The Long and Short of It (41a-41b and 42a-42b)

Yesterday’s daf and today’s daf are readable in a rather short amount of time. But of course there is a paradox here because given that the daf uses the same amount of “real estate” every day …it means that when the daf is short the commentaries are long!

Some of the questions from these two dapim:

1. When is a radish the primary food when compared to an olive, and when is the olive the primary food? 

2. What can you measure with a piece of barley or wheat or a fig?

3. What constitutes the end of the meal?

4. What’s the difference between wine that you drink for the purpose of drinking and wine you drink to wet your food?

These questions, and more, are asked in the context of discerning which blessings are said when. But the context is not just an abstract game of Talmudic jeopardy — it is an activity, often playful, whose context includes ones teachers.

So we read at the end of 42b: “If ten people were travelling on the road, even though they are all eating from a single loaf, each one must recite the blessing for himself. But if they sat down to eat – even though each one is eating from his own loaf – one recites the blessing for all.” As clear as this is (if such a thing can be said!) we read subsequently of the confusion and sadness of the disciples of Rav who cannot figure out what blessing to say after the meal following Rav’s funeral. And here the daf ends in mid-sentence as we read “Whereupon Rav Adda bar Ahavah who was one of us students rose to his feet ….

Stay tuned! Come back tomorrow to find out what he said.


This entry was posted in Daf Yomi, Hevruta study, Talmud. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Long and Short of It (41a-41b and 42a-42b)

  1. neillitt says:

    I am on the edge of my seat. I too came to the end of the daf, in mid-sentence and I wanted to go on but I also wanted to savor the anticipation. And so, I stopped. And that seemed the right thing to do. As per your question #3 above, the end of the folio constituted the end of the “meal.” It was time to say “grace” and get back on my donkey. Until tomorrow.

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