THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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ERUVIN 54 - has been dedicated by the Feldman family in honor of the
Yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Nishmaso b'Ginzei Meromim.
1) EAT AND DRINK WHILE YOU CAN
OPINIONS: Shmuel told Rav Yehudah, "Grab and eat, grab and drink, because
the world is passing quickly like a wedding party [and if you have any
money, use it for yourself and do not save it]." What was the point of this
2) HEALING ONESELF WITH TORAH
(a) RASHI explains that Shmuel's point was to warn his student not to wait
until tomorrow to use his money, because a person has no assurance that he
will be alive tomorrow to enjoy his money.
It seems that Rashi does not mean simply that a person should take advantage
of his money and use it before he dies. Rather, Rashi means that a person
can never be sure of himself, and he should realize that he might die
tomorrow. Therefore, *all* of a person's activities should be done with that
in mind, and that will lead a person to concentrate more on performing
Mitzvos and taking advantage of the time that he has for Avodas Hashem. As
the Gemara says in Berachos (5a), when a person's Yetzer ha'Ra starts
enticing him, he should remember the day of death.
(b) The SEFAS EMES explains that Shmuel is advising Rav Yehudah not to spend
time and money on luxuries, such as on more tasty food and on things that he
does not need. Rather, one should "grab and eat" without being so particular
about what one is eating or drinking. Rashi (DH she'Masrachas) also
expresses this idea later when he says that a Talmid Chacham should not
waste his time on acquiring fancy foods.
(c) Perhaps Shmuel was answering a dilemma that people often face: Should
one save his money so that when he retires, he will be able to learn Torah
unencumbered by the burden of a livelihood, or should one continue to work
harder even though he has enough for himself, in order to save money for his
children so that they will be able to provide for their needs? Shmuel says
that one should "eat it while he has it," because it is better to take
advantage of it while one is alive, meaning that one should use what he
earns for one's own learning Torah and performing Mitzvos. If so, Shmuel's
theme is similar to the theme of the following Gemara, that says that one
should not leave money to one's children because Hashem will take care of
them, rather one should use his money for one's own performance of Torah and
Mitzvos. (M. Kornfeld)
QUESTION: The Gemara says that one who has a headache should toil in Torah.
Likewise, one who has a soar throat, a sick stomach, and aching bones should
toil in Torah. The Gemara concludes that one whose entire body is sick
should toil in Torah.
The Gemara in Shavuos (15b) says that it is forbidden to heal oneself with
words of Torah. What does our Gemara mean, then, when it says that someone
who is sick should toil in Torah? (MAHARSHA) (See Insights to Shabbos 67a)
Furthermore, if learning Torah heals the entire body, as the Gemara
concludes, why did the Gemara have to mention specific types of illnesses
(headache, soar throat, stomach ache, aching bones)? It should have said
simply that if one is sick in his entire body, he should toil in Torah, and
we would know that certainly learning Torah is effective for illnesses that
affect only part of the body!
(a) To answer the first question, the MAHARSHA says that the prohibition to
heal oneself with words of Torah applies only to one who recites a verse
with the specific intent that it serve to heal him. If he learns Torah for
the sake of learning, but also with intention that he should become better,
that is not forbidden.
The PERISHAH (YD 179:17) explains similarly, that the prohibition applies
only when one pronounces a verse from the Torah expecting it to heal him
superstitiously, like an incantation. However, when he studies Torah in
order to do the Mitzvah of Hashem and he trusts that Hashem will heal him in
the merit of the Mitzvah, that is permissible.
The MAHARSHA gives a second answer, and says that the Gemara does not say
that one is "sick." Rather, it says "*Chash* b'Rosho... *Chash* b'Grono...
*Chash* b'Chol Gufo," which means that he is *fearful* and worried of
getting sick and he feels an illness coming on. In such a case, he is
allowed to use Torah study as a *preventative*, and that is not included in
the prohibition of healing oneself with words of Torah. (The Maharsha brings
a proof for this definition of "Chash" from the Gemara in Shabbos (31a).)
(b) To answer the second question, the MAHARSHA points out that these
illnesses (headache, soar throat, stomach ache, and aching bones) are the
only parts of the body for which we do not find any alternative cure in the
Gemara. Therefore, the Gemara specifies these bodily parts, and then makes a
general statement that Torah is a curative for the entire body.
