Talmud Tips

For the week ending 11 February 2023 / 20 Shevat 5783

Nazir 2-8

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
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Mitzvah Beauty Treatment

We learn in a beraita: The verse “This is my G-d and I will glorify Him” (Shmot 15:2) teaches that “I will beautify myself before Him in mitzvah fulfillment.” For example, “I will make a beautiful succah, a beautiful lulav, a beautiful tzitzit and a beautiful Sefer Torah.” (See Shulchan Aruch Aruch Chaim 656:1 for the practical, financial implications in beautiful mitzvah fulfillment, often referred to as “hidur mitzah” — “beautifying a mitzvah”.)

Nazir 2b

Why Thirty Days?

The Mishna states: “A term of being a nazir that is unspecified in length is set as being 30 days.”

Why is it this specific time span? Rav Matna on our daf cites a verse that states, “Kodesh yihiyeh” — “he will be holy,” and the numerical value of “yihiyeh” (“will be”) is 30. The Sage Bar Pada teaches a different basis: the number of times that the word “nazir” appears in the Torah is thirty. However, we have a rule that measurements are part of the Oral Law that Hashem told directly to Moshe, and, therefore, these sources are not “real sources.” Rather, they serve as “hints” in the Torah to this measure of time. (Rambam in his commentary on the Mishna)

Nazir 5a

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