Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thirty Day Extreme

The Mishna (Nazir 5a) states: An ordinary nezirus is for thirty days (if he doesn’t specify for how long he wishes to be a nazir, he is a nazir for thirty days; he also cannot specify for any time less than thirty days).

The Ram”a (Toras Ha’olah) explains the significance of the thirty days. The Gemora had stated: Whoever sees a sotah when she is being degraded should restrain himself from consuming wine. The nazir wishes to inspire himself that he should not be influenced by the sotah’s immoral behavior. For one to break a trait which is at one extreme, he should go to the opposite extreme. Eventually, after practicing this condition for some time, he will balance out to the correct measure. This is why the nazir abstains from drinking any wine.

We find that situations are established after thirty days. Halacha states that it takes thirty days for one to become accustomed to a change in davening. If one is uncertain if he inserted a certain prayer during Shemoneh Esrei, after thirty days of recital, we can assume that he said it. One is regarded as a resident of a city after he lives there for thirty days. So too, the Ram”a suggests, this can be applicable to a change in one’s character traits. Someone who wishes to be cured from his desires to act immorally should become a nazir for thirty days. Practicing this extreme for thirty days will enable him to reach the perfect balance in this area.