web analytics
May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

An Expression Unique in Shas
“I Am Neither Wise…”
(Pesachim 105b)

In our sugya, R. Nachman bar Yitzchak wished to support a halachic ruling that he had made. He added: “I am neither a wise man, a seer, nor an independent authority. Rather, I am a receiver and compiler of tradition. The accepted ruling in the Beis Medrash is according to my opinion.” Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (Or Samei’ach, Hilchos Shabbos 29:12) comments that this is an unusual expression, not found elsewhere in Shas.

Who Compiled the Talmud Bavli?

Some understood from this expression that R. Nachman bar Yitzchak assisted in compiling the information, from which Ravina and Rav Ashi would later compose the Shas. Rabbi Nachman bar Yitzchak was a student of Rava (not to be confused with R. Nachman bar Yaakov, Rava’s rebbe – see Tosefos on Gittin 31b, s.v. Ana lo). He was also one of the principal figures in organizing the correct traditions of teachings of previous generations, which were passed down by word of mouth and often misquoted. After he began determining the most accurate versions of these traditions, his work was continued in subsequent generations until Rav Ashi composed the Talmud Bavli that we now have. This is the meaning of Rabbi Nachman bar Yitzchak’s expression, “I am a receiver and compiler of tradition.”

In many places in Shas, we find R. Nachman bar Yitzchak determining the correct wording of phrases (Bava Kama 60a, Beitza 35a), or presenting mnemonic devices to help remember the correct tradition (Erchin 11b, Nida 45b, Shabbos 66b. See Doros Rishonim II, 60). These demonstrate his important role in the determination and preservation of the authentic tradition of Oral Law.

A Receiver And Compiler

The above declaration helps us understand the second half of R. Nachman bar Yitzchak’s statement, “I am a receiver and compiler.” What is the meaning of the first half, “I am neither a wise man, a seer, nor an independent authority?”

In order to more fully understand, we examine the halachic ruling in reference to which it was said. R. Nachman bar Yitzchak ruled that if a person has only one cup of wine for Shabbos, he should use it for Kiddush on Friday night. Even though the day meal is more important, it is still better to make Kiddush over wine at the first possible opportunity. We thus show our love for the mitzvah.

An objection was raised from a halacha which states that if a person wishes to eat a meal on motzaei Shabbos and he has only one cup of wine, he should not make Havdala first. Rather he should wait until after the meal and use the cup for both Birkas Hamazon and Havdala (this is according to the opinion that Birkas Hamazon must be recited over wine). This seems to contradict R. Nachman bar Yitzchak’s ruling. Is it not better to make Havdala at the first possible opportunity? Why would the mitzvah of Havdala be pushed off?

For Love Of Shabbos

R. Nachman bar Yitzchak answered that we begin Shabbos with Kiddush and conclude it with Havdala. By making Kiddush at the first possible opportunity, we show our love for Shabbos. The opposite is true with Havdala; we postpone Havdala to show that we are reluctant to part with Shabbos.

Why did R. Nachman bar Yitzchak add his puzzling comment to support this argument? This week in Daf Yomi, we also find a discussion of Yom Tov that occurs on motzaei Shabbos. Should Kiddush for Yom Tov be recited first, or Havdala for Shabbos? The Amoraim offer many opinions on the matter. According to Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya, Shmuel, Rabba and Rabbi Yehoshua, Havdala should be recited first. According to Rav, Levi, Rabanan, and Mar brei D’Ravina, Kiddush should be recited first.

“Titled” Individuals

When we examine which Sages were involved in this debate, we find that many of them had earned prestigious titles: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya was introduced to the scholars of Athens as the “wise man of the Jews” (Bechoros 8b); Shmuel was known for his prowess in astrology (Berachos 58b), and could be considered a seer of stars; Rabba said of himself that he was uniquely knowledgeable in the ritual impurity associated with tzaraas and ohalos (the spread of impurity throughout a roofed structure, Bava Metiza 86a). In this regard, he was an independent authority; Rav was Rosh Yeshiva in Bavel. The Gemara refers to this title as the “Reish Sidra,” which literally means the head of the compilation (Chullin 137b); Levi was called a “student before the wise,” since he studied under Rebbe and received his wisdom (Sanhedrin 17b); R. Nachman bar Yitzchak said of himself that he did not agree with the wise man (Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya), the seer (Shmuel) or the independent authority (Rabba), who held that Havdala should be recited first. He agreed with the receiver (Levi) and compiler (Rav), who held that Kiddush should be recited first. By pushing off Havdala for later, we show our love for Shabbos and our reluctance to part with it. Just as Havdala should be postponed until after Kiddush for Yom Tov, so too should it be postponed until after Birkas Hamazon when necessary (Or Samei’ach, ibid).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
What's happened to NYC's Celebrate Israel Parade?
Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

What if someone would come to you and offer you everything that is desirable in this world, but with one condition: you have to give up your essence.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Torah learning is valueless unless it enhances personal morality, fostering closer connection to God

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Why did so many of our great sages from the Rambam to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein live outside Israel?

Daf-Yomi-logo

Casting A Doubt
‘Shall We Say [They] Are Not Valid?’
(Nedarim 5a-7a)

I was about six years old at the time and recall that very special occasion so well.

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Why was Samson singled out as the only Shofet required to be a nazir from cradle to grave?

“What do you mean?” asked the secretary. “We already issued a ruling and closed the case.”

Tosafos suggests several answers as to how a minor can own an item, m’d’Oraisa.

This week’s video discusses the important connection between the Priestly Blessing and parenting.

Many of us simply don’t get the need for the Torah to list the exact same gift offering, 12 times!

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Casting A Doubt
‘Shall We Say [They] Are Not Valid?’
(Nedarim 5a-7a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Twice Promised
“Such And Such [I Give My Son]…”
(Kesubos 102b)

Seller’s Remorse
‘He Sold Because He Ostensibly Needed The Funds’
(Ketubbot 97a)

The Debt Lives On
‘The Orphans’ Mitzvah To Repay Their Father’s Debts’
(Ketubot 91b)

Ramifications Of A Printers Error
‘The Note Holder’s Burden of Proof’
(Kesubos 83b)

Oh My, It’s Copper!
‘…And One Who Is A Coppersmith’
(Kethubboth 77a)

The Heiress?
‘Determining The Daughter’s Status’
(Kesubos 68b-69a)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-97/2013/10/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: