We can use the definite plural rather than the absolute because in Babylonian Aramaic we often will have the definite ending on a word even when the word is not definite.
Aramaic: Absolute: חַבְרוּ = friendship Construct: חַבְרוּת = friendship of Definite: חַבְרוּתָא = the friendship Definite plural: חַבְרְוָתָא = the friendships The plural of the form is formed by changing the vowels, rather than by adding consonants to the word.
Using a play on the words , beloved, “Rav Chiyya bar Abba said: Even father and son, master and disciple, who study Torah at the same gate become enemies of each other; yet they do not depart from there until they come to love each other” (Kiddushin 30b).
It is for good reason that our Sages coined the term , the war of Torah; when seeking truth, we must (metaphorically) battle with all our strength.
Yet, as can happen in life, one tragic misstatement led to tragedy.
And as so often happens, it is some obscure incident that triggers the tragedy.
The interaction of study partners is meant to be intense, boisterous, even argumentative.More importantly, all three stories are presented in all their detail, presenting powerful lessons for us, the heirs of these very great and very human rabbis. All wars take a toll and the “war of Torah” is no exception.Perhaps there was no more powerful chavruta than that of Rav Yochanan and Reish Lakish.Theirs is a beautiful, powerful and ultimately tragic story of two great but very different Talmudic Sages who were so close that one literally could not live without the other.