שמעי בן גרא

One of the purposes of the Talmud is to help fill in certain missing details found in Tanach. One such story involved שמעי בן גרא.

In the Book of Shmuel we learn that שמעי cursed King David and threw stones at him. He was aligned with the family of Shaul. When David was on his death bed, he tells Shlomo that שמעי was not to reach old age. After David’s death, Shlomo makes a deal that he won’t kill שמעי as long as he never leaves ירושלים.

We later learn that שמעי broke his promise searching for his donkeys. Shlomo finds out and has him put to death.

The Talmud lets us know that שמעי בן גרא became Shlomo’s rebbe. The Gemara teaches that one should live near his rebbe, for as long as שמעי was alive, Shlomo did not take foreign wives. It is ironic that it was Shlomo who was forced to kill his rebbe. Nevertheless, in the process of telling this story, we learn more than what was written in the Tanach. And we learn that living near one’s rebbe, helps keep him in check.

The Talmud continues to amaze as one of the truly incredible pillars of Judaism.