Monday, November 06, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 10 - Eggs of Joy

The Gemara offers various proofs to demonstrate the leniencies of Bais Shammai and the stringencies of Bais Hillel regarding matters that pertain to being joyous on Yom Tov. Tosfos wonders why the Gemara does not cite the first Mishnah where Bais Shammai maintains that an egg that was laid on Yom Tov is forbidden and Bais Hillel permits one to eat the egg. Tosfos answers that eating an egg does not really make one joyous on Yom Tov.

It would seem that the explanation for the answer of Tosfos is based on the Gemara in Pesachim (109a) that states that one is required to provide his wife with nice clothing and a man is required to eat meat and drink wine. This ruling is based on the verse that states vesamachta bechagecha, and you shall be joyous on your festival. Eggs, however, are not included in this teaching, because they do not make one joyous.

Shearim Mitzuyanim B’Halacha cites a different Gemara in Pesachim (118a) which states that Hashem collects His debts from people according to their respective assets. A wealthy person will be punished by incurring a loss in his oxen, a pauper will incur a loss in his sheep and an orphan will incur a loss in his eggs. It is evident from this Gemara that an egg is not deemed to be an extravagant item and does not make one joyous.

Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 378:9) rules that the meal that is provided for mourners should consist of eggs. Rema (Orach Chaim 476:2) writes that one should eat eggs on Pesach night as eggs are a sign of mourning. Thus, we see further proof that eggs do not make one joyous, and in fact, eggs denote mourning and sadness.