THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) "NEKAMAH" AND "NETIRAH"
QUESTION: The Beraisa discusses the prohibitions of Nekamah and Netirah
(revenge and grudge-bearing). The Gemara gives an example of each
prohibition. Nekamah is when Reuven asks Shimon to lend him a Magal (sickle)
and Shimon refuses, and the next day Shimon asks Reuven to lend him a Kardum
(ax). If Reuven refuses, he transgresses the Isur of Nekamah. In the example
of Netirah, Reuven asks Shimon to lend him a Kardum and Shimon refuses, and
the next day Shimon asks Reuven to lend him a shirt. If Reuven says, "I will
lend you a shirt, because I am not like you who refused to lend," he
transgresses the Isur of Netirah.
2) HOW FORGIVING MUST A TALMID CHACHAM BE
Why does the Gemara change what objects are being requested within each
example? In the case of Nekamah, the first person asks for a Magal, and the
second person asks for a Kardum. In the case of Netirah, the first person
asks for a Kardum, and the second person asks for a shirt!
ANSWERS: Upon further examination, we find that there are numerous Girsa'os
in the Rishonim concerning what objects were being requested in the cases of
Nekamah and Netirah. Each Girsa requires analysis in its own right.
(a) The SEFER HA'CHINUCH (Mitzvah 241 and 242), the RAMBAM (Sefer
ha'Mitzvos, Lo Ta'aseh 304 and 305), and the ME'IRI write that the first
person, Reuven, asked for a Magal and then Shimon asked for a Kardum, in
*both* the cases of Nekamah and Netirah. The RITVA mentions that it is the
normal manner of the Beraisa to use alternate objects in such a discussion.
(Perhaps the reason for using alternate objects is because if Reuven asks
for a Kardum and Shimon refuses, then obviously Shimon owns a Kardum, and
thus he is not going to ask Reuven for one the next day! Therefore, the
Beraisa says that he asks for a different item -- a Magal -- the next day.)
(b) In the Girsa in the TORAS KOHANIM, in the case of Nekamah, Reuven asks
for a Magal and Shimon asks for a Kardum. In the case of Netirah, Reuven
asks for a Kardum and Shimon asks for a Magal. (This Girsa is similar to
that of our Gemara, except that in our Gemara, in the case of Netirah,
Shimon asks not for a Kardum but for a Chaluk (a shirt). We will return soon
to discuss the Girsa of our Gemara.)
The Girsa of the DIKDUKEI SOFRIM is similar, except that he switches the
order. (That is, in the case of Nekamah, Reuven asks for a Kardum and Shimon
asks for a Magal. In the case of Netirah, Reuven asks for a Magal and Shimon
asks for a Kardum.)
According to these Girsa'os, why is the order of the two objects in the case
of Netirah (Kardum-Magal) reversed from the order of the objects in the case
of Nekamah (Magal-Kardum)? It could be that it is simply the manner to first
mention in the new case the object that was mentioned last in the previous
Alternatively, perhaps the Girsa of the Toras Kohanim is intended to teach a
Chidush. A Kardum is worth more than a Magal. Consequently, in the case of
Nekamah, it teaches a Chidush and says that Reuven may not refuse to lend an
object to Shimon (who refused to lend him an object yesterday) even when the
object being requested is worth *more* than the object which was refused to
him the day before (and thus Reuven may have justifiable grounds for not
lending it). In the case of Netirah, the Chidush is that even though Reuven
is lending a *less* valuable item to Shimon, and thus we might have thought
that lending it begrudgingly is not real Netirah (since Shimon himself would
not have refused to give such an object to Reuven in the first place), the
fact that he lends it begrudgingly *does* make it Netirah. (The opposite may
be said for the Girsa of the Dikdukei Sofrim; the Magal is worth more in
(c) The Girsa of the RITVA and in the original EIN YAKOV is that in the case
of Nekamah, both Shimon and Reuven requested a Kardum from each other. In
the case of Netirah, Reuven requested a Magal and Shimon requested a Kardum.
