Monday, December 04, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 38 - RABBI ABBA’S PRAYER

Rabbi Abba went from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel and prayed that Hashem should help that he will say something that the Chachamim of Eretz Yisroel will accept.

It is evident from the discourse of the Gemora that his tefillah was not accepted. The Chasam Sofer explains that his prayer was improper. A person should pray like the tefillah Reb Nechunya ben Hakonah instituted that he should not cause anyone to stumble in a halachic matter. One’s concern in a halachic dispute should not be that his words will be accepted, rather that all sides of the argument should be examined thoroughly and the truth should be determined. A person’s words and theories should be solely for the sake of Hashem, to honor Him and not for his own personal reputation and dignity.

The Marcheses, in his introduction to his sefer, wonders as to why the tefillah of Rabbi Abba was not accepted by all of Klal Yisroel in the same manner as Reb Nechunya ben Hakonah’s tefillah was? Why did Rabbi Abba need this tefillah exclusively when he was traveling from Bavel to Eretz Yisroel? He answers that there are many different styles of learning. It varies according to every location and time. The style of learning in Eretz Yisroel was vastly different than that of Bavel. Rabbi Abba was comfortable in Bavel and his manner of learning and his insights were accepted by the students. He was concerned that his style of learning would not be accepted among the scholars of eretz Yisroel and that is what prompted him to initiate this tefillah.