Skip to content

Today's Daf Yomi

October 2, 2020 | י״ד בתשרי תשפ״א

Masechet Eruvin is sponsored by Adina and Eric Hagege in honor of our parents, Rabbi Dov and Elayne Greenstone and Roger and Ketty Hagege who raised children, grandchildren and great grandchildren committed to Torah learning.

Eruvin 54

Today’s daf is sponsored by Ben Teitelbaum in honor of Melissa Raphaely. And by Deborah Dickson in honor of Audrey Levant in lieu of the siyum and celebration we should be having at the completion of a year-long parasha chevruta. Looking forward to next year!

The gemara discusses the benefits of learning Torah and methods by which one will be able to retain what one has learned.

בטשה ביה אמרה ליה לא כך כתוב ערוכה בכל ושמורה אם ערוכה ברמח אברים שלך משתמרת ואם לאו אינה משתמרת תנא תלמיד אחד היה לרבי אליעזר שהיה שונה בלחש לאחר שלש שנים שכח תלמודו

She kicked him and said to him: Isn’t it written as follows: “Ordered in all things and secure” (ii Samuel 23:5), which indicates that if the Torah is ordered in your 248 limbs, i.e., if you exert your entire body in studying it, it will be secure, and if not, it will not be secure. The Gemara relates that it was similarly taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer had a student who would study quietly, and after three years he forgot his studies.

תנא תלמיד אחד היה לו לרבי אליעזר שנתחייב בשריפה למקום אמרו הניחו לו אדם גדול שמש

Incidental to the story cited above involving a student of Rabbi Eliezer, the Gemara cites the following episode: It was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer had a student who was liable for the punishment of death by burning, for his sins against God, but the Rabbis said: Let him alone and do not punish him as he deserves, because he served a great person.

אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא פתח פומיך קרי פתח פומיך תני כי היכי דתתקיים ביך ותוריך חיי שנאמר כי חיים הם למצאיהם ולכל בשרו מרפא אל תקרי למצאיהם אלא למוציאיהם בפה

The Gemara cites instructions issued by Shmuel that are similar to those of Berurya. Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Keen scholar [shinnana], open your mouth and read from the Torah, open your mouth and study the Talmud, in order that your studies should endure in you and that you should live a long life, as it is stated: “For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22). Do not read: “To those who find them [lemotzeihem],” but rather “to those who express them [lemotzi’eihem],” with their mouth.

אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא חטוף ואכול חטוף ואישתי דעלמא דאזלינן מיניה כהלולא דמי

The Gemara cites additional instructions issued by Shmuel: Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda, his beloved student: Keen scholar, grab and eat, grab and drink, as the world from which we are departing is like a wedding feast, whose joy is only temporary, and one who does not take pleasure in it now will not be able to do so in the future.

אמר ליה רב לרב המנונא בני אם יש לך היטב לך שאין בשאול תענוג ואין למות התמהמה ואם תאמר אניח לבני חוק בשאול מי יגיד לך בני האדם דומים לעשבי השדה הללו נוצצין והללו נובלין

Similarly, Rav said to Rav Hamnuna: My son, if you have money, do well for yourself. There is no point waiting, as there is no pleasure in the netherworld, and death does not tarry. And if you say: I will save up in order to leave for my children, who told you the law of the netherworld, i.e., how do you know which of you will die first (Arukh)? People are similar to grass of the field, in that these blossom, i.e., grow, and their actions are blessed, and these wither and die.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי המהלך בדרך ואין עמו לוייה יעסוק בתורה שנאמר כי לוית חן הם

Having expounded the verse “For they are life to those who find them” as referring to the Torah, the Gemara cites another teaching related to this verse that praises the Torah. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who is walking along the way without a companion and is afraid should engage in Torah study, as it is stated with regard to the words of Torah: “For they shall be a graceful wreath [livyat ḥen] for your head, and chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:9). The word livyat is understood here as a reference to levaya, accompaniment, so that the verse is interpreted to mean that Torah is a graceful accompaniment to one who is traveling.

חש בראשו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר כי לוית חן הם לראשך חש בגרונו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר וענקים לגרגרותיך חש במעיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר רפאות תהי לשרך חש בעצמותיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ושקוי לעצמותיך חש בכל גופו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ולכל בשרו מרפא

One who feels pain in his head should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “For they shall be a graceful wreath for your head.” One who feels pain in his throat should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And chains about your neck.” One who feels pain in his intestines should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “It shall be health to your navel” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his bones should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And marrow to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his entire body should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22).

אמר רב יהודה ברבי חייא בא וראה שלא כמדת הקדוש ברוך הוא מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם נותן סם לחבירו לזה יפה ולזה קשה אבל הקדוש ברוך הוא אינו כן נתן תורה לישראל סם חיים לכל גופו שנאמר ולכל בשרו מרפא

Rav Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, said: Come and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and blood is that when a person gives a drug to his fellow, it is good for this part of his body and it is harmful to that other part of his body. But the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not so; He gave the Torah to the Jewish people, and it is a drug of life for one’s entire body, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh.”

אמר רב אמי מאי דכתיב כי נעים כי תשמרם בבטנך יכונו יחדיו על שפתיך אימתי דברי תורה נעימים בזמן שתשמרם בבטנך ואימתי תשמרם בבטנך בזמן שיכונו יחדו על שפתיך

The Gemara continues with praise for Torah study and knowledge. Rav Ami said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them be firmly attached together to your lips” (Proverbs 22:18)? When are words of Torah pleasant? When you keep them within you and know them. And when will you keep them within you? When they will be attached together to your lips, i.e., when you articulate them audibly and expound them.

רבי זירא אמר מהכא שמחה לאיש במענה פיו ודבר בעתו מה טוב אימתי שמחה לאיש בזמן שמענה בפיו לשון אחר אימתי שמחה לאיש במענה פיו בזמן שדבר בעתו מה טוב

Rabbi Zeira said that this idea is derived from here: “A man has joy in the answer of his mouth; and a word in due season, how good it is” (Proverbs 15:23). When does a man have joy? When an answer related to Torah study is in his mouth. Another version: When does a man have joy in the answer of his mouth? When he experiences the fulfillment of: A word in due season, how good it is, i.e., when he knows when and how to address each issue.

רבי יצחק אמר מהכא כי קרוב אליך הדבר מאד בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו אימתי קרוב אליך בזמן שבפיך ובלבבך לעשותו

Rabbi Yitzḥak said that this idea is derived from here: “But the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14). When is it very near to you? When it is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it, i.e., when you articulate your Torah study.

רבא אמר מהכא תאות לבו נתתה לו וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה אימתי תאות לבו נתתה לו בזמן שארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה

Rava said that this idea is actually derived from here: “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah” (Psalms 21:3). When have You given him his heart’s desire? When You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah, i.e., when he converses in words of Torah.

רבא רמי כתיב תאות לבו נתתה לו וכתיב וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה זכה תאות לבו נתתה לו לא זכה וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה

Rava raised an internal contradiction in that very verse: In the beginning of the verse it is written: “You have given him his heart’s desire,” implying that it is enough for one to request in his heart, whereas in the end of the verse it is written: “And You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah,” indicating that one must express his prayers verbally. Rava himself resolved the contradiction: If one is fortunate, “You have given him his heart’s desire,” even if he does not give verbal expression to his wants. But if he is not fortunate, at least “You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah.”

