ללמוד תורה ולישא אשה?
1א
הדף מאת: נירה נחליאל / המדרשה באורנים
2ב
דף הלימוד עוסק ביחסם של חז"ל לדילמה שנוצרת בהתנגשות בין שתי מצוות חשובות - לימוד תורה ונישואין. נעיין בדיון ההלכתי ובמציאות שהתקיימה בפועל, ונשווה בין יציאת אשה ליציאת איש ללמוד תורה מחוץ לבית.
3ג
תנו רבנן: ללמוד תורה ולישא אשה?
ילמוד תורה ואח"כ ישא אשה, ואם אי אפשר לו בלא אשה ישא אשה ואח"כ ילמוד תורה.
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל: הלכה, נושא אשה ואח"כ ילמוד תורה.
ר' יוחנן אמר ריחיים בצוארו ויעסוק בתורה?!
ולא פליגי [=ואין הם חלוקים]. הא לן והא להו [=זו לנו, לבני בבל, וזו להם, לבני ארץ ישראל].
that anywhere that there are only five sela available, i.e., enough to redeem only one man, and one is obligated to redeem both himself and his son, he, the father, takes precedence over his son. What is the reason? It is that his own mitzva is preferable to one that he performs on behalf of others. When they disagree is in a case where there is land worth five sela that is liened property that has been sold, i.e., he sold this land to other people but it can be reclaimed by his prior creditor, and five sela which is entirely unsold property. And the reasoning behind the dispute is as follows: Rabbi Yehuda maintains that a loan that is written in the Torah, i.e., any financial obligation that applies by Torah law, is considered as though it is written in a document, and therefore it can be collected from liened property, like any loan recorded in a document. This means that the liened property worth five sela is available for one’s own redemption, but not for that of his son, as the sale of the property occurred before the birth of his firstborn. Consequently, with these five sela upon which there is no lien he redeems his son, and the priest goes and repossesses the land worth five sela that is liened property for his own redemption. In this manner one can fulfill both mitzvot. And the Rabbis maintain: A loan that is written in the Torah is not considered as though it is written in a document, since buyers will not be aware of this obligation, so that they should be aware that the land may be repossessed. And therefore there is no advantage for this man to redeem his son with the five sela upon which there is no lien, and his own mitzva is preferable, which means he redeems himself with the free land. With the liened property that is left he cannot redeem his son, as the land was sold before the birth of his firstborn. The Sages taught: If one has money to redeem his son and to ascend to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival, he redeems his son and then ascends to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival. Rabbi Yehuda says: He ascends to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival and then redeems his son. His reasoning is that this trip to Jerusalem for the pilgrimage Festival is a mitzva whose time soon passes, and this, the redemption of the firstborn son, is a mitzva whose time does not soon pass, as it can be fulfilled later. The Gemara asks: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, it is as he stated in his reasoning, i.e., Rabbi Yehuda provided the rationale for his opinion. But what is the reasoning of the Rabbis, who say that he should first redeem his son? The Gemara answers that the reason is that the verse states: “All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem” (Exodus 34:20), and it then states, in the same verse: “And none shall appear before me empty,” referring to the pilgrimage Festival in Jerusalem. The order of the verse indicates that one should redeem his firstborn son before traveling to Jerusalem on the pilgrimage Festival. The Sages taught: From where is it derived that if one had five firstborn sons, from five different women, he is obligated to redeem them all? The verse states: “All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem” (Exodus 34:20), and the emphasis of “all” includes any of one’s firstborn sons. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it obvious this is the case? After all, the Merciful One made this mitzva dependent upon the opening of the womb, as it states: “Sanctify to Me all the firstborn, whoever opens the womb” (Exodus 13:2). Since each of these sons is the firstborn of his mother, it is clear that the father is required to redeem each of them. The Gemara answers that this ruling is necessary lest you say that we should derive a verbal analogy between “firstborn” stated here and “firstborn” from the verses dealing with inheritance: Just as there, the verse describes a firstborn who receives a double portion of the inheritance as: “The first fruit of his strength” (Deuteronomy 21:17), i.e., he is the firstborn son to his father, and not the first child born to his mother; so too here, with regard to the redemption of the firstborn son, it is referring to the first fruit of his strength, which would mean that the father need redeem only his oldest child. Therefore, this baraita teaches us that this is not the case. Rather, every firstborn son to his mother must be redeemed. § The baraita teaches that a father is obligated to teach his son Torah. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this requirement? As it is written: “And you shall teach them [velimadtem] to your sons” (Deuteronomy 11:19). And in a case where his father did not teach him he is obligated to teach himself, as it is written, i.e., the verse can be read with a different vocalization: And you shall study [ulmadtem]. From where do we derive that a woman is not obligated to teach her son Torah? As it is written: “And you shall teach [velimadtem],” which can be read as: And you shall study [ulmadtem]. This indicates that whoever is commanded to study Torah is commanded to teach, and whoever is not commanded to study is not commanded to teach. Since a woman is not obligated to learn Torah, she is likewise not obligated to teach it. The Gemara asks: And from where do we derive that she is not obligated to teach herself? The Gemara answers: As it is written: “And you shall teach [velimadtem],” which can be read as: And you shall study [ulmadtem], which indicates that whoever others are commanded to teach is commanded to teach himself, and whoever others are not commanded to teach is not commanded to teach himself. And from where is it derived that others are not commanded to teach a woman? As the verse states: “And you shall teach them to your sons” (Deuteronomy 11:19), which emphasizes: Your sons and not your daughters. The Sages taught: If one wishes to study Torah himself and his son also wants to study, he takes precedence over his son. Rabbi Yehuda says: If his son is diligent and sharp, and his study will endure, his son takes precedence over him. This is like that anecdote which is told about Rav Ya’akov, son of Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov, whose father sent him to Abaye to study Torah. When the son came home, his father saw that his studies were not sharp, as he was insufficiently bright. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said to his son: I am preferable to you, and it is better that I go and study. Therefore, you sit and handle the affairs of the house so that I can go and study. Abaye heard that Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov was coming. There was a certain demon in the study hall of Abaye, which was so powerful that when two people would enter they would be harmed, even during the day. Abaye said to the people of the town: Do not give Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov lodging [ushpiza] so that he will be forced to spend the night in the study hall. Since Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov is a righteous man, perhaps a miracle will occur on his behalf and he will kill the demon. Rav Aḥa found no place to spend the night, and he entered and spent the night in that study hall of the Sages. The demon appeared to him like a serpent with seven heads. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov began to pray, and with every bow that he bowed one of the demon’s heads fell off, until it eventually died. The next day Rav Aḥa said to the townspeople: If a miracle had not occurred, you would have placed me in danger. The Sages taught: If one has to decide whether to study Torah or to marry a woman, which should he do first? He should study Torah and afterward marry a woman. And if it is impossible for him to be without a wife, he should marry a woman and then study Torah. Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: The halakha is that one should marry a woman and afterward study Torah. Rabbi Yoḥanan says: How can one do this? With a millstone hanging from his neck, i.e., with the responsibility of providing for his family weighing upon him, can he engage in Torah study? The Gemara comments: And the amora’im do not disagree; this is for us and that is for them. In other words, one statement applies to the residents of Babylonia, whereas the other is referring to those living in Eretz Yisrael. § With regard to marriage, the Gemara relates: Rav Ḥisda would praise Rav Hamnuna to Rav Huna by saying that he is a great man. Rav Huna said to him: When he comes to you, send him to me. When Rav Hamnuna came before him, Rav Huna saw that he did not cover his head with a cloth, as Torah scholars did. Rav Huna said to him: What is the reason that you do not cover your head with a cloth? Rav Hamnuna said to him: The reason is that I am not married, and it was not customary for unmarried men to cover their heads with a cloth. Rav Huna turned his face away from him in rebuke, and he said to him: See to it that you do not see my face until you marry. The Gemara notes: Rav Huna conforms to his standard line of reasoning, as he says: If one is twenty years old and has not yet married a woman, all of his days will be in a state of sin concerning sexual matters. The Gemara asks: Can it enter your mind that he will be in a state of sin all of his days? Rather, say that this means the following: All of his days will be in a state of thoughts of sin, i.e., sexual thoughts. One who does not marry in his youth will become accustomed to thoughts of sexual matters, and the habit will remain with him the rest of his life. Rava said, and similarly, the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Until one reaches the age of twenty years the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and waits for a man, saying: When will he marry a woman. Once he reaches the age of twenty and has not married, He says: Let his bones swell, i.e., he is cursed and God is no longer concerned about him. Rav Ḥisda said: The fact that I am superior to my colleagues is because I married at the age of sixteen, and if I would have married at the age of fourteen,
4ד
דיון
שאלות לעיון
  • מהם השיקולים, לדעתכם, המנחים כל אחת מהדעות בסוגיה?
  • מה ההבדל בין אנשי ארץ ישראל לאנשי בבל, המכתיב סדר קדימויות שונה של לימוד תורה ונישואין?
  • ממה נובע ההבדל בגישה?
  • מדוע מעמידה הגמרא דווקא לימוד תורה מול נישואין?
  • מהו "לימוד תורה" בימינו, היכול לעמוד כשיקול מול נישואין?
