• September 23, 2023
  • 8 5784, Tishri
  • פרשת האזינו

The Nazir in Jewish History

The Nazir in Jewish History

The Nazir is a way of life the Torah prescribes an individual who is on a certain path. Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores sources for the Nazir, why someone during the time of the Tanach would choose to become one, and what halacha says about becoming one today.

February 1, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Nazir in Jewish History: The Nazir in Jewish History
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Now that the Daf Yomi program has begun to study masechet Nazir, we thought that it would be interesting to discuss the “institution” of נזירים (or in English “Nazirites”).

The title of these two sessions “The Nazir in Jewish History” presents a challenge to me because there is not much of an historical record  of Nazirites in Jewish history. Of course everyone is familiar with Samson who is one of the most famous persons in the entire תנ”ך and he was a Nazir.

But other than Samson there are intriguing mentions of  some Nazirites in the Talmud and Josephus.

So today we will focus on these intriguing mentions of Nazirites and what if anything we can learn from them.

I would add at this point that the word nazir in modern Hebrew refers to Christian monks. Since there are no Halachic נזירים (until the Beit hMikdash will be rebuilt במהרה בימינו אמן) the word “nazir” was given over to them. This being the case academics have written many wildly speculative papers on the institutions of both Halachic נזירים and Christian monastic movements. I do not wish to discuss these papers.

February 8, 2023 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The Nazir in Jewish History: The Nazir in Jewish History
Class description

Hello Everyone,

Last week we discussed  Nazir from an historical perspective. So we saw writings of Josephus and academic essays on the subject.

Today we will discuss the concept of being a Nazir. Is being a nazir something to be encouraged or is it to be avoided unless needed ?

We will see the opinions on this question.

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.