Shevous 26: Nacham Ish Gamzu; Intellect and Emotion

We the famous and righteous Nachum Ish Gamzu from Masechet Taanis. In Taanis he prays for rain and is answered. In Taanis he endures pain and yet does not lose faith.  His role in Taanis is one of spiritual emotion and religious strength.

However, did we know he is also an intellect?  In Shevous 26a, we are told that none other than Rabbi Akiva is the attendant of Nachum Ish Gamzu. Rabbi Akiva holds according to Nachum that we expound Biblical verses based upon the principal of Amplification and Limitation rather than the principle of generalization and specification   The latter means that the specifics  define  the generality in the verse. Amplification and Limitation merely means it restricts not defines the  verse.

What is the lesson. In Judaism, we need the strong beliefs and emotional religious strength  that Nahum displays in Taanis.  We also need the intellectual underpinning that guides our existence.

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