Shiur Shkolim 9a – 8 Nissan, 5784 – 4/16/24


Shkolim – 9a

8 Nisan 5784. 04/16/2024

It’s Erev Pesach…so just some brief notes:

Erev Pesach in Boro Park - Part 3 – Boro Park 24

1- Our גמרא states the size of a cup that contains a רביעית.

We briefly mentioned the basic issue with שיעורים.

How much is a רביעית?

The גמרא states that there are two ways of measuring it.

1- A רביעית is a ¼ of a לוג. A לוג is the size of 6 eggs. Therefore a רביעית would be 1.5 eggs.

Six Bright Yellow Egg Yolks In A White Bowl Stock Photo, 42% OFF

A לוג is the size of 6 eggs.

2- A רביעית takes up a square cup of 2 thumbs x 2 thumbs x 2.7 thumbs.

[Our גמרא ירושלמי has it as 2 thumbs x 2 thumbs x 1.83333 thumbs. However the above 2.7  is the accepted number as per the בבלי in פסחים קט, א .  See Tosfos there].

i) Measurements of thumb (ii) Different contact points of thumb on the... | Download Scientific Diagram

In theory, using these two measuring systems the result should equal the same, The problem is that, at least in our days, these two methods do not match at all.

By using method 1, we arrive at 2.92 oz. [The average egg today  is 57.6 ml x 1.5 = 86.4ml]

By using method 2, we arrive at 5.04 oz. [The average thumb today is 2.4 cm. So 4.8 x 4.8 x 6.48 = 149.3 Ml].

2- Either our thumbs grew or the eggs shrunk. נתקטנו הביצים.

So which method is correct today?

Reb Chaim Naeh’s opinion is that we should follow method 1.

אברהם חיים נאה – חב"דפדיה

הגר”ח נאה

The Noda B’Yehuda’s opinion is that we should be מחמיר and use method 2.

There is a third option as per the Rambam  – רמב”ם עדיות א:ב – who used the weight of the Dirham to calculate the amount of a רביעית.

ומצאתי הרביעית הנזכרת בכל התורה תכיל מן היין קרוב כ”ו כספים הנקראים דרה”ם בערבי

He writes that the weight of 26+- Dirhams equals the weight of a רביעית of wine.

A  Dirham weighs 3.205 grams, so the weight of 26 Dirhams equals the weight of  78-80 ml of wine. That would make the רביעית   only 2.7 oz!

Morocco Dirham obverse

Dirham Coin – reads: “Kasbah Arcade, one game per coin only”

We discussed the Dirham and if its weight remained constant throughout the ages.

More contemporary opinions say the Dirham the Rambam used weighed only 3 grams (or less) resulting in an even smaller רביעית.

1 Dirham coin from Morocco - Exchange yours for cash today

Modern Dirham

3- We discussed an interesting explanation by Reb Reuven Margolis on a special חודש ניסן in the time of חזקיהו  המלך.


1- We do not say מזמור לתודה on פסח and ערב פסח since a תודה contained חמץ.

שו”ע אדה”ז או”ח תכט, יג.

ונוהגין במדינות אלו שלא לאומרה בשבת ויום טובכג מפני שאין תודה קריבה בהןכד וכן בימי הפסחכה אין תודה קריבהכו משום חמץ שבה וכן בערב פסח כמו שיתבאר בסי’ תכ”טכז

Tzav: Korban Todah – Thanking God with a Chametz and Matzah Party

2- However, we find in תנ”ך , when describing the types  of קרבנות brought upon the rededication of the בית המקדש in the time of חזקיהו, the קרבן תודה.

This was on the 16th day of the first month which is טו ניסן! The first day Chol HaMoed.

Chometz in middle of פסח?

דברי הימים  ב  כט טז

וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ הַ֠כֹּהֲנִ֠ים לִפְנִ֣ימָה בֵית־יְהֹוָה֮ לְטַהֵר֒ וַיּוֹצִ֗יאוּ אֵ֤ת כׇּל־הַטֻּמְאָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר מָֽצְאוּ֙ בְּהֵיכַ֣ל יְהֹוָ֔ה לַחֲצַ֖ר בֵּ֣ית יְהֹוָ֑ה וַֽיְקַבְּלוּ֙ הַלְוִיִּ֔ם לְהוֹצִ֥יא לְנַחַל־קִדְר֖וֹן חֽוּצָה׃

And the priests went in to the inner part of the house of Hashem, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Hashem into the court of the house of Hashem.

HESEKIAH. Hezekiah cleansing the temple. Illustration, c18th century

Chizkiyahu cleans the Temple…

And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron.

יז וַ֠יָּחֵ֠לּוּ בְּאֶחָ֞ד לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן֮ לְקַדֵּשׁ֒ וּבְי֧וֹם שְׁמוֹנָ֣ה לַחֹ֗דֶשׁ בָּ֚אוּ לְאוּלָ֣ם יְהֹוָ֔ה וַיְקַדְּשׁ֥וּ אֶת־בֵּית־יְהֹוָ֖ה לְיָמִ֣ים שְׁמוֹנָ֑ה וּבְי֨וֹם שִׁשָּׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֛ר לַחֹ֥דֶשׁ הָרִאשׁ֖וֹן כִּלּֽוּ׃

Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the chamber of Hashem; and they sanctified the house of Hashem in eight days; and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.

לא יַּ֨עַן יְחִזְקִיָּ֜הוּ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר עַתָּה֙ מִלֵּאתֶ֤ם יֶדְכֶם֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה גֹּ֧שׁוּ וְהָבִ֛יאוּ זְבָחִ֥ים וְתוֹד֖וֹת לְבֵ֣ית יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיָּבִ֤יאוּ הַקָּהָל֙ זְבָחִ֣ים וְתוֹד֔וֹת וְכׇל־נְדִ֥יב לֵ֖ב עֹלֽוֹת׃

Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to Hashem, come near and bring sacrifices and thank-offerings into the house of Hashem.” And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank-offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt-offerings.

3- What follows is even more perplexing. It describes what occurred the next month when they brought a פסח שני.

Having realized that the פסח ראשון was not observed, they brought the קרבן פסח in the second month חודש אייר.

ל א וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יְחִזְקִיָּ֜הוּ עַל־כׇּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל וִיהוּדָ֗ה וְגַֽם־אִגְּרוֹת֙ כָּתַב֙ עַל־אֶפְרַ֣יִם וּמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה לָב֥וֹא לְבֵית־יְהֹוָ֖ה בִּירוּשָׁלָ֑͏ִם

לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת פֶּ֔סַח לַיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Hashem at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to Hashem, the God of Israel.

ב וַיִּוָּעַ֨ץ הַמֶּ֧לֶךְ וְשָׂרָ֛יו וְכׇל־הַקָּהָ֖ל בִּירוּשָׁלָ֑͏ִם לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הַפֶּ֖סַח בַּחֹ֥דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִֽי׃

For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and the entire congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the Passover in the second month.

ג כִּ֣י לֹ֧א יָכְל֛וּ לַעֲשֹׂת֖וֹ בָּעֵ֣ת הַהִ֑יא כִּ֤י הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ לֹֽא־הִתְקַדְּשׁ֣וּ לְמַדַּ֔י וְהָעָ֖ם לֹא־נֶאֶסְפ֥וּ לִירוּשָׁלָֽ͏ִם׃

For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

ה וַיַּעֲמִ֣ידוּ דָבָ֗ר לְהַעֲבִ֨יר ק֤וֹל בְּכׇל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִבְּאֵֽר־שֶׁ֣בַע וְעַד־דָּ֔ן לָב֞וֹא לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת פֶּ֛סַח לַיהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בִּירוּשָׁלָ֑͏ִם כִּ֣י לֹ֥א לָרֹ֛ב עָשׂ֖וּ כַּכָּתֽוּב׃

So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer-Sheba to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to Hashem, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not kept it in great numbers according as it is written.

יג וַיֵּאָסְפ֤וּ יְרוּשָׁלַ֙͏ִם֙ עַם־רָ֔ב לַעֲשׂ֛וֹת אֶת־חַ֥ג הַמַּצּ֖וֹת בַּחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֑י קָהָ֖ל לָרֹ֥ב מְאֹֽד׃

And many people assembled at Jerusalem to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation.

4 – So far so good. פסח שני in the second month. יד אייר.

טו וַיִּשְׁחֲט֣וּ הַפֶּ֔סַח בְּאַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר לַחֹ֣דֶשׁ הַשֵּׁנִ֑י וְהַכֹּהֲנִ֨ים וְהַלְוִיִּ֤ם נִכְלְמוּ֙ וַיִּֽתְקַדְּשׁ֔וּ וַיָּבִ֥יאוּ עֹל֖וֹת בֵּ֥ית יְהֹוָֽה׃

Then they killed the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month; and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt-offerings into the house of Hashem.

Committee concerning the Korban Pesach - The Sanhedrin English

Now פסח שני is observed only one day. But they feasted for 7 days!

כא וַיַּעֲשׂ֣וּ בְנֵֽי־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵ֠ל הַנִּמְצְאִ֨ים בִּירוּשָׁלַ֜͏ִם אֶת־חַ֧ג הַמַּצּ֛וֹת שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִ֖ים בְּשִׂמְחָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה וּֽמְהַלְלִ֣ים לַ֠יהֹוָ֠ה י֣וֹם ׀ בְּי֞וֹם הַלְוִיִּ֧ם וְהַכֹּהֲנִ֛ים בִּכְלֵי־עֹ֖ז לַיהֹוָֽה׃

And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of מצות  seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised Hashem day by day, singing with loud instruments to Hashem.

5 – So how do we answer these 2 questions? Bringing a קרבן תודה on פסח and having a 7 day פסח on פסח שני?

Reb Reuven suggests the following based on the story of  חזקיהו who added  an אדר שני  that particular year.

חזקיהו waited until ראש חודש ניסן and only then added an additional Adar II.

Happy Adar (again!) The month of Adar is all about celebration, joy, and yes- blessings! Let's take a moment to thank G-d for the bless... | Instagram

The חכמים accepted this added month based on the principle of

אתם אפילו מזידין אתם אפילו מוטעין

But were not pleased with this. They cited the rule that a second Adar can only be added prior to the start of חודש ניסן.

So in reality the ‘first month’, when they brought the קרבן תודה on the 16th of the month was not טו ניסן but טו אדר שני! Thus there was no problem bringin a Chometz קרבן.

And when they brought the פסח שני on the 14th of the ‘second month’ it was not טו אייר but טו ניסן!

That is why they celebrated a full 7 days,  as it was the real  פסח ראשון.

6 – If the ‘first month’ was actually אדר שני (the 13th month) and the second month’ was really ניסן (the first month) why didn’t they write is as such?

Good question.

The answer, concludes Reb Reuven, is that the חכמים wanted to record their disapproval on what חזקיהו did!

Therefore they recorded the months they way it should have been!

נפש חיה סימן תכט.


A Kosher and Happy Pesach to all.

Shiur Shkolim 8b (2) 1 Nisan, 5784 – 04/09/24


Shkolim – 8b (2)

1 Nisan 5784. 04/09/2024

1- We continued on the topic of a רביעית and the dilution of wine. Will discuss שיעורים of a רביעית next shiur bl”n.

2- Our גמרא discusses the ארבע כוסות and the proper way to drink them.

On Passover, Four Cups With a Different Kind of Sustenance - Alcohol-free seders for those in recovery and parolees -

Can one drink all 4 cups one after the other?

From our גמרא it seems that one would be יוצא. However the בבלי states that one would not and that is the הלכה.

תעב דיני הסיבה ודכוסות ובו לא סעיפים

טז. צריך לשתות הד’ כוסות על הסדרקכב שיתבארקכג דהיינו שבין כוס ראשון לשני ובין שלישי לרביעי יפסיק באמירת ההגדהקכד וההלל ובין שני לשלישי יפסיק באכילת מצה וברכת המזון ואם לא הפסיק ביניהם בדברים הללו אלא שתה ד’ כוסות זה אחר זה לא יצא ידי ד’ כוסותקכה אלא כולן נחשבין לו לכוס אחד וחייב לשתות עוד [ג]’ כוסות על הסדרקכו שיתבארקכז:

3- The basis for the above is the based on the topic of saying הלל in Shul on the first two nights of פסח.

הלל נוסח אשכנז Hallel

If we follow the opinion that if one recites הלל in Shul he does not necessarily need to say הלל at the סדר the result would be that between the 3rd and the 4th cup there would be no הפסק.

4- We discussed the opinions of reciting הלל and the מנהג of the ספרדים and חסידים.

The מחבר writes that we do say הלל in Shul while the רמ”א say we (the Ashkenazim) do not.

5- We mentioned the story, from a non Lubavitcher source, told about the Alter Rebbe.

Reb Meir Shapiro (Daf haYomi) related:

In the early days of Chassidus the Alter Rebbe was once in Vilna for פסח.   No one knew who he was except for אנ”ש. After Davening with the Shul מנין , the Alter Rebbe and his Chassidim locked themselves inside the Shul to recite   הלל with great שמחה.

Davening Alone With Joy |

The next morning, the שמש raised a commotion for this ‘great sin’ and the Shul Rov shouted at them “how did you act against the ruling of the רמ”א who says that our מנהג is not to say הלל!”

The Alter Rebbe responded to the Rov:

Please do not be angry. Were you present to witness the  רמ”א banging on the table saying emphatically, ‘our מנהג is not to say הלל’??

Perhaps the רמ”א was lamenting that unfortunately we don’t have this beautiful מנהג….

6 – Another story from a non Lubavitcher source concerning ‘the search for אתרוגים in an armored vehicle in the forests of Italy amongst the wild tribes’.

rwanda25 | Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Rwanda | John Ensslin | Flickr

Nu nu.

7- Speaking of הלל on ליל פסח we mentioned the interesting תשובה  of the Ragatchover concerning the מנהג of Anash to say  הלל on the first two nights of פסח. Here. Part 2, #8

We will discuss it more next week.

In middle of the תשובה he writes to the Rov that asked him the question about saying הלל:

And Anash that do say הלל have no clue as to why, but they are right and ‘they prophesied without knowing it is a prophecy’, to say הלל….

‘Now, if you were a חסיד like us, I would add some more esoteric insights on הלל but for a מתנגד like you this will suffice…..especially as you are also  ‘preacher’ of Mussar   רחמנא ליצלן… I’ll be short….. Yosef Rozin

He concludes by asking this Rov to pray for him as he has a bad cold…..

8- Our גמרא asks if one drank the ארבע כוסות with פסקן if he is יוצא.

The conclusion is that the תקנה of the  ארבע כוסות was not enacted to get people drunk!

Pictured: Jerusalem produces scenes of abandon in Purim celebrations

What is פסקן?

Most מפרשים translate it as ‘sipping’ as opposed to plain drinking.

The question is what causes more intoxication?  sipping (spacing out the drinking) or gulping it down in one shot.

Some Jews Drink HUNGRY GERALD, 54% OFF |

9 – There is an interesting explanation that פסקן means an extremely  large goblet. שבות יעקב או”ח א, כב.

In a letter written to the שבות יעקב a fellow suggest this idea:

He quotes an interesting מדרש, that at the time of the Persian Kings, those attending his feasts were (occasionally?) forced to drink an entire פסקן. It caused either death or psychosis.

The famous party of אחשוורוש was the exception:

וְהַשְּׁתִיָּה כַדָּת אֵין אֹנֵס כִּי כֵן יִסַּד הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל כָּל רַב בֵּיתוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כִּרְצוֹן אִישׁ וָאִישׁ.

No one was forced to drink.

No Music at Achashverosh's Party

So our ירושלמי’s question here is as follows: Based on the opinion that at the סדר one must drink רוב כוס (as opposed to רוב רביעית thru out the year) if one uses a פסקן that contains a large amount of wine – does he also need to drink רוב כוס?


The שבות יעקב responds:


Shiur Shkolim 8a(2) – 8b 16 Adar II, 5784 3/26/24


Shkolim 8a (2) – 8b

16 Adar II  5784. 03/26/2024

1- The משנה describes the next stage of the מחצית השקל process.

