Weekly Cycle

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Talmud Studies


(Work in Progress)


Brachot 2

Creation, Mitzvot, as well as the history of the Jewish people and our forefathers, starts at night, when we are a state of darkness and confusion (Mochin d’Katnut, relying on our Emunah and Mesiras Nefesh (Sh’mah).

Once we experience the night and then the day (and an explanation for both are given to us), we bless the day and also bless the night.

The Talmud also teaches us various ways in which to serve Hashem.

The main halacha is like the Kohanim at the time they purified and ready to eat holy food, with Zrizut.

Another way is to serve Him as a poor person, yet another is like someone experiencing Shabat.

Yet another is like a Kohen who is still impure and is about to become purified.

The last one mentioned is simply, “like the majority,” in a state of being part of the Klal.

Brachot 3

Donkeys and dogs play a key role in Perek Shirah (See Week 33 and 52, and Appendix II in the book)

There seems to be a parallel here with Bava Kamma 60B:

ת"ר דבר בעיר אל יהלך אדם באמצע הדרך מפני שמלאך המות מהלך באמצע הדרכים דכיון דיהיבא ליה רשותא מסגילהדיא שלום בעיר אל יהלך בצדי דרכים דכיון דלית ליה רשותא מחבי חבויי ומסגי

ת"ר דבר בעיר אל יכנס אדם יחיד לבית הכנסת שמלאך המות מפקיד שם כליו וה"מ היכא דלא קרו ביה דרדקי ולא מצלו ביהעשרה.

ת"ר כלבים בוכים מלאך המות בא לעיר כלבים משחקים אליהו הנביא בא לעיר וה"מ דלית בהו נקבה:

The Sages taught: If there is a plague in the city, a person should not walk in the middle of the road, due to the fact that the Angel of Death walks in the middle of the road, as, since in Heaven they have given him permission to kill within the city, he goes openly in the middle of the road. By contrast, if there is peace and quiet in the city, do not walk on the sides of the road, as, since the Angel of Death does not have permission to kill within the city, he hides himself and walks on the side of the road.

The Sages taught: If there is a plague in the city, a person should not enter the synagogue alone, as the Angel of Death leaves his utensils there, and for this reason it is a dangerous place. And this matter, the danger in the synagogue, applies only when there are no children learning in the synagogue, and there are not ten men praying in it. But if there are children learning or ten men praying there, it is not a dangerous place.

The Sages taught: If the dogs in a certain place are crying for no reason, it is a sign that they feel the Angel of Death has come to the city. If the dogs are playing, it is a sign that they feel that Elijah the prophet has come to the city. These matters apply only if there is no female dog among them. If there is a female dog nearby, their crying or playing is likely due to her presentation.


The story of Eliyahu slaughtering someone seems a lot deeper.

It appears related to how the Rebbe explains the Purim story of Rabbah and Rav Zeira.

“Hahu gavra” seems to be an important term, like “Hahu Saba.”

It appears unlikely thet Eliyahu HaNavi would appear stam for a lowly person.

I don’t know of any occasion in which Eliyahu is known to have a sword. It is mentioned that Pinchas has a sword - that’s actually how he kills Bilaam, mentioned a bit later in the Daf. Bilaam also turns his face away from the Jewish people, towards the desert, when he gives his final blessing.

Rabbi Akiva says that when you go very high up in Ma’aseh HaMerkava, there’s a point that you’re not allowed to say “Mayim, Mayim.”

That’s the point that “Hahu Gavra” reached. He was behind the congregation because his prayers were much longer. He turned away from to separate completely from their mundane davening. That led to Kalus HaNefesh, like Nadav and Avihu, parts of the soul of Eliyahu.

Ultimately, it’s a mistake to separate yourself, even if your intentions are pure.

In the Bilaam story, initially, it is the angel that has a sword. Angels disguised themselves as Arabs when appearing before Avraham, who is the spiritual antidote to Bilaam (as noted in Pirkei Avot and by Rashi when Bilaam gets up early in the morning to saddle his mule).

The part in Pardes where Rabbi Akiva says not to say “Mayim, Mayim,” is when you see the angel Metat (Akrasi’l), like in the story of Rabbi Yishmael that comes next.

Acher saw the angel Metat sitting down and thought this made it look like were two powers and became a heretic.

In Perek Shira, the dog and the wolf are at different times. So is the donkey and other “beasts of burden.” Maybe that’s the reason there.

Also by David, maybe they interpret the 5 worlds from the letter “Hey” in “Piah Patcha b’Chochmah.” Instead of interpreting as feminine conjugation (Eshet Chayil), it’s really King David with the extra Hey for the 5 worlds.

It occurred to me that Yishayahu may have been trying to elicit in King Chizkiyahu the concept that nothing is ever set in stone and there is always the possibility of Teshuva, and apply it to his own offspring. We see in fact that King Menachem himself does Teshuva even though it was “pre-determined” that he was going to be a Rasha.

In education, there’s a big emphasis on not labeling children, perhaps for this very reason, to give them an opening to change.


The fact that whether you are allowed to interrupt Krias Shemah to save your life has to do with the fact that Shemah is primarily about that exact idea: being willing to sacrifice your life for Hashem (Mesiras Nefesh)


Each animal we are saved from represents one of the exiles. I know that Edom is connected to the primordial snake (Mashiach gematria 358, Nachash); Lion is associated with Nebuchadnezzar; what about the wolf?


Can “Mashmya Kolo” also mean someone who likes to make his voice heard in shul, even when not necessary, as a sign of arrogance and self-importance? Kind of the opposite of the Talmid Chacham, who can’t stop having thoughts of Torah, even when standing in a dirty place.

One of them cannot be a proper kli but speaks anyway, while the other cannot stop being a kli even against his will. This theme seems to repeat itself throughout Brachot, where certain acts are not done except by Talmidei Chachamim/“delicate” people, and those that put willingly put themselves in that category are called arrogant.

It also seems related to the certain paradox in the concept of those that run away from kavod, kavod runs after them, while those that run after kavod, kavod runs away from them.


It’s interesting that Eliyahu HaNavi, a Kana’i, is the one that says not to get angry in order not to sin.

There also seems to be a connection between not being angry and being on the road, like Yosef said to his brothers, “Al Tirgezu Ba’Derech.”


I thought it was fascinating how the reason why Rabbi Yehoshua forgives Rabbi Gamliel was because of Rabbi Gamliel’s forefathers. That’s the essence of the 12th of the 13 middot according to the Ramak’s Tomer Devorah.


The pshat still seems to be that what made them sad was that the expensive glass breaking reminded them of the destruction of the Temple.


On 39B it’s interesting that the teacher’s name is Shalman (Shalom) but also that the teaching itself is also about Shalom, placing the piece of bread inside the whole (Shleimah) piece.

It appears to be an insight into teaching itself, taking bits and pieces of knowledge from different students and showing how it is in fact part of a whole concept.


The part about what was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is really amazing. It’s interesting that Noach, “Ish Adamah” used the grapes to basically repeat the sin of Adam. It reminds me of the Rambam’s words about how do you know if you did proper Teshuvah? If you are put in the same position as before and do the right thing.

The opinions seem to be referring to different aspects of the sin: Intelectual, Emotional, and Physical.

The wheat is the intellectual (learning how to speak), the wine emotional (getting drunk) and the figs physical (needing clothes to now cover up their bodies).


It sounds from the end of the story that Eliyahu HaNavi only came precisely because of the additional act of mourning over Rav and his Torah knowledge.


There’s a discussion about when salted fish can kill, and the days there seem to parallel the different opinions of which day of Tammuz is Yosef HaTzadik’s yahrzeit. I believe Yosef was also called a fish.


Our custom for saying “L’chayim,” where does it come from? Is it possible that it’s related to Rav Ashi’s girsa, גודר פרצות בישראל... ?


62 - discussion of whether a Passover sacrifice with an arel in mind is invalid. Arelut represents impurity related to sexual sins. Humility is incongruent with sexual desires. 


Niddah 9

I think there’s also an interesting drush in Daf Tes regarding Eliyahu HaNavi’s (HaHu Saba) question there.

The Gemara is talking about a woman that is in labor pains and gives birth to air, and a pasuk from Isaiah is brought there which in fact is talking about the labor pains of the Jewish people, which is as if it has given birth to air because Mashiach has not come.

Eliyahu HaNavi then asks, a pregnant woman (the Jewish people) who is not careful regarding her appointed times, is she (the Jewish people) impure? 

Rabbi Yochanan answers: the woman (the Jewish people) is hiding and in fear (due to exile), and therefore, this suspends her possible impurity, and she, the Jewish people, is deemed Tahor.

ות במסכת חולין ו, א. שכל מקום שאתה מוצא בתלמוד ההוא סבא הוא אליהו הנביא זכור לטוב. וכן כתב ספר העתים בפסחים קו, א. במעשה דרב אשי בסורא בקידושא רבה שהיה שם אליהו הנביא זכור לטוב.



1. secured in the possession of or assigned to a person.

-protected or established by law or contract.

- (of a person) legally entitled to a future benefit, as from a pension.


“The extensive knowledge of natural [science] prevalent among scholars in Babylonia caused me not to examine niddah blood”

The effect that colors have upon each other had been noted since antiquity. In his essay On Colors, Aristotle observed that "when light falls upon another color, then, as a result of this new combination, it takes on another nuance of color."

In 1793, the American-born British scientist Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753–1814), coined the term complementary colors. While staying at an inn in Florence, he made an experiment with candles and shadows, and discovered that colored light and the shadow cast by the light had perfectly contrasting colors. He wrote, "To every color, without exception, whatever may be its hue or shade, or however it may be compounded, there is another in perfect harmony to it, which is its complement, and may be said to be its companion." He also noted some of the practical benefits of this discovery. "By experiments of this kind, which might easily be made, ladies may choose ribbons for their gowns, or those who furnish rooms may arrange their colors upon principles of the most perfect harmony and of the purest taste. The advantages that painters might derive from a knowledge of these principles of the harmony of colors are too obvious to require illustration."


What does it mean that a woman doesn’t give birth to mountains, and why was this not a question regarding giving birth to a bird?

Sounds like something the Maharal would  explain. I think there is likely a much deeper meaning here. The fact that Rabbah Bar Bar Chana is involved suggests maybe there is a aggadic component as well. 

What happens when a child doesn’t live up to the expectations of the mother? What happens when the child is a Vilde Chaya or a Nachash? Chachamim say this is not a product of the mother’s behavior and she is not temeah. Rabbi Meir says it is her fault.

What if the child is scattered and distracted like a bird, whose eyes that look only to the sides, not to what it is ahead and in front of them? That, everyone agrees it has nothing to do with the mother.

Birds here may also be a reference to angels, and angel-like children.

The Rebbe Maharash brings a Midrash Rabba (1:3), in which Rabbi Chanina states that “birds that fly” are a reference to Michael an Gavriel.

Mountains are usually a reference to the Avot. Mothers don’t give birth to people on the level of the Avot. They are clods of earth that aspire to be like them.


I think the stories from Abba Shaul may be related to Rabbi Yehoshua’s words in Pirkei Avot:

“The evil eye, the evil inclination and hatred towards [G-d’s] creations take a person out of this world" (II:11)

Rabbi Yehoshua is the Pirkei Avot rabbi for this week, according to our book, “The Kabbalah of Time”

Abba Shaul is there burying the dead and he sees all that can lead to leaving this world.

Estimates indicate that vanishing twin syndrome occurs in 21-30% of multifetal pregnancies.

At delivery, the deceased fetus may be identified as fetus compressus (compressed enough to be noticed) or as fetus papyraceous (flattened remarkably through the loss of fluid and most of the soft tissue).

I think Rebbi specifically mentioned a raven because it is a cruel animal whose mother does not feed its offspring (which is the role of the placenta)

Again, I think that there’s a deeper lesson here. A cruel child is often a product of the cruelty of his mother towards him.

Maybe you could answer Rabbi Yossi Ben Shaul that Rebbi’s comment is limited to the raven not other birds, etc... The gemara doesn’t say that for some reason.


The last time we saw “Hahu Sabah” (Eliyahu HaNavi) was also in an interaction with Rabbi Yochanan. I’m not sure what Eliyahu HaNavi is trying to teach us here, but it seems related to appreciating the “Ita’ahuta D’letata” even when the end result does not appear to be substantially different than the initial effort.


