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ללומדים דף יומי בלילה - איזה דף אתם לומדים?




 

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he has increased his obligation to them, since if he had meant to give them no more than the accepted amount, he would not have made any stipulation at all. The mishna then continues: And there is also a supporting incident involving Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Matya, who said to his son: Go out and hire laborers for us. His son went, hired them, and pledged to provide sustenance for them as a term of their employment, without specifying the details. And when he came back to his father and reported what he had done, Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Matya said to him: My son, even if you were to prepare a feast for them like that of King Solomon in his time, you would not have fulfilled your obligation to them, as they are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that the feast of Abraham, our forefather, was superior to that of King Solomon? But isn’t it written: “And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal; ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, beside harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fatted fowl” (I Kings 5:2–3). And Guryon ben Asteyon says in the name of Rav: These measures of flour mentioned in the verse were used merely for the bakers’ well-worked dough [la’amilan] that was placed in the pot to absorb the steam. And Rabbi Yitzḥak says: These measures of flour were used for meat pudding, a mixture of wine, flour, and leftover meat, in a pot.

And Rabbi Yitzḥak further says: King Solomon had one thousand wives, each one of whom would prepare for him at her home a feast of such proportions. What is the reason that they did this? This wife reasoned: Perhaps he will feast with me today, and that wife reasoned: Perhaps he will feast with me today. But with regard to Abraham, it is written: “And Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good” (Genesis 18:7), and Rav Yehuda says that Rav says, in explanation of the verse: “A calf” indicates one; the word “tender” means an additional one, i.e., two; “and good” indicates yet another one. This makes a total of three calves, a considerably smaller feast than that of Solomon.

The Gemara answers: There, with regard to Abraham, he prepared three oxen for three people, whereas here, in the case of Solomon, his wives would prepare a feast for the entire realms of Israel and Judah, as it is stated: “Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry” (I Kings 4:20). Abraham’s feast was proportionately greater than that of Solomon.

With regard to the verse cited in relation to King Solomon, the Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the term “fatted fowl [avusim]”? Rav says: It means that they are fed [ovsim] by force. Shmuel says: It means that they were fattened [avusim] and maintained on their own accord, i.e., they were naturally fat. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Solomon’s feasts were of fine quality because they would bring from his herd an ox that had never been forced to work, and they would also bring a hen from its coop that had never been forced to lay eggs, and use those for the cuisine.

The Gemara cites a related statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The choicest of cattle is the ox. The choicest of fowl is the hen. With regard to the type of hen to which this is referring, Ameimar says: It is a fattened, black hen [zagta] that is found among the wine vats, which consumes so many grape seeds that it cannot take a step the length of a reed, due to its corpulence.

The Gemara returns to discuss the verse in Genesis: “And Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good” (Genesis 18:7). Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: “A calf” is one; “tender” indicates an additional one, i.e., two; “and good” indicates another one, for a total of three calves. The Gemara asks: But why not say that the verse is referring to only one calf, as people say when describing a single item that it is tender and good?

The Gemara answers: If so, let the verse write: Tender, good. What is the significance of the term “and good,” which indicates an addition? Conclude from this that the verse is stated for the purpose of an exposition and is referring to more than one calf. The Gemara challenges: But one can still say there were only two calves. The Gemara answers: From the fact that the word “good” is written for an exposition, to include an additional calf, it may be inferred that the term “tender” is also written for an exposition and indicates yet another calf.

Rabba bar Ulla raises an objection, and some say it is Rav Hoshaya, and some say it is Rav Natan, son of Rabbi Hoshaya, who raises the objection: The verse states: “And he gave it to the servant; and he hastened to prepare it” (Genesis 18:7). The singular term “it” indicates that there was only one calf. The Gemara answers: Abraham gave each and every calf to one servant, i.e., he gave the three calves to three different servants. The Gemara raises a question from the verse: “And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them” (Genesis 18:8), which again indicates that there was only one calf. The Gemara responds: The verse means that as each calf arrived prepared, he brought it before them, and he did not serve all three calves at once.

The Gemara asks: And why do I need three calves? One calf should be sufficient for three guests. Rav Ḥanan bar Rava said: Abraham prepared three calves in order to feed the guests three tongues with mustard, a particular delicacy. With regard to this incident, Rabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥanilai says: A person should never deviate from the local custom, as Moses ascended to heaven on high and did not eat bread while he was there, whereas the ministering angels descended down to this world, as guests visiting Abraham, and they ate bread. You say: And they ate bread? Can it enter your mind that they actually ate food? Rather, say that they merely appeared as though they ate and drank.

Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: Every action that Abraham performed himself for the ministering angels, the Holy One, Blessed be He, performed Himself for Abraham’s descendants. And every action that Abraham performed through a messenger, the Holy One, Blessed be He, likewise performed for his descendants through a messenger.

The Gemara elaborates: With regard to Abraham, the verse states: “And Abraham ran to the herd” (Genesis 18:7), bringing the meat himself, and in reference to God’s actions for Abraham’s descendants the verse states: “And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought across quails from the sea” (Numbers 11:31), that God brought meat to them. In reference to Abraham, the verse states: “And he took curd and milk” (Genesis 18:8), and God says to the Jewish people: “Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4), which shows that God gave food to the Jewish people.

With regard to Abraham, the verse states: “And he stood by them under the tree, and they ate” (Genesis 18:8), and in reference to God, the verse states: “Behold, I will stand before you there upon the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and there shall come water out of it” (Exodus 17:6). In the case of Abraham it is written: “And Abraham went with them to bring them on the way” (Genesis 18:16), and the verse states: “And the Lord went before them by day” (Exodus 13:21).

By contrast, Abraham performed certain actions through an agent. He said: “Let now a little water be fetched” (Genesis 18:4), and correspondingly the verse states in reference to Moses, God’s messenger: “And you shall strike the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink” (Exodus 17:6).

The Gemara notes: And in stating this, Rav disagrees with that statement of Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. As Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says, and likewise the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: In reward for three acts of hospitality that Abraham performed for the angels, his descendants merited three rewards. The Gemara elaborates: In reward for providing them with curd and milk, the Jewish people merited the manna; in reward for: “And he stood [omed] by them,” the Jews merited the pillar [amud] of cloud; in reward for Abraham saying: “Let now a little water be fetched,” they merited the well of Miriam. This statement does not distinguish between actions performed by Abraham himself and those performed by means of a messenger.

The Gemara continues its analysis of the verse: “Let now a little water be fetched and wash your feet” (Genesis 18:4). Rabbi Yannai, son of Rabbi Yishmael, said that the guests said to Abraham: Are you suspicious that we are Arabs who bow to the dust of their feet? Yishmael has already issued from him, i.e., your own son acts in this manner.

§ The Gemara expounds another verse involving Abraham: “And the Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day” (Genesis 18:1). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “the heat of the day”? Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: That day was the third day after Abraham’s circumcision, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, came to inquire about the well-being of Abraham. The Holy One, Blessed be He, removed the sun from its sheath in order not to bother that righteous one with guests, i.e., God made it extremely hot that day to allow Abraham to recover from his circumcision, as he would not be troubled by passing travelers whom he would invite into his tent.

Despite the intense heat, Abraham wanted to invite guests. He sent Eliezer his slave to go outside to see if there were any passersby. Eliezer went out but did not find anyone. Abraham said to him: I do not believe you. The Gemara comments: This demonstrates the popular adage that people there, i.e., in Eretz Yisrael, say: Slaves do not have any credibility. The Gemara continues: Abraham himself went out and saw the Holy One, Blessed be He, standing at the entrance to his tent. This is as it is written: “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your eyes, do not leave Your servant” (Genesis 18:3), i.e., God’s presence was there, and Abraham asked Him for permission to attend to the travelers.

Once God saw Abraham tying and untying the bandage on his circumcision, God said: It is not proper conduct to stand here, i.e., it is not respectful to Abraham even for God to stand there. This is as it is written: “And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood over him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them” (Genesis 18:2). The verse first states that they stood over him, and then it says that he ran to meet them. The Gemara reconciles this apparent contradiction: Initially, they came and stood over him. Upon seeing that he was in pain, they said: It is not proper conduct to stand here.

The Gemara continues: Who are these three men? They are the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael: Michael, who came to announce to Sarah that she was to give birth to a son; Raphael, who came to heal Abraham after his circumcision; and Gabriel, who went to overturn Sodom. The Gemara asks: But it is written: “And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening” (Genesis 19:1). The Gemara answers that Michael went along with Gabriel to Sodom to save Lot. The Gemara notes: The language is also precise, as it is written: “And he overturned those cities” (Genesis 19:25), and it is not written: They overturned those cities. Conclude from it that only one angel overturned Sodom.

The Gemara asks: What is different with regard to the incident involving Abraham, where the angels acquiesced immediately to his request to remain with him, as it is written: “So do, as you have said” (Genesis 18:5), and what is different with regard to Lot, where they first displayed reluctance, as it is written:

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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