BACKGROUND TO THE DAILY DAF
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prepared by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
[37a - 51 lines; 37b - 19 lines]
1) [line 1] ומנין שבאנא U'MINAYIN SHEB'ANA - and from where do we learn that [the Kohen Gadol prefaces his confession] with [the word] "Ana"?
2) [line 2] חורב CHOREV - Har Chorev; Mount Sinai
3) [line 2] מה להלן באנא MAH L'HALAN B'ANA - just as there (when Moshe Rabeinu prayed for Klal Yisrael following the episode of the golden calf) [he prefaced his Tefilah] with [the word] "Ana"
4) [line 4] עגלה ערופה EGLAH ARUFAH
(a) If a Jew is found murdered in a field in Eretz Yisrael and it is not known who killed him, the Torah requires an Eglah Arufah to atone for his death (Devarim 21:1).
(b) First, five elders from the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the supreme court which sat in the Beis ha'Mikdash) measure the distances between the body and the cities nearest to it in order to determine which of them is the closest to it.
(c) The elders of that city then bring a female calf which has never been performed any work to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with infertile soil - RASHI). They strike a blow on the back of its neck with a cleaver (Arifah), sundering its spinal column, gullet, and windpipe.
(d) The elders then wash their hands and state, "Our hands did not spill this blood, nor did our eyes see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This proclamation carries with it the assertion that the dead man had not been sent from their city without provisions for his journey or proper accompaniment. The Kohanim present then beseech, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, Hashem, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). Following the procedure of the Eglah Arufah, Hashem forgives his nation for the innocent blood that had been spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).
5) [line 6] מאי דהוה הוה MAI D'HAVAH HAVAH - what was, was; we cannot suggest that history be changed!
6) [line 10] "כִּי שֵׁם יְהוָה אֶקְרָא, הָבוּ גֹדֶל לֵאלֹהֵינוּ." "KI SHEM HASHEM EKRA, HAVU GODEL LE'LOKEINU." - "When I call the name of Hashem, give greatness to our G-d" (Devarim 32:3).
7a) [line 16] למזרח העזרה L'MIZRACH HA'AZARAH - to the eastern side of the Azarah (that is, to the east of the Mizbe'ach)
b) [line 16] לצפון המזבח L'TZAFON HA'MIZBE'ACH - in the area which borders that directly north of the Mizbe'ach. Since the goat which is to be slaughtered as a Chatas has the status of Kodshei Kodashim, all services performed with it must be done in the northern area of the Azarah (see )
8a) [line 17] הסגן HA'SEGAN - the Segan Kohen Gadol [who has been designated as the understudy in case the Kohen Gadol becomes unfit to perform the Yom Kipur service (RASHI Sotah 40b)]
b) [line 17] ראש בית אב ROSH BEIS AV - the head of that days' Beis Av; see below, entry #46
9a) [line 18] קלפי KALPI - (O.F. escrin; a chest) a ballot box
b) [line 18] גורלות GORALOS - lots
10) [line 19] אשכרוע ESHKERO'A - wood from a species of cedar tree; alt. box wood
11) [line 19] בן גמלא ... בן קטין BEN GAMLA ... BEN KATIN - Yehoshua ben Gamla and ben Katin served as Kohanim Gedolim during the second Beis ha'Mikdash
12) [line 21] דד לכיור DAD LA'KIYOR - faucets for the Kiyor (the large basin of water in the Azarah; TY #52)
13) [line 22] מוכני MUCHNI - a machine
14) [line 23] לינה LINAH
(a) Linah - literally resting overnight - is the term used to describe part of a Korban left off of the Mizbe'ach beyond the time that the Korban may be consumed (either by people or the Mizbe'ach). Such pieces are disqualified and may no longer be placed on the Mizbe'ach.
(b) Any material sanctified for use in the service in the Beis ha'Mikdash through being placed in a Kli Shares (sanctified vessel) is disqualified the next morning due to Linah.
