TalmuDigest

For the week ending 5 September 2009 / 15 Elul 5769

Bava Batra 16 - 22

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • More about the trials of Iyov
  • Death of the very righteous
  • Environmental hazards to be avoided
  • The bees and the neighbor's mustard plants
  • Threats to a neighbor's wall
  • Barriers against spread of ritual contamination
  • Neighbor's objection to fumes or noise
  • The birth of public education of Torah
  • Rules of competition in business and education
  • The special rights of a Torah scholar
  • Whose curse caused the death of Rabbi Ada bar Abba
  • Protecting the wall and privacy of a neighbor

From Zion Shall Go Forth Torah

  • Bava Batra 21a

When Yehoshua ben Gamla pioneered public education for children who had no fathers to teach them Torah he first established a yeshiva for them in Yerushalayim.

In explanation of this choice of a site the gemara quotes the well-known passage "From Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of G-d from Yerushalayim." (Yeshayahu 2:3)

Why Yerushalayim was so ideal for the study of Torah is elaborated upon by Tosefot. The student in Yerushalayim was exposed to a high level of spirituality and witnessed the kohanim performing their sacred service in the Beit Hamikdash. This experience made him more attuned to the fear of Heaven and the study of Torah.

Tosefot adds that this also explains what the Sages say about the mitzvah of consuming the second tithe of agricultural produce in Yerushalayim leading to Torah study. Since a Jew from anywhere would remain in Yerushalayim until he finished consuming this almost ten percent of his produce four years of every seven-year cycle, he would see so many people involved in sacred matters and would become motivated towards fear of Heaven and the study of Torah.

What the Sages Say

"G-d created the yetzer hara (the evil inclination) and He created Torah as the antidote."

  • The Sage Rava - Bava Batra 16a

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