11

As quoted here from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the theological significance of tongs is that they are preparatory - they exist for the purpose of making something else - and the idea of G-d creating them is that even things which are preparatory to something holy and significant can itself be worthwhile and significant. As for the second question, creation of ...


11

According to the Mevo to Oz VeHadar's Maseches Avos Otzar Midrashei Chazal, p. 5, since Avos wasn't written on any specific mitzvah, Chazal never had their usual debates or discussions which are found in the gemarra. Therefore, there was never a tractate put together for the Bavli, Yerushalmi, nor baraisos in the Tosefta. The only baraisa is perhaps Avos D'...


10

In general, גאולה (redemption) seems to mean restoring something to its proper place, as in: returning an enslaved person to his family/home, or likewise, returning an ancestral property to its original owner. Chazal are perhaps noting that this is even the case with something as seemingly trivial as ascribing proper authorship where due. As such, one could ...


10

The Maharal in Or Chadash on Megilas Esther explains that Hashem performs miracles in order to create a Kiddush Hashem. However, if the person involved in the rescue will take the credit then there is no Kiddush Hashem generated from this salvation, and it is therefore aborted. But, one who gives credit to whom it is due will surely make it known that it was ...


9

Like almost any good question in Judaism, there are a variety of opinions. I'll present a few here. In this case, though, I believe that the answers are not necessarily mutually exclusive: at the end of the day, everyone would agree to some extent that all of the following are noble motivations. As the Ben Ish Hai says in the beginning of Parshas Naso (2nd ...


9

Like Rambam, Ralbag also maintains that this incident did not occur in real life, and he explicitly discusses the view of the Sages: והנה דעת רבותינו ז”ל הוא שזה הענין היה כפשוטו ולזה אמרו שפי האתון הוא מן הדברים שנבראו בין השמשות והנראה בעינינו לפי השורשים האמיתיים הנראים מדברי הנבואה ומן העיון שזה הסיפור היה ענין שקרה לבלעם במראה הנבואה Behold, ...


8

The Maharal says that the twilight period before the first Shabbos has a dual quality. It is still Friday, so it is still a day of creation, but it is Shabbos, a day above creation. So the things created at that time are of a miraculous and not of the natural order, but are still creations of G-d. The Midrash Shmuel says that since Adam sinned before the ...


8

Depends on what you mean by "Tanna". Generally, in classic sources, the Anshei K'nesses HaGedola refers to the generation of Ezra and Nechemya that built the new community in Israel. Then Shimon HaTzaddik was the last surviving member of that generation. (This creates some chronology problems, but let's take this as a given anyway.) The Tannaim is the name ...


8

Rabbeinu Yonah writes that the 'them' is Shimon HaTzaddik and Antigonos. Before they studied under Antigonos they studied under Shimon HaTzaddik. It could also mean the Men of the Great Assembly (Tiferes Yisroel). Rashi sees them as students only of Antigonos. Some explain this to mean that 'them' implies the students of Antigonos and his court. It could be ...


7

A few points. 1 - Yabia Omer authored by Rabbi Yehuda Leib Grobart questions why does it say the disciples of Avraham and Bilaam and not Avraham and Bilaam themselves. He answers that Bilaam looked to an outsider like a complete Tzadik however he was a fraud. The only way to tell the difference was by their students and that is why it says the disciples of ...


7

In Maseches Kallah Rabosi (4:2) asks similar questions: 1) why does the Mishnah begin with a Golem, he should have begun with the Chochom (7 things of a Chochom and afterwards 7 things of a Golem)? 2) Why does he enumerate the 7 of the Chochom and not the 7 of the Golem? The Gemara answers: Because he wanted to state the advantages of the Chochom, and the ...


7

Chazal give a listing of the ten utterances is given in Bereishit Rabba 17:1, together with what to swap out. ויאמר ה' אלהים לא טוב היות תנינן: ‏ בעשרה מאמרות נברא העולם, ואלו הן: ‏ בראשית; ורוח אלהים מרחפת; ויאמר אלהים יהי אור; ויאמר אלהים יהי רקיע; ויאמר אלהים יקוו המים; ויאמר אלהים תדשא הארץ; ויאמר אלהים יהי מאורות; ...


7

This discrepancy is addressed in the footnotes of the collected lectures of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Likutei Sichos Vol. 17 p. 114 note 37 ועד"ז יש לבאר במאמר שמאי אבות פ"א מט"ו הוי מקבל את כל האדם בסבר פנים יפות אף שמצינו שהנהגתו היתה באופן הפכי בהנכרים שבאו להתגייר אצלו (שבת לא א) והרי במאמרו האדם (בה"א) כולל גם בני נח (תוד"ה ואין יבמות סא א) ...


6

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l in Igros Moshe, YD III, siman 87 (top left column) famously said that girls can learn pirkei avos: משום שהוא עניני מוסר והנהגות טובות יש ללמדם בהסבר לעוררן לאהבת תורה ולמדות טובות Because it inspires mussar (ethical self-improvement) and a good way to act. It must be taught in an explanation that inspires them to love Torah and ...


6

It seems to me that the key is "חִבָּה יְתֵרָה נוֹדַעַת לוֹ שֶׁנִּבְרָא בְצֶלֶם" In Bereishit 9, G-d is directly commanding mankind not to kill people, because they were created in the image of G-d. in other words, "נוֹדַעַת לוֹ". In Bereishit 1, G-d is either speaking to angels, or recording the fact, not directly telling it to us. I just saw the Midrash ...


