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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Bava Metzia 86


(a) Shmuel was Rebbi's doctor. Rebbi had pain in one eye; Shmuel wanted to put a potion in the eye; Rebbi said he could not bear it; Shmuel wanted to put something on the eye; Rebbi refused. Shmuel prepared a powerful potion that bored through from the back of his head until his eyes; he was cured.
1. Rebbi was disturbed that he did not succeed in his plan to ordain Shmuel as 'Rebbi'.
2. Shmuel: Don't feel bad - I saw the book of Adam ha'Rishon - there I am only called Chacham, not Rebbi; it says that I will heal you.
(b) (The book also said that) Rebbi and R. Noson are the end of the Tana'im, Rav Ashi and Ravina are the end of the Amora'im;
1. The is hinted at in "Mikd*ashei* Kel, *Avinah* l'Acharisam.
(a) (Rav Kahana): Rabah died on account of fear of the king.
1. Someone informed on him that he causes thousands of Yisraelim to avoid taxes (because they gather to learn from him) for a month in spring and a month in fall. The king sent an agent to seek him; he did not find him. Rabah fled from Pumbedisa to Akra, then to a swamp, to Shechin, to a hut, to a spring, to Pumbedisa; they found him in Pumbedisa.
2. The king's agent came to lodge at the inn Rabah was in. They put food in front of the agent; they took it away after he drank two cups (drinking an even number made him vulnerable to a certain Shed; his face went in back of his head). Rabah told them to gave him another cup, he was cured.
3. This made him realize that Rabah was there; he searched for him and found him. He said - if they will kill me for not revealing where Rabah is - I will die, I will not reveal; if they will torture me, I will reveal.
4. He locked Rabah in a room; Rabah prayed for mercy, and the wall fell; he escaped to the swamp. He was sitting on a stump and learning.
5. (Shitah Mekubetzes - Rabah dreamed that) the Heavenly academy was learning about Tzara'as:
i. If the Tzara'as (white appearance on the skin) preceded the white hair, he is (absolutely) Tamei; if the white hair came first, he is Tahor (i.e. only quarantined);
ii. If we are in doubt which came first - (Shitah - a group of Chachamim close to) Hash-m said Tahor , the rest of the Heavenly academy said Tamei; they decided that Rabah would decide the matter.
6. Rabah used to comment, I am the single most learned scholar alive in matters of Tzara'as and Tum'ah of an Ohel.
7. The angel of death was sent to take him; he could not, for Rabah never ceased learning. A wind made a big noise among the reeds; Rabah thought it was a troop searching for him. Rabah preferred to die than to be taken by the kingdom. As he died, he said 'Tahor, Tahor'.
8. A voice from Heaven: Happy is Rabah - his body is Tahor, and his soul left as he said 'Tahor'.
(b) In Pumbedisa, a note fell from Heaven that Rabah was taken to the Heavenly academy. Abaye, Rava and all the Rabanan wanted to bury him, but they did not know where he was. They went to the swamp; they saw birds making shade over a certain place - they realized that is the place. They eulogized him for three days and nights; a note fell from Heaven excommunicating anyone that will leave.
(c) They eulogized him for seven days; a note fell from Heaven permitting them to go home.
(d) The day he died there was a terrible wind; a man riding a camel was blown across the Papa river. People told him, this was because Rabah died.
1. The man: Hash-m - You own the world, You own Rabah. Granted, You love him - will You destroy your entire world on account of him?!
2. The wind abated.
(e) One day, R. Shimon ben Chalafta was hot; he sat on top of a mountain, and asked his daughter to fan him, promising her loaves of spikenard. A wind came - 'How much I owe the One who sent this wind!'
(a) (Mishnah): Everything is as the local custom.
(b) Question: What does this come to include?
(c) Version #1 - Answer: A place where the custom is to eat bread and drink at sunrise, and then to go work, he cannot force them to eat earlier so they will start work earlier.
(d) Version #2 - Answer: A place where the custom is to eat and drink in the employer's house and then to go work, he cannot tell them 'Start working, when the food is ready I will bring it to you'.
(e) (Mishnah): There was a case in which R. Yochanan ben Masya told his son to hire workers...
(f) Question: The case contradicts the law!
(g) Answer: The Mishnah is abbreviated, it should say thusly: if he promised to feed them, he must give more than the local custom;

1. There was a case in which R. Yochanan ben Masya told his son to hire workers; his son promised to feed them.
2. R. Yochanan: They descend from Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov - even if you give them a banquet as Shlomo, this does not suffice! Before they start working, tell them that you only promise them bread and legumes.
(h) Question: This implies that Avraham served a larger meal than Shlomo!
