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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 31



(a) Each of the two men put down two hundred Zuz, and whoever would succeed in making Hillel angry would take the lot.

(b) The man set about making Hillel angry by deliberately disturbing him in the middle of his Shabbos preparations by calling him out, time after time - in a manner that was both rude and insulting - to ask him silly, unproductive questions.


1. The Babylonians' heads were misshapen because they did not have expert midwives, and so were mishandled at childbirth.
2. The Tarmudians' eyes were round, Hillel told the man, because they lived in sandy areas, so Hashem made their created them that way, so that that the sand should not settle in their eyes.
3. And the Africans' feet were wide, he explained, because (here too, Hashem created them that way) so that they should not sink in the marshy areas in which they lived. Alternatively, they were flat-footed, as a result of their walking bare-foot - which they did because of the marshy territory in which they lived.
(a) Hillel displayed Hillel's legendary patience, by answering every question that the better asked him - quietly and in a civil manner.

(b) The better lost his patience because he failed to make Hillel angry, and saw that he was about to lose four hundred Zuz.

(c) When the better wished Hillel that there should not be many more like him, and explained to him why (possibly in a final attempt to provoke Hillel), Hillel told him to control himself, and that it was better that he should lose twice that amount, rather than that Hillel should lose his patience!

(a) Hillel taught the gentile the Aleph-Beis - in the correct order. When, on the following day, he began to teach it to him in the reverse order, and the gentile queried him about it, he replied that, since it was evident that he had no choice but to rely on him entirely for his knowledge of the *written Torah*, why did he not also rely on him equally with regard to the *oral Torah*?

(b) Hillel taught the second gentile 'de'Alach Sani, le'Chavrech Lo Sa'aved' whilst he (the gentile) stood on one leg.

(c) This was his interpretation of 've'Ahavta le'Rei'acha Kamocha' - incorporating both all Jews and Hashem (who is also called 'Rei'acha' - in the Pasuk in Mishlei "Rei'acha ve'Rei'a Avicha, Al Ta'azov"). Alternatively, the majority of Torah, lies in the section of Torah that is 'Bein Adam la'Chavero'.

(d) The third gentile was walking past a Beis ha'Medrash, where he overheard a Rebbe learning with his pupils the Parshah of the eight garments of the Kohen Gadol. After inquiring who wore them, he decided that *that* was just the job for him.

(e) Hillel convinced him to forget about it, by advising him to first learn the tactics of the Kehunah Gedolah. He soon discovered that the penalty for the wrong person wearing them - even David ha'Melech - was death, and he concluded that, if *David ha'Melech* would not survive the Kehunah, then neither would *he*!

(a) "Emuna"' represents Seder Zera'im; "Itecha" - Mo'ed; "Chosen" - Nashim; "Yeshu'os" - Nezikin; "Chochmas" - Kodshim; "Da'as" - Taharos.

(b) Seder Zera'im is called Zera'im, because separating one's tithes correctly is an act of faith. Tosfos explains that the very act of sowing one's seeds and planting, is an act of faith (see also Maharsha in Agados).

(c) The key point in the Pasuk is "Yir'as Hashem *Hi* Otzaro"! which comes to teach us that the Fear of G-d is what Hashem treasures more than anything else in the world.

(a) The six questions which everyone will be asked by the Heavenly Court are:
  1. Were you honest in your business dealings?
  2. Did you fix times (daily) to study-Torah?
  3. Did you attempt to have children?
  4. Did you look forward to the ultimate redemption?
  5. Did you study Torah in-depth?
  6. Did you progress in your learning - to learn one thing from the other?
(b) Fixing times to learn Torah is imperative, because, due to the need to earn one's Parnasah, one may well get so caught up in this vital occupation, that one remains with no time at all to study Torah.

(c) A wheat-merchant is permitted to add as much as one Kav of Chumtun per Kur (there are one hundred and eighty Kabin in a Kur).