בשלש קופות של שלש שלש סאין תורמין את הלשכה

From the office or לשכה , where all the coins would be kept, they filled three קופות or buckets, with each bucket containing three סאה  for a total of nine  סאה.  By doing this 3 times a year, they would transfer from the לשכה to the buckets a total of 27 סאה.

This is the opinion of most ראשונים.

The Half Shekel Offering 2 - Temple Institute


The Rambam (שקלים ב, ד)  however has it a bit different. All the שקלים were placed in  one לשכה  and in this לשכה there were 3 large  קופות each containing 9 סאה. The לשכה would be locked and sealed until ראש חודש ניסן when the first of the three transferred occurred.

The תורם would then enter the לשכה and take 3 סאה from  the large (9 סאה) containers and fill each of 3 of the smaller קופות.

והכל מתקבצין למקדש ומניחין אותן בלשכה אחת מן הלשכות במקדש וסוגרין כל דלתותיה במפתחות וחותמין עליה חותמות וממלאין מכל השקלים שיקבצו שם שלש קופות גדולות שיעור כל

קופה כדי שתכיל תשע סאין והשאר מניחין אותו בלשכה.

We discussed the תוספות יום טוב who suggests as to where the Rambam derived this from our גמרא.

2- וְכָתוּב בָּהֶן אָל״ף בֵי״ת גִימ״ל.

רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר, יְוָנִית כָּתוּב בָּהֶן אָלפ״א בֵית״א גָמל״א

Beta Symbol Images – Browse 8,097 Stock Photos, Vectors, and Video | Adobe Stock

The 3 קופות were numbered with  א ב ג or the three first letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta, gamla. (Gama)


We discussed why they used the Greek alphabet.

3- In a previous Shiur (Suka 16b (2) Shvat 20, 5781, February 3, 2021) we mentioned the רבי מנוח who says that in general לשון הקודש was used only for קדושה and not for counting. וזה מהפלגת הגדולים קדושת התורה וכבודה

Does this apply here perhaps?

We also mentioned in the past the interesting  חתם סופר that when we were exiled to בבל we stopped speaking לשון הקודש because of the טומאה of חוץ לארץ.  That explains why within 70 short years many forgot their לשון הקודש.

חת”ס עה”ת ויגש, כג

כי פי המדבר אליכם, פירש”י כי פי המדבר בלשון הקודש, נראה כי סגולת לשון הקודש שלא יתקיים באדם שאינו משמר עצמו בקדושה.
 שפלא גדול הוא בגלות בבל בזמן שבעים שנה נשתכח לשון הקודש’ והי’ העם חציים מדבר כשדית ואשדודי’. יען כי לא שמרו עצמם בקדושה.
 ולזה נתן להם יוסף אות על דרכו הטוב במה שלשון הקודש מורגל ושגור בפיו:

4- Speaking of non לשון הקודש languages we mentioned briefly the big topic of inscribing on מצבות  in a foreign language in general and writing a ‘goyishe’ date in particular.

The חתם סופר, the מהר”ם שיק and others.

שו״ת מהר״ם שיק יו״ד סי׳ קע״א

A major issue is when writing a date such as 2024 are we mentioning a date associated with עבודה זרה? Are we causing others to thing about this individual?

The months are also an issue discussed as some of them too are associated with עבודה זרה.

We suggested (half jokingly) that perhaps when we, who generally write from right to left, 2024 means that it is year 4202…..

5 –  The משנה describes the precautions the חכמים established to remove any suspicion of the תורם. Thus when the תורם who enters the  לשכה he does so in a manner that he cannot be suspected in pocketing CV any of the שקלים.

When entering the לשכה his clothing would not have any pockets or hems. Neither would he be wearing תפילין or a קמיע.

אֵין הַתּוֹרֵם נִכְנָס לֹא בְּפַרְגּוֹד חָפוּת, וְלֹא בְּמִנְעָל, וְלֹא בְּסַנְדָּל, וְלֹא בִּתְפִלִּין, וְלֹא בְּקָמִיעַ, שֶׁמָּא יַעֲנִי, וְיֹאמְרוּ מֵעֲוֹן הַלִּשְׁכָּה הֶעֱנִי, אוֹ שֶׁמָּא יַעֲשִׁיר, וְיֹאמְרוּ מִתְּרוּמַת הַלִּשְׁכָּה הֶעֱשִׁיר. לְפִי שֶׁאָדָם צָרִיךְ לָצֵאת יְדֵי הַבְּרִיּוֹת כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לָצֵאת יְדֵי הַמָּקוֹם, שְׁנֶּאֱמַר: וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִים מֵיְיָ וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל (במדבר ל״ב:כ״ב), וְאוֹמֵר: וּמְצָא חֵן וְשֵׂכֶל טוֹב בְּעֵינֵי אֱלֹהִים וְאָדָם.

Suspicion Text Stock Illustrations – 565 Suspicion Text Stock Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

The one who made the appropriation did not enter the chamber wearing a bordered cloak, or shoes, or sandals, or tefillin, or an amulet, lest he become poor and [people] say that he became poor because of a sin committed in the chamber, or lest he become rich and [people] say that he became rich from the appropriation in the chamber.

For one must be free of blame before others as he must be free of blame before God, as it is said: “And you shall be guiltless before the Lord and before Israel” (Numbers 32:22), and it says: “And you will find favor and good understanding in the eyes of God and man” (Proverbs 3:4).

This rule of not acting in a way that will cause others to be suspicious of you is applied in many הלכות.

The issue of being a respected person by all by not acting in a queer and suspicious way is quite logical. It is beneficial to yourself when others are not חושד you in any wrongdoing.

6 – We mentioned the novel explanation of the  ספר חסידים about וִהְיִיתֶם נְקִיִים מֵיְיָ וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל.

ספר חסידים  מ”ד.

שהוא מביא עצמו לידי חשד שנאמר (במדבר לב כב) והייתם נקיים מה’ ומישראל ועוד שהוא מכשיל את החושדים אותו ונענשים על ידו שכל החושד בכשרים לוקה בגופו

By acting in a manner that is מעורר חשד upon yourself by others is harmful to others. The ones that suspect in (in error) are hurt.


The rule is החושד בכשרים לוקה בגופו. Someone that suspects others, without any merit or basis, literally suffers CV in his גוף.

So by acting in a way that cause others to be חושד you, you are causing them to suffer the consequences of suspecting you.

The ספר חסידים was printed many times. A very popular and accepted edition with many footnotes etc., was published by Reb Reuven Margolis.

Avrohom Keller on X: "#JewishHistory #YahrtzeitsToday 7 Elul: R' Reuven b"r Moshe Margolies, 5690-5731 (1889-1971) authored over 55 Seforim. Possessed a photographic memory, well versed in all aspects Torah including Kabbalah. He


File:ראובן מרגליות בצעירותו.png - Wikimedia Commons

R’ Reuven Margolis as a young man

We spoke a bit about this extraordinary תלמיד חכם, Reb Reuven Margolis ע”ה and his vast works, especially the ones that bridge the gap between נגלה ונסתר. See here. His ספרים.

Chabad connection here.


7 – The topic of diluting wine at a ratio of one part wine to three parts of water.

The sommelier, laboring at his craft

Was it because wine in ancient times was stronger than the wine we currently consume? Or perhaps it was a way not to get intoxicated?

To be continued.



Shiur Shkolim 8a 16 Adar II 5784. 03/26/24


Shkolim 8a

16 Adar II  5784. 03/26/24

1- To start with: דברים שאמרתי לכם טעות הן בידי

Correction to what we said and posted last week.

מן התורה all בהמות born within one year are considered one lot. Meaning that when corralling the animals and then herding them thru the gate to be מקדיש each tenth, one can include only בהמות that were born with in this particular year.

Baby Goats | Cute animals, Happy animals, Cute baby animals

Mixing animals from one year with others born in a different year is not allowed as we learnt at the beginning of מסכת ראש השנה.

When exactly is this ‘one year’ מן התורה? Three opinions which we discussed this week. See below. All of the above is at the דאורייתא level. A one year cycle.

