Talmud Tips

For the week ending 10 August 2013 / 3 Elul 5773

Pesachim 51 - 57

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Rabbi Yochanan taught, “One who provides merchandise to Torah scholars willmerit a place in the Heavenly Yeshiva, as it is written (Kohelet 7:12) ‘For in the shadow of wisdom is the shadow of money.”

Our gemara cites this teaching to show that “Todos the Roman” was a great man. Rabbi Yossi bar Avin stated that Todos provided merchandise to Torah scholars and this was evidence of his greatness in accordance with Rabbi Yochanan’s explanation of the verse above. Rashi explains that he provided them with the wares for doing business and earning a livelihood. Rashi also explains the verse as teaching that the special place of Torah scholars with their wisdom in the Heavenly Yeshiva – “the shadow of wisdom” – will allow entrance to those who helped support the scholars financially – “the shadow of money.”

  • Pesachim 53b

"Baruch shem kevod malchuto l'olam va'ed." (Blessed is the Name of the glory of His kingdom forever.) What is the origin of our saying these words after saying the first verse of the Shema prayer?

Our daf explains that the origin of our saying this “addition” to the Shema is based on a dialogue between Yaakov and his sons. Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish explains as follows:

When Yaakov called his sons to his deathbed to reveal to them what would be in the end of days, he was surprised that the Divine Presence departed from him and rendered him unable to do so. He was concerned that this occurred because perhaps one of his children was blemished in his beliefs that were taught by Yaakov to his children (such as was the case with Avraham and Yitzchak). They all reassured him, however, "Hear, our father Yisrael (Yaakov) ..." - their loyalty to the One true G-d was equal to their father’s loyalty. Yaakov’s responded with relief and praise of G-d by saying, "Baruch shem kevod malchuto l'olam va'ed " – a practice that we continue today.

  • Pesachim 56a

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