PESACHIM 112 - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Reb Naftali ben Reb Menachem Mendel Bodner Z"L by his wife, Alice Bodner. A man who loved Chesed, Tuli Bodner applied his many talents to help everyone he knew in any way he could. His cheerful greeting is warmly remembered by all who knew him. He was Niftar on 5 Cheshvan 5765; Yehi Zichro Baruch.
PESACHIM 112 - (11 Iyar) - dedicated by the Feldman family in memory of their mother, ha'Rabbanit Sara Dvosya bas Rav Mordechai (of Milwaukee).

Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima says: "Be as bold as a leopard, as light as an eagle, as swift as a gazelle, and as strong as a lion to do the will of your Father in heaven."
What is the significance of each of these four examples?
(a) The TUR (OC 1) explains that these parables teach one to serve Hash-m with every part of his body. To "be as bold as a leopard" means to never allow embarrassment, or any other emotion, to deter him from his Avodas Hash-m. Rather, he should boldly use his mind to overcome his emotions in order to perform Hash-m's will.
"As light as an eagle" teaches a person to use his eyes appropriately, for eagles have acute eyesight. One should train his eyes not to fix their gaze on things which are not conducive to Avodas Hash-m.
"As swift as a gazelle" means that one should use his feet to run quickly to do Mitzvos.
"As strong as a lion" reminds a person that he should be "lionhearted" and strengthen his heart and his emotions to serve Hash-m.
(b) The MAHARSHA, in a slightly different vein, explains that these descriptions correspond to the four elements which prevent a person from proper Avodas Hash-m. The first two elements are related to one's Mazal, which manifests itself in two ways: in the personality with which a person is born, and in the wealth or poverty that is his lot. The other two elements are the Yetzer ha'Ra and the subjugation at the hands of foreign dominion (Berachos 17a).
To "be as bold as a leopard" is to perform more than one feels he is capable of doing. That is, even if he has little or no money, he should still make every effort to buy the things he needs in order to fulfill the Mitzvos, as the Gemara here describes. This is the trait of "Azus." Rebbi Yehudah ben Teima teaches here that one must not let poverty hinder him in his service of Hash-m.
One who is "as light as an eagle" can "fly above" his Mazal and overcome the inborn traits which hinder his Avodas Hash-m.
He should be "as swift as a gazelle" and run from the ways of the nations so that they not sway his heart from the love of Mitzvos.
Finally, when the Yetzer ha'Ra begins to incite a person to sin, he should become "as strong as a lion" to fight the Yetzer ha'Ra with all of his might.


The Gemara teaches certain incantations to calm down wild beasts, as well as a jingle to recite while one guides a boat. In order to calm down an enraged ox, one should say repeatedly, "Hen Hen"; for a lion, "Zeh Zeh"; and for a camel, "Da Da." To help guide a boat, one should repeat, "Hilni Hiya Hila v'Hiluk Hulya."
The MESHECH CHOCHMAH (Parshas Bo) suggests a brilliant allegorical interpretation of this Gemara. He discusses at length the difference between the beliefs of the people of the Torah and the beliefs of all other peoples in the world. He posits that all world religions are based on emotional motivation; they arouse their emotions in order to express their beliefs and their faith. Faith based on emotions tends to be irrational, and occasionally to become extremist.
The Torah, on the other hand, is completely rational. Since a Jew's Emunah is predicated on logic, it is not subject to serious doubt and is everlasting. Nevertheless, this does not mean that one's observance of Torah should be devoid of emotion. On the contrary, the Torah provides two unique mediums to channel one's emotions and use them in the service of Hash-m. First, the Mitzvos teach a person how to control his emotions and desires (for example, the Torah says when to mourn, and when to stop mourning, when to rejoice, and when to stop rejoicing). This enables a person to develop appropriate emotional responses and self-control. Second, the Torah directs a person to use his intellect and to think logically. If one trains himself to think as the Torah teaches, he will acquire the ability to make decisions based on rational thought.
The Meshech Chochmah suggests that the Gemara here demonstrates various ways that a person could use Torah to harness his emotions. Someone who feels that animalistic tendencies have begun to rise inside of him (symbolized by the ox, lion, and camel) should fight the Yetzer ha'Ra with a statement of the Torah or of the Sages. When he repeats this statement over and over, his mind begins to inculcate its message until he is able to harness his emotions and control them.
Furthermore, when one ponders the reasons why he should serve Hash-m, he should approach the topic from a logical perspective and not from an emotional one. He should weigh in his mind all aspects from every angle in order to come to the clear truth. This is symbolized by a person who leads a boat. In order to sail it to its destination, one should chant different terms. These terms represent the different sides and angles that a person must explore when he thinks about Avodas Hash-m, in order to arrive at the truth.
Abaye states that one of the causes of Tzara'as is wearing clothes that have not been left unused for eight days after being washed, because within eight days Kinim Levanim (white lice) may still appear in the clothes.
This statement of Abaye explains a peculiar practice of the mother of Mar brei d'Ravina. She made seven sets of clothing for her son to wear, one for each day of the week. RABEINU CHANANEL explains that she did this so that he would not be bothered by Kinim, lice, which would distract him from learning.
Why did she have to make seven sets of clothing? If her aim was to rid his clothes of lice, it would have sufficed simply to make him two sets of clothes and to wash one set every day!
According to Abaye's teaching, it is clear why Mar brei d'Ravina needed seven separate sets of clothing. It would not help to wash his clothes one day and to wear them the next, because the Kinim Levanim would infest them. Mar brei d'Ravina needed a separate set of clothing for each of seven days, so that when each one was washed, it would not be worn until eight days had passed! (Y. Tavin)