Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"Gedolah Melachah"

Dvar Hashem me'Yeurshalmi
Ma'asros 11b

From the Kav v'Naki Biurim ad loc.

May the zechus of learning Yerushalmi protect the residents of the north, the area in which it was written and redacted.

Here, R' Shimon bar Yochai says: "Work is great – for the generation of the flood was only eradicated because they were not productive and turned to theft, yet a worker working in the field is exempt from the prohibition of theft." In the Bavli, Nedarim 49b and in Mechilta d'Rashby, Yisro 20:9, in different contexts, RSBY also says: Gedolah melachah.

The Maharatz Chajes to Nedarim loc. cit. asks: Is this not a contradiction to RSBY's opinion in Berachos 35b that work is only the lot of the Jewish people when they are not fully fulfilling Hashem's will, but that when they are in full fulfillment of Hashem's will their work is performed by others?

The Sdei Chemed (Ma'areches HaVav #15 d.h. V'Li HaDal) asks a related question: Is RSBY's statement in Berachos not a contradiction to his statement in Menachos 35b that one fulfills Lo Yamush Sefer HaTorah HaZeh MePicha by reading Keri'as Shema twice daily?

He answers that the statement in Berachos was made by RSBY upon emerging from the cave the first time, before the bas kol said to him "L'Hachriv Olami Yotzasem? Chizru L'Me'araschem!" The statement in Menachos, on the other hand, was made after he emerged from the cave the second time. The Kav v'Naki proposes that this is the resolution of the contradiction between our Yerushalmi and the Bavli in Berachos as well.


  1. RYGB:
    Do you have the correct mekor from Menachos? I looked at 35b and could not find the pesak from RAshbi there. The pesak about learning all the time is in Berachos 35b.