15) [line 23] מונבז המלך ... הילני אמו MUNBAZ HA'MELECH ... HILNI IMO - a) King Munbaz and his mother Queen Helene, monarchs of Adiabene (SEFER YUCHASIN); alt. India (ARUCH) who converted to Judaism; b) King Munbaz and his mother Queen Helene, of the Chashmona'i dynasty (see ) (RASHI to Bava Basra 11a; TOSFOS to Kesuvos 7b)
16) [line 24] ידות YADOS - handles
17) [line 25] נברשת NIVRESHES - a candelabrum
18) [line 26] טבלא TAVLA - a tablet
19) [line 26] פרשת סוטה PARSHAS SOTAH (SOTAH)
(a) A Sotah is a woman suspected of committing adultery due to that which she secluded herself with a certain man after being warned by her husband against just such an action. The husband of such a woman brings his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash, along with a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approx. 2 quarts) of barley meal as a Minchah offering.
(b) The Kohen reads Parshas Sotah - the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed - in front of the Sotah, in any language that the Sotah understands. The Sotah must then swear that she has been faithful to her husband. She is humiliated in many ways, such as having her clothing ripped and then tied together with a rope made of Netzarim (thin woven branches).
(c) An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor, and dirt from the floor of the Azarah is placed into the water. Parshas Sotah (which contains numerous appearances of Hashem's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, causing the ink to dissolve and the holy names to be erased. The Sotah then drinks from the water. If she had been unfaithful to her husband, the water enters her body and causes her belly to swell and her thighs to rupture. If, however, she had been faithful to her husband, she not only remains unharmed, but is blessed with children (Bamidbar 5:11-31).
20) [line 27] דלתותיו DALSOSAV - his doors [that he donated to the eastern gate of the Azarah which bears his name]
21) [line 29] שיהא צפון כולו פנוי SHE'YEHEI TZAFON KULO PANUY - that the [area in which Kodshei Kodashim must be slaughtered etc. must be where the] north [of the Azarah] is open [from east to west; i.e., to the north of the Mizbe'ach]
22) [line 30] והא רישא ר"א בר"ש היא V'HA REISHA REBBI ELAZAR B'REBBI SHIMON HI! - But the previous Mishnah follows the opinion of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon [who maintains that between the Mizbe'ach and Ulam is considered "north" for the purposes of Kodshei Kodashim (36a)]!
23) [line 31] בבין האולם ולמזבח B'BEIN HA'ULAM VELA'MIZBE'ACH - as close as possible to between the Ulam and the Mizbe'ach
24) [line 32] בור BUR - an uncouth individual
25) [line 34] גדול GADOL - the more distinguished [of those remaining]
26) [line 34] וכן מצינו V'CHEN MATZINU ... - a) the Mal'achim walked side-by-side, and not single file (RASHI); b) The most distinguished of the Mal'achim walked in the middle (MAHARSHA, based upon RASHI to Bereishis 18:3)
27) [line 36] כדי שיתכסה בו רבו KEDEI SHE'YISKASEH BO RABO - [when walking to the right or left of one's Rebbi, he should do so] such that he overlaps his Rebbi [from behind]
28) [line 36] כנגד KEBNEGED - next to
29) [line 37] דמצדד אצדודי D'METZADED ATZDUDEI - that he shifts over to the side [such he is walking both behind and to the side of his Rebbi]
30) [line 39] של כל דבר SHEL KOL DAVAR - fashioned from any material
31) [line 41] יכול יתן של שם ושל עזאזל על זה YACHOL YITEN SHEL SHEM V'SHEL AZAZEL AL ZEH ... - one might think that a) both Goralos should be placed upon both Se'irim, and that the which goat is used for which service is determined arbitrarily (RASHI); b) after determining which goat is which through the Goral, each lot should be placed upon the other goat ceremoniously (TOSFOS DH Yachol, first explanation); c) another set of lots should be fashioned in order to place a second lot of the same designation upon each goat (TOSFOS DH Yachol, second explanation)
32) [line 45] ציץ TZITZ - a thin golden band upon which the words "Kodesh la'Hashem" are inscribed, worn upon the forehead of the Kohen Gadol
33) [line 46] גורל גורל ריבה GORAL GORAL RIBAH - the multiple usage of the term "Goral"
34a) [line 46] זית ZAYIS - olive[-tree wood]
b) [line 46] אגוז EGOZ - nut[-tree wood]
35) [line 47] שנים עשר אחיו הכהנים העסוקין בתמיד SHNEIM ASAR ECHAV HA'KOHANIM HA'ASUKIM B'TAMID (PAYIS)
(a) Four times every morning, the Kohanim gather in the Beis ha'Mikdash for a selection process known as a Payis. Each Payis designated a Kohen or Kohanim to perform a certain part or parts of the daily service. All Kohanim present stand in a circle and extend a finger. The officiating Kohen then arbitrarily chooses a number higher than that of the Kohanim present, and begins counting with any of the extended fingers. When he reaches the chosen number, that Kohen is selected to perform the Avodah.
