Talmud Tips

For the week ending 17 October 2015 / 4 Heshvan 5776

Nazir 58 - 66

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Rav said to his son Chiya, “Take the cup and go make a beracha” (“Take the ‘cup of blessing’ and lead the blessing of zimun after the meal over the cup.” — Rashi)

The gemara explains that Rav holds that saying the blessing is more important than answering “amen” after the blessing. However, the gemara points out, whether saying the blessing is greater or whether answering amen after the blessing is greater is a point of disagreement between the Tana’im. The gemara concludes that the reward for both saying the blessing and answering amen is the same, but the one who says the blessing is granted his Heavenly reward more quickly.

Why does this masechta that focuses on the topic of “nazir” conclude with the topic of “blessing”? The effect of a blessing is similar to the effect of being a nazir. One who says a blessing opens an outpouring of Divine blessing to the world. Likewise, a nazir who dedicates himself to spiritual matters opens an outpouring of Diving blessing to the world. (Maharsha)

  • Nazir 66 a-b

Rabbi Elazar said in the name of Rabbi Chanina, “Torah scholars increase peace in the world.”

This teaching is based on a verse in the prophecy of Yeshayahu (64:13), and it concludes our masechta. The Maharsha explains that this statement in the gemara is related to the final mishna in Masechet Nazir. The mishna discusses Shimshon and Shmuel who were both nezirim from the time of birth. Both of these great spiritual leaders continued growing in greatness throughout their lives and brought peace by judging righteously and providing protection from enemies. (Maharsha)

  • Nazir 66b

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