NEDARIM 62 (9 Av) - Dedicated by Rabbi Dr. Eli Turkel of Ra'anana, Israel, in memory of his father, Reb Yisrael Shimon ben Shlomo ha'Levi Turkel. Isi Turkel, as he was known, loved Torah and worked to support it literally with his last ounce of strength. He passed away on 10 Av 5740.

1)

(a)Rebbi and Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah arrived at a certain place after the fig-picking season had ended. Rebbi ate from the figs, Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah did not. Why did the latter still decline to eat them even after the owner reminded them that most of the locals had already put away their knives?

(b)Rebbi Chama bar Rebbi Chanina too, ate under similar circumstances. What did his Shamash do?

(c)What did Rebbi Chama quoting Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi in the name of his father tell him?

(d)What did a certain fig owner do with Rebbi Tarfon when he discovered him eating his figs?

(e)Why did he do that? Did he not know that once the season has terminated, the figs are permitted?

1)

(a)Rebbi and Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah arrived at a certain place after the fig-picking season had ended. Rebbi ate from the figs, Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah did not. And he still declined to eat them even after the owner reminded them that most of the locals had already put away their knives - because he thought that the owner had not really given up on his figs, and that he was just being polite. This was only a Chumra however, since Chazal permitted the figs on the basis of the majority, and did not reckon with the minority who may react differently.

(b)Rebbi Chama bar Rebbi Chanina too, ate under similar circumstances. When his Shamash - declined to eat ...

(c)... he quoted Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi in the name of his father, who said - that once the fig-farmers, after harvesting the majority of the figs on the trees, have put away their knives, the remaining figs are no longer subject to theft and are Patur from Ma'aser.

(d)When a certain fig owner discovered Rebbi Tarfon eating his figs - he tied him in a sack and took him to the river's edge with the intention of throwing him in (see Agados Maharsha).

(e)He did that - because he suspected Rebbi Tarfon of being the thief who had been stealing his grapes throughout the year (though he would seems to have transgressed the Mitzvah of judging one's friend to the scale of merit).

2)

(a)How did Rebbi Tarfon save himself from being drowned?

(b)Till the end of his days, he was cross with himself for having done so, due to a statement (that would later be made) by Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan. What did Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan subsequently say?

(c)How did he learn this from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from Belshatzar?

2)

(a)Rebbi Tarfon saved himself from being drowned - by crying out 'Woe is Tarfon, whom this man is about to kill'! At which, the man put down the sack and ran away.

(b)Till the end of his days, he was cross with himself for having done so, due to a statement (that would later be made) by Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan - who said 'Anyone who uses the crown of Torah for his own well-being will be uprooted from the world' (i.e. will die an unusual death - Tosfos referred to by Mesores ha'Shas).

(c)He learns this from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from Belshatzar - who used the vessels of the Beis ha'Mikdash which, on account of abuse, had lost their sanctity, yet he paid for doing so with his life; how much more so, words of Torah, which cannot lose their sanctity.

3)

(a)Rebbi Tarfon's reaction to his own deed implies that he should have allowed himself to be thrown into the river to drown? Since when is 'Mishtamesh b'Kisrah shel Torah' included among the Mitzvos for which one is obligated to give up one's life?

(b)When we asked why Rebbi Tarfon was cross, we introduce the Kashya with the expression 'I Hachi', suggesting that this would not have been a problem if the owner had for some reason, suspected him of stealing just that once. Why is that?

(c)Can we learn from this episode that a Talmid-Chacham is forbidden to claim tax-exemption on the basis of his being a Talmid-Chacham?

3)

(a)Rebbi Tarfon's reaction to his own deed implies that he should have allowed himself to be thrown into the river to drown, not because 'Mishtamesh b'Kisrah shel Torah' is included among the Mitzvos for which one is obligated to give up one's life - but because his extreme wealth gave him the option of saving himself by offering to pay for all the thefts.

(b)When we asked why Rebbi Tarfon was cross, we introduce the Kashya with the expression 'I Hachi', suggesting that this would not have been a problem if the owner had for some reason, suspected him of stealing just that once - because then he could have simply informed him that the Halachah permitted him to eat, or, failing that, he could have offered to pay for the figs that he ate. The problem is how one could expect Rebbi Tarfon to pay for all the grapes that had been stolen throughout the year, to which we reply that he was a wealthy man.

(c)We cannot learn from this episode that a Talmid-Chacham is forbidden to claim tax-exemption on the basis of his being a Talmid-Chacham - because that is a right that the Torah grants him. Our Sugya is speaking specifically about saving oneself from a dangerous situation caused by an unjustified suspicion.

4)

(a)What do we learn from the Pasuk in Nitzavim (with regard to learning motivation) "l'Ahavah es Hash-m Elokecha, Lishmo'a b'Kolo ul'Davkah Bo"? For which three motives should one not learn Torah?

(b)And what do we learn from the Pasuk in Mishlei ...

1. ... "Kashram al Etzbe'osecha, Kasvam al Lu'ach Libecha"?

2. ... "Derachehah Darchei No'am ... v'Somchehah Me'ushar"?

(c)What does Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok mean when he says 'Aseh Devarim l'Shem Pa'alam v'Daber Lahem bi'Shemam'?

(d)Which two forbidden motives do we learn from the 'Kal va'Chomer' from Belshatzar quoted earlier?

4)

(a)We learn from the Pasuk "l'Ahavah es Hash-m Elokecha, Lishmo'a b'Kolo u'le'Davkah Bo" - that one should not learn Torah in order to be called a Chacham, a Rav or a Rosh Yeshivah.

(b)We learn from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "Kashram al Etzbe'osecha, Kasvam al Lu'ach Libecha" - that one should learn Torah in order to have it at one's finger-tips (to put into practice) and on one's heart (to serve Hash-m).

2. ... "Derachehah Darchei No'am ... v'Somchehah Me'ushar" - that the ways of the Torah are pleasant and that ultimately, one will receive one's due reward.

(c)When Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Tzadok says 'Aseh Devarim l'Shem Pa'alam v'Daber Lahem bi'Shemam' - he means that one should perform Mitzvos and learn Torah for the honor of Hash-m and for the honor of the Torah.

(d)The two forbidden motives that we learn from the 'Kal va'Chomer' from Belshatzar quoted earlier (who used the vessels of the Beis-ha'Mikdash for is own purposes) are - for one's self-aggrandizement or as a means of obtaining one's livelihood.

5)

(a)What does Rava learn from Ovadya, who said to Eliyahu "v'Avdecha Yarei es Hash-m mi'Ne'urav"?

(b)Then why was Rebbi Tarfon upset with himself?

(c)How does Rava reconcile this Pasuk with the Pasuk in Mishlei "Yehalelcha Zar v'Lo Ficha"?

(d)In the same context, what does Rava learn from the Pasuk in Shmuel "u'Venei David Kohanim Hayu" (bearing in mind that David ha'Melech was from the tribe of Yehudah)?

5)

(a)Rava learns from Ovadyah, who said to Eliyahu "v'Avd'cha Yarei es Hash-m mi'Ne'urav" - that in a place where he is unknown, a Talmid-Chacham is permitted to reveal his status where necessary to promote his own interests (see Rosh).

(b)Rebbi Tarfon was nevertheless upset with himself - because he had alternative ways of saving himself, as we explained earlier.

(c)Rava reconciles this Pasuk with the Pasuk in Mishlei "Yehalelcha Zar v'Lo Ficha" - by making a distinction between a place where he is known (the Pasuk in Mishlei) and one where he is not (the Pasuk in Melachim).

(d)In the same context, Rava learns from the Pasuk "u'Venei David Kohanim Hayu" (bearing in mind that David ha'Melech was from the tribe of Yehudah) - that just as a Kohen has the first right to choose his portion, so too, does a Talmid-Chacham.

6)

(a)And what do we learn from the Pasuk in Emor "v'Kidashto, Ki es Lechem Elokecha Hu Makriv"?

(b)What does Tana d'Bei Rebbi Yishmael mean when, elaborating on this Pasuk, he explains ...

1. ... 'Lifto'ach Rishon'?

2. ... 'Levarech Rishon'?

3. ... 'Litol Maneh Yafeh Rishon'?

6)

(a)And we learn from the Pasuk "v'Kidashto, Ki es Lechem Elokecha Hu Makriv" - that Kohanim have priority in the three areas that we will now explain.

(b)When Tana d'Bei Rebbi Yishmael, elaborating on this Pasuk, explains ...

1. ... 'Lifto'ach Rishon' - he means that he receives the first Aliyah in Shul.

2. ... 'Levarech Rishon' - he means that he has the first right to Bentch Mezuman after meals.

3. ... 'Litol Maneh Yafeh Rishon' - he means that, when dividing something with a Yisrael, the Kohen has the first right to choose his portion (from the two otherwise equal portions).

