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  • Writer's pictureNortheast Kollel

The Nazir

The Gemara at the beginning of Meseches Sotah teaches, “Why was the section regarding the Nazir juxtaposed next to the section regarding the Sotah? To teach us that whoever sees a Sotah in her disgrace, should separate from wine with the Nezirus vow”.

The simple understanding of this statement of Chazal would seem to be, that whoever sees a Sotah, whoever sees the destruction and degradation that sin can bring, should strengthen themselves and stay away from the pleasures of this world, as a Nazir stays away from wine.

The obvious question is, that on the contrary; seemingly someone who did not see the dangers of sin should be the one to be extra careful! Someone who actually saw the retribution of the sinner should be the one who is already fortified, and relatively safe from sinning?

Rav Schwab zt”l brings an incredible Zohar:

The Zohar asks: ‘Why is a Kohein serving in the Beis HaMikdash prohibited only from drinking wine, while a Nazir is prohibited from wine, the grapes, the pits, and even the skins? Why is the prohibition of the Nazir so much more than simply a prohibition against drinking wine?

The Zohar answers, that the original sin of Adom HaRishon was that he ate from the Eitz HaDaas. Following the opinion that the Eitz HaDaas was actually a grape vine, it turns out that Adom HaRishon gave up or ‘traded’ his tremendous level of spirituality all for the transient pleasure of wine.

The Nazir, who is trading in the pleasures of this world for an elevated level of Kedusha, is actually ‘fixing’ the sin of Adom HaRishon. He is choosing the service of Hashem over the pleasures of this world.

So, the gemara is telling us, that one who sees the degradation that sin causes, should be inspired to fix the original sin, the root of all sin, and do his part in bringing back the levels that we lost. He is not refraining from wine to simply avoid sin, but rather he is accepting upon himself an extra level in order to correct the root of all sin.

While we do not have the institution of Nazirus today, but we do have the ability to strive higher. Every step we take in Ruchniyos, is one step closer to Hashem!

Have a wonderful Shabbos

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