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Shabbat 114: Torah Scholars Who Build the World


Honoring the Torah scholar, the talmid chacham. In the context of defining “Derekh Eretz” – the Torah teaches us manners, etiquette, and how to be a mentsch. Changing clothes, not wearing patched shoes, oil-stained garments as matters of respect. Note the higher standard for the talmid chacham, presumably given what he represents. The significance of presentability goes beyond what we often recognize in our casual era. Also: Stains on a donkey’s saddle – when is it a barrier? A comparable case is brought to answer the question – about those who have stained garments on both sides. Linguistically, the term “bana’in” needs explanation, and is linked to the Torah scholars who “build” the world. The expectation is that Torah scholars are so meticulous that even uneven stitching on a garment wouldn’t be seen, and that same meticulousness is evident in his Torah knowledge as well. And distinguishing between talmidei chachamim who are leaders as compared to those who have a depth and breadth of knowledge, but don’t undertake that role.


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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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