62b----------------------------------------62b

7)

(a)Rava permits a Talmid-Chacham to exempt himself from Akarga (which is synonymous with Karga). What is 'Akarga'?

(b)He learns this from the Pasuk in Ezra, where Koresh, King of Persia, exempted the Kohanim and all those who worked in the Beis ha'Mikdash from "Mindoh, v'Lo va'Halach". What are "Mindoh, v'Lo va'Halach"? What do they have in common?

(c)Rav Yehudah translates "Mindoh" as a king's land-tax, "Lo" as a head-tax and "Halach" as 'Arnona', which some interpret as a tax to pay for the food served at the king's table (because it actually means 'a feast' in Greek). How do others interpret it?

7)

(a)Rava permits a Talmid-Chacham to exempt himself from 'Akarga' (synonymous with Karga) - which is a general term for taxes.

(b)He learns this from the Pasuk in Ezra, where Koresh, King of Persia, exempted the Kohanim and all those who worked in the Beis ha'Mikdash from "Mindoh v'Lo va'Halach" - which are three kinds of taxes.

(c)Rav Yehudah translates "Mindoh" as a king's land-tax, "Lo" as a head-tax and "Halach" as 'Arnona', which some interpret as a tax to pay for the food served at the king's table (because it actually means 'a feast' in Greek); others - as a 'partnership' (like in the Pasuk in Chukas "Ki Arnon Gevul Mo'av Bein Mo'av u'Vein ha'Emori"), and refers to an animal-tax, since the king had stakes in all the animals in his kingdom.

8)

(a)On what grounds does Rava permit a Talmid-Chacham to gain exemption from paying taxes by stating that he is 'a servant of "Nura" ' (which literally means 'fire'), despite the fact that this implies that he is a servant of a priest of Avodah-Zarah?

(b)Rava specified 'Talmid-Chacham'. Does this mean that this Heter is confined to Talmidei-Chachamim?

(c)Rav Ashi sold a forest to 'Bei Nura'. What did he answer Ravina, when he asked why he had not transgressed the Lav of "Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol"?

8)

(a)Rava permits a Talmid-Chacham to gain exemption from paying taxes by stating that he is 'a servant of "Nura" ' (which literally means 'fire'), despite the fact that this implies that he is a servant of a priest of Avodah-Zarah - because it also implies that he is a servant of Hash-m (whom the Torah in Va'eschanan refers to as "Esh Ochlah"), which is what he really has in mind when he says it.

(b)Rava specified 'Talmid-Chacham' (not because this Heter is confined to a Talmid-Chacham, but) - to teach us that even Talmidei-Chachamim (with whom the aspect of Chilul Hash-m is greater) are permitted to do this.

(c)Rav Ashi sold a forest to 'Bei Nura'. When Ravina asked why he had not transgressed the Lav of "Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol", he replied that it was - because most wood is used for burning (and not for sacrificing), and that is what most people would think he sold the forest for. If the purchasers then decided to use it for idolatry purposes, that was their business, and not his.

9)

(a)If someone forbids wine 'ad ha'Katzir', when does our Mishnah permit him to drink it?

(b)Is this time-period universal?

(c)Does it make any practical difference whether he declared his Neder in the mountains or in the valley?

(d)What will therefore be the Din if the Noder declared the Neder ...

1. ... in the mountain, and he was in the valley when the harvest season began in the valley?

2. ... in the valley, and he was in the mountain when the harvest season began in the valley?

9)

(a)If someone forbids wine 'ad ha'Katzir', our Mishnah permits him to drink it - at the beginning of the wheat-harvest (and not the barley-harvest, which begins earlier than the wheat-harvest), because that is what most people mean when they mention 'Katzir' Stam.

(b)This time-period applies - in places where they refer to the wheat-harvest as 'Katzir' Stam. In places where they call the barley-harvest 'Katzir' Stam, then that will be the gauge.

(c)It does make a practical difference whether he declared his Neder in the mountains or in the valley - because the harvest in the valley commences earlier than that of the mountains.

(d)The Din will therefore be that if the Noder declared the Neder ...

1. ... in the mountains, and he was in the valley when the harvest-season began in the valley - he must continue to keep his Neder until the harvest begins in the mountains.

2. ... in the valley, and he was in the mountain when the harvest season began in the valley - then he will be permitted to terminate his Neder there and then.

10)

(a)According to the Tana Kama, if someone forbids something up until the rains, he is forbidden until the beginning of the second rainfall. How many rainfalls are there?

(b)Does it make any difference whether he said 'ad ha'Geshamim' or 'ad she'Yehei ha'Geshamim'?

(c)What does Raban Shimon ben Gamliel mean when he says 'ad she'Yagi'a Zemanah shel Geshamim'? In what point does he argue with the Tana Kama?

(d)According to Rebbi Meir, if the Noder said 'ad she'Yifseku Geshamim', he is forbidden until the end of Nisan. What does Rebbi Yehudah say?

10)

(a)According to the Tana Kama, if someone forbids something up until the rains, he is forbidden until the beginning of the second - (out of the three) rainfall.

(b)It makes no difference whether he said 'ad ha'Geshamim' or 'ad she'Yehei ha'Geshamim' - because the actual rainfall does not have a fixed time-period, as we learned above.

(c)When Raban Shimon ben Gamliel says 'ad she'Yagi'a Zemanah shel Geshamim', he means - that it is not necessary to wait for the actual rain to fall (seeing as the time of its fall is not absolute), but only until its due date.

(d)According to Rebbi Meir, if the Noder said 'ad she'Yifseku Geshamim', he is forbidden until the end of Nisan; according to Rebbi Yehudah - until the end of Pesach.

11)

(a)In matters concerning Nedarim, does one follow the conditions as they are at the time of the Neder, or as they are at the time of their fulfillment?

11)

(a)In matters concerning Nedarim - one follows the conditions as they are at the time of the Neder (not as they are at the time of their fulfillment), as we saw in our Mishnah, and as the Beraisa reiterates with regard to someone who declares a Neder in the mountains of the Galil, and who then descends to the valley.

12)

(a)The Tana Kama and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah argue over whether 'ad ha'Geshamim' implies until the actual rainfall or until its time is due. What does Rebbi Zeira say about 'ad ha'Geshem'?

(b)What is the basis for the Rabanan's distinction between the two Leshonos? Does the basic Lashon mean until it begins or until it ends?

(c)We prove this from the Yerushalmi, which asks a similar She'eilah regarding someone who says 'Konam Yayin ad she'Yehei Mishteh Bni '. What is the She'eilah there?

(d)How does that prove our point?

12)

(a)The Tana Kama and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in our Mishnah argue over whether 'ad ha'Geshamim' implies until the actual rainfall or until its time is due. Rebbi Zeira says - that, should the Noder declare 'ad ha'Geshem', the Tana Kama will agree with Raban Shimon ben Gamliel (that we go after the time that the rain is due).

(b)The basis for the Rabanan's distinction between the two Leshonos is the fact that basic Lashon (of 'ad ha'Geshem') implies until it begins (because a person does not enter into Sfeikos). Consequently, when the Noder adds 'ad he'Geshamim' (which is a superfluous Lashon), he means to incorporate the time between the time of the rain and when it actually falls in the Neder.

(c)We prove this from the Yerushalmi, which asks a similar She'eilah regarding someone who says 'Konam Yayin ad she'Yehei Mishteh Bni' - whether the Noder takes into account that he might postpone his son's wedding (in which case he meant the Neder to be effective until the designated time of the wedding-feast), or not (and he meant the actual feast, whenever it would take place).

(d)So we see - that wherever the beginning of a specified period is not fixed, the Noder has in mind the due date rather than the actual event.

13)

(a)Why does Raban Shimon ben Gamliel not draw the same distinction between 'ad ha'Geshem' and 'ad ha'Geshamim' as the Rabanan?

(b)If, as we just explained according to the Rabanan, 'ad ha'Geshem' means until the time that the rain is due to fall (due to the fact that the actual rainfall is not fixed), why then do we not say the same with regard to 'ad ha'Katzir'? Why there does the Tana give the time as when they actually begin to harvest the wheat rather than the wheat harvest's due date?

13)

(a)Raban Shimon ben Gamliel does not draw the same distinction between 'ad ha'Geshem' and 'ad ha'Geshamim' as the Rabanan - because, in his opinion, people do not tend to differentiate between 'ad ha'Geshem' and 'ad ha'Geshamim', and either way, the Noder means the date that the rain is due to fall.

(b)Despite the fact that, as we just explained according to the Rabanan, 'ad ha'Geshem' means until the time that the rain is due to fall, we nevertheless do not say the same with regard to 'ad ha'Katzir' - because there, even the due date is not fixed (differing as it does from place to place), unlike the rain-season, whose exact due date is known.

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