BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
prepared by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
[10a - 47 lines; 10b - 18 lines]
1a) [line 1] אף על גב דיפת אלהים ליפת AF AL GAV D'YAFT ELOKIM L'YEFES - although HaSh-m will grant beauty to Yefes [by allowing him - through his descendants the Persians - to build the second Beis ha'Mikdash]
b) [line 1] אין השכינה שורה אלא באהלי שם EIN HA'SHECHINAH SHORAH ELA B'OHALEI SHEM - The presence of HaSh-m will dwell only in the tents [built by the descendants] of Shem (i.e., the first Beis ha'Mikdash, built by the Jews]
2) [line 3] "בְּנֵי יֶפֶת גֹּמֶר וּמָגוֹג וּמָדַי וְיָוָן וְתֻבָל וּמֶשֶׁךְ וְתִירָס." "BNEI YEFES GOMER U'MAGOG U'MADAI V'YAVAN V'SUVAL U'MESHECH V'SIRAS" - "And the sons of Yefes were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Yavan, Suval, Meshech, and Siras." (Bereishis 10:2)
3) [line 4] גומר זה גרממיא GOMER ZEH GERMAMYA
(a) Germamya is the territory identified with Cimeria. The Cimerians, who originally lived to the north of the Black Sea, extended their territorial rule to the south of the Black Sea (ousting the native Phrygians). The Cimerians are considered a Nordic people, originating from the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. Certain sources identify them as the Cimbri of Jutland, a peninsula comprising the mainland of Denmark along with Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The peninsula extending into the north of the Black Sea which is today known as "Crimea" was the original Cimerian territory. "Germamya" is the Targum of "Beis Togarma" (Yechezkel 38:6); Togarma was one of the sons of Gomer (Bereishis 10:3).
(b) An alternative Girsa is "Germania" (VILNA GA'ON; see also RAV YAKOV EMDEN to Megilah 6b). "Germania" is the territory occupied by present-day Germany (MUSAF HE'ARUCH; RAV YAKOV EMDEN, ibid.). "Ashkenaz," as Germany is commonly known, was a son of Gomer (brother to Togarma).
(c) The Targum Yonasan, Targum Yerushalmi (Bereishis 10:2), and Bereishis Rabah (37:1) differ with our Sugya and translate Gomer as "Africa," and Magog as "Germania." In keeping with this understanding, the Targum Yerushalmi translates Togarma as Barbary (the northern coast of Africa).
4) [line 5] מגוג זו קנדיא MAGOG ZU KANDIYA
(a) Kandiya is the ancient name of present-day Heraklion, a Greek port founded in the 9th century. It was the capital of Crete until 1841.
(b) Alternate Girsa'os are Kunta (DIKDUKEI SOFRIM), Gumta (EIN YAKOV), and Ginta (RABEINU CHANANEL; ARUCH, Erech Germamya). All of these refer to Scythia, a territory located in what is now southern Russia and the Ukraine, immediately north of the Black Sea (and the Crimean Peninsula). (c) A third Girsa is Gothia (YERUSHALMI Megilah 1:9, as cited by MOSAF HE'ARUCH) or Githia (ibid. in our texts). This is a reference to the Goths, a Teutonic (ancient German tribal) people who migrated to Scythia in the third century C.E., settling near the Cimerians. The Goths played a large part in the fall of the Roman Empire (MOSAF HE'ARUCH).
(d) As stated above, the Targumim and Bereishis Rabah understand Magog to be Germania (see previous entry).
5) [line 5] מדי זו מקדוניא MADAI ZU MAKADONIYA
(a) Macedonia, or Macedon, was an ancient kingdom centered directly north of Greece, across the Adriatic Sea from the "boot" of Italy. It was the birthplace of Alexander the Great (or "Alexandrus Mokdon," as the Gemara refers to him). Present day Macedonia, which is in the same general region, was formerly part of Yugoslavia and was formally recognized in 1993 after achieving a compromise with Greece concerning a dispute over the name "Macedonia."
