Sunday, October 10, 2004

Berachos 43a

Gemara: R' Chisda said to R' Yitzchok, " What blessing does one recite upon smelling afarsimon oil?" R' Yitzchok answered, " R' Yehuda said to recite 'Borei shemen artzeinu [Blessed is G-d who creates the oil of our land].' " R' Chisda retorted, "Exclude R' Yehuda - because he loves the land of Israel - what is the common consensus?" R' Yitzchok answered, "So says R' Yochanan '[Blessed is G-d who] creates sweet oil.' "
Presumably, all the sages of the time loved the land of Israel. To fully understand why R' Yehuda was singled out as one who loves the land of Israel, we must remember a gemara earlier on.
The gemara says on 24b: R' Abba was avoiding R' Yehuda because he [R' Abba] wanted to travel to the land of Israel, and R' Yehuda had said, "Anyone who travels from Babylon to Israel has transgressed, as it says, 'To Babylon they will be brought, and there they shall be until the day I remember them, says G-d.' "
We see that R' Yehuda interpreted the verse as a prohibition to enter the Land of Israel. If so, it is reasonable to assume that the land of Israel and its produce was beloved to R' Yehuda - who couldn't go there - to a greater degree than to his contemporaries who disagreed on the interpretation of the verse. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."


Anonymous Yaakov Kibel said...

That's a nice vort. Maybe we can see some new pshatim?

18/8/05 8:54 PM  
Blogger Moshe Y. Gluck said...

Thank you. Iy"H if people are reading them!

18/8/05 11:32 PM  

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