Chapter 2, Mishna 1
The Sages are lenient in creating a “virtual” partition around a well in a public domain, using corner posts instead of a full enclosure, per the ruling of Rabbi Yehuda over the more stringent ruling of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yirmeyah ben Elazar gives us the Greek-Hebrew etymology of deyomadin, corner posts. Having brought in this teaching of Rabbi Yirmeyah, we begin a lengthy digression based on ten other teachings of his which have nothing to do with enclosures and partitions. We cover seven of them today. 1) Inferior figs exempt from restrictions of demai, doubtful tithes, 2) Adam and Eve were created as one being with two faces, and we spend most of our class on this idea, challenging it, supporting it, and exploring its implications. It includes the lovely image of God as the first Best Man and Maid of Honor in history. 3) Adam begat spirits and demons through accidental emissions outside the marriage bed. 4) Per God and Noah, we personally give people only some rather than all of the praise due to them. 5) From the olive leaf brought by Noah’s dove we learn it’s better to eat bitter food provided by the Lord than honey if it makes us dependent on others. 6) A house in which Torah is shared at night will not fall. 7) Since the Temple was destroyed, it suffices to to praise God with two letters of His Name rather than all four.