The teacher/student relationship is a most special one. A teacher must treat his student as he would treat his own child, and a child must relate to his teacher as a parent. The Talmud even rules that one must return the lost object of one’s teacher before that of a parent, for “a parent brings you into this world, whereas a teacher brings you to the World to Come”1 (Bava Metzia, 33a).
Thoughts from the Daf
To tell someone that his words are those of prophecy would seem to be the highest compliment one can give. The prerequisites for being a prophet are tough indeed, and those who can meet them are certainly most worthy of praise (see Maimonides, Laws of Foundations of Torah 7:1). Our great prophets help inspire, teach, comfort, and lead the people. Their uplifting words laid the vision for the Jewish nation, and even those who rejected the halachic system of Judaism embraced much of the prophetic vision.
The mitzva of Talmud Torah consists of both learning Torah, and knowing Torah. And of the two, it is the former that is more important. One can determine how much time and effort one puts into learning Torah; but how much one actually knows includes factors beyond one's control--first and foremost, the level of intelligence G-d has blessed you with.
As is well known, our tradition places great importance on proper speech. While we generally view this as a moral imperative -- avoiding unnecessary negative comments about others, gossip, and slander -- it is also a necessary ingredient for proficiency in Torah study.
While the basis of Jewish law (and much more) is to be found in the Talmud, the Talmud, in and of itself, is not a very good text for determining Jewish law. The legal analysis, the range of views, the tendency to move from one topic to another, and the fact that any given topic may be discussed in a variety of places makes reaching a conclusion on any particular issue a difficult task.
We have often discussed the terrible tragedy of poverty. Without changing that perspective, there does appear to be at least somewhat of a silver lining in living a life under the strain of financial duress.
Poverty is a terrible curse, one that has been the unfortunate lot of many Jews over the years. While we are blessed to live in the wealthiest generation in all of Jewish history, having enough money is a concern of many Jews around the world. Whether this is due to the almost unbearable burden of day school tuition, to the lack of skills for gainful employment, or to a host of other factors, for many, it is the prayer for sustenance with which it is easiest to identify.
The Daf Yomi thought is dedicated by the family of Dr. Solomon Burack, ob"m in observance of his Yahrzeit. May his memory be for a blessing.
It is well accepted that enacting laws retroactively is most unfair, potentially throwing into chaos that which was done under past laws. However, an action we take today often sheds light on something we did yesterday.
Both an eiruv techumim, which allows one to walk an additional 2,000 cubits (approximately 1 kilometre) outside of the city limits, and an eiruv chatzerot, which allows us to carry on Shabbat, require the placement of food in a designated spot. The food must be edible, a requirement that would exclude tevel, food from which tithes (terumah and ma'aser) were not taken.