THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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NEDARIM 51 - dedicated anonymously in honor of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, and in
honor of those who study the Dafyomi around the world.
1) AGADAH: THE MEANING OF ZIMAH, TO'EVAH, AND TEVEL
QUESTION: At Rebbi's son's wedding, Bar Kapara made Rebbi promise to dance in
front of him and his wife to sing (see SHALMEI NEDARIM and BEN YEHOYADA) in
front of him in order to be able to hear Bar Kapara's lessons. Bar Kapara
asked Rebbi questions and only answered them after Rebbi danced for him. The
three lessons that he taught Rebbi were that the word "Zimah" (in the
Parashah of Arayos) means "Zu Mah Hi," "To'evah" means "To'eh Atah Bah," and
"Tevel" means "v'Chi Tavlin Yesh Bo." Why did he teach Rebbi these three
things at his son's wedding?
2) THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "MA'ASEH KEDEIRAH" AND "HA'NA'ASEH B'KEDEIRAH"
ANSWER: The MAHARAL (in Chidushei Agadah) explains that at a time of Simchah,
a person is more vulnerable to give in to temptations of physical lusts (see
Berachos 31a). (Perhaps this is the reason why Rebbi refrained from deriving
any type of pleasure or joy from this world -- so that he not be enticed to
follow his physical Ta'avos.)
Bar Kapara wanted to add to the joy of the wedding, and at the same time he
wanted to prevent the joy from leading to a joy of the Yetzer ha'Ra. Hence,
when he made Rebbi dance, he simultaneously taught that all the Ta'avos of
this world are meaningless and worthless. "Zimah" is "Zu Mah Hi" -- there is
nothing in it, it is all an illusion of one's imagination. "To'evah" is
"To'eh Hi Bah" -- one who follows his lusts is erring and wayward. "Tevel"
means "v'Chi Tavlin Yesh Bah" -- is there any real value to the physical
pleasures that a person pursues so tirelessly in this world? For a Mitzvah,
though, a person should rejoice and derive pleasure. A person should refrain
from all joys of Olam ha'Zeh that are not related to a Mitzvah.
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that when a person makes a Neder prohibiting
himself from eating "Ma'aseh Kedeirah," he is prohibited from eating "Ma'aseh
Raschasa," food boiled in a pot. If he makes a Neder prohibiting "ha'Yoreh
l'Kedeirah," he is prohibited from all foods cooked in a pot.
The Gemara cites a Beraisa that differentiates between "ha'Na'aseh
b'Kedeirah" and "ha'Yored l'Kedeirah" differently. "Ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah"
implies any food that was completed by being cooked in a pot. The Beraisa
makes no mention of "Ma'aseh Raschasa." Why, though, should a Neder of
"ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah" differ from a Neder of "Ma'aseh Kedeirah?" They both
seem to imply the same type of food. Moreover, the Beraisa cited later (at
the end of this Amud), regarding "Ma'aseh Tanur," clearly implies that there
is no difference between "ha'Na'aseh" and "Ma'aseh!"
(a) TOSFOS and the ROSH (in his second explanation) explain that the Mishnah
is teaching the same thing as the Beraisa, but in different words. The
Beraisa says that the difference between "ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah" and
"ha'Yored l'Kedeirah" is that "Na'aseh" means that the food was *completed*
in a pot, and it does not matter whether it started cooking in a pot or not
(such as in a pan), and "ha'Yored" means that it *started* cooking in a pot,
and it does not matter whether it was completed in a pot or elsewhere.
When the Mishnah says that when one makes a Neder prohibiting "Ma'aseh
Kedeirah" he is prohibited from "Ma'aseh Raschasa," it means that he is
prohibited from food that was brought to a boil and *completed* in a pot.
When the Mishnah continues and says that when one makes a Neder prohibited
"ha'Yored l'Kedeirah" he is prohibited from any food that was "cooked in a
Kedeirah," it means that if the cooking was *started* in a Kedeirah then the
food is prohibited, even though it was not completed in a Kedeirah (but in a
(Tosfos does not have the Girsa that is quoted in the Mishnah as it appears
on 51a, "Asur b'Chol ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah." Rather, he has the Girsa of the
Mishnah as it is expressed on 49a, "Asur b'Chol ha'Misbashlin b'Kedeirah.")
(b) The RAN quotes the Yerushalmi that says that "Ma'aseh Raschasa" has
nothing to do with being completed in a pot. Rather, it refers to the type of
food that needs to be boiled for a long time. How, then, does the Ran
reconcile the Mishnah with the variant ruling of the Beraisa?
It seems that the Ran holds that when one makes a Neder by saying "ha'Na'aseh
b'Kedeirah," he is prohibited to eat foods that meet both of two criteria:
first, the food must be completed in a Kedeirah, and, second, it is the type
of food that is cooked abundantly ("boiled"). The Mishnah is teaching one
criterium (that the words "ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah" include a food cooked
abundantly), and the Beraisa is adding another criterion to the Mishnah -- in
order to be included in the Neder, the food must be one that is completed in
a Kedeirah (see also MEFARESH on the Mishnah, 51a).
