Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daf: Nazir 2a-4b

Here we go with some comments on the beginning of Nazir. As always, these comments will be a lot more intelligible (if not intelligent) to someone with a Gemara open...

As at the beginning of Nedarim, we note here that the commentary published on the inside margin is not from Rashi. Rav Soloveitchik would comment in his Tisha b’Av shiurim that the line in Kinos of מי יפליא נזירות ומי יערוך נדרים, "Who will clarify Nazirism and who will evaluate vows?" is a reference to the destruction of Rashi’s manuscripts on these volumes of Nedarim and Nazir. And see the Gilyon haShas here.

Of particular interest are Tosafot Ha’Omeir and Tosafot Hareini.

See also Tosafot “מאי טעמא תני נזיר” and compare with Tosafos at the start of Sotah, and the Rosh here.

See Tosafot “Amar Shemuel”

Is the Nazir a sinner, or not? Depends on whom you ask. See Tosafos “v’Amai” here, and the Tosafos in Bava Kama and Taanit footnoted here as well. On a peshat level it seems clear to me that, as the gemara says with a Yoledet, the “chatat” is called a “chatat” because its rites match those of a chatat, and not that it is actually a sin-offering. Otherwise, one cannot escape the fact that the same Gd who permitted wine also licensed the Nazir to abstain from wine, including the Nazir in the Torah explicitly.

It seems to me the gemara in Nedarim also had a debate about translating human speech to match Tanach-speech, but I don't recall precisely where.

The right and left here are reminiscent of the line in the Yamim Noraim davening, עוז בידך וגבורה בימינך.

The next to last word, קדושתא, should probably be קידושא, I think. קידוש is masculine.

The issue of whether Havdalah is biblical or not is a huge issue. See the Rosh here, and see the Aruch haShulchan Orach Chaim 296:1-5 and 296:18. The major ramification is whether women must/may recite Havdalah.

See Tosafot “kiShimshon”

On קווצותיו סדורות, see Gittin 58a on R’ Yehoshua ben Chananiah and R’ Yishmael ben Elisha – 'ordered hair' is a reference to Torah knowledge, not simply beauty?

בבואה here seems to be a reflection, but note that in Gittin 66a Rashi translates it as צל, shade.

Logically, “gemiri” here does not have its normal meaning of Halachah l’Moshe miSinai, in defining Nezir Shimshon? But see Tosafos ומביא before making up your mind.

Tosafos here renders מלאך as prophecy, which is consistent with the view of midrashim that the “malach” who appeared to Hatzlelponit and Manoach was actually Pinchas, as a prophet. See Vayyikra Rabbah 1:1 and Midrash Tanchuma Shelach 1:1. See also the Rambam in Moreh haNevuchim 2:42.

See Tosafos and the Rosh on whether this was a real ‘goses’ or not, and why that matters.

On the details of the Nazir Olam’s license to shave, see Tosafot 4a נזיר עולם and pseudo-Rashi at the bottom of 4b.


  1. Who destroyed Rashis' manusscripts for Nazir? Was it an accident?

  2. Yeah, I slipped and dropped them. It was a mess.

    Actually, I've heard it blamed on the Crusades, as well as the Church mass-burnings of Jewish manuscripts which began in the 13th century. Either explanation is reasonable.