Talmud Tips

For the week ending 31 March 2018 / 15 Nisan 5778

Avoda Zara 65 - 71

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Rava said, “You have the fear of your king upon you, whereas we will not have the fear of a king upon us.”

The Sage Rava told this to a gentile governor named Bar Shishach, who challenged Rava regarding the pleasures of the Jewish People in the World-to-Come. Bar Shishach engaged himself in ultra-physical worldly pleasures, and taunted Rava, “Do you have something like this in your Afterlife?” Rava answered, “We have better than this!” Rava then told him how, as powerful as he was, he was still subservient to the fickleness of his king. The Jewish People, although we are certainly the People of the One true King Above, will not be subservient to any human power in the World-to-Come. (Our sugya cites answers that two other Sages, Rav Papi and Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak, say they would have given Bar Shishach replies from prophecies in Tehillim and Yeshayahu. Rava, instead, chose to offer a proof based on logic, rather than one requiring belief in the words of the Jewish prophets.)

  • Avoda Zara 65a

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