This letter was addressed to Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Axelrod, an active communal Rabbi in Baltimore, in response to his reply to the previous letter.

B”H, Tuesday, 27 Tammuz, 5704

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your letter of Wednesday of Parshas Chukas:

a) With regard to your explanation that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak’s statement that one should not have even a trace of pride does not conflict with the opinion that one must have an eighth of an eighth of a measure of pride and your attempt to identify this with Rambam’s position:

See the gloss of the Hagahos Maimones to Hilchos Deos which states that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak differs with all the previous opinions [stated in Sotah 5a]. This is also reflected in Rambam’s Commentary to the Mishnah, which states that the opinion which maintains that a person who lacks pride entirely should be placed under a ban of ostracism is speaking about the requirement for an eighth of an eighth measure. If so, we are forced to say that Rambam maintains that the above also applies to a Torah scholar (as Rashi apparently understands) and that Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak differs with this view.

b) My citation of the opinions of Tosafos Yom Tov and the Shaloh were in regard to the difference between the statements: “R. so-and-so said,” or “R. so-and-so says.” I just saw that a source for the discussion of this issue is cited as S’dei Chemed, Kuntreis HaKlallim, Os 1, sec. 65. The text is not available, however, to investigate the matter.

With the blessing “Immediately to teshuvah; immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Executive Director