Friday, April 06, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 28 - Highlights (Angel of Death)

The Mishna had stated: They never set down the biers of women in the street out of respect (blood might flow from them and it would be embarrassing). They said in Nehardea: This halacha applies only to a woman who dies in childbirth, but other women who die may be set down. Rabbi Elozar says: It applies to all women since it is derived from Scripture that women should be buried immediately after they die. (27b – 28a)

Rabbi Elozar said: Moshe, Aharon and Miriam earned the merit to die "by the mouth of G-d", which is referred to as 'death by a kiss'. When Miriam died, the Torah does not use that expression, since it is not respectful to Hashem to write such a thing. Nevertheless, Chazal derive from a Gezeirah shavah (one of the thirteen principles of Biblical hermeneutics - Gezeirah shavah links two similar words from dissimilar verses in the Torah) that Miriam died in the same way as her brother Moshe. (28a)

Rabbi Ami said: The Torah informs us of Miriam's death immediately after enumerating the laws of the "Parah Adumah", the red heifer whose ashes were used for purification.

Why is the death of Miriam juxtaposed to the laws of the Parah Adumah? This teaches that just as the Parah Adumah brings atonement, so too, the death of the righteous brings atonement.

Rabbi Elozar said: Why is the death of Aaron juxtaposed to the mentioning of the priestly clothes? This teaches that just as the priestly clothes bring atonement, so too, the death of the righteous brings atonement. (28a)

The Gemora cites a braisa: One who dies suddenly, he is said to have died an abrupt death; if the death was preceded by one day's sickness, it is a hastened death. Rabbi Chananiah ben Gamliel said: The latter case is termed death by a plague, as it is written [Yechezkel 24:16]: Son of man, behold, I will take away from you the darling of your eyes in a plague; and it is stated again [ibid: 18]: I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died at evening. If it was preceded by a two days' sickness, it is a hurried death; if by a three days', it is a rebuke; if by a four days', a scorn; but if preceded by a five days' sickness, it is an ordinary death. Death at the age of fifty is Kares (cut off); at fifty-two, the age at which Shmuel the Ramathite died; at sixty, a death by the hands of Heaven.

Rabbah said: If one dies from fifty to sixty, it is also regarded as Kares; the reason why this is not stated in the braisa is because of the honor of Shmuel.

When Rav Yosef reached the age of sixty, he made a celebration for the students. He said: I have passed the age of Kares. Abaye said to him: It is true that the Master has passed the age of Kares, but has the Master already passed the day of Kares (referring to one who dies without being sick for five days)? Rav Yosef replied: Be content with at least half.
Rav Huna died suddenly, which caused the students great worry. A pair of scholars from Hadayab taught them the following braisa: Sudden death can be regarded as Kares only when the deceased has not reached the age of eighty; but if he has, it is, on the contrary, considered a death by a kiss. (28a)
Rava said: The length of one’s life, the amount of his children, and his sustenance are not dependent on merit, but rather on mazal (fate).

He cites proof to this from Rabbah and Rav Chisda who were both righteous rabbis as can be proven from the fact that one prayed and it began to rain and the other prayed and it began to rain. Rav Chisda lived ninety-two years and yet, Rabbah lived only forty. Rav Chisda’s house had sixty weddings, and yet, Rabbah’s house had sixty deaths. Rav Chisda’s house gave fine-flour bread to their dogs because they had so much; whereas Rabbah’s house gave barley flour to people and there wasn’t enough.

Rava said: Three things I prayed that Heaven should grant me. Two were granted, the third one not. I asked for the wisdom of Rav Huna and the wealth of Rav Chisda and both were granted to me, but I asked also for the humility of Rabbah bar Rav Huna and that was not given to me. (28a)

Rav Seorim, the brother of Rava, was sitting at the bedside of Rava when Rava was deathly ill. As Rava was about to die, he said: Let the Master tell him (the Angel of Death) not to pain me. He answered him: Is, then, the Master himself not a friend of him? Rava replied: As my fate was already delivered to him, he will not listen to me any more. Rav Seorim said to Rava: I would like that the Master should appear before me after he dies. After Rava died, he came to Rav Seorim and Rav Seorim asked him: Did the Master feel any pain? He answered: It resembled a puncture from a bloodletter’s lancet (there was very little pain).

Rava was sitting at the bedside of Rav Nachman when Rav Nachman was deathly ill. As Rav Nachman was about to die, he said: Let the Master tell him (the Angel of Death) not to pain me. Rava answered him: Isn’t the Master a prominent person? Rav Nachman replied: Who is esteemed, or awesome, or exalted? Rava said to Rav Nachman: I would like that the Master should appear before me after he dies. After Rav Nachman died, he came to Rava and Rava asked him: Did the Master feel any pain? He answered: It resembled the removal of hair from milk (it didn’t cause any pain); and yet, if the Holy One, blessed be He, would command me to return to the world, I would not be interested, for the fear of the Angel of Death is too great.

