POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Bava Metzia 85
BAVA METZIA 81-85 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the
Dafyomi publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal
1) REBBI'S AFFLICTIONS
(a) Rebbi: There were three humble people: my father (as in
the above episode), Benei Beseirah, and Yonason the son
2) TEACHING OTHERS' CHILDREN
1. Benei Beseira - they were the Nesi'im, and they
appointed Hillel Nasi in their place.
(b) Rebbi saw the greatness of afflictions (they protected R.
Elazar from decaying), he accepted six years of a kidney
stone, and seven years of thrush (a mouth disease); some
2. Yonason - he told David "Ata Timloch...Ehyeh Lecha
3. Question: Perhaps that was not from humility, rather
because he saw that Yisrael supported David!
4. Question: Also, perhaps Benei Beseira did not
appoint Hillel from humility, rather because they
saw that he was greater (and they were embarrassed
because they had to ask him questions)!
5. We have no challenge to the proof of R. Shimon ben
(c) The stableboy who took care of Rebbi's horses became
richer (from the manure) than Shevor Malka. When he would
give fodder to the animals, their voices would be heard
for 3 Mil. He would give when Rebbi went to relieve
himself (to try to cover up Rebbi's pain) - it did not
help, Rebbi's voice was louder, people going to sea would
(d) Still, R. Elazar's afflictions were greater than Rebbi's,
for R. Elazar's came and left through love, Rebbi's came
and left through incidents.
1. A calf was being taken to slaughter; it put its head
under Rebbi's garment and cried.
(e) All the years of R. Elazar's afflictions, no one died
before his allotted years; all the years of Rebbi's
afflictions, the world did not need rain.
2. Rebbi: Go - you were created to be slaughtered!
i. It was decreed in Heaven - since he was not
merciful, he will be afflicted.
3. (The incident through which they left): Rebbi's
slave was cleaning the house; she was about to clear
out some baby rats; Rebbi stopped her - "V'Rachamav
Al Kol Ma'asav".
i. It was decreed in Heaven - since he was
merciful, his afflictions will cease.
1. (Rabah bar Rav Shila): A rainy day is as harsh as a
day of judgment.
(f) In spite of the lack of rain, when a radish was uprooted,
its cavity was full of water.
2. (Ameimar): If the world did not need rain so much,
Chachamim would pray that it cease.
(a) Rebbi went to the city of R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon,
asking if he had left a son. The answer was yes - and the
harlots would pay his son (more than they would charge)!
Rebbi gave him the title of 'Rebbi', and had R. Shimon
ben Isi teach him.
3) APPRECIATING TORAH
1. Every day the son wanted to return home. R. Shimon
ben Isi told him, they put a gold garment on you and
call you Rebbi - how can you speak of going home?!
(b) When the son died, they brought him to his father's cave;
the snake was guarding it. They asked permission to let
the son come to his father; the snake did not allow them
2. The son swore not to ask to go home again.
3. When he grew up, he sat in Rebbi's academy. Rebbi
heard a voice similar to R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon's;
they told him, it was his son.
4. Rebbi - "Pri Tzadik Etz Chayim" - this is R. Yosi
b'Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon; "v'Loke'ach Nefashos
Chacham" - this is R. Shimon ben Isi.
(c) People thought that this was because his father was
greater; a voice from Heaven said no - rather, because
the father suffered being in a cave for 13 years (when
the Roman's sought to kill R. Shimon), the son did not.
(d) Rebbi went to the city of R. Tarfon, asking if he had
left a son (R. Tarfon used to swear, 'I will kill my
children (if this is false)'. He was told, he left no
sons, but his daughter has a son; the harlots would pay
his son more than they would charge.
(e) Rebbi offered to marry his daughter to him if he would
repent; he did.
1. Some say, he married Rebbi's daughter, then divorced
her; others say, he never married her, so people
would not say that he repented just to marry her.
(f) Why did Rebbi take such pains for other people's
(g) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Anyone who teaches Torah to
another's child, he merits to sit in the Heavenly academy
- "Lefanai Ta'amod";
1. Anyone who teaches Torah to an ignoramus' child,
harsh decrees against him are torn up - "Totzi Yakar
mi'Zolel K'Fi Tiheyeh" (if you take dearness from
disgrace, you will be as My mouth (to nullify My
(h) (R. Parnach): Any Chacham whose son and grandson are
Chachamim, Torah will never cease from his seed -
"Mi'Picha umi'Pi Zaracha umi'Pi Zera Zaracha Amar Hash-m
me'Atah v'Ad Olam"
(i) Question: Why does it say "Amar Hash-m"?
(j) Answer: Hash-m made himself a guarantor for this.
(k) Question: Why does it say "me'Atah v'Ad Olam"?
(l) Answer (R. Yirmeyah): From now on, Torah returns to its
(m) Rav Yosef fasted 40 fasts in order that Torah should
never cease from his seed; he was shown (in a dream) "Lo
1. He fasted another 40 fasts; he was shown "Lo Yamush
Mi'Picha umi'Pi Zaracha";
(n) When R. Zeira came to Eretz Yisrael, he fasted 100 (or
40) fasts in order that he should forget the
(argumentative) Gemara he learned in Bavel, in order that
it not distract him (from the more straightforward
approach of Eretz Yisrael);
2. He fasted another 100 (Maharshal - 40) fasts; he was
shown "Lo Yamush Mi'Picha umi'Pi Zaracha umi'Pi Zera
i. Rav Yosef: I need not fast any more - from now
on, Torah returns to its host.