(a) By comparing someone who possesses Torah but no Yir'as Shamayim to a treasurer who has been handed the inner keys, but not the outer ones, they are saying that without Yir'as Shamayim, the Torah that one learns remains closed, because one has no access to it. It is only with Yir'as Shamayim that one's Torah becomes a meaningful part of oneself.

(b) And when they declare (referring to someone who learns, but has no Yir'as Shamayim) 'What a pity it is, when someone builds a door to his non-existent house'!, they are saying that Yir'as Shamayim is the end, towards which Torah is the means. If Torah does not lead to Yir'as Shamayim, then it is as worthless as a door without a house.

(c) When Shlomoh ha'Melech said "ve'ha'Elokim Asah, she'Yir'u mi'Lefanav", he meant to say that, in fact, Yir'as Shamayim is the purpose of the creation.

7) Rebbi Elazar must have been the one to wish to rise before Rebbi Ya'akov bar Aba because he was a Yer'ei Shamayim, since *he* was the one to say, that Hashem cares for nothing in the world that He created other than Yir'as Shamayim. He learns this from two sources: 1. From the Pasuk in Devarim "ve'Ata Yisrael, Mah Hashem Elokecha Sho'el Me'Imach Ki Im le'Yir'ah es Hashem" etc.; and 2. from the Pasuk in Mishlei "va'Yomer la'Adam, Hen (meaning one - unique) Yir'as Hashem Hi Chochmah".


(a) We learn from ...
1. ... "Al Tirsha Harbeh", that someone who has eaten garlic, should not continue to eat garlic - It is not because one has performed *one* sin, that one may go on to perform another (This negates the popular maxim 'One may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb').
2. "Ki Ein *Char**tzubos* le'Mosam" - not only do the Resha'im not tremble (*Chareidim*), nor are they sad (*va'Atzavim*) at their day of death - to deter them from sinning, but their hearts are wide (confidant) like a banquet-hall "u'Bari Ulam".
(b) After referring to the day of death of the wicked, the Pasuk continues "Zeh Darkam" (they know full well that *that* is where they are going, yet) "Kesel Lamo" (their kidneys - the source of advice - are covered with Chelev, which prevents them from admitting the truth) "ve'Acharehem be'Fihem Yirtzu Sela" (they do not forget their end, since they always talk about it and accept it - and still they do not relent)
(a) Rebbi Yossi can hold like Rebbi Yehudah, and the reason that he says Patur in all the cases except for when he wants to save the wick, is because he holds that someone who performs one of the negative acts i.e. demolishing, extinguishing, tearing and erasing (and which are listed in the Mishnah in K'lal Gadol, as Avos Melachos, provided one's intention is to then reconstruct - to re-light, to re-stitch or to write), is Chayav only if he intends to then re-do the positive Melachah in the same place as he performed the negative one, but not if he intends to re-do it in a different location. In our Mishnah, it is only if he wants to save the wick that fits into this category of Chiyuv, since it is the very same wick which he is extinguishing which he later wants to re-kindle; whereas, if he extinguishes *the wick* because he wants to save *the lamp*, or *the oil*, it is like demolishing in one place to build in another (since the wick that he is extinguishing and the lamp or the oil are intrinsically two different entities in two different locations, for which, according to Rebbi Yossi, he will be Patur.

(b) In the desert, wherever they would put up the Mishkan, it was considered like its place (so that the previous Soser was always done with the intention of re-building it in its place). Why is that? Because the Torah writes "Al Pi Hashem Yachanu".

(c) According to Rebbi Yochanan, we are speaking about a new wick that has not yet been singed, because singing improves the wick for lighting. Consequently, by extinguishing the lamp in order to save the wick, one creates a wick that is fit for use the next time, and which was not fit for use before Shabbos.

(d) From Rebbi Shimon's Lashon 'Mipnei she'Hu Osah Pecham', rather than 'Mipnei she'Na'asis Pecham', we can infer that he deliberately made it into (a kind of) charcoal (meaning a singed wick), implying that it was not charcoal before (see Gilyon ha'Shas).

10) Women are liable to die at childbirth for not being careful with the Mitzvos of Nidah, Chalah or Hadlakas ha'Ner.

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