1. But "The daily food of Shlomo was 30 Kor of fine flour, 60 Kor of (regular) flour, ten fattened cattle, 20 cattle (that grazed), 100 flock, aside from deer, fallow deer and Barburim Avusim";
i. (Guryon ben Astiyon): The verse only gives the amount of flour and fine flour to absorb the froth of the pots.
ii. (R. Yitzchak): The verse only gives the amount of meat to make seasoned meat.
iii. (R. Yitzchak): Shlomo had 1000 wives, each made such a meal for him every night in her house - each hoped he would eat by her that night.
2. Whereas Avraham only served "Ben-Bakar Rach va'Tov";
i. (Rav Yehudah): This teaches that he served three animals.
(i) Answer: Avraham served three cattle for 3 guests; Shlomo's meal was for all of "Yehudah v'Yisrael Rabim ka'Chol Asher Al ha'Yam".
(j) Question: What are "Barburim Avusim"?
(k) Answer #1 (Rav): Fowl that we are Oves (force-feed, to fatten them).
(l) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Fowl that were allowed to fatten themselves.
(m) Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): They would bring to Shlomo's table cattle that never worked ("Bakar Re'i") and fowl that were never set to raise chicks (and the latter are "Barburim Avusim").
1. (R. Yochanan): The choicest animal is an ox; the choicest fowl is a chicken. (This is why they only took "spoiled animals" from these two categories.)
(n) (Ameimar): Barburim Avusim are black roosters with big stomachs (alternate meaning: that were fattened at home) that frequents the winepress at the time grapes are pressed (and eats the skins), and is too fat to step over a reed.
(a) (Rav Yehudah): "Ben-Bakar Rach va'Tov" - This teaches that he served three animals.
(b) Question: Perhaps it was only 1 - it was tender and good!
(c) Answer: If so, it should have said 'Rach Tov' - "va'Tov" shows, it comes to teach more animals.
(d) Question: It should teach one extra, but "Rach" means tender!
(e) Answer: Since "va'Tov" teaches another animal, also "Rach".
(f) Question (Rabah bar Ula): "He gave to the lad...Oso" (singular)!
(g) Answer: He gave each one to a different lad.
(h) Question: "U'Ven ha'Bakar Asher Asa (singular) and put in front of them"!
(i) Answer: He served each one when it finished cooking.
(j) Question: Why did he have to serve three, one would suffice!
(k) Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): He wanted to serve each a tongue with mustard.
(a) (R. Tanchum bar Chanilai): A person should not deviate from the local custom - Moshe went to Heaven, and did not eat; angels descended, and ate (Avraham's food)!
(b) Question: Surely, they did not eat!
(c) Answer: Rather, they appeared to eat and drink.
(d) (Rav Yehudah): Everything Avraham did himself for the angels, Hash-m did Himself for Avraham's children (in the wilderness); everything Avraham did through a messenger, Hash-m did for Avraham's children through a messenger.
1. (Things Avraham did himself): "Avraham ran to the herd" - "A wind came me'Es Hash-m (bringing Slav)";
2. "He took butter and milk" - "I will make bread (fall as) rain for you Min ha'Shamayim";
3. "He stood (watching) over them" - "I will stand in front of you";
4. "Avraham walked with them to escort them" - "Hash-m went in front of them".
5. (Things Avraham did through a messenger): "Yukach (will be taken) a little water" - "You (Moshe) will strike the rock and water will exude";
(e) (Rav Yehudah): argues with R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina.
1. (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): In the merit of three things Avraham did, Yisrael merited three things from Hash-m (through Moshe and Aharon).
i. The Mon (manna) was a reward for giving butter and milk; the Amud Anan (the cloud that accompanied Yisrael in the wilderness) was a reward for standing over the angels while they ate; the well of Miryam was a reward for bringing water for them.
(f) (R. Yanai b'Rebbi Yishmael): "Will be taken a little water and you will wash your feet" - the angels rebuked Avraham: you suspect we worship the dust of our feet?! (From you came Yishmael, who does so)!
(g) Question: "Hash-m appeared to him...k'Chom ha'Yom" - what does this mean?
(h) Answer (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): It was the third day from Avraham's circumcision; Hash-m came to visit him, He made the sun extra strong so Avraham would not be bothered with guests;
1. Avraham sent Eliezer to look for guests; he did not find. Avraham did not trust him - as they say in Eretz Yisrael, one cannot trust slaves.
2. Avraham went out and found Hash-m by the door - he asked "Do not pass from Your servant".
3. Avraham was untying and retying the bandage on the circumcision - it was not proper for Hash-m to remain there, so He left;
4. "Avraham saw...Nitzavim Alav va'Yar va'Yaratz Likrasam" - at first, they stood over him; they saw his pain, and realized that it was not proper to remain there, so they distanced themselves.
(i) Question: Who were the three "men"?
(j) Answer: Micha'el, who came to inform Sarah that she will have a son; Refa'el, who came to heal Avraham; and Gavri'el, who was on his way to destroy Sedom.
(k) Question: "The two angels came to Sedom"!
(l) Answer: Micha'el also went, to save Lot.
1. Support: It says "Va'Yahafoch" (singular).
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