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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Nedarim 40


(a) Rav Kahana announced: 'Rav Chelbo is sick - will no one come?!'
1. A Talmid of R. Akiva once fell sick; Chachamim did not visit him. R. Akiva visited and commanded to sweep and clean the premises. The Talmid recovered, and attributed this to R. Akiva.
2. R. Akiva: Anyone that does not visit the sick is as one that murders.
(b) (Rav Dimi): One who visits a sick person causes him to live; one who does not visit him causes him to die.
(c) Question: How does he cause this?
1. Suggestion: One who visits him prays that he should live; one who does not visit him prays that he should die.
2. Rejection: He does not pray for him to die!!!
(d) Answer: Rather, one who does not visit him does not pray, not that he should live, nor that he should die.
(e) Rava fell sick. The 1st day, he asked not to publicize the matter, so his Mazel should not turn bad. Henceforth, he asked them to announce it.
1. He reasoned: whoever hates me will rejoice - and it says, "Do not rejoice in the fall of your enemy (lest Hash-m ... will turn his anger away from him)";
2. Whoever loves me will request mercy for me.
(a) (Rav): Anyone that visits the sick is saved from judgment in Gehenom - "Happy is the one that supervises Dal; on the day of evil, Hash-m will save him";
1. "Dal" means a sick person - "From sickness he will save me"; "Son of the king, why are you sick each morning?"
2. "Evil" is Gehenom - "All actions of Hash-m are for his sake; also the wicked one, for the evil day."
(b) Question: What is the reward for visiting the sick?
(c) Objection: We already said - he is saved from judgment in Gehenom!
(d) Clarification of question: What is the reward in this world?
(e) Answer: "Hash-m will guard him, and sustain him, give him happiness in the land, and not give him over to his enemies."
1. "Hash-m will guard him" - from the evil inclination; "and sustain him" - from afflictions;
2. "Give him happiness in the land" - all will take pride in him;
3. "And not give him over to his enemies" - he will give him friends as Na'aman's friends, who helped him to cure his leprosy;
i. He will not give him friends as Rechavam's friends, who split his kingdom.
(f) (Beraisa - R. Shimon Ben Elazar): If youths tell you to build, and elders tell you to destroy, listen to the elders, for the (seeming) building of youths is really destruction, and the (seeming) destruction suggested by elders is really building.
1. A sign of this is the counsels given to Rechavam, son of Shlomo.
(g) (Rav Shisha Brei d'Rav Idi): One should not visit the sick in the 1st 3 hours of the day, nor in the last 3 hours, so he should not refrain from requesting mercy for him.
1. In the 1st 3 hours, the patient looks well; in the last 3 hours, he is so weak that one will despair and not pray.
(h) (Ravin): Hash-m nourishes a sick person - "Hash-m will sustain us on the bed of the sick";
1. This verse also teaches that the Divine Presence rests above the bed of the sick.
2. (Beraisa): One who visits the sick should not sit on a bed, bench or chair - rather, he should cloak himself and sit on the floor, for the Divine Presence rests above the bed of the sick.
(a) (Ravin): A sign of much rain in Eretz Yisrael is an increased water level of the Peras River.
(b) This argues on Shmuel.
1. (Shmuel): Most of a river's water comes from its source.
(c) We have a contradiction of teachings of Shmuel!
1. (Shmuel): The only river that one can immerse in as in a spring (i.e. without enclosing the water) is the Peras River in autumn.

2. Shmuel's father enclosed water (in the Peras) for his daughters to immerse in spring; in fall, he just set up mats (so the mud should not be a blockage, or for privacy).
(d) (R. Ami): "Make for yourself vessels of exile" - these are a lamp, a bowl, and a leather mat to eat on.
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