Rava's Personal Anecdotes and Characteristics

Rava's advice to his children: Berachot 8b

Rava sent his son Rav Yosef breih d'Rava to study under Rav Yosef for six years. His son came back after three years, on Erev Yom Kippur. Rava was angry and came out to greet him with a weapon, asking if he came home early because he missed his wife. Both Rava and his son were upset; neither ate the meal preceding Yom Kippur: Ketuvot 63a

Rava's Livelihood was provided from Heaven: Yoma 75b

Rava was an adam chashuv - an important person, and therefore he was stricter than necessary in certain practices lest people learn inappropriate conduct from him: Shabbat 142b

Rava showing respect to elders, but not standing: Kiddushin 33a

Rava used to have his aides offer their hands to elderly passersby, for them to lean on: Kiddushin 33a

Rava's concern about personal "Mazal": Nedarim 40a

Rava would tell people to keep knowledge of his illness private, initially, but if it progressed he would tell them to publicize it, so that his enemies would rejoice [and consequently suffer themselves], and his friends would pray for him: Nedarim 40a

Prayer before Entering Court: Yoma 86b-87a

Rava appointed interpreters for witnesses, because he did not know how to respond in their tongue: Makkot 6b

Rava's daily prayer admitting sin after the Amidah: Berachot 17a, Yoma 87b

Rava said that even being bitten by a louse would so distract him that he couldn't learn: Eruvin 65a

Rava salted fish for Shabbat himself: Shabbat 119a; Kiddushin 41a

Exclaiming "By Gd [HaElokim]!": Eruvin 14b; Megillah 10a; Gittin 13b; Bava Metzia 16b

Play on words, "VeChi Chulda Neviah Hi? [Is the Chulda/Rodent a Prophet?]": Pesachim 9b

Play on words, reading "Chas" [Mercy] into "Chasa" [Lettuce; Hashem is merciful in allowing us to use lettuce for Bitter Herbs for Pesach]: Pesachim 39a

Either Rava or Raveina cited a popular declaration, "It is better to have one sharp pepper than a basketful of gourds": Megillah 7a

Rava said, of a difficult question, "May it be Gd's will that I see the answer in a dream": Menachot 67a

Rava declared, "How foolish are people who stand before a Torah, and not before a Torah scholar, when a Torah scholar can provide an interpretation which runs counter to the Torah's literal words!": Makkot 22b

Priding himself for refusing to sleep until he could find merit for a Tzurba MeiRabbanan [Young Torah Scholar] in a court case: Shabbat 119a

Rava chastising a man who was praying for another man to fail in his pursuit of a specific spouse: Moed Katan 18b

Counting ceiling-boards to keep track of his drinking, to prevent a Magical "Zugot" problem: Pesachim 110a

Rava said that he would prefer flax-soaked water to liquor, and that a liquor drinker deserves to become too poor to afford wine: Pesachim 107a

Rava adjudicating a case of overcharging for merchandise: Bava Metzia 51a

Rava on diluting wine: Shabbat 77a; Eruvin 29b

Rava specifically drank 3-year-old wine after blood-letting: Shabbat 129a

Rava drank wine from Cups used with Special Blessings to display love for the Mitzvah: Succah 49b

Refused to go to Bei Avidan for debates, giving excuses to avoid it: Shabbat 116a

Rava's test by Ifra Hormiz and her son, Shevor Malka: Niddah 20b

Rava having Bar Avin, a known poet and eulogizer, compose a poem before they crossed the Diglat River: Moed Katan 25b

Rava said that his requests for Rav Huna's wisdom and Rav Chisda's wealth were granted, but not his request for Rabbah bar Rav Huna's humility: Moed Katan 28a

Rava asking a question on his own teaching ["UMotvinin AShemaatin"]: Menachot 49a

Rava provided an answer to a question, and then said, "That was not a good answer [Lav Milta Hi deAmri]" and provided another answer: Makkot 8a, 8b

Rava presenting the rationale for his own view and for that of those who disagreed with him: Eruvin 8b

Upon hearing of Rabbi Yirmiyah's contempt for a statement of the Babylonian students, Rava first asked, "Why do you tell him of our bad statements?" Rava then reversed himself, and defended the statement: Menachot 52a

How Rava began his teaching of the Purim Story: Megillah 11a

Rabbi Yochanan said, "The early ones [a reference to Rabbi Akiva or Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua] had hearts like the entrance to the Temple's large hall, and the later ones [a reference to Rabbi Elazar ben Shamua or Rabbi Oshia Berebi (Berebi=leader of his generation)] like the entrance to the Temple's smaller hall, and ours are like the eye of a clothes-needle." Abbaye added, "Our ability to understand is like that of a peg jammed into a small hole in a wall." Rava added, "Our minds' ability to understand is like a finger stabbing into thick wax." Rav Ashi added, "We forget as easily as a finger fits into a cistern's entrance.": Eruvin 53a

Rava said: When I pass on, Rabbi Oshia will come out to greet me, because I explained mishnayot to match his braitot: Bava Metzia 62b-63a

Rava's wife, the daughter of Rav Chisda, describing the pain of sexual relations to Rava: Ketuvot 39b

The beauty of Chomah (Abbaye's widow) and its impact on Rava when he saw her arm: Ketuvot 65a

A pauper asked Rava for fattened chicken and aged wine, because that was his diet before he became impoverished. Rava expressed concern for the communal burden; the pauper replied that the food of the needy comes from Hashem, not truly from people. Then Rava's sister - whom he had not seen for 13 years - visited, and brought fattened chicken and aged wine. Rava apologized and invited the pauper to eat: Ketuvot 67b

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