TalmuDigest

For the week ending 15 May 2010 / 1 Sivan 5770

Sanhedrin 93 - 99

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • The miracle of Chananya, Mishael and Azariah in the fiery furnace and the aftermath
  • The fiery fate of two false prophets
  • The failed messiah
  • The destruction of Sancheriv's army
  • The Torah dissemination of King Chizkiyahu
  • The rescue of King David by Avishai
  • The bitter fate of Sancheriv
  • Chiziyahu's recovery and the letter sent to him
  • Nebuzraden in Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash
  • The righteous descendants of evil people
  • Signs of messianic era
  • Comparison of the tzaddik and the ba'al teshuva
  • The importance of learning and teaching Torah

The Secret Weapon

  • Sanhedrin 96b

When the Babylonian general Nebuzraden succeeded in destroying the Beit Hamikdash he felt very proud of himself. A Heavenly voice then put him in his place with this announcement:

"You have merely slain a dead people;

You have merely burned a consumed Sanctuary;

You have merely grinded a ground flour."

Our commentaries point out that the holiness of the Beit Hamikdash was of such supernatural intensity that it was beyond the power of humans to destroy it. The sins of the Jewish people, however, robbed it of this spiritual power and made it vulnerable to enemy destruction.

The mention of this destruction together with the catastrophe that befell the people as well indicates that Jews as well are beyond the power of humans to harm them unless they lose their spiritual armor through their sins.

What still needs explanation is the third allusion to ground flour. Perhaps this is a reference to the once powerful kingdom of Israel whose strength was sapped by the sinful ways of its leaders.

What the Sages Say

"Whoever teaches Torah to another's child is considered as if he created him."

  • Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish - Sanhedrin 99b

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