Friday, October 13, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 41 - Love perverts accepted conduct

The Gemara records that Mar the son of Ameimar said that his father would pray with the lulav, i.e. Ameimar cherished the mitzvah of lulav so much that he would hold the lulav while praying. The term that the Gemara uses is tzaluyei ka metzalei bei. Regarding the verse that states lo sateh mishpat, you shall not pervert judgment, the Targum renders the translation lo satzlei din. This usage of the word tzalei refers to bending and twisting justice. Perhaps we can interpret the statement of the Gemara here homiletically to mean that normally one should not hold an object while praying because his preoccupation with the object will detract from concentrating on his prayers. Ameimar, however, cherished the mitzvah of lulav so much that he personified the statement of the Medrash that Ahavah mekalkeles es hashurah, the love for Hashem and his mitzvos perverts what is normally accepted behavior, and thus Ameimar held the lulav even while he was praying.