Weekly Daf #366

The Color of Heaven Artscroll

The Weekly Daf by Rav Mendel Weinbach

Gittin 5 - 11; Issue #366
Week of 19 - 25 Shevat 5761 / February 12 - 18, 2001

Dedicated in loving memory of our mother and grandmother
Miriam Roseman bas Yisrael z"l -- 28 Shevat 5759

This publication is also available in the following formats: [Text] Explanation of these symbols

Speaking Softly

Our sages instructed a man to say three things in his household on Erev Shabbat before nightfall:

  1. Have you tithed?
  2. Have you made an eruv (to permit carrying from one house to another within the same courtyard)
  3. Light the candles.

All three of these reminders of preparations which must be made before the advent of Shabbat, says the Sage Rabba bar Bar Chana, should be said gently in order that they will be well received by the wife and anyone charged with these responsibilities. When this statement came to the attention of Rabbi Ashi, he declared that even before hearing this in the name of Rabba bar Bar Chana he practiced this policy based on his own understanding.

Maharsha raises the question that Rabba bar Bar Chana also gave his advice based on his own understanding and not from any mishnaic source. What then did Rabbi Ashi mean by stressing that it was he who practiced if from his own understanding?

His answer is that there is a difference in the reason given by each of these sages for issuing those three reminders gently. Rabbah bar Bar Chana was concerned that a reminder issued in rough fashion might actually be counterproductive. In order for each of these three preparations for Shabbat to be effectively executed, the head of the household must appoint an agent to act in his behalf. If he does not speak gently to the agent he appoints, that agent may refuse to accept the appointment and thus render the tithing, eruv or candle-lighting ineffective.

Rabbi Ashi, however, approached the need for gentleness from an entirely different angle. Even if it is certain that the members of the household will accept the appointment as agents for these preparations out of respect for the head of the household, Rabbi Ashi practiced a policy of issuing such orders gently out of his own understanding that a man should always speak gently to people in all situations.

This last point of Maharsha is obviously based on what our sages tell us (Mesechta Yoma 86a) that the ideal behavior of a Torah scholar includes speaking gently to everyone.

Gittin 7a

Greater Eretz Yisrael

Syria was conquered by King David and annexed to Eretz Yisrael. Did Syria thus acquire the status of Eretz Yisrael or was it still considered chutz la'aretz (outside the Land)?

This depends, says the gemara, on whether we consider conquest by an individual as the kind of conquest which makes territory an integral part of Eretz Yisrael.

But why is David's conquest of Syria considered conquest by an individual when it was done by the king of the nation?

Rashi's explanation focuses on the manner in which this conquest was carried out while Tosefot stresses its timing.

Conquest by the nation which can transform a territory beyond the borders into the status of Eretz Yisrael, says Rashi, depends on two factors which were present in the initial conquest of the land by Yehoshua. The entire nation must be involved in the war and the territory must be acquired for the use of the nation at large. In the case of Syria the conquest was a private venture of David, utilizing only a portion of the national force and dedicated to providing territory for royal rather than national utilization.

Tosefot, however, cites a Midrashic source (Sifrei, Devarim 11:24) which criticizes David's conquest of Syria while he had still not driven out the Jebusites around Jerusalem. Said Hashem to David: "How dare you go and conquer Syria and Mesopotamia when you have not yet conquered those near your own palace!"

On the basis of this Sifrei, Tosefot concludes that after all of Eretz Yisrael was indeed conquered, the Torah's promise that "Wherever you shall tread shall be yours" (Devarim 11:24) means that territory conquered even by an individual like David also has the status of Eretz Yisrael.

Gittin 8b

General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Production Design: Michael Treblow

© 2001 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved. This publication may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission, and then send us a sample issue.
This publication is available via E-Mail

Ohr Somayach Institutions is an international network of Yeshivot and outreach centers, with branches in North America, Europe, South Africa and South America. The Central Campus in Jerusalem provides a full range of educational services for over 685 full-time students.

The Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) of Ohr Somayach offers summer and winter programs in Israel that attract hundreds of university students from around the world for 3 to 8 weeks of study and touring.

Copyright © 2001 Ohr Somayach International. Send us feedback.
Dedication opportunities are available for Weekly Daf. Please contact us for details.
Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.