Saturday, December 09, 2006

Daf Yomi - Rosh Hashana 4 - Highlights


 Rabbi Yitzchak explains two contradictory verses in Ezra regarding Daryavesh’s reign. One verse calculates his reign as beginning from Nissan and the other verse counts his years from Tishrei. The first verse was at the time that Daryavesh was still righteous, however the second verse, which is discussing Ezra’s ascent to Eretz Yisroel, is referring to Daryavesh at a time in his life when his character changed for the worse and therefore his years were dated from Tishrei like any gentile king.

The Gemora questions if Daryavesh actually degenerated for it is written that Daryavesh instructed the governors of Judah to supply the Jews with whatever they may need for the Beis Hamikdosh and to do so every day. Rabbi Yitzchak answers that Daryavesh did this for his own selfish reasons and not for the sake of Heaven.

The Gemora cites a braisa which states that one who performs a mitzva with the intention of receiving a reward is regarded as being completely righteous. The Gemora qualifies this ruling as only referring to a Jew, however for a gentile to be considered righteous; he must perform the mitzva for the sake of Heaven.

The Gemora presents proof that Daryavesh soured from a verse which states that he instructed the builders to construct the Beis Hamikdosh with rows of marble and with wood. Daryavesh wanted wood as one of the materials to ensure that he will be able to burn the walls with fire if the Jews will rebel against him. Daryavesh strategically placed the wood on the bottom in order that the building will collapse if burned.

The Gemora offers further proof that Daryavesh morally deteriorated later on in life from a verse which states that he had a female dog which he would sodomize. This dog was as beloved to him as a queen. (3b – 4a)


 The Mishna had stated that the first of Nissan is considered the New Year in regards to the festivals. The Gemora questions this since Pesach is on the fifteenth of Nissan. Rav Chisda answers that the Mishna means that Nissan is the month that has the New Year for the festivals in it.

The Gemora clarifies the halachic implications of this New Year. One who makes a vow to offer a sacrifice to the Beis Hamikdosh has a commandment not to delay. Rabbi Shimon, who is the Tanna of our Mishna, maintains that one will transgress this commandment if he waits three festivals and does not bring the korban. The three festivals must be in succession, with Pesach being the first. (4a)


 There are several different opinions cited in a braisa as to when a person will have transgressed the commandment of not delaying. One Tanna holds that if any three festivals pass without the korban being brought, he has violated this commandment. Rabbi Shimon maintains that one will transgress this commandment if he waits three festivals and does not bring the korban. Rabbi Meir is of the opinion that he transgressed the commandment as soon as one festival passes. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that he is liable if two festivals pass. Rabbi Elozar holds that he violates this commandment if the Festival of Sukkos passes. The Gemora cites the sources for each one of the opinions. (4a – 4b)


 In the course of the discussion pertaining to the commandment of not delaying, the Gemora learns out other halachos as well. One is obligated to bring a shelamim offering on the first day of every festival. The Gemora learns that there is a seven day compensation period for anyone that didn’t bring the korban. The exception is Sukkos, which actually has eight days of compensation.

Shmini Atzeres, the eighth day of Sukkos is considered an independent festival in regards to six matters. (4b)