Talmud Tips

For the week ending 12 April 2014 / 12 Nisan 5774

Beitza 14 - 20

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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“All of a person’s income is determined and fixed from one Rosh Hashana to the next Rosh Hashana, except for expenses for Shabbat and Yom Tov and teaching one’s children Torah — for these, if a person spends less he will receive less in return; and if he spends more he will receive more in return.”

Rabbi Tachlifa the brother of Ravnai Hoza’a teaches this far-ranging statement of financial matters, and Rabbi Abahu cites a number of verses to show the source of this teaching in the Written Torah. Rashi explains that there is a message of financial management taught here. Generally a person should be careful not to spend too much if possible, since he doesn’t know how much was allotted him for the year. This limitation does not apply, however, to what he spends for Shabbat, Yom Tov and providing a Torah education for his children.

  • Beitza 15b, 16a

“An extra neshama (soul) is given to a person on erev Shabbat, and is taken from him when Shabbat ends.”

Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish states this well-known concept on our daf, and he derives it from the verse which says, “Shavat v’yinafash” — which he explains as “once a person has finished with Shabbat” then “Oy nefesh!” — the extra neshama is lost. Rashi writes that the “neshama yetera” the person is given on Shabbat allows him to enjoy the rest of Shabbat and the extra food of Shabbat to a greater degree than he could normally do during the weekdays when he lacks the extra neshama.

  • Beitza 16a

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