Classics and Beyond Nasso — Talking to Yourself: Rabbi Avraham Bukspan

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    Classics and Beyond Nasso — Talking to Yourself: Rabbi Avraham Bukspan
    איש או אשה כי יפלא לנדר נדר נזיר להזיר לה’
    A man or a woman who shall set himself apart by taking a nazirite vow to set himself apart to Hashem (Bamidbar 6:2).
    As a follow-up to the parashah’s listing of the laws of nezirus, the haftarah describes the advent of a famous nazir: Shimshon HaGibbor. The Navi (Shoftim 13:2-14) describes how a malach appeared to the wife of Manoach and told her that she was going to bear a son who would be a nazir from the womb. After she relayed the story to her husband, Manoach, he davened that the malach should come again and teach them how to treat their son, the nazir. When the malach came back, Manoach asked for instructions and the malach said, “Of all that I said to the woman, do. From all that comes out of the grapevine she shall not eat, and wine or strong drink she may not drink, and any unclean thing she may not eat. All that I commanded her, do.”
    There are several questions on these pesukim. First, why did Manoach need confirmation of what the malach had said? In addition, even if he needed the laws repeated, why did he have to track down that same malach to hear them again? Furthermore, what new information did Manoach actually receive from the malach when he came back? It seems as if the malach was just repeating the instructions he had given to Manoach’s wife.
    Rav Meir Simchah HaKohen (Meshech Chochmah ad loc.) explains that when instructing Manoach, the malach said, “tishamer,” and “tishmor.” Both words are directed specifically — in lashon zachar and nochach (second person masculine) — toward Manoach, not his wife or his child. The malach was telling Manoach that if his child was to be a nazir, then as his father, he was also to let his hair grow, to not allow himself to become impure, and to refrain from wine and grapes.
    Rav Schwab (Maayan Beis HaSho’eivah) explains that Manoach was not seeking an answer to a shailah about nezirus, but an answer to a shailah about chinuch. He was legitimately concerned about how to raise a child who comes with his own rulebook, one that differs from his father’s: “How can I expect him to be a nazir when I am not one myself?”
    To that, the malach answered, “You’re absolutely correct! It is not possible. For that reason, all that I said to the woman, you must do, as well.” In order to create a nazir, Manoach had to become a nazir. If you want to influence others to lead a certain type of life, don’t preach to them; practice and model for them.

    Reb Eliezer

    There is a story where there was a grandfather, father and son. The father fed his father in a wooden plate figuring that a china plate he might break. When the grandfather passed on, the father want it to throw out. So the son said, father don’t throw it out as we need it for you. The Rav Abarbanel explains on honoring the parent, the children will follow how the father behaves towards his father. If the father honors his father, his children will honor him.

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