I have been off the bloggadah for many many weeks and resolved to jump back on this week. I succeeded in making it my daily practice to study the assigned reading every day and did so with my ears open for the slightest whisper of the still small voice of inspiration, which I am only beginning to hear. I am pondering R. Ze'era, who stayed obscure to remain alive (avoiding ordination!).
R. Ze'era used to say, "We are not required to give heed to the traditions of R. Sheshet, since he is blind." R. Sheshet who taught both Rava and Abaye is to be disregarded and for such a reason! Sheshet, who called Ze'era a great man (gabra rabba"; 'Er. 66a) is to be disregarded! Is it perhaps because he called Ze'era. who strived to be obscure, a great man. Is it Ze'era's fear of recognition that leads him to insist that one who recognizes him must be blind? I hope so.