Monday, October 7, 2019

Non-Jews who do not follow the Noahide Laws are called "Nochri"

While I usually try to use primary sources to prove my arguments about Noahide Law, here are two separate blog posts which state that non-Jews who do not follow the Noahide Laws are given the special designation of "Nochri" which is synonymous with "akum" (idol worshiper). There are many classes of non-Jew as they pertain to their offenses against the Noahide Laws. In the first blog the writer states Muslims are a higher grade of non-Jew than Christians when it comes to adhering to the Noahide Law, Muslims are favored above Christians. 


Which Noahide is it?

I am pleased to see that my last blog post was well read and shared.

This will be a short [holiday] week, so before delving into the next topic of neo-noahism [as apparently I've coined it as such] I would like to make a brief statement concerning the last blog post.

There are many Noahides in the World B"H.
There are not as many Noahide organizations however.

Aside from the various lone wolf Noahides [and their quasi-organizations; i.e. blogs and books] the official Noahide organizations can probably be counted on one hand.

So to be clear, my mezzuza blog post was directly addressing issues that arise from the beliefs presented on in cooperation with the expressed beliefs of Pirchei Shoshanim who work in tandem with Ask Noah

The issue is: 'are all Noahides akum?' Ask Noah says yes, all Noahides are akum.

On a side note, the blog post had nothing to do with posting a mezzuza on a Noahide's door post. That was strictly the subject matter of a thread on Ask Noah. My objective was strictly to point out the belief system of Ask Noah involving their theological basis of the concept/term - akum, and the ramifications as such.

To be clear that akum does not simply mean: 'akum is just a censored word. It really means all non-Jews' [as some say]; please note the actual text and context of the Rema [from Ask Noah's source text]: 

*(the subject of the Rema in context is when a Jew sells his house to an absolute non-Jew; an akum)

"The akum [complete non-Jew, diametrically opposed to Noahide, during the sale; not careful with the 7 Laws] that requests that he give him [the] mezzuza, so that he may hang it on the door post, [the law is that] it is forbidden to give it to him."

וְאִם שָׂכַר הַבַּיִת מֵעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, אוֹ שֶׁשְּׂכָרוֹ לְעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים, נוֹטְלָהּ וְיוֹצֵא. הַגָּה: וְעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ שֶׁיִּתְּנוּ לוֹ מְזוּזָה, וְרוֹצֶה לְקָבְעָהּ בְּפִתְחוֹ, אָסוּר לִתְּנָהּ לוֹ

*The source of this halacha comes from the Talmud, Bava Metzia 102a and the Talmudic term for non-Jew there is Nochri. Please note, a Nochri is the Biblical version of the Talmudic term akum. This is not a censorship issue in context. 

A righteous observant Noahide by definition is not a Nochri in context. Nochri carries a context as an idolater [at least in shituf], and the observant Noahide seeks to reject [all forms of] idolatry [properly]. The Noahide and the Nochri are diametrically opposed philosophically. They should not be the same person [and won't be when Noahides follow the Torah path]; the pinnacle of this concept is a Ger who formally rejects shituf. 

(see Parahsas Re'eh 14:21 where the Nochri is in direct contrast with the Ger in your Gates. Bedieved [consequently], the Ger in this verse could be a [lesser] Noahide, i.e. lacking proper kabbalah and yet careful in the 7 Laws, but still not considered a Nochri. For example, in regard to giving neveilah to the Ger and selling it to the Nochri, any observant Noahide would receive the neveilah as a gift, whereas a Christian, who is a Nochri must purchase the meat. This law is not contingent on a Jubilee Year, and is applicable even today. 

It is also interesting to point out that a Muslim in this case is considered a Ger Toshav [akum], but not a kosher Noahide, and would be gifted the meat over the purchasing Christian. The Rema's akum would be sold the meat, not gifted, for he is a Nochri, and not a Noahide. According to Ask Noah all Noahides are by default Nochri and would never be allowed to be gifted the meat.

The akum of the Rema is a Nochri, i.e. not careful at all in the 7 Laws, by definition of its context, and therefore not the righteous Noahide.)  

It should be obvious and clear that there are many denominations of Noahism, and none of them yet see eye to eye on all crucial subject matters. Notice the last blog post was directed solely upon Ask Noah and their expressed views of akum. I relied on Pirchei Shoshanim's views on akum as well for consistency, especially since they are an official partnership.

Please take note that the majority [if not all] of my original content that takes aim against neo-noahism is in response to content from Ask Noah and Pirchei Shoshanim, as the majority of Noahides subscribe to and share their teachings on the internet and social media. If I occasionally change gears, I will make that clear in my content.

We can take away from this that there are many different hashkafot within today's Noahide, all of which are man-made. Noahism is a new religion and  there are too many disturbing contradictions within Noahism. The search for authentic Noahism is a worthy cause, and yes it is theoretically found within authentic Torah sources. Its authentic version is not man-made, which means, to date, neo-noahism is not authentic [yet]. My goal is not to perfect Noahism, nor is Ger [Toshav] Noahism.

My insights against neo-noahism are not intended to reveal what Noahism is [or should be], rather to reveal what it is not. In the case of my last blog post, I pointed out two parts: A) There are indeed righteous Noahides B) These righteous Noahides per force cannot be considered akum. There are Noahides who are not righteous, and rightfully are considered akum. This would beg the question of what deems one righteous, and this too, is beyond the scope of what I have written about.

There is also the question of, 'why is Ger [Toshav] relevant for non-Jews [who are not content with being Noahides, for better or for worse] and how does exposing the fallacies of Noahism relate to Ger [Toshav]?'

This is not the most pertinent question and it has folks in a bind. However the answers are: A) By definition, from a Torah point of view, Noahism should be authentic B) From a Torah point of view Ger [Toshav] exists and matters.

Theoretically the two are not exactly related nor synonymous, but they are similar enough that people 'conflate' the two. They shouldn't. Reality dictates itself, and with that said, three initiatives must be met with non-Jews seeking righteousness: A) Refine Ger [Toshav] B) Keep Ger [Toshav] separate from Noahide C) Clarify Noahism where it conflicts with Ger [Toshav].

In my last blog post, neo-noahism conflicts with Ger [Toshav], in that Ask Noah paints its Noahides as Pious Gentiles and as akum. One could argue that Ger [Toshav] is a righteous gentile, and BY DEFINITION A GER TOSHAV IS NOT AN AKUM. In authentic Noahism, a righteous gentile, a Noahide, not an akum. A non-righteous gentile is an akum.

Neo-noahism conflates [in terminology] its observant congregants with its non-observant congregants. Torah terminology seeks to do the opposite; its terminology distinguishes between observant, non-observant, etc. A righteous Noahide does not think of one's self as an akum per force [according to its Torah definition]; they are not being taught by Ask Noah this fact, nor its ramifications.

There are many differences between an akum and a Pious Gentile in Jewish Law. Another example is the 'Shabbos Goy'. A Shabbos Goy is an akum. A Pious Gentile may not be a Shabbos Goy, but for that to happen they will have to leave the category of akum, and through the prescription laid out in Torah. This is achieved through taking a proper 'kabbalah' [which contains a proper rejection of shituf]. The lack thereof, even if one does not actively belief in shituf, will keep one confined to that of an akum.

It is not mandatory that a gentile seeking righteousness must A) leave akum B) Not be a Shabbos Goy C) Properly reject shituf. One can be an observant Noahide of Noahism and still be A) akum B) Shabbos Goy C) not having rejected shituf according to the Torah prescription [kabbalah].

Yet one may choose to not be an akum. By definition, there are more than one type of non-Jew. We see this explained by the Ritva to Makkos 9a: 'There are three types of non-Jews - Ger Toshav, Ben Noach, and Goy [akum].

In conclusion I have presented at least four core issues:

  1. What Noahism isn't [a conflation of terms]
  2. What Noahism is [at least a few points of it; not in its entirety]
  3. That there is more to choose from [Ger Toshav; not limited to a conflated version of Noahism]
  4. There are more than one type of non-Jew
One can be a Noahide. One can be a Ger [Toshav]. One should at the very least be real, and not a product of conflation. Not all non-Jews are the same, and one has the God-given freedom of free will to choose what is best for them. 

Perhaps there is an even more authentic Noahide program out there, one more intelligent than that of Ask Noah. If so, I applaud them. In the meantime, I urge Noahides that if they seek out Noahism, please make sure it is authentic. And for those who seek Ger [Toshav] intelligently, the Torah applauds you and embraces you. The two are not at odds, rather they should be complimentary toward each other. If they are not, then something is wrong.

Topics like the mezzuza, giving meat, Shabbos Goy, etc. come up often, creating awareness and arousing the same burning question each time: 'how many types of non-Jews are there in Torah [Judaism]'. Here is a hint: it's like, ya'll - 'more than two'.

To those that know, it is called 'you either know the sugia' [sugia: bigger framework to which a topic is indigenous to] or 'you do not know the sugia'. Akum, Noahide, Ger, etc. all belong to the greater sugia of the non-Jew in the Torah. To not acknowledge the entire sugia at any point in the discussion of non-Jews is automatically rendered false and incomplete. 

