I desire to know how the conclusions of Horayot 13b were reached. For example, why does “eating from that which a mouse eats and from that which a cat eats” cause one to forget his Torah study?


1 Answer 1


Since your question is (still) a bit unclear, I would like to provide an answer with a deeper meaning behind it. This answers conveys the message that the deeper meaning behind these five things that would make you forget the Torah you learned, have to do with the fact that it are shortcuts so to speak.

Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir suggests that there is a deeper theme that the Gemara is conveying to us here. For example, with regard to eating olives instead of olive oil, the idea is that one is too lazy to make oil out of the olives, and just eats the olives instead. It is a shortcut so to speak.

It seems that many of these habits have a common theme: they involve laziness and shortcuts. Instead of making the olives into oil, which in the time of the Talmud was the most accepted way of eating them, this individual takes a shortcut and customarily eats the olives plain. Instead of drawing new water for drinking, he uses the water left over from washing.

Similair with eating something that was already bitten by a cat or mouse. The Gemara in Eruvin says that if the Torah is learned with all your 248 limbs, you will retain it. My own interpretation, if that is okay, of this is that by shortcutting, this is not the case. You do not put the right effort into something, hence your Torah will be forgotten.

You must log in to answer this question.