Talmud Tips

For the week ending 16 November 2013 / 13 Kislev 5774

Yoma 9 - 15

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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“For the people of the First Beit Hamikdash, who revealed their transgressions (did them openly without hiding them), the length of their exile was revealed (70 years); but for the people of the Second Beit Hamikdash, who did not reveal their transgressions, the length of their exile was not revealed.”

The gemara explains that people of the the First Beit Hamikdash violated the three major transgressions of idolatry, immorality and murder. These were all done openly. During the Second Beit Hamikdash the reason cited for the destruction and exile is “senseless hatred” — a transgression that was in their hearts despite their acting “civilized” to each other in public.

The Maharsha likens the more serious nature of the latter to the more serious transgression of a “ganav” (a “sneaky thief”), as opposed the the less serious action of a “gazalan” (brazen robber). The ganav shows greater fear of Man than of G-d, while the gazlan equates both Man and G-d in his behavior. So, just as a ganav, who hides his violation, deserves greater punishment, likewise the people during the Second Beit Hamikdash hid their transgression and deserved greater punishment.

  • Yoma 9b

A mezuzah for privately owned property needs checking twice every seven years; whereas a mezuzah for a public property needs checking only twice in a Yovel (50 years)”.

These halachot are taught in beraita on our daf. Even though the mezuza was kosher when first written and affixed to these places, there is concern that it may have rotted or been stolen over time.Publicproperty includes places such as the gates of courtyards and cities. (Rashi)

Why does a public mezuzah require far less-frequent checking? Rashi explains that if the Sages decreed to check the public ones more often, each person would say, “”Let the other people check it!”

  • Yoma 11a

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