I heard there was a story from the Talmud, correct me if I’m wrong, that a man told his wife to hit a rabbi on the head or something and she went hit him and after she hit him he asked: "My dear, why did you hit the Rav?" and she said: "Because my husband told me", and because she did what her husband it said there was a mailah of praise for this. If this is a true story what’s the source of this story?


1 Answer 1


It is in the Gemara Nedarim 66B

אֲמַר לַהּ: זִילִי תְּבַרִי יָתְהוֹן עַל רֵישָׁא דְבָבָא. הֲוָה יָתֵיב בָּבָא בֶּן בּוּטָא אַבָּבָא וְקָא דָאֵין דִּינָא. אֲזַלַת וּתְבַרַת יָתְהוֹן עַל רֵישֵׁיהּ. אֲמַר לַהּ: מָה הָדֵין דַּעֲבַדְתְּ? אֲמַרָה לֵיהּ: כָּךְ צִיוַּנִי בַּעְלִי. אֲמַר: אַתְּ עָשִׂית רְצוֹן בַּעְלִיךְ, הַמָּקוֹם יוֹצִיא מִמֵּךְ שְׁנֵי בָּנִים כְּבָבָא בֶּן בּוּטָ

In anger, he said to her: Go and break them on the head of the bava, intending the gate, as bava means a gate in the Aramaic dialect spoken in Babylonia. She did not recognize this word. At that time, the Sage Bava ben Buta was sitting as a judge at the gate. She went and broke them on his head, as his name was Bava. He said to her: What is this you have done? She said to him: This is what my husband commanded me to do. He said: You fulfilled your husband’s desire, may the Omnipresent bring forth from you two sons, corresponding to the two candles, like Bava ben Buta

  • 3
    (It's not that the husband said to hit the rabbi -- it's how she misunderstood it. The story is humorously illustrating the dangers of false cognates between Hebrew and Aramaic.)
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 18:43
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    I agree with @Shalom. It would be helpful if you brought the full story. The context explains the story.
    – Harel13
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 19:02
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    (To back up the story: the husband speaks Aramaic and the wife Hebrew -- she keeps cooking him the wrong thing for dinner, because of words that mean different things in different Semitic languages/dialects. [You can't help but wonder what their dating life was like.] Finally, one night he asks for a particular dish for dinner, and she shows up with candlesticks. Exasperated, he shouts "break them over the gate!" She thought he said "break them on Rabbi Bava's head."
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:16
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    (When Rabbi Hershel Schachter tells this Gemara, he clarifies that Rabbi Bava realized the miscommunication, and chose to bless the wife rather than make her feel any worse -- she was trying to do the right thing!)
    – Shalom
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:17
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    Some of the Rishinom say that Bava Ben Buta must have right near them as at the time because there is no way she could have been so daft as to walk into the Sanhedrin itself and hit Bava Ben Buta on the head with candlesticks
    – Schmerel
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 20:37

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