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In Yevamot 37 it is recorded that Rav was in Urta saying one thing, and subsequently changed his opinion while in Tzafra. Is there anything specific about his change of locale which caused his change of option, or was it circumstance?

באורתא אמר רבא הכי ובצפרא הדר ביה In Urta Rava stated this ruling, but in Tzafra he retracted it.


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closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 23 at 22:11

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  • 1
    This question would be much more answerable if it would include what Rava said. – msh210 Mar 12 at 12:28
  • @msh210 The case is that a woman remarried within 30 days of her husband’s death - does she still do Chalitzah? It’s a dispute in Rava, and it depends on whether she’s currently married to a Kohen or a Yisrael. To that the Gemara says both are correct - Rava reversed his decision. – DonielF Mar 12 at 13:07
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Urta is a place which is so impure that even just seeing it makes a person impure, as the Talmud states (Pesachim 90b)

דחזי לאורתא טמא

one who sees Urta is impure

This is in stark contradistinction to Tzafra, which is an inspiring place where one can see clearly the glory of G-d, as Onkelos writes (Shemos 17:7):

ובצפרא, ותחזון ית יקרא דה

and in Tzafra you shall see the glory of Hashem

Therefore, while impacted by the impurity of Urta, Rava issued an initial ruling, but once he arrived in Tzafra and experiencing the glory of G-d there, he reconsidered and retracted.

2

Rosh HaShanah 25a relates the following:

רבי חייא חזייא לסיהרא דהוה קאי בצפרא דעשרים ותשעה שקל קלא פתק ביה אמר לאורתא בעינן לקדושי בך ואת קיימת הכא זיל איכסי

R’ Chiya saw the moon was in Tzafra on the 29th. He threw a clump dirt at it. He said, “For Urta we need to sanctify you, and you’re standing here?! Go and cover yourself!”

The Jewish people are compared to the moon (Sukkah 29a et. al.). The fact that the moon was hanging around Tzafra indicates that it’s a place full of Torah, which is why Rava only realized there that his ruling was incorrect; in Urta, where the “moon” was lacking, he was unable to realize that his ruling was incorrect.

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