The birth of the Jewish year goes by the head, “Rosh Hashanah.” As soon as Rosh Hashanah enters its the new year. Ah, but what about times when things are not going k’tikuno, we are in a “breached” position and need turning around? Well, then it goes by Rubbo k’Kulo. When is the Rov reached? After six months, on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the “Head of the Months,” Chodesh HaGeulah.


I wonder if there is a discussion somewhere of the significance of the numbers 7 and 11 in a more general sense. Seven represents creation, and 11 is usually associated with klippah. 7+11=18 (חי), and 11/7 is Pi/2. 40, which appears a lot in our daf, also has many symbolisms (Har Sinai, the Mabul, Binah, etc.) It’s interesting that we say that women are given a “Binah Yeteira בינה יתירה” - an additional 40 (days).

40 is also Mikvah, which is a pretty obvious connection. The 22 letters of the alef beis can also be seen as 11 pairs.

If you count the eleven days both from before the days she saw blood as a niddah and from after the seven days of niddah, then you get 22/7 = Pi. I guess that could be seen as a “full cycle/circle” so to speak.

It occurred to me over Shabat that 22+7, 29, is the days in the lunar/menstrual cycle.


By the way, “clair” in French (Rashi) means clear, but also light and bright. Seems to fit the language that the man gives the white aspects of the baby.


It appears that the Cutheans were also called “the Samaritans.”

The most anti-Jewish sections of the new testament were apparently all written by Samaritans (including the part about the “good Samaritan”). Apparently they weren’t so good. 

It’s weird that they did all this while keeping so much of the Torah.


Rav Pappa’s opinion is hard to understand on a practical level. It’s like the Muslim calendar that never gets adjusted.

It sounds a bit similar to the Rambam’s opinion on Niddah cycles, I think.


Interesting that at no point in our discussion about children close to 12 or 13 have we brought the passuk used in Ben Sorer uMoreh (in Sanhedrin) when King David says that King Solomon was “[Samuch] L’Ish”

I think this concept of measuring years (and valuations, such as Erchin) by one’s own personal calendar as opposed to society’s calendar, is a very deep one.

Whether it be one’s sacrifices, one’s home in a city, one’s field in Israel, one’s redemption from slavery, or one’s own self-worth, one has to measure for one’s self, and not let them be dictated by society.

I like the idea that a person’s thoughts matter the most at the beginning and at the end of the process. People have a lot of (unhelpful) thoughts when they are in the middle of a project (maybe I’ll use it for this instead, or for that... Rabbos Machshavos b’Lev Ish). Once you actually have results and harvested what you planted, then you have the capacity to make changes to the product’s status or use.

For some reason, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Gemara we learned today and it seems like there could be an application to Teshuva, Ratzoh and Shov.

The Shotot/To’ot are the women that don’t know the difference between day and night, Tameh and Tahor, right and wrong.

The Pikchot, on the other hand, have ups and downs, but at least they know the difference between these concepts. They just need a “fixing,” and their “fixing” should be given priority over the Shotot/To’ot.

Of the Pikchot, the most “unstable,” is the one that is constantly going up and down from day to day. As long as the blood comes during the day, she will have days of service/closeness to Hashem. However, if her downs are at “night,” then her only hope is the Shmini, something beyond nature.

One that is slightly more stable, yet at the same time has longer periods of impurity, has less days of service. Her actions are also called intemperate.

Those with three or more days of impurity establish a chazakah of “sin” and cannot but serve Hashem only once.

Only those with seven or more days of purity complete a cycle of Teshuva can serve G-d again. Interestingly, the one with most days of service of them all is someone with 9 days of purity following 9 of impurity (44% of all of her days)

However, once a person has had 10 full days of impurity, paralleling all 10 powers of their neshama, that establishes a different kind of Chazakah it takes a real long time to return.

It seems pretty extreme to think that a person would make a sheet/saddle for a donkey out of his parent’s skin... Perhaps there’s a deeper meaning here, too.

Perhaps Ulla is saying that in truth, from the Torah itself, matters/desires related to the skin of man (the skin [clothes given to] Adam [in Gan Eden]) are Tahor. Why do we treat such matters as Tameh? It’s a gezeira against those that are steeped in materiality (Chamor) and only see baseness of the act of procreation (even of their own parents).


