Makos 10b. Shiur 11/25/14

Makos 10b.

Points from the Shiur 11/25/14

1. An interesting point by the Rebbe about O’rai Miklot- “cities of refuge”.

The Chinuch, (a fundamental book in Yiddishkeit, first published in Venice, 1523 – and yet we are unsure of its author!) writes that there are groups of Mitzvos that are limited to a particular time (i.e. Pesach) while others are limited to particular places (i.e. in Israel).


But there are 6 Mitzvos that have no time or place constraint; they are applicable at all times and everywhere. He then enumerates them (e.g. belief in G-D) and concludes by giving them a ‘siman’ – a clue to remember the number 6!


As we learned in our Gemara, there are 6 O’rai Miklot. Thus the clue for these unique 6 Mitzvos are the 6 O’rai Miklot.

At the famous Purim 5718 Farbreingen the Rebbe asked a simple question- why choose 6 O’rai Miklot, a concept associated with death! (albeit inadvertent) as a ‘siman’? There are other happier “six’es”.

Such as the 6 names engraved on each stone worn on the shoulder of the Kohen Godol.The garments of the high priestThe Rebbe has an interesting answer.

Briefly – every Mitzvah has a counter balance that opposes it. The Mitzvah confronts this negative force and neutralizes it. “Tikun ha’Pegam”.

The 6 unique constant and universal Mitzvos enumerated by the Chinuch are countering the corresponding klipos/evil that are equally constant and universal .



What type of klipos/evil is indeed constant and universal? What force is so embedded in nature that it cannot be completely conquered?

That, the Rebbe explains, is the original sin of the Eitz Ha’Das and its eternal consequences – namely death. Even the 100% pure and righteous can not escape death.

All Mitzvos in a sense are a counter balance to this force of evil and ultimate death. [Therefore all Mitzvos are eternal until after the revival of the dead, Techiyas Ha’maisim] But they are limited in their force to negate this eternal evil because of their “locality” and time for their performance. As a ‘limited’ mitzvah, they can confront only a limited klipa.

The above six unique Mitzvos (being unconstrained by time and place) are symbolic of the eternity and the generality of this struggle, namely to purify the world of the result of the Etz Ha’das.

The Chinuch emphasizes this concept by choosing the ‘sign’ of 6 Orei Miklot. Why?

Killing be’Shogeg, the Goe’l Hadom, and the escape to Orei Miklot is similar to the general phenomenon of sinning. For a person only sins when he is in state of “not being cognizant of his actions” – i.e. Ru’ach Shtus.

The goe’l Hadom is like the yetzer hora……and a Jew’s only refuge is in Orei Miklot- Torah and Mitzvos.

2. The Gemara asks: Why does someone need to go to Orie Miklat? Let him just sit and learn Torah and Torah provides refuge…?

The Gemara’s second answer that the meaning of providing refuge is that it protects one from the Malach Hamaves, but Torah does not provide refuge from the vengeance of a Goel Hadam.

The obvious question is, when the Goel Hadam takes vengeance and kills the murderer, ultimately the Malach Hamaves is the one who takes his life, therefore ultimately it should protect him?

3- We mentioned the Ohr HaChaim In Parshas Vayeshev:
When Reuven saved Yosef from his brothers who wanted to kill him by lowering him into the pit; the Ohr HaChaim Hakodosh asks what kind of salvation was the pit – it was full of deadly snakes and scorpions, so lowering Yosef into there meant certain death anyway?

He answers that snakes and scorpions only kill someone when Hashem tells them to, so if Yosef is lowered into the pit he will only die if it is G-d’s will, and since Yosef was a total Tzadik, Reuven knew that is would live. But if would be left to the mercies of his brothers, he could be killed even against G-d’s will, since humans are ba’alei bechirah and they can kill even against the will of G-d.

That is the meaning that the Malach Hamves cannot kill someone who is learning Torah in a natural way.
But ultimately a person, in our case, the Goel Hadam, has the Bechirah which cannot be taken away even if his victim is learning Torah.


