Nedarim - Daf 31

  • הלוקח כלי מן האומן לבקרו ונאנס בידו

Shmuel said:הלוקח כלי מן האומן לבקרו  - One who takes a utensil from the craftsman to examine it for potential purchase, ונאנס בידו חייב – and there was a mishap in his hand, he is responsible to pay. The Ran explains that the item had a fixed price, and the potential buyer knew that if he wanted to purchase the item he could. The only one to benefit from this purchase is the buyer, as the Gemara will explain, and he therefore has the status equivalent to a שואל – borrower, who is responsible for all accidents because כל הנאה שלו – all benefit is his. The Gemara challenges Shmuel from our Mishnah, which teaches about one who vowed not to benefit from Jews, לוקח ביותר ומוכר בפחות – he may buy from them only above market price and sell below it. He cannot sell to them at market price, because it would be a benefit to the seller to do so. How can Shmuel say that all benefit of a purchase is the buyer’s? The Gemara eventually answers, מתניתין בזבינא מיצעא, ודשמואל בזבינא חריפא – our Mishnah is speaking of merchandise in moderate demand, and Shmuel is speaking of merchandise in high demand. The sale of moderate-demand merchandise benefits both the seller and buyer; therefore, he must sell below market price and buy above it, because doing either at market price would be a benefit for him. A sale of high-demand merchandise, on the other hand, is considered the benefit of the buyer only (when sold at market price), which is why the potential buyer is responsible for all mishaps.

  • גדולה מילה

The next Mishnah states: If one says: קונם שאני נהנה לערלים – “Benefit that I derive from the uncircumcised is konam,” מותר בערלי ישראל ואסור במולי עובדי כוכבים – he is permitted to derive benefit from even uncircumcised Jews and is forbidden to even circumcised non-Jews. The Mishnah demonstrates from pesukim that the term “ערלים” in the Torah is always used in reference to non-Jews. The Gemara proceeds to quote several sayings of Tannaim describing the greatness of milah, including:

· שנכרתו עליה שלש עשרה בריתות – that thirteen treaties were made on it.

· שדוחה את השבת חמורה – that it overrides even Shabbos prohibitions, which are very strict.

·שכל המצות שעשה אברהם אבינו לא נקרא שלם עד שמל – that Avrohom Avinu, despite all the mitzvos he had done, was not called “complete” until he was circumcised.

·שאלמלא היא לא ברא הקדוש ברוך הוא את עולמו – that if not for it, Hashem would not have created His world.

  • The incident of Moshe’s delaying circumcising his son

It was taught in a Baraisa: Rebbe Yehoshua ben Korchah said: גדולה מילה שכל זכיות שעשה משה רבינו לא עמדו לו כשנתרשל מן המילה – great is milah, that all the merits that Moshe Rabbeinu attained did not support him when he was lax from performing milah on his return from Mitzrayim, when he did not circumcise his son immediately. Rebbe objected, saying: חס ושלום שמשה רבינו נתרשל מן המילה – Heaven forbid that Moshe Rabbeinu was lax from performing milah! Rather, he reasoned he could not circumcise his son and travel immediately, because of the danger to the child; nor could he wait the three days required for recovering after circumcising, because Hashem had told him to go. The Gemara concludes that the reason for his punishment was מפני שנתעסק במלון תחלה – because he involved himself with lodging first, instead of immediately circumcising his son.