Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 32 - Six Sad Cases

Three people, declare our Sages, have such difficult situations that it may be said of them that their life is not really a life.
• A person with no means of his own and looks to the table of another for his subsistence
• A person dominated by ones spouse
• A person whose body is dominated by suffering
The gemara in Mesechta Pesachim (113b) lists three different categories of people whose life is not a life.
• A person who is extravagantly merciful
• One who is overly excitable
• One who is too sensitive
All three of these, explains Rashbam, face situations regularly which allow them no peace because of their overreaction, and therefore their life is not a life. But why, asks Tosefot in Pesachim, are these six types of sufferers separated into two categories of three each, rather than combined into one statement?

The explanation, Tosefot offers, is that the three mentioned in Pesachim are the result of a persons own character traits, while the ones mentioned in Mesechta Beitza are the result of circumstances beyond his control such as poverty, illness or a mismatched marriage.

This and other insights can be found at Ohr Sameach's Weekly Daf Points here