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THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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Rebbi Meir learns that a woman is Temei'ah Leidah when she miscarries the
form of an animal. Rebbi Chiya Bar Aba, citing Rebbi Yochanan, states that
the reason for this ruling is because the Torah uses the word "Yetzirah"
when describing the creation of animals, just as this word is used to
describe the creation of man.
Asked Rebbi Ami, would a woman then be Temei'ah if she miscarried the form
of a mountain? The term Yetzirah is also used in reference to the creation
of mountains (Amos 4:13)! Rebbi Chiya defends his opinion by retorting that
a woman is not large enough to give birth to a mountain.
MAHARATZ CHIYOS points out that the Talmud Yerushalmi (Halachah 2) answers
Rebbi Ami's question differently. The word "Yetzirah" is not used in the
original creation of mountains; it appears in a verse in Amos and not in
Bereishis. Maharatz Chayos explains this statement according to the
scientific fact prevalent in his time. The Yerushalmi means that mountains
were not created during the six days of creation. At that point, the
world was completely round. Only after many years of persistent storm
winds, floods and geologic activity, were the mountains and hills carved
out. The Yetzirah of mountains cannot be compared to the Yetzirah of man
and animal, since they are only a product of the laws of nature which
Hashem imbedded in the world He created.
- GETTING A LAUGH
Rebbi Yirmiyah tried to get Rebbi Zeira to laugh but could not
succeed. What motivated Rebbi Yirmiyah to try and amuse Rebbi Zeira?
The CHAVAS YAIR (#152, cited at the end of Sefer Chafetz Chayim) suggests
that Rebbi Zeira and Rebbi Yirmeyah each had a very different path in
Avodas Hashem. They argued whether abstinence is commendable or forbidden.
Rebbi Zeira understood that fasting and self-affliction is the correct way
to reach Kedushah. We find that he fasted long periods. He would test
himself with all kinds of self-afflictions to test his total devotion to
Hashem (Bava Metzia end of 85a).
Rebbi Yirmeyah on the other hand ruled that it is forbidden for a person to
afflict himself beyond the call of the Torah, as those who maintained that
a Nazir is called a Choteh (Nedarim 9).
Rebbi Yirmeyah, in accordance with his path in Avodas Hashem, would try and
break Rebbi Zeira's somberness since he thought this was an incorrect path
in Avodas Hashem.
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