Zichru Daf Simanim
Siman - Beitzah Daf 20
  • The halachah is established like Beis Hillel, that semichah is done on shelamim on Yom Tov

The Gemara brings a maaseh with Hillel HaZakein, who brought his olas re’iyah to the azarah to do semichah on it on Yom Tov. חברו עליו תלמידי שמאי הזקן – Talmidim of Shammai Hazakein asked him what animal he was bringing, as they suspected that he was bringing an olah, which they hold is prohibited to do semichah on. He answered that it was a female and was a shelamim and he shook its tail in front of them as if to show them that it was female, and they walked away. Rashi explains that due to Hillel’s great humility, he avoided confrontation and pursued shalom. On that day, Beis Shammai had the upper hand ובקשו לקבוע הלכה כמותן - and they attempted to fix the halachah like them. Bava ben Buta, a sage among the talmidim of Shammai, knew that the halachah followed Beis Hillel. To enforce this, he sent messengers to bring all of the sheep of Keider, which were the best sheep that were in Yerushalayim, and stood them in the azarah, and announced: מי שרוצה לסמוך יבא ויסמוך – Whoever wishes to do semichah and offer it, may do so. On that day, Beis Hillel had the upper hand, and they established the halachah according to them, and there was nobody who protested.

  • How to respond to prevent a dispute from escalating

The Baraisa continues with another incident involving one of the talmidim of Beis Hillel, who brought an olah to the azarah on Yom Tov to do semichah on, and was confronted by one of the talmidim of Beis Shammai who said to him, מה זו סמיכה – What kind of semichah is this? This is in violation of Beis Shammai’s ruling. The talmid of Beis Hillel responded, מה זו שתיקה – What kind of silence is this? You should remain quiet! שתקו בנזיפה והלך לו – He silenced him with this rebuke, and he left. This talmid saw fit to speak out strongly in Beis Hillel’s defense, unlike Hillel himself, as the halachah had already been established in accordance with Beis Hillel. Abaye said we learn from here, האי צורבה מרבנן דאמר ליה חבריה מלתא – A Rabbinic student whose friend improperly criticizes him, should not respond to a greater degree than that of his friend’s criticism. For Beis Shammai’s talmid said מה זו סמיכה and Beis Hillel’s talmid responded מה זו שתיקה. Responding in a measured way prevents the dispute from escalating.

  • Why one holds that nedarim and nedavos cannot be offered mid’Oraysa on Yom Tov

Rav Huna said: According to the one who says that nedarim and nedavos may not be offered on Yom Tov, לא תימא דמדאורייתא מחזא חזו – do not say that mid’Oraysa that they are fit to be brought on Yom Tov, which Rashi explains would be based on the assumption that the superfluous word לה' in the passuk would come to include even nedarim and nedavos. One might think it is the Rabbanon who were gozeir גזרה שמא ישהה – as a precautionary measure out of concern that were it to remain permitted, one might delay his offerings until Yom Tov to have plenty of meat. Rashi explains that then something might prevent him from bringing the offerings and he would transgress בל תאחר, delaying bringing a pledge offering. Rather, אפילו מדאורייתא נמי לא חזו – even mid’Oraysa they are not fit to be brought. For the שתי הלחם are chovas hayom, obligations on Shavuos day, so that making a gezeirah out of concern that one might delay them is not applicable, yet if one neglected to bake them in advance אינו דוחה לא את השבת ולא את היום טוב –, their baking is not docheh Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Siman – Café. The owner of the Keider Sheep Café who shied away from confrontation, was proud of his employee who calmly responded to an irate customer to prevent a dispute from escalating when he told him that the café was closing earlier so that the owner could go and help bake the שתי הלחם before Yom Tov.

Rabbi Avraham Goldhar

Rabbi Avraham Goldhar has been designing and teaching Jewish literacy courses for over thirty years. His knowledge frameworks for Biblical mastery, Jewish History, Talmudic Law & Jewish Holidays enable students of all backgrounds to better integrate Jewish concepts and learn systematically. After serving as the Educational Director of Aish HaTorah New York, Avraham launched GoldharSchool.com, Home of Big Picture Jewish Education, featuring Jewish literacy content for schools and individuals. He is the developer of the Goldhar Method, a revolutionary learning system that integrates memory into the learning process and has trained over 80,000 students, teachers and professionals. He lectures internationally on the topic of academic mastery and the solutions required to raise the bar in education. Avraham learned in Aish HaTorah, Mir, and Chaim Berlin and received his ordination under the tutelage of Rabbi Yitzchok Berkovits in Jerusalem.