IBUR OF A CITY (cont.)
(Ccontinuation of Mishnah): We extend the measure in each of the four directions to be even with the furthest point, so the city is considered a rectangle. The corners are included.
(Gemara - Rav or Shmuel): Me'abrim is spelled with an Ayin;
The Mishnah refers to the additions to the city like a Me'uberes (pregnant woman);
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): It is spelled with an Aleph;
The Mishnah refers to the additions like Evarim (limbs. When we add on one corner, we also add on the corner facing it.)
OTHER UNSPECIFIED ARGUMENTS OF RAV AND SHMUEL
(Rav or Shmuel): "Me'aras ha'Machpelah" (the cave in which the Avos are buried) has an inner room and an outer room [like the picture in Rashi];
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): There are two caves, one on top of the other.
Question: According to the latter opinion, we understand why it is called "ha'Machpelah" (double). However, how does the first opinion explain this? (It is not double. The inner cave is unlike the outer, for it is not open to the outside.)
Answer: It is doubled with couples [that were buried there]:
(R. Yitzchak): "Mamrei Kiryas ha'Arba" alludes to four couples that were buried there - Adam and Chavah, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, and Yakov and Leah.
(Rav or Shmuel): "Va'Yhi bi'Mei Amrafel" (one of the four kings who made war with the five) is really named Nimrod. He is called Amrafel because Amar v'Hipil (he said and cast) Avraham into a lit furnace [for refusing to serve idolatry];
(The other of Rav and Shmuel): His name is Amrafel. He is called Nimrod because he was Mamrid (made rebel against Hash-m) the entire world in his kingship.
(Rav or Shmuel): "Va'Yakam Melech Chadash Al Mitzrayim" literally means that a new king reigned;
(The other of Rav or Shmuel): [It was the same king, just] he made new decrees.
The first opinion learns from "Chadash". The second opinion disagrees, since the Torah does not say that the [old] king died.
Question (against the second opinion): It says "Asher Lo Yada Es Yosef." If it was the same king, surely he knew Yosef!
Answer: He acted as if he did not know him at all.
R. Yochanan: I grew up 18 days by R. Oshaya b'Ribi. The only thing I learned from him regarding the Mishnah is that Me'abrim is spelled with an Aleph.
Question: R. Yochanan said 'R. Oshaya had 12 Talmidim. I grew up 18 days among them, and I learned the Lev (astuteness) and Chachmah of all of them!'
Answer #1: He learned the [levels of their] Lev and Chachmah, but he did not learn teachings from them.
Answer #2: He learned from them, but he did not learn directly from R. Oshaya;
Answer #3: He learned only one matter of Mishnah, but he learned many Beraisos and other teachings.
DIFFERENCES AMONG CHACHAMIM
R. Yochanan: When we learned from R. Oshaya, [we cramped ourselves and] four of us sat in one Amah;
Rebbi: When we learned from R. Elazar ben Shamu'a, six of us sat in one Amah. (Maharsha - this was a miracle. See note 17 in Appendix.)
R. Yochanan: R. Meir was so sharp that his colleagues could not discern whether or not he was saying correctly. (He could bring convincing proofs to be Metaher what is really Tamei or vice-versa.) The same applies to R. Oshaya.
R. Yochanan: The Lev of Rishonim (early Chachamim) was as wide as the opening of the Ulam (20 Amos by 40 Amos). The Lev of Acharonim (later Chachamim) was like the opening of the Heichal (10 by 20 Amos). Our Lev is like the eye in a [small] needle used to sew holes and cracks in garments.
Version #1: Rishonim are Chachamim like R. Akiva; Acharonim are like R. Elazar ben Shamu'a.
Version #2: Rishonim are like R. Elazar ben Shamu'a. Acharonim are like R. Oshaya b'Ribi. (end of Version #2)
Our Lev is like the eye of a needle.
Abaye: [In our generation] our understanding of Gemara (analysis of Mishnayos) is like forcing a peg into a wall;
Version #1 (Rashi) Rava: Our Lev is like pressing a finger into [hard] wax (it doesn't really enter);
Rav Ashi: We are like a finger into a pit to forget. (This is very easy for us.)
Version #2 (R. Chananel) Rava: Our Lev is like a finger in [soft] wax (the impression made does not last);
Rav Ashi: Regarding forgetting, we are like a finger into a pile of seeds. (It looks like it makes a hole, but it goes away the moment the finger is removed. Similarly, as soon as we start a new Masechta, we forget the previous one.) (end of Version #2)
(Rav Yehudah): People in Yehudah were careful about their speech [to say things in a nice way]. Their Torah endured. People in Galil were not careful about their speech. Their Torah did not endure.
Objection: Surely, such carefulness is not the determining factor!
Correction: Rather, people in Yehudah were meticulous about their speech [to repeat teachings exactly like they heard them], and gave good Simanim [ways to remember them]. Their Torah endured. People in Galil were not meticulous and did not give Simanim. Their Torah did not endure.
People in Yehudah used to learn [the text of teachings] from one Rebbi. Their Torah endured. People in Galil learned from different Rebbi'im [and became confused because they heard different texts of the same teachings]. Their Torah did not endure. (However, after learning the text from one Rebbi, it is good to learn reasoning from many Rebbi'im.)
People in Yehudah were Galu Masechta (taught to others. Alternatively, they explained teachings to understand them well.) Their Torah endured. People in Galil did not do so. Their Torah did not endure.
David was Gali Masechta. It says about him "Yere'echa Yir'uni v'Yismechu" (people will delight, for he obtains the correct Halachah). Sha'ul was not Gali Masechta. It says about him "uv'Chol Asher Yifneh Yarshi'a".
(R. Yochanan) Question: What is the source that Sha'ul's sin [of killing the Kohanim of Nov] was pardoned?
Answer: Shmuel told him "u'Machar Atah u'Vanecha Imi" - you and your sons will be in Gan Eden tomorrow (you will not need to endure punishment in Gehinom), in my place. (Surely, this is one of the highest rewards there is!)
R. Aba: If Bnei Yehudah are so exacting, let us ask them if 'Me'abrim' in the Mishnah is spelled with an Ayin or with an Aleph, and likewise regarding Achuzu (buttocks, in a Mishnah in Bechoros)!
Bnei Yehudah: Regarding both of these, some say that it is spelled with an Ayin, and some say that it is spelled with an Aleph.
CLEVERLY CHOSEN WORDS
Question: Where do we see that Bnei Yehudah were meticulous about their speech?
Answer: A man of Yehudah said that he was selling a Talis. People asked him what color it is. He said that it is [green] like spinach (alternatively - beet leaves. Maharsha - he did not say 'Yarok', for this can refer to green or yellow.)
Question: Where do we see that Bnei Galil were not meticulous about their speech?
Answer #1: A man of Galil was going around saying 'who has Amar?' (He did not pronounce this word clearly.)
Those who heard him: Foolish Galilean! Do you want a Chamor (donkey) to ride on, or Chemar (wine) to drink, or Omar (wool) to make clothing from it, or Emar (a Seh) to slaughter?
Answer #2: A woman [of Galil] wanted to tell her friend 'come, you will eat milk.' Because she did not articulate the words properly, it sounded like a curse 'a lion should eat you'.
Answer #3: A woman [of Galil] came in front of a judge; she wanted to say 'my master, I had a board, and they stole it from me. [It was taller than you.]' It sounded like 'my master, my slave! I had a beam. They stole you; if they would hang you from it, your feet would not reach the ground.'
When Rebbi's Shifchah spoke craftily, she would say 'the pitcher [used to draw wine from the barrel and pour into cups] bangs on [the bottom of] the barrel (it is empty). The Nesharim (eagles or vultures) will return to their nests.' (The Talmidim should go home. The meal is over, for there is no more wine. Dikdukei Sofrim - this is how she asked Rebbi if the Talmidim should leave. They did not understand it.)
When she (Dikdukei Sofrim - if Rebbi) wanted them to sit [to eat], she (or he) said 'let us uncork another barrel and mix more [wine]. The pitcher will float like a boat on the sea.'
When R. Yosi bar Asiyan spoke craftily, he would request 'an ox in judgment' (this translates to Tor Din, i.e. Teradin, beets) with 'a poor mountain' (Har Dal is like Chardal, i.e. mustard).
When he would ask [travelers] about innkeepers, he would say 'is this man's mouth alive (or raw)?' (Ish Pi Zu Chai (Na) sounds like Ushpazichna, i.e. innkeeper.)
Version #1: When R. Avahu spoke craftily, he would say 'burn the coals until they are red like Esrogim, and spread the gold (the glimmering coals, for warmth). Prepare for me two that proclaim [when is end of the] night (i.e. roosters).'
Version #2: He would say '[Burn...and spread...] and with them prepare for me two that proclaim the night.' (Use the coals to roast them.)
Talmidim: Show us where is R. Ila'ai!
R. Avahu: He delighted [last night] with a subsequent stimulating Aharonis. She kept him up. Now he is sleeping.
Some say that Aharonis refers to a Kohenes. (He remarried after his first wife died);
Some say that it refers to a tractate in Kodshim (the Avodah of Kohanim). He finished one, and started another.
Talmidim (to R. Ila'ai): Show us where R. Avahu is!
R. Avahu: He asked the ordainer (Nasi, who authorizes Semichah). He told him to go south to Mefivoshes (big Chachamim).
R. Yehoshua: The only ones who ever outwitted me were a woman, a boy and girl;
Once I stayed at an inn. My hostess served to me [bread and] beans on the first two days. I ate them, and I did not leave anything in the bowl.
On the third day she ruined the beans with too much salt. I did not eat them. When she asked, I said that I had already eaten during the day.
The hostess: If so, you should not have eaten the bread! Perhaps you did not leave a remnant in the bowl [for the waiter to eat, so you leave one now! Gra's text - 'perhaps you leave now [to compensate] for the first days!' Chachamim said that one (the waiter) does not leave a remnant for himself in the pan (he pours it all into the bowl), but one (the guest) leaves a remnant in the bowl! (Rashi; Tosfos - one leaves a remnant from food cooked in a pot (it appears gluttonous to finish it), but one need not leave a remnant from food cooked in a [shallow] frying pan.)
A girl outwitted me. Once I was walking on a road that went through a field. A girl said 'Rebbi, isn't this a field? (You may not go through it!)'
R. Yehoshua: It has already been trodden! (Many have walked through it.)
The girl: Robbers like you trampled it!
A boy outwitted me. Once I was walking on the road. I saw a boy at the crossroad, and asked which way goes to the city.
The boy: This road is short and long, and the other is long and short.
I took the short and long road. When I got near the city, I saw that it was surrounded by gardens and orchards. I asked him why he said that it is short.
The boy: I told you that it is [also] long!
R. Yehoshua kissed him - 'fortunate are Yisrael, they are all Chachamim, adults and children!'
R. Yosi ha'Gelili was going on the road. He encountered Bruriyah [R. Meir's wife], and asked her 'which way do we go to Lud?'
Bruriyah: Foolish Gelili! Chachamim warned not to talk more than necessary with women! You should have said just 'which to Lud'!