Ger [Toshav] usually is the answer to the questions concerning the righteous gentile. But I understand that people struggle making the jump. This is why the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself states, that there is a righteous Noahide stage that exists between Ger and akum. See the Ritva and others as well. 

The missing distinctions are the cause of confusion because they are deliberately withheld from Torah discussions of the non-Jew. My advice to ya' to not only learn the sugia, but learn how to apply it as well [Lefi Pshuto - textual truths]. 

'These' are the textual truths [Lefi Pshuto] that people apply to real life as a construct. Real life doesn't work this way, nor is real life a contruct. The Torah itself identifies what a righteous gentile is in reality; He is the Ger in your Gates, and he is not a Nochri.

May Hashem bless us all to have the truth revealed with open eyes and may this continue to happen deep into 5778 and beyond.



brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim

Previous Daf
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Ask A
[57a - 51 lines; 57b - 52 lines]

 [line 1] B'MAI D'PASIK A'NAFSHEI - with that which he (i.e., I) decreed upon himself (i.e., myself)
 [line 1] MACHNESHEI - they gather
 [line 5] LO SIDROSH SHELOMAM V'TOVASAM KOL HA'YAMIM - do not ever seek their peace or welfare. This is a paraphrase of a verse referring the people of Amon and Mo'av (Devarim 23:7).
 [line 7] SHICHVAS ZERA ROSACHAS - boiling semen (as punishment for recommending that the daughters of Mo'av entice Klal Yisrael into sinning with them - Bamidbar 25:1-9)
 [line 8] POSH'EI YISRAEL - the sinners of Israel. this text was changed by Christian censors; the original version read "J. of Nazareth".
 [line 11] BAVAS EINO - the pupil of his eye
 [line 12] TZO'A - excrement
 [line 13] MAL'IG - ridicules
 [line 14] KOCHAH SHEL BUSHAH - the power of shame [that led bar Kamtza to take revenge against the Chachamim]
 [line 16] MAFKEI - bring [them] out [from their Chupah]
 [line 17] GUNDA D'ROMA'EI - a Roman military legion
 [line 17] SHAKLINHU MINAIHU - [the legion] took [the chickens] from them
 [line 17] NAFLU ALAIHU - [the residents of Tur Malka] fell upon [the legionnaires]
 [line 17] (MECHUNAHU) [MECHANUHU] - they beat them
 [line 18] BAR DAROMA - a man from the south
 [line 18] HAVAH KAFITZ MILA - he would jump [the distance of] a Mil (approximately one kilometer)
 [line 18] TAGEI - his crown
 [line 19] IY NEICHA LACH - if it pleases You
 [line 19] HA'HU GAVRA - that man (referring to himself in the third person)
 [line 19] ACHSHELEI PUMEI - his mouth (i.e., what he said) caused him to stumble
 [line 20] "HA'LO ATAH ELOKIM ZENACHTANU, V'LO SETZEI ELOKIM B'TZIV'OSEINU" - "For You, G-d, have deserted us, and you, G-d, do not go out in our ranks" (Tehilim 60:12).
 [line 20] ATMUHI KA METAMEH - he asked it rhetorically
 [line 21] AL L'VEIS HA'KISEI - [the southerner] went up to the outhouse
 [line 21] ASA DERAKONA - a serpent came
 [line 21] SHAMTEI L'CHARKASHEI - [the serpent] dislodged his intestines; i.e., disemboweled him
 [line 21] AMAR - [the Caesar] said [to himself]
 [line 21] ISRACHISH - occurred
 [line 22] ISHAVKINHU - I will leave them
 [line 22] IZDAKUR - they leapt [in joy]
 [line 22] ADLIKU SHERAGEI - they lit torches
 [line 22] BELAYUNA D'GUSHPANKA - the carved form of a signet ring
 [line 23] MICHDA KA CHADU BI YEHUDA'I! - the Jews are laughing at me!
 [line 23] TELAS ME'AH ALFEI SHELIFEI SEYAFA - 300,000 sword-bearers
 [line 24] B'HACH GISA, HILULEI V'CHINGEI - on the [other] side [of the mountain], rejoicing and partying
 [line 24] "BILA HASH-M V'LO CHAMAL ES KOL NE'OS YAKOV ..." - "Hash-m destroyed and did not have mercy upon all of the dwelling places of Yakov ..." (Eichah 2:2).
 [line 25] KI ASA RAVIN - when Ravin came [from Eretz Yisrael]
 [line 25] SHISHIM RIBO - 600,000

 [line 25] YANAI HA'MELECH - King Yanai of the Chashmona'im
(a) Before Yochanan Kohen Gadol (Yochanan Hyrkanus), grandson of Matisyahu, died, he commanded that his reign as ruler of the land of Yehudah be passed on to his wife. His son Yehudah Aristobulus, however, paid no attention to his father's testament. Seizing power for himself, he imprisoned his mother and brothers save for one brother named Antigonus. He appointed Antigonus as head of the army. Aristobulus was the first Chashmona'i ruler to call himself "king"; all of his predecessors had taken the title of "prince." He was hostile to the Sages, and pursued them with ruthlessness. He ruled over Yehudah for only one year and died childless in the year 3658 (103 BCE).
(b) He was succeeded by his widow, Queen Shlomtziyon or Shelomis [Salome] Alexandra. She was the sister of Shimon Ben Shetach, the leading sage of the period, to whom she was loyal even when married to an archenemy of the Chachamim. After her husband died, she freed his brothers from prison. The oldest brother, Alexander Yanai, performed Yibum with her, and later succeeded his dead brother to the throne.
(c) Under the influence of his wife, Yanai suspended the suppression of the Perushim (those loyal to the Torah) and the Sages for a time, so that he could pursue the war against the hostile Nochri enclave in Eretz Yisrael. He did this throughout most of the twenty-seven years of his reign, motivated by battle lust and glory. As time went on, however, he used the foreign soldiers in his army to suppress his own people and hunt down the Perushim.
(d) One year during Sukos, when officiating as Kohen Gadol, he poured the Nisuch ha'Mayim (libation water) on his feet instead of the on the Mizbe'ach, in accordance with the teachings of the Tzedukim. He intended to incite the people to riot. Those assembled could not contain themselves and they pelted him with their Esrogim. His soldiers then slew more than 6,000 people in the courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash. This marked his declaration of war against the Chachamim and their followers. This violent oppression lasted for six years, during which some 50,000 Jews lost their lives. At the end of his life he imprisoned 800 Perushim and tortured them in the Roman custom of executing their families in their presence. He then executed the prisoners themselves, witnessing the inhuman torment himself.
(e) Before dying, he transferred power to Queen Shelomis and advised her to make peace with the Perushim. He told her, "Fear neither the Perushim nor the non-Perushim, but only those hypocrites who masquerade as Perushim. For their deeds are like those of Zimri and they demand a reward like that of Pinchas" (Sotah 22b). He had finally realized that his Tzeduki connections had misled him, and he saw that his wife was right in trying to help the Perushim. His reign of 27 years lasted until either 3684 or 3685 (77 or 76 BCE).
(f) Over the next eleven years, when Shelomis was queen, peace and tranquility reigned in the land. This was the only golden era during the time of the Second Temple.
(from The History of the Jewish People/The Second Temple Era, Artscroll Publishers, Brooklyn, New York, 1982, adapted by Rabbi Hersh Goldwurm from Dr. E. Ebner's translation of Yekusiel Friedner's Divrei Yemei ha'Bayis ha'Sheni)

 [line 25] HAR HA'MELECH - King's Mountain; this is Hebrew for Tur Malka
 [line 26] K'YOTZ'EO MITZRAYIM - equal to the number of those who left Mitzrayim; 600,000
 [line 27] KFAR BISH - the evil city
 [line 27] KFAR SHICHLAYIM - the city of (O.F. cresson) cress (an edible plant; RASHI to Eruvin 28a)
 [line 27] KFAR DICHRAYA - the city of males
 [line 28] USHPIZA - guests
 [line 29] POSKOS - they ceased [giving birth]
 [line 29] AFILU SHITIN RIVEVASA KANEI LO MACHZIK - it was not [large enough] to contain even 600,000 reeds

 [line 30] TZEDUKI
(a) The Tzedukim were students of Tzadok, and the Beitusim were students of Beitus. Both of these individuals rejected the Oral Torah (Avos d'Rebbi Nasan 5:2).
(b) Our Gemara refers not to a Tzeduki, who rejected merely the Oral Torah, but rather to one who reject G-d outright. The original Girsa (wording) in our Gemara, before it was changed by the censor, was "Mina" (a heretic).

 [line 30] SHEKUREI MESHAKRISU! - you are telling lies!
 [line 30] TZVI - a deer
 [line 31] EIN ORO MACHZIK ES BESARO - its skin [once removed] is not [large enough] to contain its body
 [line 31] RAVCHA - it expands
 [line 31] GAMDA - it (O.F. retrait) contracts
 [line 32] DI'SHMI'A LEI MILSA - who has heard something [regarding the level of righteousness]

 [line 33] ARUS VA'ARUSASO (ERUSIN - Betrothal and Marriage)
(a) The first stage of Halachic marriage is called Kidushin (betrothal). Kidushin can be accomplished in one of three ways:
  1. Kesef - A man can be Mekadesh a woman through giving her money or anything equal in value to a Perutah (a very small coin). Upon doing so, he must proclaim, "Harei At Mekudeshes Li b'(-----) Zu" -- "Behold you are betrothed to me through this (-----)".
  2. Shtar - A man can be Mekadesh a woman through giving her a marriage document. This may be written upon any surface, and need not be of any specific value. The words "Harei At Mekudeshes Li bi'Shtar Zeh" must be written upon the Shtar.
  3. Bi'ah - A man can be Mekadesh a woman through having relations with her. At that time, he must proclaim, "Harei At Mekudeshes Li b'Bi'ah Zu". Because Kidushin requires witnesses, the Chachamim strongly condemned anyone who uses this method of Kidushin.
(b) The Torah refers to this stage of marriage as "Erusin" (Devarim 22:23). The term "Kidushin" is used by the Rabanan in order to connote that just as everyone is prohibited to benefit from Hekdesh (an object sanctified to the service of Hash-m), through Kidushin a woman becomes prohibited to everyone in the world save her husband (Kidushin 2b; see also Tosfos 7a DH v'Nifshetu). Although a man and women are married after Kidushin, they may not yet live together as man and wife.
(c) The second stage of Halachic marriage -- the completion of the marriage -- is termed Nisu'in. This is accomplished through Chupah. Chupah is never clearly described in the Gemara, and various opinion are offered by the Rishonim as to what exactly it entails (see Insights to Kesuvos 57:1). The general idea behind Chupah is that the groom brings his wife into his house. After the Chupah is performed, the marriage is complete.
(d) Our Gemara relates the tale of a betrothed man and his wife.

 [line 33] NISHBU - they were captured
 [line 34] HISI'UM - they married them

 [line 34] KESUVAH (KESUVAS ISHAH - The Jewish Marriage Contract)
(a) When a man marries (Nisu'in) a woman who was a Besulah (virgin) at the time of her Kidushin (betrothal), he must give her a marriage document stipulating that she is to receive 200 Zuz from him or his estate should he divorce her or die. 200 Zuz are equivalent to the value of 960 grams of silver. This document is called a Kesuvah (lit. "written"). Tana'im disagree as to whether this obligation is mid'Oraisa (Biblical) or mid'Rabanan (Rabbinic) in origin (Kesuvos 10a).
(b) If the bride had been widowed or divorced and is therefore a Be'ulah (not a virgin) than she receives a different Kesuvah. The Kesuvah of a Be'ulah guarantees only 100 Zuz to the bride in the case of the dissolution of the marriage. There is no question that the obligation to give this document is mid'Rabanan in origin (Kesuvos 10b). A widow is termed an "Almanah" due to that which her Kesuvah is written for the amount of a "Maneh" (one hundred Zuz) (ibid.).
(c) If a woman is younger than three at the time of her Kidushin, she always receives 200 Zuz. This is because her hymen grows back even when broken at this young age, and she is therefore by definition a Besulah.
(d) The amounts detailed above are only the minimum required to be written into a Kesuvah. One may voluntarily add any amount onto his wife's Kesuvah, and doing so is considered a way of honoring her.
(e) Our Mishnah discussed land that was either:
   1. designated specifically to be given to a woman in the event that her husband dies before her or divorces her;
   2. among a list of those lands to be given to a woman in the event that her husband dies before her or divorces her;
   3. brought into the marriage by the wife and assessed in the Kesuvah such that her husband is obligated to return its value to her upon his death or divorce (Nichsei Tzon Barzel; see Background to Kesuvos 78:21).

 [line 35] SIPDU - eulogize
 [line 35] PITPET B'YITZRO - he belittled [and conquered] his [evil] inclination
 [line 35] MI'YOSEF - more than Yosef [ha'Tzadik did when he refused the advances of the wife of Potifar (Bereishis 39)]
 [line 37] AMDU ARBA'IM MUDAYOS B'DINAR - the price of forty Mudayos (Roman dry measures equal to a Se'ah; see below, entry #151) was one Dinar (equivalent to a Zuz, the basic unit of currency)
 [line 37] NECHSAR HA'SHA'AR MUDYA ACHAS - the price rose by one Mudya [per Dinar, such that it would purchase only thirty-nine Mudayos)]

 [line 37] NA'ARAH ME'ORASAH - A Betrothed Maiden
(a) One who commits adultery with a married woman after having been properly warned by Halachically acceptable witnesses is liable to receive Chenek (choking; Devarim 22:22).
(b) In one such instance, however, the Torah prescribes a different punishment. If the woman was a Na'arah Besulah Me'orasah -- a betrothed (see above, entry #52) virgin who is within six months of reaching puberty, then he (and she as well, if the act was consensual) is put to death by Sekilah (stoning; Devarim 22:23-24).

