Thursday, August 9, 2012

Daf Yomi Question Daf 2b

I started Daf yomi on Friday, probably like a lot of people, and came up with a question that I could not find an answer to. If you have any ideas let me know. Here is my question, I have not come up with a satisfactory answer. 

Rashi says close to the top of 2b that a poor person does not have a candle and that is why, we originally think, he eats his meal before the stars come out. (This makes it that the time a poor person eats is before the time the Kohanim, or priests, can eat terumah.) However, as the Gemara continues we learn that the poor person actually eats his meal when the stars come out (same time as the Kohanim can eat terumah). And even further in the Gemara at the bottom of 2b we learn that the poor person actually eats his meal AFTER the stars come out.

This is very odd to me. Rashi seems to say that it is obvious that the poor person eats his meal before the stars come out because he has no candle. If this is true, then how can the Gemara claim that the poor person actually eats his meal well after the stars have come out? The poor person either has a candle or not. According to Rashi, the poor person would not eat his meal after dark. The Mesoras Hashas in the Oz Vehadar also links this claim to a Gemara in Yuma 74b that says "You cannot compare one who sees what he eats with one who does not see what he is eating" implying someone who does not see what he is eating enjoys it less since the Gemara continues on and says "R. Joseph said: This is an allusion to [the reason] why blind people eat on without becoming satisfied. Abaye said: Therefore let him who has a meal eat only in daylight."

So, my question is this: What does Rashi think is happening with the poor person's meal? Rashi holds that a poor person has no candle, therefore, they must eat before dark. However, the Gemara comes to teach us that really a poor person eats well after the stars have come out.  


joshwaxman said...

The gemara does not look out at the metzius, of when paupers usually eat their meal. Instead, all of this is based on sevara, based on comparison with other braytot.

So Rashi here gives a practical reason behind an assumption that a pauper would eat earlier than anyone else. But it is an explanation of a guess, giving the sevara behind it.

One could meanwhile construct other plausible explanations for other times. For example, a pauper obviously must work later, since he is not his own boss, or because he is trying to work longer hours to provide for himself and his family.

So, whatever the metzius is, someone could construct an explanation.

E-Man said...

True, but an ani either has a candle or not. Rashi can't make up a metzius. I realize the Gemara is using sevara, but I don't like the idea that rashi is making up a false metzius. Maybe you are right, but I would prefer an explanation that doesn't force rashi into a false metzius.

For example, maybe the ani doesn't have a candle, but the hava Amina of the Gemara is that the actually eating of the meal needs light whereas the maskana only the preparation of the food needs light. I don't like this answer either for a few reasons, but it doesn't say that rashi is making up a metzius.

joshwaxman said...

I don't see why different sorts of paupers can and can't have candles (or, more properly, lamps). It depends on how poor they are. The gemara, iirc, speaks of an ani choosing between ner for shabbos vs. for chanukkah.

People would certainly prefer to eat with light, which is why a pauper might *prefer* to eat by day. So we might be speaking of a slightly less poor pauper, or that paupers have opted to eat in the dark...

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

> The poor person either has a candle or not.

There's the problem. It's not necessarily either/or. Some poor people might prefer to spend a little on a candle and less on food. Some will only have enough for food. The gemara handles all situations.

E-Man said...

Gentlemen, the Gemara tells us in the hava amina that there is one opinion that holds zman krias shema is when poor people sit down to eat their meals and another opinion tells us that it is when kohanim are able to start eating terumah.

This means that we are using generalizations. The "Ani" here is the general "ani" that most aniim identify with. So, the Ani of this opinion is only talking about one type of Ani. Rashi says the main identifier of this ani is that he has no candle. The main reason we are associating this ani with this opinion is because he is eating before tzeis hakochavim. Rashi assumes that the reason he is eating before tzeis is because he has no candle.

Your answers assume that Rashi is arbitrarily saying that he has no candle. I don't like that answer because Rashi really did not need to give us this possibility because it is not the truth nor does it really add anything to the Gemara. I say it is not the truth because we eventually say the Ani eats his meal well after tzeis hakochavim.

In order for Rashi to mean anything, according to you, Rashi would be explaining that the Gemara's hava amina is that an ani has no candle and the maskana is that he has a candle (the ani that we are dealing with). This is not an acceptable hava mina and maskana in my mind. There needs to be something deeper going on here.

There can't be an argument in whether the ani of this opinion in the gemara is an ani with a candle or without one. That would be ridiculous in my mind.

I could be wrong, but that is the way I was taught to learn Gemara.