Eruvin 66

תָּהֵי בַּהּ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר. 

Rabbi Elazar wondered at Rabbi Yoḥanan’s ruling that the Sages had acted well when they rented the gentile’s property on Shabbat and then they renounced their rights to that one, so that at least it would be permitted to use the courtyard. 

Tosafos Kesuvos 2b

וכל אמורא היה תופס לשונו כמו מגדף בה ר' אבהו (סנהדרין ג:) תהי בה ר' יוחנן (ב"ק קיב:) לייט עלה אביי (ברכות כט.):

And each amoro had his expression for introducing his thoughts. For example: R’ Abohu castigated (Sanhedrin 3b).See Artscroll there who translates מגדף as an expression of surprise. See the notes there where he explains מגדף as castigating. This explanation seems to be how Tosfos here understands this word.

R’ Yochanan pondered (Bovo Kamo 112b).In Bava Kamo 66a and Airuvin 76a Artscroll translates this word as ‘examined’. Tosfos seems to equate this word with castigating and condemning as is evident from the fact that Tosfos is proving that the amoroim used different introductions to express the same idea. Obviously, Tosfos holds that these words are interchangeable.

Abaye condemned (B’rochos 29a).

If each Amora chooses a particular phraseology, what is the personal lesson or significance in this phrase “Tahiy Bah”?

תהי בה ר"א - בהא מילתא דאמרן לעיל ששכרו מן הנכרי ואח"כ ביטלו ותהי לשון מריח כמו בת תיהא דמסכת ע"ז (דף סו:) כלומר מעיין ומחשב לדעת טעמו של דבר:

According to Rashi “Tahi” means to metaphorically sniff and and carefully evaluate the issue as one may check wine for quality and stability.

Ra’avad Sefer Yetzira 1:11

ואפשר שלפי מיעוט התבוננות הנבראים במעשים אשר בתהו ההוא קראם תהו מלשון תוהא ומשתומם מלשון התלמוד תהי בה פלוני ואפשר שנקרא תהו ע"ש שחזרו לתהו או לדבר אחר ועוד נבאר במקומו בעז"ה

According to Raavad it seems to mean more like confusion and disorganization about the issue, which is supported by Shita Mekubetezes Bava Kama 76b

תהי בה רבי אלעזר. פירוש תהי מקשה ולישנא דאתמוהי הוא. גאון ז"ל.

And Shita Mekubetezes Nedarim 9b

כשהן תוהין. לשון פחד כשהן מתפחדים על עבירות שבידם. ומשמע כמו עושה לבן תווהין תווהין. פירוש. כשהן תוהין נוזרים. כלומר מתחרטים מעונותיהן אז נוזרים. וחברו בתוהא על הראשונות. וקצת נראה מהכא שאין משמעותו ממש לשון חרטה כמו שפירש בעל הערוך מדקא מייתי אחר כך ומתחרטים. על כן יש לומר משמעותו הישר לשון תמהון כלומר שמצטערין מעונותיהן שעשו לשון תהי בה ר' אלעזר שהוא לשון תמה.


I believe that These two different interpretations, Rashi and the Shita, represent two different ways to approach learning something new.  In order to learn something new, one has to let go of old assumptions.  There are two ways to do so:  One is through logic, and the other is through emotions:

Rashi’s idea is about being open and curious.  A logical and rational approach that carefully analyzes and tests all assumptions.  The Shita’s approach represents something emotional and visceral, the idea of becoming confused, surprised and amazed at this new information.  

Rashi’s concept fits University of Wisconsin-Madison’s description of an Analytic Learner:

Analytic Learners

Analytic Learners are primarily interested in acquiring new and accurate facts that lead to their understanding of concepts and processes. They learn by thinking through their experiences, judging the accuracy of what they encounter, and examining details. They integrate their observations into what they already know. They think through ideas and enjoy formulating theories, models and plans. They want to know what the experts think and judge new learning by how theoretically sound it is. They seek continuity and certainty. They tackle problems with logic and analysis. Educators need to give them facts to deepen understanding. The Analytic Learner’s favorite question is “What?”

The Shita’s concept fits University of Wisconsin-Madison’s description of a Dynamic Learner:

Dynamic Learners

Dynamic Learners are primarily interested in self-directed discovery. They learn from their perceptions and the results of their experiences. They rely heavily on their own intuition and seek hidden possibilities. They seek challenges and are risk takers. They like to connect things together and make what is already working, work better. They love putting new “spins” on things and flourish in unstructured, chaotic environments. They continually strive to grow and reach new heights. Educators need to let them teach it to themselves and others. The Dynamic Learner’s favorite question is “What if?”

for Video Shiur click here to listen:  Psychology of the DAF Eruvin 66

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria

For Video versions of this click here, and look for title and daf.  

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria