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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

Philosophical Selection

Rav Bibi was interacting with the talmidim. Rav Ami and Rav Asi came. Rav Bibi threw a basket of fruit before them. It was not clear if it was because he holds that it is forbidden to take the desired food from the undesired food [on Shabbat] or because [putting all before them] was a sign of generosity.
Various RabbisCheshvan 10 5779
16
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Gemara: Rav Bibi was interacting with the talmidim. Rav Ami and Rav Asi came. Rav Bibi threw a basket of fruit before them. It was not clear if it was because he holds that it is forbidden to take the desired food from the undesired food [on Shabbat] or because [putting all before them] was a sign of generosity.



Ein Ayah: The melacha of borer (selecting), besides being a forbidden activity on Shabbat, also reminds us about the selecting one is supposed to do in the spiritual realm.

Sometimes someone has to separate the undesired from the desired, meaning that one throws away every destructive idea, every deceitful opinion, and every bad tendency. This is the more common way to go about selecting between good and bad.

However, there is another way – to take out that which is desired from among that which is not desired. From among all the many undesired things, one picks out and takes that which is good, and as a result it turns out that that which is bad is no longer among that which he wants. Great people are able to do this, and the spiritual tendencies are able to connect to practical life, and so this can be considered a form of selecting.

People with great ideas like to work more than they like to enjoy. What is considered a favorable situation is when a "field that needs to be worked lays before them," so that they can "toil with their hands." They would rather receive more in an unrefined form, and they will finish up that which needs to be done. It is indeed toil and work, but these are things they like, as overcoming the challenges is what gives them satisfaction. That is why, symbolically, it could be said that they received the whole pile as a sign of generosity.
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