Talmud Tips

For the week ending 26 October 2013 / 22 Heshvan 5774

Shekalim 9 - 15

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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“Anyone who lives in Israel, and speaks the holy language (Hebrew), and eats his food in purity, and says the prayer of “Shema” morning and evening is a person worthy of the World-to-Come.”

Rabbi Meir teaches this in a beraita on our daf and seems to imply that one must do certain special activities in order to merit the World-to-Come. This seems to run counter to the mishna in Tractate Sanhedrin that “All of the Jewish People have a share in the World-to-Come.” One explanation offered is that the person Rabbi Meir speaks of here will merit the World-to-Come without any trauma of judgment or suffering when he passes from this world to the next (Korban Ha’Eida).

  • Shekalim 9b

“Just as you appeased one is seen but cannot see, so too may G-d who can see but is not seen accept your appeasement (your prayers).

This blessing was given by a blind teacher who taught Torah to the son of Rabbi Hoshaya. Rabbi Hoshaya would eat together with the teacher each day, but one day the rabbi had guests and did not eat with him, thereby causing him to feel slighted. Rabbi Hoshaya explained that he ate with the guests for the honor of the teacher — he was concerned that they would embarrass the blind teacher since they did not know of his greatness. As a result, the blind teacher was relieved and appeased, and blessed the rabbi.

  • Shekalim 15a

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