REVACH L'DAF

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ERUVIN 21
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SUMMARY

1. If a person can climb into the well with ease and drink, he should do so, and he should not rely on the leniency of Pasei Bira'os for himself.
 
2. Bnei Yisrael accepted upon themselves more stringencies of the Rabanan than the number of Mitzvos stated in the Torah.
 
3. Whoever scorns the words of the Torah sages is judged by being put into burning dung in Gehinom.
 
4. Once, when imprisoned for teaching Torah, Rebbi Akiva was given only half of his daily ration of drinking water, which he used in order to perform the Mitzvah of Netilas Yadayim.
 
5. Shlomo ha'Melech enacted three decrees.

A BIT MORE

1. The leniency of Pasei Bira'os was established mainly for one's animals who cannot climb into the well and drink. Only if a person is also unable to climb into the well and drink may he rely on this leniency.
 
2. The Gemara relates that this is a powerful statement that Bnei Yisrael can say to Hashem, that they have decreed more stringencies than Mitzvos given by Hashem and they have kept them all.
 
3. The Gemara similarly states that anyone who transgresses prohibitions of the Rabanan is punished by death.
 
4. Rebbi Akiva declared that it would be better for him to die a natural death than to die because he transgressed the decree of the Rabanan that one must wash hands before eating bread.
 
5. He instituted the practice of Eruv Chatzeros, Netilas Yadayim, and he added secondary prohibitions of relations with relatives.

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