 [line 39] NASAN EINAV - lit. he placed his eyes; i.e., he planned
 [line 39] SHUSHVINAV - his close friend
 [line 40] SHIKRAN - he caused [his friend and his wife] to become inebriated
 [line 40] LOVEN BEITZAH - the white of a [raw] egg [which is extremely similar to semen]
 [line 41] SOLED MIN HA'OR - (O.F. retrait) hardens when exposed to sunlight
 [line 42] DOCHEH - becomes watery [and is absorbed into the fabric]
 [line 43] HILKUHU - they gave him lashes
 [line 43] HIGBUHU - they collected
 [line 44] "SIMCHU ES YERUSHALAYIM V'GILU VAH KOL OHAVEHA; SISU ITAH MASOS KOL HA'MIS'ABLIM ALEHA." - "Rejoice with Yerushalayim and be glad with her, all who love her; exult with her an exultation, all who mourn for her" (Yeshayah 66:10). This verse describes the reaction of those who returned from exile.
 [line 45] SHASLEI ARZA - they would plant a cedar tree
 [line 45] YENUKTA - a baby girl
 [line 45] TURNISA - (O.F. pin) a pine tree
 [line 45] MINSEVEI - get married
 [line 45] KAITZI LEHU - they would cut them down
 [line 46] GENANA - a wedding canopy
 [line 46] BERATEI D'KEISAR - the daughter of the Caesar
 [line 46] ITVAR - broke

 [line 47] "GADA BA'CHARI AF KOL KEREN YISRAEL ..." - "He cut down in raging anger all of the pride of Yisrael ..." (Eichah 2:3).
 [line 48] KARNEI MILCHAMAH - lit. the horns of war; troop leaders who blow horns to rally their men
 [line 48] KERACH - the city of
 [line 48] LACHDUHA - they captured it
 [line 48] TAF - infants
 [line 49] YAM HA'GADOL - the Mediterranean Sea
 [line 50] NECHALIM - streams
 [line 50] BIK'AS YADAYIM - the valley of Yadayim; a valley below the city of Beitar
 [line 50] ECHAD MOSHECH EILACH - one of which flowed in this direction
 [last line] BATZRU - they harvested grapes
 [last line] KERAMEIHEN - their vineyards
 [last line] ZEVEL - fertilizer


 [line 2] SACH - told
 [line 3] NEVUZARADAN RAV TABACHIM - Nevuzaradan the Chief Butcher, so called due to his brutality. He was the general sent by Nevuchadnetzar to destroy Yerushalayim, burn the first Beis ha'Mikdash, and take the survivors captive to Bavel.
 [line 3] MASAYIM VA'ACHAS ASARAH RIBO - 2,110,000
 [line 4] TISH'IM V'ARBA RIBO - 940,000

 [line 6] ZECHARYAH - The Murder of a Kohen and a Navi
(a) Zecharyah the son of Yehoyada the Kohen was one of the last three Nevi'im to prophesize to Klal Yisrael. He was also a member of the Anshei Keneses ha'Gedolah (see Background to Shekalim 13:40). He was standing in the Beis ha'Mikdash delivering a prophecy remonstrating against the worship of King Yo'ash as a god when he was murdered by princes of Yehudah following Yo'ash's orders (Divrei ha'Yamim II 24:20-22). This particularly heinous crime is offered by Yirmeyahu ha'Navi as reason for why Hash-m allowed the atrocities committed against Klal Yisrael hundreds of years later at the time of the Churban (Eichah 2:20). His blood miraculously bubbled for 250 years, refusing to settle into the ground, until the time of the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash.

 [line 8] MARTACH V'SALIK - boiling (i.e., bubbling) and rising
 [line 8] DAM ZEVACHIM D'ISHTAPUCH - the blood of sacrifices that spilled
 [line 9] LO IDMU - it was not similar
 [line 10] MASRIKNA L'VISRAICHU B'MASREKEI D'FARZELEI - I will [torture you by] combing your flesh with combs of iron
 [line 12] BIN D'HAVAH KA MUCHACH LAN B'MILEI D'SHEMAYA - as he was rebuking us with Heavenly (i.e., prophetic) words
 [line 14] KAMAH SHENIN - some years (namely, 250)
 [line 14] NAYICH - been at rest
 [line 14] ANA MEFAYASNA LEI! - I will appease him!
 [line 14] SANHEDREI GEDOLAH - [members of] a Beis Din of seventy-one
 [line 15] SANHEDREI KETANAH - [members of] a Beis Din of twenty-three
 [line 16] IBADTIM - I have murdered them
 [line 17] HIRHER - he contemplated
 [line 18] HA'HU GAVRA - that man (referring to himself in the third person)
 [line 18] ARAK - he ran away
 [line 18] SHADAR SHTAR PERATESA - he sent a will

 [line 19] NA'AMAN
(a) Elisha was a great prophet and was well known as a worker of miracles. One time an Aramean general (Na'aman), who was suffering from Tzara'as, was persuaded by his Jewish maidservant to seek the help of Elisha to cure him of his disease. He hesitatingly agreed, and to his surprise Elisha cured him completely. Overcome with gratitude, he offered great sums of money as a tribute to Elisha, who refused to accept anything, preferring not to diminish the honor of Hash-m by lending a commercial aspect to his actions. Na'aman was do impressed by this man of G-d that he accepted upon himself to no longer worship idols (Melachim II 5:1-19).

 [line 19] GER TOSHAV
(a) A Ger Toshav is a Nochri who has agreed to a certain level of Mitzvah observance. A Beraisa cites three opinions regarding what level of observance is necessary to achieve this status. Rebbi Meir maintains that a Ger Toshav is a Nochri who accepts upon himself in front of three "Chaverim" (Talmidei Chachamim) to refrain from idol worship. The Chachamim rule that a Ger Toshav is a Nochri who accepts upon himself the seven Mitzvos of Bnei Noach (Noahide laws; see Background to Avodah Zarah 46:4). Acherim maintain a Ger Toshav is a Nochri who accepts all Mitzvos with the exception of the prohibition against eating Neveilos (animals slaughtered in a non-Halachically acceptable manner). (Avodah Zarah 64b; see Insights and hear Audio Shi'ur ibid.)
(b) RASHI explains that this Beraisa follows the opinion of Rebbi Meir, who rules that Na'aman was a Ger Toshav due to that which he accepted upon himself not to worship idols.

 [line 19] GER TZEDEK - a full-fledged convert
 [line 19] LIMDU - taught
 [line 19] BNEI BRAK - the city where Rebbi Akiva maintained a Yeshiva. It was near the present day Mesubin junction, south of the current Bnei Brak.
 [line 20] SISRA - see Background to 56:122

 [line 20] SANCHERIV - The Fall of Assyria
(a) Sancheriv was the king of the Assyrian Empire. He had swept through the world, conquering and displacing nations as he went. After doing the same to the ten Shevatim of Yisrael, he set his sights on Yerushalayim.
(b) He and his vast army of 180,000 laid siege to Yerushalayim, and it seemed as if nothing could prevent the downfall of the city. The righteous Chizkiyah ha'Melech prayed to Hash-m, who heard his prayers. That night, Hash-m allowed the Assyrian army to hear the voice of the Heavenly Angels singing Shirah (songs of praise) to Hash-m, which caused them to pass away in their sleep. The only ones spared were Sancheriv himself, his two sons (who assassinated their father a short while later), and his general Nevuchadnetzar. Nevuchadnetzar would subsequently conquer the Assyrians, and later destroy the Beis-ha'Mikdash (Melachim II 18-19; Divrei ha'Yamim II 32; see Sanhedrin 26).

 [line 20] MAN INUN? - who were they

(a) Shemaya and Avtalyon were the leaders of the fifth generation following the Anshei Keneses ha'Gedolah (Men of the Great Assembly; see Background to Shekalim 13:40). Shemaya was the Nasi (spiritual leader), and Avtalyon was the Av Beis Din (head of the court). Both were converts descended from Sancheriv, the king of Assyria who attacked Yerushalayim.

