Talmud Tips

For the week ending 10 September 2016 / 7 Elul 5776

Bava Kama 100 - 106

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Rav Yosef taught (the meaning of the verse in Ex. 18:20, when Yitro advised his son-in-law Moshe Rabbeinu on how to lead the Jewish People): “You will shall make known to them” — this refers to teaching them Torah (Rashi) — “the way” — this refers to doing acts of kindness for others — “they should go” — this refers to visiting the sick — “in it” — this refers to helping to bury one in need — “and the deed” — this refers to acting according to the law — “they shall do” – this refers to acting beyond the letter of the law.

How does “the way” indicate teaching to do acts of kindness to others? Instead of saying “derech” — “way”, the Torah states “ha-derech” — “the way”. The definitive designation of the way communicates the sense of the ultimate way, the way of G-d. Walking in the way of G-d, say our Sages, means emulating “His way” — by clothing the naked as He did for Adam and Chava, visiting the sick as He did for Avraham Avinu, burying the dead as He did for Moshe, and comforting the mourners as He did for Yitzchak Avinu. (Maharsha)

  • Bava Kama 100a

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