כ״ז בתשרי ה׳תשע״ג (October 13, 2012)

Shabbat 10a-b: Practical Suggestions From Rava Bar Meĥasseya

In a segue from another statement quoted in his name, the Gemara brings a number of practical teachings in the name of Rava bar Meḥasseya quoting Rav Ḥama bar Gurya in the name of Rav. Thus we learn –

Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: A person should never distinguish one of his sons from among the other sons by giving him preferential treatment. As, due to the weight of two sela of fine wool that Jacob gave to Joseph, beyond what he gave the rest of his sons, in making him the striped coat, his brothers became jealous of him and the matter unfolded and our forefathers descended to Egypt.

Similarly,

Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said Rav said: A person should always seek and dwell in a city whose settling took place in the recent past, meaning that it was recently established, as due to the fact that its settling is recent its sins are few, as its residents have not yet had the opportunity to commit many sins there. As it is stated that Lot said to the angel: “Behold, here is this city that is close to run away to and it is small” (Bereshit 19:20).

In addition,

Rava bar Meḥasseya said that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: One who gives a gift to another must inform him that he is giving it to him.

The reason that one giving a gift must inform the recipient is explained in various ways. First, the commentaries emphasize that this applies only to a case where the recipient is wealthy and he gave it to him as a gift. However, one who gives a charitable gift must be certain to give it anonymously (Rosh). Others explain that the reason that he must inform him is because otherwise the recipient will wonder who gave it to him (Rashi).

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