Shabbos 23 – שבת כג

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Today’s Daf Yomi Question:

The Gemara says one who has two doors needs to light twice in order to pre-empt any suspicion of the passerby.  Why can’t we simply assume that they will be ‘melamed zechus’ and give him the benefit of the doubt – that he has his menorah by the other door?

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4 thoughts on “Shabbos 23 – שבת כג

  1. 1) Which is “the” neis that occured via a woman (I believe that Tosfos in Pesachim states that this refers to Yehudis – are there any other opinions)?
    2) What is the source for this statement, i.e. that a neis was brought about via a woman? If it is indeed referring to Yehudis, what is the mekor for the story and its connection to Chanukah?
    3) If it is referring to the ma’aseh with Yehudis, what does it have to do with the first part of Rashi, referring to the gezeira of “niv’alos l’hegmon techillah”? Is Rashi giving two separate explanations (Rashi doesn’t use the word ‘v’od’ to indicate a second reason …)?

    • 1) It seems that Rashi is indeed referring to the neis of Yehudis, as the Ran (Shabbos 23a) quotes these words of Rashi, and adds a reference to the Midrash of Yehudis the daughter of Yochanan Kohein Gadol who killed the head of the enemy by feeding him cheese which put him to sleep.

      2) The story of Yehudis is recorded in the Sheiltos (there is a sefer called ’mamleches Kohanim’ on Chanukah that contains several versions of this story from various Midrashic sources) and occurred at the time of Chanukah. In brief, Yehudis devised a scheme to kill Elifornus (the General of the Greek army) by drowsing him and eventually killing him, she then displayed his head to the Jews… and resulted to the Greek army’s defeat.

      3) There seems to be a contradiction between our Rashi here who cites two separate reasons 1) since women were especially affected by the gezeira 2) since the neis happened through a woman, whereas in Pesachim (108b) Rashi explains this statement of ‘af hein hayu…’ only according the second reason, and he specifically mentions that our Gemara in Shabbos is following the second reason as well (though Tosfos in Pesachim that you mentioned disagrees with Rashi and cites the first reason only, as does Rashi himself in Megillah 4a).

      Perhaps it can be suggested that Rashi in Shabbos is either 1) following both approaches specifically by Chanukah (to include the first reason as well), maybe this can be explained according to the words of Tosfos in Megillah (4a) who says that women were especially affected by the gezeira (‘hagezeira haysa meod alayhem’) and this sets in apart from the other ones (Mitzrayim, Purim) where men and woman were all equally affected. 2) It’s interesting that the Ritva and Tosfos HaRosh who quote our Rashi, only quote the second reason that the neis happened via a woman. Either they had a different girsa, or maybe this leads us to interpret Rashi differently: Rashi is really only offering one reason which is that the neis happened via a woman. The first words of Rashi are simply the prelude to this reason; the neis occurred through the zechus of a woman who was moser nefesh on account of the terrible gezeira that had uniquely affected them. According to this, it’s really all one and the same reason (reason #2), and is thus consistent with Rashi in Pesachim. This will also address the absence of the word ‘v’od’ that you mentioned.

    • The Gemara’s seems to be asking; evidently you are viewing the whole eight day Cahnukah Yom Tov as one singular unit, and therefore the bracha of zeman is only recited once at the very beginning of this time-unit. If so why not the same regarding the bracha of neis; let there only be one bracha at the beginning which will relate to the entire Yom Tov (in which the neis happened) as one singular unit. The Gemara responds, zeman which relates to the concept of ‘time’ indeed relates to the beginning of the time-period, however neis relates to the actual neis which was a new one on every day.

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