Parshat חיי שרה Genesis 24:1 The Lord blessed Abraham with Everything

Genesis 24:1 – And Abraham was old, advanced in days, and the Lord blessed Abraham with everything.

Gemora: Baba Basra 16b – Rabbi Meir explained the meaning of “everything” as meaning that he did not have a daughter. Rabbi Yehudah explained it as meaning that he did have a daughter. Others explain that her name was “Everything”.

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #6:

It appears that the disagreement between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yehudah is the same as the disagreement between Rabbi Yochanan and Resh Lakish that appears in this section of the gemora. Rabbi Yochanan states that when a daughter is born, abundance [רביה] is multiplied in the world. Resh Lakish states that when a daughter is born strife [מריבה] is multiplied in the world. (Note a relevant explanation in Bereshis Chapter 6, Verse 1.) Thus, Rabbi Meir would be of the same opinion as Resh Lakish and Rabbi Yehudah would be of the same opinion as Rabbi Yochanan.

There is an opportunity to explain more fully this aggadah. Actually, the commentators have already written much on this issue. Further, the purpose of this book is not to explain at length aggadah.

Also, there is to note that Rabbi Meir is being internally consistent with his other stated opinions. Rabbi Meir established the daily prayer [said by men each morning] “Blessed are You, God, Lord of the Universe, who has not made me a woman”. This is as explained in Gemora Menachos 42b. It is possible to say that Rabbi Meir had this opinion because he did not hold women to be of high value because of the dictum that their thinking was “light”. This is as explained in Gemora Avodah Zarah 18b [where it recounts the fact that Rabbi Meir fled to Babylonia due to his shame regarding the incident with Beruria, his wife.] Additionally, [Rabbi Meir’s low opinion of women] was due to the fact that he, himself, stumbled through a particular woman as is explained in the book “Seder haDorot”

For this reason, [I] relied on the accurate text reading in Menachos stating the opinion of Rabbi Meir and not Rabbi Yehudah as is shown by the commentary Mesoras HaShas.

Editor’s Note: In this note it seems amazing that the Torah Temimah attributes Rabbi Meir’s low estimation of women as stemming from the fact that Rabbi Meir himself stumbled in a sin relating to women.

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