Pin by Servane Astié on Anniversaire Ferme | Happy birthday goat, Baby goat image, Happy birthday baby

2- Unlike תורמות ומעשרות that prior to destination of the  תרו”מ , the produce is non edible as it is טבל, animals prior to passing thru the מעשר בהמה process, are not אבל . One can shecht and eat them as long as he eventually gives  מעשר בהמה – 1 from 10.

Ramabam Bechoros Chapter 7, 7.

אין הטלאים הנולדים כמו הטבל שאסור לאכול ממנו עד שיעשר כמו שביארנו במקומו אלא מותר למכור ולשחוט כל מה שירצה עד שיעשר ויהיה המעשר קדש ויאכל כהלכתו כמו שביארנו:

When he decides  to be מקיים the מצוה of מעשר בהמה, he passes them thru the gate, designates every 10th as מעשר and brings it up as a קרבן to ירושלים.

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3- However, the חכמים noticed a pattern with the cattle ranchers.

They would hesitate to perform the מעשר בהמה process until the herds were very large. The ranchers reasoned that it’s in their best interest to do it in large batches so that all מעשר of every 10 are grouped together. It made it easier to bring them all up to ירושלים and avoid the בל תאחר.

Huge herd of cows looking attentively Stock Illustration | Adobe Stock

So the  חכמים established within the year 3 cycles or cut-off dates. When these dates arrived it was prohibited to eat any animal in one’s herd that has not gone through the מעשר process.

Now they could have chosen any 3 dates in the calendar year. The reason they chose dates before the שלש רגלים was that the above תקנה would cause the ranchers to give the מעשר just prior to these dates.

(since after these dates these dates arrived eating the animals would be prohibited unless מעשר was given).

A large herd of sheep.

So by designating the date before the שלש רגלים it ensured a stock of plenty of animals available for the עולי רגל.


Archeologists discover receipt from time of Second Temple- study - The Jerusalem Post

4 – The משנה then states various opinions as to the exact 3 days of the beginning of a new cycle established by the חכמים.

Reb Akiva –

  • 15 days before Pesach,
  • 15 days before שבועות and
  • 15 days before ראש השנה.

Ben Azzai –

  • 29th of Adar,
  • 1st of Sivan and
  • 20th of Av.

Reb Elozor and Reb Shimon –

  • 1st of Nissan,
  • 1st of Sivan and
  • 29th of Elul

5 –  The 3 opinions of the דאורייתא year above in paragraph #1.

Reb Meir – from ראש חודש אלול  to ראש חודש אלול.

Reb Elozor and Reb Shimon – from one ראש השנה to the next.

בן עזאי – From ראש השנה until ראש חודש אלול. And another separate ‘year’ for the entire חודש אלול!

Ben Azzai says he is unsure who is right and his opinion is a compromise.

The Damaging Decline of Compromise | Psychology Today

6- From the expression of בן עזאי about his compromise, our גמרא derives that בן עזאי was a תלמיד חבר of Reb Akiva.

A colleague and a student.

[Speaking of חבר- a friend- we mentioned in passing the שו”ת יהודה יעלה of R’ Yehdua Aszod that discusses משלוח מנות איש לרעהו.  Does giving to a teacher who is not an exactly a ‘friend’ of his student constitute רעהו?

חלק א, או”ח רד]

We discussed this a bit and mentioned the famous book by Malachi Hakohen from Livorno, Italy. (Tuscany region).

Livorno, Tuscany, Italy

יד מלאכי

יד מלאכי - חלק א - מלאכי בן יעקב, הכהן

His ספר was quickly accepted by many as the authority on how and whom to follow when we find in ש”ס or פוסקים two or more opinions without a definitive ruling.

For example – In ש”ס –  different opinions with not clear הלכה למעשה. What’s the bottom line?

If the Shulchan Aruch says יש אומרים and ויש אומרים. Whose opinion do we follow?

The יד מלאכי has much to say as to the definition of תלמיד חבר.

Is it חבר in that they are  equal but one learnt one or two ideas from his equal?

Or perhaps that originally they were equal but now one surpassed the other, and that the other is now a his תלמיד!

7 – We went back to discuss the famous saying of בן עזאי:

יחסוך לכם זמן ועצבים: השיטות שלא הכרתם לקילוף ביצים, שום ותפו"א | ישראל היום

כל חכמי ישראל דומין עלי כקליפת השום, חוץ מן הקרח הזה

“The knowledge all the חכמי ישראל , in comparison to mine, is like the skin of a garlic! Except for this קרח”.

Egghead | Brickipedia | Fandom

Not R Akiva

Most opinions identify the קרח ‘Baldy’ as Reb Akiva. See last week’s Shiur.

We mentioned the opinion of רבינו ניסים that בן עזאי meant (not Reb Akiva, but)  אליעזר בן עזריה רבי who was appointed נשיא at a very young age before he had a beard.  Thus he is the ‘bald’ fellow here!

8- Some explanations of the בן עזאי saying:  “The knowledge all the חכמי ישראל , in comparison to mine, is like the skin of a garlic! Except for this קרח”.

כל חכמי ישראל דומין עלי כקליפת השום, חוץ מן הקרח הזה

A  – The של”ה מסכת שבועות, נר מצוה.

If we understand it right:

בן עזאי is saying that all the חכמי ישראל are indeed smarter than him. He is just sharper than them.

By nature, people that are sharp occasionally come up with ideas that are not grounded in reality. Their suggestions need direction to keep it in line.

He, בן עזאי is the sharp garlic, but they are the skin that keeps and protects this sharpness.

So בן עזאי is actually complimenting the חכמי ישראל by admitting their superior intelligence and thanking them for keeping him on track.

חוץ מן הקרח הזהReb Akiva however is greater than all, as he has both qualities. Sharpness and structure.

This is the absolute best way peel and chop garlic

B – Reb Tzadok HaKohen. דברי אמת פרשת קרח.

The גמרא says that Reb Akiva used to derive ‘piles and piles’ of הלכות based on the תגין that adorn the letters of a ספר תורה. These תגין are likened to hair on the head (the letters).

פרק י' - דיני תגין • אתר הרב מרדכי אליהו

We look at these תגין and see a mumble jumble of incomprehensible lines. Reb Akiva, by explaining each תג he is ‘untangling’ these hairs. He is giving them a ‘haircut’.

So by calling Reb Akiva a ‘baldy’, he is not degrading Reb Akiva (as Tosfos points out- Last week’s shiur). He is giving him the highest accolades, as only Reb Akiva knew the meaning hidden in the תגין.


ומסיימין בצחוק….

6,000,013 years old……


Shiur Shkolim 7b (2) 9 Adar II 5784. 03/19/2024


Shkolim 7b (2)

9 Adar II  5784. 03/19/24

Brief notes.

1 – We began a new משנה that takes us to the next step of the שקלים process.

As the שקלים came into the בית המקדש, they were all placed in an ‘office’- לשכה.

3 times a year, a portion of the שקלים were removed from this לשכה and placed into 3 large jugs or vats. קופות.

The 3 dates are:

  • 15 days before פסח,
  • 15 days before שבועות and
  • 15 days before ראש השנה.

2 – The משנה then diverges to מעשר בהמה and suggests that these 3 dates (for the placing the שקלים into the קופות) correspond to the three cut-off dates for מעשר בהמה.

No photo description available.

To clarify:

מן התורה all בהמות born within one year are considered one lot. Meaning that when herding them thru the gate to be מקדיש each tenth, one can include only בהמות that were born within this particular year.

Mixing animals from one year with others born in a different year is not allowed as we learnt at the beginning of מסכת ראש השנה.

Farm Animals Surfers Pop Art Wall CURRENT YEAR Calendar, CURRENT YEAR Holidays and Observances Size 11.5 X 16.5 inch, 30x42 cm #6 (Yak Animal Surfer ...

3 – When exactly is this ‘one year’ מן התורה?

Three opinions:

Reb Meir – from ראש חודש אלול  to ראש חודש אלול.

Reb Elozor and Reb Shimon – from one ראש השנה to the next.

Ben Azzai – From ראש השנה until ראש חודש אלול. And another separate ‘year’ for the entire חודש אלול!

We will delve into the explanation of the 3 opinions at the next Shiur IY”H.

All of the above is at the דאורייתא level. A one full year cycle.

4 – {This paragraph was corrected on 03/28/2024]

However, the חכמים noticed a pattern with the cattle ranchers.

They would hesitate to perform the מעשר בהמה process until the herds were very large. The ranchers reasoned that it’s in their best interest to do it in large batches so that all מעשר of every 10 are grouped together. It made it easier to bring them all up to ירושלים and avoid the בל תאחר.


So the חכמים  established within the year 3 cycles or cut-off dates. When these dates arrived it was prohibited to eat any animal in one’s herd that has not gone through the מעשר process.

Now they could have chosen any 3 dates in the calendar year. The reason they chose dates before the שלש רגלים was that the above תקנה would cause the ranchers to give the מעשר just prior to these dates.

(since after these dates these dates arrived eating the animals would be prohibited unless מעשר was given).

So by designating the date before the שלש רגלים it ensured a stock of plenty of animals available for the עולי רגל.

Sheep in a corral Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

Our משנה then states various opinions as to the exact 3 days of the beginning of a new cycle established by the חכמים.

Reb Akiva –

  • 15 days before פסח, until
  • 15 days before שבועות, until
  • and 15 days before ראש השנה, until 15 days before פסח.

Reb Elozor and Reb Shimon –

  • 1st of Nissan,
  • 1st of Sivan and
  • 29th of Elul.

Ben Azzai – 29th of Adar, 1st of Sivan and 20th of Av.

The reasoning behind these 3 opinions will also be discussed at the next Shiur IYH.

5 – As a preface to the גמרא further on, explaining the opinion of Ben Azai,  we discussed his life in short including him being a son-in-law of Reb Akiva.

At the very least he was engaged to Reb Akiva’s daughter – קידושין without נישואין – but then divorced her.

בן עזאי  explained why did didn’t remain married:

ומה אעשה, שנפשי חשקה בתורה, אפשר לעולם שיתקיים על ידי אחרים


Use Papery Garlic Skins to Give Broth Big Flavor | Lifehacker

6 – Ben Azzai used to say “the knowledge all the חכמי ישראל , in comparison to mine, is like the skin of a garlic!

Except for this קרח”.

כל חכמי ישראל דומין עלי כקליפת השום, חוץ מן הקרח הזה

 If קרח is a person, then who is this mysterious Reb קרח? Or perhaps קרח means something else?

 It’s a long and interesting story.

Rashi in a few places explains that קרח here means bald and Ben Azzai meant Reb Akiva – who was bald. Meaning that the only person equal to my knowledge is this baldy!

Bald eagle | Size, Habitat, Diet, & Facts | Britannica


That’s not very respectful especially in light that בן עזאי was a student of Reb Akiva…. And his future or former father-in-law….

[We can assume (as per Tosfos below) that it was said half in jest, as it fits in the context of Ben Azzai’s talking about his brain prowess].

Rashi continues. We know that Reb Akiva had a son Reb Yehoshua. רבי יהושע בן רבי עקיבא.

We also find in many places in Sha”s a תנא with the name Reb Yehoshua son of Korcho. רבי יהושע בן קרחה.

So concludes Rashi, since the קרח in Ben Azzai’s saying refers to Reb Akiva then  רבי יהושע בן רבי עקיבא is רבי יהושע בן קרחה. They are the same person.

רבינו תם in Tosfos (בכורות נח, א. ב”ב קיג, א ) does not accept it. Assume, says Tosfos, that one time Ben Azai was joking when he nicknamed Reb Akiva ‘the baldy’, but for the entire Sha”s to call his son רבי יהושע בן קרחה the ‘son of the bald Rabbi’?
Tosfos presents additional chronological proof that רבי יהושע בן קרחה is not Reb Akiva’s son.

רבינו תם concludes that surely רבי יהושע בן רבי עקיבא and  רבי יהושע בן קרחה are two separate people.
קרחה the father of רבי יהושע is the name of a person called קרחה similar to the original קֹרַח.


7 – We concluded with the amazing words of Reb Chaim Vital in

שער הגלגולים – הקדמה לו.

“My master [The AriZa”l] told me that he saw with his eyes, both,

רבי יהושע בן  קרחה and יהושע the son of רבי עקיבא and they are not the same person, as Rashi writes.

גם אמר לי מורי ז”ל, כי הוא ראה בעיניו את ר’ יהושע בן קרחה, ואת ר’ יהושע בנו של ר’ עקיבא, ואינם איש אחד, הפך מה שכתב רש”י ז”ל בפ”ק דשבועות בסוגיא דבהרת ששניהם אחד:







Shiur Shkolim 8b – 2 Adar II 5784 – 3/12/24


Shkolim 7b

2 Adar II  5784. 03/12/2024

One major topic this week with many sub-topics.

1-  Repeating the Torah of another and giving the originator credit.

a –  If the originator has passed away שפתותיו דובבות בקבר .

b –  כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאולה לעולם.

c  –  The איסור גזילה if one plagiarizes. מגן אברהם קנו, ב

2- In relation to ‘c’ above, we mentioned the dialogue between the Tzanzer Rebbe, דברי חיים, Reb Chiam Halbesrstam and his contemporary the מהר”ם שי”ק. YD 156.

משה שיק – ויקיפדיה

Mahara”m – Moshe Shick

The issue was if one copies ideas from a source, then prints it in his own  book without giving the originator credit. Is that גזילה?

(others have noted that surprisingly, neither mention the מגן אברהם).

3- We mentioned that, as the Rebbe points out, the Alter Rebbe omits ruling of the מגן אברהם. LS 36 Ki Siso 2.


4 – In regards to plagiarism, we mentioned the somewhat humorous Din Torah that occurred about 3 hundred years ago between siblings that inherited from their wealthy father a nice fortune. In addition to the allotted sum for every son, the father inserted in his will the stipulation that if any of his sons ‘will say a דרשה in public’ he will earn an additional sum from the estate.

A Cartoon Illustration Of A Rabbi Giving A Sermon. Royalty Free SVG, Cliparts, Vectors, and Stock Illustration. Image 44374825.

One son took up the challenge and actually delivered a דרשה in public and requested the promised (additional) חלק from the his brothers.

The brothers refused to pay for various reasons.

Firstly they said ‘you call that a דרשה? You would have done better not speaking at all!’

Secondly, what he did say was plagiarized! It was not his חידושים but either he read it somewhere or heard it from someone and that’s not what our father meant!

Premium Vector | No payment red rubber stamp vector illustration

They approached the famous פוסק of the time, Reb Yakov Reisher.

His response is in שות שבות יעקב ב, יוד קמו.

5 – We spoke a bit about this illustrious רב who penned many books,  amongst them the עיון יעקב which the basic פירוש on the עין יעקב. Addionally, he wrote the חק יעקב on אורח חיים which is printed inside the שולחן ערוך.

We mentioned him here.

In the past we spoke about a particular ruling of his and the Alter Rebbe who wrote a lengthy rebuttal on his פסק. This was regarding a person whose father didn’t sell his חמץ and passed away in middle of פסח. The issue is that despite the fact that the son automatically received a ירושה of the חמץ in middle of פסח it is אסור בהנאה and therefore perhaps he never ‘inherited’ it to begin with.



Reb Yakov responded that as to the first complaint that the son said ‘nothing’, well, that’s subjective. The brothers didn’t think it had value but others may differ and who’s to judge?

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‘Occasionally a דרשן presents a דרשה that has merit and yet the listeners were not excited because the דרשן is not a polished orator, he lacks the talent to explain things well or his vocabulary is limited. Or the reverse’.

[We paused on the last words ‘Or the reverse’. Did Reb Yaakov mean that the opposite is also true…..Sometimes a דרשן presents a דרשה that excites the listeners because the דרשן is a polished and talented orator with a rich vocabulary…. But says nothing of value….?]

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Additionally, the father never stipulated that this דרשה by any of his sons needs to be knocked out of the park.

As to the second complaint that the son just repeated what he heard or read, if that can be proven beyond doubt, says Reb Yaakov it is a valid טענה.

For surely the father’s intent was for his sons ‘to be diligent in their learning’ and come up with something original.

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He didn’t mean for them to just ‘clothe themselves with a טלית not of their own… as is the custom with some תלמידים that lack in their diligence and yet  pride themselves and taunt others… ’.

