Today’s daf might be one of the most impactful and insightful into human nature and the universe. In the middle of the page is a startling statement: “All is in the hands of heaven, except cold. Does this means don’t rely on Hashem, put on a coat. It rings of your mother cautioning you to put on a coat, even thoug you think you are warm enough. How strange: of all the things in the universe, of all the things in the cosmos, this is what the Talmud says we control.
What is more curious is that this contradicts the famous dictum in Brachos page 33 ( or maybe 34) that states: “All is in the hands of heaven, except fear of heaven.” How do we reconcile these two disparate statements. The Brachot statement is so ethereal, elgant and philosophical in it tone. The statement is Bava Metzia is so prosaic and folksy- almost comical.
THe SHikkerdovid would like to respectfully offer a reconciliation. They both mean listen to a higher authority. In Berachos, we are commanded to fear Hashem. In Brachot the dictum calls upon us to subordinate our own wishes to the dicates of Heaven. In Bava Metzia it is the authority of your mother. You can hear your mother say, put on a coat. It is a maternal mantra. Every mother since the beginning of time has exhorted her children to wear a coat to stay warm. The mother is the higher authority. To extend the metaphor, we should respect our mother, we should respect those who are in authority and dictate to us commands that are ultimately beneficial.
Just as we fear Hashem, we should subordinate ourselves to mothers and authority figures who can help us find our way.