Dear Nachum –
I am writing to YOU because you are my only reader here or at least the only one I know about. I think others may have become tired of this. I know that I have!
Without a face-to-face study partner this exercise becomes tedious – a game to see how many words can be crammed into one’s mind during a train ride or in between other obligations.
Certain phrases capture my attention and suggest riches to be mined:
– the fate of the “orphaned Amen” (47a)
– the definition of an Am Ha’Aretz and whether or not they may say Bircat Ha’mazon with Torah scholars or not (47b)
In this context see footnote 17 for 47b in Art Scroll – a lovely reference about not disdaining Am Ha’aretz.
– we read about an unperforated flower pot (sad for the flower!) – (47b)
– we are asked to consider whether an “ark” is a person? or whether the Sabbath is a “person” (47b)
– we are reminded what the source of honor is (the Torah rather than a person as such!) – (48a)
– we are asked to consider the Biblical source of practices in comparison to Rabbinic (48a)
– we read that “women are talkers” – (48b)
– and we read that we are to bless the bad just a we bless the good [I agree with this]
– we read about God’s “Kingship” — a nice coincidence in the context of just having led the malchuyot section of our Rosh Hoshanah service, having learned how that section was added to zichronot and shofarot
– we read about performing (or not) mitzvahs in “bundles” (49a)
– we consider obligations in the context of mistakes (49b)
– we compare an olive with an egg (49b)
– we consider different ways of starting the Bircat in relation to how many are there
Scraps. That’s what I offer today. What can be made of them? Not much at all unless and until we take them into a robust chevruta!