Daf 29 - onions connected to snake/death - perhaps related to seminal impurity; 



Gittin 2: The Yetzer Harah as the Ex-Master of the Household

A person bringing a Get [Document of severance] on someone else's behalf overseas (outside of Eretz Yisrael] has to bring it to the Beis Din. He has to say, "I was present by the writing and I was present by the signing."

Rabbah: we're worried that people are not familiar with [the Halacha of] "Lishmah." For the purpose of divorcing this specific woman.

Rava: we're worried about the problem of bringing back the original witnesses to fulfill it.

“Rabbi Yitzhak said: At first, the Yetzer Harah [the evil inclination] is a guest, and then it becomes the Baal HaBayit [the master of the house]." (Bereshit Rabbah 22:6; Sukkah 52b, in the name of Rava)

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, each person receives a Ktivah veChatimah Tovah, a "document of severance" from the Yetzer Harah, declaring that the person has a new, clean slate for the year. According to Rabbah, later the Yetzer Harah might come and say, "Wait, I never let him/her go. I'm still the Baal HaBayit! They sinned." We say, "No, the person is free from you. The fact that they sinned before is considered now to be "Lishmah," for the sake of Heaven.  According to Rava, later the Yetzer Harah might say, "Wait, I never let him/her go. I'm still the Baal HaBayit! They are sinning!" We say, "No, the person is still deemed free; the fact that they are not fulfilling the Torah properly now is because they are not in the state of witnessing the holiness of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur."

Gittin 3: What's More Essential, the Ktivah (Writing) or the Chatimah (Signing)?

When it comes to kiyum haget (establishing the validity of a divorce document) even a "Baal Davar," an interested party can testify. "Baal Davar," which literally means "Master of the word," is one of the names for the Yetzer HaRah.

What's the main service that requires "Lishma," the Ktivah (writing) or the Chatimah (signing)? According to Rabbi Meir it's the Chatimah, while according to Rabbi Elazar it's the Ketivah. Rabbi Yehudah requires both.

What's the service of the Yamim Nora'im (High Holy Days) that raises all our deeds to the level of "Lishma," Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur? Rabbi Meir, who was a descendant of converts from Edom (Rome), believes the main elevation is the Teshuvah (repentance) associated with Yom Kippur. Rabbi Elazar, who came from a prominent family and became the head of the Jewish people from a very young age, believes the main elevation is Rosh Hashanah, which the level of Tzadikim Gemurim (completely righteous). Rabbi Yehudah, who was not a descendant of converts yet nevertheless had a very good relationship with the Romans, thought that both services were important for attaining the level of "Lishma."

Gittin 4: Behaviors Outside of the Realm of Holiness

There's a debate regarding whether a Get written on the border of the Land of Israel requires the statement of the emissary regarding Ketivah and Chatimah. Rabban Gamliel says this includes the border towns of Rekem and Cheger. Rabbi Eliezer says even from Kfar Ludim to Lud, and Abayeh says even a town that's enveloped by Israel's borders.
The Land of Israel is the "Holy Land." When a person is trying to improve their behavior and rid itself of the "Baal Davar," the Yetzer Harah, to what extent is repentance needed for things that may be just slightly off the mark, really a gray area in terms of whether it's considered at all a sin?

Rabban Gamliel says it includes Rekem and Cheger. Rekem comes from the verb "Lirkom," to embroider. Cheger comes from "Lachgor," to gird. Whether a person is simply planning or preparing to take an improper action, even that action never came about, it still requires fixing.

Rabbi Eliezer says even from Kfar Ludim to Lud. Even if superficially, you can hardly tell the difference between the holy and unholy action, that still requires Teshuvah.
Abayeh says even if the unholy behavior is enveloped by holiness, still it requires repentance.

Gittin 5: The Emissary as a Witness and a Judge

The Talmud speaks of whether the Sheliach (emissary) needs to make the declaration of Ketivah veChatimah in front of two or three people. Rabbi Yochanan says one needs only two, while Rabbi Chaninah says you need three.

The Gemara explains that this discussion is based on a different question: whether the one who brings the Get can be considered a witness regarding the Get (that it was written in front of two people), and if then, as witness, whether he can be considered as one of the three judges necessary in order to uphold the Get in court.

