THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) DREAMS COME TRUE AS INTERPRETED
QUESTION: The Gemara tells a story about Bar Hedya's interpretations of the
dreams of Rava and Abaye. When Rava caught a chance glance of Bar Hedya's
dream-interpreter's handbook, he suddenly realized that the interpreter of
a dream may decides a dream's meaning.
Why didn't Rava realize this earlier? According to the Gemara earlier (55b)
the Torah states this openly (in the story of Yosef and the dreams), by
saying "As Yosef interpreted for them, so came about!"
ANSWER: Rav knew that interpretations affect a dream, but he thought that
since the interpretation must be based on the dream (as he himself stated
on 55b), it would be impossible to interpret one dream in *opposite* ways
and have both of them come true. When he saw that Bar Hedya's manual stated
"All dreams follow their interpretation," he realized that it was indeed
possible to interpret one dream in two opposing ways, and that Bar Hedya
was in fact the cause of his anguish. (M. Kornfeld, based on SHELEMAH
2) THE RIVER, THE BIRD, AND THE KETTLE
QUESTION: Why are these three objects symbols of peace?
3) PUMPKINS AND THE FEAR OF G-D
ANSWER: These are three symbols of peace because they represent three
possible levels of human peaceful relationships.
(a) Peace in its lowest form means the absence of conflict, or peace in a
purely negative sense. The symbol for this type of peace is a river. A
river is the classic vehicle of commerce between two cities. It represents
a state of communication which exists between two separate entities
connected only by their mutual benefit.
(b) The second degree of peace exists where two people or groups or people
join together to reach a common goal which neither alone would be able to
achieve. This type of peace is symbolized by a kettle. A kettle is designed
to prepare food by utilizing the combined talents of water and fire. Water
alone would ruin the food through soaking; fire alone would burn it. But
through the mediatory effect of the kettle, an environment proper for
cooking is created. The kettle has thus made possible a productive peace
between fire and water..
(c) The third and final level of peace is the peace of the bird. A bird has
two disparate talents: the ability to survive on earth as well as to fly in
the heavens. These talents are not separate skills which exist side by
side. Rather, they are details of a single organism which operates in these
two realms. A bird, therefore, represents an embodiment of a peace where
two natures and two entities have merged into one unit.
(Harav Aharon Feldman, Shlita, in "The River the Kettle and the Bird,"
distributed by Feldheim Publishers, 1987)
QUESTION: The Gemara says that the only person to whom pumpkins are shown
in a dream is one who fears G-d with all of his strength. What is the
connection between pumpkins and the fear of G-d?
(a) RASHI (DH Kara) explains that the word for pumpkins, "Delu'in," can be
read, "Dalu Ayin" (or "lift the eyes"), reminiscent of the verse, "My eyes
lifted (Dalu) unto the heavens," which alludes to the fear of G-d.
(b) RAV NISIM GA'ON explains that although pumpkins are the largest of
vegetables, they never raise themselves off the ground. As large as they
become, they remain sitting on the ground. This is an apt metaphor for a
G-d-fearing person. There is no person greater than the one who is
G-d-fearing, but at the same time, he is the most humble of all (as the
Gemara describes in Chulim 89).