Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday's Thoughts on the Daf - Gittin 67

Gittin 67 features the end of a perek dealing with the mechanics of the writing and delivery of the get, as well as the commencement of a new perek which I believe is one of the most interesting in shas.

Although I usually focus on a few points from the daf, tonight's post will only address one story from Gittin 67b. The Gemara relates how R' Sheshes did not trust the Reish Galusa's servants. When R' Sheshes was asked why he would not eat with the Reish Galusa, R' Sheshes exposed how the servants were improperly serving meat from live animals (eyver min hachai). The Reish Galusa then suggested that if his servants prepared the food under the supervision of R' Sheshes' own staff, would R' Sheshes dine with them? R' Sheshes answered in the affirmative.

Since the Reish Galusa's servants had it out for R' Sheshes, they devised a plan to hurt him by serving him meat with a tiny bone that could cause him to choke. They reasoned that since R' Sheshes was blind, he would not be able to see the bone in the meat portion. Of course, they were unsuccessful as R' Sheshes was able to feel the presence of the bone. He then took the meat with the bone inside and wrapped it in his handkerchief. Seeing that R' Sheshes had wrapped something in his handkerchief and curious about what was in there (that trick never worked for us as kids either, we always had to eat the liver...) the servants then made up a story that someone had stolen a silver cup and they needed to check the handkerchief. When they opened it and found the meat, they said to the Resih Galusa - see, R' Sheshes does not want to eat with us.

Rather than exposing the servants' evil acts publicly, R' Sheshes told the Reish Galusa that he had tasted the meat and thought that the animal was diseased (Rashi says sh'chin). The servants then said, we did not prepare any animal with leprosy. Of course when they looked at the hide from the animal, there was a leprous spot.

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