(b) The Girsa of the Ein Yakov, the Yerushalmi (Megilah 1:9), the Targumim, and Bereishis Rabah (ibid.), is מדי כמשמעו MADAI K'MASHMA'A - Madai is at it sounds; i.e., Media. Media, or Medes, was an ancient empire located northwest of the Persian Empire (between Persia and Assyria, south of the Caspian Sea). The Persians, an Aryan people, settled in southern Persia, while the Medes, also an Aryan people, settled in northwest Persia on the border with Assyria.
6) [line 5] יון כמשמעו YAVAN K'MASHMA'O - Yavan is as it sounds; i.e., Greece. The Girsa of the Ein Yakov, the Yerushalmi (Megilah 1:9) and the Targumim and Bereishis Rabah (ibid.) reads יון זו מקדוניא YAVAN ZU MAKADONIYA - Yavan is Macedonia (see previous entry).
7) [line 6] תובל זה בית אונייקי TUVAL ZEH BEIS ONAIKI - Tuval refers to Beth-Onaiki. An alternate Girsa is Yethynia (Targumim to Bereishis 10:2; Bereishis Rabah 37); i.e., Bitonaiaci or Bithynia. This was an ancient district in northwest Asia Minor, on the southwest shore of the Black Sea, to the east of the Bosporus Strait (a 17-mile strait that joins the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, separating Europe from Asia Minor). Bithynia is part of modern-day Turkey.
8) [line 6] משך זו מוסיא MESHECH ZU MUSIYA - Meshech refers to Mysia. This is the area directly to the west of Bithynia, located along the Dardenelles Strait (Helespont). This strait connects the Aegean and Marmara Seas.
9) [line 8] תירס זו בית תרייקי [TIRAS] ZU BEIS TARYAKI - Tiras refers to Beis Taryakei. An alternate Girsa is Tarki (OXFORD MANUSCRIPT, AGADOS HA'TALMUD and ARUCH). This refers to the Thrace, a people who lived in the Balkans, west of the Black Sea, in what is now the European part of Turkey and Bulgaria. Turkey derives its name from Thrace.
10) [line 9] תירס זו פרס [TIRAS] ZU PARAS - Tiras refers to Persia. Persia is synonymous with present-day Iran.
11) [line 10] "[וּבְנֵי כוּשׁ סְבָא וַחֲוִילָה] וְסַבְתָּה וְרַעְמָה וְסַבְתְּכָא [וּבְנֵי רַעְמָה שְׁבָא וּדְדָן]" "[U'VENEI CHUSH SEVA VA'CHAVILAH] V'SAVTAH V'RA'MAH V'SAVTECHA [U'VENEI RA'AMAH SHEVA U'DEDAN]" - "And the sons of Kush were Seva, Chavilah, Savtah, Ra'amah, and Savtecha; and the sons of Ra'amah were Sheva and Dedan.]" (Bereishis 10:7)
12) [line 10] רַעְמָה RA'AMAH - Targum Yonasan ben Uzi'el identifies Ra'amah as Libya and Maruitania, which are located in north and west Africa, respectively. The people of Ra'amah traded in spices, precious stones, and gold (Yechezkel 27:22).
13a) [line 10] סקיסתן גוייתא SAKISTAN GAVYASA - [Savtah is synonymous with] (a) inner Sakastan, a district in Drangonia (Drangiana). Drangonia was part of the Persian Empire, and was occupied by the Scythians. This territory is on the border of present-day Afghanistan and Iran, near the the Sea of Seistan; (b) inner Sakvastan (ARUCH), i.e. Socaston, the Greek and Roman name for Tatary. This land is also known as Mongolia, and is where the barbarous Tatars (Tartars) originated.
b) [line 11] וסקיסתן ברייתא SAKISTAN BERYASA - [Savtecha is synonymous with] outer Sakastan (or Sakvastan), which surrounded inner Sakastan (or Sakvastan)
14) [line 12] היקפה HEIKEFAH - the circumference [of outer Sakastan or Sakvastan]
15) [line 12] "וַתְּהִי רֵאשִׁית מַמְלַכְתּוֹ בָּבֶל וְאֶרֶךְ וְאַכַּד וְכַלְנֵה [בְּאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר]" "VA'TEHI REISHIS MAMLACHTO BAVEL V'ERECH V'AKAD V'CHALNEH, [B'ERETZ SHIN'AR]" - "And the beginning of his (Nimrod's) reign was Bavel, Erech, Akad, and Chalnei, in the land of Shin'ar" (Bereishis 10:10).
