Talmud Tips

For the week ending 24 March 2018 / 8 Nisan 5778

Avoda Zara 58 - 64

by Rabbi Moshe Newman
Become a Supporter Library Library

Rabbi Yochanan said: "Go, go”, we tell a nazir, “around, around; don’t come near the vineyard.”

Even when there is no Torah prohibition against doing a particular act, our Rabbis sometimes enacted a decree to forbid certain actions in order to prevent a person from transgressing a Torah command. Although the Torah does not forbid a nazir from entering a vineyard, the Rabbi Yochanan taught that we tell him not to enter. Since he is not allowed to eat the fruits of the grapevine, he might come to eat from the forbidden fruits there, even if he does so unwittingly. Rabbi Yochanan’s sage advice here is that a nazir should be told to “Stay away!” from a vineyard, even if this involves inconvenience, such as going around the vineyard instead of taking a shortcut through it. As one might easily imagine, this teaching may find practical application in making smart and correct choices in our daily lives. Even if the Rabbis did not make a special enactment in a particular case, it might very well be a “Talmud Tip,” and perhaps even halacha, to avoid certain situations.

  • Avoda Zara 58b

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at [email protected] and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Talmud Tips

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.