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Bava Metzia 85

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



(a) Rebbi included in his list of humble people ...
1. ... the B'nei Beseira - because they stepped down and appointed Hillel in their place?
2. ... Yonasan ben Shaul - because in spite of being son of King Shaul and his heir, he declared that David would rule over Yisrael, and that he would be his deputy.
(b) We query Rebbi's choice of the latter two (leaving us with his father as the only truly humble person [of the category of humility that he is listing]) - who may well have stepped down from their positions (not out of humility, but) because in the case of the B'nei Beseira, Hillel proved that he knew more than they did, and in the case of Yonasan, because he saw that the people were behind David and he had no other choice.

(c) When Rebbi saw how precious Yisurin were in the eyes of Hashem - he too, accepted them upon himself (see Ya'avetz) for thirteen years.

(d) Some say that he suffered from Tzamirta for seven years and from Tzapidna for six; others reverse the order of years.

1. Tzamirta is - a stone in the urinal duct.
2. Tzapidna is - thrush (a painful mouth disease [according to the Yerushalmi, it was toothache).
(a) The stable man of Rebbi was wealthier than the King of Persia. He made a point of feeding the horses when Rebbi would go to relieve himself - in order to drown Rebbi's screams of pain (because the neighing of his numerous horses could be heard at a distance of three Mil). He did not entirely succeed however, because Rebbi's screams could still be heard above his horses neighing. We learn from this episode the intensity of Rebbi's pains.

(b) Yet the suffering of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon was on a higher plane than Rebbi's - because his suffering came from his love (of Hashem [he volunteered to suffer, even though the pain was undeserved]) and went from love (not through a specific act), whereas Rebbi's suffering came as a result of his deeds (it was deserved) and went through an act (as we shall now see).

(c) Rebbi ...

1. ... brought on his Yisurin - when he sent an animal on its way to be Shechted (after it came to him for protection), telling it was created for this purpose.
2. ... caused them to go away - when he told his maidservant to leave the weasels (or rats) that she discovered in the attic alone, because David ha'Melech said in Tehilim "ve'Rachamav al Kol Ma'asav" ('and His mercy extends to all His creatures' [and we are obligated to go in His ways]).
(a) During the entire period that Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon suffered nobody died prematurely. From Rebbi's suffering - K'lal Yisrael dispensed with the need for rain (because he had mercy on Hashem's creatures).

(b) This is based on a statement of Rabah bar Rav Shiloh, who said - that the day of rain is a day of judgment (so Hashem gave them Rachamim for Rachamim).

(c) The Rabbanan did not pray for Rebbi's Yisurin to stop - because the world benefited from them (as we just explained).

(d) Nothing can grow without rain. And this was no exception, - because here too, even though it had not rained, water would miraculously appear in a pit from which they had just pulled out a radish (and presumably, that is what happened to all plants and trees).

(a) When Rebbi went to inquire whether Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon had left any sons behind, he discovered that he had indeed left behind a son for whose services the prostitutes would pay way above the going price.

(b) When ...

1. ... Rebbi sent him to Rebbi Shimon ben Isi ben Lekunyah (his mother's brother) to learn Torah - he kept repeating that he wanted to go home.
2. ... his Rebbi promised to make him wise, to give him a golden jacket, and that they would (really) call him Rebbi - he promised that he would no longer do that.
(c) The other strategy that Rebbi employed (even before he actually began learning) to induce him to want to learn - was to give him Semichah (i.e. the title of 'Rebbi').

(d) Later, Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Elazar went to learn in Rebbi's Yeshivah. When Rebbi (who recognized him by his voice) quoted the Pasuk in Mishlei ...

1. ... "P'ri Tzadik Eitz Chayim" - he was referring to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Elazar himself.
2. ... "ve'Loke'ach Nefashos Chacham" - he was referring to Rebbi Shimon ben Isi ben Lekunyah.
(a) When Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Elazar died, they wanted to bury him in the same cave as his father and grandfather, but the snake (of which we spoke earlier) would not let them in. This was (not because Rebbi Yossi was not as great as his father but) - because he had not lived in a cave (with Mesiras Nefesh) for thirteen years, like *they* had done.

(b) Rebbi also went to inquire whether Rebbi Tarfon (of two generations earlier) had left any sons. They told him - that he had not left any sons, but a daughter's son.

(c) When he found him in the same situation as Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Elazar had been, he offered him his daughter, if he would do Teshuvah. According to some - he did indeed marry her, but then divorced her, though others say that (even though he did do Teshuvah) he did not even marry her. This is - so that people should not say that he only did Teshuvah in order to marry Rebbi's daughter.

(d) The reason that Rebbi got into the habit of inquiring about the sons of Tzadikim, is based on a statement of Rav (or Rebbi Yochanan or Rebbi Yonasan), who said that if someone teaches Torah to ...

1. ... someone else's son - he will merit to sit in the Heavenly Yeshivah.
2. ... the son of an Am ha'Aretz - then even if Hashem has issued an evil decree, He will tear it up on account of him (see Rif, Ein Ya'akov).
(a) Rebbi Parnach Amar Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from ...
1. ... the Pasuk "va'Ani Zos B'risi Amar Hashem ... Lo Yamushu mi'Picha, mi'Pi Zar'acha u'mi'Pi Zera Zar'acha" - that if the son and grandson of a Talmid-Chacham are also Talmidei-Chachamim, then Torah will not move away from his descendants forever.
2. ... the continuation of the Pasuk "Amar Hashem" - that Hashem guarantees it.
3. ... the next words "me'Atah ve'Ad Olam" (though this is actually the D'rashah of Rebbi Yirmiyah) - that from then on, Torah will returns to its host (even if one of his descendants throws off the yoke of Torah, Torah will return to *his* son or grandson [Iyun Ya'akov]).
(b) After Rav Yosef had conducted ...
1. ... forty fasts, they showed him in a dream the Pasuk - "Lo Yamushu mi'Picha".
2. ... a second set of forty fasts - they showed him the Pasuk "Lo Yamushu mi'Picha mi'Pi Zar'acha".
3. ... a third set of forty fasts - they showed him the Pasuk "Lo Yamushu mi'Picha, mi'Pi Zar'acha u'mi'Pi Zera Zar'acha."
(c) He stopped there - because beyond that, Torah automatically returns to its host.
(a) Rebbi Zeira fasted forty fasts in order to forget what he had learned in Bavel - because, unlike the B'nei Bavel, the B'nei Eretz Yisrael were not quarrelsome, and their learning was therefore more straightforward and to the point. Consequently, he didn't want what he had learned in Bavel to interfere with his new store of knowledge.

(b) He fasted a second set - that Rebbi Elazar should not die in his lifetime, so that the mantle of leadership would not fall on his shoulders.

(c) And he fasted a third set, so that the fire of Gehinom should not effect him, which he put to the test - by climbing into a heated oven once every thirty days (and emerging unscathed).

(d) On one occasion, when the Chachamim gave him an Ayin ha'Ra - his calf became scorched from the heat. He subsequently became known as 'the short man with the scorched calf'. Presumably, that explains his name 'Zeira' (a corruption of 'Ze'eira' [small]), because it is the equivalent of 'Ketina' (Ya'avetz).




(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav explains the Pasuk which discusses the question "Al Mah Avdah ha'Aretz (What was the cause of the detruction of the first Beis Hamikdash)?", a question which baffled the greatest. When in this context, the Navi writes ...
1. ... "Mi ha'Ish he'Chacham" - he is referring to the Chachamim, and ...
2. ... "va'Asher D'var Pi Hashem Eilav Ve'yagidah" - to the Nevi'im.
(b) Hashem Himself answered it, when He said "Al Azvam es Torasi", which Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, based on the continuation "Asher Nasati *Lifneihem*", interprets to mean - that the people failed to recite the B'rachah 'Asher Bachar Banu ... ' before learning Torah, a sure sign that they did not consider it important.

(c) When the Pasuk in Mishlei writes ...

1. ... be'Lev Navon Tanu'ach Chochmah", says Rav Chama, it is referring to - a Talmid-Chacham the son of a Talmid-Chacham.
2. ... u've'Kerev Kesilim Toda" - a Talmid-Chacham, the son of an Am ha'Aretz.
(d) This is expressed in the adage cited by Ula 'A small coin in a flask makes a big noise (when it is rattled)' - because the noise is due to the fact that it is the only coin in the jar. If the jar were full, it would not make a noise (see also Tosfos).

(e) Rebbi Zeira explained the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Katon ve'Gadol Hu" to mean - that anyone who makes himself small over Torah in this world, will be big in the World to Come.
2. ... "ve'Eved Chofshi el Adonav" - that anyone who subjugates himself to Torah-study here will be free in the World to Come.
(a) Resh Lakish was marking graves. He became agitated - when he could not find the grave of Rebbi Chiya (which had been hidden from him). So he asked Hashem - whether he had not studied as much Torah as Rebbi Chiya.

(b) A Heavenly Voice replied - that indeed he had, but that he had not spread Torah to the degree that Rebbi Chiya had.

(c) When Rebbi Chiya was arguing with Rebbi Chanina, the latter asked him how he could argue with someone who, if Torah were forgotten, he would revive it with his Pilpul. Rebbi Chiya retorted - how could he argue with someone who made sure that Torah was not forgotten in the first place. (d) Rebbi Chiya, after ...

