Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitzah 11 - No ignorance on Yom Tov

Rashi writes that amei haaretz, ignorant people, despite the fact that they are suspected of laxity in observing the laws of taharah, ritual purity, on a Yom Tov they are not suspected of being lax, and if an am haaretz touched food on Yom Tov, it does not become tamei. We find that an am haaretz is believed on Shabbos to say that he tithed produce, as even an ignorant Jew is in awe of Shabbos. We should utilize the Shabbos and the Yomim Tovim for Torah study, as even ignorant Jews are on a higher spiritual plane on these holy days, so certainly one who studies Torah on these holy days will be greatly uplifted.

2 comments:

joshwaxman said...

I believe that what we have here is actually a shifting of terms. "Am ha-aretz" when used in this context in the gemara does not mean someone who is ignorant, but rather someone who did not accept upon himself to observe the laws of tahara -- and this is as opposed to the technical term "chaver." Nowadays, in a shift, am ha-aretz primarily carries the connotation of ignorant person.

So, it is a measure of laxity rather than ignorance. And that because of the holiness of Yom Tov they will not be lax in this regard.

ben said...

How about am haaretz regarding demai? I assume it's also laxity. I should have called it laxity instead of ignorance.