« Home | Different Or The Same - Answer » | When Giving Is Taking » | Different Or The Same? » | High There » | Have A Good Time » | Urgent Message » | Becoming A Giant » | Holy Bodies » | The Foundation Of Our Souls » | Self Understanding »

Masochism And Nedarim

The halacha is that a person can make a vow forbidding himself from deriving pleasure ["muder hana'a"] from another person. What would be the halacha in the following case: Mike is a masochist. Mike makes a vow forbidding himself from deriving pleasure from Dougie. One morning Mike feels like he really needs someone to put a football helmet on and to blindside him with a vicious hit. PAINFUL! OUCH! [Ya know, football is a VERY violent sport. 97.5 million people watched the violent event that took place last week. But we are used to the violence so we even get excited about a violent hit - provided of course that it is administered by our team against the opponent. What I can tell you for sure is that many, if not all, football players live their entire lives in pain. Some can barely walk after their careers are over. The gemara says that when a person is in pain, G-d's Shechina is also in pain. Just a thought.]

For anybody else this should not be a problem as far as the vow is concerned [of course it is generally forbidden to strike another human being]. But Mike is different. Mike turns all of his pain into pleasure. He is a masochist. Would it be permitted for Dougie to administer the hit? On one hand the hit itself is painful. On the other hand Mike will enjoy it because of his mental condition. So do we look at the actual hit [in which case it will be permitted] or at Mike's ultimate [sick] pleasure [in which case it will be forbidden].

Or what about a fellow who will be paid for undergoing pain. Do we focus on the actual pain or on the ultimate payment which is pleasurable. Same question.

The Rebbe Shlita raised this question ["kler" in the vernacular] and offered a BRILLIANT proof from the Minchas Chinuch mitzva 101 [on parshas Tetzaveh].

Can you figure it out. If you can, you too are brilliant.

Powered by WebAds
Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
My profile