Daf Yomi

For the week ending 4 September 2004 / 18 Elul 5764

Erachin 16 - 22

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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When It Is Time to Leave

When the Patriarch Avraham returned to Eretz Yisrael from his sojourn in Egypt the Torah tells us that "he followed the route of his earlier travel" and that he rested in "the place where he had previously dwelled" (Bereishet 13:3).

Our Talmudic Sages saw in this behavior of Avraham a lesson for all generations that one should not be quick to switch from his guest quarters, whether it be a hotel or the home of a host. The reason given is that abandoning ones customary lodging harms the reputation of both the host and the guest since people who observe such an action interpret it as an indication that both parties are difficult to get along with.

There is, however, a limit to such consideration. There is a consensus among the Sages that if the host violently demonstrates his displeasure with the guests continued presence by either physically abusing him or forcefully removing his belongings, there is no point in the guests prolonging his stay. There is a disagreement, however, as to whether the hosts abusing "his wife" is also a cause to leave. Rashis explanation of "his wife" as a reference to the guests wife is challenged by Maharsha. How is it possible, he asks, for one of the Sages to suggest that the guest may remain indifferent to the suffering of his wife and to stay in the lodging when our Sages have commanded us that a man is supposed to honor his wife even more than himself?

An interesting suggestion is humbly made by Eitz Yossef to solve this problem. "His wife", he suggests, is not a reference to the guests wife but rather to the hosts wife. Such abuse is presumably the result of a sharp clash with her husband over extending the stay of the guest. In opposition to the opinion that a guest can remain indifferent to such a situation not directly harming him, one Sage advises the guest to leave because he will inevitably be drawn into a conflict with his host.

  • Erachin 16b

How Long Is That Year?

The animals offered as daily sacrifices in the Beit Hamikdash were "one year old lambs" (Bamidbar 28:3).

Is this year calculated according to the age of the animal or does the beginning of a new calendar year on the Rosh Hashana after the birth determine the end of its first year?

Our Sages taught us that the animals actual age is the determinant and not the calendar. The source for this ruling, explains Rabbi Acha bar Yaakov, is that passage describing the sacrifice offered by a woman after childbirth. She is instructed to offer a "lamb in its first year as an olah sacrifice" (Vayikra 12:6). The stress on its first year is an indication that the year in question is a reference to the actual age of the animal and is not affected by the beginning of a new calendar year in the middle of its first year.

Why is it necessary to teach us this through this passage asks Tosefot. If an animal born in the middle of the year became two years old on Rosh Hashana, how would we ever be able to have a one-year old lamb for the daily sacrifice on Rosh Hashana itself? If it was born before Rosh Hashana it already became a two-year old with the beginning of the new year and if it was born on Rosh Hashana itself, it would not yet have reached the minimum age of eligibility which is the eighth day!

The answer given by Tosefot is that while it is true that such reasoning would have led us to the conclusion that the year mentioned in the Torah is a reference to the actual age of the animal, we would still not have known that this year ends exactly to the hour of the day when the animal was born. It was therefore necessary to teach us through the above passage stressing its first year that the year ends to the exact day and hour.

  • Erachin 18b

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