Whenever R. Hisda and R. Shesheth met each other, the lips of the former trembled at the latter's extensive knowledge of Mishnahs, while the latter trembled all over his body at the former's keen dialectics.
What matter most, the ability to memorize broadly and quickly recall information, or the ability to deeply analyze and challenge interpretations? Each believed it was the other's gift most treasured.
Again, as we saw on an earlier page, the relationship of student and master is brought up – when and how does a student question his master? A story is told:
There was once a child whose warm water (prepared for the circumcision) was spilled (on the Sabbath)
‘Let some warm water’, said Rabbah ‘be brought for him from my house’ (in the same courtyard). ‘But’, observed Abaye, ‘We have prepared no ‘erub’. ‘Let us then rely’, the other replied. ‘on the shittuf’ (“association” or shared set aside meal). ‘But’, Abaye told him, ‘we had no shittuf either’. ‘Then’, the other said: ‘let a gentile be instructed to bring it for him’ —
‘l wished’, Abaye later remarked: ‘to point out an objection against the Master (questioning whether this instruction to the non-Jew was permitted) but R. Joseph prevented me, because he told me in the name of R. Kahana, "When we were at Rab Judah's he used to tell us that in a Pentateuchal matter any objection must be raised before the Master's ruling is acted upon. But in a Rabbinical matter we must first act on the ruling of the Master and then point out the objection"’.