1. ... planting flax and making nets - he would use the nets to catch deer, whose flesh he would feed to Yesomim.
2. ... manufacturing parchment with the skin of the deer - he would write each of the five books of the Torah on a piece of parchment.
3. ... teaching five children the five books of the Torah (one book each) - he would teach each of the six Sedarim of the Mishnah to one child.
4. ... having taught the eleven children the entire written and oral Toros - he would instruct the eleven children to teach each other what they had learned, thereby ensuring that Torah would not be forgotten.
(a) Rebbi exclaimed - 'How great are the deeds of Chiya!'

(b) When Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi asked him whether Rebbi Chiya's deeds even outweighed ...

1. ... his own - he replied in the affirmative.
2. ... his (Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi's) father's - he vehemently objected to the suggestion.
(c) The deceased Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina told Rebbi Zeira in a dream that in Olam ha'Ba he sat next to Rebbi Yochanan, Rebbi Yochanan's next to Rebbi Yanai, and Rebbi Yanai next to Rebbi Chanina. Rebbi Chanina - sat next to Rebbi Chiya.

(d) When Rebbi Zeira asked Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina why Rebbi Yochanan (their Rebbe) did not sit next to Rebbi Chiya, he replied - that Rebbi Yochanan (also known as bar Nafcha, because he was a blacksmith) did not belong in a place where there were flashes of lightning and burning fires.

(a) Rav Chaviva bar Suramki noticed - that the eyes of that Talmid-Chacham who was often visited by Eliyahu Hanavi were fine one morning, but looked burned that same evening.

(b) The Talmid-Chacham explained to him that this was the result of his having disregarded Eliyahu's advice when he took him to see the Rabbanan ascending to the Yeshivah shel Ma'alah. Because ...

1. ... although Eliyahu advised him - that he may look at any of the Tdadikim there as they ascended, barring the carriage in which Rebbi Chiya sat ...
2. ... he could not contain himself - and looked nonetheless, at which point, two flashes of lightning struck him in the eyes.
(c) He knew which was Rebbi Chiya's carriage - because all the other carriages were carried by angels, except for his, which moved under its own steam.

(d) He became cured - by going to Rebbi Chiya's grave and praying that, on the merit of his constant study of the Beraisos and Toseftos that Rebbi Chiya (the main compiler of the Toseftos) had taught, he should be cured.

(a) Eliyahu used to frequent Rebbi's Beis-Hamedrash. He once arrived late - because he was delayed by his having had to arouse, first Avraham, then Yitzchak and then Ya'akov and wash their hands for Davenning one after the other. He normally saw to all three simultaneously, but was ordered to change his routine, because the Avos had decided to make a joint effort and bring the Mashi'ach prematurely with their Tefilos.

(b) When Rebbi asked him whether there was not a way to bring Mashi'ach early here in this world - he replied that there was, through the services of Rebbi Chiya and his sons.

(c) So the next time there was no rain - Rebbi decreed a public fast and appointed Rebbi Chiya as the Chazen, flanked by his two sons.

(a) When Rebbi Chiya and his sons said ...
1. ... 'Mashiv ha'Ru'ach' - the wind began to blow.
2. ... 'Morid ha'Gashem' - it began to rain.
(b) The punch-line was meant to be - that when they said 'Mechayeh ha'Meisim', the dead would come back to life (Techiyas ha'Meisim - though it is unclear how this could happen before Mashi'ach arrived. And besides, Rebbi asked about bringing Mashi'ach early, not Techiyas ha'Meisim?).

(c) When Rebbi Chiya and his sons were about to recite 'Mechayeh ha'Meisim' - the earth began to shake (in anticipation - see Agados Maharsha), but before they managed to complete the B'rachah, an apparition in the shape of bear of fire appeared from the nearby forest and the terror-stricken crown hastily dispersed.

(d) Eliyahu Hanavi received sixty lashes with flashes of lightning - for divulging Hashem's secrets (in telling Rebbi how to bring about Techiyas ha'Meisim before it was due.

(a) Shmuel Yarchina'ah was - the famous Amora Shmuel bar Aba, who was known by that name because he was an authority on astronomy (and the Sod ha'Ibur [from the word 'Yare'ach', moon]). He was also a doctor.

(b) He did not cure Rebbi's eye ailment with ...

1. ... drops in his eyes - because Rebbi could not take it, and that is the reason why he did not use ...
2. ... a regular salve smeared on his eyes.
(c) He actually cured him - by means of a strong salve placed inside a hollow bamboo underneath Rebbi's sheet.

(d) When, somehow or other, Rebbi latter tried unsuccessfully to give him Semichah - Shmuel reassured that he need not worry, because he had seen in the book of Adam ha'Rishon, that although Shmuel Yarchina'ah would be a Chacham, he was not destined to receive Semichah. He would however, cure Rebbi.

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