Nedarim - Daf 41

  • The importance of דעה

The Gemara quotes the pasuk that warns of a punishment being בחוסר כל – lacking everything. Rav Ami said in the name of Rav that this refers to lacking [even] a lamp and table. Rav Chisda said it means lacking a wife. Rav Sheishes said it means lacking an assistant. Rav Nachman explained it to mean lacking דעה, understanding. A Baraisa taught that it means lacking salt and grease [for flavoring food].

Relating to Rav Nachman’s comment, Abaye said: נקטינן אין עני אלא בדעה – We have a tradition that there is no truly poor person except one poor in understanding. In Eretz Yisroel they would say: דדא ביה כולא ביה, דלא דא ביה מה ביה – He who has this [understanding] within him has everything within him, he who does not have this within him, what does he have within him? דא קני מה חסר, דא לא קני מה קני – He who has acquired this, what is he lacking? He who has not acquired this, what has he acquired?

  • Aftereffects of illness, including forgetting one’s learning

Rebbe Alexandri said in the name of Rebbe Chiya bar Abba: אין החולה עומד מחליו עד שמוחלין לו על כל עונותיו – A sick person does not recover until all his sins have been forgiven. Rav Hamnuna taught: חוזר לימי עלומיו – he returns to the days of his youth, i.e., he will be even healthier than before he took ill.

Rav Yosef taught: דמשכח למודו – It causes him to forget his learning. The Gemara relates that Rav Yosef himself became ill and forgot his learning, which is why we find in many places that Rav Yosef commented on not having heard a particular halacha, and his student Abaye told him that he himself had once taught it to them. In a similar vein, the Gemara tells that Rebbe learned thirteen versions of the [Oral] Law, and taught Rebbe Chiya seven of them. When Rebbe fell ill and forgot them, Rebbe Chiya was able to restore the seven he had learned, but the remaining six seemed lost. However, there was a launderer who used to overhear Rebbe while he was learning, and from him Rebbe Chiya was able to recover the remaining six and relate them to Rebbe. Whenever Rebbe saw this launderer, he declared to him, אתה עשית אותי ואת חייא - “You have made me and Chiya!”

  • רפואת נפש ורפואת ממון

The Mishnah on 38b stated regarding one who another was mudar hana’ah from: ומרפאו רפואת נפש אבל לא רפואת ממון – he may heal him a healing of the nefesh, but not a monetary healing. After rejecting its first interpretation, the Gemara explains that “healing of the nefesh” means to heal his body, and a monetary healing means his animal. Healing the sick is a mitzvah, which is permitted to perform for a mudar hana’ah, because we consider his benefit to be incidental to the doctor’s mitzvah. Healing the mudar hana’ah’s animal, however, is not permitted. The Ran explains that if there were no other person available to heal the animal, he actually would be obligated, and thus permitted, to heal it as part of the mitzvah of returning lost objects. Our Mishnah is discussing a case where there is another person who can heal it. Still, he remains obligated (and permitted) to heal the person’s body, despite there being another capable healer, because a person may not merit to be cured by every doctor. Rav added that he may advise the animal’s owner on what medications are good or harmful to it, and this advice is not considered a forbidden benefit.