16) [line 13] בבל BAVEL - Babylon, the ancient capital of Babylonia. Now in ruins, it lies on the Euphrates River, 55 miles south of Baghdad.
(17) [line 14] ארך זה אוריכות ERECH ZEH URICHUSUruk was the ancient name for Erech, a city in Chaldea (Kasdim, a region on the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf which was originally the southern part of Babylonia). This was near the city of Ur, the birthplace of Avraham, on the lower Euphrates River which was then on the Persian Gulf (before it receded). Ur had developed a flourishing civilization by approximately 3500 BCE., and had extended its power over neighboring areas and northern Mesopotamia by the second millennium BCE. It was destroyed circa 2009 BCE by the Elamites and Amorites, although its ziggurat (a pyramidal tower of worship - according to many, this was Migdal Bavel; see Sanhedrin 109a) remained.
18) [line 14] ואכד זה בשכר AKAD ZEH BASHKAR - Akad refers to Bashkar; alt. Kashkar (manuscripts cited by Dikdukei Sofrim). Otherwise known as Cashkar or Cascara, this was the royal city of Akkad, capital of northern Babylonia. (The exact site of this city is unknown, although it was near Sippar and approximately thirty miles north of Babylon.) 19) [line 15] כלנה זה נופר (נינפי) KALNEH ZEH NOFER (NINFI) - Kalneh refers to Nofer, or Nifer (ARUCH; the word "Ninfi" does not appear in any of the manuscript sources). The modern city of Niffer, or Nippur, is located midway between what were Erech and Babylon on the Euphrates River. 20) [line 15, 16] "מִן-הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא יָצָא אשּׁוּר, וַיִּבֶן אֶת-נִינְוֵה, וְאֶת-רְחֹבֹת עִיר, וְאֶת-כָּלַח." "MIN HA'ARETZ HA'HI YATZA ASHUR, VA'YIVEN ES NINVEH V'ES RECHOVOS IR V'ES KALACH" - "Ashur went out from that land (referred to in the previous verse), and built Ninveh, Rechovos Ir, and Kalach." (Bereishis 10:11)
18) [line 14] ואכד זה בשכר AKAD ZEH BASHKAR - Akad refers to Bashkar; alt. Kashkar (manuscripts cited by Dikdukei Sofrim). Otherwise known as Cashkar or Cascara, this was the royal city of Akkad, capital of northern Babylonia. (The exact site of this city is unknown, although it was near Sippar and approximately thirty miles north of Babylon.)
19) [line 15] כלנה זה נופר (נינפי) KALNEH ZEH NOFER (NINFI) - Kalneh refers to Nofer, or Nifer (ARUCH; the word "Ninfi" does not appear in any of the manuscript sources). The modern city of Niffer, or Nippur, is located midway between what were Erech and Babylon on the Euphrates River.
