Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 2a
MISHNAH. ALL THE SUBSTITUTES FOR [THE FORMULAS OF] VOWS HAVE THE VALIDITY OF VOWS.1 THOSE FOR HARAMIM ARE LIKE HARAMIM,2 THOSE FOR OATHS ARE LIKE OATHS, AND THOSE FOR NEZIROTH ARE LIKE NEZIROTH.3 IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, 'I AM DEBARRED FROM YOU BY A VOW, [OR] I AM SEPARATED FROM YOU,' [OR] 'I AM REMOVED FROM YOU, IN RESPECT OF AUGHT4 THAT I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS OR THAT I MIGHT TASTE OF YOURS,' HE IS PROHIBITED. IF HE SAYS: I AM BANNED TO YOU,' THEN R. AKIBA WAS INCLINED TO GIVE A STRINGENT RULING.5
(1) The principal form of a vow to abstain from anything is: 'This shall be to me as a korban (Heb. sacrifice); korban was sometimes substituted by konam or konas.
(2) Herem (plural haramim): a vow dedicating something to the Temple or the priests.
(3) Neziroth: the vow of a nazirite. A nazirite had to abstain from grapes and intoxicating liquors and refrain from cutting his hair and defiling himself through the dead.
(4) [Reading שאני, Var. lec. שאיני 'for I will eat naught of yours'.]
(5) I.e., declared the vow binding. [According to Maimonides, provided he adds: 'for I will eat naught of yours'. Tosaf., however, (infra 7a) holds that the phrase by itself implies a vow to abstain from aught belonging to the other person.]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 2b
GEMARA. ALL THE SUBSTITUTES FOR [THE FORMULAS OF] VOWS HAVE THE VALIDITY OF VOWS: Why other clauses1 not stated in [the Mishnah of] Nazir,2 whilst [our Mishnah of] Nedarim includes them all? - Because oaths and Vows are written side by side [in the Bible]3 they are both stated, and since the two are mentioned, the others are stated also. Then let OATHS be taught immediately after VOWS? - Because he states vows In which the article is forbidden to the person, he follows it up with HARAMIM, where likewise the article is forbidden to the person. OATHS, however, are excluded [from the category of vows], since oaths bind the person to abstain from a thing;4 [hence they cannot immediately follow vows].
The Mishnah commences with substitutes: ALL THE SUBSTITUTES FOR [THE FORMULAS OF] VOWS etc., yet proceeds to explain the laws of abbreviations of VOWS: IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR: I AM DEBARRED FROM YOU BY A VOW . . . WITH HIS VOW;5 moreover, [the Tanna] has altogether omitted to state that abbreviations [are binding]? - [The Tanna does] speak of them, but our text is defective,6 and this is what was really meant: ALL SUBSTITUTES and abbreviations OF VOWS HAVE THE VALIDITY OF VOWS. Then let substitutes be first explained? - The clause to which [the Tanna] has last referred is generally first explained, as we have learned: Wherewith may [the Sabbath lights] be kindled, and wherewith may they not be kindled? They may not be kindled etc.7 Wherein may food be put away [to be kept hot for the Sabbath], and wherein may it not be put away? It may not be put away [etc.].8 Wherewith may a woman go out (from her house on the Sabbath], and wherewith may she not go out? She may not go out from etc.9 [Is it then a universal rule] that the first clause is never explained first? But we have learnt: Some relations inherit from and transmit [their estate] to others; some inherit but do not transmit. Now, these relations inherit from and transmit to each other etc.10 Some women are permitted to their husbands but forbidden to their husbands' brothers;11 others are the reverse. Now, these are permitted to their husbands but forbidden to their husbands' brothers etc.12 Some meal offerings require oil and frankincense, others require oil but no frankincense. Now, these require both oil and frankincense etc.13 Some mealofferings must be taken [by the priest to the south-west corner of the altar], but do not need waving;14 others are the reverse. Now, these must be taken to the altar etc.15 Some are treated as first-borns in respect of inheritance16 but not in respect of the priest;17 others are treated as first-borns in respect of the priest but not in respect of inheritance. Now who is regarded as a first-born in respect of inheritance but not in respect of the priest etc.?18 - In these examples [the first clause is explained first] because it contains numerous instances [to which its law applies]. But, 'Wherewith may a beast go out on the Sabbath, and wherewith may it not go out?' where [the first clause does] not contain numerous instances, yet it is explained [first], viz., a camel may go out etc.?
