Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Daf Yomi - Sukkah 52 - Highlights

1. The Mishnah stated that at the end of the first day of Sukkos they went down to the Women’s Courtyard and they made a great adjustment. The Gemara explains that originally the Women’s Courtyard was smooth and at a later date they surrounded it with a balcony. They decreed that the women should sit above in the balcony and the men below so they should not mingle with each other. A Baraisa states that originally the women watching the Simchas Bais Hashoeva would be inside the Women’s Courtyard ant the men observing would be on the outside but this led to frivolity. They then instituted that the women should be on the outside and the men should be on the inside but there was still frivolity, so they decreed that the women should be above and the men below. Although the dimensions of the Bais HaMikdash could not be altered, they found a verse that was said regarding the future when there will be eulogies delivered for the death of Moshiach ben Yosef. It is said that even at a time of sorrow the men and women will be separated. If this could be said regarding the future when it will be a time of sorrow and the evil inclination no longer wields control over man, then certainly at the Simchas Bais Hashoeva, when they are engaged in rejoicing and they could become frivolous and the evil inclination still wields power, certainly men and women should be in separate areas. (51b3-52a1)
2. Regarding the eulogy in the future described in the verse, one opinion maintains that the eulogy will be for Moshiach ben Yosef who will be killed at war and a second opinion maintains that the eulogy will be for the evil inclination that will be abolished in the future. The reason here will a eulogy for the evil inclination is because HaShem will slaughter the evil inclination before the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous the evil inclination will appear like a great mountain that is difficult to climb, whereas to the wicked the evil inclination will appear like a strand of hair that can be easily cut. The righteous will cry when they remember how they struggled to overcome the evil inclination, and the wicked will cry when they realize how easy it could have been to overcome the evil inclination. HaShem will also wonder with them at that time. (52a1)
3. The evil inclination at first appears like the thread of a spider but in the end appears like a cart rope. This means that initially one can resist the temptation to sin, but once a person commits the sin often, it is much more difficult to resist the temptation. The thread of a spider is weak and one can break it easily, and similarly one who confronts sin for the first time can resist the temptation. A cart rope, however, is very strong and is hard to break, and is similar to one who has become accustomed to sin and finds it difficult to resist the temptation of sinning further. (52a1-52a2)
4. When Moshiach Ben Dovid will see in the future that Moshiach ben Yosef will be killed, Moshiach Ben Dovid will ask HaShem for life, and HaShem will respond that Dovid already requested life and HaShem granted him life, as it is said, he asked life of you and you have already granted it to him. (52a2)
5. The evil inclination has seven names. Its names are: evil, uncircumcised, impure, the enemy, a stumbling block, a stone, and the hidden one. (52a2)
6. Abaye said that regarding the evil inclination it is said for he has done greatly, and this implies that the evil inclination incites Torah scholars more than anyone else. Proof to this is because Abaye once overheard a man say to a woman, “let us awaken early and travel together.” Abaye decided to follow them to prevent them from sin. Upon reaching a crossroads, they departed from each other by saying, “our paths are far apart from each other and being together would have been nice.” Thus, they ultimately did not commit any sin. Upon witnessing this, Abaye said about himself, “if this would have occurred with myself, I would have been incapable of restraining myself from sin.” Abaye felt bad about this thought, until an old man came and consoled him, saying, “the greater one is, the greater is his evil inclination.” (52a3)
7. The evil inclination is constantly seeking to overcome a person, and if not for HaShem protecting the person, one would be unable to withstand the overtures of the evil inclination. (52a3-52b1)
8. If the evil inclination attempts to entice a person to sin, he should bring the evil inclination into the study hall, and if he is like a stone he will melt and if he is like iron he will break. This is because Torah is the antidote to the power of the evil inclination. (52b1)
9. The evil inclination incites one to sin in this world and then testifies against him in the next world. Proof to this is from the verse that states he who pampers his servant from youth shall have him as a ruler (manon) at last. According to the rules of atbach introduced by Rabbi Chiya, a witness is referred to as manon. The letter aleph equals one and the letter tes equals nine, which is a sum of ten and these two letters can be interchanged. The same follows with beis, which equals two, and ches, which equals eight, When we apply this concept to the word manon, the result is the word sahadah, which means a witness. Thus, the evil inclination that is pampered in this world will end up bearing witness against the person in the next world. (52b1)