20) [line 15, 16] "מִן-הָאָרֶץ הַהִוא יָצָא אשּׁוּר, וַיִּבֶן אֶת-נִינְוֵה, וְאֶת-רְחֹבֹת עִיר, וְאֶת-כָּלַח." "MIN HA'ARETZ HA'HI YATZA ASHUR, VA'YIVEN ES NINVEH V'ES RECHOVOS IR V'ES KALACH" - "Ashur went out from that land (referred to in the previous verse), and built Ninveh, Rechovos Ir, and Kalach." (Bereishis 10:11)21*) [line 16] אשור זה סילק ASHUR ZEH SILAK - (a) Silak, alt. Selik (DIKDUKEI SOFRIM and ARUCH), was a city called Seleucia. It was located along the Tigris River near Babylon and Ctesiphon (the ancient capital of the Seleucids, members of the Alexandrian dynasty in Syria and western Asia); (b) An alternate Girsa is "Ashur Zeh Noach" (ARUCH, RABEINU ELYAKIM and TOSFOS RID). The TOSFOS RID explains that Noach lived until ten years following the construction of Migdal Bavel. During the last ten years of his life he founded the four cities mentioned in this verse.
22) [line 18] רחובות עיר זו פרת דמישן RECHOVOS IR ZU PERAS D'MEISHAN - Rechovos Ir refers to Meishan on the Euphrates River. Meishan, or Mesene, is the island located between the Euphrates, Tigris, and Royal Canal.
23) [line 18] כלח זו פרת דבורסיף KALACH ZU PERAS D'BORSIF - Kalach refers to Borsof on the Euphrates River. Borsif, or Borsippa, lies some twenty miles south of Babylon on the Euphrates.
24) [line 20] רסן זה אקטיספון RESEN ZEH AKTISFON - Resen refers to Ctesiphon, a city on the Tigris River now in ruins. It was the capital of Parthia (an ancient country in Northeast Iran) and the Parthian Empire, and afterwards of the Sassanid Empire. (According to the TARGUM YERUSHALMI and the MIDRASH, Kalneh - mentioned two verses earlier - is Akistefon.)
25) [line 25] "[וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב וַיָּבֹא עַד-חֶבְרוֹן,] וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי, יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק..." "[VA'YALU VA'NEGEV VA'YAVO AD CHEVRON,] V'SHAM ACHIMAN SHESHAI V'SALMAI, YELIDEI HA'ANAK..." - "And they (the spies) went up to the Negev and came to Chevron,] and Achiman, Sheshai, and Salmai, sons of the giants, were there." (Bamidbar 13:22)
26) [line 26] מיומן MEYUMAN - the strongest
27) [line 26] שמשים את הארץ כשחיתות SHE'MESIM ES HA'ARETZ K'SHECHISOS - that he placed in the earth akin to pits (when he walked)
28) [line 27] תלמים תלמים TELAMIM TELAMIM - akin to furrows of a ploughed field
29a) [line 27] ענת ANAS - possibly Beis Anas, located in the portion of Naftali (Yehoshua 19:38)
b) [line 28] אלוש ALUSH - possibly one of the stations of Bnei Yisrael in the desert (see PEIRUSH YONASAN to TARGUM YONASAN BEN UZIEL on Bamidbar 33:13)
c) [line 28] תלבוש TALBOSH - possibly Ptlolemais, an ancient name for Ako (Acre)
30) [line 28] שמעניקין החמה בקומתן SHE'MA'ANIKIN HA'CHAMAH B'KOMASAN - that they appear to wear the horizon as a necklace due to their great height
31) [line 29] "לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ עֲצַת ה' אֲשֶׁר יָעַץ אֶל-אֱדוֹם, וּמַחְשְׁבוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁב אֶל-יֹשְׁבֵי תֵימָן: אִם-לוֹא יִסְחָבוּם צְעִירֵי הַצֹּאן, אִם-לֹא יַשִּׁים עֲלֵיהֶם נְוֵהֶם." "LACHEN SHIM'U... IM LO YASHIM ALEIHEM NEVEHEM." - "Therefore, hear the counsel of HaSh-m that He has devised against Edom, and His thoughts that He has conceived against those who live in Teiman: 'The youngest of the flock will surely drag them off; he will surely devastate their pasture.'" (Yirmeyahu 49:20)
32) [line 31, 32] "האיל אשר ראית בעל הקרנים מלכי מדי ופרס. והצפיר השעיר מלך יון..." "HA'AYIL ASHER RA'ISA BA'AL HA'KARNAYIM, MALCHEI MADAI U'FARAS..."- "And the ram that you saw, the one with the horns, refers to the kings of Medes and Persia, and the goat, to the king of Greece..." (Daniel 8:20-21) (DANIEL'S SECOND DREAM)
Following Daniel's first dream regarding the four major powers (Bavel, Paras/Madai, Yavan, and Rome) that would subjugate Klal Yisrael, he now dreamed about the downfall of Medes (Madai) and Persia (Paras) (the order of their ascent to power, as related in the dream) at the hand of Greece (Yavan), and that of Greece at the hand of Rome. The dream concluded with Rome's destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash (that would take place only many years later), a hint to the end of Titus, the general who destroyed it, and the decline of Rome.