4- The Ohr HaChaim also has an interesting explanation on the attempt of Yoseif’s brothers to kill him. Briefly – they concluded that he should be judged as an ‘eid zomem’ due to his false testimony about their alleged shortcomings to their father Ya’akov.

Mendel Nemanov asked a good question that Yoseif was more in the category of ‘hak’chosho’ than ‘hazoma’.

Please comment.

Makos 10a Shiur Points 11/18/14

Special thanks to Eli Chitrik:

Makos 10a

1. In general we mentioned that the topic of the “Cities of Refuge” – Arei Miklot is something one find many ideas of the Rebbe. As we move along we will try to discuss them.

The Gemara asks: is it reasonable to designate three Arei Miklat in the Trans-Jordan to serve only two and a half tribes and to designate three in Eretz Yisrael proper to serve all of the rest of the tribes?

The Gemara answers that in Jordan murders are common.

The Rishonim raise an obvious difficulty with this answer: These cities provided refuge only for those who had killed inadvertently. How then can the Gemara state that because intentional murdered were common in Jordan, more cities of refuge were necessary?

There are many answers to this question. We mentioned Tosfos.

The Gemara below teaches that premeditated and inadvertent killers who escaped punishment by the courts, due to lack of witlessness, would be punished by Hashem. He would bring them together to a place where witnesses were present; the inadvertent killer would then fall off a ladder carelessly, killing the intentional murderer so that the murderer would be dead and the one who caused his death would be exiled. Thus, both people would be punished as they deserved to be. Because of the presence of many unpunished intentional murdered in Trans-Jordan, Hashem caused numerous inadvertent killers who had avoided being exiled to come from other places to Jordan. Mishaps would then occur in Jordan in which the exiled killers would inadvertently kill intentional murderess. Owing to the unusual number of intentional murderers in Jordan.

2. We mentioned the famous Rambam:

Hilchos Melochim Cahpter 11.

Halacha 1
In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel.
Then, in his days, the observance of all the statutes will return to their previous state. We will offer sacrifices, observe the Sabbatical and Jubilee years according to all their particulars as described by the Torah.
Anyone who does not believe in him or does not await his coming, denies not only the statements of the other prophets, but those of the Torah and Moses, our teacher. The Torah testified to his coming, continued.

Halacha 2
Similarly, with regard to the cities of refuge, Deuteronomy 19:8-9 states: ‘When God will expand your borders… you must add three more cities.’ This command was never fulfilled. Surely, God did not give this command in vain.
There is no need to cite proofs from the works of the prophets for all their books are filled with mention of this matter.

Question 1:

One of the main proofs of the Rambam is that “God did not give this command in vain” and so therefore it must be that Hashem will add these three cities.

The Rebbe asks, we see there are other commandments that Hashem said which never happened, for example Ir Hanidachas and Ben Sorer Umore?
In footnote 4 the Rebbe says” “V’ulie yesh lechalek” – meaning that perhaps we can differentiate. But he does not elaborate!

People in the Shiur offered some explanations.

Question 2:
Why do we have to say that the three cities will occur only once Moshiach has come?

The Rambam is of the opinion that we can create a Sanhedrin even in our times -prior to the coming of Moshiach!

It may be far-fetched but not impossible to imagine that when they established the state of Israel they could have conquered more land and designated more cities, establish a Sanhedrin and thereby creating the need for Arei Miklot and as a result of the expansion of the borders the need to add an additional 3 cities!

What is the hechrach or necessity to say that adding more cities is only once Moshicah comes?

Hit up the comments for some answers!

4. We mentioned the beautiful vort from the Rebbe about why the Rambam adds the proof from Arei Miklot even though in the previous Halacha he brings many proofs from Moshe Rabeinu talking about Moshicah. He also cites the prophecy of Bilam. What is gained by adding another proof?

