Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Sanhedrin 102

Much like the majority of Chelek, Sanhedrin 102 contains a treasure trove of aggadita which challenges one's knowledge of Tanach and one's capacity to understand concepts related to Olam Haba. I would like to briefly touch on a few of the ma'amarim on the daf.

On 102a, the gemara discusses how certain times which were specifically labeled in Tanach as "Ba es ha hi" - (at this specific time), were times that bad things would befall the Jews. Within this discussion, the gemara mentions in the name of R' Yosi that Shechem was a place which was historically bad for the Jews. R' Yosi gives three examples to demonstrate his point - Dina was raped there, the brother sold Yosef into slavery there (Rashi notes that Yosef was told his brothers were watching sheep in Shechem) and that Rechavam went to Shechem to be coronated as king.

Another interesting discussion involved the use of the words Di Zahav in the first pasuk of Devarim. The students of R' Yannai taught that Moshe said to Hashem - because you have given the Jews so much gold and silver until they said enough (Di), you have caused them to create the golden calf. Moshe then gave an example of a lion which clawed and roared. Moshe stated - the lion becomes aggressive and claws and roars when it has meat, not when it is given grain.

One more discussion which piqued my interest took place on 102b in relation to Omri. R' Yochanan asks - why did Omri merit to be king? He answers that Omri was given the throne because he added a city to Israel. The gemara explains that Omri purchased bought Mt Shimron from Shemer with a portion of silver. Afterwards, Omri built a city and named it after Shemer. The upshot of this story (as explained by the Ben Yehoyadah) is that Omri passed on the natural inclination to name the city after himself. Based on this selfless act, Omri was given the throne.

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