תנא דבי רבי אליעזר בן יעקב כל מקום שנאמר נצח סלה ועד אין לו הפסק עולמית נצח דכתיב כי לא לעולם אריב ולא לנצח אקצוף

With regard to the end of this verse, a Sage of the school of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov taught the following baraita: Wherever it states netzaḥ, Selah, or va’ed, the matter will never cease. Netzaḥ, as it is written: “For I will not contend forever; neither will I be eternally [lanetzaḥ] angry” (Isaiah 57:16), which demonstrates that netzaḥ bears a similar meaning to forever.

סלה דכתיב כאשר שמענו כן ראינו בעיר ה׳ צבאות בעיר אלהינו אלהים יכוננה עד עולם סלה ועד דכתיב ה׳ ימלוך לעולם ועד:

Selah, as it is written: “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God; may God establish it forever, Selah” (Psalms 48:9), which demonstrates that Selah means forever. Va’ed, as it is written: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever [va’ed]” (Exodus 15:18).

(סימן ענקים לחייו לוחות חרות): אמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב וענקים לגרגרותיך אם משים אדם עצמו כענק זה שרף על הצואר ונראה ואינו נראה תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

In light of the previous discussion, the Gemara cites several expositions of verses proposed by Rabbi Eliezer, while first providing them with a mnemonic: Chains, cheeks, tablets, engraved. Rabbi Eliezer said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:9)? If a person makes himself like a chain that hangs loosely on the neck, i.e., if a scholar is not pushy and disruptive to others, and he is also seen but not seen, i.e., just as a chain is covered by clothes and hair, so too, the scholar does not let himself be seen, his Torah study will endure. But if not, if he acts in a rude and arrogant manner, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי אליעזר מאי דכתיב לחיו כערוגת הבושם אם משים אדם עצמו כערוגה זו שהכל דשין בה וכבושם זה שהכל מתבשמין בה תלמודו מתקיים ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים

And Rabbi Eliezer also said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “His cheeks are like a bed of spices” (Song of Songs 5:13)? If a person makes himself humble like this garden bed upon which everyone treads, and like this spice with which everyone perfumes himself, i.e., which benefits not only the one who wears it, his Torah study will endure. But if not, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב לוחות אבן אם אדם משים עצמו את לחייו כאבן זו שאינה נמחית תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

And Rabbi Eliezer further said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Tablets [luḥot] of stone” (Exodus 31:18)? If a person makes his cheeks [leḥayav] like this stone that does not wear away, his Torah study will endure. But if not, i.e., if he is not diligent in his studies, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב חרות על הלוחות אלמלי לא נשתברו לוחות הראשונות לא נשתכחה תורה מישראל

And, lastly, Rabbi Eliezer said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets” (Exodus 32:16)? This teaches that had the first tablets, the subject of this verse, not been broken, the Torah would never have been forgotten from the Jewish people, as the Torah would have been engraved upon their hearts.

רב אחא בר יעקב אמר אין כל אומה ולשון שולטת בהן שנאמר חרות אל תיקרי חרות אלא חירות

Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: Had the tablets not been broken, no nation or tongue would ever have ruled over them, as it is stated: “Engraved”; do not read it engraved [ḥarut] but rather freedom [ḥeirut].

אמר רב מתנה מאי דכתיב וממדבר מתנה אם משים אדם עצמו כמדבר זה שהכל דשין בו תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

Similarly, Rav Mattana said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The well that the princes dug out, that the nobles of the people delved, with the scepter, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah” (Numbers 21:18)? If a person makes himself humble like this wilderness, which is open to all and upon which everyone treads, his Torah study will endure and be given to him as a gift [mattana]. And if not, his Torah study will not endure.

רבא בריה דרב יוסף בר חמא הוה ליה מלתא לרב יוסף בהדיה כי מטא מעלי יומא דכיפורי אמר איזיל ואפייסיה אזל אשכחיה לשמעיה דקא מזיג ליה כסא אמר הב לי ואימזגיה אנא יהב ליה מזגיה כדטעמיה אמר דמי האי מזיגא למזיגא דרבא בריה דרב יוסף בר חמא אמר ליה אנא הוא

The Gemara relates that Rav Yosef had a grievance against Rava, son of Rav Yosef bar Ḥama, who is usually referred to in the Gemara simply as Rava, and as a result of the grievance the two would never meet. When the eve of Yom Kippur arrived, Rava said: I will go and appease him. He went and found Rav Yosef’s attendant mixing him a cup of wine. He said to the attendant: Give it to me, and I will mix it. He gave it to Rava, and Rava mixed it. Rav Yosef was blind and could not see his visitor, but when he tasted the wine he said: This mixture is similar to the mixture of Rava, son of Rav Yosef bar Ḥama, who would add extra water to the wine. Rava said to him: It is I.

אמר ליה לא תתיב אכרעיך עד דמפרשת לי הני קראי מאי דכתיב וממדבר מתנה וממתנה נחליאל ומנחליאל במות ומבמות הגיא

Rav Yosef said to him: Do not sit on your knees until you have explained these verses to me: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And from the wilderness to Mattanah; and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks out toward the desert” (Numbers 21:19–20)?

אמר ליה אם אדם משים עצמו כמדבר זה שהכל דשין בו תורה ניתנה לו במתנה וכיון שניתנה לו במתנה נחלו אל שנאמר וממתנה נחליאל וכיון שנחלו אל עולה לגדולה שנאמר ומנחליאל במות

Rava said to him: If a person makes himself humble like this wilderness, which is open to all and upon which everyone treads, the Torah will be given to him as a gift [mattana]. And once it is given to him as a gift, he inherits it [neḥalo] and God [El] makes it His inheritance, as it is stated: “And from Mattanah to Nahaliel.” And once God has made it His inheritance, he rises to greatness, as it is stated: “And from Nahaliel to Bamoth,” which means heights.

ואם מגיס לבו הקדוש ברוך הוא משפילו שנאמר ומבמות הגיא ואם חוזר בו הקדוש ברוך הוא מגביהו שנאמר כל גיא ינשא

And if he becomes haughty, the Holy One, Blessed be He, lowers him, as it is stated: “And from Bamoth to the valley.” And if he repents, the Holy One, Blessed be He, raises him back up, as it is stated: “Every valley shall be exalted” (Isaiah 40:4).

אמר רב הונא מאי דכתיב חיתך ישבו בה תכין בטובתך לעני אלהים אם אדם משים עצמו כחיה זו שדורסת ואוכלת ואיכא דאמרי שמסרחת ואוכלת תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם עושה כן הקדוש ברוך הוא עושה לו סעודה בעצמו שנאמר תכין בטובתך לעני אלהים

Rav Huna said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Your flock found a dwelling in it; You, O God, prepare of Your goodness for the poor” (Psalms 68:11)? If a person makes himself like an animal that tramples its prey and eats it immediately, without being particular about its food, i.e., if a scholar immediately reviews what he has heard from his teacher; and some say, like an animal that soils and eats, i.e., if a scholar is not particular about maintaining his honor during his Torah study, just as an animal is not particular about the quality of its food, his Torah study will endure. And if not, his Torah study will not endure. And if he does so, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will Himself prepare him a feast, as it is stated: “You, O God, prepare of Your goodness for the poor,” indicating that God in His goodness will Himself prepare a feast for that pauper.

אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב נוצר תאנה יאכל פריה למה נמשלו דברי תורה כתאנה מה תאנה זו

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “He who guards the fig tree shall eat its fruit” (Proverbs 27:18)? Why were matters of Torah compared to a fig tree? Just as this fig tree,

כל זמן שאדם ממשמש בה מוצא בה תאנים אף דברי תורה כל זמן שאדם הוגה בהן מוצא בהן טעם

whenever a person searches it for figs to eat, he finds figs in it, as the figs on a tree do not ripen all at once, so that one can always find a recently ripened fig, so too, with matters of Torah. Whenever a person meditates upon them, he finds in them new meaning.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני מאי דכתיב אילת אהבים ויעלת חן וגו׳ למה נמשלו דברי תורה לאילת לומר לך מה אילה רחמה צר וחביבה על בועלה כל שעה ושעה כשעה ראשונה אף דברי תורה חביבין על לומדיהן כל שעה ושעה כשעה ראשונה

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “A loving hind and a graceful roe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be you ravished always with her love” (Proverbs 5:19)? Why were matters of Torah compared to a hind? To tell you that just as with a hind, its womb is narrow and it is cherished by its mate each and every hour like the first hour, so too, matters of Torah are cherished by those who study them each and every hour like the first hour.

ויעלת חן שמעלת חן על לומדיה דדיה ירוך בכל עת למה נמשלו דברי תורה כדד מה דד זה כל זמן שהתינוק ממשמש בו מוצא בו חלב אף דברי תורה כל זמן שאדם הוגה בהן מוצא בהן טעם

“And a graceful roe” is expounded as follows: That the Torah bestows grace upon those who study it. “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times”; why were matters of Torah compared to a breast? Just as with a breast, whenever a baby searches it for milk to suckle, he finds milk in it, so too, with matters of Torah. Whenever a person meditates upon them, he finds new meaning in them.

באהבתה תשגה תמיד כגון רבי (אליעזר) בן פדת אמרו עליו על רבי (אליעזר) שהיה יושב ועוסק בתורה בשוק התחתון של ציפורי וסדינו מוטל בשוק העליון של ציפורי (תניא) אמר רבי יצחק בן אלעזר פעם אחת בא אדם ליטלו ומצא בו שרף

“And be you ravished always with her love”; your love for Torah should always distract you from worldly matters, as was the case with Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat. They said of him, of Rabbi Elazar, that he would sit and engage in Torah study in the lower marketplace of Tzippori, and his cloak was lying in the upper marketplace of Tzippori. His mind was so focused on Torah study that he would act in this unusual manner. In this regard, the Gemara relates that it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yitzḥak ben Elazar said: One time a person came to take this cloak for himself and found a serpent on it guarding it.

תנא דבי רב ענן מאי דכתיב רוכבי אתונות צחורות יושבי על מדין [והולכי על דרך שיחו] רוכבי אתונות אלו תלמידי חכמים שמהלכין מעיר לעיר וממדינה למדינה ללמוד (בו) תורה צחורות שעושין אותה כצהרים ישבי על מדין שדנין דין אמת לאמיתו והולכי אלו בעלי מקרא על דרך אלו בעלי משנה שיחו אלו בעלי תלמוד שכל שיחתן דברי תורה

In further praise of the Torah and those who study it, a Sage of the school of Rav Anan taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “You that ride on white donkeys, you that sit on rich cloths, and you that walk by the way, tell of it” (Judges 5:10)? “You that ride on white donkeys”; these are Torah scholars, who travel from city to city and from province to province to study Torah. “White [tzeḥorot]” are those who make it clear as noon [tzahorayim], i.e., who make the Torah comprehensible. “You that sit on couches [midin]” refers to those who judge [danin] an absolutely true judgment. “And you that walk”; these are the masters of Bible, who are the least important of the scholars. “By the way”; these are the more important masters of Mishna. “Tell of it”; these are the masters of Talmud, the most important of all, as all their conversation is about matters of Torah.

אמר רב שיזבי משום רבי אלעזר בן עזריה מאי דכתיב לא יחרוך רמיה צידו לא יחיה ולא יאריך ימים צייד הרמאי

The Gemara continues with this topic: Rav Sheizvi said in the name of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The slothful man [remiyya] will not roast [yaḥarokh] his catch” (Proverbs 12:27)? The deceitful [rammai] hunter will not live [yiḥyeh] a long life [ya’arikh]. A deceitful hunter continues to hunt more and more animals without holding on to the animals he has already caught. Similarly, someone who continues to study new material without reviewing what he has already learned will not be successful.

רב ששת אמר צייד הרמאי יחרוך

Rav Sheshet said: Will a deceitful hunter have something to roast? One who acts in this way is a fool, but it is hard to describe him as deceitful.

כי אתא רב דימי אמר משל לצייד שצד צפרים אם ראשון ראשון משבר כנפיו משתמר ואם לאו אין משתמר

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: This is comparable to a hunter who is hunting birds; if he breaks the wings of the birds one by one as he captures them so that they will be unable to fly off again, his prey will be secured, and if not, they will not be secured. According to this explanation, the word rammai is interpreted as cunning rather than deceitful. A cunning hunter secures his prey; similarly, a cunning student reviews each lesson and thereby retains that which he learns.

אמר (רבה) אמר רב סחורה אמר רב הונא מאי דכתיב הון מהבל ימעט וקובץ על יד ירבה אם עושה אדם תורתו חבילות חבילות מתמעט ואם לאו קובץ על יד ירבה

Similarly, Rabba said that Rav Seḥora said that Rav Huna said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Wealth gotten through vanity [hevel] shall be diminished; but he that gathers little by little shall increase” (Proverbs 13:11)? If a person turns his Torah into bundles [ḥavilot, derived from the word hevel by replacing the heh with a ḥet], studying large amounts at the same time, his Torah will diminish. And if not, i.e., if he learns little by little and reviews what he has learned, he that gathers little by little shall increase.

אמר רבה ידעי רבנן להא מלתא ועברי עלה אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אנא עבדתה ואיקיים בידאי:

Rabba said: The Sages know this, but nevertheless transgress it, i.e., they fail to heed this advice. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: I did this, learning little by little and regularly reviewing what I had learned, and my learning has indeed endured.

תנו רבנן כיצד סדר משנה משה למד מפי הגבורה נכנס אהרן ושנה לו משה פירקו נסתלק אהרן וישב לשמאל משה נכנסו בניו ושנה להן משה פירקן נסתלקו בניו אלעזר ישב לימין משה ואיתמר לשמאל אהרן רבי יהודה אומר לעולם אהרן לימין משה חוזר נכנסו זקנים ושנה להן משה פירקן נסתלקו זקנים נכנסו כל העם ושנה להן משה פירקן נמצאו ביד אהרן ארבעה ביד בניו שלשה וביד הזקנים שנים וביד כל העם אחד

The Gemara continues to discuss methods of Torah study. The Sages taught the following baraita: What was the order of teaching the Oral Law? How was the Oral Law first taught? Moses learned directly from the mouth of the Almighty. Aaron entered and sat before him, and Moses taught him his lesson as he had learned it from God. Aaron moved aside and sat to the left of Moses. Aaron’s sons entered, and Moses taught them their lesson while Aaron listened. Aaron’s sons moved aside; Elazar sat to the right of Moses and Itamar sat to the left of Aaron. Rabbi Yehuda disagreed with the first tanna with regard to the seating arrangements and said: Actually, Aaron would return to sit to the right of Moses. The elders entered and Moses taught them their lesson. The elders moved aside, and the entire nation entered and Moses taught them their lesson. Therefore, Aaron had heard the lesson four times, his sons heard it three times, the elders heard it twice, and the entire nation heard it once.

נסתלק משה ושנה להן אהרן פירקו נסתלק אהרן שנו להן בניו פירקן נסתלקו בניו שנו להן זקנים פירקן נמצא ביד הכל ארבעה

Moses then departed to his tent, and Aaron taught the others his lesson as he had learned it from Moses. Aaron then departed and his sons taught the others their lesson. His sons then departed and the elders taught the rest of the people their lesson. Hence everyone, Aaron, his sons, the elders and all the people, heard the lesson taught by God four times.

מכאן אמר רבי אליעזר חייב אדם לשנות לתלמידו ארבעה פעמים וקל וחומר ומה אהרן שלמד מפי משה ומשה מפי הגבורה כך הדיוט מפי הדיוט על אחת כמה וכמה

From here Rabbi Eliezer said: A person is obligated to teach his student his lesson four times. And it follows by way of an a fortiori inference: If Aaron, who learned from Moses himself, and Moses had received the Torah directly from the mouth of the Almighty, needed this regimen; an ordinary student learning from the mouth of an ordinary teacher, how much more so must he review his studies four times.

רבי עקיבא אומר מנין שחייב אדם לשנות לתלמידו עד שילמדנו שנאמר ולמדה את בני ישראל ומנין עד שתהא סדורה בפיהם שנאמר שימה בפיהם

Rabbi Akiva says: From where do we derive that a person is obligated to teach his student until he learns the material and understands it? As it is stated: “Now therefore write this song for you, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19). This verse indicates that one must teach Torah to others. And from where do we derive that one must teach his students until the material is organized in their mouths? As it is stated: “Put it in their mouths,” so that they should be capable of teaching it to others.

ומניין שחייב להראות לו פנים שנאמר ואלה המשפטים אשר תשים לפניהם

And from where do we derive that a teacher must show his students the reasons for the teachings? As it is stated: “Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them” (Exodus 21:1), which indicates that the lesson must be set out in logical fashion for the students.

וליגמרו כולהו ממשה כדי לחלוק כבוד לאהרן ובניו וכבוד לזקנים

With regard to the manner in which the Oral Law was taught, the Gemara asks: They should all have studied from Moses himself four times. The Gemara answers: The teaching was divided in this manner in order to give honor to Aaron and his sons, and also to give honor to the elders.

וניעול אהרן וניגמר ממשה וליעיילו בניו וליגמרו מאהרן וליעיילו זקנים ולילפו מבניו וליזלו וליגמרינהו לכולהו ישראל כיון דמשה מפי הגבורה גמר מסתייעא מלתיה

The Gemara asks why a different method was not adopted, one which would have involved less trouble for Moses: Aaron should have entered and studied from Moses; his sons should then have entered and studied from Aaron; the elders should then have entered and studied from Aaron’s sons; and then they should have gone out and taught all of the Jewish people. The Gemara answers: Since Moses had studied directly from the mouth of the Almighty, it would be more effective for everyone to hear the Torah at least once from Moses himself.

אמר מר רבי יהודה אומר לעולם אהרן לימין משה חוזר כמאן אזלא הא דתניא שלשה שהיו מהלכין בדרך הרב באמצע וגדול בימינו וקטן בשמאלו לימא רבי יהודה היא ולא רבנן

The Master said in the baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: Actually, Aaron would return to sit to the right of Moses, i.e., no matter how many people were present Aaron always sat to Moses’ right. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion was it taught in a baraita dealing with the rules of etiquette: If three people were walking along the way, the teacher should walk in the middle and the greater of the two students should be to his right and the lesser one should be to his left? Shall we say that it is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda and not that of the Sages? According to the Sages, the greater of the two students should be positioned to the left of the teacher so that the student’s right side faces his teacher.

אפילו תימא רבנן משום טירחא דאהרן

The Gemara answers: You can even say that this baraita was taught in accordance with the opinion of the Sages, and the reason they said that Aaron remained to Moses’ left even after the others entered is due to the trouble to Aaron if he would have to stand up and sit down again.

רבי פרידא הוה ליה ההוא תלמידא דהוה תני ליה ארבע מאה זימני וגמר יומא חד בעיוה למלתא דמצוה תנא ליה ולא גמר

Having discussed the importance of reviewing one’s Torah study, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Perida had a certain student whom he would have to teach four hundred times, and only then would he learn the material, as he was incapable of understanding it otherwise. One day they requested Rabbi Perida’s presence for a mitzva matter after the lesson. Rabbi Perida taught his student four hundred times as usual, but this time the student did not successfully learn the material.

אמר ליה האידנא מאי שנא אמר ליה מדההיא שעתא דאמר ליה למר איכא מילתא דמצוה אסחאי לדעתאי וכל שעתא אמינא השתא קאי מר השתא קאי מר אמר ליה הב דעתיך ואתני ליך הדר תנא ליה ארבע מאה זימני [אחריני]

Rabbi Perida said to him: What is different now that you are unable to grasp the lesson? He said to him: From the time that they said to the Master that there is a mitzva matter for which he is needed, my mind was distracted from the lesson and every moment I said: Now the Master will get up, now the Master will get up to go and perform the mitzva and he will not complete the lesson. Rabbi Perida said to him: Pay attention this time and I will teach you, and know that I will not leave until you have fully mastered the lesson. He taught him again an additional four hundred times.

נפקא בת קלא ואמר ליה ניחא ליך דליספו לך ארבע מאה שני או דתיזכו את ודרך לעלמא דאתי אמר דניזכו אנא ודריי לעלמא דאתי אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא תנו לו זו וזו

Due to the merit of Rabbi Perida’s great devotion to his students, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Is it preferable to you that four hundred years be added to your life, or that you and the rest of your generation will merit the World-to-Come? He said: I prefer that I and my generation merit the World-to-Come. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the angels: Give him both; he shall live a very long life and he and the rest of his generation will merit the World-to-Come.

אמר רב חסדא אין תורה נקנית אלא בסימנין שנאמר שימה בפיהם אל תקרי שימה אלא סימנה

The Gemara continues its discussion with regard to methods of Torah study: Rav Ḥisda said: The Torah can be acquired only with mnemonic signs that aid the memory, as it is stated: “Put it in their mouths.” Do not read the phrase as: Put it [simah], but rather as: Its sign [simanah], thus indicating that mnemonic signs aid in memorizing the material.

שמעה רב תחליפא ממערבא אזל אמרה קמיה דרבי אבהו אמר אתון מהתם מתניתו לה אנן מהכא מתנינן לה הציבי לך ציונים שימי לך וגו׳ עשו ציונים לתורה ומאי משמע דהאי ציון לישנא דסימנא הוא דכתיב וראה עצם אדם ובנה אצלו ציון

Rav Taḥalifa of the West, i.e., from Eretz Yisrael, heard this statement and went and said it before Rabbi Abbahu, who said: You learn this idea from there; we learn it from here, as the verse states: “Set up signposts [tziyyunim] for yourself; establish you markers” (Jeremiah 31:20), which is understood to mean: Establish mnemonic signs for the Torah. And from where may it be inferred that this term tziyyun denotes a sign? As it is written in a different verse: “And when they that pass through shall pass through the land, and any sees a human bone, he shall set up a sign [tziyyun] by it” (Ezekiel 39:15), i.e., a sign that there is a source of ritual impurity at that spot.

רבי אליעזר אמר מהכא אמור לחכמה אחותי את ומודע לבינה תקרא עשה מודעים לתורה רבא אמר עשה מועדים לתורה

Rabbi Eliezer said that we learn this same idea from here: “Say to wisdom, you are my sister, and call understanding, your kinswoman [moda]” (Proverbs 7:4), which means: Establish signs [moda’im] that convey knowledge of the Torah. Rava said with regard to this verse: Set appointed times [mo’adim] for Torah study.

Masechet Eruvin is sponsored by Adina and Eric Hagege in honor of our parents, Rabbi Dov and Elayne Greenstone and Roger and Ketty Hagege who raised children, grandchildren and great grandchildren committed to Torah learning.

Want to explore more about the Daf?

