Nedarim 62a:5נדרים ס״ב א:ה
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62aס״ב א

תנא הוקפלו רוב המקצועות מותרות משום גזל ופטורות מן המעשרות

The Sages taught: If most of the knives have been set aside, the figs left in the field are permitted with regard to the laws of stealing and are exempt from tithes, since their owners presumably do not want them and the figs are therefore considered ownerless property.

רבי ורבי יוסי בר רבי יהודה איקלעו לההוא אתרא בזמן שהוקפלו רוב המקצועות רבי הוה קא אכיל רבי יוסי בר ר' יהודה לא אכיל אתא מרהון אמר להו אמאי לא אכלי רבנן הוקפלו רוב המקצועות הוא ואף על פי כן לא אכיל ר' יוסי בר ר' יהודה קסבר משום סניות מילתא הוא דקאמר הדין גברא

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Yehuda arrived at a certain place at a time when most of the knives had been set aside. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi ate the figs left in the field, but Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Yehuda did not eat. The owner of the field came and said to them: Why are the Sages not eating? It is now the period when most of the knives have been set aside. The Gemara notes: But nevertheless, Rabbi Yosei bar Rabbi Yehuda did not eat, since he thought that it was only due to embarrassment over the matter that that man said his comment, but he did not really mean to declare his figs ownerless.

רבי חמא בר רבי חנינא איקלע לההוא אתרא בזמן שהוקפלו רוב המקצועות הוה קאכיל יהיב לשמעיה לא אכיל אמר ליה אכול כך אמר לי רבי ישמעאל בר רבי יוסי משום אביו הוקפלו רוב המקצועות מותרות משום גזל ופטורות מן המעשר

The Gemara relates another incident: Rabbi Ḥama bar Rabbi Ḥanina arrived at a certain place at a time when most of the knives had been set aside. He ate from the figs that were left in the field, but when he gave some to his attendant the latter did not eat. Rabbi Ḥama said to him: Eat, as Rabbi Yishmael bar Rabbi Yosei said to me the following ruling in the name of his father: If most of the knives have been set aside, the figs are permitted with regard to the laws of stealing and are exempt from the tithe.

ר' טרפון אשכחיה ההוא גברא בזמן שהוקפלו המקצועות דקאכיל אחתיה בשקא ושקליה ואמטייה למשדיה בנהרא אמר לו אוי לו לטרפון שזה הורגו שמע ההוא גברא שבקיה וערק אמר רבי אבהו משום ר' חנניה בן גמליאל כל ימיו של אותו צדיק היה מצטער על דבר זה אמר אוי לי שנשתמשתי בכתרה של תורה

The Gemara relates another incident: A certain man found Rabbi Tarfon eating figs from his field at the time when most of the knives had been set aside. He placed Rabbi Tarfon in a sack, lifted him up, and carried him to throw him into the river. Rabbi Tarfon said to him: Woe to Tarfon, for this man is killing him. When that man heard that he was carrying the great Rabbi Tarfon, he left him and fled. Rabbi Abbahu said in the name of Rabbi Ḥananya ben Gamliel: All the days of that righteous man, Rabbi Tarfon, he was distressed over this matter, saying: Woe is me, for I made use of the crown of Torah, as Rabbi Tarfon was only released out of respect for his Torah learning.

ואמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר ר' יוחנן כל המשתמש בכתרה של תורה נעקר מן העולם קל וחומר ומה בלשצר שנשתמש בכלי קודש שנעשו כלי חול שנאמר (יחזקאל ז, כב) ובאו בה פריצים וחיללוה כיון שפרצום נעשו חול נעקר מן העולם דכתיב (דניאל ה, ל) בה בליליא קטיל בלשצר המשתמש בכתרה של תורה שהוא חי וקיים לעולם על אחת כמה וכמה

And with regard to this statement, Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Whoever makes use of the crown of Torah is uprooted from the world. This can be derived by means of an a fortiori inference: If Belshazzar, who made use of the sacred Temple vessels, which had already become non-sacred vessels by that time, as after their forcible removal from the Temple the vessels lost their sanctity, as it is stated in the verse: “And robbers shall enter into it, and profane it” (Ezekiel 7:22), showing that once the Temple vessels have been robbed they become non-sacred, was uprooted from the world for his actions, as it is written: “On that night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed” (Daniel 5:30); one who makes use of the crown of Torah, which lives and endures forever and whose sanctity cannot be removed, all the more so shall he be uprooted.

ורבי טרפון כיון דכי אכיל דהוקפלו רוב המקצועות הוה אמאי צעריה ההוא גברא משום דההוא הוו גנבי ליה ענבי כולה שתא וכיון דאשכחיה לר' טרפון סבר היינו דגנבן אי הכי אמאי ציער נפשיה משום דרבי טרפון עשיר גדול הוה והוה ליה לפייסו בדמים

The Gemara returns to the incident involving Rabbi Tarfon. And in the case of Rabbi Tarfon, since he was eating during the time when most of the knives had been set aside, why did that man trouble him? The Gemara explains: It was because someone had been stealing grapes from that man all year, and when he found Rabbi Tarfon he thought: This is the one who stole from me the entire year. The Gemara asks: If so, why did Rabbi Tarfon berate himself? Clearly he was justified in saving himself. The Gemara answers: Since Rabbi Tarfon was very wealthy, he should have sought to appease him with money in order to save himself, rather than relying on his status as a Torah scholar.

