Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Insights and More for Daf 11

The Lots for the Goats

The halachah that that the lot (for the two goats) does not assign the goat to Azazel unless it is fit to be the one offered to Hashem can be explained in two ways. Either, that it is a law in the assigning of the lot - to be regarded as a proper lot - they both have to be fit for the chatas which will be offered to Hashem - if one is found to be a tereifah, it is a deficient lot; or perhaps there is an inherent law that the goat being sent to Azazel must be fit to be offered as the chatas for Hashem; a tereifah is therefore disqualified from being the goat sent to Azazel, and that is why it is not considered a lot. 

Rav Elchanan Wasserman in Koveitz Heoros says that a practical difference between the two explanations is if it became a tereifah after the lot. According to the first explanation it is valid because at the time of the lot it was not a tereifah. According to the second understanding, it is still invalid because the goat being sent to Azazel cannot be a tereifah.

As they Intended

The Mishna teaches us that the zomemin witnesses are only punished if they attempted to have someone executed, but they were found to be zomemin before the defendant was executed (as long as it was after the verdict was handed down). However, if they were discredited through hazamah only after the defendant had been executed, they will not be punished. This is derived from the Scriptural verse: as they intended to do; but not as they actually accomplished.

The Kesef Mishnah explains this seemingly perplexing halachah in two manners:
1.       When the zomemin witnesses actually carry out their plan and the accused is executed - such a sin is of such a magnitude that they cannot get punished in this world. The punishment for such a hideous sin can only take place in the next world- in Gehinnom.
2.       Alternatively, he explains, if the accused was actually executed, we assume that he was indeed guilty and deserved to die. Hashem is present by every court case and it must be attributed to Divine Providence that the second set of witnesses did not arrive until after the defendant was executed.


By: Meoros HaDaf HaYomi

Most Drunkards

HaGaon Rabbi Yehonasan Eibeschitz zt”l was once asked by a gentile king why he doesn’t convert as gentiles constitute a majority as compared to the Jews. He replied that a majority is only used in case of a doubt but not when the situation is definite. Though this is true, there’s another simple answer. A hundred drunkards do not outweigh one chacham and who is like the wise of Israel who are pure of ulterior motives? (HaGaon E. Wasserman, Beiurei Agadaos ‘al Derech HaPeshat).

From Sacrifices
to Honoring One’s Father

The source of the halachah of the majority stems from sacrifices, which are offered without worrying about treifos. Maharal Tzintz writes that it is possible that we can thus explain the verse “And you will sanctify him for he offers the bread of your G-d” (Vayikra 21:8). You should sanctify the kohen and if you have a doubt if he is a kohen lest his declared father is not his true father (see Chulin 11b: “…and maybe he is not his father”), the answer is “for he offers the bread of your G-d” – learn from sacrifices that we should follow the majority and if so, he’s certainly his father and you should sanctify him (Melo Ha’Omer).

Who Distinguishes Between the Holy and the Mundane

Our sugya says that the two goats of Yom Kippur, the chatas and the goat for Azazel, must be equal. This teaches us that the holy and the mundane are likely to be equal, almost without any difference. How much must we concentrate to know what is holy and what is mundane! (Leket Amarim).

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