See insights from our partners, contributors and community of women learners

one week at a time with tamara spitz

Eruvin 52-58 – Daf Yomi: One Week at a Time

This week we will complete the fourth chapter of Masechet Eruvin and begin the fifth.  We will learn about extending...
120529394_624938108179677_4481227949437121154_o

Unexpected Opportunities

Print
Anyone who learns daf yomi knows that there are often ideas in a typical daf which resonate with what...

Eruvin 54

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Eruvin 54

בטשה ביה אמרה ליה לא כך כתוב ערוכה בכל ושמורה אם ערוכה ברמח אברים שלך משתמרת ואם לאו אינה משתמרת תנא תלמיד אחד היה לרבי אליעזר שהיה שונה בלחש לאחר שלש שנים שכח תלמודו

She kicked him and said to him: Isn’t it written as follows: “Ordered in all things and secure” (ii Samuel 23:5), which indicates that if the Torah is ordered in your 248 limbs, i.e., if you exert your entire body in studying it, it will be secure, and if not, it will not be secure. The Gemara relates that it was similarly taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer had a student who would study quietly, and after three years he forgot his studies.

תנא תלמיד אחד היה לו לרבי אליעזר שנתחייב בשריפה למקום אמרו הניחו לו אדם גדול שמש

Incidental to the story cited above involving a student of Rabbi Eliezer, the Gemara cites the following episode: It was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Eliezer had a student who was liable for the punishment of death by burning, for his sins against God, but the Rabbis said: Let him alone and do not punish him as he deserves, because he served a great person.

אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא פתח פומיך קרי פתח פומיך תני כי היכי דתתקיים ביך ותוריך חיי שנאמר כי חיים הם למצאיהם ולכל בשרו מרפא אל תקרי למצאיהם אלא למוציאיהם בפה

The Gemara cites instructions issued by Shmuel that are similar to those of Berurya. Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda: Keen scholar [shinnana], open your mouth and read from the Torah, open your mouth and study the Talmud, in order that your studies should endure in you and that you should live a long life, as it is stated: “For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22). Do not read: “To those who find them [lemotzeihem],” but rather “to those who express them [lemotzi’eihem],” with their mouth.

אמר ליה שמואל לרב יהודה שיננא חטוף ואכול חטוף ואישתי דעלמא דאזלינן מיניה כהלולא דמי

The Gemara cites additional instructions issued by Shmuel: Shmuel said to Rav Yehuda, his beloved student: Keen scholar, grab and eat, grab and drink, as the world from which we are departing is like a wedding feast, whose joy is only temporary, and one who does not take pleasure in it now will not be able to do so in the future.

אמר ליה רב לרב המנונא בני אם יש לך היטב לך שאין בשאול תענוג ואין למות התמהמה ואם תאמר אניח לבני חוק בשאול מי יגיד לך בני האדם דומים לעשבי השדה הללו נוצצין והללו נובלין

Similarly, Rav said to Rav Hamnuna: My son, if you have money, do well for yourself. There is no point waiting, as there is no pleasure in the netherworld, and death does not tarry. And if you say: I will save up in order to leave for my children, who told you the law of the netherworld, i.e., how do you know which of you will die first (Arukh)? People are similar to grass of the field, in that these blossom, i.e., grow, and their actions are blessed, and these wither and die.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי המהלך בדרך ואין עמו לוייה יעסוק בתורה שנאמר כי לוית חן הם

Having expounded the verse “For they are life to those who find them” as referring to the Torah, the Gemara cites another teaching related to this verse that praises the Torah. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who is walking along the way without a companion and is afraid should engage in Torah study, as it is stated with regard to the words of Torah: “For they shall be a graceful wreath [livyat ḥen] for your head, and chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:9). The word livyat is understood here as a reference to levaya, accompaniment, so that the verse is interpreted to mean that Torah is a graceful accompaniment to one who is traveling.

חש בראשו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר כי לוית חן הם לראשך חש בגרונו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר וענקים לגרגרותיך חש במעיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר רפאות תהי לשרך חש בעצמותיו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ושקוי לעצמותיך חש בכל גופו יעסוק בתורה שנאמר ולכל בשרו מרפא

One who feels pain in his head should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “For they shall be a graceful wreath for your head.” One who feels pain in his throat should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And chains about your neck.” One who feels pain in his intestines should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “It shall be health to your navel” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his bones should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And marrow to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8). One who feels pain in his entire body should engage in Torah study, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22).

אמר רב יהודה ברבי חייא בא וראה שלא כמדת הקדוש ברוך הוא מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם נותן סם לחבירו לזה יפה ולזה קשה אבל הקדוש ברוך הוא אינו כן נתן תורה לישראל סם חיים לכל גופו שנאמר ולכל בשרו מרפא

Rav Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, said: Come and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and blood is that when a person gives a drug to his fellow, it is good for this part of his body and it is harmful to that other part of his body. But the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He, is not so; He gave the Torah to the Jewish people, and it is a drug of life for one’s entire body, as it is stated: “And health to all their flesh.”

אמר רב אמי מאי דכתיב כי נעים כי תשמרם בבטנך יכונו יחדיו על שפתיך אימתי דברי תורה נעימים בזמן שתשמרם בבטנך ואימתי תשמרם בבטנך בזמן שיכונו יחדו על שפתיך

The Gemara continues with praise for Torah study and knowledge. Rav Ami said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them be firmly attached together to your lips” (Proverbs 22:18)? When are words of Torah pleasant? When you keep them within you and know them. And when will you keep them within you? When they will be attached together to your lips, i.e., when you articulate them audibly and expound them.

רבי זירא אמר מהכא שמחה לאיש במענה פיו ודבר בעתו מה טוב אימתי שמחה לאיש בזמן שמענה בפיו לשון אחר אימתי שמחה לאיש במענה פיו בזמן שדבר בעתו מה טוב

Rabbi Zeira said that this idea is derived from here: “A man has joy in the answer of his mouth; and a word in due season, how good it is” (Proverbs 15:23). When does a man have joy? When an answer related to Torah study is in his mouth. Another version: When does a man have joy in the answer of his mouth? When he experiences the fulfillment of: A word in due season, how good it is, i.e., when he knows when and how to address each issue.

רבי יצחק אמר מהכא כי קרוב אליך הדבר מאד בפיך ובלבבך לעשותו אימתי קרוב אליך בזמן שבפיך ובלבבך לעשותו

Rabbi Yitzḥak said that this idea is derived from here: “But the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14). When is it very near to you? When it is in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it, i.e., when you articulate your Torah study.

רבא אמר מהכא תאות לבו נתתה לו וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה אימתי תאות לבו נתתה לו בזמן שארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה

Rava said that this idea is actually derived from here: “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah” (Psalms 21:3). When have You given him his heart’s desire? When You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah, i.e., when he converses in words of Torah.

רבא רמי כתיב תאות לבו נתתה לו וכתיב וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה זכה תאות לבו נתתה לו לא זכה וארשת שפתיו בל מנעת סלה

Rava raised an internal contradiction in that very verse: In the beginning of the verse it is written: “You have given him his heart’s desire,” implying that it is enough for one to request in his heart, whereas in the end of the verse it is written: “And You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah,” indicating that one must express his prayers verbally. Rava himself resolved the contradiction: If one is fortunate, “You have given him his heart’s desire,” even if he does not give verbal expression to his wants. But if he is not fortunate, at least “You have not withheld the request of his lips, Selah.”

תנא דבי רבי אליעזר בן יעקב כל מקום שנאמר נצח סלה ועד אין לו הפסק עולמית נצח דכתיב כי לא לעולם אריב ולא לנצח אקצוף

With regard to the end of this verse, a Sage of the school of Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov taught the following baraita: Wherever it states netzaḥ, Selah, or va’ed, the matter will never cease. Netzaḥ, as it is written: “For I will not contend forever; neither will I be eternally [lanetzaḥ] angry” (Isaiah 57:16), which demonstrates that netzaḥ bears a similar meaning to forever.

