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The Chassam Sofer says that Shammai was actually a builder by trade. He wanted to show this apikores that there is more to religion than just kindness to your fellow, its possible to be a talmid chacham and a builder. Whereas Hillel said that you can learn on one foot, i.e. kindness, but don't forget that includes kindness to Hashem which means keeping His ...


I heard once in a recording from R. Y.S. Schorr that Shamai represented a middas hadin, an exacting attitude of strict justice (as is evidenced by those very stories). His measuring stick was a display of just that point - everything had to be measured and exactly according to what was deserved.


I think you are misunderstanding the Gemara. You are taking it that we know that Tefillin require a Guf Naki from Elisha Baal Kenafaim. The point, however is different. It is that the Guf Naki has to be to the degree that Elisha Baal Kenafaim had one, to the point where he merited the miracle. It is an emphasis on how careful you have to be with it, not the ...


Tosfos answer, because a miracle occurred for the sake of his wearing tefillin. Only if he were wearing tefillin properly, i.e. with a clean body, would he merit such a miracle.

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