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Avodah Zarah 9

AVODAH ZARAH 9 (18 Adar) - dedicated by Reb Gedalya Weinberger of Brooklyn, N.Y., in memory of his father, Reb Chaim Tzvi ben Reb Shlomo Weinberger, on his Yahrzeit. Reb Chaim Tzvi, who miraculously survived the holocaust, raised his children with a strong dedication to Torah and its study.

1) [line 9] AMATU L'HACHI - that is why [the Beraisa does not count those years]

2) [line 10] IY TA'I HAI TANA - if the person reciting the Beraisa (which concludes with the words, "From here onward, go and calculate the number of years that have passed since the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash") makes a mistake

3) [line 10] V'LO YADA PERATEI KAMAH HEVEI - and he does not remember the specific number of years that have passed [since the Churban] (that is, he remembers the number of centuries (hundreds of years), but he does not remember the tens and single years)

4) [line 11] LI'SHAILEI L'SOFER KAMAH KESIV - he should ask the scribe what year he writes. When a scribe would write the date in a Shtar (deed of sale, loan, or other transaction), he would write the year according to the number of years that have passed from the time that the Yevanim ascended to power over the entire world (380 years before the Churban (which occurred in year 3828) and six years after they took control in Eilam; see Chart). For example, a scribe writing a Shtar in the year 4100 (from creation, or 272 years after the Churban) would write in the Shtar, "Year 652 of the dating of Shetaros."

5) [line 11] V'NITFI ALAIHU ESRIN SHENIN - and he should add to them (the specific number of tens and single years) 20 years. For example, if the scribe is writing in his Shetaros, "Year 652" (see previous entry), then the person who wants to know how many specific years have passed since the Churban should add 20 years to the specific integer 52 (the tens and units), to arrive at 72. He will then know that 272 years have passed since the Churban.

6) [line 12] U'MASHKACH LEI L'CHUMREI - and he will then find his full number of years (see previous entry)

7) [line 12] V'SIMANACH "ZEH LI ESRIM SHANAH B'VEISECHA" - and your sign (mnemonic) to remember [the number 20] is the verse, "It has been twenty years for me in your house" (Bereishis 31:41)

8) [line 14] SAFRA BETZIRA, TANA TOSFA'AH - the scribe subtracts, the Tana adds. This is a mnemonic to remember that the specific number (the tens and single years) of the scribe's count of years is *less* (20 years less) than the Tana's. This phrase means that the scribe always writes *less* letters, omitting letters that are part of vowelizations (such as the "Vav" when there is a Cholam Chaser) and writing the words based on the tradition received from Sinai. The Tana, in contrast, writes words in the Mishnah and Beraisa fully, without omitting any letters (ARUCH). Alternatively, the Tana is the author of the "Tosefta," which literally means "addition[al teachings]."

9a) [line 15] SHNEI ALAFIM TOHU - two thousand years of void, emptiness
b) [line 15] SHNEI ALAFIM TORAH - two thousand years of Torah
c) [line 15] SHNEI ALAFIM YEMOS HA'MASHI'ACH - two thousand years of the times of Mashi'ach

10) [line 17] AD HASHTA LEIKA KULEI HAI - until now (the end of the two millennia of Torah, or year 4000), there are not so many [years]. That is, from the time that the Torah was given at Sinai (in the year 2448) until the end of the second set of two millennia (year 4000), there are not 2000 years.

11a) [line 17] D'CHI ME'AINAS BEHU - for when you examine them
b) [line 18] b - two thousand and a few years (i.e. 448) [of the first two millennia, those of "Tohu"] belong to this [second] set of millennia. (According to the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM, the Girsa is: ALFA V'CHAMESH ME'AH V'CHAMSHIN V'TARTIN, PERATA D'IDACH ALFA HU - it is 1552 years [from the giving of the Torah until year 4000), with the remaining years (448) belonging to the next millenium.)

12) [line 18] "V'ES HA'NEFESH ASHER ASU V'CHARAN..." - "... and the souls that they made in Charan..." (Bereishis 12:5) - These "souls" refer to the people to whom Avraham and Sarah taught Torah (as TARGUM ONKELUS explains), thus beginning the two millennia of Torah. At that time, Avraham was 52 years old. Since he was born in the year 1948, the two thousand years of Torah started exactly in the year 2000, and ended in the year 4000, 172 years after the Churban of the second Beis ha'Mikdash.


13) [line 5] KAMAH SHENEI BA'SHAVU'A HU OMED - [he does not know] in what year in the present Shemitah cycle he is standing

14) [line 6] NITFI CHAD SHATA - he should add one year (see, however, the Girsa of RABEINU CHANANEL and RABEINU TAM cited by Tosfos)

15a) [line 7] V'NACHSHOV KELALEI B'YOVLEI - and calculate the hundreds [of years] into sets of Yovel cycles (e.g. 100 years is counted as two Yovel cycles)
b) [line 7] U'FERATEI B'SHAVU'EI - and the specific numbers (tens and single years) into sets of Shemitah cycles

16) [line 8] V'NISHKAL MI'ME'AH TREI - and he should remove two years from each set of 100 years (since the Yovel cycle is 49 years, and not 50)

17) [line 8] V'NISHDEI A'PERATEI - and place them (the two years) on the specific numbers

18) [line 8] V'NACHSHUVINHU LI'FERATEI B'SHAVU'EI - and calculate the specific numbers into sets of Shemitah cycles. (See Insights.)

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