Nedarim - Daf 38

  • לא ניתנה תורה אלא למשה ולזרעו

Rebbe Yose bar Rebbe Chanina said: לא ניתנה תורה אלא למשה ולזרעו – The Torah was given only to Moshe and his descendants, as it says: כתב לך פסל לך – “Write yourself…Carve yourself,” which teaches, מה פסולתן שלך אף כתבן שלך - just as the pieces cut out by the carving (of the luchos) are yours, as the Gemara taught earlier, so too the writing is yours, meaning the Torah. טובת עין ונתנה לישראל משה נהג בה – Moshe acted with generosity and gave it to the Jewish people, and about him the passuk says: טוב עין הוא יברך – “He with a good eye will be blessed.” The Gemara challenges this statement from two pesukim which indicate that Hashem commanded him to teach Torah, and the Gemara answers that they can be interpreted that he was commanded himself [to learn it], and he independently decided to teach it. When the Gemara poses another challenge and refutes the answer offered, it concludes: אלא פילפולא בעלמא – rather, just pilpul, the methodology to derive keen insights from the Torah, was given originally to Moshe alone, and he generously shared this methodology with all of Klal Yisroel.

  • אין הקדוש ברוך הוא משרה שכינתו אלא על גבור ועשיר וחכם ועניו

Rebbe Yochanan taught: אין הקדוש ברוך הוא משרה שכינתו אלא על גבור ועשיר וחכם ועניו – Hashem only rests His Shechinah on one who is mighty, wealthy, wise, and humble, וכולן ממשה – and all of them are learned from Moshe. The Gemara proceeds to demonstrate that Moshe had all these qualities:

·גבור: Moshe possessed the strength to hurl and shatter the Luchos, despite their great size. The Gemara describes their dimensions as six tefachim wide, six tefachim long, and three tefachim deep.

·עשיר: As it says: פסל לך פסולתן שלך יהא – “Carve for yourself,” meaning, that the pieces of sapphire cut out by the carving shall be yours to keep, providing him with great wealth.

·חכם: As Rav and Shmuel taught, fifty “gates” of insight were created, and all but one was granted to Moshe. The Ran says this “one” refers to true knowledge of Hashem.

·עניו: As it says: והאיש משה עניו מאד – And the man Moshe was exceedingly humble.

  • Marrying off one’s daughter in a case of mudar hana’ah

Rav Huna was quoted as teaching: המודר הנאה מחבירו מותר להשיא לו בתו – One who is mudar hana’ah from his friend, he can marry off his daughter to him. Rebbe Zeira wondered, which party is the mudar hana’ah in Rav Huna’s statement? If it is the prospective groom who cannot benefit from the bride’s father, why would it be permitted? הרי מוסר לו שפחה לשמשו – He is providing him with a “maidservant” to serve him, which should certainly be a forbidden benefit! Rather, the father is mudar hana’ah from the groom, and Rav Huna is teaching that the groom’s becoming obligated in his wife’s support, which relieves her father from his own obligations, is nonetheless permitted. To this, Rebbe Zeira objected that our Mishnah taught a greater novelty: זן את אשתו ואת בניו ואף על פי שהוא חייב במזונותן – He may give food to [the mudar hana’ah‘s] wife and children, even though he is obligated in their sustenance. Our Mishnah teaches that he may feed the children of a mudar hana’ah even while they reside at home and the father is responsible for their support, because the money given to them is not viewed as a direct benefit to the father. Why would we need Rav Huna to teach that he may relieve the father of that obligation? The Gemara answers that the groom is the mudar hana’ah, but we are speaking of an adult woman, whose consent is required for her marriage. Therefore, the father himself is not considered to be providing any benefit to the groom, since his consent is not required.