1. He fasted another 100 (40) in order that R. Elazar
(ben Pedas) should not die in R. Zeira's lifetime,
lest communal concerns fall upon himself;
2. He fasted another 100 (40) in order that he should
not be subjected to the fire of Gehinom.
3. Every 30 days he would check if he is fitting for
this: he would ignite a furnace and sit inside - it
did not harm him.
4. Once, Rabanan were envious - this caused his garment
to be burned.
(a) (Rav Yehudah): "Al Mah Ovdah Ha'aretz" (why did the
Churban come?) - "Mi ha'Ish he'Chacham" (Chachamim could
not answer) "va'Asher Diber Pi Hash-m Elav" (the prophets
could not answer) until "Va'Yomer Hash-m Al Azvam Es
Torasi Asher Nosati Lifneihem" (Hash-m explained, because
they abandoned My Torah).
(b) (Rav Yehudah): They did not bless (Hash-m for giving us
the Torah) before learning (this shows, they did not
appreciate it properly).
4) THE GREATENESS OF R. CHIYA
(c) (Rav Chama): "B'lev Navon Tanu'ach Chochmah" - Torah
rests in the heart of a Chacham whose father was a
Chacham (i.e., he does not flaunt it);
1. "Uv'Kerev Kesilim Tivada" - if an ignoramus' son
learns Torah, he glorifies himself.
(d) Question (R. Yirmeyah): "Koton v'Gadol Sham Hu v'Eved
Chafshi me'Adonav" - obviously, great and small people go
to the grave!
2. (Ula): A lone coin in a flask makes noise (a flask
full of coins does not).
(e) Answer (R. Zeira): Anyone who makes himself small in this
world for the sake of Torah, he becomes great in the
world to come;
1. Anyone who makes himself a slave in this world for
Torah, he becomes free in the world to come.
(a) Reish Lakish used to mark off graves of Chachamim (so
they should not be a pitfall to people). At R. Chiya's
gravesite, he could not find the place; he felt bad.
1. Reish Lakish: Hash-m - didn't I delve in Torah like
(b) When R. Chanina and R. Chiya argued in Torah, R. Chanina
said 'How do you argue with me? If Torah would be
forgotten from Yisrael, I could return it through my
2. A voice from Heaven: You delved in Torah like him,
but you did not spread Torah like him.
1. R. Chiya: How do you argue with me? I ensured that
Torah will never be forgotten from Yisrael!
(c) Rebbi: How great are R. Chiya's deeds!
2. R. Chiya planted flax, and wove traps from the flax.
He caught deer, fed orphans the meat and made
parchments from the skin. He wrote the five
Chumashim and went to a city without teachers for
children. He taught one Chumash to each of five
children, and one order of the Mishnah to each of
six other children. He told them to teach each other
what each had learned. (Because everything was done
for the sake of Torah, this ensured that it would
never be forgotten.)
(d) R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi: Are they greater than yours?
(e) Rebbi: Yes.
(f) R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi: Are they greater than my
(g) Rebbi: That is impossible!
(h) R. Zeira: I saw R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina in a dream; I
asked him from whom he learns in the world to come (and
about his Rebbi...).
1. R.Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina: I learn from R. Yochanan;
who learns from R. Yanai, who learns from R.
Chanina, who learns from R. Chiya.
(i) R. Chaviva: Eliyahu used to speak with a certain Chacham.
In the morning, his eyes looked fine; by evening, they
looked singed - I asked about this.
2. R. Zeira: Is R. Yochanan unfit to learn from R.
3. R. Yosi: Where the fire is sufficient, who will
bring in one to fan the fire! (R. Chiya ensured that
Torah will not be forgotten - there is no need for
R. Chanina, who could restore it if it would be
forgotten - his merit is not enough to bring R.
1. The Chacham: I asked Eliyahu to let me look at
Chachamim going to the Heavenly academy; he
permitted to look at all, except for the chair of R.
(j) Eliyahu was regularly in Rebbi's academy. One Rosh
Chodesh he was late; he explained, he first had to wake
Avraham, wash his hands, and lie him down again after he
prayed; then the same for Yitzchak, then the same for
2. The Chacham: What distinguishes it?
3. Eliyahu: Angels must seat other Chachamim in their
chairs - R. Chiya can go himself.
4. The Chacham could not hold himself back; he looked,
and two fiery sparks blinded his eyes. The next day,
he prostrated by the cave R. Chiya was buried in,
and mentioned that he learns the Tosefta of R. Chiya
(so R. Chiya would be more inspired to pray for him)
- he was healed.
(k) Rebbi: Why didn't he wake them at the same time?
(l) Eliyahu: If they would pray at the same time, this would
bring Mashi'ach prematurely.
(m) Rebbi: Is there anyone living today with such a power of
(n) Eliyahu: Yes, R. Chiya and his sons.
1. Rebbi decreed a fast; he asked R. Chiya and his sons
to lead the prayer. When they said 'Mashiv
ha'Ru'ach', wind blew; when they said 'Morid
ha'Geshem', rain fell. When they were about to
conclude the blessing 'Mechayeh ha'Mesim', the world
shook. In Heaven, Eliyahu was lashed with fire for
having revealed their power of prayer.
2. Eliyahu appeared to them as a bear of fire to