Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Sanhedrin 11

Sanhedrin 11 is one of those dapim which are truly enjoyable to learn. There are many topics which branch off the main theme of the rules for making a year into a leap year (aka intercalating). I would like to briefly touch on two points from the daf.

Sanhedrin 11 begins with a discussion of how the judges who determine whether to make a leap year must be chosen by the Nasi for this task. It then digresses into the issue of preventing another person from being embarrassed by telling the following story. R' Gamliel once asked that seven judges assemble in his attic the following day so that they could decide whether to make the year a leap year. The following morning he found that there were eight people present. R' Gamliel then said - whoever came up without permission (thus demonstrating that the judge must be appointed by the Nasi) should go out. Shmuel HaKatan got up and said, I was the one who was not invited. However, I am not here to judge as I merely came to observe the proceedings so that I could understand the process of determining whether a leap year would occur. R' Gamliel responded to him - all years would be worthy of being determined by you as to whether they are leap years, but only those chosen by the Nasi may make the decision.

The gemara then gives the punchline - Shmuel HaKatan was actually invited to be a judge. However, since he did not want the outsider to be embarrassed, Shmuel got up and claimed that he himself was the uninvited guest.

Later in the daf, the gemara brings a beraisa which states that after the death of Chaggai, Zechariah and Malachi, the power of prophecy (Ru'ach HaKodesh) left the Jewish people, but they still were able to use the power of Bas Kol.

I must have heard the term Bas Kol thousands of times in my life, but I never stopped to think about what it means. Literally, the words mean the "daughter voice" or "daughter of voice." Still, I always thought it was just a heavenly voice which was heard by a select person.

Tosafos d'h Bas Kol gives a better understanding of where the term comes from. Tosafos writes "yesh omrim" that the Bas Kol was not a voice coming from the sky. Instead, the voice was a voice within another sound. Tosafos gives the example of when a person hits an object and besides the bang there is another sound (a vibration or concussive sound). The person who hears the Bas Kol is hearing the same outer sound that others are hearing (like the bang on the wall) but he also hears and understands the underlying sound as well.

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1 comment:

Yaakov said...

http://www.dafdigest.org/Sanhedrin/Sanhedrin%20011.pdf(The correct haftorah when erev pesach falls on shabbos)
Rabbi Elefant brought Rav Moshe that said based on our gemara a rebbi should not ask a talmid to inform on another talmid it is wrong chinuch to cause loshon hora only do this when there no other option
http://hearos.blogspot.com(Deciding on Leap Years in Chutz La'aret)