Monday, February 22, 2010

Sanhedrin 5

Mother's Name

The Seder Hadoros (erech: Rav Shmuel bar Marsa) writes that he is uncertain if the name Marsa is the name of a man or the name of a woman.

In the Teshuvos Hageonim it is written: You asked regarding Yoav ben Tzeruyah – why was he called by the name of his mother? And what was his father’s name? His father’s name is known, for it is written (Divrei Hayamim I: 4, 14): and Serayah begot Yoav, the leader of Gei Harashim. And since his mother (Tzeruyah) was the sister of King David, he was called after her name.

This also explains why Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi was called after his mother’s name, for she was the daughter of Rabbi Chiya, as we learned in Yevamos (65b).

Rabbah bar Chanah as well can be explained in this manner, for Chanah was the sister of Rabbi Chiya.

Rav Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Marsa is also explained in this manner, for Marsa was the sister of Rabbi Chiya, as it was taught in Sanhedrin (5a) that Aivu (Rav’s father), Chanah (Rabbah’s father), Shila, Marsa and Rabbi Chiya were all the children of Abba bar Acha Karsela of Kafri.

In other Teshuvos Hageonim, it is stated like that as well that Marsa was the mother of Shmuel and the sister of Rabbi Chiya.

Rabbeinu Gershom in Bava Basra
(52a) writes that Marsa is a woman’s name.

The Rashbam learns that Marsa is the name of a scholar, the brother of Rabbi Chiya.

Seder Hadoros cites a Zohar that Pazi was the father of Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi, not his mother.

“The scepter will not be removed from Yehudah” (Bereishis 49:10).

The Continuation of Jewish Sovereignty in Exile

By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi

Our Gemora explains that the leaders of the Jewish exile in Babylonia, descended from the tribe of Yehudah, derived their might from Yaakov’s blessing: The scepter will not be removed from Yehudah.

Rambam adds that “the leaders of the Babylonian exile take the place of our kings and should rule the Jews everywhere and judge them, whether willingly obeyed or not, as we have been told: The scepter will not be removed from Yehudah; these are the leaders of the Babylonian exile (Hilchos Sanhedrin, 4:13).

The description of Yehudah as a “law-giver” later in the same verse is expressed by the fact that the Nesiim of Eretz Yisroel were descended from Yehudah.

Yaakov’s prophecy served as a weapon for anti-Semitic Christians for many centuries as they tried to point out “inexactitudes” in the Torah and public debates with the Christians featured the repeated question that, after all, the Torah promises eternal sovereignty to Yehudah’s descendants. “Where is Yehudah’s sovereignty and kingdom?”

Addressing this question, Ramban (on Bereishis 49:10) quotes the verse in Devarim 28:36: Hashem will lead you and your king, whom you will appoint over you, to a people unknown by you and your fathers. The Torah itself, he asserts, does not exclude the possibility that Yehudah’s sovereignty will be interrupted. “The scepter will not be removed from Yehudah” therefore means that as long as there is a Jewish kingdom, kings must be appointed only from Yehudah’s descendants, but there is no promise for a continuous monarchy. Indeed, those who ignored this commandment and crowned kings not descended from Yehudah were harshly punished. “And this,” writes Ramban, “was the punishment of the Hasmoneans, who reigned in the era of the Second Temple. They were exceedingly pious and if not for them, the Torah and mitzvos would have been forgotten by the Jews but still they were severely punished…because they reigned without being descended from Yehudah and David and removed the scepter completely. And their punishment was measure for measure, as Hashem set up their slaves over them and they eradicated them.”

The Rashba also addresses this question: “I have seen fit to record in a book my argument with one of their learned men in those matters” (Responsa Rashba, IV, 187). In his opinion, though, the verse promises that Yehudah will reign eternally, we should regard the interruptions of our exile or the reign of kings not descended from Yehudah as merely temporary as, after all, the verse concludes: “till Shiloh (the Mashiach) comes and he will gather the peoples.” In other words, Mashiach, descended from Yehudah, will finally arrive and restore the monarchy to the tribe of Yehudah.


Ruling in the Presence of one’s Teacher

A disciple should not issue a halachic ruling in the presence of his teacher. This is one of the many halachos that pertain to a talmid (disciple) in regard to his Rebbi muvhak (a teacher that taught him a majority of his Torah knowledge), due to the fact that he is obligated to revere him. A talmid that does issue a halachic ruling in the presence of his teacher is liable to death.

Tosfos points out that a talmid may not rule within three parsaos of his teacher, even if his teacher gave him permission to do so. A talmid that is out of the range of three parsaos may only rule in an unofficial manner, but to establish himself as a judge, he will not be permitted until his teacher gave him permission to do so, or when his teacher dies. (Yoreh De’ah 242:4)

Rif and Rambam explain that if the talmid is a talmid chaver - a student that did not learn most of his Torah knowledge from this teacher (Rambam’s definition), then he may rule even within three parsaos. Rama cites an opinion that even a talmid chaver cannot rule in the immediate vicinity of his teacher (ibid).

What exactly constitutes that a talmid has ruled?

1) Only if an actual issue came up, but if he was merely asked his opinion on a hypothetical case then he is permitted to reply (ibid 242:7).

2) Only when asked a question that is a novel halachah to the person who asked the question, but if it’s a common halachah that everyone knows about (i.e. he knows that such a concept exists, but he doesn’t know the ruling in his case), then the talmid may answer (ibid 242:8).

A talmid may rule even in front of his teacher that something is forbidden in order to stop a person from committing a transgression, since we do not give respect to a teacher when a desecration of Hashem’s Name is at stake (ibid 242:11).

A talmid that did not yet reach the level of Torah that enables him to rule and does so, is called a host of harsh names, among them shoteh and rasha (ibid 242:13).

A judge that drank wine may not issue rulings, unless the question is something that is explicitly written in the Torah, for example that blood may not be eaten (ibid). Once he is certain that the wine has left him then he may rule once again (Shach). Similarly if he is distressed, he may not rule (Bach).