סלה דכתיב כאשר שמענו כן ראינו בעיר ה׳ צבאות בעיר אלהינו אלהים יכוננה עד עולם סלה ועד דכתיב ה׳ ימלוך לעולם ועד:

Selah, as it is written: “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God; may God establish it forever, Selah” (Psalms 48:9), which demonstrates that Selah means forever. Va’ed, as it is written: “The Lord shall reign forever and ever [va’ed]” (Exodus 15:18).

(סימן ענקים לחייו לוחות חרות): אמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב וענקים לגרגרותיך אם משים אדם עצמו כענק זה שרף על הצואר ונראה ואינו נראה תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

In light of the previous discussion, the Gemara cites several expositions of verses proposed by Rabbi Eliezer, while first providing them with a mnemonic: Chains, cheeks, tablets, engraved. Rabbi Eliezer said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:9)? If a person makes himself like a chain that hangs loosely on the neck, i.e., if a scholar is not pushy and disruptive to others, and he is also seen but not seen, i.e., just as a chain is covered by clothes and hair, so too, the scholar does not let himself be seen, his Torah study will endure. But if not, if he acts in a rude and arrogant manner, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי אליעזר מאי דכתיב לחיו כערוגת הבושם אם משים אדם עצמו כערוגה זו שהכל דשין בה וכבושם זה שהכל מתבשמין בה תלמודו מתקיים ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים

And Rabbi Eliezer also said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “His cheeks are like a bed of spices” (Song of Songs 5:13)? If a person makes himself humble like this garden bed upon which everyone treads, and like this spice with which everyone perfumes himself, i.e., which benefits not only the one who wears it, his Torah study will endure. But if not, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב לוחות אבן אם אדם משים עצמו את לחייו כאבן זו שאינה נמחית תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

And Rabbi Eliezer further said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Tablets [luḥot] of stone” (Exodus 31:18)? If a person makes his cheeks [leḥayav] like this stone that does not wear away, his Torah study will endure. But if not, i.e., if he is not diligent in his studies, his Torah study will not endure.

ואמר רבי (אליעזר) מאי דכתיב חרות על הלוחות אלמלי לא נשתברו לוחות הראשונות לא נשתכחה תורה מישראל

And, lastly, Rabbi Eliezer said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved upon the tablets” (Exodus 32:16)? This teaches that had the first tablets, the subject of this verse, not been broken, the Torah would never have been forgotten from the Jewish people, as the Torah would have been engraved upon their hearts.

רב אחא בר יעקב אמר אין כל אומה ולשון שולטת בהן שנאמר חרות אל תיקרי חרות אלא חירות

Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said: Had the tablets not been broken, no nation or tongue would ever have ruled over them, as it is stated: “Engraved”; do not read it engraved [ḥarut] but rather freedom [ḥeirut].

אמר רב מתנה מאי דכתיב וממדבר מתנה אם משים אדם עצמו כמדבר זה שהכל דשין בו תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו

Similarly, Rav Mattana said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The well that the princes dug out, that the nobles of the people delved, with the scepter, with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah” (Numbers 21:18)? If a person makes himself humble like this wilderness, which is open to all and upon which everyone treads, his Torah study will endure and be given to him as a gift [mattana]. And if not, his Torah study will not endure.

רבא בריה דרב יוסף בר חמא הוה ליה מלתא לרב יוסף בהדיה כי מטא מעלי יומא דכיפורי אמר איזיל ואפייסיה אזל אשכחיה לשמעיה דקא מזיג ליה כסא אמר הב לי ואימזגיה אנא יהב ליה מזגיה כדטעמיה אמר דמי האי מזיגא למזיגא דרבא בריה דרב יוסף בר חמא אמר ליה אנא הוא

The Gemara relates that Rav Yosef had a grievance against Rava, son of Rav Yosef bar Ḥama, who is usually referred to in the Gemara simply as Rava, and as a result of the grievance the two would never meet. When the eve of Yom Kippur arrived, Rava said: I will go and appease him. He went and found Rav Yosef’s attendant mixing him a cup of wine. He said to the attendant: Give it to me, and I will mix it. He gave it to Rava, and Rava mixed it. Rav Yosef was blind and could not see his visitor, but when he tasted the wine he said: This mixture is similar to the mixture of Rava, son of Rav Yosef bar Ḥama, who would add extra water to the wine. Rava said to him: It is I.

אמר ליה לא תתיב אכרעיך עד דמפרשת לי הני קראי מאי דכתיב וממדבר מתנה וממתנה נחליאל ומנחליאל במות ומבמות הגיא

Rav Yosef said to him: Do not sit on your knees until you have explained these verses to me: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And from the wilderness to Mattanah; and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks out toward the desert” (Numbers 21:19–20)?

אמר ליה אם אדם משים עצמו כמדבר זה שהכל דשין בו תורה ניתנה לו במתנה וכיון שניתנה לו במתנה נחלו אל שנאמר וממתנה נחליאל וכיון שנחלו אל עולה לגדולה שנאמר ומנחליאל במות

Rava said to him: If a person makes himself humble like this wilderness, which is open to all and upon which everyone treads, the Torah will be given to him as a gift [mattana]. And once it is given to him as a gift, he inherits it [neḥalo] and God [El] makes it His inheritance, as it is stated: “And from Mattanah to Nahaliel.” And once God has made it His inheritance, he rises to greatness, as it is stated: “And from Nahaliel to Bamoth,” which means heights.

ואם מגיס לבו הקדוש ברוך הוא משפילו שנאמר ומבמות הגיא ואם חוזר בו הקדוש ברוך הוא מגביהו שנאמר כל גיא ינשא

And if he becomes haughty, the Holy One, Blessed be He, lowers him, as it is stated: “And from Bamoth to the valley.” And if he repents, the Holy One, Blessed be He, raises him back up, as it is stated: “Every valley shall be exalted” (Isaiah 40:4).

אמר רב הונא מאי דכתיב חיתך ישבו בה תכין בטובתך לעני אלהים אם אדם משים עצמו כחיה זו שדורסת ואוכלת ואיכא דאמרי שמסרחת ואוכלת תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם לאו אין תלמודו מתקיים בידו ואם עושה כן הקדוש ברוך הוא עושה לו סעודה בעצמו שנאמר תכין בטובתך לעני אלהים

Rav Huna said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Your flock found a dwelling in it; You, O God, prepare of Your goodness for the poor” (Psalms 68:11)? If a person makes himself like an animal that tramples its prey and eats it immediately, without being particular about its food, i.e., if a scholar immediately reviews what he has heard from his teacher; and some say, like an animal that soils and eats, i.e., if a scholar is not particular about maintaining his honor during his Torah study, just as an animal is not particular about the quality of its food, his Torah study will endure. And if not, his Torah study will not endure. And if he does so, the Holy One, Blessed be He, will Himself prepare him a feast, as it is stated: “You, O God, prepare of Your goodness for the poor,” indicating that God in His goodness will Himself prepare a feast for that pauper.

אמר רבי חייא בר אבא אמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב נוצר תאנה יאכל פריה למה נמשלו דברי תורה כתאנה מה תאנה זו

Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “He who guards the fig tree shall eat its fruit” (Proverbs 27:18)? Why were matters of Torah compared to a fig tree? Just as this fig tree,

כל זמן שאדם ממשמש בה מוצא בה תאנים אף דברי תורה כל זמן שאדם הוגה בהן מוצא בהן טעם

whenever a person searches it for figs to eat, he finds figs in it, as the figs on a tree do not ripen all at once, so that one can always find a recently ripened fig, so too, with matters of Torah. Whenever a person meditates upon them, he finds in them new meaning.

