Wednesday, January 31, 2007


In the days of Shimon ben Shetach, the rains would fall on Tuesday and Friday nights, when people are at home. The blessing was so great that wheat grains were the size of kidneys -- barley, the size of olives -- lentils, the size of golden dinarim.

The Chasam Sofer asks that it’s logical to assume that all the fruits that grow in Eretz Yisroel were extremely large and not only the ones mentioned. If so, how can we derive from this passuk the Biblical measurements for many different halachos? Was a standard olive used or a large one that grew in Eretz Yisroel during the time of blessing?

Chasam Sofer states that in the same manner that the fruits were blessed to grow much larger than usual, so too the people were much larger and healthier. The required measurements for people living in Eretz Yisroel were considerably larger than people residing elsewhere but proportionally, it was the same.