 [line 21] "[L'HA'ALSO CHEMAH LINKOM NAKAM,] NASATI ES DAMAH AL TZECHI'ACH SELA L'VILTI HIKASOS." - "[In order to arouse My wrath to take vengeance,] I have placed her blood on a smooth stone, so that it not be covered" (Yechezkel 24:8). This verse refers to the blood of Zecharyah as if it lay upon a stone, which would not absorb it.
119) [line 21] HA'KOL ... - Our Gemara interprets this reference to the voice of Yakov as if were one that was crying out in suffering (see also MAHARSHAH).
 [line 21] ADARYANUS KEISAR - Hadrian, Emperor of Rome from 3877-3898 (117-138 C.E.)
 [line 22] ALEKSANDRIA SHEL MITZRAYIM - Alexandria, Egypt, named for Alexander the Great
 [line 23] ASPASYANUS KEISAR - Vespasian, Emperor of Rome (see 56a-b)
 [line 23] MALCHUS HA'RESHA'AH - the wicked Empire [of Rome]
 [line 25] MO'ELES - effective
 [line 25] NOTZACHAS - victorious
 [line 26] "B'SHOT LASHON TECHAVEI, [V'LO SIRA MI'SHOD KI YAVO.]" - "When the tongue sallies forth you will have refuge, [and you will not be afraid of destruction when it comes]" (Iyov 5:21). This verse refers to one who guards his tongue, who is guaranteed refuge from the accusations of the Satan.
 [line 26] B'CHIRCHUREI LASHON TECHAVEI - a) due to contesting tongues [that speak Lashon ha'Ra] you will be covered [by the Romans, descendants of Esav (this refers to the story of Kamtza and bar Kamtza (56a), which brought the Churban through Lashon ha'Ra)] (RASHI); b) as a result of [misusing] their voice to complain, [Yakov] will fall into [the hands of Esav] (MAHARSHA); c) contests of the tongue (i.e., the power of prayer) will grant [Klal Yisrael] refuge (IYUN YAKOV)
 [line 28] ZECHOR HASH-M LI'VNEI EDOM ..." - "Remember, Hash-m, [to take revenge upon] the sons of Edom; [what they did upon] the day [that they destroyed] Yerushalayim, [when] they said, 'Destroy! Destroy! Raze it to its foundations!'" (Tehilim 137:7).
 [line 30] KALON - for shameful acts (namely, the boys for sodomy, and the girls to be concubines)
 [line 30] AMRU - [the children] said [amongst themselves]
 [line 31] "AMAR HASH-M, 'MI'BASHAN ASHIV, ASHIV MI'METZULOS YAM'." - "Hash-m said, 'From Bashan I shall return [them], I shall return [them] from the depths of the sea" (Tehilim 68:23).
 [line 33] DARKAN L'CHACH - [the natural order of the world is for] them to perform such [actions]
 [line 34] "KI ALECHA HORAGNU KOL HA'YOM; NECHSHAVNU K'TZON TIVCHAH." - "For we have been killed on your behalf the entire day; we have been considered [by the nations] as sheep to the slaughter" (Tehilim 44:23).
 [line 34] ZU - this [verse (see previous entry) refers to]
 [line 35] ASYUHU L'KAMA - they brought the first [son]
 [line 35] PELACH - worship
 [line 36] AFKUHU V'KATLUHU - they took him out and killed him
 [line 36] IDACH - the next [son]
 [line 38] "ZOVE'ACH LA'ELOHIM YACHARAM ..." - "One who sacrifices to idols shall be put to death ..." (Shemos 22:19).
 [line 43] "ES HASH-M HE'EMARTA HA'YOM ... VA'HASHEM HE'EMIRCHA HA'YOM ..." - "You have designated Hash-m today to be for you as a G-d ... And Hash-m has designated you today to be for Him a treasured nation ..." (Devarim 26:17-18).
 [line 45] ISHDI LACH GUSHPANKA - I will throw my signet ring before you
 [line 45] V'GACHIN V'SHAKLEI - and you will bend down and take it
 [line 45] HARMENA D'MALKA - the authority of the king
 [line 45] CHAVAL ALACH, KEISAR! - shame on you, O Caesar!
 [line 46] AL KEVOD ATZMECHA KACH - if you are so worried about your own honor [that you wish me to participate in a face-saving sham]
 [line 47] YEHAVUHU NIHALI V'INASHKEI PURTA - give him to me so that I can kiss him a bit
 [line 47] AKADTA - bound as an offering [to Hash-m]
 [line 48] BAS KOL - see Background to 56:123
 [line 49] ZU MILAH SHE'NITNA BI'SHEMINI - this [verse] refers to the Mitzvah of circumcision on the eighth day [which is potentially life-threatening for the baby] (MAHARSHAH)
 [line 50] BAR MI'SHECHITAH - with the exception of [the laws of] Shechitah [since a) they may injure themselves (RASHI); b) doing so creates an Ayin ha'Ra - evil eye - that may put them at risk of death (MAHARSHAH)]
 [line 50] V'DAVAR ACHER - and [the signs of] Tzara'as (see Background to Moed Katan 7:14) [since doing so creates an Ayin ha'Ra - evil eye - that may put them at risk of receiving Tzara'as]
 [last line] "ZOS HA'TORAH ADAM KI YAMUS B'OHEL ..." - "This is the law of a person who dies in a tent ..." (Bamidbar 19:14). Resh Lakish interprets this verse to read "This is the Torah: a person who dies in a tent ..."

 [last line] SE'AH (Measurements of Volume)(a) 1 Kor = 30 Se'ah
    1 Se'ah = 6 Kav
    1 Tarkav = 3 Kav
    1 Kav = 4 Log
    1 Log = 64 Kortov
(b) A Se'ah contains approximately 7.2, 8.29, or 14.4 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions.

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