(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Pesachim 112

PESACHIM 112 - this Daf has been dedicated by Lee and Marsha Weinblatt of Teaneck N.J.


AGADAH: Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima gives four examples how to be fervent in one's Avodas Hashem: "Be as bold as a leopard, as light as an eagle, as swift as a gazelle, and as strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in heaven." What is the significance of each of these four examples?

(a) The TUR (OC 1) explains that Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima is teaching us to strengthen our service of Hashem with every part of our bodies. "Be as bold as a leopard" means that one should not be embarrassed or let his emotions prevent him from serving Hashem. Rather, he should be bold and use his *mind* to overcome his emotions in order to serve Hashem. "As light as an eagle" means that a person should use his *eyes* to serve Hashem, for eagles have acute eyesight. One should refrain from looking at things which are not conducive to Avodas Hashem. "As swift as a gazelle" means that one should be fast with his *feet* to run to do Mitzvos, and "strong like a lion" means that one should be "lionhearted" and use his *heart* and his emotions to serve Hashem.

(b) The MAHARSHA explains that the four examples in Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima's statement corresponds to the four elements which *prevent a person* from serving Hashem properly. The first thing which tends to impede one's Avodas Hashem is one's Mazal, which manifests itself in two ways -- the personality with which a person is born, and the wealth or poverty which a person is given. The other two elements which prevent one from doing the will of Hashem are the Yetzer ha'Ra and the subjugation at the hands of gentile rulers (Berachos 17a).

"Be as bold as a leopard" means that a person should do more than he is able to -- even if he has little or no money, he should still make every effort to buy the things he needs in order to perform the Mitzvos, as our Gemara relates. This is the trait of "Azus." Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima is teaching that one must not let poverty prevent him from serving Hashem.

"As light as an eagle" means that one should "fly above" his Mazal and overcome the inborn traits which keep him from serving Hashem. "As swift as a gazelle" means that one should run away from the gentiles so that they cannot prevent him from serving Hashem. "As strong as a lion" means that when the Yetzer ha'Ra starts up with a person, he should use all of his strength, like a lion, to fight the Yetzer ha'Ra.


AGADAH: The Gemara teaches certain incantations to calm down wild beasts, as well as a jingle to recite while guiding a boat. In order to calm down a raging ox, one should say repeatedly, "Hen Hen;" for a lion, one should say, "Zeh Zeh;" for a camel, one should say, "Da Da." While guiding a boat, one should say, "Hilni Hiya Hila v'Hiluk Hulya."

The MESHECH CHACHMAH (Parshas Bo) suggests a brilliant symbolic interpretation of this Gemara. He discusses at length the difference between the beliefs of the people of the Torah and all other beliefs in the world. All world religions base their religion on emotional motivation; they arouse their emotions in order to express their beliefs and their faith. Since their faith is based on emotions, it tends to be irrational and ends up become extremist.

The way of the Torah is the opposite. Hashem gave us the Torah which is completely rational. Every act that the Torah tells us to do is based on rationality, and not on irrational emotion. That is why our Emunah is a true, lasting Emunah, for it is not one that is carried away by emotions. However, that is not to say that the observance of Torah is emotion-less. The Torah provides a healthy way to channel our emotions, to control them and keep them in hold, as opposed to letting them control us. The Torah accomplishes this in two ways. First, the Mitzvos of the Torah teach us how to be in charge of our emotions by giving us guidelines of what affect to express and when (for example, the Torah tells us when to mourn, and when to stop mourning, when to rejoice, and when to stop rejoicing). This enables us to learn appropriate emotional responses and control. Second, the Torah directs us to use our intellect and to think logically, and we are thereby able to make decisions based on rational thought.

The Gemara here is saying that a person should use Torah in different ways to harness his emotions. When a person feels animalistic tendencies rising inside of him (symbolized by the ox, lion, and camel), he should fight it by repeating to himself some statement of the Torah or of the Sages over and over again until he imbues its message into him. By repeating the statement over and over, one's mind begins to inculcate its message until he is able to harness his emotions and control them. (This is comparable to the first way of controlling emotions mentioned above.)

When it comes to pondering the reasons why one should serve Hashem, one should not approach it emotionally, but rather he should think into it from all different rational perspectives and dimensions in order to come to a clear understanding and awareness of the truth. This is symbolized by a *person* leading a boat. In order to get it to its proper place, one should say different terms, which represents the different sides and angles that a person must think into when exploring the matter of Avodas Hashem, in order to arrive at the truth (as in the second way mentioned above).

AGADAH: Abaye states that one of the things which causes Tzara'as is wearing clothes that have not been left for eight days after having been washed, because within eight days Kinim Levanim (white lice) may still appear in the clothes.

This statement of Abaye explains a strange practice of the mother of Mar brei d'Ravina as described in Eruvin (65a). She made seven sets of clothing for her son to wear, one for each day. Rabeinu Chananel there explains that she did this so that he would not be bothered with Kinim. Why did she have to make seven sets? Let her simply wash his clothes each day, and have two sets of clothes!

The answer is that it would not help to wash his clothes one day and to wear them the next, because the Kinim Levanim would infest them. Therefore, Mar brei d'Ravina needed a separate set of clothing for each of seven days, so that when each one was washed, it would not be worn until eight days had passed! (Y. Tavin)

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,