5ה
"התלמידים יוצאין לתלמוד תורה שלא ברשות שלשים יום. הפועלים שבת אחת."
ברשות כמה? כמה שרוצה.
דרך ארץ כמה [=מה ראוי]?
אמר רב, חודש כאן [=בבית המדרש] וחודש בבית. [...]
ורבי יוחנן אמר, חודש כאן ושניים בביתו. [...]
אמר רב אדא בר אהבה אמר רב: זו דברי ר' אליעזר, אבל חכמים אומרים: התלמידים יוצאין לתלמוד תורה ב' וג' שנים שלא ברשות.
אמר רבא: סמכו רבנן אדרב אדא בר אהבה ועבדי עובדא בנפשייהו [=ועשו מעשה בעצמם].
face blanch because he craved the food, so he took some of the food with his finger and put it in Mar Zutra’s mouth. The chief butler said to him: You have spoiled the king’s meal, as now he will not eat from it. The king’s soldiers who were there said to him: Why did you do this? He said to them: The one who makes such awful dishes is the one who actually spoiled the king’s food. They said to him: Why do you say this? He said to them: I saw something else, i.e., a leprous infection, in this meat. They checked and didn’t find anything. He took his finger and placed it on the food and said to them: Did you check here? They then checked that spot and found the infection. The Sages said to Rav Ashi: What is the reason that you relied on a miracle and assumed that leprosy would in fact be found there? He said to them: I saw a leprous spirit hovering over the food and realized that it had this defect. The Gemara relates another incident with regard to a similar subject: A certain Roman said to a certain woman: Will you marry me? She said to him: No. In order to convince her, he went and brought pomegranates and peeled them and ate them in front of her and did not give her any of them. The aroma of the pomegranates caused her mouth to water, so she swallowed all of the saliva that caused her anguish, but he did not give her any until she became ill and bloated. Ultimately, he said to her: If I cure you, will you marry me? She said to him: Yes. He went and brought pomegranates, peeled them and ate them in front of her. He said to her: All of the saliva that causes you anguish, spit it out, spit it out. She did this until something like a green leaf came out of her, and then she was cured. § The mishna says that a wife must make thread from wool. The Gemara infers: She must make thread from wool, but she is not obligated to do so from flax. The Gemara explains: Whose opinion is expressed in the mishna? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, as it is taught in a baraita: A husband may not compel his wife to stand before his father and serve him, or to stand before his son and serve him, or to place straw before his animals, i.e., horses and donkeys, but he can compel her to place straw before his cattle, i.e., cows and bulls. Rabbi Yehuda said: He also cannot compel her to make thread from flax, because flax, while it is being spun, causes the mouth to smell foul and the lips to stiffen. The Gemara comments: This applies only to Roman flax, which causes the most damage. § The mishna continues: Rabbi Eliezer says: Even if she brought him a hundred maidservants, he may compel her to make thread from wool, since idleness leads to licentiousness. Rav Malkiyyu said that Rav Adda bar Ahava said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer. Rabbi Ḥanina, son of Rav Ika, said: The halakha discussed in tractate Beitza (28b) that a skewer that had been used for roasting meat but no longer has an olive-bulk of meat on it may be moved to a corner on a Festival; the halakha with regard to maidservants in the mishna here; and the halakha discussed in tractate Nidda (52a) that if a girl has two hair follicles in her pubic region, even if there are no hairs growing from them, she is considered to have reached majority and may perform ḥalitza; these three halakhot were all stated by Rav Malkiyyu. However, the halakha discussed in tractate Avoda Zara (29a) that a Jew who cuts the hair of a pagan must stop at a distance of three fingerbreadths on every side before he reaches his forelock, as the pagans would grow their forelocks for idolatry and the Jew must not appear as if he were dressing the forelock for idolatrous purposes; and the halakha discussed in tractate Makkot (21a) that one may not place burnt ashes on a wound, as it looks like a tattoo; and the halakha discussed in tractate Avoda Zara (35b) that cheese made by a gentile is forbidden, because gentiles smooth the surface of their cheese with lard; these three halakhot were all stated by a different Sage named Rav Malkiya. Rav Pappa said: The halakhot mentioned above that relate to a mishna or a baraita were stated by Rav Malkiya, whereas amoraic statements of halakhot that are not related to a mishna or baraita were taught by Rav Malkiyyu. And your mnemonic to remember this is: The mishna is a queen [malketa], indicating that the comments that are referring to a mishna were made by Rav Malkiya, whose name is similar to the Aramaic term for queen. The Gemara asks: What is the difference between Rabbi Ḥanina, son of Rav Ika, and Rav Pappa? The Gemara answers: There is a practical difference between them with regard to the halakha concerning maidservants. According to Rabbi Ḥanina, this halakha was stated by Rav Malkiyyu, whereas Rav Pappa holds that it was taught by Rav Malkiya, since it is referring to a dispute in a mishna. § The mishna says: Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Even one who vows that his wife is prohibited from doing any work must divorce her and give her the payment for her marriage contract, since idleness leads to idiocy. The Gemara asks: This is essentially the same as the opinion of the first tanna, Rabbi Eliezer, who said that idleness leads to licentiousness. The Gemara answers: The practical difference between them is in a case when she plays with small dogs [guriyyata kitanyata] or with games [nadrashir] like chess. Since there is something occupying her she is not in danger of idiocy, but occupying oneself with diversions of this type may still lead to licentiousness. MISHNA: With regard to one who vows that his wife may not derive benefit from marital relations with him, Beit Shammai say: He may maintain this situation for up to two weeks, but beyond that he must divorce her and give her the payment for her marriage contract. Beit Hillel say: He must divorce her if it continues beyond one week. Apropos the husband’s obligation to his wife regarding marital relations, the Gemara mentions other aspects of this issue: Students may leave their homes and travel in order to learn Torah without their wives’ permission for up to thirty days, and laborers may leave their homes without their wives’ permission for up to one week. The set interval defining the frequency of a husband’s conjugal obligation to his wife stated in the Torah (see Exodus 21:10), unless the couple stipulated otherwise, varies according to the man’s occupation and proximity to his home: Men of leisure, who do not work, must engage in marital relations every day, laborers must do so twice a week, donkey drivers once a week, camel drivers once every thirty days, and sailors once every six months. This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. GEMARA: The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Beit Shammai say a husband may force abstinence on his wife by a vow for a period of up to two weeks without being compelled to divorce her? They derive this from the halakha that a woman who gave birth to a female is ritually impure and prohibited from engaging in conjugal relations with her husband for two weeks after childbirth (see Leviticus 12:5). From this they derive that a period of up to two weeks of abstinence is not deemed undue suffering. And from where do Beit Hillel derive their opinion? They derive it from a woman who gave birth to a male, as she is ritually impure for one week (see Leviticus 12:1–4). The Gemara asks: And if this is so, Beit Hillel should also derive the halakha from a woman who gave birth to a female, since it is clear that the Torah does at times mandate a period of abstinence longer than one week. The Gemara answers: If they derived it from a woman who gave birth, this is indeed how they would have derived it. Rather, Beit Hillel derived it from the halakha with regard to a menstruating woman, who is prohibited from marital relations for seven days according to Torah law. The Gemara explains: With regard to what do they disagree? One Sage, Beit Hillel, holds that one should derive a common matter from a common matter. Consequently, they derive the halakha of a permitted abstinence by a husband who vowed not to engage in marital relations with his wife from the halakha of a menstruating woman, since both are common cases. And one Sage, Beit Shammai, holds that one should derive a matter that one caused, such as a vow, from a different matter that he caused, i.e., childbirth, and not from menstruation, which was not caused by him at all. Rav said: The dispute between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai concerns one who specifies the given period of time in his vow, but if he vowed not to engage in marital relations with her for an unspecified period of time, all agree that he must divorce her immediately and give her the payment for her marriage contract. The reason is that since he did not indicate how long he intended to keep the vow, her suffering begins immediately. And Shmuel said: Even with regard to an unspecified vow he should also wait for the same period of time, as perhaps he will find an extenuation enabling the dissolution of his vow and then he will not need to divorce her. The Gemara asks: Didn’t they disagree about this issue once already? As we learned in a mishna (70a): In the case of one who vows that his wife is prohibited from benefiting from him or his property, if his vow will remain in effect for up to thirty days, he must appoint a trustee to support her. But if the vow will remain in effect for more than that amount of time, he must divorce her and give her the payment for her marriage contract. And Rav said there: They taught this only with regard to a case where he specifies a limited time during which the vow would be in effect, but if he vows without specification, he must divorce her immediately and give her the payment for her marriage contract. And Shmuel said: Even when he vowed without specification, he should also wait, as perhaps he will discover an extenuation enabling the dissolution of his vow. The Gemara answers: It is necessary to cite the dispute in both cases, as if it were stated only with regard to this case, of one who vows not to engage in marital relations, one might think that in this case Rav says he must divorce her because there is no possibility of appointing a trustee, but that with regard to that halakha, in the case when he vows not to provide sustenance, which can be provided by a trustee, one would say that Rav concedes to Shmuel that he should wait. Conversely, if the dispute was stated with regard to that case, where a trustee can be appointed, one might think that in that case Shmuel said to wait, but in this case of one who vows not to engage in marital relations, one might say that Shmuel concedes to Rav. Therefore, it is necessary to cite the dispute in both cases. § The mishna said that students may leave their homes and travel for up to thirty days in order to learn Torah, without their wives’ permission. The Gemara asks: If they went with permission, for how long can they go? The Gemara expresses wonderment at this question: If they went with the permission of their wives, they can go for as long as they want. If the husband and wife agree on this, why is there any reason for the court to intervene? The Gemara explains its query: Although a man can legally make any agreement with his wife to limit her conjugal rights, how much is an acceptable manner for this matter? Rav said: The husband may spend a month here, in the study hall, and then must spend a month at home. The allusion to this is as it is stated with regard to reserve units