REFRAINING FROM BEING TOO JOVIAL
Mar brei d'Ravina saw that the Rabanan were overly jovial at the wedding of his son; he brought a precious crystal worth 400 Zuz and broke it to suppress their gaiety. Rav Ashi did similarly at the wedding of his son.
At the wedding of Mar brei d'Ravina, the Rabanan asked Rav Hamnuna Zuti to sing for them.
Rav Hamnuna: Woe to us that we will die, woe to us that we will die!
Rabanan: What should we respond?
Rav Hamnuna: You should say, "Where are our Torah and Mitzvos to protect us (from Gehinom)?"
(R. Yochanan): It is forbidden to fill one's mouth with laughter in this world -- "Az Yemalei Sechok Pinu u'Leshonenu Rinah," only then will laughter fill our mouths;
The verse permits it only when the nations will say (in the times of Mashi'ach), "Higdil Hash-m La'asos Im Eleh."
Reish Lakish never filled his mouth with laughter after he heard this from R. Yochanan.
(Beraisa): One may not start to pray amidst judging or [determining] Halachah (lest he be distracted during prayer), one should pray amidst learning a Halachah Pesukah (a clear, previously-determined Halachah that does not require deep thought).
Question: What is considered a Halachah Pesukah?
Answer #1 (Abaye): R. Zeira's law is an example.
(R. Zeira): [Even though a woman cannot become a Zavah unless she sees blood on three consecutive days,] the daughters of Yisrael are stringent to [consider themselves Zavos and] observe seven clean days (before immersing to become Tehoros) after seeing even a tiny drop of blood the size of a mustard seed.
Answer #2 (Rava): The laws of R. Hoshaya and Rav Huna are examples.
(R. Hoshaya): A person may scheme, and bring produce into his house with the chaff, and his animal (or a person, if he eats casually) may eat without tithing.
(Rav Huna): If one lets blood from a Korban, the blood is Asur b'Hana'ah, Me'ilah applies to it.
Rabanan followed our Mishnah (it suffices to be serious before praying), Rav Ashi followed the Beraisa (he would begin amidst Halachah Pesukah).
(Beraisa): One may not start to pray amidst sadness, laziness, laughter, mockery, lightheadedness or idle talk, rather, amidst the Simchah of a Mitzvah;
Likewise, one should not take leave of his friend amidst mockery, laughter, lightheadedness, or idle talk, rather, amidst a [teaching of[ Halachah (Gra - Simchah of a Mitzvah);
We find that the early Nevi'im ended their words (Seforim) with praise and consolation.
(Mari brei d'Rav Huna - Beraisa): One should leave his friend amidst a [teaching of] Halachah, for through it, he will remember him.
Rav Kahana accompanied Rav Simi bar Ashi from Pum Nahara until Bei Tzenisa (a grove of date trees); when he arrived, he said, "People say that these date trees are from Adam ha'Rishon."
Rav Simi bar Ashi: That reminds me of R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina's teaching!
(R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina) Question: "Ba'Aretz Lo Avar Bah Ish v'Lo Yashav Adam Sham" -- since no one passed through, obviously no one settled there!
Answer: This teaches that Adam ha'Rishon decreed which places would be settled and which would not, and it was fulfilled.
VERSES THAT TEACH ABOUT PRAYER
(Beraisa): One who prays must direct his heart towards Heaven;
Support (Aba Shaul): "Tachin Libam Takshiv Aznecha" (Hash-m listens attentively to such a prayer).
(Beraisa - R. Yehudah): When R. Akiva would pray with the Tzibur he would pray quickly, not to burden them;
When he would pray alone, one would leave him in one corner and find him later in another corner.
Question: How did he move? (One must stand still during prayer!)
Answer: He moved through many bowings.
(R. Chiya bar Aba): One should always pray in a house with windows -- "v'Chavin Pesichan Lei..."
(Beraisa) Suggestion: Perhaps one may pray all day!
Rejection: "V'Zimnin Telasa..." (Daniel prayed only three times a day.)
Suggestion: Perhaps he started to pray three times a day only after he was exiled!
Rejection: "Di Hava Aved Min Kadmas Denah" (he was accustomed to doing so).
Suggestion: Perhaps one may pray in any direction!
Rejection: (He prayed) "Neged Yerushelem."
Suggestion: Perhaps one may pray all three Tefilos consecutively!
Rejection: David prayed "Erev va'Voker v'Tzaharayim."
Suggestion: Perhaps one may pray audibly!
Rejection: Chanah prayed "v'Kolah Lo Yishame'a."
Suggestion: Perhaps one may request his needs and then pray [the first three blessings of praise]!
Rejection: "Lishmo'a El ha'Rinah v'El ha'Tefilah" -- Rinah refers to praise, it is before Tefilah (request).
One may not say anything between [the end of] Emes v'Yatziv and Shemoneh Esreh, but one may add [prayers] after Shemoneh Esreh, even as lengthy as the confession of Yom Kipur!
(R. Chiya bar Ashi): Even though one may request [anything] in Shome'a Tefilah, one may add [prayers] after Shemoneh Esreh, even like the confession of Yom Kipur!
(Rav Hamnuna): We learn so many important laws from Chanah's Tefilah!
"V'Chanah Hi Medaberes Al Libah" -- this teaches that one who prays must have intent;
"Rak Sefaseha Na'os" -- this teaches that one must articulate the words with his lips;
"V'Kolah Lo Yishame'a" -- one may not raise his voice;
"Va'Yachsheveha Eli l'Shikorah" -- one who is drunk may not pray;
(R. Elazar): "VaYomer Eleha Eli Ad Masai Tishtakarin" -- one who sees someone do something improper (Tosfos - even if it is not forbidden by the Torah) must rebuke him.
Version #1 (Ula or R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): "Va'Ta'an Chanah va'Tomer Lo Adoni" -- you (Eli) are not a master in this matter (of my prayer), nor is Ru'ach ha'Kodesh upon you;
You suspect [that I am drunk, but you are wrong).
Version #2: She told him, "Aren't you a master? Don't you have Ru'ach ha'Kodesh?!"
Why did you judge me unfavorably? Don't you know that I am anguished; I have not consumed wine or strong drink!
(R. Elazar): "V'Yayin v'Shechar Lo Shasisi" -- this teaches that if one is wrongly suspected, he must inform the one who suspects him.
(R. Elazar): "Al Titen Es Amascha Lifnei Vas Beliya'al" -- this teaches that praying while drunk is like serving idols;
It says "Beliya'al," like it says about enticers (of a city) to serve idolatry -- "Yatz'u Anashim Benei Veliya'al mi'Kirbecha."
"Va'Ya'an Eli va'Yomer Lechi l'Shalom" -- this shows that one who incorrectly suspected someone must appease him;
Moreover, he must bless him -- "v'Elokei Yisrael Yiten Es Shelasech."
(R. Elazar): "Va'Tidor Neder va'Tomer Hash-m Tzevakos" -- Chanah was the first person to call Hash-m by this name;
She said, "You created so many legions -- is it difficult for You to give me one son?!"
This is a parable: a mortal king made a meal for his servants. A poor person came to the door and asked for a piece of bread; no one paid attention to him;
He forced his way in to see the king, and said, "From this great meal that you made, is it difficult for you to give to me a piece of bread?!"
(R. Elazar): "Im Ra'oh Sir'eh" -- she said, if you will see [my anguish and grant my request], fine; if not, you will see that I will seclude myself with another man in front of my husband, Elkanah, and he will make me drink the Sotah water;
You will not falsify Your Torah, which says, "v'Niksah v'Nizre'ah Zara" (if she is innocent, she will conceive)! (Penei Yehoshua - surely, she did not really threaten to do so; a married woman may not be in seclusion with another man! Rather, she argued that it is not proper that she should not get what a less scrupulous woman could "force" Hash-m to give her.)
Question: This is like the opinion that if she (an innocent woman who drinks Mei Sotah) was barren, she will conceive;
But according to the opposing opinion, which says that "v'Nizre'ah Zara" applies only to women who already had children, why did she say "Im Ra'oh Sir'eh"?