In short, that is not what the father had in mind.

He goes on that even if the father would be ok with such a דרשה there is the issue of plagiarism which is not allowed על פי הלכה and the צוואה does not apply is such a עבירה! .

He concludes that one of the famous local לומדים should give this son a perplexing  מדרש, place him in a quiet room for a while and see if he can decipher it on his own. If what he comes up with is worthy to deliver in a public  דרשה he would then truly earn his fee as per his father’s will.

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5 – We continued from last week the Rebbes’s letter (אגרות קודש רה)  to Reb Berel Rivkin on topic ‘a’ above.  שפתותיו דובבות בקבר

The Rebbe writes that we find 4 people that requested that students of theirs should always repeat his תורה and state that they heard it from their רבי.

דוד המלך, רבי יוחנן, רבי יצחק ורב ששת.

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Why these particular 4?

Additionally perplexing is that if repeating someone’s תורה causes שפתותיו דובבות בקבר then even if their name is not mentioned (or even plagiarized as one’s own תורה) G-D knows whose תורה it is, so why would that affect the שפתותיו דובבות בקבר? What does giving credit to the originator add to the שפתותיו דובבות בקבר?

The Rebbe writes that the son of the דברי נחמיה dwells on this latter question ‘and we can comment on his answer  ואכ”מ’.

6 – We digressed to talk about this famous חסיד and his life style who was a businessman and a respected פוסק.

הגאון הצדיק רבי נחמיה הלוי בירך גינזבורג מדוברובנה

  • Story told by Rabbi Shvay of the דברי נחמיה playing chess as a ‘breather’ after leaning for many hours non-stop. Right before he had a ‘check mate’ move, he would switch positions with his opponent and still win the game!
  • Jewish artwork, Jewish art, Painting
  • The reluctance of his son to publish his תורה and the threat of the צמח צדק that he will not allow him to יחידות!
  • The criticism he claimed he received from ‘hot headed’ Chasudim for not printing the responses of the צמח צדק to his father’s letters.
  • His name is mentioned in every volume of the Vilna Sha”s.

7- The Rebbe’s explanation to question in 5 above:

True, even if one does not give credit (and says תורה not mentioning the name of the original person who said it) it still causes שפתותיו דובבות בקבר.

However, these 4 individuals have a separate reason for insisting that either their name be mentioned or they had a special reason in general that their תורה be repeated.

1- דוד המלך

We find that דוד המלך who was a ‘בעל תשובה’ wanted that people should know that his תשובה was accepted by ה’.

כוחה של תשובה: הרב לונדין בסרטון אנימציה מעורר על עניין התשובה - ערוץ מאיר - אתר היהדות הגדול בעולם

Now, in general, one should learn תורה only from a righteous person. Thus, the best way to fullfil דוד’s wish that his sin was totally forgiven is by people repeating his תורה!

[If we understood it correctly- דוד regardless whether his name is mentioned would have the זכות of שפתותיו דובבות בקבר.

But he wanted more than that. He wanted people today to say ‘this is the תהילים of  דוד המלך’.  This proclaims that he was righteous and we can and do repeat his תורה.

2- רבי יוחנן

The גמרא describes the tragic and sad life of רבי יוחנן. He had ten children that passed away during his lifetime.

Now the גמרא says that one who leaves this world leaving behind no sons, הקב”ה is’ full of anger at him’. However, if he leaves behind proper תלמידים this anger dissipates.

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So here again, רבי יוחנן wanted not only to have the זכות of שפתותיו דובבות בקבר with his תורה being repeated. He had an additional motive for his request to say his תורה in his name. ‘Say it in my name – proclaim to the world that I left behind תלמידים!’

שהתלמידים קרוים בנים

3 – רבי יצחק

As quoted in זהר, he too asked (in addition to repeating his words) to be mentioned as the author of his תורה.

For as the גמרא states, even if one leaves a son (and there is no ‘anger’ as above) if this son does not reach the level of his father, it casts the father in a negative light. נאמר על האב מיתה אם אין הבן כמותו

The זהר says that at that time רבי יצחק’s son has not reached his father’s lever and רבי יצחק asked others to teach his son after his passing.

So Reb Yitzchok too had a special reason to ask that when repeating his תורות that people should say-’this תורה is from רבי יצחק’.

4 – רבי ששת

The Arizal in שער הגלגולים writes about the נשמה of רב ששת some interesting ideas.

Briefly, רב ששת, who was blind was a גלגול of  רבי בבא בן בוטא, who was also blind.

[We mentioned the topic about רב ששת and רב יוסף emulating רב and  if they were born or became blind ר”ל]

The reason for this גלגול was that רבי בבא בן בוטא, despite being a great צדיק, needed to return to this world to complete some ‘unfinished תיקונים’.

To accomplish this his נשמה reincarnated in the body of רב ששת.

Gilgul | Mayim Achronim

This is symbolized by their names. בבא – using the א”ת ב”ש method is ששת!

Now, when a נשמה returns in a גלגול in a different גוף, its primary objective is for the purpose of it’s original נשמה; not the current גוף.

That is why רב ששת would say (פסחים ע”ז? )  ”Be happy my soul – it is for you (only)  that I have learnt”. For his learning was only for the נשמה of רבי בבא. [See also Tanya chapter 37].

רב ששת therefore realized that his גוף is somewhat sad because when תחיית המתים comes around his נשמה will go back to the גוף of רבי בבא.

[That touches on a different topic since all גופים will be resurrected].

The Arizal stops right there – with  רב ששת’s גוף being sad.

The Rebbe concludes the story to come full circle.

רב ששת wants to bring joy to his גוף. The only thing left for his גוף is for it for eternity speak דברי תורה.

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How can that be accomplished after his passing? By causing others to repeat his words of תורה.  Therefore רב ששת in particular asked his students ‘please repeat my words’.









Shiur Shkolim 7a(2) 25 Adar 1, 5784 – 03/05/24


Shkolim 7a (2)

25 Adar I, 5784. 03/05/2024

Many topics covered. Here are some short notes:

1- Our גמרא relates a story of Reb Yochanan when walking along notices that  Reb Eliezer, a student of his, going out of his way to hide himself so not meet Reb Yochanan.

Hiding From Someone

Reb Yochanan expresses his sharp displeasure on the conduct of this Babylonian student who does not greet him with a שלום עליך רבי and additionally, hides himself from his רבי.

Some of his students try to calm down Reb Yochanan but that irks Reb Yochanan even more.

He continues: ‘This Reb Eliezer also goes around in the בית מדרש and says הלכות that he heard from me and does not give me credit’. Pure plagiarism.

Plagiarism: Mischief-making, Poor Scholarship Or Ignorance?

2- We discussed the noticeable difference as this story is in our גמרא  – which is in ירושלמי versus how this same story is quotes in בבלי.

.יבמות צו , ב 

In בבלי, only the second part of Reb Yochanan’s complaint against Reb Eliezer, of not attributing הלכות to his teacher, is stated. The first part about the not greeting and hiding is omitted.

As per the רא”ש this difference is crucial as to what the הלכה is when a students encounters his רבי.

Does a student greet his teacher with a “Hello רבי” or not?

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According to the ירושלמי – it is a definite no!

The בבלי, however, omits that part of the story, and with good reason says the רא”ש. For how can you say that greeting a רבי is not honorable and respectful when we find in multiple places in ש”ס the concepts of תוך כדי דיבור, which is a measurement of time in regards to many Halachik rules.

How long is תוך כדי דיבור? As long as it takes to say שלום עליך רבי!

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3- Practically- what is the הלכה למעשה?

See here in Shulchan Aruch. YD 242, 16

The הלכה and the מנהג in indeed to great one’s teacher in a humble and respectable fashion.

The Ram”o quotes our ירושלמי which is of a different opinion; not to greet one’s teacher at all!

3 – The story continues. The גמרא explains why Reb Yochanan insisted that his תורה should be cited in his name.

‘When a person’s Torah is recited in his name (after he passes away) his lips speak these words in his grave’.

שפתותיו דובבות בקבר

Thus Reb Yochanan was adamant for his students to quote his Torah always citing him as the source. He wanted ‘his lips’ to move forever!

