd the Philistine drew near morning and evening鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:16). Rabbi Yo岣nan says: He did this specifically in order to prevent them from completing the recitation of Shema in the required times of morning and evening. 鈥淎nd Goliath presented himself forty days鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:16). Rabbi Yo岣nan says: These days correspond to the forty days over which the Torah was given, as he wanted to do away with it.

The verse introduces Goliath: 鈥淎nd a champion [ish habeinayim] went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:4). The Gemara asks: What is indicated by the term beinayim? Rav said: The word is related to the root beit, nun, heh, meaning build, and means that he is built [muvneh] perfectly and free of any blemish. And Shmuel said: The word is related to the word bein, meaning between, and means that he was the middle [beinoni] among his brothers. A Sage from the school of Rabbi Sheila said: The word is related to the root beit, nun, heh, meaning build, and means that he was made strong as a building [binyan]. Rabbi Yo岣nan said: The word is related to the word bein, meaning between, and means that he was born from among many, as follows: He was the son of one hundred fathers [pappi] and one dog [nanai], as his mother engaged in sexual intercourse with one hundred men and a dog, and he was fathered from among them.

The verse recounts that he was 鈥渘amed Goliath, of Gath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:4). Rav Yosef taught: This is because everyone would thresh his mother by cohabiting with her like people do in a winepress [gat], where everyone tramples. It is written that Goliath came from 鈥渢he caves [me鈥檃rot] of the Philistines鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:23), but we read, according to the Masoretic text: He came from among 鈥渢he ranks [ma鈥檃rkhot] of the Philistines.鈥 What is meant by the written term me鈥檃rot? Rav Yosef taught: The word is related to the word he鈥檈ra, meaning penetrated, and implies that everyone penetrated [he鈥檈ru], i.e., engaged in sexual intercourse with, his mother.

It is written that Goliath鈥檚 mother was: 鈥淗arafa鈥 (II聽Samuel 21:16), and in another place it is written: 鈥淥rpah鈥 (Ruth 1:4), and the Gemara will soon explain that this was the same woman. Rav and Shmuel engaged in a dispute concerning this matter. One of them said: Her name was Harafa, and why is she called by the name Orpah? It is because everyone came at her from behind [orfin] her, i.e., sodomized her. And one of them said: Her name was Orpah, and why is she called by the name Harafa? It is because everyone threshed her like groats [harifot], i.e., engaged in sexual intercourse with her, and so it says that this word means groats: 鈥淎nd the woman took and spread the covering over the well鈥檚 mouth, and strewed groats [harifot] thereon鈥 (II聽Samuel 17:19). And if you wish, you can say from here: 鈥淭hough you should crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle among groats [harifot], yet will not his foolishness depart from him鈥 (Proverbs 27:22).

The Gemara continues its discussion of the battle of David and Goliath. 鈥淭hese four were born to Harafa in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants鈥 (II Samuel 21:22). The Gemara asks: What are the names of the four siblings mentioned here? Rav 岣sda said: They are Saph, and Madon, Goliath, and Ishbi in Nob (see II聽Samuel 21:16鈥20).

It says: 鈥淎nd they fell into the hands of David and his servants.鈥 Why? It is because of the acts of their forebears, as it is written: 鈥淎nd Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, and Ruth cleaved to her鈥 (Ruth 1:14). Rabbi Yitz岣k says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: The children of the one who kissed, referring to the four giants descended from Orpah, will come and fall into the hand of the children of the one who cleaved, referring to David, who was descended from Ruth. Rava taught: As a reward for the four tears that Orpah shed in sadness over her mother-in-law, she merited four mighty warriors descended from her, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd they lifted up their voice and wept again鈥 (Ruth 1:14).

It is written about Goliath: 鈥淎nd the half [岣tz] of his spear was like a weaver鈥檚 beam鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:7), and we read, according to the Masoretic tradition: 鈥淎nd the shaft [etz] of his spear.鈥 Rabbi Elazar says: The written version of the text demonstrates that we have not yet reached half [岣tzi] of the praise of that wicked man. Only half of his spear was as long as a weaver鈥檚 beam, but the Masoretic reading offers a less impressive description. It is learned from here that it is prohibited to relate the praise of wicked people. The Gemara asks: If so, then the verse should not begin by praising him at all. The Gemara answers: It was necessary in this case in order to relate the praise of David, who defeated Goliath.

搂 According to the mishna, the priest would say: The Ammonites came championed by Shobach (see II聽Samuel, chapter 10). In one account, his name is written: 鈥淪hobach鈥 (II聽Samuel 10:18), and in another place it is written: 鈥淪hophach鈥 (I聽Chronicles 19:18). Rav and Shmuel engaged in a dispute concerning this matter. One of them said: His name was Shophach, and why is he called by the name Shobach? It is because he was built like a dovecote [shovakh], as he was exceptionally tall. And one of them said: His name was Shobach, and why is he called by the name Shophach? It is because anyone who would see him would become terrified and his courage would be spilled [nishpakh] before him like water from a jug.

The Gemara records a dispute concerning the enemy forces of Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet states: 鈥淭heir quiver [ashpato] is an open sepulcher, they are all mighty men鈥 (Jeremiah 5:16). Rav and Shmuel, and some say Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi, engaged in a dispute concerning the implication of the verse. One of them said: When they shoot an arrow, they produce heaps and heaps [ashpatot ashpatot] of corpses. And lest you say that they are skilled in the arts of battle but they are not particularly strong, the verse states: 鈥淭hey are all mighty men.鈥 And one of them said: When they perform their needs, i.e., relieve themselves, they produce heaps and heaps [ashpatot ashpatot] of excrement, which indicates they eat heartily, like mighty men. And lest you say it is because they are ill in their intestines, the verse states: 鈥淭hey are all mighty men鈥 and are not ill.

Rav Mari said: Learn from this exchange that if there is one whose excrement is abundant, he is ill in his intestines. The Gemara asks: What difference is there whether or not he is ill in his intestines? The Gemara answers: It is so that one who suffers these symptoms will tend to himself medically.

In a similar vein, one is urged to relieve his distress. The verse states: 鈥淚f there is a care in the heart of a man, let him bend it [yash岣na]鈥 (Proverbs 12:25). Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi dispute the verse鈥檚 meaning. One said: He should force it [yas岣na] out of his mind. He should remove his worries from his thoughts. And one said: It means he should tell [yesi岣na] his troubles to others, which will relieve his anxiety.

The mishna recounts the priest鈥檚 address: But you are not like them, because, as the verse states: 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:4). And why does the verse elaborate so much in spelling out the nature of God鈥檚 attendance in battle? It is because the ineffable name of God and all of His appellations that are written on the tablets

 

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Sotah 42

鈥淎nd when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he laid hold on Jeremiah the prophet, saying: You shall fall to the Chaldeans. Then Jeremiah said: It is false; I shall not fall to the Chaldeans鈥 (Jeremiah 37:13鈥14). And it is then written: 鈥淪o Irijah laid hold on Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes鈥 (Jeremiah 37:14). Irijah was the grandson of Hananiah, and Jeremiah was punished by falling into his hands because he had flattered his grandfather.

And Rabbi Elazar says: Any congregation in which there is flattery is as repulsive as a menstruating woman, as it is stated: 鈥淔or a flattering congregation shall be desolate [galmud]鈥 (Job 15:34), and in the cities overseas they call a menstruating woman galmuda. What is the meaning of the word galmuda? It means separated [gemula] from her husband [mibbala].

And Rabbi Elazar says: Any congregation in which there is flattery is ultimately exiled. It is written here: 鈥淔or a flattering congregation shall be desolate [galmud]鈥 (Job 15:34), and it is written there: 鈥淭hen you will say in your heart: Who has begotten me these, seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary [galmuda], an exile, and wandering?鈥 (Isaiah 49:21). The verse states: 鈥淎n exile,鈥 as an appositive to 鈥galmuda,鈥 indicating that they are the same.

Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba says: Four classes of people will not greet the Divine Presence: The class of cynics, and the class of flatterers, and the class of liars, and the class of slanderers.

The proof for this statement is as follows: The class of cynics, as it is written: 鈥淗e draws His hand from cynics鈥 (Hosea 7:5), i.e., God does not want to be in their presence; the class of flatterers, as it is written: 鈥淭hat a flatterer cannot come before Him鈥 (Job 13:16); the class of liars, as it is written: 鈥淗e who speaks falsehood shall not dwell before My eyes鈥 (Psalms 101:7).

The class of slanderers will not greet the Divine Presence, as it is written: 鈥淔or You are not a god who has pleasure in wickedness, evil shall not sojourn with You鈥 (Psalms 5:5), which means: You, the Lord, are righteous and evil shall not dwell with You in Your dwelling place. 鈥淓vil鈥 here is referring to slanderers, as is evident from the continuation of the chapter, which states: 鈥淔or there is no sincerity in their mouth; their inward part is a yawning gulf, their throat is an open tomb, they make smooth their tongue鈥 (Psalms 5:10).

