Talmud Tips

For the week ending 19 April 2014 / 19 Nisan 5774

Beitza 21 - 27

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

“One should not drink his cup down in one gulp, and if he does so he is a ‘guzzler’; two gulps is the normal way; and one who finishes it in three is from the haughty ones.”

This beraita in our gemara catagorizes three various types of drinkers (of wine). These three types are codified in the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim (170:8) as the halacha according to Rabbi Yosef Karo (“The Mechaber”, author). Rabbi Moshe Isserles, however, writes that if the cup is very small (less than a revi’it) it is permitted to drink it in one go. And likewise, if the cup is very big, three or four gulps are certainly acceptable. The Mishna Berura there (22) adds that if the wine is sweet or the person has a large stomach it is also okay to drink the cup in one time.

  • Beitza 25b

"Why was the Torah given to the Jewish People? Because they are the boldest (brazen) of all nations."

The above statement is taught on our daf in the name of the Tana Rabbi Meir. Why is boldness a reason to receive the Torah? One reason is that it weakens the strength of one who learns it and humbles the heart of the person to rely on G-d (Rashi). Another reason is that “One who is shy (not bold) will not learn Torah” as Hillel taught in Pirkei Avot (2:6), and only a person who speaks up to ask in order to understand will learn Torah properly (Maharsha).

  • Beitza 25b

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