1) LEARNING A LAW FROM "CHAYAH" TO "OF"
QUESTION: Mar bar Rav Ashi derives from the verse, "Chayah O Of" (Vayikra 17:13), that just as Kisuy ha'Dam is required for a Chayah which cannot be offered as a Korban, Kisuy ha'Dam is required only for a bird that is not Kadosh.
Mar bar Rav Ashi's teaching is difficult to understand. There is a rule that "Ein Danin Efshar mishe'Iy Efshar" -- "we may not derive something that is possible from something that is not possible." Since it is not possible to offer a Chayah as a Korban, while it is possible to offer a bird as a Korban, how can Mar bar Rav Ashi derive from Chayah that only a bird that is not Kadosh requires Kisuy ha'Dam?
(a) The RITVA in Makos (5a, DH Amar Abaye and DH Rava) explains that Rava and Abaye argue there about whether the principle of "Ein Danin Efshar mishe'Iy Efshar" applies when deriving a law through a Binyan Av, or when deriving a law through a Gezeirah Shavah or Hekesh. If Mar bar Rav Ashi follows the view of Abaye who says that this principle applies only to a Binyan Av, then there is no question on his teaching here, since his teaching here is based on a Hekesh.
(b) Moreover, the only Halachah that is derived through this Hekesh is that Kisuy ha'Dam is not done for birds of Kodshim. Since no other law is derived through this Hekesh, the principle of "Ein Danin Efshar mishe'Iy Efshar" does not apply, because if it would apply here, then the Hekesh would not be teaching anything. (Z. Wainstein)
2) EATING MEAT FROM "EREV SHABBOS" TO "EREV SHABBOS"
QUESTION: Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah discusses how people of various means should use their money. He says that a person with ten Maneh should buy fish, and a person with fifty Maneh should buy meat. The Gemara asks how often should a person with ten Maneh eat fish, and how often should a person with fifty Maneh eat meat, and it answers that they should eat them once a week, "from Erev Shabbos to Erev Shabbos."
Why does the Gemara recommend eating meat once a week on Erev Shabbos, and not on Shabbos itself? There is a Mitzvah to enjoy Shabbos by having nice meals, while having a large meal on Erev Shabbos is considered to be a disgrace to Shabbos.
ANSWER: "Erev Shabbos" in this context means "the evening of Shabbos," and it refers to the evening meal on Shabbos night. The Gemara does not state simply "Shabbos," because one might have thought that meat should be eaten during the morning meal on Shabbos day. Indeed, the Gemara in Pesachim (105a) teaches that the morning meal is supposed to be the largest of the Shabbos meals. The Gemara is teaching that with regard to eating meat, however, this is not the case. As the Gemara in Yoma (75b) teaches, it is proper to eat meat at night and not during the day. (M. KORNFELD)
3) PROVIDING FOR ONE'S WIFE AND CHILDREN BEYOND ONE'S MEANS
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes the verse, "Good is a gracious man who lends, who manages his matters with justice" (Tehilim 112:5). Rav Avira says in the name of Rebbi Ami (or Rebbi Asi) that this means that "a man should eat food less than his income dictates, he should clothe himself according to his income, and he should honor his wife and children more than his income dictates, for they depend on him, and he depends on Hash-m."
What is the basis of this reasoning? It seems more reasonable that one should fulfill the needs of his family simply because their needs are so vital that one should even risk poverty to fulfill them. What does the Gemara mean when it says that "they depend on him, and he depends on Hash-m"? Why should the fact that they depend on him be reason for him to go beyond his financial ability to provide for them?
ANSWER: RAV CHAIM SHMUELEVITZ zt'l in SICHOS MUSAR (5732, #26) explains this based on a fundamental principle in Emunah. One's family's trust and reliance on him actually gives him the power to provide for them. Therefore, he should honor them beyond his means, because there is no limit to his means; according to their trust in him will be his ability to provide for them.
Rav Chaim derives this principle from the Gemara in Ta'anis (8a), which demonstrates the greatness of Ba'alei Amanah, people who put their trust in Hash-m and rely on Him to bring ultimate justice, from the story of two people who guaranteed their trust using a weasel and a pit as guarantors. Tosfos there relates that a young man once rescued a young woman from a pit on the condition that she marry him. She agreed, and each swore to the commitment. However, no one else was there to witness the oaths. The woman asked him upon what could she rely that he would be true to his word. At that moment, a weasel passed by the pit. The young man answered that the weasel and the pit would be his witnesses and trustees. They went their separate ways, and, years later, the man violated his trust and married another woman. She bore him two sons, who met their untimely deaths under unusual circumstances: one was killed by a weasel and the other fell into a pit and died. When his wife remarked about the strange occurrences, he remembered his oath and related the story to his wife, who urged him to divorce her and to marry the first woman.
This story teaches that one who puts his trust in something, even in an inanimate object, can rely on that thing. This is because the person's reliance empowers the trustee with the ability to fulfill the trust.
Therefore, one should honor his wife and children more than his means allow. With regard to his own needs, however, he must stay within his means, because one cannot be sure that Hash-m will give him more. In contrast, since one's family trusts him completely, he will have the ability to give them all of their needs, and if he is concerned from where will he have the means to do so, he should know that "he depends on Hash-m" and since he depends on Him, Hash-m will help him. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)