Saturday, October 13, 2007


Abaye inquired from Rabbah: A person claims that someone violated/seduced his daughter, and he took him to a different Beis Din which indeed found that the perpetrator must pay. The accused denies everything, and swore to this effect. The accused then admitted that he lied. What would be the law in this case according to Rabbi Shimon? As he had indeed stood trial and was obligated to pay money to the father, is this considered denying money in an oath for which one must bring a korban? Or do we say that even though the verdict that he owed money was already handed down, it is a matter of a fine (for which one does not bring a korban according to Rabbi Shimon if he denies owing the money under oath)?

Rashi writes that Rabbah bar Nachmeini was Abaye’s teacher. The commentators ask: Why did Rashi find it necessary to inform us that Rabbah was Abaye’s Rebbe; there are numerous times throughout the Gemora that Abaye inquired of Rabbah, and Rashi does not write that Rabbah taught Abaye?

(As an aside, the Maharalbach (64) writes that this particular sugya is lengthy and extremely difficult and there are many questions, especially on Rashi’s explanation of the Gemora. He cites fourteen questions. His student, the Maharashdam (Y”D 402) asks another twenty-four questions and answers them all.)

The Gemora cites Rabbah’s answer and Abaye’s challenge from a braisa. The commentators ask: It is evident that Abaye knew this braisa, so why did he inquire from Rabbah in the first place? The Ritva answers that it is common for a student to ask his teacher a question to hear his explanation even though he can resolve it on his own, and then, he will ask from a braisa in order to ascertain if the answer is indeed correct.

Rabbi Chaim Braun suggests that this might be the explanation of Rashi. Rashi writes that Rabbah was Abaye’s teacher in order to explain why Abaye is inquiring of Rabbah even though he knew the resolution himself.