Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Joy of Torah


Preface: Yosef haBavli asked Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua a technical question regarding the acceptability of a korban [Temple offering] which had been processed with improper intent.

"Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua said: It is kosher.

"In the evening he said, 'Kosher.'

"The next morning he said, 'Kosher.'

"At midday he said, 'Kosher.'

"That evening he said, 'Kosher - but Rabbi Eliezer rules it is disqualified.'

"Yosef haBavli's face shone at that point, and so Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua said to him, 'Yosef! It appears to me [from the look on your face] that we did not learn this correctly until now!'

"Yosef haBavli explained: Rebbe, it is true; Rabbi Yehudah taught me that this offering was disqualified, and I circulated among all of his students and found no one who could corroborate my recollection. Now you have taught me 'Disqualified' and so you have returned my lost object to me!

"Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua began to cry. He said, 'Fortunate are you, Torah scholars, that words of Torah are so beloved to you!' And he cited Tehillim 119, 'How much I love Your Torah; it is my speech all day!'"

(Talmud, Menachot 18a)

Have a great day,

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