MISHNA: With regard to the priest who was anointed for war, at the time that he would speak to the nation, he would speak to them in the sacred tongue, Hebrew, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd it shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2). This priest identified in the verse is the priest anointed for war, the priest who is inaugurated specifically to serve this function. 鈥淎nd speak to the people鈥; he addresses them in the sacred tongue, Hebrew.

The Torah dictates the priest鈥檚 address: 鈥淎nd he shall say to them: Hear Israel, you draw near today to battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). The priest expounds: 鈥淎gainst your enemies鈥 and not against your brothers. This is not a war of the tribe of Judah against Simon and not Simon against Benjamin, such that if you fall into their hands your brothers will have mercy on you, as it is stated with regard to a war between Judah and Israel: 鈥淎nd the men that have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto their brethren; then they returned to Samaria鈥 (II聽Chronicles 28:15). Rather, you are marching to war against your enemies, and if you fall into their hands, they will not have mercy on you.

The priest continues: 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). 鈥淟et not your heart faint鈥 due to the neighing of horses and the sharpening of the enemy鈥檚 swords. 鈥淔ear not鈥 due to the knocking of shields [terisin] and the noise of their boots [calgassin]. 鈥淣or be alarmed鈥 by the sound of trumpets. 鈥淒o not be terrified鈥 due to the sound of shouts.

The priest explains why the soldiers need not be terrified. 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:4). Remember that they come to war championed by flesh and blood, and you are coming championed by the Omnipresent. The Philistines came championed by Goliath. What was his end? In the end, he fell by the sword, and they fell with him (see I聽Samuel, chapter 17). The Ammonites came championed by Shobach. What was his end? In the end, he fell by the sword, and they fell with him (see II聽Samuel, chapter 10). But as for you, you are not so, reliant upon the strength of mortals: 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥; this verse is referring to the camp of the Ark of the Covenant that accompanies them out to war.

GEMARA: The Gemara clarifies an ambiguous point in the mishna: What is it saying when the mishna derives from the verse that the priest must address the people in Hebrew? The Gemara answers: This is what the mishna is saying: The ruling is derived from a verbal analogy, as it is stated here: 鈥淎nd speak鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2), and there, concerning the giving of the Torah, it is stated: 鈥淢oses spoke and God answered him by a voice鈥 (Exodus 19:19). Just as there, the voice spoke in the sacred tongue, so too here, the priest speaks in the sacred tongue.

The Sages taught: 鈥淭he priest shall approach and speak to the people鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:2). One might have thought that any priest who would want to address the people may assume this role. To counter this idea, the verse states: 鈥淎nd the officers shall speak鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:5). Just as the officers described are those who have been appointed to discharge their responsibilities, so too, the priest described is one who has been appointed for this role. The Gemara asks: But if so, why not say that the High Priest should deliver this address, as he is also appointed? The Gemara replies: The appointed priest must be similar to an appointed officer. Just as an officer is one who has someone else, i.e., a judge, with greater authority appointed above him, so too, the priest described must be one who has someone else, i.e., the High Priest, appointed above him.

The Gemara rejects this answer: The High Priest also meets this qualification, as there is the king above him, and therefore, the High Priest should deliver the address. The Gemara clarifies: The caveat that one must have someone appointed above him is saying someone above him in his function. That there is a king is irrelevant to the station of the High Priest, who ranks highest in the priesthood. The Gemara suggests: Then say it may be the deputy High Priest, who is second to the High Priest; he should deliver the address. The Gemara answers: The deputy is not an appointed office, as this position has no particular function other than being a ready substitute for the High Priest. As it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi 岣nina, the deputy High Priest, says: To what end is the deputy appointed? It is merely for the possibility that if some disqualification befalls the High Priest, the deputy steps in and serves in his stead. However, the deputy has no specific role of his own.

搂 The Torah says about the priest anointed for war: 鈥淎nd he shall say to them: Hear Israel鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). The Gemara asks: What is different in this setting that necessitates the usage of the phrase: 鈥淗ear Israel鈥? Rabbi Yo岣nan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Yo岣i: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the Jewish people: Even if you have not fulfilled any mitzva except reciting Shema of the morning and the evening, you will not be delivered into the hands of your enemies. As an allusion to this promise, the priest鈥檚 address borrows the phrase 鈥淗ear Israel,鈥 a phrase most familiar from the beginning of the recitation of Shema.

