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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nedarim 40



(a) When Rav Kahana announced that Rav Chelbo was sick, and nobody responded by coming to visit him - he was worried that this could turn out to be fatal for Rav Chelbo.


1. When Rebbi Akiva's Talmid fell ill - Rebbi Akiva visited him, and instructed other visitors to sweep and settle the dust in his room (see Rosh).
2. His Talmid subsequently told him - that he had given him life.
(c) Rebbi Akiva then went and Darshened - that someone who visits a sick person causes him to live.

(d) Rav Dimi added to Rebbi Akiva's statement 've'Chol she'Ein Mevaker Choleh, Ein Mevakesh Alav Rachamim Lo she'Yichyeh *ve'Lo she'Yamus'* - meaning that it is sometimes necessary to pray for a sick person's death (when one sees him suffering due to his illness - like Rebbi's maidservant, who stopped Rebbi's Talmidim from Davening on his behalf, when she saw the extent of his suffering).

(a) On the first day of his illness - Rava instructed his Talmidim not to Daven for his recovery, so as not to weaken his Mazel (see Rosh).

(b) When he told them that from then on, they should announce his illness, so that his enemies should rejoice - he was referring to the Pasuk in Mishlei "bi'Nefol Oyivcha Al Tismach ... Pen Yir'eh Hashem, ve'Ra be'Einav, ve'Heishiv me'Alav Apo" (When someone rejoices at his enemy's downfall, Hashem is likely to retaliate by redirecting His anger at the happy enemy).

(c) He added to that - that his friends should Daven on his behalf.

(a) Rav learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Ashrei Maskil el Dal, be'Yom Ra'ah Yatzileihu Hashem" - that someone who visits a sick person ("Dal") and sees to his needs, will be saved from the Din of Gehinom ("Ra'ah").
2. ... "Hashem Yishmereihu" - that Hashem will also save him from the Yeitzer ha'Ra.
3. ... "vi'Yechayeihu" - and spare him from pain.
4. ... "ve'Ushar ba'Aretz" - that everyone will honor him.
(b) From "ve'Al Titneihu be'Nefesh Oyvav", he learns that he should have friends like Na'aman, and not like Rechav'am. The friends of ...
1. ... Na'aman (Elisha) - advised him to bathe in the River Jordan, and he became cured of his leprosy.
2. ... Rechav'am - advised him to be hard on the people, causing him to lose half his kingdom.
(c) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in a Beraisa said that if youngsters advise one to build, and elders, to demolish, one should listen to the elders - 'because the demolishing of elders is considered building (meaning that it is constructive)'.

(d) Rechav'am ben Shlomoh is proof of this - because the youngsters advised him to tax the people heavily, whereas the elders' advise was to go easy on them (causing him an apparent loss); and see what happened there!

(a) Rav Shisha Brei de'Rav Idi says that one should not visit a sick person during ...
1. ... the first three hours of the day - because that is when he appears more healthy than he really is, and the visitor will not see the need to Daven on his behalf.
2. ... the last three hours of the day - because that is when he looks worse than he really is, and the visitor, thinking that there is no point in Davening, will be discouraged from doing so.
(b) Ravin Amar Rav learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Hashem *Yis'adenu* Al Eres D'vai" - that Hashem feeds a sick person.
2. ... "Hashem Yis'adenu *Al Eres D'vai*" - that Hashem rests at the head of the sick person's bed.
(c) The Tana of the Beraisa requires someone who visits a sick person to sit on the ground, and not on a couch, bench or chair - because Hashem rests at the head of the sick person's bed, and it is not befitting to sit higher than the Shechinah.

(d) Some commentaries qualify this Halachah - by restricting it to when the sick person is lying on the floor but not when he is lying in bed.

(a) As far as Tevilah is concerned the basic difference between rain- water and spring-water is - that whereas it is permitted to Tovel in the latter even whilst it is flowing, one may only Tovel in the former when it is gathered into a pool.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk in "*Ach* Ma'ayan u'Bor" - that it is only in spring-water in which one may Tovel whilst it is flowing, but not in rain-water.

(a) When Ravin Amar Rav said that when it rains in Eretz Yisrael, it is evident in the River P'ras (the Euphrates) - he meant that, even though it did not actually rain in Bavel, the rain-water of Eretz Yisrael reaches the River P'ras, and swells its waters.

(b) Consequently, for fear that the rain-water that fell into the river now constitutes the majority, one is forbidden to Tovel in it.

(c) Shmuel disagrees. When he says that the water of a river is blessed from its own source - he means that however much rain-water flows into it, more water will always fill it from its own source.

(d) The source for this is a Sugya in Ta'anis - which states that for each Tefach of rain that falls from the sky, two come up from the underground fountains that constitute the supply source of water for the river.




(a) Elsewhere, when Shmuel himself said that one may only Tovel in the River P'ras in Tishri - he was referring to people who do not know how much water is usually found in the River P'ras, or which other rivers sometimes dry up for no particular reason.