(b) The first Payis determined which Kohen cleared the outer Mizbe'ach of ash. Originally this was determined by the winner of a foot race up the thirty-two Amah ramp of the Mizbe'ach. After an incident in which a Kohen fell off of the Kevesh and broke his leg, the Payis system was substituted.
(c) The second Payis determined the thirteen Kohanim employed in the offering of the Korban Tamid. These are:
1. The Kohen who slaughters the sheep
2. The Kohen who collects its blood in a Kli Shares (sanctified utensil) and performs Zerikas ha'Dam (placing the blood upon the Keranos of the Mizbe'ach)
3. The Kohen who cleans out the ashes of the Mizbe'ach ha'Penimi
4. The Kohen who cleans out the ashes of the Menorah
5. The Kohen who carries the head (with the cut neck covered by the Peder, the fatty membrane that divides the intestines from the stomachs) in his right hand and the right hind leg in his left hand and places them on the Kevesh
6. The Kohen who carries the right foreleg in his right hand and the left foreleg in his left hand and places them on the Kevesh
7. The Kohen who carries the hindquarters (including the fatty tail, the gall bladder and the kidneys) in his right hand and the left hind leg in his left hand and places them on the Kevesh
8. The Kohen who carries the Chazeh (chest) in his right hand and the Geirah (neck) in his left hand and places them on the Kevesh
9. The Kohen who carries the Dofen Yemin (the right flank with the upper ribs) in his right hand and the Dofen Semol (the left flank with the upper ribs) in his left hand and places them on the Kevesh
10. The Kohen who carries the Kirbayim (innards) in a pan, with the Kera'ayim (feet) on top and places them on the Kevesh
(d) Our Gemara refers to the Kohanim of the second Payis. Only twelve of the thirteen had to wash their hands and feet from the Kiyor, as slaughtering a Korban is not an Avodah that one need wash before performing.
36) [line 48] מקדשין ידיהן ורגליהן MEKADSHIN YEDEIHEM V'RAGLEIHEM (KIDUSH YADAYIM V'RAGLAYIM)
(a) It is a Mitzvas Aseh for a Kohen to wash his hands and feet whenever he enters the Heichal of the Beis ha'Mikdash, as well as prior to the performance any part of the Avodah (Divine service), (Shemos 30:19).
(b) The manner of washing is as follows: The Kohen bends down and places his right hand on his right foot and his left hand on his left foot. A different Kohen sprinkles water from the Kiyor (the large basin of water in the Azarah; TY #52) on his hands and feet. (If he is alone, he places his hands and feet under a faucet of the Kiyor). Kidush Yadayim v'Raglayim is an Avodah, and therefore must be performed while standing.
(c) A Kohen need not wash his hands and feet more than once a day, as long as he makes certain that they do not become Temei'im or dirty, and as long as he has not left the Azarah. There is a disagreement as to whether or not a Kohen who spent the entire night performing Avodah must wash his hands and feet again in the morning.
(d) A Kohen who intentionally performs Avodah without washing his hands and feet is liable to receive Misah b'Yedei Shamayim, and his Avodah is disqualified (SEFER HA'CHINUCH #106).
