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Bava Metzia 84

BAVA METZIA 81-85 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.



(a) Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi, like Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon, was appointed by the king to catch robbers. When Eliyahu asked him for how long he would contimue to hand over Jews to be killed - he, like the captain, asked what he could possibly do, since he was only following the king's orders.

(b) Eliyahu's replied - that just as his father (Rebbi Yossi) had fled to Asya (to escape the Romans) so too, should he escape to Ludki.

(c) When Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi and Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon met - a pair of oxen could have passed between their stomachs without touching them.

(d) Based on the size of their stomachs, a Roman matron once commented - that their children could not possibly be their own, because there was no way that they could perform Tashmish with their wives.

(e) When they replied that their wives were even fatter than they were - she retorted that, far from resolving the problem, it actually enhanced it.

(a) To dispel her problem, they cited the Pasuk "Ki ka'Ish Gevuraso" - meaning that a man's strength (i.e. his Eiver Tashmish) is made to suit his size).

(b) Alternatively, they answered her - that love causes the flesh to contract.

(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Al Ta'an K'sil ke'Avlaso" - that one should not answer a wicked person's foolish questions.

(d) They nevertheless took the trouble to answer her - in order to prevent their children from being termed Mamzerim.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan gives the size of Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi's Eiver Tashmish as being the equivalent of a flask that holds nine Kabin, and Rav Papa gives the size of Rebbi Yochanan's as five or three Kabin. The size of Rav Papa's Eiver Tashmish was - equivalent to baskets made in Harpanya.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan boasted - that he alone, remained from all of the good-looking men of Yerushalayim.

(c) If someone were to take a silver cup fresh from the factory, fill it with kernels from a red pomegranate, line its rim with a crown of red roses and place it between the sun and the shade, the resulting shine emanating from it would remind one of - the beauty of Rebbi Yohanan('s complexion).

(d) A statement of Mar, that the beauty of Rav Kahana was reminiscent of that of Rebbi Avahu, which in turn, was reminiscent of Ya'akov Avinu, omits Rebbi Yochanan from the list - because, unlike those in the list, he did not have a Hadras Panim (i.e. a beard [see also Agados Maharsha]).

(e) Ya'akov Avinu's beauty resembled - that of Adam ha'Rishon.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan would sit by the gates of Tevilah (near where the women would Tovel) - so that when they came up from Toveling, they would immediate spot him, and subsequently, have their minds on him during Tashmish, with the result that they would give birth to children who were beautiful and learned like him (see Agados Maharsha).

(b) When the Rabbanan asked him whether he was not afraid of Ayin ha'Ra, he replied - that he was from the tribe of Yosef, who are not subject to Ayin ha'Ra.

(c) Rebbi Avahu learn this from the Pasuk "Ben Poras Yosef, Ben Poras Alei Ayin" - because they Darshen 'Al Tikri "Alei Ayin", Ela "Olei Ayin" ' (and since the B'nei Yosef are above the eye, the eye can have no power over them).

(d) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina derives it from the Pasuk - "Ve'yidgu la'Rov be'Kerev ha'Aretz" (comparing Yosef to fish, which are covered by water and are therefore in a different domain than the eye that is looking at them [rendering them outside its jurisdiction]).

(a) When Rebbi Yochanan first spotted Resh Lakish swimming in the Jordan River ...
1. ... he was so intrigued by his strength - that he jumped into the water after him. So ...
2. ... he said to him - 'Your strength is for learning Torah' (see Agados Maharsha). To which ...
3. ... Resh Lakish replied - 'Your beauty is for women'. To which ...
4. ... Rebbi Yochanan responded - that he had a sister who was more beautiful than himself, and that if Resh Lakish would do Teshuvah (and dedicate himself to learning Torah) he could have her as a wife.
(b) Resh Lakish was suddenly unable to swim back for his clothes - because, having accepted Rebbi Yochanan's offer, the natural weakness of a Talmid-Chacham already effected him.

(c) He married sister of Rebbi Yochanan, whilst his brother-in-law subsequently taught him the written and the oral Toros, until he became one of the great Torah-scholars of his day.

(a) The Mishnah in Keilim states that metal vessels, such as swords, spears and sickles, become subject to Tum'ah from the time that they are completed, which Rebbi Yochanan explains 'mi'she'Yetzarfem ba'Kivshan' - which means from the time that they are tempered in the furnace.