serving in King David’s army: “In any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year” (I Chronicles 27:1). And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: He may spend one month here, in the study hall, and then two months in his home, as it is stated with regard to workers who worked in the construction of the Temple: “A month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home” (I Kings 5:28). The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rav did not also say a proof from that source that Rabbi Yoḥanan quoted? The Gemara answers: The construction of the Temple is different, since it is possible for this work to be performed by others, as there were many people involved in it, but with regard to Torah study, which cannot be performed by others, he is given permission to spend a month here and a month there. The Gemara further questions: And what is the reason that Rabbi Yoḥanan did not say a proof from that source that Rav quoted? The Gemara answers: There, with regard to King David, it is different, since he gains profit from working for the king; since there is profit involved, his wife might be willing to forgo his staying with her. However, in general a woman wants her husband to spend most of his time at home, so with regard to Torah study, where there is no monetary profit, she will not waive her right for as long. § Apropos a dispute between Rav and Rabbi Yoḥanan with regard to the construction of the Temple, the Gemara cites another dispute between them. Rav said: Groaning breaks half of a person’s body, as it is stated: “Groan, therefore, you son of man, with the breaking of your loins, groan so bitterly” (Ezekiel 21:11), which indicates that groaning breaks half of a one’s body, down to his loins. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said that groaning breaks even a person’s entire body, as it is stated: “And it shall be, when they say to you: Why are you groaning? That you shall say: Due to the tiding, for it comes, and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be slack, and every spirit shall be faint, and all knees shall drip with water” (Ezekiel 21:12). The Gemara asks: And why doesn’t Rabbi Yoḥanan also say that it breaks half of one’s body? Isn’t it written: “With the breaking of your loins,” implying that it does not break the entire body? The Gemara answers: This does not mean that the breakage only reaches the loins, but rather that when the sigh begins to affect a person, it begins from his loins. The Gemara asks: And why doesn’t Rav also say that it breaks the entire body? Isn’t it written: “And every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be slack, and every spirit shall be faint,” which indicates that groaning causes the entire body to break? The Gemara answers: The news with regard to the destruction of the Temple is different, as it is extremely crushing and causes great anguish, but in general a sigh causes only half of the body to break. It is related that a certain Jew and a gentile were walking along the road together. The gentile could not keep up with the Jew, who was walking faster, and he therefore reminded him of the destruction of the Temple in order to make the Jew feel sorrowful and slow down. The Jew sighed and groaned, but even so the gentile could not keep up with him, as the Jew was still walking faster. The gentile said to him: Don’t you say that groaning breaks half of a person’s body? Why didn’t it affect you? He said to him: This applies only with regard to a new sorrowful affair, but this, from which we have suffered repeatedly and to which we have become accustomed, does not affect us as much, as people say: One who is used to being bereaved of her children does not panic [bahata] when one of them dies, and similarly, one who is used to a tragedy is not as devastated when being reminded of it. § The mishna said that men of leisure must engage in marital relations with their wives every day. The Gemara asks: What is meant by the term men of leisure? Rava said: These are students of Torah who go daily to review their lectures at a local study hall and return home each evening. Abaye said to him: Wives of Torah scholars are those about whom it is written: “It is vain for you to rise early and sit up late, you that eat the bread of toil, so He gives to His beloved in sleep” (Psalms 127:2), and Rabbi Yitzḥak said in explanation of this verse: These are the wives of Torah scholars who deprive their eyes of sleep in this world and reach the life of the World-to-Come. This indicates that Torah scholars exert themselves greatly in their studies and are not home in the evenings, and you say that the students reviewing their lectures are men of leisure, whose wives have conjugal rights for every night? Rather, Abaye said: The mishna should be explained in accordance with the opinion of Rav, as Rav said: This is referring to a man such as Rabbi Shmuel bar Sheilat, who ate his own food, drank his own drinks, slept in the shade of his own house, and the king’s tax collector [peristaka] did not pass by his door, as they did not know that he was a man of means. A man like this, who has a steady income and no worries, is called a man of leisure. When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael he said: For example, the wealthy, pampered men in the West, Eretz Yisrael, are called men of leisure. Due to the time they have available and the richness of their diet, they have the ability to satisfy their wives every night. To illustrate this point, the Gemara relates two incidents demonstrating the health and strength of the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael: Rabbi Abbahu was once standing in the bathhouse and two slaves were supporting his walking. The bathhouse collapsed under him and was destroyed. He found a pillar, stood on it and got out, and pulled them both up with him. Similarly, Rabbi Yoḥanan was once going up stairs, and Rav Ami and Rav Asi were supporting him. The stair collapsed under him, but he went up and pulled them both up with him. The Sages said to him: Since it is clear that you are so strong, why do you need people to support you? He said to them: If so, if I were to expend all my strength now, what will I leave for myself in my old age? § The mishna said: The set interval for laborers to fulfill their conjugal obligations to their wives is twice a week. The Gemara asks: Isn’t it taught in a baraita: For laborers, once a week? Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, said: This is not difficult: Here, the case is where they work in their own city. There, the case is where they work in another city. This is also taught in the Tosefta (5:6): For laborers, twice a week. In what case is this statement said? It is when they work in their own city, but when they work in another city, the set interval for their conjugal obligations is once a week. § The mishna said: The set interval for donkey drivers is once a week, and for other professions it is even less frequent. Rabba bar Rav Ḥanan said to Abaye: Did the tanna go to all that trouble just to teach us the halakha for a man of leisure and for a laborer? According to the set intervals given for conjugal obligations, it seems that the halakha that one who vowed to prohibit his wife from conjugal relations for longer than a week must divorce her is referring only to a man of leisure or a laborer, whose set interval for conjugal relations is less than that period. However, for other people, whose set interval is once a month or even less frequent, there should be no need to divorce the wife, since the vow does not deprive her of conjugal rights for longer than she would have been deprived anyway. He said to him: No,
6ו
דיון
שאלות לעיון
  • ממי צריכים התלמידים לבקש רשות לצאת ללימודיהם?
  • מהם השיקולים, לדעתכם, לקביעת כל אחד מפרקי הזמן המוצעים בסוגיה?
  • הגמרא מתארת פער גדול בין ההלכה והמנהג הרווח. ממה הוא נובע?
  • "ברשות כמה? כמה שרוצה" - נסו לשער את מחשבותיה ושיקוליה של בת הזוג, ממנה מבקש התלמיד אישור לצאת ללימודיו. לכמה זמן אתן/ם הייתן/ם נותנים אישור?
  • האם ניתן לדמיין מצב הפוך, שבו האישה היא המבקשת לצאת ללימודים לתקופה ארוכה ומרוחקת מהבית?
7ז
רב רחומי היה מצוי לפני רבא במחוזא.
היה רגיל שהיה בא לביתו כל ערב יום הכיפורים.
יום אחד משכתו התורה.
היתה מצפה אשתו:
עכשיו בא. עכשיו בא.
לא בא.
חלשה דעתה.
ירדה דמעה מעינה.
היה יושב על הגג,
נפחת הגג מתחתיו ומת.
the tanna taught us a halakha with regard to all of them, not only a man of leisure or a laborer. He asked him: But with regard to a sailor it said that the set interval for conjugal relations is six months; why, then, should he have to divorce her if he vowed to forbid these relations for only a week? He answered him: It is well known that one who has bread in his basket is not comparable to one who does not have bread in his basket. On a fast day, one who does not have bread available in his basket suffers more than one who does have bread available and knows that he will be able to eat later. In this case as well, when a woman knows that marital relations are forbidden to her due to a vow, her suffering from waiting for her husband to return is increased. Rabba bar Rav Hanan said to Abaye: If a donkey driver who is already married wants to become a camel driver, what is the halakha? Is he permitted to change his profession in order to earn more money from his work, even though this will mean he reduces the frequency with which he engages in conjugal relations with his wife? He answered him: A woman prefers a kav, i.e., modest means, with conjugal relations to ten kav with abstinence. Consequently, he is not allowed to change his profession without her permission. § The mishna stated: For sailors, the set interval for conjugal relations is once every six months. This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer. Rav Berona said that Rav said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer. Rav Adda bar Ahava said that Rav said: This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer, but the Rabbis say: Students may leave their homes to study Torah for as long as two or three years without permission from their wives. Rava said: The Sages relied on Rabbi Adda bar Ahava’s opinion and performed an action like this themselves, but the results were sometimes fatal. This is as it is related about Rav Reḥumi, who would commonly study before Rava in Meḥoza: He was accustomed to come back to his home every year on the eve of Yom Kippur. One day he was particularly engrossed in the halakha he was studying, and so he remained in the study hall and did not go home. His wife was expecting him that day and continually said to herself: Now he is coming, now he is coming. But in the end, he did not come. She was distressed by this and a tear fell from her eye. At that exact moment, Rav Reḥumi was sitting on the roof. The roof collapsed under him and he died. This teaches how much one must be careful, as he was punished severely for causing anguish to his wife, even inadvertently. § When is the ideal time for Torah scholars to fulfill their conjugal obligations? Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The appropriate time for them is from Shabbat eve to Shabbat eve, i.e., on Friday nights. Similarly, it is stated with regard to the verse “that brings forth its fruit in its season” (Psalms 1:3): Rav Yehuda said, and some say that it was Rav Huna, and some say that it was Rav Naḥman: This is referring to one who engages in marital relations, bringing forth his fruit, from Shabbat eve to Shabbat eve. It is related further that Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya and son-in-law of Rabbi Yannai, would go and sit in the study hall, and every Shabbat eve at twilight he would come to his house. When he would come, Rabbi Yannai would see a pillar of fire preceding him due to his sanctity. One day he was engrossed in the halakha he was studying, and he stayed in the study hall and did not return home. When Rabbi Yannai did not see that sign preceding him, he said to the family: Turn his bed over, as one does at times of mourning, since he must have died, reasoning that if Yehuda were alive he would not have missed his set interval for conjugal relations and would certainly have come home. What he said became “like an error that proceeds from a ruler” (Ecclesiastes 10:5), and Yehuda, son of Rabbi Ḥiyya, died. It is related further that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi arranged for his son to marry a daughter of the household of Rabbi Ḥiyya. When he came to write the marriage contract, the girl died. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: Is there, Heaven forbid, some disqualification in these families, as it appears that God prevented this match from taking place? They sat and looked into the families’ ancestry and found that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi was descended from Shefatya ben Avital, the wife of David, whereas Rabbi Ḥiyya was descended from Shimi, David’s brother. He went and arranged for his son to marry a daughter of the household of Rabbi Yosei ben Zimra. They agreed for him that they would support him for twelve years to go to study in the study hall. It was assumed that he would first go to study and afterward get married. They passed the girl in front of the groom and when he saw her he said: Let it be just six years. They passed her in front of him again and he said to them: I will marry her now and then go to study. He was then ashamed to see his father, as he thought he would reprimand him because when he saw the girl he desired her and could not wait. His father placated him and said to him: My son, you have your Maker’s perception, meaning you acted the same way that God does. The proof for this is that initially it is written: “You bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place that You, O Lord, have made for You to dwell in” (Exodus 15:17), which indicates that God’s original intention was to build a Temple for the Jewish people after they had entered Eretz Yisrael. And ultimately it is written: “And let them make Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), i.e., even while they were still in the desert, which indicates that due to their closeness to God, they enjoyed greater affection and He therefore advanced what would originally have come later. After his wedding he went and sat for twelve years in the study hall. By the time he came back his wife had become infertile, as a consequence of spending many years without her husband. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said: What should we do? If he will divorce her, people will say: This poor woman waited and hoped for naught. If he will marry another woman to beget children, people will say: This one, who bears him children, is his wife and that one, who lives with him, is his mistress. Therefore, her husband pleaded with God to have mercy on her and she was cured. Rabbi Ḥananya ben Ḥakhinai went to the study hall at the end of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai’s wedding feast. Rabbi Shimon said to him: Wait for me until I can come with you, after my days of celebration are over. However, since he wanted to learn Torah, he did not wait and went and sat for twelve years in the study hall. By the time he came back, all the paths of his city had changed and he did not know how to go to his home. He went and sat on the bank of the river and heard people calling to a certain girl: Daughter of Ḥakhinai, daughter of Ḥakhinai, fill your pitcher and come up. He said: I can conclude from this that this is our daughter, meaning his own daughter, whom he had not recognized after so many years. He followed her to his house. His wife was sitting and sifting flour. She lifted her eyes up, saw him and recognized him, and her heart fluttered with agitation and she passed away from the emotional stress. Rabbi Ḥananya said before God: Master of the universe, is this the reward of this poor woman? He pleaded for mercy for her and she lived. Rabbi Ḥama bar Bisa went and sat for twelve years in the study hall. When he came back to his house, he said: I will not do what the son of Ḥakhinai, who came home suddenly with tragic consequences for his wife, did. He went and sat in the study hall in his hometown, and sent a message to his house that he had arrived. While he was sitting there his son Rabbi Oshaya, whom he did not recognize, came and sat before him. Rabbi Oshaya asked him questions about halakha, and Rabbi Ḥama saw that the halakhot of Rabbi Oshaya were incisive, i.e., he was very sharp. Rabbi Ḥama was distressed and said: If I had been here and had taught my son I would have had a child like this. Rabbi Ḥama went in to his house and his son went in with him. Rabbi Ḥama then stood up before him to honor a Torah scholar, since he thought that he wanted to ask him a matter of halakha. His wife said to him: Is there a father who stands up before his son? The Gemara comments: Rami bar Ḥama read the verse about him: “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). This is referring to Rabbi Oshaya, son of Rabbi Ḥama bar Bisa, as he represented the third generation of Torah scholars in his family. The Gemara further relates: Rabbi Akiva was the shepherd of ben Kalba Savua, one of the wealthy residents of Jerusalem. The daughter of Ben Kalba Savua saw that he was humble and refined. She said to him: If I betroth myself to you, will you go to the study hall to learn Torah? He said to her: Yes. She became betrothed to him privately and sent him off to study. Her father heard this and became angry. He removed her from his house and took a vow prohibiting her from benefiting from his property. Rabbi Akiva went and sat for twelve years in the study hall. When he came back to his house he brought twelve thousand students with him, and as he approached he heard an old man saying to his wife: For how long
8ח
דיון
שאלות לעיון
  • האם לדעתכם רב רחומי יצא ללמוד "ברשות" או "שלא ברשות" אשתו?
