Saturday, November 18, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 23 - Twelve and Thirteen Thousand not Literal

The Gemora cites that Rabbi Elozar ben Azarya would take thirteen thousand calves as maaser on his animals every year. Sheorim Mitzuyanim Bhalacha cites Tosfos in Brochos (20a) and Rashi in Chulin (95b) which state that twelve thousand and thirteen thousand are common terminoligies throughout Shas and they are not to be taken literally. This can be proven from the fact that our Gemora states that he took thirteen thousand calves as maaser and the Gemora in Shabbos (54b) states that it was twelve thousand.


Anonymous said...

Aren't there many numbers that are not literal?

David said...

Rashbam (perek basra d'Psachim) says the number 300 is a number of exageration. I beleive it is the Ran in Nedarim who says the same about the number 13.

I have not seen anyone say the same of the number 400, but it is also undoubtedly such a number.