Sunday, June 14, 2009

Torah is for Jews

The נצי“ב used to say over the following story. In Russia, there was a certain Education Minister who became friendly with a משכיל named Dr. Lilinthel. In their conversations, this משכיל used to quote to the Minister from משניות and גמ‘. The Minister developed a desire to learn גמ' and asked Lilinthel to teach some גמ' to him. Lilinthel and two other משכילים chose a גמ' in בבא מציעא דף נ' to learn with him. This was the סוגיא called תגרי לוד which they figured since it was a גמ' with only סברא and one didn’t need too much background information, the Minister would be able to understand it. They prepared it extremely well and began to teach it to him. After they finished the גמ' one time, the Minister appeared exhausted and extremely tired. He asked them to repeat the גמ' to him. They learned it with him again. After the second time, he closed the גמ' in exasperation and proclaimed that he didn’t understand one word that they taught him. When they told this over to the נצי“ב, everyone was amazed that this brilliant Minister couldn’t understand a simple גמ‘. The נצי“ב said that there is a clear גמ' in סנהדרין that says ”תורה צוה לנו משה מורשה קהלות יעקב - לנו מורשה ולא להם מורשה“. תורה is only for כלל ישראל and not for the גוי.

to refresh your memory

Q: How is one obligated to sustain his workers?

A: Like a feast from Shlomo Hamelech.

Q: When does R’ Yochanan allow a person to retract from his words?

A: By a large gift.