37) [line 48] במילואו B'MILU'O - when [the Kiyor] was full [of water]
38) [line 49] העליון HA'ELYON - the upper faucets[s]
39a) [line 50] גילגלא GILGELA - a pulley
b) [line 50] דהוה משקעא ליה D'HAVAH MESHAK'A LEI - through which they would lower [the Kiyor into the well of water in the Azarah]
40) [last line] לדידהו L'DIDHU - the vessels themselves
41a) [line 2] כני כלים KANEI KELIM - the bases of vessels
b) [line 2] אוגני כלים OGNEI KELIM - the rims of vessels
42) [line 4] קתתא דנרגי וחציני KATASA D'NARGEI V'CHATZINEI - the handles of axes and adzes (an ax-like tool used by carpenters)
43) [line 6] זורחת ZORACHAS - shines [above the horizon when it first rises]
44) [line 6] ניצוצות NITZOTZOS - sparks of light
45) [line 7] זמן קריאת שמע ZMAN KRI'AS SHEMA - the time [that was definitely valid] to recite Kri'as Shema
46) [line 9] אנשי משמר ANSHEI MISHMAR (MISHMAROS)
(a) Every family of Kohanim belongs to one of 24 shifts (Mishmaros). Each Mishmar serves in the Mikdash for one week at a time, meaning that each one performs the Avodah for at least two weeks out of the year. The Mishmaros change on Shabbos, when the outgoing Mishmar performs the Avodah in the morning and the incoming Mishmar performs the Avodah in the afternoon.
(b) Every Mishmar is further divided into six Batei Avos. Each Beis Av serves on a different day of the week. On Shabbos, the Kohanim of all of the Batei Avos perform the Avodah together (RASHI Menachos 107b). Some contend that the Mishmaros are divided into seven groups, and only one group serves on Shabbos (RASHI Ta'anis 26a; see Insights).
(c) On the Shalosh Regalim (the holidays of Pesach, Shavu'os and Sukos) all the Mishmaros Kehunah come to Yerushalayim to fulfill the Mitzvah of Aliyah l'Regel. At those times, Kohanim from any Mishmar are permitted to perform the Avodah of the Regel.
47) [line 9] אנשי מעמד ANSHEI MA'AMAD (MA'AMADOS)
(a) The Mishnah (Ta'anis 26a) teaches that all of Bnei Yisrael were divided into twenty-four Ma'amados (groups) by the early prophets. Each Ma'amad includes Kohanim, Leviyim and Yisraelim. The Ma'amados are responsible to see that the Korbanos in the Beis ha'Mikdash are sacrificed properly for one week at a time. Thus each Ma'amad is on duty approximately twice a year.
(b) The Kohanim and Leviyim of each Ma'amad travel to the Beis ha'Mikdash for their week of duty in order to perform the divine service. Although most of the Yisraelim in the Mishmar stays at home, some travel to Yerushalayim and represent the entire Ma'amad. Their job is to stand in the Beis ha'Mikdash during the Avodah and pray for the Korbanos to be accepted by Hashem. On Monday through Thursday they fast. During the Avodah, they read certain portions of the Torah, and recite the special Shemoneh Esrei of communal fast days (see ).
48a) [line 10] משכימין MASHKIMIM - recite Kri'as Shema early [to insure that the performance of the Avodah will not extend beyond the end of the time within which one must recite it]
b) [line 11] מאחרים ME'ACHARIM - recite Kri'as Shema later [than the optimal time, since they are busy with their role in the morning Tamid]
49) [line 13] כותבין מגילה לתינוק להתלמד בה KOSVIN SEFER L'TINOK L'HISLAMED BAH
(a) The Gemara (Sotah 60a) records a disagreement between Tana'im as to whether or not it is permissible to write part of the Torah alone so that a child can read from it. One opinion allows this; the other maintains that only an entire Sefer Torah may be written.
50) [line 14] באלף בית B'ALEF BEIS- [the tablet contains not full verses, but only] the first letters of every word [so as to remind the Kohen of what to write]
Background to the Daf - YOMA 37