Monday, October 09, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 37 - Foresight and Prophecy

The Mishnah states that Rabbi Akiva said, “Tzofeh hayisi beRabban Gamliel,” I was watching Rabban Gamliel. Why does the Mishnah use the word tzofeh and not the conventional word for sight, roeh? The word tzofeh is often associated with prophecy, as it is said in Yeshaya (52:8) kol tzofayich nasu kol, the voice of your lookouts, i.e. prophets, they raised their voice. Perhaps Rabbi Akiva was alluding to the idea that although the Bais HaMikdash would be destroyed and salvation would appear distant, he saw in a form of prophecy that the words of the prophets who predicted the Ultimate Redemption would be fulfilled. This idea is consonant with the Gemara in Makkos that records an incident where Rabbi Akiva and his colleagues passed by the site of the Bais HaMikdash. The rabbis cried and Rabbi Akiva laughed. Rabbi Akiva explained his enigmatic actions by quoting Scripture that foretells of the ultimate rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Bais HaMikdash.

3 comments:

Liorah-Lleucu said...

Interesting.

Liorah-Lleucu said...

I found this at shemayisrael:

[quote]
The Maharsh"a explains the words "upon noting his beauty his evil inclination took a hold of him and was ready to make him sin to the extent that he would lose his share in the world to come" in a homiletic manner. The evil inclination used his beauty as a tool to make him sin. This can be the intention of the words "Tzofeh rosho latzadik um'va'keish lahamiso" (T'hilim 37:32). The evil inclination is the "rosho." He peers at the righteousness, the beauty of the tzadik, telling the tzadik to be quite pleased with himself and his righteous actions, to rest on his laurels, and through this he attempts to bring him to his death, to a spiritual downfall.
[endquote]

Maybe Rabbi Akiva was "peering" at Rabban Gamliel in the same manner that the yetzer hara was peering at the tzadik in the above quote - to cause his downfall. Just a thought. Akiva was a rabbi and Gamliel was a rabban. Rabban is a more prestigious title than rabbi, yes?

ben said...

very novel. I would have to ask someone greater than me if one can suggest such an interpretation.