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Eruvin 64: “What an excellent halakhah!”

What can you do when a non-Jew lives on your courtyard and doesn’t want to contribute to an eruv? Among the solutions suggested are establishing better terms with the non-Jew, including monetarily (rather than getting rid of eruv!). We think this is a lovely solution, and R. Nachman agrees, calling the halakhah an excellent one! Which is unusual – that Chazal assess the halakhot. More: When the Gemara says not to pasken inebriated, R. Nachman says he can’t function well without that same amount of wine! And then Rava takes issue with R. Nachman’s assessing the halakhot… and R. Nachman accepts the rebuke. And to resolve R. Nachman’s preference for wine, the Gemara acknowledges the difference between a little tipsiness and intoxication. That is, the Gemara takes a strong stand against drunkenness, especially in light of R. Nachman’s apparent flippancy. Also: Rabban Gamliel and his student R. Ilai were traveling on the road, and then Rabban Gamliel’s conduct (salvaging loaves of bread, giving it to a non-Jew) suggests prophecy on his part. And we learn 3 lessons from the story. And yet another Rabban Gamliel story teaches *many* lessons… including details that bring us back to the wine. And then the Gemara suggests each detail could have gone differently.


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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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