Horayot 14 - Retaining One's Learning

When it comes to redeeming people from captivity, there is a specified order, who is redeemed first, but it only applies to regular people, however, a Sage always takes precedence, and an illegitimately born Sage precedes an unlearned High Priest.

Five things are conducive to retaining one's learning: eating wheat bread, eating lightly cooked eggs, regular consumption of olive oil, regular enjoyment of wine and aromatics spices, and drinking water left over from producing a dough.

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel instituted that the Prince (he occupied this position) should be given more honor than the President of Court (Rabbi Nathan) and than the leading Sage (Rabbi Meir). They wanted to overthrow him, and plotted to suddenly ask him to expound Ukzin, the hardest tractate of Mishna. A friend, however, warned him, so he studied all night and was able to expound on the next day. However, Rabban Gamliel forbade Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Nathan to enter the study hall, and they had to write their answers in a piece of paper and throw them inside. The Sages petitioned for them, and they were readmitted, but when their teachings are quoted, they are not mentioned by name, but as "others say."

Art: John Singer Sargent - Venetian Wineshop

End of Horayot