(b) Resh Lakish - says that the stage of completion is reached after they have been furbished in water (which, among other things, gives them a clanging sound).

(c) When Rebbi Yochanan commented that a robber knows his trade (which Resh Lakish understood in a derogatory sense), Resh Lakish responded by stating - that Rebbi Yochanan should not hurt him (see Eitz Yosef), because they had called him 'Rebbi' already before he met his brother-in-law, when he was still a robber-chief.

(d) Rebbi Yochanan (who understood Resh Lakish to mean that he had given him nothing by teaching him Torah and making him a Rebbi [Eitz Yosef]) pointed out - that he had brought him under the wings of the Shechinah (and that was what distinguished between his current title 'Rebbi' and his previous one).

(e) Rebbi Yochanan's anger caused Resh Lakish to become ill.

(a) When Rebbi Yochanan's sister beseeched him to have pity, first on her son, (who would become a Yasom) and then, on herself (who would become an Almanah, unless he prayed for Resh Lakish's recovery) he replied with the Pasuk in Yirmiyah, which states that Hashem looks after Yesomim and Almanos.

(b) When, upon Resh Lakish's death, Rebbi Yochanan became grief-stricken, the Rabbanan sent Rebbi Elazar ben P'das to make up for his terrible loss - because he was exceptionally sharp in his approach to learning.

(c) This did not work out however - because whereas Resh Lakish would ask twenty-four Kashyos on everything Rebbi Yochanan said (as a result of which the Sugyos would become lucid), Rebbi Elazar tended to quote a Beraisa in support of whatever Rebbi Yochanan said. But this irritated Rebbi Yochanan, since it clarified nothing, nor did he need proof that what he had said was right.

(d) So Rebbi Yochanan rent his garments over his death, and he cried bitterly for Resh Lakish - until eventually, he went out of his mind. At that point, the Rabbanan prayed that he should die.




(a) In spite of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon's earlier statement (assuring himself that the people that he had arrested were all guilty), he took upon himself Yisurin (suffering) - and contracted boils.

(b) They would place underneath him sixty (see Agados Maharsha) felt sheets at night. In the morning, they would find sixty bowls of blood containing bits of white.

(c) His wife subsequently prepared for him - sixty different kinds of fig dishes.

(d) His wife not allow him to go to the Beis ha'Medrash - because she was afraid that, in his frail state, the large number of people who frezuented it might squash harm him.

(e) He asked for the Yisurin (which he referred to as his brothers and friends - see Agados Maharsha) to depart each day (and for them to return only at night) - in order to avoid Bitul Torah.

(a) His wife left him and ran away to her father's house - after she overheard him one night, asking for 'his brothers and friends' to return, accusing him of wasting her father's money (the dowry she had brought into the marriage) on food and sheets. She had not previously been aware of the fact his Yisurin came at his request.

(b) Rebbi Elazar managed without her - with the help of sixty sailors, who having been saved from a storm by evoking his merit, came to thank him. They now took over his wife's job.

(c) He instructed his daughter, whom her mother had sent to see how he was managing - to inform her mother that his wealth was greater than hers (that his heavenly supply was greater than her earthly one).

(d) In view of the strange way that his salvation had arrived, he applied to himself the Pasuk - "Haysah ka'Oniyos Socher, mi'Merchak Tavi Lachmah".

(a) He ate and drank and was cured and returned to the Beis ha'Medrash. When he declared Tahor sixty cases of Dam Nidah that were brought to him for inspection, the Rabbanan objected - because they did not consider it conceivable that there was not even one case of Safek among all those cases (and consequently, Rebbi Elazar ought to not to have allowed that particular woman to return to her husband without Tevilah and the appropriate waiting period).

(b) There are five colors of Tamei Dam Nidah; all other colors are Tahor.

(c) He proved that he had not erred even in one case - by decreeing that all the women would become pregnant that night and give birth to a boy, and that if he had erred, one of them would give birth to a girl. In fact - they all gave birth to a boy. And the women showed their appreciation for what he had done - by calling their sons Elazar after him.

(d) When Rebbi spoke of that wicked one who prevented much Piryah ve'Yivyah from Yisrael - he was referring to the kingdom of Rome, who had forced Rebbi Elazar to arrest Resha'im instead of going to the Beis-ha'Medrash and permitting women to their husbands. He might also have been referring to Rebbi Elazar's wife, but the G'ra objects this explanation, because the continuation of the Sugya suggests otherwise (see Eitz Yosef).

(a) Rebbi Elazar instructed his wife before his death - to place his body in the attic after he died and not to be afraid. He did not want to be buried conventionally - because he knew that the Rabbanan, who were still angry with him for his police activities (since some of the people whom he had had killed were their relatives [See also Agados Maharsha]).

(b) Rebbi Yonasan's mother, quoting Rebbi Elazar's wife, told Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini - that Rebbi Elazar's body lay in the attic for not less than eighteen years, but not more than twenty-four.

(c) Rebbi Elazar's wife ...

1. ... whilst fondling through her husband's hair, would inadvertently pull out a hair from his head - and blood would seep out from the hole.
2. ... once spotted a worm emerging from his ear. Rebbi Elazar appeared to her in a dream - and explained to her that she need not worry that his body would now begin to decompose, because it was a (once-off) punishment for not reacting strongly enough when he once heard someone insulting a Talmid-Chacham.
(d) Rebbi Elazar would arbitrate between litigants after his death - by having them stand by the door, where each one would state his case. He would then declare which one was Chayav and which one was Patur.
(a) The Rabbanan decided to bury him after his wife cursed the woman with whom she was quarreling that she should be like her husband, who was not brought to Kevuras Yisrael - because, they decided, the fact that word had now got out that Rebbi Elazar had not been buried, was a disgrace to his name that had to be rectified.

(b) That was the reason according to the first Lashon. According to the second Lashon - it was due to his father, Rebbi Shimon, who appeared to them in a dream, and asked them why they did not bring 'his dove' to him.

(c) The residents of Achbarya did not allow them to bury Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon - because during all the years that his body had lain in the attic, no wild animals had ever entered their town.

(d) The Rabbanan eventually got round the B'nei Achbarya - by asking the B'nei Biri, one Erev Yom Kipur, when everyone was busy with their preparations, to snatch the stretcher on which Rebbi Elazar lay, and bury him.

(e) They buried him in the same cave as his father. When they reached the cave however - they found a snake encircling the cave, its tail in its mouth. They solved the problem by asking the snake to open its mouth and let them in, which it did.

(a) Rebbi Elazar's wife declined Rebbi's marriage proposal - on the grounds that a vessel that was used for Kodesh cannot be used for Chol.

(b) In Eretz Yisrael, they describe it with a Mashal - Shall the shepherd hang his satchel on the same peg that the warrior hangs his weapons?

(c) When Rebbi replied that even if her husband had been greater than him in Torah, he was not greater in good deeds, she commented - that she did not know who was greater in Torah, but she did know that her husband was greater in good deeds, since he had willingly accepted Yisurin on himself.

(d) The colleagues of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah (the Gedolei ha'Dor of that generation) raised Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon and Rebbi from the ground and placed them on benches - because, due to the latters' participation in the Torah discussions, they felt that they benefited from them too.

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel removed the bench from Rebbi and put him back on the floor - because he was afraid that he would lose his (son Rebbi, the) 'dove' (as a result of the Ayin ha'Ra that would result from the Kavod).

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah - removed the bench from Rebbi Elazar too, because he argued, it is not because he had no father that they should allow him to be exposed to Ayin ha'Ra.

(c) Rebbi became upset - because by removing the bench from under Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon, they were placing him on a par with himself (because the greater the person, the more subject he is to Ayin ha'Ra).

(d) If Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon had initially supported Rebbi's statements, from this incident and onwards - he would not only anticipate Rebbi's Kashyos, but he would even provide answers that Rebbi had not thought of.

(a) When a despondent Rebbi described to his father how Rebbi Elazar was running circles round him (see Agados Maharsha) - his father replied modestly that this was because, whereas Rebbi Elazar was a lion, son of a lion, he (Rebbi) was a lion, son of a fox.

(b) Rebbi was impressed with his father's Midos. He included in his list of three humble people (besides his father, Raban Shimon ben Gamliel) - the B'nei Beseira and Yonasan ben Shaul.

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