Chanukas Hatorah - Shabbos

Why is the reward for one who delights in the Shabbos unlimited?

On Daf 118a it says that one who delights in the Shabbos is given an unlimited inheritance, as it says in Yeshayohu 58:14 “Then you will delight in Hashem and I will make you ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the inheritance of Ya’akov, your father”.

This reward of unlimited inheritance is the only reward possible for those who delight in the Shabbos, because the gemora further on which says that one who delights in the Shabbos is given the desires of his heart appears to be problematic, because how is it possible to satisfy the desires of a person? We know that the more that a person is given, the more he wants - as Chazal taught "Someone who has a hundred wants two hundred". And they also taught that "the more property that one has, the greater the worry", because the increase in his property causes him to desire and worry even more since "no person dies with even half his desires being fulfilled".

However, by giving him an unlimited inheritance all the desires of his heart will be fulfilled, because it is not possible to desire more since what he already has is completely unlimited!

How does R. Elazar learn that even speech is forbidden on Shabbos?

On Daf 119b it writes that R. Elazar said : From where do we know that speaking is like doing as regards resting on Shabbos? From that which it says “By the word of Hashem the heavens were made” (Tehillim 33:6).

This teaching is difficult to understand, but it seems to me that he is referring to the holiness of Shabbos and teaching us that even speech is considered profane and therefore forbidden on Shabbos. Because it is clear from the posuk “observe My Shabbosos” (Shemos 31:13) that Hashem commanded us to observe Shabbos in the same way that He Himself observes Shabbos - “observe [the way I keep] My Shabbosos”. Because when Hashem created the world He did not perform any actions, but rather “by the word of Hashem the heavens were created”. Thus, when He rested on the seventh day He rested from speaking.

This is what R. Elazar is teaching, that from the posuk “by the word of Hashem the heavens were created” we see that He created the world using only speech, and yet He rested on Shabbos. If so, it is clear that we have to rest on Shabbos even from speaking, because it says “observe My Shabbosos”.

Why did Rashi tell us the identity of the pious man who redeemed a Jewish maiden?

On Daf 127b it says that a certain pious man once redeemed a Jewish maiden from captivity, and at his lodgings he made her lie down at his feet. The next day he went down to the mikveh and immersed himself, and then learned Torah with his students. He asked them: When I made her lie at my feet, of what did you suspect me? They answered: We thought that perhaps there is amongst us a student whose moral character had not yet been ascertained by the Rebbe. He asked further: When I went down to the mikveh and immersed myself, of what did you suspect me? We thought that perhaps due to the exertions of the journey, a seminal emission had happened to the Rebbe whilst he was asleep. He exclaimed: By the Temple Service, this is exactly the case. And just as you have judged me favorably, so may Hashem judge you favorably!

Rashi explains here that wherever it says in the gemora "a certain pious man once" it refers to either R. Yehudah ben Bava or R. Yehudah bar R. Illai. But this Rashi is problematic - why did he not explain this before, for example on the gemora in Berachos 18b which brings the story of a certain pious man who once gave a dinar to a poor person? Or on Daf 32b which writes about a certain pious man who was once greeted by a noble whilst he was praying, and he did not immediately return the greeting? In both those places Rashi gave no explanation as to the identity of the pious man!

The answer is that only here was it necessary to explain the identity of that certain pious man, because the gemora in Berachos 22a teaches that one who has had a seminal emission is allowed to learn Torah. If so, why did that pious man need to immerse himself in the mikveh before he could learn Torah with his students? Therefore, Rashi had to explain here that the pious man was R. Yeudah bar R. Illai, who is more commonly mentioned in the gemora as just R. Yehudah, and he holds in that gemora in Berachos that one who has had a seminal emission is forbidden to learn Torah until he immerses in a mikveh. Thus in accordance with his own ruling he needed to immerse.

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