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני מאי דכתיב אילת אהבים ויעלת חן וגו׳ למה נמשלו דברי תורה לאילת לומר לך מה אילה רחמה צר וחביבה על בועלה כל שעה ושעה כשעה ראשונה אף דברי תורה חביבין על לומדיהן כל שעה ושעה כשעה ראשונה

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “A loving hind and a graceful roe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be you ravished always with her love” (Proverbs 5:19)? Why were matters of Torah compared to a hind? To tell you that just as with a hind, its womb is narrow and it is cherished by its mate each and every hour like the first hour, so too, matters of Torah are cherished by those who study them each and every hour like the first hour.

ויעלת חן שמעלת חן על לומדיה דדיה ירוך בכל עת למה נמשלו דברי תורה כדד מה דד זה כל זמן שהתינוק ממשמש בו מוצא בו חלב אף דברי תורה כל זמן שאדם הוגה בהן מוצא בהן טעם

“And a graceful roe” is expounded as follows: That the Torah bestows grace upon those who study it. “Let her breasts satisfy you at all times”; why were matters of Torah compared to a breast? Just as with a breast, whenever a baby searches it for milk to suckle, he finds milk in it, so too, with matters of Torah. Whenever a person meditates upon them, he finds new meaning in them.

באהבתה תשגה תמיד כגון רבי (אליעזר) בן פדת אמרו עליו על רבי (אליעזר) שהיה יושב ועוסק בתורה בשוק התחתון של ציפורי וסדינו מוטל בשוק העליון של ציפורי (תניא) אמר רבי יצחק בן אלעזר פעם אחת בא אדם ליטלו ומצא בו שרף

“And be you ravished always with her love”; your love for Torah should always distract you from worldly matters, as was the case with Rabbi Elazar ben Pedat. They said of him, of Rabbi Elazar, that he would sit and engage in Torah study in the lower marketplace of Tzippori, and his cloak was lying in the upper marketplace of Tzippori. His mind was so focused on Torah study that he would act in this unusual manner. In this regard, the Gemara relates that it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yitzḥak ben Elazar said: One time a person came to take this cloak for himself and found a serpent on it guarding it.

תנא דבי רב ענן מאי דכתיב רוכבי אתונות צחורות יושבי על מדין [והולכי על דרך שיחו] רוכבי אתונות אלו תלמידי חכמים שמהלכין מעיר לעיר וממדינה למדינה ללמוד (בו) תורה צחורות שעושין אותה כצהרים ישבי על מדין שדנין דין אמת לאמיתו והולכי אלו בעלי מקרא על דרך אלו בעלי משנה שיחו אלו בעלי תלמוד שכל שיחתן דברי תורה

In further praise of the Torah and those who study it, a Sage of the school of Rav Anan taught: What is the meaning of that which is written: “You that ride on white donkeys, you that sit on rich cloths, and you that walk by the way, tell of it” (Judges 5:10)? “You that ride on white donkeys”; these are Torah scholars, who travel from city to city and from province to province to study Torah. “White [tzeḥorot]” are those who make it clear as noon [tzahorayim], i.e., who make the Torah comprehensible. “You that sit on couches [midin]” refers to those who judge [danin] an absolutely true judgment. “And you that walk”; these are the masters of Bible, who are the least important of the scholars. “By the way”; these are the more important masters of Mishna. “Tell of it”; these are the masters of Talmud, the most important of all, as all their conversation is about matters of Torah.

אמר רב שיזבי משום רבי אלעזר בן עזריה מאי דכתיב לא יחרוך רמיה צידו לא יחיה ולא יאריך ימים צייד הרמאי

The Gemara continues with this topic: Rav Sheizvi said in the name of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The slothful man [remiyya] will not roast [yaḥarokh] his catch” (Proverbs 12:27)? The deceitful [rammai] hunter will not live [yiḥyeh] a long life [ya’arikh]. A deceitful hunter continues to hunt more and more animals without holding on to the animals he has already caught. Similarly, someone who continues to study new material without reviewing what he has already learned will not be successful.

רב ששת אמר צייד הרמאי יחרוך

Rav Sheshet said: Will a deceitful hunter have something to roast? One who acts in this way is a fool, but it is hard to describe him as deceitful.

כי אתא רב דימי אמר משל לצייד שצד צפרים אם ראשון ראשון משבר כנפיו משתמר ואם לאו אין משתמר

When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: This is comparable to a hunter who is hunting birds; if he breaks the wings of the birds one by one as he captures them so that they will be unable to fly off again, his prey will be secured, and if not, they will not be secured. According to this explanation, the word rammai is interpreted as cunning rather than deceitful. A cunning hunter secures his prey; similarly, a cunning student reviews each lesson and thereby retains that which he learns.

אמר (רבה) אמר רב סחורה אמר רב הונא מאי דכתיב הון מהבל ימעט וקובץ על יד ירבה אם עושה אדם תורתו חבילות חבילות מתמעט ואם לאו קובץ על יד ירבה

Similarly, Rabba said that Rav Seḥora said that Rav Huna said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Wealth gotten through vanity [hevel] shall be diminished; but he that gathers little by little shall increase” (Proverbs 13:11)? If a person turns his Torah into bundles [ḥavilot, derived from the word hevel by replacing the heh with a ḥet], studying large amounts at the same time, his Torah will diminish. And if not, i.e., if he learns little by little and reviews what he has learned, he that gathers little by little shall increase.

אמר רבה ידעי רבנן להא מלתא ועברי עלה אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אנא עבדתה ואיקיים בידאי:

Rabba said: The Sages know this, but nevertheless transgress it, i.e., they fail to heed this advice. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: I did this, learning little by little and regularly reviewing what I had learned, and my learning has indeed endured.

תנו רבנן כיצד סדר משנה משה למד מפי הגבורה נכנס אהרן ושנה לו משה פירקו נסתלק אהרן וישב לשמאל משה נכנסו בניו ושנה להן משה פירקן נסתלקו בניו אלעזר ישב לימין משה ואיתמר לשמאל אהרן רבי יהודה אומר לעולם אהרן לימין משה חוזר נכנסו זקנים ושנה להן משה פירקן נסתלקו זקנים נכנסו כל העם ושנה להן משה פירקן נמצאו ביד אהרן ארבעה ביד בניו שלשה וביד הזקנים שנים וביד כל העם אחד

The Gemara continues to discuss methods of Torah study. The Sages taught the following baraita: What was the order of teaching the Oral Law? How was the Oral Law first taught? Moses learned directly from the mouth of the Almighty. Aaron entered and sat before him, and Moses taught him his lesson as he had learned it from God. Aaron moved aside and sat to the left of Moses. Aaron’s sons entered, and Moses taught them their lesson while Aaron listened. Aaron’s sons moved aside; Elazar sat to the right of Moses and Itamar sat to the left of Aaron. Rabbi Yehuda disagreed with the first tanna with regard to the seating arrangements and said: Actually, Aaron would return to sit to the right of Moses. The elders entered and Moses taught them their lesson. The elders moved aside, and the entire nation entered and Moses taught them their lesson. Therefore, Aaron had heard the lesson four times, his sons heard it three times, the elders heard it twice, and the entire nation heard it once.

נסתלק משה ושנה להן אהרן פירקו נסתלק אהרן שנו להן בניו פירקן נסתלקו בניו שנו להן זקנים פירקן נמצא ביד הכל ארבעה

Moses then departed to his tent, and Aaron taught the others his lesson as he had learned it from Moses. Aaron then departed and his sons taught the others their lesson. His sons then departed and the elders taught the rest of the people their lesson. Hence everyone, Aaron, his sons, the elders and all the people, heard the lesson taught by God four times.

מכאן אמר רבי אליעזר חייב אדם לשנות לתלמידו ארבעה פעמים וקל וחומר ומה אהרן שלמד מפי משה ומשה מפי הגבורה כך הדיוט מפי הדיוט על אחת כמה וכמה

From here Rabbi Eliezer said: A person is obligated to teach his student his lesson four times. And it follows by way of an a fortiori inference: If Aaron, who learned from Moses himself, and Moses had received the Torah directly from the mouth of the Almighty, needed this regimen; an ordinary student learning from the mouth of an ordinary teacher, how much more so must he review his studies four times.

רבי עקיבא אומר מנין שחייב אדם לשנות לתלמידו עד שילמדנו שנאמר ולמדה את בני ישראל ומנין עד שתהא סדורה בפיהם שנאמר שימה בפיהם

Rabbi Akiva says: From where do we derive that a person is obligated to teach his student until he learns the material and understands it? As it is stated: “Now therefore write this song for you, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19). This verse indicates that one must teach Torah to others. And from where do we derive that one must teach his students until the material is organized in their mouths? As it is stated: “Put it in their mouths,” so that they should be capable of teaching it to others.

ומניין שחייב להראות לו פנים שנאמר ואלה המשפטים אשר תשים לפניהם

And from where do we derive that a teacher must show his students the reasons for the teachings? As it is stated: “Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them” (Exodus 21:1), which indicates that the lesson must be set out in logical fashion for the students.

וליגמרו כולהו ממשה כדי לחלוק כבוד לאהרן ובניו וכבוד לזקנים

With regard to the manner in which the Oral Law was taught, the Gemara asks: They should all have studied from Moses himself four times. The Gemara answers: The teaching was divided in this manner in order to give honor to Aaron and his sons, and also to give honor to the elders.

וניעול אהרן וניגמר ממשה וליעיילו בניו וליגמרו מאהרן וליעיילו זקנים ולילפו מבניו וליזלו וליגמרינהו לכולהו ישראל כיון דמשה מפי הגבורה גמר מסתייעא מלתיה

The Gemara asks why a different method was not adopted, one which would have involved less trouble for Moses: Aaron should have entered and studied from Moses; his sons should then have entered and studied from Aaron; the elders should then have entered and studied from Aaron’s sons; and then they should have gone out and taught all of the Jewish people. The Gemara answers: Since Moses had studied directly from the mouth of the Almighty, it would be more effective for everyone to hear the Torah at least once from Moses himself.

אמר מר רבי יהודה אומר לעולם אהרן לימין משה חוזר כמאן אזלא הא דתניא שלשה שהיו מהלכין בדרך הרב באמצע וגדול בימינו וקטן בשמאלו לימא רבי יהודה היא ולא רבנן

The Master said in the baraita that Rabbi Yehuda says: Actually, Aaron would return to sit to the right of Moses, i.e., no matter how many people were present Aaron always sat to Moses’ right. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion was it taught in a baraita dealing with the rules of etiquette: If three people were walking along the way, the teacher should walk in the middle and the greater of the two students should be to his right and the lesser one should be to his left? Shall we say that it is the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda and not that of the Sages? According to the Sages, the greater of the two students should be positioned to the left of the teacher so that the student’s right side faces his teacher.

אפילו תימא רבנן משום טירחא דאהרן

The Gemara answers: You can even say that this baraita was taught in accordance with the opinion of the Sages, and the reason they said that Aaron remained to Moses’ left even after the others entered is due to the trouble to Aaron if he would have to stand up and sit down again.

רבי פרידא הוה ליה ההוא תלמידא דהוה תני ליה ארבע מאה זימני וגמר יומא חד בעיוה למלתא דמצוה תנא ליה ולא גמר

Having discussed the importance of reviewing one’s Torah study, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Perida had a certain student whom he would have to teach four hundred times, and only then would he learn the material, as he was incapable of understanding it otherwise. One day they requested Rabbi Perida’s presence for a mitzva matter after the lesson. Rabbi Perida taught his student four hundred times as usual, but this time the student did not successfully learn the material.

אמר ליה האידנא מאי שנא אמר ליה מדההיא שעתא דאמר ליה למר איכא מילתא דמצוה אסחאי לדעתאי וכל שעתא אמינא השתא קאי מר השתא קאי מר אמר ליה הב דעתיך ואתני ליך הדר תנא ליה ארבע מאה זימני [אחריני]

Rabbi Perida said to him: What is different now that you are unable to grasp the lesson? He said to him: From the time that they said to the Master that there is a mitzva matter for which he is needed, my mind was distracted from the lesson and every moment I said: Now the Master will get up, now the Master will get up to go and perform the mitzva and he will not complete the lesson. Rabbi Perida said to him: Pay attention this time and I will teach you, and know that I will not leave until you have fully mastered the lesson. He taught him again an additional four hundred times.

נפקא בת קלא ואמר ליה ניחא ליך דליספו לך ארבע מאה שני או דתיזכו את ודרך לעלמא דאתי אמר דניזכו אנא ודריי לעלמא דאתי אמר להן הקדוש ברוך הוא תנו לו זו וזו

Due to the merit of Rabbi Perida’s great devotion to his students, a Divine Voice emerged and said to him: Is it preferable to you that four hundred years be added to your life, or that you and the rest of your generation will merit the World-to-Come? He said: I prefer that I and my generation merit the World-to-Come. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to the angels: Give him both; he shall live a very long life and he and the rest of his generation will merit the World-to-Come.

אמר רב חסדא אין תורה נקנית אלא בסימנין שנאמר שימה בפיהם אל תקרי שימה אלא סימנה

The Gemara continues its discussion with regard to methods of Torah study: Rav Ḥisda said: The Torah can be acquired only with mnemonic signs that aid the memory, as it is stated: “Put it in their mouths.” Do not read the phrase as: Put it [simah], but rather as: Its sign [simanah], thus indicating that mnemonic signs aid in memorizing the material.

שמעה רב תחליפא ממערבא אזל אמרה קמיה דרבי אבהו אמר אתון מהתם מתניתו לה אנן מהכא מתנינן לה הציבי לך ציונים שימי לך וגו׳ עשו ציונים לתורה ומאי משמע דהאי ציון לישנא דסימנא הוא דכתיב וראה עצם אדם ובנה אצלו ציון

Rav Taḥalifa of the West, i.e., from Eretz Yisrael, heard this statement and went and said it before Rabbi Abbahu, who said: You learn this idea from there; we learn it from here, as the verse states: “Set up signposts [tziyyunim] for yourself; establish you markers” (Jeremiah 31:20), which is understood to mean: Establish mnemonic signs for the Torah. And from where may it be inferred that this term tziyyun denotes a sign? As it is written in a different verse: “And when they that pass through shall pass through the land, and any sees a human bone, he shall set up a sign [tziyyun] by it” (Ezekiel 39:15), i.e., a sign that there is a source of ritual impurity at that spot.

רבי אליעזר אמר מהכא אמור לחכמה אחותי את ומודע לבינה תקרא עשה מודעים לתורה רבא אמר עשה מועדים לתורה

Rabbi Eliezer said that we learn this same idea from here: “Say to wisdom, you are my sister, and call understanding, your kinswoman [moda]” (Proverbs 7:4), which means: Establish signs [moda’im] that convey knowledge of the Torah. Rava said with regard to this verse: Set appointed times [mo’adim] for Torah study.

Join Hadran Communities! Connect with women learning in your area.

Scroll To Top