(Beraisa - R. Yishmael): "V'Niksah v'Nizre'ah Zara" -- if she was barren, she will conceive;
R. Akiva: That is unreasonable -- if so, barren women will seclude themselves with other men, and (since they are innocent) they will conceive! (Alternatively: and should a Tzadekes who refuses to do so lose out?!)
Rather, if she used to give birth in pain (or to female, short, dark or single births), she will gave birth easily (or to male, tall, white babies, or twins).
Answer: This is the way people speak; the Torah also speaks like this.
Question (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Chanina): Why did she call herself, "Your slave" three times -- "ba'Oni Amasecha," "v'Lo Sishkach Es Amasecha," "v'Nasata la'Amascha"?
Answer: She said, "You created three things that test women (one who transgresses these things is prone to die at a time of danger) -- the Mitzvos of Nidah, Chalah and lighting Shabbos candles -- did I transgress any of them?!"
Question: Chanah requested, "v'Nasata la'Amascha Zera Anashim" -- what does this mean?
Answer #1 (Rav): It is one who is important among men.
Answer #2 (Shmuel): It is one who will anoint two men [to be king -- Shmuel ha'Navi anointed], and who are they? Shaul and David;
Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): It is one who is equated to two men -- "Moshe and Aharon b'Chohanav u'Shmuel b'Kor'ei Shemo."
Answer #4 (Rabanan): It is one who will be "absorbed" among men (he will not stand out);
(Rav Dimi): He should not be tall or short, thin or fat, pale or red, [exceedingly] wise or foolish.
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): "Ani ha'Ishah ha'Nitzeves Imchah ba'Zeh" -- [Eli was standing because] it is forbidden to sit within four Amos of someone praying.
(R. Elazar): "El ha'Na'ar ha'Zeh Hispalalti" -- Shmuel had ruled in front of his Rebbi (Eli -- this will be explained);
Question: "Va'Yishchatu Es ha'Par va'Yavi'u Es ha'Na'ar El Eli" -- because they slaughtered the bull, therefore they brought Shmuel to Eli?!
Answer: Eli had told them to get a Kohen to slaughter; this caused a delay, and Shmuel told them that a Zar may slaughter [Kodshim] (therefore, they brought him to Eli).
Question (Eli): What is your source for this? (Rashash - Eli knew this (it is merely a custom for Kohanim to slaughter), he was just testing Shmuel.)
Answer (Shmuel): It does not say, "v'Shachat ha'Kohen," rather, "v'Hikrivu ha'Kohanim" -- Kohanim are required [only] for receiving the blood and subsequent Avodos, but a Zar may slaughter.
Eli: You answered well; however, one who rules in front of his Rebbi is Chayav Misah!
Chanah: "Ani ha'Ishah ha'Nitzeves Imchah ba'Zeh" (and you blessed me that Hash-m should answer my prayer -- do not punish him)!
Eli: I will punish Shmuel and pray that Hash-m give you a greater child!
Chanah: "El ha'Na'ar ha'Zeh Hispalalti" (I prayed for this child, not another child)!
WINNING ARGUMENTS AGAINST HASH-M
(R. Elazar): "V'Chanah Hi Medaberes Al Libah" -- she discussed matters of (on) her heart;
She said, "You did not create anything in a woman for naught; there are organs to see, to hear..., breast to nurse -- give me a child, so I can use mine!"
(R. Elazar): If one fasts on Shabbos (he suffers greatly, seeing everyone else eating), decrees against him are torn up, even if they are from his birth!
Nevertheless, he is liable to be punished for not enjoying Shabbos.
Question: What should he do (to avoid this punishment)?
Answer: He should fast another day to atone for fasting on Shabbos.
(R. Elazar): "Va'Tispalel Al Hash-m" -- Chanah made winning arguments against ("Al") Hash-m (Maharsha - i.e., her threat to become a Sotah, or by saying that Hash-m did not create anything for naught).
(R. Elazar): "V'Atah Hasibosa Es Libam Achoranis" -- Eliyahu spoke sharply to Hash-m.
Question (R. Shmuel bar R. Yitzchak): What is the source that Hash-m agreed to Eliyahu's words?
Answer: He said, "va'Asher Hare'osi" (I created their evil inclination).