The Rebbe explains (this is only in a nutshell) that in regard to the prophecy of Neviim are sometimes subject change. As we see by Ninvey and many other stories. (Although prophecy for good thing can never be reversed.)

However Halacha does not change. A Halacha is eternal.

Therefore the fact that there is a Halacha that only Moshiach can perform is the ultimate proof of the coming of Moshicah.

As to why the Torah chooses Arei Miklot for this purpose is because (again in a nutshell) the true “refuge” of a Jew is the time of Moshiach.

May he come speedily!

Makos 9b. Shiur 11/11/14

Thanks to Eli Chitrik

Makos 9b

  1. In continuation of last weeks discussion of the Perosahs Derochim, we continued with an interesting Vort that he mentions.


See here where the Rebbe discusses the Peroshas Derochim about this topic.

The Medrash at the end of Parsahs Mikeitz states the following:

When they found Yosef’s goblet in the bag of Binyomin, the Shvotim started to hit Binyomin on his shoulder and proclaimed “Thief the son of a thief” (They referred to his mother Rachel who stole from Lavan).

Binyomin answered them back, “you are calling me a thief?! You were the ones who stole and sold Yosef as a slave!”

The Parashas Derochim asks what is the significance of hitting him on the shoulder?

It is explained that the reason why the Beis Hamikdash was built on the portion of Binyamin is because all of the Shevatim were guilty of selling Yosef their brother.

Binyomin having no part of therefore merited to have the Beis Hamikdosh built on his land.

This is indicated by the Berochos that Moshe gave Binyomin ” And of Benjamin he said, “The Lord’s beloved one shall dwell securely beside Him; He protects him all day long, and He dwells between his shoulders.” And as Rashi explains “He dwells between his shoulders” means that the Beis Hamikdash was built in his portion.

This is why they were hitting him on his shoulder. They were indicating that the whole reason they Beis Hamikosh will be built in Binyomin’s portion is because he is the only with clean hands among them. But now “you seem to be a thief as well since you were one who stole Yosef’s goblet”.  Hence the punches to his shoulder symbolizing the Beais Hamikdosh.



We also discussed his brilliant explanation of the dialog of the brothers pertaining to what should be done to Binyomin as a result of the alleged theft.

  1. It says in “Medrash Pliah” that from the fact that Avraham told Sara to tell the Plishtim that you are my sister, we can arrive at the Halocho that you are allowed to Shecht for a sick person on Shabbos?!

What is the connection?

The Rebbe’s explanation is: Avraham tells Sara to say that “you are my sister. They will therefore not kill me”.

The obvious question is- if the Plishtim were not hesitant to kill Avraham (had Sarah said that she was his wife), why were they so worried about not committing adultery? Murder is harsher that adultery!

The answer is that their logic was if they kill him they would only be committing an Aveirah- murder, albeit a harsh one at that, but only once. However if they kept Avraham alive and snatched Sara, every time they lived with her they would be committing another (lesser) Aveirah.

So Avraham tells Sara that unless she lies they will most definitely kill him and then take her.

From here we see the concept that it is better, when necessary, to transgress one strict Aveirah once than to perpetually commit several lesser ones.

Therefore we can deduct from this that it is better to Shect for a sick person on Shabbos and commit one harsher Aveirah (Shchita on Shabbos which is Skila), then to give him non Kosher where every bite he would be committing another Aveirah (A ‘lav’) repeatedly.

  1. We spoke about the circumstances of when a person goes to Golus. As the Torah clearly states it is only when one kills unintentionally then for the sake of protecting him from the victim’s family (Goel Hadam), he is directed to escape to Orei Miklot .

The Misnah (Makos 9b) states: If one kills a person whom he is known to have hated (so’ne -a hater) and then claims that his action was unintentional the rule is that we don’t believe him. Beis Din does not accept his plea – they deem it to have been done Bemaizid- intentionally.

[He is not executed since there were no witnesses and warning. But neither does he go to Golus, for Golus is not an atonement for intentional murder.]