33) [line 32] סליק SALIK - went up
34) [line 32] אמרה AMRAH - he asked the question of Rabah bar Ula
35) [line 34] זוטרא דאחוהי ZUTRA D'ACHOHI - the youngest of the brothers
36) [line 37] בנויי ביד סתורי? BENUYEI B'YAD SETUREI? - [does it make sense that] the builders [should fall into] the hands of the destroyers?
37) [line 38] אינהו INHU - they (the Romans)
38) [line 38] קא סתרי בי כנישתא KA SASRI BEI KENISHTA - destroyed synagogues
39) [line 41] "לָכֵן יִתְּנֵם עַד-עֵת יוֹלֵדָה יָלָדָה וְיֶתֶר אֶחָיו יְשׁוּבוּן עַל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל." "LACHEN YITNEM..." - "Therefore, He will deliver them [to their enemies] until the time that a woman in childbirth gives birth; then the rest of his brothers will return with Bnei Yisrael." (Michah 5:2) - This verse is referring to Bnei Yisrael. Our Gemara takes it out of context to understand it as a reference to how long Edom will reign as a world power.
40) [line 42] מזוזה MEZUZAH
(a) The Torah requires that a Mezuzah be affixed to the doorposts in one's home (Devarim 6:9). A Mezuzah consists of a piece of parchment upon which the Parshah of "Shema" (Devarim 6:4-9) and the Parshah of "v'Hayah Im Shamo'a" (Devarim 11:13-21) are written. Both of these Parshiyos contain a verse in which we are commanded regarding the Mitzvah of Mezuzah.
(b) The obligation to affix a Mezuzah falls upon the resident. If someone wishes to reside in a house (Beis Dirah), he must see to it that there are Mezuzos.
41) [line 43] שהיה להן בית דירה SHE'HAYAH LAHEM BEIS DIRAH - that had a living space [for guards]
42) [line 45] "וְהִכֵּיתִי בֵית-הַחֹרֶף עַל-בֵּית הַקָּיִץ [וְאָבְדוּ בָּתֵּי הַשֵּׁן וְסָפוּ בָּתִּים רַבִּים נְאֻם ה']" "V'HIKESI..." - "'And I will strike the winter house along with the summer house; [the houses of ivory will be lost, and many houses will be destroyed,' says HaSh-m.]" (Amos 3:15) - From this verse we see that a house lived in for only a part of the year is still referred to as a house.
43) [line 46] מחייב MECHAYEV (MA'ASER, KOVE'A L'MA'ASER)
(a) According to Torah Law, one is required to tithe his grain (see , and 9:1, 2, and 4) only after he harvests it in a normal manner. This includes removing the chaff in the field, piling the grain there, and afterwards bringing it through the front door of his house (Berachos 35b). It is then Hukba l'Ma'aser (designated for tithing).
(b) If one of these steps is missing, the produce still may not be eaten mid'Rabanan until Terumos and Ma'asros are separated. The Rabanan did not prohibit eating such produce, however, in an irregular fashion (Achilas Arai). Achilas Arai includes such situations as eating the produce as a snack while it is still in the field and feeding it to one's livestock. Once it is Hukba l'Ma'aser, however, one may not eat even b'Achilas Arai before tithes are separated.
(c) Seven actions can designate produce as Hukba l'Ma'aser:
1. pickling it
2. dipping it in salt
3. heating it as the beginning of the process to prepare it to be eaten
4. designating it to be eaten on Shabbos
5. separating Terumah from it
6. bringing it into one's yard
7. bringing it to the market in order to sell it
(d) The Machlokes in this Mishnah concerns whether or not bringing produce into a Sukah constitutes Hakba'ah l'Ma'aser or not.
44) [line 46] עירוב ERUV
(a) According to Torah law, in a courtyard (Chatzer) containing different houses owned by different people, each homeowner may transfer objects from his own house into the common courtyard and into another's house on Shabbos. Although each house is a separately owned Reshus ha'Yachid (private domain) and the Chatzer is a jointly owned Reshus ha'Yachid, it is permissible to move objects from one Reshus ha'Yachid to another.
(b) King Shlomo decreed that transferring objects from a Reshus ha'Yachid owned by one party to that owned by another is forbidden, unless an Eruv Chatzeros (lit. a mixing of the courtyard, Rambam Hil. Eruvin 1:6, or fraternization of the courtyard, Eruvin 49a) is created on Friday, before Shabbos begins. (Shabbos 14b, Eruvin 21b). (The equivalent of an Eruv Chatzeros for an alley or a city is called a Shituf Mavo'os.) This is accomplished by all of the neighbors collectively setting aside a loaf of bread in a common container in one of the houses of the courtyard (or, in the case of Shituf, in one of the courtyards of the alleyway). This demonstrates that all of the neighbors have an equal share in all of the Reshuyos ha'Yachid, just as they each have an equal share in the bread. Through this act, their respective houses can be considered as one Reshus (RAMBAM ibid. 1:4-9).
(c) Rebbi Yehudah rules that a Sukah in a courtyard is similar to a house. It's owner must contribute to the Eruv; otherwise, the Eruv is invalid.
45a) [line 1] החיוב HA'CHIYUV - that which is obligated in Ma'aser mid'Oraisa
b) [line 1] הפטור HA'PATUR - that which is obligated in Ma'aser only mid'Rabanan
46) [line 2] בשבעה B'SHIV'AH - during [the] seven [days during which the Kohen Gadol is separated]
47) [line 6] והא סוכת החג בחג קתני V'HA SUKAS HA'CHAG B'CHAG KA'TANI - but we learned [the Machlokes between Rebbi Yehudah and the Chachamim regarding] a Sukah on Sukos [and yet the Chachamim still do not require a Mezuzah!]
48) [line 11] סוכה דירת קבע בעינן / סוכה דירת עראי בעינן SUKAH DIRAS ARAI B'INAN / SUKAH DIRAS KEVA B'INAN
(a) There are a number of Tana'im who maintain that there is an aspect of Hilchos Sukah which implies that a Sukah requires permanence. These include Rebbi, who requires that a Sukah be at least four-by-four Amos; Rebbi Yoshiyah, who allows one to include the shade of the walls of the Sukah when making sure that there is more shade than sun; Rebbi Yehudah, who allows one to build a Sukah that stands more than twenty Amos tall; Rebbi Shimon, who requires more than three full walls for a Sukah (instead of only two plus); Raban Gamliel, who does not allow a Sukah built atop a wagon or boat; Beis Shamai, who require that a Sukah be large enough to fit one's entire body; Rebbi Eliezer, who requires a discernable roof and walls (as opposed to a slanted wall); and Acherim, who does not allow a circular Sukah. Abaye says that all of these opinion maintain that a Sukah requires an aspect of "Diras Keva," although they do not necessarily agree with each other. None of these opinions are followed Halachically (Sukah 7b; Tosfos DH Kulhu).
(b) The Chachamim rule that Sukah Diras Arai B'inan - a Sukah must be a temporary dwelling in every way.
49) [line 17] חבוש בבית האסורין CHAVUSH B'VEIS HA'ASURIN - imprisoned in jail