POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Bava Metzia 84
BAVA METZIA 81-85 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the
Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal
1) THE PHYSICAL BUILD OF VARIOUS CHACHAMIM
(a) R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon and R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi
were very fat; a Nochris taunted them - surely, your are
not the fathers of your wives' children. They refuted her
(b) Question: Why did they answer - "Al Ta'an Kesil k'Ivalto
(do not answer foolish words of a fool)"!
(c) Answer: To eliminate any doubt about their children.
(d) R. Yochanan: R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi's bicep or thigh
(Ritva) or daily food intake(Rabeinu Peretz) was like a
pouch of nine Kavim.
1. R. Yochanan's and Rav Papa's were also big (but not
(e) R. Yochanan was a remnant of the beautiful people of
Yerushalayim. One may get a taste of his beauty by seeing
light reflecting off a new silver vessel.
(f) Question: The beauty of Rav Kahana was a taste of the
beauty of R. Amah, whose beauty was a taste of the beauty
of Yakov Avinu, whose beauty was a taste of the beauty of
1. R. Yochanan is not listed!
(g) Answer: That is only because he lacked a beard (Rashi;
Maharsha - he had a radiant countenance, but the shape of
his face was not outstanding).
(h) R. Yochanan used to sit by the Mikveh when women would
return from immersing; they would see him, this would
cause their children to be beautiful and learn Torah like
(i) Rabanan: Aren't you afraid of Ayin ha'Ra?
(j) R. Yochanan: I descend from Yosef; Ayin ha'Ra does not
rule over his seed - "Alei Ayin";
1. (R. Avahu): We read this 'Olei Ayin' (they rise
above the (evil) eye).
(k) One day R. Yochanan was bathing in the Yarden river;
Reish Lakish (who was then a robber), struck by his
beauty, jumped across the river. R. Yochanan hoped to
channel Reish Lakish's strength to Torah; he offered -
'If you return to Torah, you may marry my sister, who is
more beautiful than I'.
2. (R. Yosi bar Chanina): We learn from "V'Yidgu
la'Rov" - just as fish are covered by water, they
are not in eye's scope - similarly, the seed of
Yosef are not in scope of Ayin ha'Ra.
(l) Reish Lakish agreed; he was unable to leap across the
river to get his vessels (the acceptance to learn sapped
his strength). R. Yochanan taught him, he became great in
Torah. One day they were learning about Tum'ah of
1. Question: When are the following considered
finished, that they receive Tum'ah? A sword, knife,
dagger, spear, sickle:
2. Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): When they are reheated in
3. Answer #2 (Reish Lakish): When they are burnished in
4. R. Yochanan: A robber knows about robbers' tools!
5. Reish Lakish was insulted; R. Yochanan felt bad, and
Reish Lakish fell sick. His wife asked R. Yochanan
to pray for Reish Lakish - if not for him, for her
son or herself (that they should not become an
orphan or widow).
6. R. Yochanan refused - "Azvah
Yesomecha...v'Almenosecha Alai Tivtachu" (I will
care for you).
7. Reish Lakish died; R. Yochanan missed him sorely.
Rabanan sent R. Elazar to replace him, for he was
very sharp. Whatever R. Yochanan said, he found a
support for it.
8. R. Yochanan: You are no replacement! Reish Lakish
would ask 24 questions on whatever I said, I would
give 24 answers, and learning increased;
i. You only support me - I already know that I
teach according to the Halacha!
9. R. Yochanan tore his clothing, cried and went crazy.
Rabanan requested mercy for him; he died.
2) R. ELAZAR B'REBBI SHIMON
(a) R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon was concerned, perhaps he handed
over a Tzadik; he requested afflictions. At night they
would put 60 felt blankets; by day they would pour over
him 60 basins of water, blood from his boils would fill
60 basins. His wife would make for him 60 types of food
from dates; he would recover. She would not let him go to
the Beis Medrash, lest the pressure aggravate his
(b) At night he would invite the afflictions; in the morning
he would expel them, lest they detract from his Torah.
Once his wife heard this; she was outraged that he caused
his own afflictions, which depleted her father's wealth.
She rebelled against him and went to her father's house.
Sailors (who were saved from mortal danger in his merit)
gave him a gift of 60 slaves bearing 60 wallets of money,
who prepared his special remedy.
(c) His wife asked her daughter to check on him. He told her
- we have more wealth than her father - "Mi'Merchak Tavi
Lachmah". He ate, drank and recovered; he went to the
Beis Medrash. Women came asking about blood stains of 60
different hues; he declared that all are Tahor.
1. Rabanan were skeptical; he said, 'If I am correct,
all 60 women should have male children' - it was
fulfilled, they called the children Elazar.
(d) Before he died, he told his wife: 'I know that many
Rabanan are angry at me (for handing over their
relatives), they would not eulogize me properly - leave
me in the attic and do not worry.
2. (Beraisa - Rebbi): The evil kingdom (Romi) withheld
the birth of many children by making R. Elazar seize
thieves (so he was unable to be in the Beis
(e) Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani: I heard second-hand from his
wife that he was there between 18 and 22 years. She would
check his hair - when a hair was taken from him, he would
bleed. One day she saw a worm coming from his ear - that
night, he explained to her in a dream, this was because
he once heard a Chacham shamed and did not protest
(f) People would come for judgment; they would state their
claims; a voice from the attic would give the verdict.
(g) Version #1: One day his wife quarreled with a neighbor;
she was cursed 'You should be like your husband,
unburied' - Rabanan heard, and decided that it is time to
(h) Version #2: R. Shimon (his father) came to Rabanan in a
dream, telling them that it is time to bury his son.
(i) The people of his city would not allow the burial, since
they were protected from beasts all the years he was in
the attic. On Erev Yom Kipur they were busy, and people
from a nearby village took the body. They brought him to
the cave where his father was buried; a snake guarded it
from outside. They asked permission to let the son come
to his father; the snake allowed them.
(j) Rebbi inquired to marry his widow; she refused, saying
that Rebbi is as Chulin compared to R. Elazar.
1. Rebbi: Granted, he was greater in Torah - but is
anyone greater in deeds than me?!
(k) Question: Why did Rebbi say that R. Elazar was greater
than him in Torah?
2. His widow: I did not know if he was greater in Torah
- but I know he is greater in deeds than you, he
accepted on himself afflictions!
(l) Answer: Rebbi and R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon used to sit on
the ground in front of R. Shimon ben Gamliel and R.
Yehoshua ben Korchah (and other Rabanan), who were on
benches. Rabanan learned much from Rebbi and R. Elazar,
they felt that they should also be on benches.
1. R. Shimon ben Gamliel: Perhaps Ayin ha'Ra will rule
over my son (Rebbi)!
(m) R. Elazar was insulted by the idea that Rebbi was
(equally important and therefore) prone to Ayin ha'Ra.
Previously, R. Elazar would support Rebbi's teachings;
2. R. Yehoshua: We must also be concerned for R.
1. Now, when Rebbi said he had a question, R. Elazar
would say 'This is what you want to ask; this
refutes you. You have asked enough question without
2. Rebbi was dejected. His father consoled him: do not
expect to be as great as him - his father was a
lion, I am a fox!