Friday, July 21, 2006

nidrei zerizus

A final note on this topic: we mentioned that the Ran interpreted R’ Gidal’s halacha of one who pledges to perform a mitzvah in order to motivate him/herself to action as a shevua and not a neder. Even though we have a rule that a shevua to perform a mitzvah does not have any effect (one shevua cannot rest on top of another, and one is already mushba v'omeid m'har Sinai, already bound by oath from Har Sinai to do mitzvos), the Ran writes that that simply means one is exempt from a korban but would get malkos. Ramban at the opening of Parshas Matos disagrees and says violating such a shevua carries no punishment. If so, asks the Steipler (Birchas Peretz), how can such a shevua serve its purpose of motivation? The person making the shevua knows full well that his words are meaningless! I think the simple answer is that this is nothing more than a psychological ploy, but the Steipler suggests something more. The person who is not zealous is carrying out the mitzvah is implicitly treating the act in question as a reshus, something not obligatory. If it is not obligatory, than the rule of ‘mushba v’omed m’Har Sinai’ should not apply and the shevua should work! The person is trapped between the mitzvah the Torah imposes and the personal pledge he has created, leaving no room to escape the force of obligation.

7 comments:

  1. It has been a long time since I learned shevuos and looked at the Ramban - but perhaps the pshat is that even though there is no malkus or korban, the motivation is still to avoid a chilul Hashem. The main violation of a shevuah is not simply not keeping your word (like lo yachel) but rather to avoid desecrating Hashem's name by invoking it and not fulfilling. Hence the shitah of Rashi in beginning of the 3rd perek of shevuos and the implication of the Rambam as well is that one does not violate lo yachel for certain shevuos - despite the implication of the pasuk. This is the basis for the Rambam's shitah at the end of hilchos berachos that a beracha she-einah tzericha is a violation of lo sisa (unlike R"Tam who says it is an issur derabanan). (My rebbe, R'Mayer Twersky, shlita, had several other rayos to this idea -- one was noticing the Rambam's placement of the issur of shevua in sefer ha-mitzvos. While bal yachel is placed in bal teacher -- both about keeping one's word -- the issur of a false shevua is right next to the issur of chilul Hashem, ve-ein kan mekomo le-haarich). Since the issur is one of chilul Hashem and not machlif diburo, thus even if there is no malkus or korban, there can still be the motivation to be mekayem the mitzvah. Efshar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You assume that this is a shevua b'shem...another topic! So much torah, so little time : )
    BTW, I was also in R"M Twersky's shiur once upon a time about 18 years ago when he was giving the first year shiur (wow! 18 years sounds like a long time, but it doesn't seem that long ago!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Scary enough for me to think it but you were only a few years ahead of me (too bad you missed Shevuos!) And yes, this whole mehalech assumes that the ikar shevuah is be-Shem (perhaps it can work even if me-din yad or kinui it works without the Shem but as you said a whole other discussions

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Here are some links that I believe will be interested

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous1:22 AM

    Interesting website with a lot of resources and detailed explanations.
    »

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9:03 AM

    I like it! Good job. Go on.
    »

    ReplyDelete