Rav Avigdor Miller on The Nazir and Video Machines



Can a person have a video machine in his home to show children educational video programs?


We come now to a very important point and that is what we say to the nazir. A nazir made a vow not to drink any wine and now you see him walking down the road and you know that down there are grape vines hanging over the road. So the Gemara says that we tell him, “Nazir nazir, sechor sechor! Nazir, make a detour! Lekarma lo sikarev, don’t come close to the vineyard!”

So he says, “What do you mean? I’m a yarei shamayim. You think I’m going to eat those grapes? Never mind. I would never eat them.”

But the Torah says we don’t trust him.

That’s why the Torah says that a nazir cannot even eat the leaves of grape vines. What’s wrong with leaves? Leaves don’t make you intoxicated. The gemara says no; mikol means anything of the vine; even leaves you shouldn’t eat. If the nazir eats leaves of a grapevine it’s a sin; he gets malkos. So you see how far you have to keep away from a sin. You can’t trust yourself.

Now let’s say you have a video in your house. You will never show anything except very kosher programs. But suppose a child without your knowledge will buy in a certain kind of a shop a video and he’ll bring it when you’re not home and play it. What will you do? You don’t even know about it.

So it’s best not to fool around. Don’t fool around. That’s my advice. Do what you want but I’m telling you what’s best for you.

In general, it’s good to be a roeh es hanolad, someone who can see ahead. איזהו חכם הרואה את הנולד. Who is a wise person? Someone who looks ahead. Always look ahead. A very important principle. Look ahead. Think what could happen eventually?

Let’s say you moved into a place far away from a Torah center. You say, “Well, I’m going to keep my children strong with the best education,” and so on and so forth. But you know, children play with their neighbors and they tend to be like the neighbor’s children are. Eventually, sooner or later, something’s going to happen. You have to be a roeh es hanolad. You can never be smart enough. You can never be careful enough with your children.

And with yourself too. You can’t trust yourself. And therefore it’s always better to beware of things that might be a temptation in the wrong direction.

TAPE # 754 (September 1989)