Daf for Monday – Moed Katan 28

Please have our brothers and sisters living in Eretz Yisroel in mind when you are learning the Daf.

It should also be l’zchus Refuah Shleimah for  all the injured Israeli soldiers.

Daf Notes is currently being dedicated to the neshamah of

Tzvi Gershon Ben Yoel (Harvey Felsen) o”h

May the studying of the Daf Notes be a zechus for his neshamah
and may his soul find peace in Gan Eden and be bound up in the Bond of life.

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 halachah 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 written: And Miriam died there and was buried there. [It is derived from Scripture that women should be buried immediately after they die, even though she did not die at childbirth.] (27b – 28a)

 

Rabbi Elozar said: Moshe, Aharon and Miriam earned the merit to die by “a kiss of G-d.” 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 Chanania 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. The Tanna Kamma continues: 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.

 

Rabbi Chanin said: What is the Scriptural source for this? It is written: Behold your days are approaching that you must die. ‘Behold’ accounts for one; ‘approaching’ accounts for two (more); ‘your days’ gives us two (more), which makes five. The Gemora notes: ‘Behold’ makes one because the word for ‘one’ in Greek is ‘hein.’

 

The braisa continues: 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.

 

Mar Zutra said: What is the Scriptural source for this? It is written: You will go to the grave (vechelach) at a mature age. The numerical value of vechelach is sixty.

 

The braisa continues: Death at the age of seventy (or older) is (regarded as death in) old age; eighty (or older) is strength, as it is written: The days of our years among them are seventy years, and if with strength, eighty years.

 

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 the Ramathite (who died at fifty-two).

 

The Gemora relates: 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.

 

The Gemora records another incident: 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 anymore. 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)

 

The Mishna states: Women may chant a funeral song during Chol Hamoed but they may not clap (hitting one hand against the other, demonstrating grief). Rabbi Yishmael says: Those that are near the coffin, they are permitted.

 

On Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim, they are permitted to chant a funeral song and clap. During Chol Hamoed, Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim, they are forbidden to respond in lamentation. Once the deceased has been buried, it is forbidden to chant a funeral song or to clap.

 

The Mishna asks: What is innuy? When they all chant together. What is kinah (lamentation)? When one speaks and the others respond after her.

 

The Mishna concludes: But regarding the future to come it is written in Yeshaye [25:8]: He will eliminate death forever, and Hashem the Lord will erase tears from all faces. (28b)

 

Rav said: They (the eulogizers) said: Woe over the journey, woe over the security.

 

Rava cites seven funeral songs that were sung by the women of Shechantziv. They said: Woe over the journey, woe over the security.

 

They said: Cut bone from tooth; bring water to the kettle.

 

They said: Wrap and cover yourselves, o mountains, for he was a man of distinction and greatness.

 

They said: The coffin is a robe of fine silk to a free man whose provisions are depleted.

 

They said: He runs and falls; he borrows at the crossing.

 

They said: Our brothers are merchants, whose nests will be searched.

 

They said: This death or that death; suffering is the interest payment. (28b)

 

The Gemora cites a braisa: Rabbi Meir used to say: It is written [Koheles 7:2]: It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for that is the end of all man, and the living should take it to heart. The living should take to heart matters connected with death.

 

The Gemora explains the reward for those who eulogize the dead: One who eulogizes over the dead, others will eulogize over him. One who buries the dead, others will bury him. One who carries the dead, others will carry him. One who raises himself for the dead, others will raise themselves for him.

 

Others say: One who is modest, and troubles himself with burying the dead quietly, he will be elevated by Heaven. (28a)

 

The Gemora cites a braisa: When the sons of Rabbi Yishmael died, four elder sages came to comfort him: Rabbi Tarfon, Rabbi Yosi Hagelili, Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah and Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Tarfon said to the other three: You must know that he (Rabbi Yishmael) is extremely wise and he is well versed in Agados, and therefore none of you should repeat what the other has said. Rabbi Akiva said: I will be the last speaker.

 

Rabbi Yishmael began: His sins are many (referring to himself), his mournings have succeeded one another (one son died soon after the other), and he has inconvenienced his teachers once and twice.

 

Rabbi Tarfon said: It is written [Vayikra 10:6]: And your brethren, the whole house of Israel, may bewail the burning (of Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aharon HaKohen). If Nadav and Avihu, who observed only one commandment, nevertheless were accorded the honor that the entire congregation mourned over them; then the sons of Rabbi Yishmael who observed many mitzvos, are certainly deserving of a similar honor.

 

Rabbi Yosi Hagelili said: “It is written [Melachim I 14:13]: And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him. If this was done for Aviyah the son of Yerovam, who performed only one good deed, then the sons of Rabbi Yishmael who performed many good deeds, are certainly deserving of a similar honor.

 

The Gemora asks: What was the good thing? Rabbi Zeira and Rabbi Chinana bar Papa offer opinions: One says that he deserted his position (his father appointed him to prevent the people from traveling to the Beis Hamikdosh during the festival) and made a pilgrimage to Yerushalayim on the festival. The other says: He had abolished the guards which were established by his father to prevent the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

 

Rabbi Elozar ben Azaryah began: It is written [Yirmiya 34:5]: In peace you shall die; and with the burnings performed for your forefathers, the former kings that were before you, so shall they make a burning for you; and they shall lament for you:“Woe, master!” If this was done for Tzidkiyahu the king of Yehudah, who performed only one mitzva (near the end of his life, thus meriting honorable treatment by his death), namely, that he instructed to raise Jeremiah from the pit filled with mud,then the sons of Rabbi Yishmael who observed many mitzvos, are certainly deserving of a similar honor.

 

Rabbi Akiva began: It is written: On that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon, and Rav Yosef (commenting on this) said: Were it not for the Targum of this verse, we would not know what it means (for such an incident is not recorded anywhere). The Targum explains: ‘On that day shall there be great mourning in Jerusalem – like the mourning of Ahab son of Omri who was killed by Hadadrimmon son of Tavrimmon in Ramos Gilad, and like the mourning of Yoshiyah son of Ammon who was killed by Pharaoh the Lame in the valley of Megiddo.’

 

Rabbi Akiva continued: If there was a great mourning over the death of Achab the king of Israel, who has done only one good thing, then the sons of Rabbi Yishmael who observed many mitzvos, are certainly deserving of a similar honor. (28b)

 

Rava asked Rabbah bar Mari: Tzidkiyahu was promised that he will be die in peace and yet we have learned thatNevuchadnetzzar blinded his eyes?

 

Rabbah bar Mari answered: Rabbi Yochanan answered that the promise that he will die in peace was referring to the fact that Nevuchadnezzar will die in Tzidkiyahu’s lifetime.

 

Rava asked Rabbah bar Mari: Yoshiyahu was promised that he will be buried in peace and yet we have learned thatYoshiyahu was shot by archers and so many arrows pierced his body that it resembled a sieve?

 

Rabbah bar Mari answered: Rabbi Yochanan answered that the promise of being buried in peace was referring to the fact that the Beis Hamikdosh was not destroyed during his lifetime. (28b)

 


DAILY MASHAL

Mazal

By: Revach
The Gemara says that children, length of life, and livelihood are dependent on the Mazal. Tosfos asks that the Gemara says elsewhere that Klal Yisrael is not dependent on the Mazal. Tosfos answers that although Mazal does apply to Klal Yisrael, a person with great merit can circumvent the Mazal with it. The Maharsha says that a person can circumvent the Mazal with prayer and that is why Rava prayed for wisdom and wealth even though these attributes are dependent on the Mazal. The Rashba says that Klal Yisrael as a nation is not dependent on the Mazal but each individual is.

 

 L’zecher Nishmas HaRav Raphael Dov ben HaRav Yosef Yechezkel Marcus O”H