Nedarim - Daf 33

  • Why a mudar hana’ah from food is prohibited to borrow utensils used to produce food

The Gemara asks why a mudar from “food” would be prohibited to borrow utensils used to produce food, since he only made a neder from the food itself. After the Gemara’s first attempt is rejected, Rava answers: באומר הנאה המביאה לידי מאכלך עלי – it is speaking about one who says, “The benefit of your food is forbidden to me.” Since he added “the benefit,” he means to include all items involved in producing an edible food. Rav Pappa adds: שק להביא פירות וחמור להביא עליו פירות, ואפי' צנא בעלמא – even a sack to bring fruit in, or a donkey to bring fruit, and even a basket, would be included in this neder as a method of obtaining food, although they do not prepare the food itself [Ran].

Rav Pappa asked if he may receive a benefit that does not bring the food to him, rather it brings him closer to the food (e.g., borrowing a horse to ride towards the location of the food), since the food benefit is indirect. The Gemara attempts to bring a proof from our Mishnah but deflects it.

  • שוקל לו את שקלו ופורע את חובו

The Mishnah states about a mudar hana’ah: שוקל לו את שקלו – he can pay for his half-shekel, ופורע את חובו – and he can pay off his debt, ומחזיר לו את אבידתו – and he can return his lost item. The Gemara observes, אלמא אברוחי ארי בעלמא הוא ושרי – We see that it is merely “chasing away a lion” and thus permitted, meaning the first two cases, paying for his half-shekel and paying off his debt, are not considered a benefit received; they are merely protection from a potential loss. Rav Hoshaya says that this Mishnah is the opinion of Chanan, who holds that one who provides sustenance for a woman whose husband is away cannot collect compensation from the husband upon his return. His reason is that he does not consider the husband to have received direct benefit from the supporter, rather he deems it a loss prevented. Rava explains that the Mishnah is speaking of a loan that the borrower was not required to pay, therefore, all Tannaim would agree that paying for it is not considered benefiting him. The Gemara explains the dispute between these two Amoraim.

  • Machlokes whether a mudar hana’ah may return a lost item

The Gemara records a machlokes between Rebbe Ami and Rebbe Assi regarding in which cases one may return a lost item to a mudar hana’ah. All agree that if the owner of the lost item is prohibited from receiving benefit from the returner, that the item may be returned,דכי מהדר ליה מידעם דנפשיה קא מהדר ליה – because when he returns it to him, he is merely returning to him that which is his and is not giving him any tangible benefit. Their argument is in a case where the returner is prohibited from receiving benefit from the owner. One says he may not return the item in this case, because while he is involved in returning the item, he is patur from other mitzvos, including tzedakah, which potentially will save him money. The other opinion says that this potential benefit does not prohibit him from returning the item, because it is uncommon for a beggar to come at the very moment he is tending to the lost item.