Discussions for this daf
1. Story with Eliyahu ha'Navi 2. Tzadikim Atzmam Mechol Yirbun
DAF DISCUSSIONS - BAVA BASRA 7

Boruch Kahan London asked:

I saw the Heoroh (copied at the bottom of this mailing) that was written Beshem the Chazon Ish in your "Insights to the Daf" on the story of Eliyohu visiting this Chossid.

Shkoyach, But I still dont understand something either I have not understood fully the Chazon Ish (most likely) or it is Poshut "Nisht Ken Kasha" but once Eliyohu Hanovi saw that this Chossid had built this "unHalachically" acceptable wall why did he just stop visiting him surely it would have been better to Davka visit him to tell him that he has done something "Shelo Beseder" especially as the Gemoro calls him a Chossid and the fact Eliyohu Hanovi was a visitor to him surely he would have listened to Eliyohu's Mussar or Halochoh.

You could say either "Lo Bashamayim Hi" that Eliyohu should not Pasken from Shomayim what the Halochoh should be or you could even say the classic "Kasha oif un Maaseh".But if the Chazon Ish "Shtelled" on this Gemoro surely there must be a bit more to it .Its not Stam Aggadata.

Shkoyach

Boruch Kahan, London, England

The Kollel replies:

1. In fact, the Beis Sha'ar that the Chasid built was not Halachically unacceptable. There was no Isur in building it (this is why this story is not recorded in the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch) but, on the other hand, it was not a "Midas Chasidus" to build such a structure. That is why Eliyahu ha'Navi stopped visiting him. One is not obligated to build his house in a way that will encourage the poor to come inside, but if he does build it in that way he will be granted a great reward.

2. This means that the Chasid was on a very high level. In fact, the Chazon Ish writes that one of the reasons why this incident is recorded in the Gemara is to teach in the first place that Chasidus leads to a "Giluy Eliyahu" -- that Eliyahu reveals himself to a human being who reaches such a stature. The Gemara also teaches that although one has reached such a high level, it is still possible for him to slip up and forget what a high standard is expected of him.

3. Eliyahu does not go around to people teaching them Halachos, but if he comes to someone it is because that person is a great Tzadik and Eliyahu's visits will help him reach even greater heights. In Yerushalayim of old, when the people wanted to say how great a certain Tzadik is, they would relate that the person had received a "Giluy Eliyahu" (for example, as they say about Rav Nachim of Tsadik, one of the Tzadikim in Yerusahayim over 150 years ago). This represented the highest Madreigah. Hence, when the Chasid stopped receiving the Giluy Eliyahu, this meant that he was no longer worthy of such a great thing. However, the Chasid no doubt contemplated why he had lost this special privilege, and concomitantly noticed that there were not so many poor people in his house anymore. A Chasid wants to host the poor in his home and becomes upset at their absence. He certainly then realized that he had made a mistake by building the Beis Sha'ar, and he understood that this was why Eliyahu stopped visiting him.

4. Finally, let me share with you an anecdote from pre-War Europe. A big Ba'al Tzedakah had an open house policy and always had lots of guests. The Ba'al ha'Bayis was so unassuming that his guests did not even realize who he was. One time, it happened that one of the guests asked the Ba'al ha'Bayis, "How long do they let you stay here?" The Ba'al ha'Bayis replied innocently, "Well, I have been here quite a long time and nobody ever said anything to me."

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

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3) SPEAKING WITH ELIYAHU HA'NAVI

QUESTION: The Gemara relates that a certain Chasid built a Beis Sha'ar, an outer gatehouse, outside of his courtyard (which prevented people from entering his courtyard). The Beis Sha'ar prevented poor people from entering the courtyard to collect charity. As a result, Eliyahu ha'Navi stopped speaking to the Chasid.

Why does the Gemara need to point out that Eliyahu stopped speaking to the Chasid? The Gemara could have said simply that it is not proper to build a Beis Sha'ar which prevents poor people from entering.

ANSWERS:

(a) The CHAZON ISH (4:7) explains that the Gemara mentions this incident in order to teach that when a person reaches the level of Chasidus in his Avodas Hash-m, he merits that Eliyahu reveals himself to him and speaks to him regularly. Conversely, if a Chasid acts uncharacteristically and does some act that causes a loss to poor people, Eliyahu refrains from speaking to him.

(b) The Chazon Ish writes further that had the Gemara not mentioned this incident, logic would have indicated that a person is not required to refrain from building a Beis Sha'ar and thus suffer a loss of privacy ("Hezek Re'iyah") for the sake of poor people (so that they should be able to enter his courtyard). Logically, the obligation of Tzedakah would not require a homeowner to allow poor people into his courtyard at the expense of his privacy. This, in fact, was the reasoning of the Chasid. Eliyahu taught him that it is Midas Chasidus to refrain from building a Beis Sha'ar that will cause poor people to suffer, even if not having a Beis Sha'ar will cause a loss of privacy to the homeowner (see YOSEF DA'AS). (I. Alsheich)