More Discussions for this daf
1. Three people who spoke improperly 2. Three people who spoke incorrectly 3. Southern Hemisphere
4. Tal U'Matar on Yom Tov

Aaron Pacanowski asked:

(a)It says in the Sugya: R' Shimon Bar Nuchmani said in the name of R' Yonasan: There were 3 people which spoke improperly, Hash-m answered 2 of them in a proper way and 1 of them in an improper way. For example one of them was Eliezer. Eliezer said, "Whichever girl, If I ask them for water and they give water to me and my camels they'll be the right wife for Yitzchok. But that could be even a blind or lame woman so we see that Eliezer spoke in an improper way. My question is what about Yisro he said "Anyone who can pull out this stick can marry my wife Tzipora" This could be a blind, lame man or anything so why isn't he mentioned?

(b)I've also got another question: Yiftach Hagiladi was the one who received an improper response. Why did he deserve to get an improper response while the others got a proper response?

Aaron Pacanowski, Melbourne, Australia

The Kollel replies:

(a) The Gemara does not quote your Medrash about Yisro but it can be found in the Yalkut Shimoni in Parshas Shmos. The easy answer to your question would be that the Gemara does not agree with the Medrash, or that the Gemara is only listing cases mentioned in Tanach. However, we can explain that Yisro was aware that whoever would pull out the stick was destined to take the Bnei Yisrael out of Mitzrayim and would therefore undoubtedly be of great stature (I believe this is found in some versions of this Medrash, but if it is not accurate we can still say that he knew that natural powers would not suffice to remove the stick, hence his confidence that whoever would remove the stick would be fitting) so there was nothing improper about his offer.

Alternatively we can answer that Eliezer, Yiftach and Shaul said what they said as part of a request from Hash-m, as the Gemara says, that they asked improperly. Yisro however, merely announced that he would give his daughter in marriage to whoever was succesful in uprooting the stick, but did not ask Hash-m to intercede on his behalf.

(b) The Ben Yehoyada explains that Yiftach's promise involved Hash-m in that he promised to offer up whatever came out of his door first as a Korban to Hash-m, and as such posed a potential disgrace to Hashems's name. Therefore he alone was worthy of punishment.

Dov Freedman