[14a top] Gemarah: The wicked Roman government decreed that whoever rabbinically ordains others and those that received ordination would be put to death (and their cities and boundaries would be destroyed and eradicated). Rabbi Yehudah ben Bava sat between two great mountains (that could not be uprooted), and between two large cities; between the Shabbos boundaries of the cities of Usha and Shifarum, and there, he ordained five elders: R’ Meir, R’ Yehudah, R’ Shimon, R’ Yosi and R’ Eliezer ben Shamua. As soon as the enemies discovered them, R’ Yehudah ben Bava told them to flee. They asked him, “Teacher, what will become of you?” He replied to them, “I lay before them like a stone which cannot be overturned.” It was said that the enemies did not leave the spot until they had driven three hundred iron spears into his body, making him like a sieve.
R’ Soloveitchik: Even though this was not one of the ‘big three’ cardinal sins (that one must die for rather than commit), he did so because through his teachings (and passing of the Mesorah to future generations) he would gain eternal life.
D-E-ep Thoughts: When we are not asked to give our physical lives for something, we must ask ourselves, what are we LIVING for?
Today’s P.I.P. (Put Into Practice) TIP: Stop and think what motives are truly driving our everyday actions.