The MAHARAL (Nesiv ha'Torah 1), as part of a lengthier explanation, suggests
another answer. He explains that the Gemara is referring to spiritual
illnesses for which it is permissible to use the Torah to heal (the Maharsha
in Shabbos 67a says a similar answer). When the Gemara says that one whose
head is ill should toil in Torah, it refers to one who has sinful thoughts
and attitudes that are counter to the Torah. He can cure his spiritual
illness by toiling in Torah. One whose throat is ill refers to one who sins
with his throat (such as by speaking Lashon ha'Ra). He can cure his illness
by learning the Halachos of that Aveirah. An illness in one's stomach refers
to the internal parts of one's body which are the source for Midos such as
Kin'ah (jealousy) and Ta'avah (lustfulness), which are also cured by toiling
in Torah. The bones of a person are the medium through which he brings forth
his thoughts and desires into action. When one's actions are sinful, this is
called being ill in one's bones. Toiling in Torah is a remedy for this
illness as well. The Gemara concludes that one who is ill in all of his body
should toil in Torah. The Gemara is adding that not only does the Torah cure
the illnesses of the soul, but it also cures the illnesses of the physical
body (which, until now, the Gemara was not discussing).
2) "SHOGEH" FOR TORAH
OPINIONS: The Gemara cites the verse in Mishlei (5:19) which teaches that
one must be enraptured with love for Torah at all times, as it says,
"b'Ahavasah Tishgeh Tamid" -- "be ravished always with her love." What
exactly does it mean to be "ravished with love" for the Torah?
3) REVIEWING FOUR TIMES
(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Teshuvah 10:6) explains that one must strive to
reach a level of love for Hashem so that one is not interested in any other
matter. The way to come to such a love is by studying Torah and Hashem's
wisdom as it is manifest in the world.
(b) The RA'AVAD says that the Rambam does not explain the meaning of the
word "Tishgeh." He explains that "Tishgeh" in the verse means that one must
constantly *rejoice* in the Torah, like one who sings out of joy ("Shigayon"
means rejoiceful song, KESEF MISHNAH; the IBN EZRA (Tehilim 7:1), however,
explains that "Shigayon" means "pleasure," and thus in the context of our
Gemara it means that one should constantly have pleasure in the Torah).
In addition, it means that one must love the Torah so much that it
preoccupies him so that everything else that he is involved in becomes like
"Shogeg." That is, his involvement in all other matters is done without much
attention to those matters, because his attention is focused exclusively on
Torah. This second way of explaining "Tishgeh" according to the Ra'avad is
also the way RASHI (Mishlei 5:19) explains it. (According to this
explanation, the word "Tishgeh" refers not to one's relationship to Torah,
but to his relationship with all other matters.)
(c) The ZOHAR (Vayikra, 85b) explains that one who *stutters* ("Tishgeh,"
also from Shogeg) in his study of Torah and makes mistakes is nevertheless
beloved unto Hashem, if he learns Torah out of his love for Hashem. (see
(d) REBBI MOSHE HA'DARSHAN (cited by Rashi in Mishlei 5:19) explains that
"Tishgeh" is a word in Arabic which means "Ta'asok" -- "be constantly
immersed" in Torah.
QUESTION: Rebbi Eliezer states that when teaching Torah to one's students,
one must teach the subject four times. He derives this from Moshe and
Aharon, who learned every lesson four times.
RAV YAKOV EMDEN says that this obligation applied only until the times of
the Tana'im and Amora'im, when Torah she'Ba'al Peh was not permitted to be
written down. Nowadays, though, that all of the Gemara and the foundations
of Torah she'Ba'al Peh have been written down, the obligation to review four
times no longer applies.
According to Rav Yakov Emden, does this mean that one does not have to
review his learning, since it is all written down?
ANSWER: Certainly one must review his learning in order not to forget it.
The Gemara is not referring to one's individual learning. Rather, the Gemara
is referring to the Jewish people's preservation of the perpetuity of Torah.
When a Rebbi transmitted Torah to his students, he had to ensure that they
properly absorbed and understood each detail, because otherwise there would
be a serious fear that elements of Torah would be forgotten, G-d forbid.
Therefore, it was incumbent upon him to teach it to them four times. Rav
Yakov Emden is pointing out that in our days, the fear of the Torah being
forgotten is not such a serious concern, because it is now written down.
However, each student must constantly review it as much as he needs to in
order not to forget it. (Y. Shaw)