The conclusion, surprisingly, is yes, following the opinion of Rabbi Yochanan. At least when it comes to Rabbinical issues, the agent himself can serve as a witness as well as a judge, so only two (additional) people are needed to uphold the Get in court.


In the service of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Sheliach Tzibur (lit. emissary of the congregation, ie. the prayer leader) plays a very important role. As he is praying on behalf of the congregation (and in reality everyone of us should think of him or herself as a mini-Sheliach Tzibur), he should think of himself not only as an emissary, but also a witness testifying in its favor. Not only that, the emissary should even see himself as one of the judges (!!!), judging every single person favorably.

Gittin 6: Making Diaspora into Eretz Yisrael

The Talmud discusses whether Babylonia, with its numerous houses of study, has the legal status of Israel when it comes to the laws of Gittin. Rav says yes and Shmuel says no, that it has the status of every other land outside of Israel.

Rav says that Yeshivot (houses of study) create a lot of movement, and therefore it'll be possible to find the necessary witnesses to uphold the Get. Shmuel says that because the people were involved mainly in study Torah, people won't be familiar with the signatures of others and won't be able to uphold the validity of the documents.

The final ruling is that, yes, Babylonia does have the same legal status of Israel when it comes to these laws.


We have obligation to make the Diaspora like the Land of Israel. How do we do this? Through Torah learning. The Yeshivot are the main thing. Shmuel raises an important point regarding the need to do business as well, but in the end of the day, the main thing is Torah learning.

(The Talmud will later discuss Surya, on the border of the Land of Israel, which King David managed to infuse with many aspects of the holiness of the Land of Israel)

Gittin 7: the "Adam Gadol" and the "Davar Gadol"

As an example about the importance of not creating too much fear in one's household, the Talmud discusses how once an "Adam Gadol," a great person, was (almost) fed a "Davar Gadol" (a big [non-kosher] thing) because the people in the house were too afraid to admit their mistake in the preparation of the food.

This also an example of the Divine characteristic of reward and punishment known as Middah K'neged Middah, where the retribution comes in the same form as the original behavior, to teach a lesson. Anger ultimately comes from a feeling of self-importance. It is utterly unkosher. Similarly, fearing anything other than G-d is also a form of impurity. By making oneself great, showing anger and instilling fear, the "Adam Gadol" was feeding unkosher energy to the world, so it was proper that he be punished with (almost) being fed unkosher food.

Gittin 8: Acquiring Yourself (Atzmech)  and the Possessions of the Evil Inclination

The Talmud has a discussion regarding a slave who brings a document of freedom and it says there, "Yourself (Atzmech) and my possessions are acquired by you." We believe him regarding himself but not his master's possessions.

There's significant debate regarding what happens if a single statement is made, where the owner says, "All my possessions are acquired by you." According to Abaye, we free him only if he can establish the validity of the entire document, while according to Rava we can split the words of the document and believe him regarding himself (freeing him immediately).

The Talmud further discusses whether or not we can split words of such a statement. An example is brought regarding a master's statement where he gives everything to a slave except for a small part. Rabbi Shimon says yes, unless the master's intentions of not freeing the slave were obvious (and it was just a trick), we split the statement (free the slave but not giving him the master's possession), while Rabbi Meir at first appears to says no, we cannot split the statement, neither the slave or the possessions are transferred. Rabbi Yossi says that "Rabbi Shimon's lips should be kissed" but that the Halacha is according to Rabbi Meir.

Another example is given regarding someone on his deathbed that gives everything to a slave. There, even Rabbi Meir says that if the master recovers, the slave is free (the statement cannot be retracted) while the possessions are returned. We conclude that Rabbi Meir always believed that one can split words, it's just that when it comes to a document of freedom, the separation must be total.

As discussed previously regarding a divorce document, a document of freedom also is connected to the idea of Teshuvah. There is a lower level of Teshuvah and a higher level. In a lower level, one frees oneself from bad behavior, but one's previous bad behavior is not acquired as a merit. In a higher level of Teshuvah, the sins themselves are transformed into merits, essentially transferring what was once the possession of his temporary master, the evil inclination.

Regarding lower level Teshuvah, there is less scrutiny. However, regarding higher level Teshuvah, we must ensure that he can establish (fulfill) the contract. If two separate steps were taken, the lower level Teshuvah is immediately accepted, and the higher one is investigated.

