Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sotah 10a

The Gemara proposes several possible reasons as to why Rav Nachman could describe the symptoms of a particular illness; not all of them involve his having derived his knowledge from the Torah:

סוטה י. (ש"ס ווילנא); ז"ל

א"ל מר זוטרא בריה דרב נחמן לרב נחמן היכי דמי פדגרא א"ל כמחט בבשר החי מנא ידע איכא דאמרי מיחש הוה חש ביה ואיכא דאמרי מרביה שמע ליה וא"ד סוד ה' ליראיו ובריתו להודיעם.  עכ"ל

Mar Zutra, son of R. Nahman, asked R. Nahman, What is Podagra like? – He answered, Like a needle in living flesh.  How did he know this? – Some say he suffered from it himself; others say that he heard it fro his teacher; and others declare, The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will shew them His covenant.  [translation by The Rev. Dr. A. Cohen in The Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Dr. I. Epstein, ed., Seder Nashim Vol. VI (Nazir-Sotah), London: Soncino, 1936]

(Reference from Levi, Facing Current Challenges, Chap. 33, fn. 24)

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