Talmud Tips

For the week ending 3 October 2020 / 15 Tishri 5781

Eruvin 58-85

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Rabbi Shmuel bar Inia said in the name of Rav, “Torah study is more important than offering sacrifices.”

  • Eruvin 63b

This was Rav Chisda’s reply to his daughter’s amazement at her father’s lack of sleep. She noticed that he was not sleeping much, so that he could have more waking time to pursue his Torah study — and asked about his need for sleep.

Maharsha explains how days can be both long and short, as expressed in Rav Chisda’s reply to his daughter. “Long,” he explains, refers to the eternal of the Afterlife, which is described in the Torah as “the length of days,” and is earned by living in accordance with the teachings of the Torah. The ability to earn that reward, however, is available only during a person’s life in this world. The Maharsha completes his explanation by teaching that the word "short" said by Rabbi Chisda refers to the lack of any opportunity to earn reward after a person’s life in this world is concluded.

Here we gain great insight into Rav Chisda’s perspective on life in this world and in the Afterlife — a perspective that explains why he did not “waste time” on sleep when at the expense of earning eternal reward.

  • Eruvin 65a

Rav said, "Where a person eatsdetermines his residence in regard to the halacha of eruv (i.e. eruv techumin, to be able to carry an additional 2,000 amahs outside the city on Shabbat).” Shmuel said, “Where a person sleepsdetermines his residence regarding the halacha of eruv.”

  • Eruvin 73a

Rav Yosef said, “There is always room in the stomach for tasty food!”

This statement on our daf, which seems to be the basis for the famous advertising slogan, “There’s always room for Jell-O™,” is actually a folk-saying that Rav Yosef cited to explain why we eat more on Shabbat than on weekdays.

  • Eruvin 82b

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