What happens when the Teshuvah is so dramatic and fast that he achieves lower and higher level Teshuvah in one fell swoop? Can we separate the person's freedom from bad behavior from the transformation of sins into mitzvot? Abaye says no while Rava says yes.

In the case where the transformation is not total (the yetzer harah holds on to aspects of the bad behavior), Rabbi Meir says not even the person is free. Rabbi Shimon says the person is free, unless the yetzer harah is basically tricking the person. Rabbi Yossi says that Rabbi Shimon's ability to free the person from judgement should be praised, but that the Halacha is like Rabbi Meir.

When it comes to the yetzer harah being about to be destroyed completely within a person, the lower level Teshuvah is immediately accepted, even if the yetzer harah is able to recover and the person is not yet on the level of a complete Tzadik.

Gittin 9: What Happens When the Sheliach Becomes a Deaf-Mute?

The Talmud discusses a case where a Sheliach cannot say the words, "it was written and signed before me." Then the signatures of the witnesses have to be investigated and proven to be accurate.

It explains that this is the case of a Sheliach who was healthy and became a deaf mute before he made the declaration. We know from a separate law that a Sheliach for a Get cannot be a deaf-mute, a crazy person, or a minor. (These are considered to be people without proper knowledge/common sense)


To be a proper Sheliach Tzibur (leader of the congregation), particularly on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the person cannot be deaf to the needs of each individual, and he also cannot fail to speak up on their behalf. He also cannot be crazy, in the sense that he must know the proper balance between reaching up to the Heavens in prayer, and remaining in this world in his thought, speech and deed. Furthermore, he cannot be a child, who in general tend to be self-centered and irresponsible.

What happens in the case where a Sheliach was healthy at the time of his appointment, but then at the time of judgement he somehow disqualifies himself? Then the "signature of the witnesses" must be investigated. Every deed in this world creates an imprint on the world, along with an angel testifying to that act, who could potentially serve to indict or defend a person at the time of judgement. A good Sheliach Tzibbur, like a good lawyer, can find ways of tempering the effect of the negative witnesses and emphasizing that of the positive ones. If a Sheliach is not around, then the deeds must speak for themselves.

Gittin 10: What if the Witnesses are Kutim?

The Talmud discusses a case where the the witnesses are Kusim (they had questionable conversions, out of fear of being eaten by lions, and generally only keep the Written Torah, not the Oral Torah). The Talmud states that if one witness is a Kusi, the get is still valid... The Gemara then tries to figure out who's opinion this is.

Really, it's Rabbi Elazar, who forbids it, it's just that in this case there was a kosher witness there that could vouch for the Kusi

The Rabbi enforced the principle of Kulchem. Everyone had to sign together at the same time.

Rabbi Gamliel even holds if both are Kusim (as a judge, he found a way to be lenient)

When it comes to our deeds, even if some are questionable, other ones can make up for it. Even the deeds of others can make up for it - That's the idea of Kulchem. We try to bind our actions to that of other Jews at the time of doing; we also bind to each other at the time of judgement.

Nitzavim is always on Rosh Hashanah, and it starts, "Ve'Atem Nitzavim... Chayim Kulchem Hayom."

Bava Metzia 113

"All of Israel are children of kings."

Can the agent of the court enter the home to pick up a security? Shmuel says no.

Bava Basra 2

Partners that wanted to build a "mechitza" (divider/wall), they build it in the middle and share the expenses.

If they are partners, isn't it strange that they want to be separate?

In marriage, in study, and in many other areas, partnerships still often need to have boundaries. If these barriers fall, HaMakom and HaAvanim (perhaps it can be read as Banim) belong to both of them.

Ideally, they will come to the realization that when boundaries fall, more room is created for Hashem, and the the "bricks" (mitzvot), or the "children," ie. the positive results of tearing down this barrier belongs to both of them.

Yoma 65-66

Importance of starting a new year, and not having a sacrifice (a reminder of their sin) lingering

We see this also regarding the rush to get the Seir out to be sent on the cliff, to the extent that they had to protect it from people ("Babylonians") that would pull the animal's hair to get it out of sight as soon as possible. 

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