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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Nedarim 32


(a) Answer: Because he involved himself in arranging lodging for the night before circumcising his son - "On the way, at the inn..."
(b) R. Shimon Ben Gamliel says, Hash-m did not seek to kill Moshe, rather the baby - "You are a Chasan of blood to me".
1. The baby is called a Chasan, for circumcision is his inauguration in Mitzvos.
(c) (R. Yehudah Bar Bizna): When Moshe slackened from circumcising his son, the damaging angels Af and Chemah swallowed his entire body, except for his legs.
1. Immediately, Tziporah circumcised her son with a rock, and the angels left Moshe alone.
2. At that point. Moshe sought to kill them - "Desist from Af and abandon Chemah".
i. Some say, he killed Chemah - "I do not have Chemah".
ii. Question: But Moshe said "I was afraid of Af and Chemah" (at a later time)!
iii. Answer #1: There were 2 angels called Chemah.
iv. Answer #2: He was afraid of the legions of Chemah.
(d) (Beraisa - Rebbi): Circumcision is great - no one engaged in Mitzvos as Avraham, yet he was only called complete when he circumcised himself - "Walk in front of me and be perfect ... I will put my covenant between me and you".
1. Also: Circumcision is great, for it is equal to all the Mitzvos of the Torah - "According to these matters (I made a covenant with you)".
2. Also: Circumcision is great - if not for it, Heaven and earth would not last - "If not for my covenant day and night".
(e) This opposes R. Elazar.
1. (R. Elazar): Torah is great - if not for it, Heaven and earth would not last - "If not for my covenant day and night, I would not have made Heaven and earth".
(f) (Rav Yehudah): When Hash-m told Avraham "Walk in front of me and be perfect", Avraham was afraid - 'Perhaps there is something detestable about me'!
1. When Hash-m said "I will put my covenant between us" he was assuaged.
(a) "(Hash-m) took (Avraham) outside" - Avraham told Hash-m, 'I see in my Mazel that I will not have a son".
1. Hash-m responded 'Leave your astrology - there is no Mazel for Yisrael'.
2. (R. Yitzchak): Anyone who acts purely with Hash-m, Hash-m acts purely with him - "With a Chasid you bestow Chesed; with a pure man you are pure".
(b) (R. Hoshaya): We learn, whoever purifies his character will rise to greatness.
1. It says, "Walk in front of me and be perfect", and then "You will be the father of a multitude of nations".
(c) (Rebbi): Anyone who engages in Nichush (acts according to omens) will be affected by them - "*Lo* (to him) there is Nichush".
(d) Objection: But Lo is written with an Aleph, the word means 'No'!
(e) Correction: Rather, Rebbi's teaching follows from the fact that Hash-m treats people according to their actions.
(f) (Ahavah, R. Zeira's son): Anyone that does not do Nichush merits a greater closeness to Hash-m than the ministering angels - "Yisrael do not do Nichush, there is no sorcery in Yisrael (and the angels will ask Yisrael about Hashem's actions)".
(a) Question (R. Avahu): Why was Avraham punished that his children should be enslaved 210 years in Mitzrayim?
(b) Answer #1 (R. Avahu): Because he used Chachamim to fight in war - "He armed his trained ones, those born in his house".
(c) Answer #2 (Shmuel): Because he questioned Hash-m's ways too much - "With what will I know that I will inherit (Eretz Yisrael)?"
(d) Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): "Give me the people, and keep the spoils" - Avraham returned captives to the king of Sodom, instead of keeping them to bring them to serve Hash-m.
(e) (Rav): "He armed his trained ones, those born in his house" - he loaded them with Torah;
1. (Shmuel): He loaded them with gold (to entice them to fight).
(f) Version #1 (R. Ami Bar Aba): "318" - Avraham's slave Eliezer was equal to all of them;
(g) Version #2: Really, only Eliezer aided Avraham in the war - the Torah says 318, for this is the numerical value of 'Eliezer'.
(h) (R. Ami Bar Aba): Avraham was 3 years old when he recognized Hash-m - "*Akev* (because) you listened to my voice".
1. The numerical value of Akev is 172 (and Avraham lived 175 years).

(i) (R. Ami Bar Aba): The numerical value of 'ha'Satan' (the accuser) is 364. (He prosecutes all days of the year except for 1 - Yom Kipur).
(j) (R. Ami Bar Aba): Hash-m changed Avram's name to Avraham.
1. At first, Hash-m gave Avram dominion over 243 of his limbs (the numerical value of Avram); later, Hash-m gave him control over the last 5 as well - the eyes, ears and penis.
(k) (R. Ami Bar Aba): "A small city and few men ..." - the city is the human body; the few men are the limbs;
1. "A great king came and surrounded the city" - this is the evil inclination;
2. "He built around it fortresses" - these are sins;
3. "There was in the city a poor Chacham" - this is the good inclination;
4. "He saved the city with his wisdom" - this is repentance and good deeds;
5. "No one remembered the poor Chacham" - when the evil inclination entices, no one remembers the good inclination.
(l) "Wisdom will strengthen a Chacham more than 10 officers": the wisdom referred to is repentance and good deeds;
1. The 10 officers are the eyes, ears, hands, feet, penis, and mouth.
(m) (R. Zecharyah): Hash-m wanted that Kohanim should descend from Shem - "He was a Kohen to Hash-m";
1. Hash-m decreed that Kehunah would come from Avraham because Shem blessed Avraham before Hash-m.
i. "(Shem) said, blessed is Avraham ... and blessed is Hash-m".
ii. Avraham: One does not bless the slave before the master!
2. Immediately, Hash-m decreed that Kehunah would come from Avraham - "The word of Hash-m to (Avraham) ... you are a Kohen forever on the words of Malki Tzedek (Shem)" - because of his words.
3. "He (Shem) was a Kohen to Hash-m" - but not his seed.


(a) (Mishnah): Reuven vowed not to benefit from his Shimon; Levi vowed not to eat from Shimon. The only difference between them is that Reuven may not walk through Shimon's property or borrow vessels not used for food, but Levi may;
(b) Shimon may not lend Levi a sifter, grinder or oven; he may lend him cloaks and rings.
(c) (Gemara) Question: Who is the Tana of the Mishnah?
(d) Answer (Rav Ada Bar Ahavah): R. Eliezer.
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): Even Vitur (small benefits which people normally do for free) may not be done for someone who vowed not to get benefit from the giver.
i. (Mishnah): Shimon may not lend Levi ...
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