More Discussions for this daf
1. Hair of the Nazir 2. Lifnei Hash-m 3. A Zav's Tum'ah

Dr. M. Kaplan asked:

The Beraisa tells us that the Nazir has his hair shaven, and then pours the sauce from the meat of the Shelamim and burns it under the pot of the Shelamim.

My questions are:

1. Are there any rules regarding who cuts the Nazir's hair?

2. How can they pour the sauce of the Shelamim meat on the hair - isn't it Kodesh, not to be used for anything other than eating the Korban?

Thanks, M. Kaplan

Dr. M. Kaplan, Jerusalem, Israel

The Kollel replies:

1) Regarding the barber -

(a) Tosfos in Nazir (57b, DH v'Rav, 6 lines from the bottom of the page in Tosfos) states that it is possible for a minor or a Nochri to perform the shaving on a Metzora. The Chazon Ish (Even ha'Ezer 140:1, DH ub'Ikar) writes that even though the Rambam (Hilchos Tum'as Tzora'as 11:1) writes that a Kohen should shave the Metzora, this applies only for the first shaving of the Metzora, while the second shaving is valid regardless of which person does it.

(b) The above Tosfos is referring to the shaving of a Metzora, but since the Rambam (Hilchos Nezirus 8:2) does not mention any necessity for a Kohen to do the shaving of a Nazir, I am not aware of any reason why any other person should not be capable of perfoming the shaving of a Nazir. In fact, I would add that it is quite plausible that a monkey or a robot would also be acceptable, because it seems that the Mitzvah is not "to shave" the Nazir but rather that the Nazir should "be shaved," and it does not matter who does the shaving.

(c) I suggest that with the above approach it is easier to understand why the Gemara (beginning of 46b) which discusses the question of a Nazir who does not possess hands, only refers to the question of how he does Tenufah. It does not see any Halachic problem with how he will shave because anyone is capable of shaving him, as I have suggested.

(d) However, it is not clear what the Halachah would be in a scenario similar to that mentioned in the Mishnah on 39a, where bandits shaved the Nazir. The Mishnah is discussing where they shaved him before he completed his Nazir days. What would be the Halachah if the bandits shaved him after he completed his Nezirus and slaughtered the Shelamim? Since it is a Mitzvah to shave, it makes sense to say that if he is screaming that he does not want to perform this Mitzvah he is not Yotzei. I suggest that this is comparable to the Halachah in Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 475:4) that if someone was forced to eat Matzah on Seder night, the only reason he is Yotzei is because the physical benefit he derives from eating the Matzah is equivalent to possessing Kavanah, as the Mishnah Berurah #34 writes. It should follow that a forced shaving is not considered fulfillment of the Mitzvah, since there is no physical enjoyment involved in shaving.

2) Indeed, we learn from the Gemara on 45b that if not for the verse (Bamidbar 6:18) cited there by Rava it would have been considered an improper use of the Shelamim sauce to pour it on the hair. However, we learn from this verse that "mi'Zivcho" - "from its sacrifice" - must be poured on the hair.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

Mordecai Kornfeld comments:

(a) How can you write -

" I would add that it is quite plausible that a monkey or a robot would also be acceptable, because it seems that the Mitzvah is not "to shave" the Nazir but rather that the Nazir should "be shaved," and it does not matter who does the shaving."

Doesn't the Gemara (Nazir 41b) learn out from the shaving of a Nazir that the *Aseh* of shaving is Docheh the Lo Sa'aseh of Hakafas Kol ha'Rosh? Wouldn't that imply that the Mitzvah is *to shave* rather than to "be shaved"?

(b) If the Nazir screams while someone cuts his hair on the correct day for cutting hair -

You seem to conclude that the Nazir would have to wait 30 days and shave again, since he cut his hair in a non-Mitzvah fashion.

However, I would see this as comparable to the person who eats in a Sukah on Sukos and insists that he doesn't want to be Yotzei the Mitzvah of eating in a Sukah. The Minchas Chinuch and others maintain that although he will not receive reward for the Mitzvah, nevertheless he cannot be punished for the sin of "eating without a Sukah on Sukos", since he was not *out* of a Sukah. His refusal to receive reward does not make his act into a sinful one; so, too, the refusal of the Nazir to take his reward for the Mitzvah does not make the haircut into a sinful one (since it is being done at the proper time). Therefore, he should not have to regrow his hair and shave again.


The Kollel replies:

Reb Mordecai, Shalom uVracha

(a) It seems to me that your question is not just a question on what I wrote but is in fact a question on Tosfos Nazir end 57b who writes that a minor or Nochri can do the shaving of a Metzora, even though Gemara Nazir 41b states that we say "Aseh Docheh Lo Taaseh" concerning the shaving of the Metzora.

I think that what we have to say is that the Metzora does have a part in the Mitzva of shaving, because he wants the Nochri to shave him, but the actual Mitzvah is the end result that the Metzora is "shaved", not that the action of shaving was performed.

(b) Yes it seems to me that if the Nazir screams on the correct day that he does not want his hair cut, then he would indeed have to wait 30 days and shave again. My source for this is the Beis Yosef Orach Chaim near end #589, in the name of Rabeinu Shmuel, that even if we say that Mitzvos do not require Kavanah, but if someone had Kavanah not to perform the Mitzvah then everyone agrees he is not Yotzei.

This is worse than the person who went to a Nochri and asked him to cut his hair, because at least the latter person wanted his hair cut.

Therefore I argue that this is similar to what the Chazon Ish Even Ha'ezer 140:9 DH v'Nireh writes, that if the Nazir shaves without a razor, for instance with scissors, he has to re-shave with a razor in order to fulfill the mitzvah.

I suggest that there is a difference between this and the person who ate in the Sukah but insisted that he did not want to be Yotzei the Mitzvah of Sukah. What this person did was totally neutral. He did not do a Mitzvah but he did not do an Aveirah either. In contrast, the Nazir who screamed on the correct day that he does not want to shave missed the Mitzvah of shaving, and the rule is that if the Nazir shaved the wrong way he should go back and shave the right way.


Dovid Bloom

Mordecai Kornfeld replies:

1. I do not think that my question ("How can we let a monkey shave a Nazir l'Chatchilah if it is a Mitzvas Aseh for the Nazir to shave?") applies to Tosfos end of 57b, who writes that a Nochri or Katan can shave a Metzora. The reason I think so relates to our point (b) above.

If a monkey shaves a Nazir, the Nazir certainly is not fulfilling his Mitzvah of Gilu'ach. (I have a hard time understanding the Sevara you proposed to suggest otherwise.) Nevertheless, if a monkey does shave a Nazir (with a razor, not scissors) the Nazir is "shaven" properly and need not shave again.

This is similar to what I wrote regarding a Nazir who is shaved on the day of his Korbanos while protesting that he does not want to be shaved. As you put it (regarding Sukah) "what this person did was totally neutral; he did not do a Mitzvah but he did not do an Aveirah either." The Nazir did not do a Mitzvah but he did not "shave the wrong way" either. This has nothing in common with the case of the Chazon Ish, where the shaving was not done as the Torah prescribed.

2. With this in mind, the Tosfos you cited is perfectly clear. Tosfos on 57b is discussing a Metzora who is a Kohen or Nazir, and he is looking for a way to shave him without transgressing their Isur of shaving. He suggests that a Katan or Nochri should shave them, if they are permitted to do so. The result will be a *properly* shaven Metzora who has not transgressed any Isur, but also has not fulfilled the Mitzvah of shaving a Metzora. (He is not able to fulfill that Mitzvah since he was a Nazir or Kohen.)

(This solution would not work for a Nazir, since *every* male Nazir will have to be shaved by a Katan or Nochri for the solution to work - and if so, when does the Torah give the male Nazir a Mitzvah of Gilu'ach? Obviously, we must conlude that Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh.)

Best regards,


The Kollel replies:

1. The way I understand the mitzvah performed when the Nochri or minor shaves the Metzora is based on what the Afikei Yam (2:34 DH v'Ra'iti) cites in the name of the Acharonim, who prove from what Tosfos writes (that a Nochri or Katan can shave the Metzora) that the Mitzvah of the Metzora is that he should "be shaved" - but there is no Mitzvah "to shave" him.

[The Afikei Yam himself has a different approach, which I will not consider at the moment, but the approach of the Acharonim he cites seems to have been the accepted way of understanding Tosfos, at least until the Afikei Yam came along.]

One sees from this that when the Nochri shaves the Metzora, a Mitzvah has been performed by the Metzora (clearly not by the Nochri). However this is a passive Mitzva, namely that he should "be shaved". Therefore, according to the opinion throughout the entire Torah that Mitzvos require Kavanah, the Metzora must have Kavanah that he should "be shaved". In addition, according to the opinion that generally speaking one does not require Kavanah for Mitzvos, the Metzora must not say that he does not want to do the Mitzvah, because a negative Kavanah always damages the Mitzvah and means that the Mitzvah was not performed. Therefore if the Metzora screams that he does not want the Nochri to cut his hair, this means that he did not fulfill the passive Mitzva of "being shaved".