With respect to the mishna鈥檚 comments about the verse: 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3), the Sages taught (Tosefta 7:18): The priest speaks with them twice, one time when they are gathered for war at the border, and one time when they are on the battlefield itself. When they are at the border, what does he say?

 

Hear my words, the regulations of war, and consider who is fit to participate in the battle. And return home, all of you who are exempt from combat. What does he say on the battlefield? 鈥淟et not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, and do not be terrified of them鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:3). These four cautions correspond to four actions done by the nations of the world: They clash their weapons, and they blast horns, they shout, and they trample heavily with their horses to frighten their adversaries.

The mishna recorded the particulars of the priest鈥檚 address: The Philistines came championed by Goliath. The Gemara describes the battle between David and Goliath. What is implied by the name Goliath? Rabbi Yo岣nan says: The verse indicates that he stood before the Holy One, Blessed be He, with brazenness [gilui panim], as it is stated: 鈥淐hoose yourselves a man [ish], and let him come down to me鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:8), and man [ish] is referring to none other than the Holy One, Blessed be He, as it is stated: 鈥淭he Lord is a man [ish] of war鈥 (Exodus 15:3). The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I will hereby fell him by the son of a man [ben ish], as it is stated: 鈥淣ow David was the son of that man [ben ish] of Ephrath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:12).

Rabbi Yo岣nan said in the name of Rabbi Meir: In three instances, his own mouth ensnared that wicked one and unwittingly foretold his own downfall. One time he said: 鈥淐hoose yourselves a man, and let him come down to me,鈥 describing himself at the bottom. And another time, he said: 鈥淚f he is able to fight with me and kill me then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall you be our servants, and serve us鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:9). There, he supposed that his opponent would defeat him, before supposing that he, Goliath, would be victorious. Finally, the other time was when he said to David (I聽Samuel 17:43): 鈥淎m I a dog, that you come to me with staves?鈥 The Gemara asks: But didn鈥檛 David also speak in this manner? David also said to him: 鈥淵ou come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a javelin鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:45). The Gemara answers: David then said to him, immediately afterward: 鈥淏ut I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:45).

The verse says: 鈥淎nd the Philistine drew near morning and evening鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:16). Rabbi Yo岣nan says: He did this specifically in order to prevent them from completing the recitation of Shema in the required times of morning and evening. 鈥淎nd Goliath presented himself forty days鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:16). Rabbi Yo岣nan says: These days correspond to the forty days over which the Torah was given, as he wanted to do away with it.

The verse introduces Goliath: 鈥淎nd a champion [ish habeinayim] went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:4). The Gemara asks: What is indicated by the term beinayim? Rav said: The word is related to the root beit, nun, heh, meaning build, and means that he is built [muvneh] perfectly and free of any blemish. And Shmuel said: The word is related to the word bein, meaning between, and means that he was the middle [beinoni] among his brothers. A Sage from the school of Rabbi Sheila said: The word is related to the root beit, nun, heh, meaning build, and means that he was made strong as a building [binyan]. Rabbi Yo岣nan said: The word is related to the word bein, meaning between, and means that he was born from among many, as follows: He was the son of one hundred fathers [pappi] and one dog [nanai], as his mother engaged in sexual intercourse with one hundred men and a dog, and he was fathered from among them.

The verse recounts that he was 鈥渘amed Goliath, of Gath鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:4). Rav Yosef taught: This is because everyone would thresh his mother by cohabiting with her like people do in a winepress [gat], where everyone tramples. It is written that Goliath came from 鈥渢he caves [me鈥檃rot] of the Philistines鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:23), but we read, according to the Masoretic text: He came from among 鈥渢he ranks [ma鈥檃rkhot] of the Philistines.鈥 What is meant by the written term me鈥檃rot? Rav Yosef taught: The word is related to the word he鈥檈ra, meaning penetrated, and implies that everyone penetrated [he鈥檈ru], i.e., engaged in sexual intercourse with, his mother.

It is written that Goliath鈥檚 mother was: 鈥淗arafa鈥 (II聽Samuel 21:16), and in another place it is written: 鈥淥rpah鈥 (Ruth 1:4), and the Gemara will soon explain that this was the same woman. Rav and Shmuel engaged in a dispute concerning this matter. One of them said: Her name was Harafa, and why is she called by the name Orpah? It is because everyone came at her from behind [orfin] her, i.e., sodomized her. And one of them said: Her name was Orpah, and why is she called by the name Harafa? It is because everyone threshed her like groats [harifot], i.e., engaged in sexual intercourse with her, and so it says that this word means groats: 鈥淎nd the woman took and spread the covering over the well鈥檚 mouth, and strewed groats [harifot] thereon鈥 (II聽Samuel 17:19). And if you wish, you can say from here: 鈥淭hough you should crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle among groats [harifot], yet will not his foolishness depart from him鈥 (Proverbs 27:22).