We mentioned the logical question of the Chidushei H”arim the first Rebbe of Ger who established the dynasty of Ger.

The Gemara in Sanhedrin states even a person who is in a fight with someone else (‘sone’) can still be a witness in his enemy’s case. This is because Jews are not accused of lying falsely just because he is an enemy.

So asks the Chidushei H”arim: How we can accept the testimony of a hater-enemy because we assume that he will not lie when this same enemy-hater is under suspicion to kill!

(Hit up the comments for some answers!)

testimony of an enemy:



Makos 9a Shiur 11/04/14

Special Thanks to Eli Chitrik

Makos 9a

Rashi in our Gemara has a very harsh opinion regarding a Ben Noach.

  1. He maintains that a Ben Noach does not require a warning, he therefore is punished for his transgressions even if they were not done with full knowledge- they were done inadvertently, b’shogeg.

    Both the Rambam and the Ramban object to this. They contend that nobody can be punished by the court for (shogeg) transgressions which were done inadvertently. Although a ben Noach need not receive a formal warning in order to be punished, it must still be clear that his transgression was intentional.                             We mentioned a letter of the Rebbe that the Rambam is of the opinion that a ben Noach is punished just for not accepting upon himself the 7 Mitzvahs! (If you find the letter please post in comments).


2- The Gemara mentions that had Yosef Hatzadik sinned with the wife of Potiphar he would have be liable to ‘misas beis din“. An ‘Egyptian-Ben Noach-Court’…….

3- We discussed that if a Jew has relations with a married ‘goya‘; does this transgress the law of ‘aishes ish” or not.  Tosafos in Makos and in Sanhedrin (26 and 72?).

4- We touched upon the subject of whether the Jews before Mattan Torah had the status of Jews or not.

A very unique opinion is taken by Yehudah Rozanis (See here in English Hebrew) the famous Rabbi who lived in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) He wrote the famous commentary on the Rambam called Mishnah L’melech.

In his Sefer ‘Poroshas Derachim‘ he quotes the various opinions concerning the “religious status” of the Shevatim.

Here is one school of thought:

They definitely had the status of a Jew – but only to be more stringent. Meaning that although they kept all the Mitzvos, they were only obligated to keep Mitzvos when it was a “chumrah”, but not if they would be able to be lenient by considering themselves as Jews. They could not use their Jewishness to be less “Frum”!

For Example: Eiver Min Hachai:

Both a Jew and non-Jew alike are prohibited to eat a live animal.

However there is a  difference between a Jew and non-Jew on how this law applies.

A Jew, once the animal is slaughtered is permitted to eat the animal instantly even if the animal still has some life left. (In Halachik terms mefarcheses’)This because the slaughtering has an affect that the animal is no longer considered “Eiver Min Hachai”.

A non-Jew however, is not allowed to eat the animal until it has no life left in it, period, regardless of whether it was slaughtered or not. This is because slaughtering has no effect on the status of the animal; all we care about is that it should be a dead animal.

Thus by observing the laws of Shechita (as in this case) you are actually obligated to less!

Reb Yehudah Rozanis explains that this was also the argument of the Yosef and his brothers.


Yosef told his father that the Shevatim were eating “Eiver Min Hachai”. Can it really be that the Shevatim were transgressing such a harsh sin?

The answer is that they were eating flesh of an animal after Shechita but prior to the animal dying.


Why? Because the brothers were of the opinion that even before Mattan Torah they had the status of a full Jew. Therefore once they slaughtered the animal they were allowed to eat from it, even if it had some life left.

However, Yosef their brother maintained that while it is true that descendants of Avrohom  have the status of Jews and have to keep all commandments, this is only if the result leads to a stricter code of law because t of the Mitzvos.  If in any way you become more lenient as a result of keeping Mitzvos then one needs to revert back to the status of a Ben Noach and must keep their stringency’s as well.

Therefore eating the flesh of this animal would be prohibited – since it is prohibited to a Ben Noach.


More on this next week IY”H.