Friday, November 10, 2006

Daf Yomi - Beitza 15 - Learning or Eating, that is the Question

The Gemora relates a story regarding Rabbi Eliezer who was teaching the laws of Yom tov to his students for the entire day of Yom Tov. The Gemora recounts how there were several groups of students at different intervals during the day that left the shiur. Rabbi Eliezer kept commenting how these students were engrossed in their own physical pleasure and they weren't involved in the proper exertion for learning Torah. As the sixth group prepared to leave, Rabbi Eliezer declared that these are dismal people since due to them the Beis Medrash had become empty. Rabbi Eliezer told the remaining students that the others who left had abandoned the learning of Torah which brings about eternal life and occupied themselves with provisional needs.

The Gemora asks on Rabbi Eliezer's criticism regarding the students who left and rebuking them that they were occupying themselves with provisional needs. Isn't there a mitzva of eating on Yom Tov? What was so terrible about going to fulfill the mitzva of eating on Yom Tov? The Gemora answers that Rabbi Eliezer is of the opinion that eating on Yom Tov is only optional. the Gemora cites a braisa where Rabbi Yehoshua rules that one should divide his time on Yom Tov. Half the day, one should rejoice with food and drink while the other half of the day, he should be involved in pursuing his spiritual needs, such as learning Torah and tefillah. Rabbi Eliezer maintains that a person has a choice and can either spend the entire day of Yom Tov rejoicing with food and drink or he can occupy himself with learning Torah.

The Birkas Avrohom is nonetheless troubled as to how the Gemora can say that eating on Yom Tov is considered a temporary need when Rabbi Eliezer agrees that there is a mitzva to eat if one so desires? He answers profoundly that the mitzva of eating on Yom Tov pales in comparison to the mitzva of learning Torah on Yom Tov. Eating is considered provisional when it is contrasted to the mitzva of learning Torah.

Rav Meir Bergman in Shaarei Orah (Parshas Mishpatim) adds that even though the students were ravished at the time, the act of leaving the Beis Medrash and causing that the Beis Medrash should become empty was deserving of Rabbi Eliezer's curse.

How careful one must be when closing a sefer or leaving the Beis Medrash.


joshwaxman said...

quite likely related: Brachot daf 10a:

רבא חזייה לרב המנונא דקא מאריך בצלותיה אמר מניחין חיי עולם ועוסקים בחיי שעה והוא סבר זמן תפלה לחוד וזמן תורה לחוד ר' ירמיה הוה יתיב קמיה דר' זירא והוו עסקי בשמעתא נגה לצלויי והוה קא מסרהב ר' ירמיה קרי עליה ר' זירא (משלי כח) מסיר אזנו משמוע תורה גם תפלתו תועבה

"Raba saw R. Hamnuna prolonging his prayers. Said he, They forsake eternal life and occupy themselves with temporal life. But he [R. Hamnuna] held, The times for prayer and [study of the] Torah are distinct from each other. R. Jeremiah was sitting before R. Zera engaged in study; as it was growing late for the service, R. Jeremiah was making haste [to adjourn]. Thereupon R. Zera applied to him [the verse], He that turneth away from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination."

And this even davening is obviously positive.

Avromi said...

yes I agree - similar concept

Anonymous said...

is there any other source for the importance of learning on Yom Tov? In Yerushalyim they would post signs saying לא ניתנו המועדות אלא כדי שיעסקו ישראל בתורה.

Anonymous said...

hello, My name is Xus, and i could not find another place to ask my question. I Hope you could help me.

Could you tell me how to say: "temporal" in Aramaic?, i know in hebrew there's at least 2 words, like זמני, or לשעה. Thank you very much.

The Talmid said...

Perhaps עראי, comes up many times in Shas