Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: DAF YOMI Category:LESSONS FROM THE DAF Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Tue, 25 Feb 2020 03:00:00 +0000 240 Mei Shiloach - Abaye Changes His Position Three Times

Abaye was a Kohen and was eligible to receive the coveted Zro'a, L'Chayayin, and Keiva, shoulder, tongue, and stomach of every animal slaughtered. The gemara Chulin (133a) tells us that initially, Abaye in his enthusiasm to show how important the mitzva is, used to grab these pieces of meat from the people who slaughtered the animal. Later when he heard that the pasuk says these pieces should be "given" to the Kohen, he stopped taking them himself but started to tell the people to give it to him. When he heard that the Navi criticized the children of Shmuel HaNavi for "asking" for the Matanos, he stopped asking but continued to accept them when offered. When he heard the Braisa says that the modest Kohanim would pass on the opportunity to get a piece of the holy Lechem HaPanim while the aggressive ones would grab, he stopped accepting altogether.

The Mei Shiloach says that the nature of a person whose opinion is attacked or even questioned, is to stand up and defend himself vigorously. This is especially of a person of stature and even more so when it comes to his personal conduct. Admitting error puts a blemish on his past behavior, which a public persona has trouble dealing with both on his own account and that of his position.

Abaye exhibited the exact opposite behavior. Despite that after his own internal lengthy debate, he decided that grabbing the Matanos showed the most respect for the Mitzvos, as soon as he even "heard" that his way may not be correct, rather than defend himself he chose to change his ways. Still when that did not prove sufficient to stem the voices of dissent, Abaye once again altered his behavior without any argument. And then he did it for third time. Could you imagine the shame of a Gadol HaDor swallowing his pride three times over the same issue?

Abaye, says the Mei Shiloach, set an example how all of ones conduct must be totally L'Shem Shamayim without any consideration of ones own ego. One must always seek the truth no matter what is at stake for him personally.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 03:00:00 +0000 Mar Ukva said, "I am vinegar the son of wine", in our language he didn't reach the toenails of his father. Why? Because his father waited 24 hours after eating meat before eating cheese while he only waited until the next meal, no matter how close in time.

Mar Ukva and every Amora were on such a high level that we cannot even fathom. If Mar Ukva was so amazed by his father's greatness in waiting twenty four hours, why did he not just do the same? Surely it wasn't his constant craving for beef!

Rav Avigdor Miller explains that it is not wise to accept on ourselves things that are beyond our true level of Ruchniyus. Of course Mar Ukva could have refrained from meat for a full day just like his father, but he was not holding by that madreiga. It would have been to a degree disingenuous. He lamented that he was not on a high enough level to sincerely take upon himself this Chumra.

Similarly, in the next piece of gemara Shmuel says that his father surveyed his property twice a day, while he himself was only on the level to do so once a day. His father understood the value of every little thing Hashem bestowed on him and watched it like a hawk. Shmuel felt that all he could manage with this same zeal, was once a day. The second time would have either been insincere or worse yet made him think that it is his care that makes his business flourish. His father had no such problem.

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 03:00:00 +0000
"Es" Includes Talmidei Chachamim - Kiddushin Daf 57 The Gemora notes that some opinions do not expound the word "es." This would be in accordance with the following braisa: Shimon Ha'amsoni, and others say that it was Nechemia Ha'amsoni, would expound on every word es that was written in the Torah. (This means that he would teach what the word es was coming to include.) When he reached the verse that states you shall revere es Hashem your G-d, he stopped expounding on the word es. Shimon Ha'amsoni felt that it is impossible to equate the reverence of Hashem to anything else, so he retracted from all of his previous interpretations of the word es. When questioned by his students what would happen to all the words es that he had expounded upon previously, Shimon Ha'amsoni replied, "Just as I received reward for expounding on those words, I will receive reward for retracting my interpretations. Rabbi Akiva arrived later and expounded the verse to mean you shall revere es Hashem your G-d, to include Torah scholars. Just like one is obligated to revere Hashem, so too, one must revere Torah scholars.

The Pardes Yosef (Vayechi) explains Rabbi Akiva by citing the Gemora in Nedarim, which states: Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav: What does the verse mean when it says: Who is the man who is wise and can understand this? This (the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple) was asked to scholars and prophets and they could not explain it, until Hashem explained it Himself, as it says: And Hashem said that it is because they left my Torah. Isn't the phrase "and they did not listen to My voice" the same as the phrase "and they did not go in its ways"? Rav Yehudah explains in the name of Rav: This means that they did not recite a blessing before learning Torah.