(b) Shmuel specified P'ras, because it is a river that does not normally dry up without good cause (whereas in fact, all rivers that resemble the P'ras, have the same Din as it).

(c) And he confines the concession to the month of Tishri, not to exclude all other months - but because he is referring to people who do not know when to expect the river to swell due an influx of rain or of the snow melting. In Tishri, he can take for granted that neither of these is likely to occur (and Tovel there).

(d) Shmuel will ...

1. ... prohibit Toveling in rivers that dry up without cause, even if it happens only once every seven years - because the suspicion that he is Toveling in a river consisting mainly of rain-water, is an ongoing one.
2. ... permit Toveling in the River P'ras the whole year round, if he knows that it has not increased.
3. ... prohibit Toveling in the River P'ras in Tishri, if he know that it has.
(a) Shmuel's father would arrange Mikva'os for his daughters in Nisan (by enclosing part of the river). In Tishri, he would arrange mats - either to stand on when they Toveled (to avoid a Chatzitzah during Tevilah - an interruption between the water and the body), or they were large mats, which he erected at the side of the river for Tz'niyus (modesty) purposes.

(b) He was stringent in Nisan (incorporating from Nisan to Tishri) and lenient in Tishri (only) - because he was worried about the river's intake of water from melted snow during that period, which did not normally pose a problem during Tishri (conforming with the latter opinion of his son, Shmuel).

(a) According to the Ran's Rebbes - when we say that Shmuel's father used to arrange Mikva'os for his daughters in Nisan, incorporating the months until Tishri, it goes without saying that that is what he did between Tishri and Nisan (which was the rain season).

(b) We disagree with their explanation - on the grounds that the Gemara should then have said that their father arranged Mikva'os for them the whole year round, except for the month of Tishri.

(c) What they actually then during those months - was to have their own artificial Mikveh at home.

(d) This latter arrangement must have involved tremendous effort on their father's part. He did it - because it was too cold for his daughters to go down to the river to Tovel.

(a) Rabeinu Tam rules like the lenient opinion of Shmuel, which permits Tevilah in the river at all times, despite the fact that Shmuel's father, Rav and even Shmuel himself in his second opinion, disagrees with this - on the basis of a Beraisa in Bechoros, where both Rebbi Meir and the Rabbanan appear to substantiate this opinion.

(b) This ruling extends to all rivers - that do not dry up without cause.

(c) The Ramban substantiates the ruling of Rabeinu Chananel and the Rif, who rule like Shmuel's second (more stringent) opinion - firstly, based on the principle 'Ma'aseh Rav' (because Shmuel's father applied his ruling in practice), particularly bearing in mind that even Shmuel's lenient ruling appears in the form of an Agadta (and not as a Halachah); and secondly, because Shmuel himself may have Darshened that way, but when it came to the crunch, he did not rely on it, as is evident from his second ruling.

(d) As for Rabeinu Tam's proof from the Beraisa in Bechoros (where both Rebbi Meir and the Rabbanan seem to substantiate Shmuel's first opinion) - either they knew of another Beraisa which disagrees with this one, or they had a different text in the Rabbanan of Rebbi Meir, which reads 'va'Chachamim Omrim P'ras Shemo', instead of 'she'Meimav Parin ve'Ravin'.

(a) Assuming that we rule like Rabeinu Chananel and the Rif, the Ra'avad (based on a Tosefta) qualifies the prohibition of Toveling in rivers which, there is reason to suspect, contain more rain water than natural water - by restricting it to where the river follows a new course, but if it happened to the river where it is flowing along its original course, it is permitted in any case.

(b) The Rambam however, is more stringent. He makes the distinction at the source of the river, between the original point where it flowed out from the source and where it widened (due to the rain), but not to the extenuation of the river, where Tevilah is forbidden (at the point where the river swelled) even in the original section of water which flowed there before.

(c) We prefer to qualify the Tosefta's distinction between where the river widened to where it maintains its original width to the source of the river, rather than to where the river extends (in which case we would have permitted Tevilah by the source even where it widened) - due to the tendency to always take the more stringent view, whenever the implications are ambiguous.

(a) We learn from the Mishnah in Mikva'os 'He'id Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Tzadok, al ha'Zochlin she'Rabu al ha'Notfin, she'Kesheirim' - that as long as the flowing water exceeds the rain water, the river remains Kasher.

(b) And this applies even if the river took a new course (according to the Ra'avad), and even where it widened (according to the Rambam) - because otherwise, we would hardly need the testimony of Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Tzadok to teach us that a few drops of water will not invalidate a Kasher Mikveh.

(a) In a Mishnah in Mikva'os, the Tana Kama permits stopping up a breach in a Mikveh even using part of a Zav's body. Rebbi Yossi however - forbids using anything that is subject to Tum'ah to close the breach.

(b) The Halachah - is like Rebbi Yossi.

(c) One may Tovel ..

1. ... in salty water or in warm water.
2. ... in the sea (despite the fact that the water moves).
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