The Gemara continues its discussion of the battle of David and Goliath. 鈥淭hese four were born to Harafa in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants鈥 (II Samuel 21:22). The Gemara asks: What are the names of the four siblings mentioned here? Rav 岣sda said: They are Saph, and Madon, Goliath, and Ishbi in Nob (see II聽Samuel 21:16鈥20).

It says: 鈥淎nd they fell into the hands of David and his servants.鈥 Why? It is because of the acts of their forebears, as it is written: 鈥淎nd Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, and Ruth cleaved to her鈥 (Ruth 1:14). Rabbi Yitz岣k says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: The children of the one who kissed, referring to the four giants descended from Orpah, will come and fall into the hand of the children of the one who cleaved, referring to David, who was descended from Ruth. Rava taught: As a reward for the four tears that Orpah shed in sadness over her mother-in-law, she merited four mighty warriors descended from her, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd they lifted up their voice and wept again鈥 (Ruth 1:14).

It is written about Goliath: 鈥淎nd the half [岣tz] of his spear was like a weaver鈥檚 beam鈥 (I聽Samuel 17:7), and we read, according to the Masoretic tradition: 鈥淎nd the shaft [etz] of his spear.鈥 Rabbi Elazar says: The written version of the text demonstrates that we have not yet reached half [岣tzi] of the praise of that wicked man. Only half of his spear was as long as a weaver鈥檚 beam, but the Masoretic reading offers a less impressive description. It is learned from here that it is prohibited to relate the praise of wicked people. The Gemara asks: If so, then the verse should not begin by praising him at all. The Gemara answers: It was necessary in this case in order to relate the praise of David, who defeated Goliath.

搂 According to the mishna, the priest would say: The Ammonites came championed by Shobach (see II聽Samuel, chapter 10). In one account, his name is written: 鈥淪hobach鈥 (II聽Samuel 10:18), and in another place it is written: 鈥淪hophach鈥 (I聽Chronicles 19:18). Rav and Shmuel engaged in a dispute concerning this matter. One of them said: His name was Shophach, and why is he called by the name Shobach? It is because he was built like a dovecote [shovakh], as he was exceptionally tall. And one of them said: His name was Shobach, and why is he called by the name Shophach? It is because anyone who would see him would become terrified and his courage would be spilled [nishpakh] before him like water from a jug.

The Gemara records a dispute concerning the enemy forces of Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet states: 鈥淭heir quiver [ashpato] is an open sepulcher, they are all mighty men鈥 (Jeremiah 5:16). Rav and Shmuel, and some say Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi, engaged in a dispute concerning the implication of the verse. One of them said: When they shoot an arrow, they produce heaps and heaps [ashpatot ashpatot] of corpses. And lest you say that they are skilled in the arts of battle but they are not particularly strong, the verse states: 鈥淭hey are all mighty men.鈥 And one of them said: When they perform their needs, i.e., relieve themselves, they produce heaps and heaps [ashpatot ashpatot] of excrement, which indicates they eat heartily, like mighty men. And lest you say it is because they are ill in their intestines, the verse states: 鈥淭hey are all mighty men鈥 and are not ill.

Rav Mari said: Learn from this exchange that if there is one whose excrement is abundant, he is ill in his intestines. The Gemara asks: What difference is there whether or not he is ill in his intestines? The Gemara answers: It is so that one who suffers these symptoms will tend to himself medically.

In a similar vein, one is urged to relieve his distress. The verse states: 鈥淚f there is a care in the heart of a man, let him bend it [yash岣na]鈥 (Proverbs 12:25). Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi dispute the verse鈥檚 meaning. One said: He should force it [yas岣na] out of his mind. He should remove his worries from his thoughts. And one said: It means he should tell [yesi岣na] his troubles to others, which will relieve his anxiety.

The mishna recounts the priest鈥檚 address: But you are not like them, because, as the verse states: 鈥淔or the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you鈥 (Deuteronomy 20:4). And why does the verse elaborate so much in spelling out the nature of God鈥檚 attendance in battle? It is because the ineffable name of God and all of His appellations that are written on the tablets

 

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