  • מדוע היה חוזר הביתה דווקא בערב יום הכיפורים?
  • האם אתם מכירים מצב של "משכתו התורה" מניסיונכם האישי?
  • מה דעת המספר על התנהגותו של רב רחומי?
  • האם ניתן לדמיין מצב הפוך, שבו האישה היא הנעדרת מהבית לתקופה ארוכה לצורכי לימודים, ובעלה יושב ומצפה לה?
9ט
תלמוד ירושלמי, מסכת סוטה, פרק א, הלכה ד (מתורגם)
רבי מאיר והיורקת
ר’ מאיר היה יושב ודורש בבית הכנסת של חמת כל ליל שבת והייתה שם אשה אחת שומעת את קולו. פעם אחת התארכה דרשתו, הלכה, ביקשה להיכנס לביתה ומצאה שהנר כבה.
אמר לה בעלה: היכן היית?
אמרה לו: שמעתי את דברי הדרשן.
אמר לה: כך וכך, אותה אשה לא תכנס לכאן עד שתלך ותירק בפניו של הדרשן.
צפה ר' מאיר ברוח הקודש ועשה עצמו חש בעיניו.
אמר: כל אשה שיודעת ללחוש לעין - תבוא ותלחש.
אמרו לה שכנותיה: הנה הגיע הזמן שתיכנסי לביתך. עשי עצמך לוחשת לו, ואת יורקת בעיניו.
באה אצלו.
אמר לה: היודעת את ללחוש לעין?
מאימתו עליה אמרה לו: לא.
אמר לה: לכי ורוקי שבע פעמים וייטב לי.
משרקקה אמר לה: לכי אמרי לבעלך - אתה אמרת לי פעם אחת והנה רקקתי שבע פעמים.
אמרו לו תלמידיו: רבי, כך מבזין את התורה? אילו אמרת לנו לא היינו מביאים אותו ומלקים אותו על הספסל ומפייסין אותו לאשתו?
אמר להם: ולא יהיה כבודו של מאיר ככבוד קונו? ומה אם שם הקודש שנכתב בקדושה אמר הכתוב שיימחה על המים בשביל להטיל שלום בין איש לאשתו, כבוד מאיר לא כל שכן?
10י
דיון
שאלות לעיון
  • מה גרם לתגובתו הזועמת של הבעל? איך מפרש הבעל את מעשה האישה? האם אתם יכולים להבין אותו?
  • מה צפה רבי מאיר ברוח הקודש?
  • עמדו על סמליות הנר, החושך והעין בסיפור.
  • מהם תפקידי כל אחת מהדמויות בסיפור ומהי תפיסת הזוגיות בעיני כל אחת: ר' מאיר, האישה, הבעל, התלמידים, השכנות?
11יא
דיון
דיון מסכם
  • נסו להשוות בין ההלכות העוסקות ביציאת בעלים מהבית לצורך לימוד תורה, וסיפור רב רחומי, ליציאת האישה בסיפור זה. מה דומה? מה שונה? ממה נובעים ההבדלים?
  • האם יציאת נשים וגברים לתקופות ממושכות מהבית נחשבת לגיטימית היום? מהי סיבה לגיטימית ליציאה כזו? האם ישנם הבדלים בעניין זה בין גברים ונשים?
13 יג
15טו
דף מספר 1 בסדרה לימוד תורה מול משפחה, דפים נוספים בסדרה:
2