The difference between the Sukah scenario and between the Metzora is that the Torah states that the Metzora should perform the Mitzvah of Gilu'ach (even though it is only a passive Mitzvah). In contrast it is only on the first night of Sukos that the Torah actually commands us to eat in the Sukah, whether we want to or not. If, however, on the first night a person insisted that he did not want to perform the Mitzvah of Sukah when eating his Kezayis in the Sukah, we require him to eat another Kezayis in the Sukah. Similarly, we require the Metzora who screamed that he does want to do the Mitzvah to reshave after 30 days.

2. I did not understand what you wrote that Tosfos is discussing a Metzora who is a Kohen or a Nazir. My argument is, as stated above, that when the Nochri shaves the Metzora, the Metzora has performed the Mitzvah of being "shaved", in a passive way.

Yasher Koach


Mordecai Kornfeld replies:

2. My point about the Metzora being a Nazir or Kohen was to show that one cannot derive from Tosfos that if a Nochri or Katan shaved a Metzora, the Metzora has performed the Mitzvas Aseh of shaving. All we can derive from Tosfos is that if a Nochri or Katan shaves a Metzora, the Metzora need not shave again. Therefore, it is preferable to shave in such a manner rather than shaving in a manner that transgresses a Lo Sa'aseh.

By shaving with a Nochri or Katan the Metzora has not fulfilled the Mitzvas Aseh, and he will not be rewarded. (I maintain that this is so whether or not the Metzora had Kavanah for the Mitzvah, in contrast to what you wrote above, and it cannot be proven from Tosfos otherwise.) Neither will such a shaving be able to be Docheh a Lo Sa'aseh (since it is not a Mitzvah - and even if it is a passive Mitzvah as you suggested, the Acharonim show that a passive Mitzvah cannot be Docheh a Lo Sa'aseh; see Kobetz Shiurim in Divrei Sofrim etc.). And the same would apply for the shaving of a Nazir.

Best wishes,

Mordecai Kornfeld

The Kollel replies:

Rav Mordecai, Shalom uVeracha

I will just make one or two very brief comments on what you have written.

(a) The Imrei Moshe 12:2 DH v'Ulam cites Tosfos and writes "the Mitzvah of shaving is also fulfilled when done by a Nochri". One sees that the Imrei Moshe learned a Mitzvah was performed when the Nochri did the shaving, not merely that the Metzora has been shaved.

(b)The Afikei Yam 2:34 also writes in the name of the Acharonim "the Mitzvah of the Metzora is merely that he should be shaved, but there is no Mitzvah whatosever to shave him". Again one sees that the opinion of the Afikei Yam is that a Mitzvah is performed even when a Nochri does the shaving.

(c)In addition, I argue that if it would be true that no Mitzvah is performed when the Nochri does the shaving, then the Chazon Ish Even Ha'ezer 140:9 DH v'Nireh would also require reshaving. The reason why the Chazon Ish requires him to shave again is not only because the shaving was done in a sinful way, but rather because the Mitzvah of shaving was not performed. Therefore even though no Aveirah was done when the Nochri shaved, if no Mitzvah was gained either, we would tell the Metzora to shave again because one has to perform the Mitzvah of the Torah, even though one has not sinned.

Gut Shabbos


The Kollel adds:

I was unable to find a source that a passive Mitzvah cannot be Docheh a Lo Sa'aseh. In fact I do not understand how one can say this, because we learn in Yevamos 4a from the fact that Shaatnez is permitted in Tzitzis, that Aseh Docheh Lo Sa'aseh, but Yevamos 90b calls Tzitzis a Sheiv v'Al Ta'aseh

[I saw in Kobetz Shiurim Kuntres Divrei Sofrim 3:8 that he writes in the name of Rav Chaim Brisker that "The Aseh is not docheh the Lo Sa'aseh since he is not required actively to fulfil the mitzvah". However the discussion there is different; namely does somebody nowadays who wears linen strings on a woolen Arba Kanfos clothing, receive Malkus for doing so? Rav Chaim explains the opinion in Rishonim that he does, even though what he is doing is a Mitzva Min HaTorah, because since in practice Miderabanan one does not have a Mitzvah to wear the linen strings, therefore the Aseh of Tzitzis cannot push aside the Lav of Kilaim]

All the best

Dovid Bloom