With thanks to a much delayed train from NYC to Princeton I had time to catch up on the daf. Here are some highlights from the past 6 dapim:
59. We read that thunder straightens the crooked heart. This reminds me of the loud Buddhist gong that is there to remind us to “wake up”!
60. “Rava said: this statement is needed only to teach us to accept misfortunes with joy.” … “R’ Acha said in the name of R’Levi: What is the verse that supports this idea? Of kindness and justice do I sing …if I am dealt kindness, I will sing; and if justice I will sing.” (Psalm 101:1)
61. When we read that God formed man we read “va’ytitzer” with two “yods”. Why two yods? Because humans are created with two inclinations – the good and the bad. And later in the daf we read of the terrible martyrdom of Rabbi Akiba who is grateful to serve God with “all his soul”.
62. Silence is an amulet. This kernel of wisdom is from ArtScroll’s footnote 18 to daf 62 in reference to appropriate behavior in a latrine to ward off, or at least, to avoid demons; there is something rather compelling about it.
63. We read “In all your ways you must know HaShem, and HaShem will straighten your path.” And we are to make HaShem a partner in one’s distress. And we also learn that “on each and every day the Torah is as dear to those who study it as on the day it was given from Mt Sinai.” And that it is not good to study alone “for the Torah is not acquired except in fellowship.”
64. Whoever dines with a Torah scholar is blessed with the divine presence.
HADRAN ALACH MASECHET BERACHOT! V’HADRACH ALAN!