Rabbi Akiva was saying: The word es is including the Torah scholars. The Holy One, Blessed be He said: it is because they left "es" my Torah. They left that which was included from the word es, for they were not honoring the Torah scholars.

However, it can be asked that the Torah scholars should have been mochel the respect that they deserved!? We have learned that if a Torah scholar is mochel on the honor due to him, it is valid!

This is why Hashem continued with the verse, it is because they left my Torah. Hashem is saying: The Torah is Mine and the Torah scholar cannot be mochel. Why is the Torah Mine? It is because Klal Yisroel did not recite the blessing before learning Torah. The Gemora Brochos asks: It is written: The entire world belongs to Hashem. But it is also written: And the land was given to the people!? The Gemora answers: It depends if they recite a blessing first or not. Since they didn't recite the blessing before learning Torah, it is regarded as Hashem's Torah, and the Torah scholars could not be mochel on the obligation to honor the Torah.

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Father (outside) and Mother (inside): Kiddushin Daf 18 The braisa states: A person can accept kiddushin for his daughter again (if she became widowed or divorced after betrothal), he can sell her again, and he can marry her off after selling her as a maidservant. However, he cannot sell her after marrying her off. Rabbi Shimon says: Just as he cannot do this, he cannot sell her as a maidservant after he already sold her once.

This is like the argument of the following Tannaim. The braisa says: "When he betrayed her." Once he spread his cloak over her (in marriage), he cannot sell her; these are the words of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Eliezer says, "When he betrayed her," teaches that once he betrayed her (sold her as a maidservant) he cannot sell her.

What is their argument? Rabbi Eliezer says: The way the word is written in the Torah is important. Rabbi Akiva says: The way it is read is important. Rabbi Shimon says: Both are important. ["Important" here refers to how we understand the intent of the Torah. If we focus on the word as it is read, it refers to clothing, while if we focus on the letters, it refers to being sold.]

This is similar to a debate in the Gemora in Sukkah which discusses if a sukkah requires two full walls and a third wall that is at least a tefach, or should there be three complete walls. This debate is based on whether one reads the word Sukkos in the Torah with the letter vav or without the letter vav. The Chachamim maintain that we say yeish eim lemasores, the transmitted written form has primacy, whereas Rabbi Shimon maintains that yeish eim lemikra, the pronounced form has primacy.

The Rif was questioned as to why the Gemora uses the word eim, which means mother, and not av, which means father. A similar question would be that the Gemora refers to one of the thirteen principles of Biblical hermeneutics as a binyan av and not a binyan eim.

The Rif initially responded that he never heard anyone shed light on this matter, but then he proceeded to offer a possible explanation. When the purpose of a principle is to teach a concept in a different area, the Gemora uses the term av, whereas if the discussion at hand is regarding relying on a principle, the Gemora uses the word eim.

Shearim Mitzuyanim B'Halacha explains the words of the Rif. The mother is the akeres habayis, the mainstay of the house as it is said every honorable princess dwelling within. For this reason we say yeish eim lemikra or yeish eim lemasores, as the mother is the central figure in the house and it is the mother who everyone is dependant upon. The father, on the other hand, is not usually found in the house, as he leaves the house to seek a livelihood. The principle of a binyan av, however, is that we are building from one location to another, and this is analogous to a father who influences others. (See Rabbeinu Bachye to Devarim 33:8 for further discussion on the differences between the father and mother.)

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Prosecutor becoming a Defender: Kiddushin Daf 5

The Gemora had asked: Why don't we say that just as money can be used for kiddushin, it can be used as a method of divorce?


Abaye answers: This is because people will say, "Money brings a woman into marriage, can money take her out? How can a defender become a prosecutor?"


The Gemora elsewhere uses this reason as to why the Kohen Gadol cannot wear his gold garments into the Holy of Holies when performing the Yom Kippur service. This is based on the rule ein kategor na'aseh sanegor - a prosecuting attorney cannot become a defense attorney.


The Turei even asks that this does not explain why the avnet, the belt of the kohen gadol on Yom Kippur was different that the one he wore during the year During the year, the belt consisted of wool and linen and on Yom Kippur, it was made only out of linen. Since there wasn't gold anyway, what was the purpose for the change?


It is written in Vayikra "You shall observe My statutes: You shall not crossbreed your livestock with different species. You shall not sow your field with a mixture of seeds, and a garment which has a mixture of shatnez shall not come upon you."


The Ramban cites the Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim to explain the reason for this prohibition. It was well known that the clothes that the sorcerers used to wear when they were performing their black magic were made out of wool and linen. Their activities were performed for the sake of their idols and demons. The Torah wanted Klal Yisroel to distance themselves from idolatry and therefore prohibited the wearing of clothes that contained wool and linen. The Chinuch uses a similar analogy to explain the prohibition.


Rav Elyashiv Shlita says that it emerges from these Rishonim that one of the concepts behind the prohibition of wearing shatnez is based on idolatry. Perhaps this can explain why the kohen gadol does not wear the belt of shatnez into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. A garment consisting of wool and linen is regarded as a kategor - a prosecutor since it bears resemblance to the idolaters clothing.


The Gemora in Yoma explains that this principle only applies inside the Holy of Holies for that is where the Shechinah resides.


The Ritva writes that one would be permitted to wear on Yom Kippur a tallis that contains gold in it since this is regarded as "outside" and not "inside." The principle of ein kategor na'aseh sanegor only applies "inside."


Reb Akiva Eiger in his gloss on Shulchan Aruch (O"C 610) quotes from the Pri Megadim that are certain localities that have the custom not to wear gold on Yom Kippur, but women and Levi'im are not included in this since they did not donate any gold for the golden calf.


In the sefer, Avodah Berurah, a question is asked that we do not find the principle of ein kategor na'aseh sanegor by tefillah since tefillah is regarded as "outside" and not "inside."


Sefer Chasidim (249) writes that the principle of ein kategor na'aseh sanegor does apply by tefillah. He is referring to a case where one wrote a siddur for his friend but he didn't write the siddur for the sake of Heaven and the friend's prayers were never answered when using this particular siddur.


Beis Halevi in his droshos (15) explains why the principle of ein kategor na'aseh sanegor does apply by tefillah even though the tefillah is not recited inside the Holy of Holies. It is based on the Gemora in Brochos 28b which rules that one who prays should always turn his heart towards the Holy of Holies and therefore tefillah is considered "inside."

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Man's Acquiring his Lost Article: Kiddushin Daf 2 Rabbi Shimon said: Why does the Torah say, "When a man will take a woman," and not "When a woman will be taken to a man"? This is because it is the way of a man to go seek a wife, but it is abnormal for a woman to go seek a husband. This is akin to someone who loses something. Who is the one searching for the object? Obviously the owner seeks to find his lost object. [And since the woman was created from the man's lost bone, it is he who searches for her.]

The Mishnah Halachos asks: Why is a man required to give the woman money for betrothal; she is his lost bone!? When one takes back an article that he had lost, is he required to make a new kinyan?

He answers: If the man would know for certain that the woman he is about to marry is his proper match from the Days of Creation, it would not be necessary for him to make a new kinyan. However, since this matter is uncertain to us, witnesses are required, and once this transpires, the other people in the world give up hope from marrying this woman, and she becomes the rightful wife to this man.

Accordingly, it can be said that when Adam married Chavah, when there was no alternative woman, and she obviously was destined to be his wife, it would not have been necessary to have witnesses or any kinyan for that marriage.

Wed, 15 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000
String Remains Attached: Gittin 78

Rav Chisda says: If the get is in her hands, but the string attached to the get is in his hands; if he can pull the string and thereby bring the get back, she is not divorced. If he cannot do so, she is divorced. Why? This is because the get must be deemed a "sefer kerisus" - "book of cutting off (indicating that the giving must totally separate him from her as well)."


The Tiferes Shlomo writes: Hinted in this Gemora is that although there are times, on account of are actions, the Holy One, Blessed be He is compelled to chase us away from Him; nevertheless, the rope attaching us to Him is always in His hand.

Sat, 27 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Mentioning Evil First - Gittin 75

Rava stated: Let us see; where do we derive the rule for conditions? It is from the condition mentioned in the Torah regarding the Tribes of Reuven and Gad. Therefore, just as there, the positive feature (they will receive the land if they fulfill the condition) comes before the negative (if they do not fight together with the rest of Klal Yisroel, they will not receive that land), so too, it should be in all cases.


It is written [Bamidbar 16:29 - 30]: If these men die as all men die and the fate of all men will be visited upon them, then Hashem has not sent me. But if Hashem creates a creation, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them and all that is theirs, and they descend alive into the grave, you will know that these men have provoked Hashem.


The Haflaah in Panim Yafos asks: Shouldn't Moshe have stated the positive feature before the negative?


He answers: Our Gemora states that a man does not want to begin with a mention of evil for himself, and therefore he will say, "If I do not die" before stating, "If I will die." So too, Moshe did not want to begin with mentioning evil even for these wicked people, and therefore, he worded the stipulation in a manner that the mention of this horrific type of death should be delayed for as long as possible.

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Directly from Hashem

The Gemora cited a braisa: If a scribe wrote a get for the sake of a specific woman, and the witnesses signed it for her sake as well, although they wrote, signed and gave it to the husband, and the husband gave the get to his wife, it is not valid until the scribe and the witnesses hear the husband's voice telling them to write and sign it.


It is evident from here that if one person tells another to tell another, it is not regarded as if the third person heard it from the first.


Reb Yosef Engel asks from a Gemora in Kiddushin (22b), which states: Why is the ear different than all the other limbs in the body (that it is chosen for piercing for a slave that chooses to stay by his master)? The Holy One, Blessed be He said, "The ear that heard My voice on Mount Sinai when I said, ‘Bnei Yisroel are slaves to Me, and not slaves to other slaves,' and this person went and acquired another master for himself, his ear should be pierced!" Why is it regarded as if he heard these words from Hashem? Bnei Yisroel only heard the first two commandments from Him; the rest were said over by Moshe!? We could have answered that since Moshe heard it directly from Hashem, and Bnei Yisroel heard it from Moshe, it is regarded as if they heard it directly from Hashem. However, based on our Gemora, that is incorrect!?


He answers that since when Moshe spoke, the Shechinah was talking through Moshe's throat, it was considered as if they heard the commandments directly from Hashem.

Mon, 22 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Afflictions Purging a Person's Sins: Gittin 42

The Gemora states that if a master knocks out the tooth of his slave, or if he blinds his eye, he must release the slave.


It is noteworthy that Rabbi Yochanan in the Gemora in Brochos (5a) derives from here that a person is considered fortunate if Hashem inflicts him. It is taught through a kal vachomer as follows: If the loss of a tooth or an eye, which is only one of the limbs in a person's body, nevertheless, a slave gains his freedom because of it, then afflictions, which cleanse the person's entire body, should certainly free a person from sin because of them!


Rish Lakish derives this same lesson from a different source. He says: The word covenant is written with respect to salt and the word covenant is written with respect to afflictions. Just as salt sweetens the meat, so too, afflictions will cleanse a person from his sins.


The Bobover Rebbe in Kedushas Tziyon notes that there is a distinction between the two expositions. According to Rabbi Yochanan, the afflictions will only cleans a person if they emanate from Heaven, similar to the halachos of a slave, where he will only be set free if his master knocks out his tooth or eye. He will not gain his freedom if someone else injures him. However, according to Rish Lakish, any type of afflictions will cleanse him, in the same manner as the salt sweetening the meat. It makes no difference as to who applies the salt.


Based upon this, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank explains the following. It is written [Shmos 6:5]: And also, I heard the moans of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians are holding in bondage, and I remembered My covenant. The Jewish people thought that the Egyptians were their masters and they were those who were afflicting them. They did not realize that their suffering was decreed from Heaven. Because they didn't know who was causing them their hardships, they did not gain their freedom. It was only because Hashem remembered His covenant, that all afflictions cleanse a person from his sins, that was the reason they were released from the bondage.


Reb Meir Shapiro adds to this: If a slave does not come to court and testify that his master knocked out his tooth or eye, he will not gain his freedom. If he says that it happened by happenstance, he will not go free. So too, it is with afflictions. If a person does not believe with complete faith that the afflictions are affecting him because of Divine Providence, the afflictions will not purge him of his sins. However, if this principle was derived through the gezeirah shavah from salt, it would not make any difference.


The Rashba was asked the following question: If a slave initiates a fight with his master and strikes the first blow, and the master counters with some strikes of his own and knocks out the slave's tooth, will the slave gain his freedom?


He replied that the slave goes free. The proof is from the aforementioned Gemora, where Rabbi Yochanan derived that afflictions will cleanse a person from his sins through a kal vachomer from the laws of the slave. How can the two be compared? Afflictions come to a person because he has sinned! It was his own fault! Perhaps, then, those afflictions will not purge him from his sins!? Evidently, we see that a slave also gains his freedom, even if he was the one who initiated the fight!

Fri, 22 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000