תניא (דברים ל, כ) לאהבה את ה' אלהיך לשמוע בקולו ולדבקה בו שלא יאמר אדם אקרא שיקראוני חכם אשנה שיקראוני רבי אשנן שאהיה זקן ואשב בישיבה

Apropos the story of Rabbi Tarfon’s regret for gaining personal benefit from his status as a Torah scholar, the Gemara cites similar teachings. It is taught in a baraita: The verse states: “To love the Lord your God, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him” (Deuteronomy 30:20). This verse indicates that a person should not say: I will read the written Torah so that they will call me a Sage; I will study Mishna so that they will call me Rabbi; I will review my studies so that I will be an Elder and will sit in the academy.

אלא למד מאהבה וסוף הכבוד לבא שנאמר (משלי ז, ג) קשרם על אצבעותיך כתבם על לוח לבך ואומר (משלי ג, יז) דרכיה דרכי נועם ואומר (משלי ג, יח) עץ חיים היא למחזיקים בה ותומכיה מאושר

Rather, learn out of love, as the verse states: “To love the Lord your God.” And the honor will eventually come of its own accord, as it is stated: “Bind them upon your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:3), and it states: “Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17), and it states: “It is a tree of life to those who grasp it; happy is everyone who holds it fast” (Proverbs 3:17). Consequently, one who studies in order to master Torah for its own sake, as reflected in the verse “bind them upon your fingers,” will eventually merit pleasantness, peace, and happiness.

רבי אליעזר בר ר' צדוק אומר עשה דברים לשם פעלם ודבר בהם לשמם אל תעשם עטרה להתגדל בהם ואל תעשם קורדום להיות עודר בו וקל וחומר ומה בלשצר שלא נשתמש אלא בכלי קדש שנעשו כלי חול נעקר מן העולם המשתמש בכתרה של תורה על אחת כמה וכמה

Rabbi Eliezer bar Rabbi Tzadok says: Do things for the sake of their performance, not for any ulterior motive, and speak words of Torah for their own sake. Do not make them a crown with which to become glorified, and do not make them nor make them a dolabra [kordom] with which to hoe, i.e., do not use Torah study as a means of earning a livelihood. And this is an a fortiori inference: If Belshazzar, who made use only of sacred vessels that had become non-sacred vessels, was uprooted from the world, one who makes use of the crown of Torah, whose sanctity is permanent, all the more so shall he be uprooted from the world.

אמר רבא שרי ליה לאיניש לאודועי נפשיה באתרא דלא ידעי ליה דכתיב (מלכים א יח, יב) ועבדך ירא את ה' מנעוריו אלא קשיא דר' טרפון דעשיר גדול היה והוה ליה לפייסיה בדמים

Rava said: In a time of need, it is permitted for a person to make himself known in a place where people do not know him. The proof is from what Obadiah said to Elijah in order to identify himself, as it is written: “But I, your servant, have feared the Lord from my youth” (I Kings 18:12). The Gemara asks: But this is difficult with regard to the story about Rabbi Tarfon, who was distraught because he revealed his identity to the man who placed him in the sack. The Gemara answers: The case of Rabbi Tarfon is different, as he was very wealthy, and therefore he should have sought to appease him with money.

רבא רמי כתיב ועבדך ירא את ה' מנעוריו וכתיב (משלי כז, ב) יהללך זר ולא פיך הא באתרא דידעי ליה הא באתרא דלא ידעי ליה

Rava raises a contradiction: It is written that Obadiah spoke highly of himself: “But I, your servant, have feared the Lord from my youth.” And it is written: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth” (Proverbs 27:2). He answers: This verse is referring to a place where people know him, where he should not praise himself, whereas that verse is referring to a place where people do not know him.

אמר רבא שרי ליה לצורבא מרבנן למימר צורבא מרבנן אנא שרו לי תיגראי ברישא דכתיב (שמואל ב ח, יח) ובני דוד כהנים היו מה כהן נוטל בראש אף תלמיד חכם נוטל בראש וכהן מנא לן דכתיב (ויקרא כא, ח) וקדשתו כי את לחם (ה') אלהיך הוא מקריב ותנא דבי רבי ישמעאל וקדשתו לכל דבר שבקדושה

Rava said further: It is permitted for a Torah scholar to say: I am a Torah scholar, so resolve my case first, as it is written: “And the sons of David were priests” (II Samuel 8:18). The sons of David could not have been actual priests, as David was not a priest. Rather, the verse indicates that just as a priest takes his portion first, so too, a Torah scholar takes his portion first. And a priest, from where do we derive that he takes his portion first? As it is written: “And you shall sanctify him, for he offers the bread of your God” (Leviticus 21:8). And the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: The phrase “and you shall sanctify him” applies with regard to every matter of sanctity: