Friday, February 08, 2008

Nedarim 50a - Story of R' Akiva

One point that it didn't realize until now and is not mentioned in the kesubos version of the story, is that Eliyahu came to him in the appearance of a man asking for straw. The Ran explains that the purpose of this visit was to show R' Akiva and his wife that as bad off as they are, there are always others who are in more dire straits. The language of the Ran and Rosh bother me a little because they seem to say that it was a consolation to R' Akiva that there are people poorer than he. But is seems that they mean to say that R' Akiva was able to appreciate the little that he had when he saw others that had even less.

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