WHEN TO GET MARRIED (cont.)
Version #1 (Rava): While your son will accept your rebuke, marry him off. This is from 16 until 22.
Version #2 (Rava): The proper time is from 18 until 24.
These versions are like the following Tana'im:
(Beraisa - Rebbi Yehudah or R. Nechemyah): "Train a youth according to his way" is from 16 until 22 (he is a youth, and will accept your training);
(The other of Rebbi Yehudah and R. Nechemyah): This is from 18 until 24.
TEACHING TORAH TO ONE'S SON
Question: What is the extent of the obligation to teach Torah to one's son?
Answer (Rav Yehudah): It is like the case of Zevulun ben Dan. His grandfather taught him written Torah, Mishnah, Gemara, Halachos and Agados.
Question (Beraisa): One must teach one's son written Torah. He need not teach him Mishnah!
Answer: The obligation extends as many generations as the case of Zevulun ben Dan, whose grandfather taught him;
One need not teach as much as Zevulun ben Dan was taught. Written Torah is enough.
Question: Is a grandfather really obligated?!
(Beraisa): "You will teach your sons", not your grandsons;
Question: "You will make known to your sons and grandsons"!
Answer: This teaches that if one teaches his son Torah, it is considered as if he taught also his grandsons and all future generations.
Answer: Rav Yehudah holds like the following Tana.
(Beraisa) Question: It says "you will teach your sons." What is the source for grandsons?
Answer: "You will make known to your sons and grandsons"!
Question: If so, why does it say "you will teach your sons" (implying only your sons)?
Answer: That teaches that one need not teach his daughters.
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): If one teaches his grandson Torah, it is considered as if he received it from Sinai - "you will make known to your sons and grandsons... the day that you stood in front of Hash-m on Sinai."
R. Yehoshua ben Levi put a sheet on his head and was taking his son to learn.
R. Chiya bar Aba: Why didn't you cover your head in a more dignified manner?
R. Yehoshua ben Levi: (I did not want to lose time.) This is no light matter - "you will make known to your sons and grandsons... the day that you stood in front of Hash-m on Sinai"!
From that day, R. Chiya bar Aba would not eat each morning until he reviewed with his son his learning (of the previous day) and taught him more.
Rabah bar Rav Huna would not eat each morning until he brought his son to learn.
(Rav Safra): "V'Shinantam (you will teach them) to your sons" - since it did not say "v'Shanisam", we expound this to say v'Shilashtam (you will divide in thirds);
One should divide his years in three. One third he should learn written Torah, one third Mishnah, and one third Gemara.
Objection: One does not know how many years he will live!
Answer: He should divide the days of each week among these three (Rashi; Tosfos - each day, he should learn all three).
COUNTING LETTERS AND VERSES
The early Chachamim were called Sofrim (counters), for they would count all letters of the Torah:
The Vav of "Gachon" is the middle letter of the Torah. (Daf Al ha'Daf (citing R. Y. Alter): It is about 5000 letters after the middle letter! Rather, it is the middle of the 17 special letters (they are big, small or not read. Machzor Vitri (522 b'Sof, citing R. Yosi Tov Elem) lists about twice as many.) Similarly, below "Darosh Darash" is the middle pair of doubled words, "v'Hisgalach" is the middle of the verses with big letters, and the Ayin of "mi'Ya'ar" is the middle special letter of Tehilim.)
"Darosh Darash" are the middle words. (Chofan Aharon - it is the middle of 89 such pairs of words with the same root, e.g. Remes ha'Romes; if the roots are different, e.g. Lech Lecha, it is not counted, even if they are spelled the same.)
"V'Hisgalach" is the middle verse;
The Ayin of "mi'Ya'ar" is the middle letter of Tehilim.
"V'Hu Rachum" is the middle verse of Tehilim.
Question (Rav Yosef): Is the Vav of Gachon the first of the two letters in the middle, or the second?
Rabanan: Let's take out a Sefer Torah and count. Rabah bar bar Chanah said that they did so for a similar question!
Rav Yosef: They knew all the extra and missing letters. We do not. (Magen Avraham 141:7 cites our Gemara for the Rema's source to be Machshir a Sefer Torah with extra or missing Vov's and Yud's. Based on Daf Al ha'Daf cited above, 'Chaseros and Yeseros' must refer to big and small letters! Perhaps Rav Yosef means that we do not know either (extra and missing, or big and small). If "v'Hisgalach" is the middle of the verses with big letters, Abaye (below), who said that we can count this, held that we do know which letters are big! - PF.)
Question (Rav Yosef): Is "v'Hisgalach" the first of the two middle verses, or the second?
Abaye: This we can count!
Rav Yosef: Here also we are unsure! In Eretz Yisrael, they consider "Hash-m said... I will come to you in the cloud" to be three verses! (Even if we discuss the middle of the verses with big letters, and this verse does not have any, perhaps it is brought to show how far apart are the opinions about the division into verses. - PF)
(Beraisa): There are 5,888 verses in the Torah. Tehilim has eight additional verses, Divrei ha'Yamim lacks eight verses. (Tosfos cannot fathom how there can be so many verses in Tehilim. It seems that Tehilim and Divrei ha'Yamim each have about a third as many verses as this. Minchas Shai (Vayikra 8:8) - there are only 5845 verses in a Sefer Torah! Daf Al ha'Daf - there are 5888, including 43 that are repeated elsewhere. Eight of these additions are in Tehilim, and all but eight (i.e. the other 35) are in Divrei ha'Yamim.)
HOW ONE SHOULD LEARN
(Beraisa): "V'Shinantam (you will repeat them)" - (you should review until) words of Torah are sharp in your mouth, so if you are asked, you can respond immediately.
"Say to Chachmah, you are my sister" (Torah should be as clear to you as (the Isur to marry) your sister.
(R. Chiya bar Aba): "When they speak with enemies in the gate" - even a father and son, or a Rebbi and Talmid, when they engage in Torah, they become enemies;
"Es v'Hav b'Sufah" - in the Sof (end), they will love each other.
(Beraisa): "V'Samtem (you will put them)" - Torah is compared to a Sam Tam (a pure potion) of life;
This is like a man who severely wounded his son. He put a bandage on the wound and told him 'as long as the bandage is on, you may eat and bathe like you desire. If you remove the bandage, blisters will sprout.
Hash-m told Yisrael similarly. I created the Yetzer Ra (evil inclination), and I created the Torah to fix it;'
If you engage in Torah, it will not overcome you - "if you will improve, you will rise";
If you do not engage in Torah, it will overcome you - "sin crouches at the opening."
Further, the Yetzer Ra will be wholly dedicated to make you stumble - "your desire is to it";
If you want, you can rule over it - "you will rule over it."
(Beraisa): The Yetzer Ra is very harsh. Even Hash-m calls it evil! "The Yetzer of man's heart is evil from his youth".
(R. Yitzchak): A man's Yetzer renews itself every day - "just evil the entire day."
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): A man's Yetzer overpowers him every day and seeks to destroy him - "the evil one waits for the Tzadik and seeks to kill him";
Without Hash-m's help, the Tzadik could not prevail - "Hash-m will not abandon (the Tzadik and let him fall) into its hands."
Beraisa (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): If this disgusting one (the Yetzer Ra) encounters you, drag it to the Beis Medrash;
If it is stone, it will melt. If it is iron, it will shatter (some texts - if it is iron, he will melt. If it is stone, it will shatter.)
OTHER MITZVOS PERFORMED UPON A SON
(Beraisa): It is a Mitzvah to marry him to a woman.
Question: What is the source for this?
Answer: "Take wives and bear sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to men."
Question: Granted, a man can find a wife for his son;
Can a man always find a husband for his daughter?
Answer: He can give her clothing and property, so men will be eager to marry her.
(Beraisa): He must teach him a trade.
Question: What is the source for this?
Answer (Chizkiyah): "See life with the woman whom you love";
The 'woman' referred literally means a wife, or, it alludes to Torah.
In either case, just like it is a Mitzvah to take a wife for one's son or to teach him Torah, it is also a Mitzvah to teach him a livelihood.
(Beraisa): Some say, it is a Mitzvah even to teach him to swim.
This may save his life.
(Beraisa): Rebbi Yehudah says, whoever does not teach his son a trade, he teaches him robbery.
Question: This cannot be!
Answer: Rather, it is as if he teaches him robbery.
Question: The first Tana also said he must teach him a trade. What do they argue about?
Answer: The first Tana says that it suffices to teach the son business. Rebbi Yehudah says, he must teach him a trade.
MITZVOS THAT A SON MUST DO FOR HIS FATHER
(Mishnah): Every Mitzvah of the father on the son (is obligatory for men and women).
Question: What does this mean?
Suggestion: It refers to Mitzvos that the father must perform on his son.
Rejection (Beraisa): A father is commanded to circumcise his son and redeem his firstborn son. A mother is exempt!
Answer (Rav Yehudah): Rather, every Mitzvah incumbent on the son to do for the father, is obligatory for both men and women.
(Beraisa): "A man (will fear his mother and father)" obligates only a man. "Tira'u (you (plural) will fear)" obligates also a woman.
Question: If so, why does it say "a man"?
Answer: A man is able to fulfill the Mitzvah. A (married) woman cannot (because she must be by her husband).
(Rav Idi bar Avin): If a woman is divorced, she is obligated (to honor and fear parents) just like a man.
(Beraisa): It says "honor your father and mother", and "honor Hash-m from your wealth";
The Torah equates the honor of parents with honor of Hash-m.
It says "a man will fear his mother and father", and "you will fear Hash-m and serve Him";
The Torah equates fear of parents with fear of Hash-m.
It says "a man who will curse his father and (i.e. or) mother will die", and "a man who will curse Hash-m will bear his sin";
The Torah equates cursing parents to cursing Hash-m.
We cannot equate them regarding hitting, for this does not apply to Hash-m!
It is fitting that obligations to parents parallel obligations to Hash-m, for all three were partners in the child's creation.
(Beraisa): There are three partners in creation of a child: Hash-m, the father, and the mother.
When a child honors his parent, Hash-m considers it as if He dwelled among them and they honored Him.
(Rebbi): Hash-m knows that a child honors his mother more than his father because she entices him (with food), therefore, He commanded to honor the father before the mother;
Hash-m knows that a child fears his father more than his mother because his father teaches him Torah. Therefore, He commanded to honor the mother before the father.