web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

Ancient Cities, Ancient Walls
(Megillah 3b-4a)

 

Our daf discusses cities classified as walled cities in regards to reading the Megillah. Residents of walled cities observe Purim on the 15th of Adar while residents of regular cities observe Purim on the 14th of Adar.

Any dwelling within view of, or near, a walled city has the same halacha as a dwelling within walled city. Our daf discusses cities whose walls were only constructed later as well as cities that originally had walls but which were later destroyed.

The Gemara notes that a city which was walled in Yehoshua’s days is considered walled.

The Chevron Conundrum

Was Chevron surrounded by a wall in the days of Yehoshua? This question raged more than 400 years ago. The Chida (R. Chayyim Yosef David Azulai) discusses it in his work Chevron Ir Kodsheinu. The Radbaz notes in a responsum (2:681) that it is obvious that Chevron was not walled in Yehoshua’s era. Yet, Chevron residents had an ancient custom to read the Megillah both on the 14th and on the 15th of Adar out of doubt (Birkei Yosef, O.C. 688, os 2, and similarly in Responsa Chayyim Sha’al 2:38, os 94).

Proofs Against

The Mishnah lists several cities as walled cities and the Gemara wonders: “Are these the only walled cities? Abaye answers, “Up to Gamla in the Galilee, up to Godod across the Jordan, and Hadid and Ono and Jerusalem in Judea.” Abaye only mentions Hadid, Ono, and Jerusalem as walled cities in Judea. He says nothing about Chevron.

Furthermore, the Gemara (Arachin 33b-34a) states that that cities of refuge were established only in cities without walls. Chevron served as a city of refuge, which would seem to be proof that Chevron was not surrounded by walls.

 

Arguments For

Why, then, was there an ancient custom in Chevron to observe Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar? Responsa Mishnas Yosef (1:54) explains. First, although Abaye only mentions Hadid, Ono, and Jerusalem, the Mishnah explicitly states “Hadid, Ono, and Jerusalem, and also similar ones.”

Moreover, Rabbi Yehosef Schwartz, zt”l, author of Tevuos Ha’aretz, maintains in his Responsa Divrei Yosef (2) that the Mishnah only lists walled cities that were settled at the time. Chevron and other cities were not mentioned since they lay waste at the time the Mishnah was composed.

They Demolished The Wall

The author of Tevuos Ha’aretz maintains that Chevron must have been surrounded by walls in Yehoshua’s era. After all, the Torah (Bereishis 23:10) clearly states that Ephron the Hittite spoke to Avraham in Chevron “in the presence of all who came in at the gate of his city.” The gate must have been in a wall, for otherwise it would have had no purpose. Moreover, Calev requested from Yehoshua “this mountain…for there are giants there and big and fortified cities…and he gave Chevron to Caleb” (Yehoshua 14:12).

We must conclude that Chevron was initially surrounded by walls, which were later demolished so that it could serve as a city of refuge. Our Gemara explicitly states that if the Levites won walled cities by lot, they removed the walls so that the cities could qualify as cities of refuge.

We can therefore understand the ancient custom in Chevron to read the Megillah on both the 14th and 15th of Adar out of doubt.

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

A Blast At A Funeral?
“R. Hamnuna Came To Daramutha…”
(Moed Kattan 27b)

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Discretion
‘Vendors Of Fruits And Clothing…May Sell In Private’
(Mo’ed Katan 13b)

An Outcast
‘He Shall Dwell Outside His Tent’
(Moed Katan 7b)

Pondering A Kapandria
“It Should Not Be Used As A Shortcut”
(Megillah 29a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-137/2014/07/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: