Thursday, April 16, 2020

.מ"א One last thing

ר' זירא הוה קא משתמיט מדרב יהודה דבעי למיסק לארעא דישראל דאמר רב יהודה כל העולה מבבל לא"י עובר בעשה שנאמר בבלה יובאו ושמה יהיו אמר איזיל ואשמע מיניה מילתא ואיתי ואיסק אזל אשכחיה דקאי בי באני וקאמר ליה לשמעיה הביאו לי נתר הביאו לי מסרק פתחו פומייכו ואפיקו הבלא ואשתו ממיא דבי באני אמר אילמלא (לא) באתי אלא לשמוע דבר זה דיי
 I had some difficulty with this opinion of רב יהודה when it appeared in ברכות. See my comments there. Interestingly, there it is רבי אבא and here it is רבי זירא. It seems רב יהודה had a group of תלמידים, each with the same fear of him due to his opinion on עליה and each with the same thought - to hear one more teaching  from him before leaving. And, of course, each got his own teaching.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

:מ Do thoughts have language?

תוס' ד"ה וכי תימא בלשון חול קאמר ליה. ואע"ג דאסור להרהר נימא דאין אסור להרהר אלא בלשון קדש והוא הרהר בלשון חול:
The question could certainly be asked – when one thinks, is he thinking simply of actions or is he thinking of actual words and therefore, his thoughts have language. According to the above תוספות, it appears to be the latter – or at least that the latter is a possibility. So, for example, if one is in the bathroom and when he is about to leave, he thinks to himself that since it is שבת, it is forbidden to turn off the light, he is not simply imagining the action of switching off the lights and that it is forbidden. He is actually pondering the words “it is forbidden to turn off the lights.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

יעקב - לג and רשב"י

אמר הואיל ואיתרחיש ניסא איזיל אתקין מילתא דכתיב ויבא יעקב שלם ואמר רב שלם בגופו שלם בממונו שלם בתורתו ויחן את פני העיר אמר רב מטבע תיקן להם ושמואל אמר שווקים תיקן להם ור' יוחנן אמר מרחצאות תיקן להם
רבי שמעון בן יוחאי learns from יעקב אבינו that upon a miracle being performed for your sake, you should endeavour to do something productive for the good of the masses. Certainly the parallels between רשב"י and יעקב run far deeper than simply a single miracle. יעקב was running away from his brother עשו who had sworn to kill him. He was forced to flee. Although he wasn't in hiding, per se, he had to travel a certain distance to ensure he was out of harm's way. רשב"י was fleeing a death sentence from none other than עשו's Roman descendants.

I also couldn't help but notice another interesting irony in the parallel between יעקב אבינו and רשב"י. The incident which led to רשב"י's death sentence was a comment as to the ulterior motives behind the Romans' establishment of marketplaces, bathhouses and bridges. According to שמואל and ר' יוחנן, when יעקב arrived in שכם his public service was actually establishing either a marketplace or a bathhouse (or both, I suppose.) Perhaps recalling that civic contribution on the part of יעקב was a discrete way of רשב"י expressing some regret for the comments he had made.