6

The simple answer is that רַבָּנוּת doesn't mean "the rabbinate." The Israeli rabbinate of today is called רַבָּנוּת, but it didn't exist in antiquity. The closest thing to an official body of rabbis is the Sanhedrin or the court (בֵּית דִּין), which is not referred to as רַבָּנוּת. The sages as a whole were usually referred to as חֲכָמִים, sometimes ...


6

Bartenura in Yoma explains (based on the gemara to this mishnah) that ‘light’ commandments here means all positive mitzvot as well as negative mitzvot which are able to be subsequently ‘fixed’ (lav hanitak le’asei). ‘Severe’ transgressions includes the bulk of negative mitzvot (and within that set the gemara differentiates further depending on certain ...


6

So there are a few sources that point to the fact that one of the miracles of the luchos were that they could be rolled up (as per your assumption). Firstly, there is an intriguing פסוק in שיר השירים ה:יד: יָדָיו֙ גְּלִילֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב מְמֻלָּאִ֖ים בַּתַּרְשִׁ֑ישׁ מֵעָיו֙ עֶ֣שֶׁת שֵׁ֔ן מְעֻלֶּ֖פֶת סַפִּירִֽים׃ His hands are rods of gold, Studded with beryl; His ...


5

The Alter Rebbe in Hilchos Talmud Torah (4:3) defines Lishma as learning LeShem Shamayim - for the sake of heaven. In other words, to do what G-d wants, and not to receive a reward in this world or the next, or because of fear of punishment in this world or the next. Certainly not to be a "Gadol" or any other such intention to use the Torah, or to win ...


5

Torah L'shma is learning Torah for the sake of learning torah, to learn the Truth. And not, in contrast, to learning Torah in order to be exalted above creation, or to become like a powerful river, or in order to have all the secrets revealed. ;) The irony is lost on many.


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that there are three opinions as to what "Pen Tishkach" prohibits: Rambam doesn't count it as a Mitzva at all. Moreover, according to the Rambam, one doesn't have to learn Svara, just the final Halacha, so forgetting Bavli would be fine. Ramban says it refers to the giving of the Torah, and the Drash in Avos is an Asmachta and ...


5

Our Sages teach that "silence is a fence for wisdom" (Avos 3:13). Rabbeinu Yonah (ibid.) mentions two ways through which silence begets wisdom. Firstly, it trains a person to avoid interrupting his fellow or feeling like he has to speak up even if he does not know the answer to a question, and these qualities are conducive to wisdom. Secondly, as mentioned ...


5

The Baal Shem Tov: When silent one is able to think (about higher worlds - Mizritcher Maggid), which creates wisdom. (Slightly simplified). The Mizritcher Maggid: When silent he receives from levels higher than him, but when being a giver [speaking] he cannot be a receiver.


5

During last Shabbat's Pirkei Avot shiur in my shul, my rav cited something from Knesset Yisra'el (B"N, this Shabbat, when I see him, I will ask him to locate the exact place, so I can edit it, here. If someone else finds it, feel free to edit.) that says that since Pirkei Avot is a unique tractate in that it focuses on ethics and proper moral behavior, ...


5

The Ramchal in his book, Derech Hashem, understands the "Shechina" to be the revelation of G-d's presence. The Shechina is present in different degrees in various circumstances, including the ones you mention. The Shechinah is a perceivable phenomena. However, there are two major influences on the perception of the Shechinah: 1) The quality or degree of ...


5

Tora T'mima to Ester 2:22 (note 44) explains that the intent is obvious: From anything said in the name of its sayer, it's possible that over time some honorable matter will come about that one cannot foresee or assess ahead of time. And the one who said this used a language of "redemption" in light of the incident here.


5

Based on R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary on Shemot 6:2-5 and his citation there of Isaiah 52:6, I'd like to suggest that the ultimate Redemption can be identified with attribution of God as the Author of everything, and that perhaps, this concept motivates the Mishna's connection of citation to redemption. וָאֵרָ֗א אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק וְאֶֽל־...


5

See this Mishna Chala 5, 7: יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיוּ אֲרִיסִין לְנָכְרִים בְּסוּרְיָא, רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר מְחַיֵּב פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶם בַּמַּעַשְׂרוֹת וּבַשְּׁבִיעִית, וְרַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל פּוֹטֵר. רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, שְׁתֵּי חַלּוֹת בְּסוּרְיָא. וְרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, חַלָּה אֶחָת. אָחֲזוּ קֻלּוֹ שֶׁל רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל וְקֻלּוֹ שֶׁל רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר. ...


5

Chapter 13 He explains that one should see them self "כרשע" as having the capacity for sin and should never let their guard down. But not actually as a rasha.


5

SEE TOSFOS YOM_TOV on this mishnah HERE. והא דאמר בלשון תרגום עיין סוף מכילתין: - See my comments on 5:22 for why this mishna uses Aramaic. He sends to his comments HERE הפוך בה והפוך בה וכו' פי' הר"ב בתורה. וכתב במד"ש בשם רבינו אפרים שלפי שדברי תורה הן צורך גדול לבני אדם. היה אומר בלשון ארמי. שהיו הכל מכירין בו כשעלו מבבל וכן שנינו לעיל דלא ...


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