Stained Shirts

The Talmud Shabbat on page 114A makes a startling remark. Any talmud chacham who wears a shirt with a grease stain is liable for death. What?, the remark is intended to show the respect a wise person engenders. Rabbi Yona Reiss explains that the stain on the shirt is really a metaphor for the stain of bad character. Clearly if one character is not clean or free of stains they are not a “talmud chacham.”

The Shikker Dovid would like to chime in on what this means. The stain on the shirt is a metaphor for a real life events or experiences, or acknowledging a physical fact. One who walks around oblivious to the stains on his shirt or is so engrossed in metaphysical things that he dord noy realize he had a stain, cannot be deemed to be a ‘talmud chacham.” According to the SD, a wise person is one who delves into the spiritual mysteries but also understands the physical and practical realities of the world in which he resides. The Talmud Chacham is a person who understands the spiritual yet appreciates and acknowledges the physical realms.

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1 Response to Stained Shirts

  1. Groysa Chuchum says:

    Shikker – you are profound and wise. Well beyond your years and that chulent stain on your tallis bag ….

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