It seems that the Ran is consistent with his view elsewhere, in his
explanation of the phrase in the Beraisa of "ha'Yored l'Kedeirah." The Ran
says that "ha'Yored l'Kedeirah" refers to anything that was ever cooked in a
Kedeirah, whether it started there or finished there. "Ha'Yored," then, is a
more inclusive term than "ha'Na'aseh." Hence, just like the Beraisa teaches
that "ha'Yored" adds to the Neder items that were cooked in a Kedeirah at any
point of their preparation, the Mishnah is adding that "ha'Yored" adds to the
Neder even types of foods that are not abundantly cooked. In contrast, using
the phrase "ha'Na'aseh b'Kedeirah" in a Neder limits the Isur to foods that
are cooked abundantly.
Tosfos, on the other hand, maintains that "ha'Yored" (in the Beraisa) is ust
as limiting as "ha'Na'aseh." "Ha'Yored" means that the cooking was *started*
in a Kedeirah (and not that it was in a Kedeirah at any point of its
preparation), and "ha'Na'aseh" means that the cooking was *completed* in a
Kedeirah. If "ha'Na'aseh" limits to the Neder to foods cooked abundantly,
then "ha'Yored" must also be limited to foods cooked abundantly. Therefore,
the Mishnah cannot be teaching us that "ha'Yored" includes *more* types of
food that "ha'Na'aseh."
According to the Ran, though, why does the Beraisa say that a Neder of
"ha'Yored l'Tanur" prohibits only bread, while "Kol ha'Na'aseh b'Tanur"
prohibits all foods made in a Tanur? According to the Ran, "ha'Yored" is a
more inclusive term and should include *more* items that "ha'Na'aseh!"
The reason that "Kol ha'Na'aseh b'Tanur" includes more foods is because the
person used the word "Kol" ("all"), which extends the meaning of his Neder.
The same would apply if he said, "Kal ha'Yored l'Tanur" -- such a Neder would
include all foods made in a Tanur. The reason why the Beraisa says "Kol
ha'Na'aseh" and not "Kol ha'Yored" is to teach that even when one says "Kol
ha'Na'aseh" and uses a more limiting term ("ha'Na'aseh"), nonetheless the
word "Kol" makes it all-inclusive.
3) SMALL FISH AND BIG FISH
The Gemara initially suggests that "Dag" refers to large fish and "Dagah"
refers to small fish. The Gemara rejects this suggestion based on the verse
that discusses the plague of Dam in Mitzrayim. The verse says that the "Dagah
in the Ye'or died" (Shemos 7:21). It does not make sense that only the small
fish would have died and not the large fish. It must be that "Dagah" includes
fish of any size, even large ones.
The ROGOTCHAVER GA'ON (see Tzafnas Pane'ach, Shemos 17:21, and Mahadura
Tinyana 14a) suggests that perhaps we can defend the Gemara's initial
assumption that "Dagah" refers only to small fish.
The plague of Dam was intended only to affect the Egyptians and not public
items. Flowing rivers are considered to be public property. Therefore, the
waters within them are not limited to the possession of the people who live
in the area of those rivers (Beitzah 39a, Eruvin 45b; see also Avodah Zarah
Hashem did not turn the waters of the *rivers* of Mitzrayim into blood.
Rather, he told Aharon to hit the waters of the "Ye'or" with his staff and to
turn those waters into blood (Shemos 7:17, 20). The word "Ye'or" refers to
man-made irrigation canals (Bava Metzia 103b). A canal dug by an individual
becomes the private property of that person (Tosfos, Bava Kama 81a, DH
u'Ma'ayan). Although it says in the verse that the "rivers and lakes will
also be of blood" (7:19), it does not say that they *turned into* blood, but
that they became full of blood because the blood in the private canals flood
into them and polluted the waters of the rivers as well (that is why it says
"v'Hayu l'Dam" with regard to the rivers, while with regard to the waters of
the canals it says "v'Nehepchu" -- they were *transformed* into blood).
This explains why only the small fish died. The Mishnah in Gitin (59b) says
that animals that were caught in a private trap or pond but on which no
Kinyan was actually made (they were not actually picked up by the owner of
the trap) are, mid'Oraisa, considered Hefker. The Chachamim enacted that they
belong to the owner of the trap only because of "Darchei Shalom."
Consequently, the fish in the private canals in Mitzrayim should not have
been affected by the plague of Dam, since they were not the property of the
individual owners but were public property. However, the Yerushalmi in Gitin
(5:9) says that this only applies to *large* fish or animals, but *small*
fish or animals are considered the possession of the owner of the trap or net
(or wherever they were found). This is why the plague of Dam did affect the
small fish -- because those fish *were* the possession of the Egyptians! Even
though our Gemara concludes that the big fish must have died as well, the
Rogotchaver Ga'on is suggesting either that the Yerushalmi is arguing with
our Gemara, or that the big fish eventually died because of the pollution to
their enviroment or because of the ecological imbalance (caused by the death
of the small fish); they did not die, though, as a direct result of the
blood. The small fish, on the other hand, died immediately as a result of the
plague of Dam. The Torah uses the word "Dagah" to imply that the primary
victim of the plague of Dam was the small fish, while the ramifications to
the big fish were only secondary to the small fish.