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Megillah, Daf Het, Part 1

 

Introduction

Another new mishnah opens this week’s daf.

 

משנה. אין בין המודר הנאה מחבירו למודר ממנו מאכל אלא דריסת הרגל, וכלים שאין עושין בהן אוכל נפש.

 

Mishnah: There is no difference between one who is prohibited by vow from benefiting from his fellow and one who is prohibited by vow from [benefiting from] his food, except for setting foot [on his property] and vessels which are not used for [preparing] food.

 

There are two things which are permitted to one who is under a vow not to derive food benefit from his neighbor but are not permitted to one who may not benefit from his neighbor at all: walking on his property and the use of vessels not involved in the making of food (vessels in rabbinic literature includes pretty much anything made by human beings, including for instance clothing). For more information look at Mishnah Nedarim 4:1.

 

גמרא. הא לענין כלים שעושין בהן אוכל נפש – זה וזה שוין.

 

GEMARA. We can deduce from this that in the matter of utensils which are used for preparing food they are on the same footing.

 

When it comes to the use of utensils used for preparing food, there is no difference between one who vows not receive any benefit and one who vows not receive benefit from food. In both cases, the one who has been vowed against cannot derive benefit.

דריסת הרגל, הא לא קפדי אינשי! – אמר רבא: הא מנירבי אליעזר, דאמר: ויתור אסור במודר הנאה.

 

Setting foot. But people are not particular about this?

Rava said: Whose view is this? R. Elazar’s, who said that [even] a thing which is usually excused is forbidden to one who vows to have no benefit.

 

The Mishnah stated that one who has been sworn not to derive any benefit from someone else may not even set foot on his property. The Talmud raises the problem that generally people don’t care if another person walks on their property. They don’t consider that giving benefit to another person. Therefore, it should not be prohibited in the case of a vow.

Rava says that the mishnah follows R. Elazar who says that even when someone normally doesn’t care if someone else derives benefit from him in a certain way, it is still prohibited. I’ll give you a potential example. I am an avid cyclist. I don’t care if people use my bike pump. In fact, if someone were to come over to my house, they could use it without even asking (not sure how they would get in, but that’s a different issue). I "excuse" this because it doesn’t cost me anything. According to R. Elazar it would still be forbidden for a person who is not allowed to derive benefit from me to use my bike pump.