שלום בשערך - Peace in Your Gates

Monday, January 26, 2004

SECOND POST (Please see earlier post, below, before reading this one)
I've reproduced here for our benefit, the text of the Gemara in Nedarim (22a-b) that I referred to earlier, which deals with ka'as. It is also worthwhile to see the Rosh, Ran and Maharsha on this sugyah. --G.

Nedarim 22a:R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: He who loses his temper is exposed to all the torments of Gehenna,13 for it is written, Therefore remove anger from thy heart,’ thus wilt thou put away evil from thy flesh.14 Now ‘evil’ can only mean Gehenna, as it is written, The Lord hath made all things for himself yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.15 Moreover, he is made to suffer from abdominal troubles, as it is written, But the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.16 Now what causes failing eyes and a sorrowful mind? Abdominal troubles.

When ‘Ulla went up to Palestine,17 he was joined by two inhabitants of Hozai,18 one of whom arose and slew the other. The murderer asked of ‘Ulla: ‘Did I do well?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied; ‘moreover, cut his throat clean across.’19 When he came before R. Johanan, he asked him, ‘Maybe, God forbid, I have strengthened the hands of transgressors?’ He replied, ‘You have saved your life.’20 Then R. Johanan wondered: The Lord shall give them there an infuriated heart21 refers to Babylon?22 ‘Ulla replied, ‘We had not yet (continued below)
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(1) Lit., ‘something best left alone’.
(2) Lit., ‘the son of the daughter’. Var. lec.: Jannai Rabbah, the Great. He was a Palestinian amora of the first generation (second and third generation); to be distinguished from Jannai the Younger, a Palestinian amora of the fourth generation.
(3) The notion that there is a Heavenly ledger in which man's doings are recorded (cf. Aboth, III, 20) is probably connected with the idea of the Book of Life, in which are inscribed on the Judgment Day of New Year those who are to be granted life for the ensuing year (cf R.H. 15b). The Sefer Hasidim (13th century) observes that God is in no need of a book of records: ‘the Torah speaks the language of man’, i e.. figuratively. Cf Aboth, (Sonc. ed .) p. 12, n. 9.
(4) Prov. XX, 25.
(5) Because it terrifies one too much, and makes him ready to express a regret which he may not feel.
(6) Ibid. XII, 18.
(7) For sacrifice — this being forbidden since the building of Solomon's Temple.
(8) Merely building a high place without sacrificing is not so heinous all offence, and therefore the suggestion is not so terrifying.
(9) All agreeing that it is too frightening.
(10) Deut. XXIII, 23.
(11) Job III, 17. Thus forbearing being employed of the wicked in the latter verse, its use in the former shews that he who vows is also so dubbed.
(12) Supra 9a.
(13) V. p. 19, n. 6.
(14) Ecc. XI, 10.
(15) Prov. XVI, 4. This is understood to mean Gehenna.
(16) Deut. XXVIII, 65.
(17) ‘Ulla was a Prominent Palestinian amora of the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. He frequently visited Babylonia, in pursuance of the general policy of maintaining intellectual intercourse between these two great centres, and his learning was very highly esteemed there; Bacher, Ag. Bab. Amor. pp. 93-97.
(18) [Or Be'Hozae, the modern Khuzistan, province S.W. Persia, Obermeyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien, pp. 204ff.]
(19) Fearing that disapproval would endanger his own life; moreover, he wished to hasten his death.
(20) The action was excusable, being in self-defence.
(21) Ibid.
(22) How then could one Jew become so angry with another in Palestine as to slay him?

Nedarim 22b:
crossed the Jordan [into Palestine].’

Rabbah son of R. Huna said: He who loses his temper, even the Divine Presence is unimportant in his eyes, as it is written, The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek God,’ God is not in all his thoughts.1 R. Jeremiah of Difti2 said: He forgets his learning and waxes ever more stupid, as it is written, For anger resteth in the bosom of fools;3 and it is written, But the fool layeth open his folly.4 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It is certain that his sins out number his merits, as it is written, And a furious man aboundeth in transgressions.5

R. Adda son of R. Hanina said: Had not Israel sinned, only the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua would have been given them, [the latter] because it records the disposition of Palestine [among the tribes].6 Whence is this known? For much wisdom proceedeth from much anger.7
(1) Ps. X, 4.
(2) V. p. 214, n. 2.
(3) Ecc. VII, 9.
(4) Prov. XIII, 26.
(5) Prov. XXIX, 22.
(6) But the other books, consisting mostly of the rebukings of the prophets, would have been unnecessary.
(7) Ecc. I, 18; i.e., the anger of God caused Him to send many prophets with their wise teachings. — We learn through error, and sin becomes the occasion of a fuller Revelation by God.


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A git morgan to you, "C". I hope this finds you well. I've been thinking about our conversation from yesterday, regarding being mechazik each other in the heilegah inyan of shalom bayis, and controlling one's ka'as (anger) and came up with several ideas: 1) creation of this 'blog,' to record our thoughts, successes and not-so-successes in pursuing these admirable goals; 2) the adoption of a "k'nas" system, whereby we contribute an agreed upon amount to a special fund for our wives each time we do or say something that is not promoting the cause of shalom in the home (I figure by this time next year, we'll both be taking our wives on a cruise--alright, I'll speak for myself!); and 3) learning specific sugyos that deal with these inyanim (e.g., ka'as and SB), beginning with Nedarim 22a-b.

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