[59b top] R’ Eliezer argues with the Chachomim (Rabbis) and wanted to bring proofs that his opninion is correct. He said to them, “If the Halachah (law) is like me, let this CAROB TREE prove it!” Thereupon, the carob tree uprooted from its place and walked a hundred cubits across the field. The Chachamim said to him, “No proof can be brought from a carob tree.” Then he said to them, “If the Halachah is like me, let this STREAM OF WATER prove it!” Thereupon, the stream of water stopped flowing downhill and reversed its flows backwards upstream. The Chachamim said back to him, “No proof can be brought from a stream of water.” Again R’ Eliezer tried and said, “If the Halachah is like me, let the STONE WALLS of the Beis Medrash prove it.” Thereupon, the stones dislodged from the walls, started falling, and were about to crush everyone inside. R’ Yehoshua yelled at the stones, saying, “When Torah scholars are engaged in a Halachic dispute, what right do you have to interfere!?” At that moment, they stopped falling and hung floating in space exactly where they were [they could not fall in honor of Rabbi Yehoshua, nor did they re-form proper walls in honor of Rabbi Eliezer]. Finally, R’ Eliezer exclaimed, “If the Halachah is like me, let it be proven from Heaven!” Thereupon, a Heavenly Voice cried out, “Why do you argue with Rabbi Eliezer, seeing that in all matters, the Halachah is like him?” R’ Yehoshua stood up and exclaimed, “Torah is not in Heaven!” R’ Yirmiyah explained: Since the Torah had already been given to man at Mount Sinai, we pay no attention to Heavenly voices [because Hashem has written in the Torah at Mount Sinai: After the majority the matter shall be decided (and the Chachomim are the majority opinion)].
Vilna Goan: Even though the Rabbis did not accept miracles as proof, each succesive time, R’ Eliezer was trying to show his correctness. In the three foundation pillars of life (as to how one should live correctly), he demonstrated his power them (by reversing their states):
1) BE HAPPY with what you have and where you are [demonstrated by a deeply rooted and settled carob tree which survives on very little water]
2) STAY HUMBLE [as water always flows down stream and lowers itself]
3) WORK HARD [maintaining rock solid focus within stone walls of a study hall]
D-E-ep Thoughts: No matter what we do in life, we should live by the three rules of thriving: Be Happy, Stay Humble, Work Hard. Keeping proper focus in these areas ensure that we will never get depressed, never become to arrogant, nor ever slack off with our duties. When we follow these guidelines in all our jobs and interactions in life, whatever comes our way, we will be connected properly to Hashem, our families, and friends.