Saturday, September 6, 2008

Kamtz and Bar Kamtza - Gittin 56

In Daf Yomi we just covered one of the most famous stories in the Gmara - kamtza and Bar Kamtza.

I'm sure that all my readers are familiar with the story, in case you're not, feel free to look it up on Wikipedia or on the OU's website.

A number of years ago I remember hearing an interesting take on the story. The G'mara starts off by saying that "It was because of 'Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza' that Yerushalayim was destroyed" - it is easy to see how Bar Kamtza was responsible for the destruction of Yerushalayim, but how was Kamtz responsible? He wasn't even there.

The Maharal asks this question, and you're welcome to look at his answer, however I heard a different approach from Rav natan Segal (I don't remember if he quoted this approach in the name of someone else).

Kamtza was not at the party to begin with - that is why the host of the party had to send someone to call him. The unasked question is WHERE was Kamtza - why wasn't he at his close friend's party? We don't know why the party was being held, but presumably he was celebrating an event such as a Brit or a Wedding - how could Kamtza have a close friend celebrating an important event and not take the time to even show up?

That is the antithesis of ואהבתה לרעך כמוך that you don't take an interest of care about your own friends. This lack of true friendship on behalf of Kamtza may seem trivial, but it started a series of events that lead to the destruction of Yerushalayim.

Now that Elul is upon us, lets all start worrying about each other a little more, and maybe we can start a series of events that will see Yerushalayim returned to her former glory.

Shvua Tov


Anonymous said...
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סֵפֶר "Bar Kamtza. 2007" said...
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סֵפֶר "Bar Kamtza. 2007" said...
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סֵפֶר "Bar Kamtza. 2007" said...

Here were raised the intelligent and important questions - but they were asked about the literal meaning (פשט) of the legend - and this causes disaster!

We MUST DECRYPT the literal meaning of the legends of the Talmud!

Kamtza and Bar Kamtza - who are they really???

The answer is here (in Hebrew):
or (with some additions):

The true meaning of the Sinat Chinam concept is explained in the document called
חמישה קטעים על המילה בריון
on this site: