(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Nedarim, 37


OPINIONS: The Gemara says that one may not receive a wage for teaching Torah. There are several types of circumstances in which it is permitted to receive a wage.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan rules that it is permitted to receive a wage for teaching the "Pisuk Ta'amim" (the cantilational notes on the words in the Chumash), since those notes are not mid'Oraisa. We see from here that one is permitted to take wages for teaching Halachos or Mitzvos that are mid'Rabanan. The HAGAHOS MAIMONI (Hilchos Talmud Torah 1, cited by the REMA in YD 246:5) writes that it is therefore permitted to take wages for teaching rabbinical enactments.

(b) The Gemara says that one who teaches small children who need to be watched may receive a wage for teaching them, since the salary is not being paid for the teaching, but for the supervision. The Gemara assumes that adults, and even young girls (who tend to be more mature and independent than young boys) do not need to be watched. (See ROSH, who says that little children have to be kept off the streets so that they will not cause damage and become accustomed to doing bad things.) Obviously, in a place where young girls and older children need to be supervised, their teacher may take a wage.

(c) The RAN and other Rishonim quote a Yerushalmi that says that one who opts to teach Torah at the expense of working in a profession may receive wages for the loss of work that he endures as a result of teaching. In such a case, he is not taking money for the teaching, but for not working.

(d) TOSFOS in Bechoros (29a) and the ROSH say that one who has no other source of income may receive a wage for teaching.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 246:5) rules that nowadays, teachers may receive salaries for teaching Torah for the abovementioned reasons.
2) HALACHAH: GETTING PAID FOR PERMISSIBLE WORK ON SHABBOS The Gemara discusses two types of payment for work (that does not involve Chilul Shabbos, of course) performed on Shabbos. The first is "Havla'ah," and the second is payment for a Mitzvah done on Shabbos.

1. HAVLA'AH. The Gemara says that one who teaches Torah on Shabbos may not receive a wage specifically for his work on Shabbos. If, however, he gets paid for a week or for a month at a time, then he may be paid for all seven days of the week of his teaching, since it is not evident that he is being paid for his work done on Shabbos.

The example of Havla'ah mentioned in the Gemara is only when he is being paid for an entire week or more. There is reason to say that only when *most* of the weekly salary is for weekdays is it then considered permissible Havla'ah. The Poskim say, however, that this is not necessary. The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 306:21) quotes the CHAYEI ADAM who permits Havla'ah by being paid for work done on Shabbos together with a few hours of work done on Erev Shabbos and on Motza'i Shabbos.

2. WAGES FOR DOING A MITZVAH ON SHABBOS. The Gemara says that it is prohibited to receive a wage for teaching Torah only on Shabbos, even though teaching Torah is a Mitzvah. The Gemara also quotes a Beraisa that says that the people who watch the Parah Adumah and guard it from any Tum'ah may not take wages for watching it on Shabbos (unless there is Havla'ah). The Beraisa implies that even if he is involved in a Mitzvah on Shabbos, he may not take wages for his work.

TOSFOS (37b) points out that although one may not involve himself in business issues on Shabbos, he may involve himself in issues of Mitzvos, even if it entails discussing expenses and costs for the Mitzvos. Why, then, is one prohibited from taking a wage for doing a Mitzvah on Shabbos, such as watching the Parah Adumah?

TOSFOS answers that although watching the Parah Adumah is a Mitzvah, receiving a salary is not part of the Mitzvah, and therefore it is prohibited.

The TUR (OC 585) quotes our Gemara and writes that he does not know what the basis is for permitting those who blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah to receive a salary. The BEIS YOSEF there quotes the MORDECHAI in Kesuvos who says that receiving a salary for blowing the Shofar is permitted, since the salary is being paid for the Mitzvah. The Beis Yosef explains that this is not considered doing business on Shabbos, since the contract was made before Shabbos. Although the Chachamim did not want people to take such wages since it looks like one is working on Shabbos, it is not Asur and therefore it is certainly permitted for the sake of a Mitzvah. (He quotes the Gemara in Pesachim 50b that says that the Meturgeman will not see any blessing from his wage, since it looks like he is receiving the wage for work on Shabbos. This implies that receiving a wage for work done on Shabbos is not prohibited, but it is also not commendable and strongly discouraged.)

The Tur's question, however, remains; our Sugya seems to say that it is prohibited to take wages even for a Mitzvah. The TAZ answers that it is permitted to take wages only for a Mitzvah that is necessary for Shabbos or Yom Tov (such as the Shali'ach Tzibur or the Ba'al Toke'a), but not for other Mitzvos (such as watching the Parah Adumah).

The MISHNAH BERURAH (OC 306:24) writes that the common practice is to be lenient with regard to receiving a wage for a Mitzvah done on Shabbos. One who wants to conduct himself stringently (and still get paid for his efforts on behalf of the Mitzvah on Shabbos) should not set any fee prior to Shabbos, but rather he should accept his "wages" as a gift *after* Shabbos. Alternatively, he can do work during the week and be paid for Shabbos through Havla'ah.

The MISHNAH BERURAH (ibid.) adds that a midwife (or any medical practitioner) is definitely permitted to take wages for her work on Shabbos. The Poskim say that such a person should *not* be stringent not to take wages, because this might cause him or her to avoid giving vital medical assistance where needed.


Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,