Monday, May 25, 2009

Taking Away a Sixtieth

The Gemora (Nedarim 39b) asks: What is the case (of the Mishna that a person who cannot benefit someone can visit him when he is sick but only stand not sit)? If it is that the possessions of the visitor are forbidden to the sick person, he should be able to sit as well!

The Nidrei Zrizin asks: Why should it be permitted to sit while he is visiting the sick? The Gemora below says that whoever visits the sick, takes away one sixtieth of his sickness. It emerges that he is providing him with a direct benefit, and this should be forbidden? And even according to the Gemora’s conclusion that it is only by a person born under the same constellation, perhaps this is the case and by a Biblical uncertainty, we should rule stringently!

He answers that it is apparent from the Mishna that we needn’t concern ourselves that they were born under the same constellation, and furthermore, the Mishna rules that a doctor may heal him a healing of the nefesh, so certainly, a visit which takes away a sixtieth of his suffering, would be permitted.