TalmuDigest

For the week ending 3 March 2012 / 8 Adar I 5772

Temurah 16 - 22

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
  • The forgotten halachot and their recall
  • When rich and poor in Torah meet
  • The atonement sacrifices which cannot be offered
  • The differences between an animal consecrated as a sacrifice and one that achieves such status through exchange
  • Making an exchange through an error
  • Which animals can never achieve sacrificial status
  • The status of offspring or exchange of a sacrificial animal
  • If one designated a female animal for a sacrifice which requires a male
  • The lost sin offering and its replacement

Turning the Tables

"A man poor in Torah knowledge meets a man with moderate knowledge" is how our gemara interprets a passage in Mishlei (29:13) and elaborates on the nature of their meeting. The poor man asks the other to teach him Torah. If he does so the result is the second half of that passage: "G-d brightens the eyes of both of them."

Should he refuse to teach him, the result is described in another passage (ibid. 22:2): "The wealthy man and the poor one meet; G-d creates both of them." This means that the Creator recreates both of them, making the ignorant man wise and the knowledgeable one foolish.

Maharsha explains that in the first case both teacher and student grow in their wisdom in accordance with what the Sages say that one learns more from his students than he does from his teachers.

In the case where the wealthy man – the teacher – refuses to teach a poor man – the student – because he feels there is nothing he can gain from such an effort, he is denied by Heaven from gaining knowledge through any effort. The poor man who has such a desire to learn will be blessed by Heaven with success in gaining the knowledge he seeks.

The gemara goes on to apply the same to a poor man seeking financial help from a man of means. If he helps him he will be blessed with even greater wealth. But if he refuses the tables are turned by G-d Who creates rich and poor.

  • Temurah 16a

What the Sages Say

" The Torah is not in Heaven!"

  • Yeshoshua (when asked to petition G-d to restore the 3,000 halachot forgotten during the mourning for Moshe) - Temurah 16a

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