Section:  Avodah   Category: Olam HaTorah
Rav Chaim Volozhin - Shas Is Shas
In the time of Rav Chaim of Volozhin, there was a baal habayis who had completed the entire Shas.  Rav Chaim would stand up for him when he would enter the room.  The talmidim of R' Chaim felt that it was an affront to his kavod to stand up for a baal habayis.  They protested to R' Chaim, saying that although the baal habayis did learn Shas and spent a lot of time learning, he didn't know the Shas in depth, so it was not respectful for a great Gaon like himself to stand up for him.

R' Chaim answered that there are two types of Shas - the Vilna Shas which was a beautiful Shas with a quality print, and another Shas printed in Poland which was of lesser quality with inferior print. Rav Chaim explained that if one had these two Shasim, he wouldn't say the inferior Shas is not a Shas -he would merely say it was not as beautiful.  Similarly, someone who knows Shas is someone who knows Shas, and therefore it's appropriate to treat him with the proper kavod.