Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Daf: Nazir 54-57

Once again, most of the notes I have on this series are technical and really need to be read in front of a gemara. Of particular interest: The question of tumah for the graves at Me'arat haMachpelah (54a) and Rav Ada's harsh statement to Rav Huna regarding the way Rav Huna's wife, Chovah, shaved her children's heads.

Reish Lakish indicates that pre-Sinai graves do not communicate tumat ohel, which leads to the question of why Rabbi Bena’ah marked the graves of our ancestors in Me’arat haMachpelah (Bava Batra 58a). Marking is only for graves that communicate tumat ohel! Tosafot and the Rosh explain why the ancestors buried in Me’arat haMachpelah have unique status.

Tosafot הגולל records a debate about what constitute גולל and דופק. It’s particularly interesting to note that the debate is only relevant if actual coffins are in use.

The mishnah’s language is tricky here, because it’s out of order: ימי ספרו refers to the end of tzaraat, the seven days after the metzora’s first shave. ימי גמרו actually refers to the middle phase, when he has been declared a מצורע מוחלט (full metzora) and is pre-purification. (And the first stage is ימי הסגרו, the period of quarantine before he is declared a full metzora.)
So the order for a metzora is this: ימי הסגרו, then ימי גמרו, then ימי ספרו.

The Rosh explains the reason for a decree creating tumah for land outside Israel: It was a means of discouraging people from leaving Israel.

Once we discuss a moving ohel, we must ask about the status of a boat. The Rosh mentions it.

The Rosh seems to have an edition that varies from ours, on the question of R’ Yosi b”r Yehudah.

The 120-day case is fascinating. Rosh gives a thorough explanation; you’ll also see it spelled out on 60a. It reminds me of my rebbetzin’s law school hypotheticals; as the gemara says, it’s לחדודי, a complex case brought to sharpen the mind of the student.

The word דין here simply means “logic”. Ditto for אין עונשין מן הדין and דנתי לפני חכמים.

On the odd story of Rav Ada’s response to the whole-head buzz cuts of the children of Rav Huna and his wife Chovah: (And why would anyone name a child Chovah, anyway?! reminiscent of Machlon and Kilyon!)
We find two approaches, which seem to be based in a difference of edition – לדידך vs ודידך:
Pseudo-Rashi has לדידך and says that Rav Ada is saying, “According to you, Chovah shouldn’t cut her kids’ hair that way!”
Tosafos has ודידך and says that Rav Ada is saying, “Chovah shouldn’t cut your kids’ hair that way!”

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