More Discussions for this daf
1. Bavel to the north of Eretz Yisrael 2. Pilegesh b'Giv'ah 3. Re: Eiruvin 22a
4. The IN'S and OUT'S of writing a Get Lishmah. 5. Eimah Yeseirah 6. Nima Sakanta
7. Shali'ach 8. Rabah or Rava? 9. R Evyasar
10. סוריא כא"י

Yussie asked:

The gemara quotes a posuk that places Bavel to the north of Eretz Yisroel. In fact, Bavel is almost due west of Israel. Several questions come to mind. 1) why does the gemara find it necessary to quote a possuk for a geographical phenomina. 2) why is Bavel considered to the north. 3) Do Jews in Iraq face south or east when they say shemoneh esrei.



Yussie, Brooklyn, NY

The Kollel replies:

You mean to ask that Bavel is due east (not west) of Eretz Yisrael.

1 & 2) The reason why the Gemara finds it necessary to quote a verse for a geographical phenomena is exactly the answer to your question regarding the location of Bavel. Without the verse, we would have assumed that Bavel is entirely to the east of Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, the Gemara needs to quote a verse to teach us that Bavel is considered primarily to be to the north of Eretz Yisrael (even though, certainly, part of it is to the east). The reason why the primary location of Bavel is referred to as being to the north of Eretz Yisrael is because the path that the Babylonians took into Eretz Yisrael to conquer it was from the north, through Ako and the other northern cities (see Gitin 75), in order to avoid the river and the mountains of the Jordan Valley.

3) When Jews in Iraq say the Shemoneh Esreh, they face towards Eretz Yisrael.

M. Kornfeld