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4- We briefly mentioned some of the explanation of this מאמר חז”ל

whether this is בגשמיות or in a spiritual realm?  מהרש”א ביבמות שם.

In  addition to the above

A שפתותיו דובבות בקבר, there are two other topics when citing the source.

B  –  כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאולה לעולם.

C  –  the איסור גזילה when one plagiarizes.

מגן אברהם קנו, ב.

See at length the Sicha of the Rebbe in LS 36 Ki Siso 2.

5 – So here is the obvious question. If the idea of repeating someone’s Torah after he passes away is to cause the reaction of שפתותיו דובבות בקבר, why is there a need to give him credit?

In other words, even if someone would repeat this Torah without the proper attribution to the originator, כלפי שמיא גליא that this originated with the originator. And thus it would still result in שפתותיו דובבות בקבר.

So why would Reb Yochanon insist that his students always give him credit when repeating what they heard from him?

6 – We began to discuss the letter of the Rebbe on this topic. Will continue next week BL”N and post it here.


Shiur Shkolim 7a – 8 Adar 1, 5784. 02/27/24


Shkolim 7a

18 Adar 1, 5784. 02/27/24

1 We finished the קדשים topics with our גמרא discussing the  מותר (extra) of bread and wine brought by a נזיר.

2- We mentioned an interesting explanation by the כתב סופר on the  מחצית השקל and פורים.

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Firstly, why מחצית only?

Briefly, בני ישראל when they got involved in the חטא העגל, were split into two groups.

כיצד חטאו בחטא העגל לאחר מעמד הר-סיני? - הידברות

Those that actually worshiped this עבודה זרה, and those that planned to worship the עגל but never got around to it.

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The former group were dealt with by the בני לוי or perished in the מגיפה. The latter group was spared and it was to them that the commandment of מחצית השקל was directed.

A מחצית only, since their sin was only במחשבה – a מחצית   עבירה, the intent to worship the golden calf. This מחצית השקל was a  full a כפרה on the מחצית עבירה .מחשבה.

Now the גמרא relates that when המן ‘purchased’ with עשרת אלפים ככר כסף the rights from אחשוורוש to annihilate בני ישראל, Hashem told him ‘the שקלים’ given by בני ישראל preceded your שקלים!

What is the meaning of this?

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Explains the כתב סופר that המן knew that the גזירה upon the בני ישראל was a result of  עבודה זרה in the time of נבוכדנצר.

שאלו תלמידיו את רשב”י מפני מה נתחייבו שונאיהן של ישראל שבאותו הדור כליה אמר להם אמרו אתם אמרו לו מפני שנהנו מסעודתו של אותו רשע. אם כן שבשושן יהרגו שבכל העולם כולו אל יהרגו? אמרו לו אמור אתה.

אמר להם מפני שהשתחוו לצלם אמרו לו וכי משוא פנים יש בדבר אמר להם הם לא עשו אלא לפנים אף הקב”ה לא עשה עמהן אלא לפנים והיינו דכתיב (איכה ג, לג) כי לא ענה מלבו: מגילה יב, א

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However, he also knew that that particular sin was a result of Jews being forced to bow down to עבודה זרה. In other words, an עבירה with מעשה without מחשבה.

So his calculation was to ‘join’ the lingering half sin from the חטא העגל במחשבה, with the half sin of עבודה זרה במעשה of the time of נבוכדנצר . Combining these two halves המן thought will create a negative ‘full’ עבירה and would be a reason for his scheme to work.

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Unknown to him was the Mitzvah of giving a מחצית השקל.

As above, ‘the שקלים’ given by בני ישראל preceded his שקלים and wiped out the מחשבה half. There was a כפרה on the half of the עבירה  of the חטא העגל.

What was left was only half an עבירה, the מעשה portion, [the half sin of עבודה זרה במעשה of the time of נבוכדנצר] and therefore the גזירה was נתבטל.

3- The next משנה deals on how to deal with the extra or left over funds from a collection לדבר מצוה such as פדיון שבויים.

The Story of a Nation That Redeems Its Captives

We spent some time talking about the unique הלכה of הקדש that as opposed to non-הקדש one cannot gift or acquire an object unless a proper קנין is made.

With הקדש however, just by saying ‘I am gifting this to a Shul’ the object instantly becomes the property of the Shul. This is known as

אמירתו לגבוה כמסירתו להדיוט.

What about צדקה? As the Shulchan Aruch clearly states this rule applies to צדקה as well. See below YD 258, 13,

We also discussed if promising to give a specific amount to צדקה is considered a נדר.

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We mentioned the two opinions quoted by the רמ”א (YD 258 13) if one commits mentally to give צדקה but does not utter it – is he obligated to give it?


To be continued BL”N next shiur.

4- A famous and perplexing saying by רבן שמעון בן גמליאל that many have attempted to explain.

תני רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר אין עושין נפשות לצדיקים, דבריהם הן הן זכרונן.

Simply translated is that we do not place a מצבה or build a ציון stop a קבר of a צדיק.

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The Rambam writes this להלכה.

(הלכות אבל ד,ד): “ובונין נפש על הקבר, והצדיקים אין בונים להם נפש על קברותיהם, שדבריהם הם זכרונם”.

How does this jive with the long history of Jews placing tombstones or large structures atop the קברים of צדיקים???

מידע לדרך קברי צדיקים במרוקו-מידע,טיפים והמלצות,כתבות על קברי צדיקים במרוקו

5- We mentioned what the כתב סופר (YD 189) said at the consecration of the ציון on his father’s, the חתם סופר, burial place.

A grave site serves a double purpose says the כתב סופר:

A – for the נשמה of the deceased by marking the location of his resting place so people can come and pray for his soul.

B – for the people to know this specific location to pray for themselves.

Now when talking about the נשמה of a צדיק, being a righteous person, he personally has no need for people to pray for his soul since, despite having departed this world, his תורה is constantly being recited. The repeating of his תורה is a constant benefit for his נשמה.

מידע לדרך קברי צדיקים במרוקו-מידע,טיפים והמלצות,כתבות על קברי צדיקים במרוקו

Thus, the only reason to build a ציון is for the benefit of the living.

So the meaning of what רבן שמעון בן גמליאל said,  אין עושין נפשות לצדיקים is that a ציון is not built for צדיקים as they don’t need it.

It is only built for those who will come to Daven at his קבר.

We mentioned the fascinating story of how the חתם סופר’s grave survived when the fascists/communists built a road thru the Jewish cemetery in Pressburg/ Bratislava, Slovakia. Much ingenuity was used to preserve this site.

See here and here. If you’re planning a visit, remember to book in advance.

בעל שו”ת כתב סופר (יו”ד סימן קעח) אמר ביום הקמת המצבה על קברו של אביו, החתם סופר, שהתועלת בהקמת מצבה היא גם לנשמתו של הנפטר וגם לאנשים הבאים לפקוד את קברו. התועלת לנשמתו היא בזכרון הנפטר, שלא ישכחו להתפלל בעד נשמתו, ומלבד זאת יש תועלת למתפללים במקום קבורתו של צדיק שבאמצעות המצבה הם מזהים את המקום ויודעים היכן לעמוד ולהתפלל, וכוונת הגמרא היא שאין עושים נפשות לצדיקים לצורך הצדיק, כי אין לנשמתו צורך שיתפללו עליה, שהרי דברי התורה שלה ממשיכים לפעול בעולם, אולם לתועלת האנשים הרוצים להתפלל שם, שידעו את מקום קבורת הצדיק, יש צורך לבנות מצבה על קברו.



Shiur Shkilim 6b (2) 11 Adar I, 5784 – 2/20/24


Shkolim 6b (2)

Adar I 11, 5784. February 20, 2024

Our גמרא was a rather complicated קדשים sugya concerning לשמה and פיגול.

One short note:

We previously encountered the idea that according to בית הלל, an error when being מקדיש is null and void. טעות בהקדש אינו הקדש.

This concept of  אין הקדש בטעות is used in another totally different (and amusing) case.

טבעת מקודשת מט | טבעות נישואין מיוחדות בכיתובים אישיים | גלריית אבינו

The case is of a fellow ראובן, that sent שמעון as a שליח to be מקדש לאה, for him. לאה lived in another city and upon the שליח arriving in this city he coordinated with the town leaders and showed them his proxy documentation from ראובן.

After choosing proper עדים for the קידושין he went thru the proper ritual in front of them by saying  ’הרי את מקודשת לראובן.

Afterwards, the above the עדים said that what they heard him say was actually הרי את מקודשת לי!

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When the עדים asked him “why did you say לי”? The שליח swears that “I thought I said הרי את מקודשת לראובן, and חס ושלום I did not mean it for myself. Especially as I already have a wife and how can I hurt her by marrying another woman?”

We digressed to discuss if the חרם דרבינו גרשום had already been enacted. It was indeed after the חרם was accepted, at least in Europe.

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רבנו גרשום (מכונה רבינו גרשום מאור הגולה או רגמ”ה; דתשך 960[1]דתשפח 1028)

רבי מאיר ב”ר ברוך מרוטנבורג נודע בשם המהר”ם מרוטנבורג (אחרי דתתקפ (1220) – יט באייר הנג (1293))

“And if I did indeed say לי, it was because there was a commotion etc”.

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The שליח immediately went over to the woman and said הרי את מקודשת’ לראובן’.

So now the question is who is she married to? ראובן or שמעון?

Visit Rothenburg of the holy MAHARAM | Jewish Traveler ותוליכנו לשלום

The Maharam of Rothenburg was asked this question and ruled that the שליח is believed that it was an error on his part and has to validity. He bases it on the above opinion of בית הלל that הקדש בטעות is אינו הקדש.


Shiur Shkolim 6b Adar I 4, 5784. 02/13/24



Shkolim 6b

Adar I 4, 5784. February 13, 2024

Some short notes:

1- Our גמרא offers a reason for the מצווה of פדיון הבן by giving 5 שקלים to the כהן.

סדר פדיון הבן - קו ההלכה הספרדי

רִבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה רִבִּי לֵוִי בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ. לְפִי שֶׁמָּכְרוּ בְכוֹרָהּ שֶׁל רָחֵל בְּעֶשְׂרִים כֶּסֶף יְהֵא כָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד [פוֹדֶה אֶת] בְּנוֹ בְכוֹרוֹ בּעֶשְׂרִים כֶּסֶף.

‘Because they (שבטים) sold the בכור of רחל for 20 silver coins they should pay for their first born 20 silver coins’.

The math is: 20 silver coins equals 5 שקל.

פדיון הבן – Apps on Google Play

2 – The question as asked by the משך חכמה :

רבי מאיר שמחה הכהן, צולם בשנת 1924

הרב מאיר שמחה הכהן מדווינסק

It’s amazing that the (descendants of) Yosef (the victim), need to give פדיון הבן to the (descendants of) Levi who was the seller!

3 – In continuation of last week, the idea that the מחצית השקל is a כפרה for the מכירת יוסף, we discussed the various explanation on how there were 10 (out of the 12)  שבטים associated in the מכירת יוסף.

The issue is – יוסף was the victim. בנימין was not present at all. ראובן was not present at the time of the sale.

מכירת יוסף

The קרבן העדה removes יוסף and בנימין. Others remove ראובן and בנימין, while including יוסף since he caused the hate of his brothers against him.

4 – We now entered a סוגיא in קדשים which will be IYH continued next week.

The point discussed is the uniqueness of the קרבן פסח as being the only קרבן that can be switched to another קרבן type – namely a שלמים.

בהעלותך": השלמות שבהרגשת החיסרון

This chart of פסוקים was used to get an idea of the concepts.

צאן – שה

כבש – איל – טלה.  Sheep

עז – תיש –  גדי – שעיר. Goats


עגל – שור- פרה – פר – Bull – cow  – ox

שמות פרק יב –                פסח

ג דַּבְּרוּ, אֶל-כָּל-עֲדַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר, בֶּעָשֹׂר, לַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה:  וְיִקְחוּ לָהֶם, אִישׁ שֶׂה לְבֵית-אָבֹת–שֶׂה לַבָּיִת.  ד וְאִם-יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת, מִהְיוֹת מִשֶּׂה–וְלָקַח הוּא וּשְׁכֵנוֹ הַקָּרֹב אֶל-בֵּיתוֹ, בְּמִכְסַת נְפָשֹׁת:  אִישׁ לְפִי אָכְלוֹ, תָּכֹסּוּ עַל-הַשֶּׂה.  ה שֶׂה תָמִים זָכָר בֶּן-שָׁנָה, יִהְיֶה לָכֶם; מִן-הַכְּבָשִׂים וּמִן-הָעִזִּים, תִּקָּחוּ.

 דברים פרק טז, ב

א שָׁמוֹר, אֶת-חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, וְעָשִׂיתָ פֶּסַח, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:  כִּי בְּחֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב, הוֹצִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ מִמִּצְרַיִם–לָיְלָה.  ב וְזָבַחְתָּ פֶּסַח לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, צֹאן וּבָקָר, בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-יִבְחַר יְהוָה, לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמוֹ שָׁם.

ויקרא פרק א –                 עולה

א וַיִּקְרָא, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֵלָיו, מֵאֹהֶל מוֹעֵד לֵאמֹר.  ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם, אָדָם כִּי-יַקְרִיב מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן, לַיהוָה–מִן-הַבְּהֵמָה, מִן-הַבָּקָר וּמִן-הַצֹּאן, תַּקְרִיבוּ, אֶת-קָרְבַּנְכֶם.

ג אִם-עֹלָה קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן-הַבָּקָר, זָכָר תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ; אֶל-פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, יַקְרִיב אֹתוֹ, לִרְצֹנוֹ, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.

י וְאִם-מִן-הַצֹּאן קָרְבָּנוֹ מִן-הַכְּשָׂבִים אוֹ מִן-הָעִזִּים, לְעֹלָה–זָכָר תָּמִים, יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ.

 פרק ב –                  שלמים

א וְאִם-זֶבַח שְׁלָמִים, קָרְבָּנוֹ–אִם מִן-הַבָּקָר, הוּא מַקְרִיב, אִם-זָכָר אִם-נְקֵבָה, תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.

ו וְאִם-מִן-הַצֹּאן קָרְבָּנוֹ לְזֶבַח שְׁלָמִים, לַיהוָה–זָכָר אוֹ נְקֵבָה, תָּמִים יַקְרִיבֶנּוּ.  ז אִם-כֶּשֶׂב הוּא-מַקְרִיב, אֶת-קָרְבָּנוֹ–וְהִקְרִיב אֹתוֹ, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.  יב וְאִם עֵז, קָרְבָּנוֹ–וְהִקְרִיבוֹ, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.

פרק ה –                  חטאת

ה וְהָיָה כִי-יֶאְשַׁם, לְאַחַת מֵאֵלֶּה:  וְהִתְוַדָּה–אֲשֶׁר חָטָא, עָלֶיהָ.  ו וְהֵבִיא אֶת-אֲשָׁמוֹ לַיהוָה עַל חַטָּאתוֹ אֲשֶׁר חָטָא נְקֵבָה מִן-הַצֹּאן כִּשְׂבָּה, אוֹ-שְׂעִירַת עִזִּים–לְחַטָּאת; וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו הַכֹּהֵן, מֵחַטָּאתוֹ.

פרק ה –                  אשם

יז וְאִם-נֶפֶשׁ, כִּי תֶחֱטָא, וְעָשְׂתָה אַחַת מִכָּל-מִצְוֺת יְהוָה, אֲשֶׁר לֹא תֵעָשֶׂינָה; וְלֹא-יָדַע וְאָשֵׁם, וְנָשָׂא עֲוֺנוֹ.  יח וְהֵבִיא אַיִל תָּמִים מִן-הַצֹּאן, בְּעֶרְכְּךָ לְאָשָׁם–אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן; וְכִפֶּר עָלָיו הַכֹּהֵן עַל שִׁגְגָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר-שָׁגָג, וְהוּא לֹא-יָדַע–וְנִסְלַח לוֹ.  יט אָשָׁם, הוּא:  אָשֹׁם אָשַׁם, לַיהוָה.