אָמַר רָבָא: הֲרֵינִי כְּבֶן עַזַּאי בְּשׁוּקֵי טְבֶרְיָא. אֲמַר לֵיהּ הָהוּא מֵרַבָּנַן לְרָבָא: תַּפּוּחִים בְּכַמָּה? אֲמַר לֵיהּ: וְכִי מְעָרְבִין בְּתַפּוּחִים?

Rava once said when he was in an especially good mood: Behold, I am like the intellectually sharp ben Azzai, who would regularly expound in the markets of Tiberias. I, too, am ready to answer any question posed to me. One of the Sages said to Rava: How many apples are needed to establish an eiruv? Rava said to him: Does one establish an eiruv with apples?

for Video Shiur click here to listen:  Psychology of the DAF Eruvin 29 

רש״י שם

הריני כבן עזאי בשוקי טבריא - יומא בדיחא הוה ליה לרבא ואמר להו לתלמידיו השתא צילי דעתאי והריני מזומן להשיב בחריפות לכל מי שישאלני כבן עזאי שהיה דורש בשוקי טבריא ולא היה בימיו עוקר הרים כמותו [והיה אומר כל חכמי ישראל לפני כקליפת השום חוץ מן הקרח הזה]:

This is a fascinating piece showing us that the sages, on their levels of course, were subject to moods. Not every day is perfect. Here Rava had an especially perfect day in learning. Yesterday on Daf 28b Rabbi Zeira did not have such a good day in learning:

רַבִּי זֵירָא כִּי הֲוָה חֲלִישׁ מִגִּרְסֵיהּ, הֲוָה אָזֵיל וְיָתֵיב אַפִּיתְחָא דְּרַב יְהוּדָה בַּר אַמֵּי, אָמַר: כִּי נָפְקִי וְעָיְילִי רַבָּנַן — אֵיקוּם מִקַּמַּיְיהוּ וַאֲקַבֵּל בְּהוּ אַגְרָא.

The Gemara relates that when Rabbi Zeira was exhausted from his studies, he would go and sit at the entrance to the academy of Rav Yehuda bar Ami, and say: When the Sages go in and out, I shall stand up before them and receive reward for honoring them, as it is a mitzva to honor Torah scholars. Too tired to engage in actual Torah study, he sought a way to rest while fulfilling a different mitzva at the same time.  No doubt he could haven chosen any mitzvah, but he chose something related to Torah study, honoring the sages, to keep close to the mitzvah that was dear to him.

This honest, realistic capacity for self-assessment and positive way to deal with times of more productivity and less productivity is admirable and speaks for itself in terms of psychological health.

for Video Shiur click here to listen:  Psychology of the DAF Eruvin 29

Translations Courtesy of Sefaria

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