Thursday, October 12, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 41 - Preferential Treatment

The Gemora relates a story that Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Eliezer ben Azaryah and Rabbi Akiva were journeying on a boat and only Rabban Gamliel had a lulav which he had purchased for over a thousand zuz. Rabban Gamliel initially fulfilled his mitzva with the lulav and then gave it to the other Tanaim to enable them to discharge their obligation. The Gemora states that from the extra wording in the story we can derive that a present given with the stipulation to be returned is considered a present and they can fulfill the mitzva even on the first day when the lulav must be yours. It is also evident from this Gemora how dear mitzvos were to them that Rabban Gamliel spent a thousand zuz on his lulav.

The Chasam Sofer asks on the order of the Tanaim. Why did Rabbi Yehoshua who was a Levi receive the lulav before Rabbi Eliezer who was a kohen? He answers that it must be because Rabbi Yehoshua was exceptional in Torah learning and an elder, therefore they honored him first. If so, continues the Chasam Sofer, why wasn't Rabbi Akiva the first? He answers that the merit of being a Talmid Chocham can propel him one level and that is why Rabbi Yehoshua who was a levi and an exceptional Talmid chocham can have preferential treatment over Rabbi Eliezer who was a kohen; however Rabbi Akiva, who was a yisroel cannot skip over two levels and therefore Rabbi Eliezer was before him.

4 comments:

Velvel said...

Let Rabbi Akiva jump over Rabbi Yehoshua which is only one step?

Avromi said...

Cute... but the kohen comes first so Rabbi Eliezer gets first dibs unless someone has kedima which in this case was Rabbi Yehoshua. Rabbi Akiva cant jump the 2 steps.

Anonymous said...

Possibly this can be said to be tuli in the machlokes of cohen kodem l' levi u yisroel (gemara horayis and gitin - mpnei darchei shalom) (The Meiri on one tzad (Yisroel Talmid Chacham Kodem L' Cohen Am Haaretz) and The Rambam on the other (Cohen Am Haaretz Kodem L' Yisroel Talmaid Chocham)

Avromi said...

Thanks - I'll check that out.