Rabbi Elozar was eating terumah when the Angel of Death appeared before him. Rabbi Elozar said to him: I am now eating terumah, is it not sacred? The moment passed and he was spared.

The Angel of Death presented himself to Rav Sheishes in the marketplace. Rav Sheishes said to him: Do you wish to take me when I am in the market, as if I were an animal? Come to my house.

The Angel of Death presented himself to Rav Ashi in the marketplace. Rav Ashi said to him: Wait thirty days in order that I will be able to review my studies, as it is said: Fortunate is the person who comes here with his studies in his hand. On the thirtieth day he appeared again, and Rav Ashi said to him: What is the rush? He answered him: You are interfering with (Rav Huna) Bar Nassan (as his time has come to take over your position), and the reign of one ruler may not impinge upon another, even as much as a hair.

Rav Chisda could not be overpowered (by the Angel of Death), since his mouth never ceased from studying Torah. The Angel of Death climbed up and sat on a cedar in front of Rav Chisda’s house of study. When the cedar broke down, Rav Chisda interrupted his study for a moment and the Angel of Death overpowered him at that moment.

Rabbi Chiya could not be overpowered (by the Angel of Death). One day he disguised himself as a pauper, and went and knocked on the door of Rabbi Chiya, and asked for a slice of bread. The household members gave him some bread. The Angel of Death said to him: Doesn’t the Master have mercy with a poor man? Why doesn’t the Master have mercy with me (and let me fulfill my mission)? He revealed himself to Rabbi Chiya, showing him a rod of fire and Rabbi Chiya surrendered his soul to him. (28a)


Josh M. said...

When Miriam died, the Torah does not use that expression, since it is not respectful to Hashem to write such a thing.

This implies that HaShem has, k'v'yachol, a tzad zachrus - but what would this mean? Or is there a different way of understanding this idea?

Avromi said...

I will bli neder look for an explanation over Shabbos and post here - thanks.

Anonymous said...

Medrash states that Hashem never appeared to a woman, and even when He did, it was only through a pretense. My understanding is that it is not related to tzad zachrsu. Just that prophecy via a woman is not a dignified thing.

Josh M. said...

Where does that medrash appear? And does it have any significance other than to say that Moshe (and Bil'am?) was unique and was a man (not to say that the two are independent)?

What's the word for "pretense"? I recall the medrash that says that the vision of a shifchah by kri'as yam suf (to connect it to inyana d'yuma) was greater than that of Yechezkel, but perhaps a public nevuah is different - or perhaps this is a different sort of vision?

Josh M. said...

This implies that HaShem has, k'v'yachol, a tzad zachrus

I suppose that each individual difference between men and women can be understood in terms of one side or the other having some addition which the other lacks or having some deficiency which the other does not have. This being the case, one can, indeed, say (k'v'yachol) that HaShem combines everything that one side has and that the other doesn't - and in this sense, He would have a tzad zachrus (as well as a tzad nakvus, unless the word nakvus itself implies deficiency). I don't know how to connect this directly to n'shika though.

Just that prophecy via a woman is not a dignified thing.

I never thought of n'shika this way, but it makes a lot of sense to understand the verse literally and say that death by n'shika is a form of death that occurs when one is in the throes of prophecy, the greatest high that a physical human being is capable of (which makes the jump to absolute spirituality at the sh'as misa less jarring). Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Rava replied: As my fate was already delivered to him, he will not listen to me any more. Yet a few lines later
Rav Chisda could not be overpowered (by the Angel of Death and don't say cause he was learning Rava could have done the same? and by the way whats with the Malach hamavas with the falling trees When the cedar broke down, Rav Chisda interrupted his study for a moment and the Angel of Death overpowered him at that moment.I cant remember who did not shlomo or dovid fall for the same trick?whats the allegory as i am sure rav chisdah knew how he died?

Anonymous said...

Dovid in Gemara Shabbos 30a

Anonymous said...

Josh: Breishis Rabbah 48:20

(כ) ותכחש שרה לאמר לא וגו' רבי יהודה בר' סימון אמר מעולם לא נזקק הקב"ה להשיח עם אשה אלא עם אותה הצדקת ואף היא על ידי עילה ר' אבא בר כהנא בשם רבי אידי אמר כמה כירכורים כירכר בשביל להשיח עמה ויאמר לא כי צחקת רבי אלעזר אומר והכתיב (בראשית טז) ותקרא שם ה' הדובר אליה רבי יהושע בשם רבי נחמיה בשם רבי אידי אמר על ידי מלאך והכתיב ויאמר ה' לה רבי לוי אמר על ידי מלאך רבי אלעזר בשם רבי יוסי בר זימרא אמר ע"י שם בן נח ויקומו משם האנשים וישקיפו על פני סדום ואברהם הולך עמם לשלחם מתלא אמר אכלית אשקית לוית כך ואברהם הולך עמם לשלחם:

Anonymous said...

Haggos Yosef -דף כח-Moed Katan
Daf Blurbs
The Nod
The Meiri says it implies that you are bothersome and should leave .Rambam says he cant say it any other way so you should leave ,The basic understanding is that he is nodding implies he has accepted Hashem's judgment and he no longer needs your convincing of Hashem Justice so you can leave.
Standing in Respect of a Sage
-Mourner does not need to if he does he needs no permission to sit down even though others do he went above and beyond so sitting down is his right. There are two possibile reasons Either Bothersome or "Ain Bo Hadar"
Aruch Hashulchan says today no need to get up for anyone, You can not tell him to sit down because that is as if you are continue being in Mourning.
Seduas Havrah
Why can't he eat his own food?
A person might gouge himself to forget his Mourning so we give him someone else's food as he is less likely to do it if it is someone else's food.
-The regular understanding is that we are illustrating that in this time of mourning you are not alone.
When don’t we eat our own food?
-Tosfos holds whole first Meal
-Rosh Holds first meal only
Is it all food or just Bread?
-Aruch Hashulchan says only bread
-Divrie Makiel says all food
What happens if on the first day he did not eat?
You eat your own food.
Why is Shofar for death? It reminds us of the future Shofar of Moshiach Which will eventually bring the revival of the dead.
Why does crying to much bring death?
The crying is as if you are questioning God by implying you are more merciful than he is thereby he starts double checking your deeds and if you are worthy of living, that brings death.
Dying with no Children
Why did Yeshuah Ben Levi only come to people who had no children?
The Chasam Sofer answers there are two parts to the loss of a Tzaddik We lose the person and what the person was accomplishing, when he has children there is still something to go forward with his accomplishments if not there is nothing left.
Doing A Sin Twice
The Imrie Emes says if this is true of a sin all the more so if you do a Mitzvah will for sure become part of you.
אמר זה שעבר עבירה ושנה One who committed a sin and thereafter learns does not help the sin still effects you.
Woman's Funeral
-Divrie Makiel says the law of not putting women because we are afraid that blood and Liquids will leak no longer applies because we use a coffin which would absorb any Liquids.
Sword between the Thighs
The sword obviously holds a negative connotation, but it also has a positive aspect: special that Hashem pays special attention to the mourner.
The Death of a Tzaddik or Tzaddekes
Why specify Miriam? Because she is a woman and they are the reason for death we would think there death is not a good for atonement, so the Gemora specifies Miriam to prove this is not the case.
What is the correlation of the death of Tzaddik and the clothes of a Kohen?
The Toldos Yackov Yosef says the only time a Kohen clothes are good for atonement is when he is wearing them so to the only time the death of a Tzaddik is good for atonement is when we feel an attachment to him.
Why compare the death of a Tzaddik to Parah Adumah?
Parah Adumah is the ultimate Chok Without reason, so to the death of a Tzaddik if we accept it unquestioningly as Hashem's judgment it works as the Parah Adumah did as atonement.
Rav Kook explains this correlation beautifully in his Sefer Midbar Shur
In what way does the death of Tzaddikim atone for the people? And why does the Gemora learn this lesson from the "Parah Adumah" and the clothes of a Kohen?
The main thing is the reminder to do teshuva as their death reminds of our own mortality.
The other aspect is when someone dies and the true stories of his righteousness come out In life these good deeds where kept secret only after death do we see the light of this behavior, then it is upon us to emulate and copy them. In our context The Parah Adumah is modifying our personal behavior as the ash of "Parah Adumah" must be sprayed on the person's body .The second part is the is the clothes of a Kohen, they represent the Middos of the Tzaddikim we can not emulate as they are beyond our scope because only the Kohanim can wear them and this represents these unreachable heights of Tzaddikim that non the less serve as an atonement for us.
Why is 50 considered Kares?
Because the Avodah of a Kohen is until 50 and they are warned not to the Avodah wrong as it will cause death once they reach 50 they are no longer commanded not to do the Avodah wrong so 50 is the age of Kares
-The ran has His own Pshat The longest life span the Gemora talks about is 80 years, subtract 20 years where HaShem does no count our sins you get 60 now Kares is half is 30. 20 plus 30 equals =50
-60 is an average death
Why did Shmuel die Young? He anointed Shaul in order he not see the king he put in place fail. Also his mother said he should be "Liolem" which in our reverences is 50 years until Yovel you subtract the first 2 years where he was nursing they don’t count so you have 50 years.
Celebrating non-Kares (Birthday)
The Kaf Hachaim made a big celebration at 60,Ksav Sofer made a Siyum,Arugas Habosem says don’t do it.
אשרי מי שבא לכאן ותלמודו בידו

Can have Two meanings either he practiced what he learnt
You wrote Seforim and Chiddushie torah then your learning can be in hand literally.
Why did fire come down? he received Malkos for not fulfilling his job.