For the week ending 27 June 2015 / 10 Tammuz 5775

Nedarim 37 - 43

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Taking pay for teaching Torah
  • When one can receive pay for service done on Shabbat
  • Rules on writing, reading and pronouncing given by G-d to Moshe
  • The wealth of Moshe, his special gift of Torah knowledge and the qualities which qualified him for prophecy
  • The wealth of all the prophets
  • Supporting the family or animals of one who he has vowed not to give any benefit or arranging a marriage with him
  • Rules for paying a sick visit to such a person
  • Torah source for mitzvah of visiting the sick
  • Moshe's confrontation with the rebel Korach
  • All about visiting the sick
  • The Sages who forgot their learning and were reminded by their disciples
  • Permitted and forbidden interactions between one who has vowed to forbid benefiting another and the object of his vow
  • How one who has made a vow forbidding him to benefit another can nevertheless help him if he is in need

The Learned Laundryman

  • Nedarim 41a

Torah knowledge was not the monopoly of well-known scholars. Even Jews with simple occupations sometimes serve as the source of valuable Torah information for the Talmudic Sages.

One such Jew was a laundryman who used to listen to the learning of Rebbie (Rabbi Yehuda the Nassi) as he expounded thirteen different angles on a Talmudic subject. Once when Rebbie was teaching his outstanding disciple, Rabbi Chiya, he succeeded in communicating only seven of them because he forgot the other six. Rabbi Chiya went to the laundryman to learn them and then helped Rebbie remember them.

When Rebbie later saw this learned laundryman he then praised him for making both Rabbi Chiya and himself wiser.

Maharsha suggests that this may be the same laundryman mentioned in Mesechta Ketubot (103b) as one who daily visited Rebbie but failed to be present the day of Rebbie's funeral. He nevertheless was granted a painless entry to the World to Come like all those who where there.

What the Sages Say

"Whoever visits the sick will be spared the afterlife pains of Gehinom."

  • The Sage Rav - Nedarim 40a

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