Why does it switch from Magal to Kardum *only* in the case of Netirah?
The Ritva answers that a Kardum is more valuable than a Magal. The Beraisa
is teaching that even though Reuven is lending to Shimon an item worth
*more* than the thing which Shimon refused to lend to Reuven, nevertheless
since he gives it begrudgingly, it is Netirah.
(d) The Girsa of our Gemara is altogether difficult. In the case of Nekamah,
Reuven asks for a Magal and Shimon asks for a Kardum, and in the case of
Netirah, Reuven asks for a Kardum and Shimon asks for a Chaluk!
The GEVURAS ARI explains that when the Gemara gives an example of a case of
Netirah, it is not beginning a new case, but it is continuing the previous
case of Nekamah! That is, Reuven asked for a Magal and Shimon refused, and
then Shimon asked for a Kardum and Reuven refused out of revenge. The Gemara
then repeats the last incident of Reuven refusing to lend a Kardum to Shimon
out of revenge and adds that if Reuven then asks Shimon for a Chaluk, even
if Shimon lends it to Reuven but does so begrudgingly *because Reuven
himself committed Nekamah against Shimon*, nevertheless Shimon thereby
transgresses the Isur of Netirah. The Chidush is that even when Reuven
committed Nekamah against Shimon, Shimon is still not allowed to retain
feelings of malice in his heart against Reuven for it.
If so, in the example of Netirah, the Gemara had to mention "Chaluk" and not
"Magal," because Reuven had already asked for a Magal and was refused by
Shimon (in the very first incident), and thus he had to ask for something
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a Talmid Chacham should not forego his honor
when he is slighted, but he should remember the affront in his heart, unless
the offender asks him for forgiveness.
How are we to reconcile this Gemara with the Gemara in Megilah (28a) which
relates that Mar Zutra, before going to sleep each night, used to forgive
everyone who slighted him?
(a) MAHARSHA answers that Mar Zutra forgave only those who apologized to
him. Even though there were some whom he did not forgive right away, by the
time he went to sleep he was ready to forgive everyone. He did not forgive
those who did not apologize to him, as our Gemara says.
(b) The RITVA says that it is not reasonable to answer that Mar Zutra only
forgave those who apologized to him. If someone apologized to him, he
certainly would forgive that person right away. Rather, the Ritva explains
that our Gemara is talking about when someone insulted him with regard to
"Mili d'Shemaya," matters pertaining to Torah and Mitzvos. When it comes to
such matters, a Talmid Chacham should not forgive or forget the offense to
the honor of the Torah. When it comes to insults pertaining to "Mili
d'Alma," worldly matters, though, one should certainly be forgiving with a
full heart, as Mar Zutra was.
(c) The KESEF MISHNAH (end of Hilchos Talmud Torah) points out that the
RAMBAM answered this question by explaining that our Gemara, when it says
that a Talmid Chacham should not forgive an offense done to him, refers to
when someone *publicly* disgraced the Talmid Chacham. He should keep such an
offense in his heart until the perpetrator apologizes. If, however, the
affront was done only in private, then he should forgive the perpetrator
even in his heart, as Mar Zutra did.
(This is based on a logic similar to that of the answer of the Ritva, for a
public affront to a Talmid Chacham is in itself an affront to the honor of
(d) Perhaps RASHI is addressing this question. When the Gemara says that a
Talmid Chacham should remember in his heart what was done to him, Rashi
explains that it means that the Talmid Chacham should *forgive* the
perpetrator wholeheartedly, but that if someone else wants to do justice for
the Talmid Chacham then he should not stop him from doing so. The other
person should not be stopped, perhaps, because that person is acting on
behalf of the honor of the Torah. As far as his personal feelings are
concerned, though, the Talmid Chacham should forgive the offense entirely
(and that is what Mar Zutra did), and not take any punitive action at all
for fear that personal revenge, and not just Kavod ha'Torah, is motivating