Beit Midrash

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To dedicate this lesson
Condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:19, 8:21

Lest a House Function Like a Hut

The gemara continues to look at various Aramaic words, seeing them as (informal) contractions of two words


Various Rabbis

Tevet 19 5779
[The gemara continues to look at various Aramaic words, seeing them as (informal) contractions of two words.]

Lest a House Function Like a Hut
(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:19)

Gemara: Bikta (a hut) represents bei akta (a house of overcrowding).

Ein Ayah: When one creates a place where people join together to spend time in privacy, the goal is to make the special characteristic of the family stand out in a pure spirit of Hashem. This is a source of good fortune that gives light to a multitude of nations and people, and shines the path of life to individuals and families.

Gathering in a home is good when it is done in a healthy manner. However, when it is done in an overly restrictive manner, it is viewed as seclusion that is based on hatred of others and concern for the lowly needs of one’s own flesh and self. This is the source of all despair, for the individual and for the masses.

A hut is not considered having the social value of a house. In truth, even a physically spacious house, if it has the mindset of a hut, i.e., its inhabitants do not call others inside to create internal ties, it is treated like a hut. After all, a house has the potential to be a meeting place which brings blessing and spreads the pleasantness of life and the light of earnestness to many groups. In contrast, a hut mentality, which is the source of narrowness and a hateful heart, exists when the evil of a man is from within the man, and the problems of the world stem from him. This is a house of overcrowding.

Building Blocks of the Success of Future Generations
(condensed from Ein Ayah, Shabbat 8:21)

Gemara: Livnei (bricks) represents livnei bani (for sons of sons).

Ein Ayah: There are two types of love of life in people. One is the love one has for himself. In this regard, whatever applies to others and not him, even if for his future generations, is of secondary interest in comparison to his own needs.

The second love is one’s concern for future generations that relate to him. A great person, even when he is focused on himself, can still provide for those who follow him because, as a good person, he takes his obligations seriously. This is as it says, "They will leave that which is left over for the children" (Tehillim 17:14).

However, when one is of a lower level and his limited interests are on his animalistic needs, he can totally forget his future generations, and his resources will be used up in his generation. Divine wisdom saw to it that there would be an increase in the nature of the person pushing him toward concern for his future offspring [even when the person is generally concerned primarily with himself]. When the post-flood generations moved and arrived in the Land of Shinar, they started working with bricks. Using stones, which are all ready for use, does not show as much concern as when using bricks, even though even the former lasts for generations. When there are not enough stones and one has a choice between weak but readily available and stronger but harder-to-come-by building blocks, if he cares about the stronger, such as bricks, he shows that he cares about his children. This is something that does not necessarily depend on a high spiritual level, but on a natural concern for his offspring. In this way, bricks are related to sons of sons.
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