(1) Viz., HARAMIM, OATHS, AND VOWS.
(2) The tractate Nazir commences likewise: All substitutes for the nazirite vow are binding.
(3) Num. XXX, 3: If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath.
(4) A vow is thus taken: 'This shall be forbidden tonic,' the prohibition falling upon the thing. An oath, however, is thus taken: 'I swear to abstain from a certain thing,' the prohibition falling upon the person.
(5) Since the principal way of making a vow is to declare a thing to be as korban, the omission of such a declaration renders the vow merely an abbreviation or suggestion (lit., 'a handle') of a vow, V. Nazir (Sonc. ed.) p. 2.
(6) This may mean either that there is actually a lacuna in the text, words having fallen out, or that though it is correct in itself something has to be supplied to complete the sense; v. Weiss, Dor. III, p. 6. n. 14. The former is the most probable here.
(7) Shab. 20b.
(8) Ibid. 47b.
(9) Ibid. 57a. - In all these examples the second clause is first discussed.
(10) B.B. 108a.
(11) In Levirate marriage, v. Deut. XXV, 5 seq.
(12) Yeb. 84a.
(13) Men. 59a.
(14) A ceremony in which the priest put his hands under those of the person bringing the offering and waved them to and fro in front of the altar.
(15) Ibid. 60a
(16) I.e., they receive a double share of their patrimony; v. Deut. XXI, 17.
(17) They do not need redemption: v. Ex. XIII, 23.
(18) Bek. 46a. In all these examples the first clause is discussed first.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 3a
Hence there is no fixed rule: sometimes the first clause is explained first, at others the last clause is first explained. Alternatively: abbreviations are explained first, because they [sc. their validity] are deduced by exegesis.1 Then let these be stated first? He [the Tanna] commences indeed with substitutes, since these are Scriptural,2 and proceeds to explain abbreviations, which are inferred by interpretation only.3 This harmonises with the view that substitutes are merely the foreign equivalents [of the word korban].4 But what can be said on the view that they are forms expressly invented by the Sages for the purpose of making vows?5 - Now, are abbreviations mentioned at all; were you not compelled to assume a defective text? Then indeed place abbreviations first. Thus: All abbreviations of VOWS have the validity of VOWS, and ALL SUBSTITUTES FOR VOWS HAVE THE VALIDITY OF VOWS. These are the abbreviations: IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR . . . And these are the substitutes: Konam, konas, konah.6
Now, where are abbreviations written? - When either a man or a woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow [lindor neder] of a nazirite [nazir le-hazzir];7 and it has been taught: Nazir le-hazzir is to render substitutes and abbreviations of neziroth as neziroth.8 From this I may infer only the law of neziroth; whence do we know that it applies to other vows too? This is taught by the verse: When either a man or a woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a nazirite to the Lord:9 here ordinary vows are compared to neziroth and vice versa.10 Just as in neziroth abbreviations are equally binding, so in the case of other vows; and just as in other vows, he who does not fulfil them violates the injunctions: He shall not break his word,11 and Thou shalt not delay to pay it,12 so in neziroth. And just as in other vows, the father can annul those of his daughter and the husband those of his wife, so with neziroth.
Wherein does neziroth differ? Because it is written nazir lehazzir! But [in the case of] vows too it is written, lindor neder;13 then what need is there of analogy? - If the text were neder lindor just as 'nazir le-hazzir', it would be as you say, and the analogy would be unnecessary,' since however, 'lindor neder' is written, the Torah spoke in the language of men.14 This agrees with the view that the Torah spoke in the language of men; but he who maintains that the Torah did not speak in the language of men,15 to what purpose does he put this 'lindor neder'? - He interprets it to deduce that abbreviations of vows are as VOWS, and then neziroth is compared to vows; and as to 'nazir le-hazzir' he interprets it as teaching
(1) But not explicitly stated in the Bible.
(2) I.e., their validity is explicitly stated in the Bible.
(3) When stating the law in general terms there is a preference for that which is best known; hence, substitutes, being explicitly taught, are first mentioned. But when going into details, the Tanna prefers to deal first with the lesser known.
(4) Hence their validity may be regarded as explicitly stated in the Bible, since it obviously does not matter in which language a vow is taken.
(5) V. infra, 10a.
(6) V. infra 9a.
(7) Num. VI. 2.
(8) Sc. equally binding.
(10) Since they are coupled together. This method of exegesis is known as hekkesh.
(11) Ibid. XXX, 3.
(12) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(13) Lit., 'to vow a vow - likewise a pleonastic form.
(14) The point is this: The usual grammatical form is for the verb to precede its cognate object. Hence, when this order is reversed, as in nazir le-hazir, one may directly infer something from the unusual order. When it is observed, however, nothing can be inferred.
(15) So that every pleonasm, even if in accordance with the general idiom, gives an additional teaching.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 3b
that one nazirite vow falls upon another.1 Then he who maintains that the Torah spoke in the language of men, and interprets 'nazir le-hazzir' as teaching the validity of abbreviations of neziroth, whence does he learn that a nazirite vow can fall upon another? If he agrees with the view that a nazirite vow does not fall upon another, it is well; but if he agrees with the view that it does, whence does he know it? - Let Scripture say, li-zor [the kal form]; why 'le-hazzir' [the causative]? That you may infer both from it.2 In the West3 it was said: One Tanna deduces [the validity of] abbreviations from 'lindor neder'; whilst another deduces it from [the 'phrase], he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.4
The Master said: 'And just as in other vows, he who does not fulfil them violates the injunctions, he shall not break his wad, and thou shalt not delay to pay it, so in neziroth.' Now, as for 'he shall not break his word' as applying to [ordinary] vows, it is well: it is possible e.g., if one says, 'I vow to eat this loaf', and does not eat it; he violates the injunction, 'he shall not break his word'. But how is, 'he shall not break [his word],' possible in the case of neziroth.? For, as soon as one says, 'Behold, I am a nazir' he is one; if he eats [grapes], he is liable for, nor eat moist drapes or dried;5 if he drinks [wine], he violates, he . . . shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes.6 - Raba answered: It is to transgress two [injunctions].7 How is 'thou shalt not delay to pay it,' referring to neziroth, conceivable? [For] as soon as one says 'Behold, I am a nazir', he is one; if he eats [grapes], he transgresses, 'neither' shall he . . . eat moist grapes or dried?' - When one says: 'when I wish, I will be a nazir'.8 But if he says, 'when I wish', the injunction 'thou shalt not delay' does not apply?9 - Said Raba: E.g., if he says, 'I must not depart this world before having been a nazir,' for he becomes a nazir from that moment.10 For this is similar to one who says to his wife: 'Here is your divorce, [to take effect] one hour before my death,' where she is immediately forbidden to eat terumah.11 Thus we see that we fear12 that he may die at any moment: so here13 too, he becomes a nazir immediately, for we say, Perchance he will die now.
(1) A nazirite vow for an unspecified period means for thirty days. If one who is already a nazir takes a nazirite vow, it is binding, and becomes operative when the first ends. Thus he translates: a nazir can take a vow le-hazir, to become a nazir after his present vow terminates, v. infra isa.
(2) The heavier form le-hazzir implies intensity, therefore it is interpreted as meaning something additional to what might be inferred from the kal li-zor, which itself being pleonastic allows us to infer something not explicit in the verse.
(3) I.e., the Palestinian academies.
(4) Num. XXX, 3: this embraces every form in which a vow can be made.
(5) Ibid. VI, 3.
(6) Ibid. [It is assumed that the injunction 'he shall not break his word' can apply only to a case where the vow is nullified by his action, e.g., where he vows to eat and he does not eat, but not where he, for instance, vows not to eat and he does eat, where the vow has not been nullified but transgressed: and similarly in the case of a nazir.]
(7) [Raba extends the scope of the injunction to include cases where the oath is transgressed: and thus by drinking wine he transgresses 'he shall it drink', in addition to 'he shall not break his word'.]
(8) If he postpones becoming a nazir, he violates, 'thou shalt not delay etc'.
(9) Since there is no vow until he so desires.
(10) Not actually, but in the sense that he must assume his naziriteship without delay lest he dies the next moment.
(11) V. Glos.
(12) Lit., 'we say'.
(13) In the case of a nazirite.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 4a
R. Aha b. Jacob said: E.g., if one takes a nazirite vow whilst in a cemetery.1 This agrees with the view that the naziriteship is not immediately binding. But on the view that it is immediately valid, is then, 'he shall not delay,' applicable?2 Moreover, Mar, son of R. Ashi, said: The vow is immediately valid, and they differ3 only on the question of flagellation? - Nevertheless he violates, 'thou shalt not delay,' because the [ritually] clean naziriteship is delayed. R. Ashi said: Since this is so, [it follows that] if a nazir intentionally defiles himself, he transgresses thou shalt not delay in respect to [the recommencement of] the clean naziriteship.
R. Aha, the son of R. Ika, said: He4 might transgress 'that shalt not delay' in respect to shaving.5 Now, this goes without saying according to the view that shaving is indispensable,6 but even on the view that the shaving is not a bar [to the sacrifices], nevertheless he does not observe the precept of shaving. Mar Zutra the son of R. Mari said: He might violate 'Thou shalt not delay' in respect to his sacrifices. Is this deduced from here; surely, it is rather inferred from elsewhere: [When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord, thou shalt not slack to pay it, for the Lord thy God] will surely require it of thee:7 this refers to sin-offerings and trespass-offerings?8 - I might say that the Torah set up an anomaly9 in the case of nazir.10 What is the anomaly? Shall we say, the fact that a vow to bring the sin-offering of a nazir11 is invalid: but a sin-offering for heleb12 cannot be made obligatory by a vow,13 yet one transgresses, 'thou shalt not delay'? But the anomaly is this: I might have thought, since even if one says, 'I will be a nazir only with respect to the kernels of grapes,'14 he is a nazir in all respects. I would think that he does not violate, Thou shalt not delay'; therefore we are told [otherwise].15 , Now, this is well according to the opinion that a vow of naziriteship in respect of the kernels of grapes makes one a nazir in all respects; but on the view of R. Simeon, viz., that one is not a nazir unless he separates himself from all, what can be said? Moreover, this is an anomaly in the direction of greater stringency?16 - But the anomaly is this: I might have thought, since
(1) A nazir may not defile himself through the dead. Consequently the vow does not become immediately operative, but he must not delay to leave the cemetery so that it shall become binding.
(2) Surely not, for he is an actual nazir, subject to all the provisions of a nazir.
(3) Sc. R. Johanan and Resh Lakish, in Nazir 16b.
(4) The nazirite.
(5) After the completion of his naziriteship: v. Num. VI, 9, and thus violate the injunction 'thou shalt not delay'.
(6) Lit., 'hinders' - the offering of the sacrifices on the completion of naziriteship, hence delay in shaving involves a delay in sacrifices.
(7) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(8) And this would cover the case of a nazirite. For what purpose then the application of the verse 'thou shalt not delay' to the nazirite?
(9) Lit., 'a novelty' - as such it cannot be included in other general laws, as it is a principle of exegesis that an anomaly stands in a class by itself.
(10) Which includes a nazir's sacrifices.
(11) By one who is not nazirite.
(12) Forbidden fat.
(13) A vow to bring a sin-offering which is normally due for eating heleb is not binding if the vower is not actually liable.
(14) V. Num. VI, 4.
(15) By the coupling of the nazirite vow with other vows in the same sentence.
(16) How then would we think that the injunction does not apply, so that it is more lenient
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 4b
if he shaves himself for one [sacrifice] of the three, he fulfils his duty.1 therefore he should not be subject to, 'Thou shalt not delay'; hence we are told [that it is not so]. An alternative answer is this: the anomaly is that it cannot be vowed; but as to your difficulty of the sin-offering for heleb,2 - the sin-offering for heleb comes for atonement,3 but for what does the sin-offering of anal come?4 But the sin-offering of a woman who gave birth,5 which does not come for an atonement, yet one violates, 'thou shalt not delay' on account thereof? - That permits her to eat of sacrifices.6
The Master said: 'And just as in other vows, the father can annul those of his daughter and the husband those of his wife, so in the case of neziroth, the father can annul the neziroth of his daughter and the husband that of his wife'. But what need is there of analogy; let us infer it from VOWS by general similarity?7 - Perhaps he can annul only in the case of other vows, because their duration is unlimited; but with respect to neziroth, the duration of which is limited - for an unspecified vow of neziroth is for thirty days, - I might say that it is not so.8 Hence we are informed [otherwise].9
IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, I AM DEBARRED FROM YOU BY A VOW' etc. Samuel said: In all these instances he must say, 'in respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours'. An objection is raised: [If one says to his neighbour], 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' [or] 'I am separated from you.' [or] 'I am removed from you', he is forbidden [to derive any benefit from him]. [If he says,] 'That which I might eat or taste of yours' [shall be to me prohibited], he is forbidden!10 - This is what is taught: When is this? If he adds 'in respect of aught that I might eat or taste of yours.' But the reverse was taught: [If one says to his neighbour,] 'That which I might eat or taste of yours' [shall be prohibited to me], he is forbidden; 'I am debarred from you by a vow', [or] 'I am separated from you', [or] 'I am removed from you,' he is [likewise] forbidden! - Read thus: Providing that he had first said, 'I am debarred from you, etc.'11 If so, it is identical with the first [Baraitha]?12 Moreover, why teach further, 'he is forbidden' twice?13 - But this is what Samuel really said: Because he said, 'in respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours', the maker of the vow alone is forbidden while his neighbour is permitted;14
(1) A nazir at the termination of his vow is bound to bring three sacrifices, viz., a burnt-offering, a sin-offering, and a peace-offering. Yet if he shaves and brings only one, the prohibitions of a nazir, such as the drinking of wine, etc., are lifted. This is a unique law, and in the direction of greater leniency.
(2) Supra p. 7, n. 10.
(3) Hence one violates the injunction by delaying to make atonement.
(4) Though technically a sin-offering, it is, in fact, merely part of a larger vow. Hence it is an anomaly that it cannot be vowed separately.
(5) V. Lev. XII, 6ff.
(6) Which may be an obligation. e.g., the eating of the Passover sacrifice. Hence 'thou shalt not delay' is applicable.
(7) Since naziriteship is a form of vow. [מה מצינו Lit., 'as we find concerning', a method of hermeneutics whereby an analogy is drawn from one case for one single similar case, as distinct from hekkesh (supra p. 4, n. 6) where the analogy is based on the close connection of the two subjects in one and the same context.]
(8) Since the vow will automatically lapse.
(9) By the analogy.
(10) The first clause proves that the vow is valid without the addition.
(11) According to this rendering, the bracketed 'shall be prohibited to me' must be deleted.
(12) Why then is the order reversed? This difficulty arises in any case. But if each clause is independent, it can be answered that the second Baraitha intentionally reverses the clauses, so as to make their independence obvious, since the interpretation 'providing that he had first said' is forced; whilst in the first Baraitha the assumption that the second clause is an addition to the first is quite feasible.
(13) Seeing that the whole refers to one vow.
(14) To benefit from him.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 5a
but if he merely says. 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' both are forbidden. Just as R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: [If one says to his neighbour] 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' both are forbidden.
We learnt: [If one says to his neighbour,] 'Behold! I am herem1 to you,' the muddar2 is forbidden.3 But the maddir2 is not [forbidden]?4 - E.g., if he explicitly states, 'but you are not [herem] to me'. [But does it not continue,] 'You are herem to me', the maddir is forbidden, [implying,] but not the muddar? - E.g., if he explicitly states, 'but you are not [herem] to me.' But what if it is not explicit: both are forbidden? But since the final clause teaches,' I am [herem] to you and you are [herem] to me,' both are forbidden, it is only in that case that both are forbidden, but in general he is forbidden while his neighbour is permitted?5 But this is how R. Jose son of R. Hanina's [dictum] was stated: [If one says to his neighbour,] 'I am under a vow in respect of you,' both are forbidden; 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' he is forbidden but his neighbour is permitted. But our Mishnah teaches, 'FROM YOU, yet our Mishnah was explained according to Samuel that in all cases he must say, 'in respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours' - only then is he [alone] forbidden while his neighbour is permitted, but in the case of, 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' both are forbidden? But this is what was originally stated in Samuel's name: It is only because he said, 'in respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours,' that he is forbidden only in respect of eating. But [if he only said,] 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' he is forbidden even benefit. If so, let Samuel state thus: But if he did not say, 'In respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours,' even benefit is forbidden to him?6 But this is what was stated: Only if he says, in respect of aught that I might eat of yours or that I might taste of yours', is he forbidden; but if he [merely] says, 'I am debarred from you by a vow,' it does not imply a prohibition at all. What is the reason? 'I am debarred from you,' [implies] 'I am not to speak to you ; 'I am separated from you' [implies] 'I all, to do no business with you'; 'I am removed from you' implies, 'I am not to stand within four cubits of you'.
(1) V. Glos.
(2) Muddar is the object of the vow; maddir is the man who makes the vow.
(3) Infra 47b.
(4) This contradicts Samuel's dictum that without the addition the incidence of the vow is reciprocal.
(5) Which contradicts R. Jose b. R. Hanina.
(6) So the text as amended by Bah.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 5b
Shall we say Samuel holds the opinion that inexplicit abbreviations are not abbreviations?1 - Yes. Samuel makes the Mishnah agree with R. Judah, who maintained: Inexplicit abbreviations are not abbreviations. For we learnt: The essential part of a Get2 is, 'Behold, thou art free unto all men'. R Judah said: [To this must be added] 'and this [document] shall be unto thee from me a deed of dismissal and a document of release.'3 Now, what forced Samuel to thus interpret the Mishnah, so as to make it agree with R. Judah: let him, make it agree with the Rabbis, that even inexplicit abbreviations [are binding]?4 Said Raba: The Mishnah presents a difficulty to him: Why state, IN RESPECT OF AUGHT THAT I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS OR THAT I MIGHT TASTE OF YOURS, let him teach, IN RESPECT OF AUGHT THAT I MIGHT EAT OR THAT I MIGHT TASTE [and no more]? This proves that we require explicit abbreviations.
It was stated: Inexplicit abbreviations - Abaye maintained: They are [valid] abbreviations; while Raba said: They are not [valid] abbreviations. Raba said: R. Idi explained the matter to me. Scripture says, [When either a man or a woman shall] explicitly law a vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves unto the Lord: abbreviations of neziroth are compared to neziroth: just as neziroth must be explicit in meaning, so must their abbreviations be too.
Are we to say that they differ in the dispute of R. Judah and the Rabbis? For we learnt: The essential part of a Get is the words, 'Behold, thou art free unto all men.' R. Judah said: [To this must be added,] 'and this [document] shall be unto thee from me a deed of dismissal and a document of discharge and a letter of release': [Thus] Abaye rules as the Rabbis, and Raba as R. Judah? - [No.] Abaye may assert: My opinion agrees even with R. Judah's. Only in divorce does R. Judah insist that abbreviations shall be explicit, because 'cutting off'5 is necessary, and this is lacking;6 but do you know him to require it elsewhere too? Whilst Raba can maintain, My view agrees even with that of the Rabbis. Only in the case of divorce do they say that explicit abbreviations are not essential,
(1) I.e., invalid. For the above forms are such, and Samuel maintains that they impose no prohibition at all without the explanatory clauses.
(2) V. Glos.
(3) Otherwise it is not clear that the divorce is to be effected by the Get. Thus he holds that inexplicit abbreviations are invalid.
(4) [For unless Samuel had cogent reasons to make the Mishnah agree only with R. Judah, he himself would not have accepted the view of R. Judah in preference to that of the majority of Rabbis (Ran).]
(5) [Referring to Deut. XXIV, 3: 'And he shall write unto her a writ of cutting off' (so literally).]
(6) If the abbreviation is inexplicit the severance is not complete.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 6a
because no man divorces his neighbour's wife;1 but do you know then, [to rule thus] elsewhere?2
An objection is raised: [If one says,] 'That is to me,' [or] 'this is to me,' he is forbidden,3 because it is an abbreviation of ['that is as a] korban [to me].'4 Thus, the reason is that he said, 'unto me,' but if he did not say, 'unto me,' it is not so:5 this refutes Abaye? - Abaye replies thus: It is only because he said, 'to me,' that he is forbidden; but if he [merely] said, 'behold, that is,' without adding 'to me' he might have meant, 'behold, that is hefker,'6 or 'that is for charity.'7 But is it not stated, 'because it is an abbreviation of, "a korban?"'8 - But answer thus: Because he said, 'to me,' he [alone] is forbidden, but his neighbour is permitted; but if he said, 'behold, that is', both are forbidden, because he may have meant,9 'behold that is hekdesh.10
An objection is raised: [If one says,] 'Behold, this [animal] is a sin-offering,' 'this is a trespass-offering,' though he is liable to a sin-offering or a trespass-offering, his words are of no effect. [But if he says,] 'Behold, this animal is my sin-offering,' or 'my trespass-offering,' his declaration is effectual if he was liable. Now, this is a refutation of Abaye!11 - Abaye answers: This agrees with R. Judah.12 But Abaye said, My ruling agrees even with R. Judah?12 - Abaye retracted. Are we to say [then] that Raba's ruling agrees [only] with R. Judah's?13 - No. Raba may maintain: My view agrees even with that of the Rabbis. Only in the case of divorce do they say that explicit abbreviations are not essential, because no man divorces his neighbour's wife; but elsewhere explicit abbreviations are required.
(1) I.e., even if the wording is inexplicit, the whole transaction makes its meaning perfectly clear. [This argument makes it evident that the point at issue between R. Judah and the Rabbis is mainly concerning the phrase [from me', the Rabbis being of the opinion that since no man divorces his neighbour's wife, it is clear that the Get comes 'from him' (Ran); v. Git. 85b.]
(2) Elsewhere they may agree that inexplicit allusions are invalid.
(3) To benefit from it.
(4) So Rashi and Asheri. [Alternatively: Because it is an abbreviation valid for a korban (an offering), and therefore also valid in case of a vow.]
(5) Because it is an inexplicit abbreviation.
(6) Ownerless property. V. Glos.
(7) Hence it is not an abbreviation of a vow at all.
(8) [This is difficult. The meaning apparently is that the reason that it is an abbreviation valid for a korban, (v. n. 2) ought to apply also to the declaration 'that is' by itself, since such a declaration too is valid for a korban; v. Ran.]
(9) [Where the object vowed was not fit for sacrifice; v. n. 6.]
(10) Sanctified property. V. Glos.
(11) Since in the first clause the abbreviation is invalid because it is inexplicit.
(12) V. supra 5b.
(13) Since Abaye's view agrees only with that of the Rabbis.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 6b
R. Papa enquired: Are abbreviations valid in the case of kiddushin,1 or not? Now, how does this problem arise? Shall we say thus: If one said to a woman, 'Behold, thou art betrothed unto me, and said to her companion, 'and thou too,' it is obvious that this is actual kiddushin?2 - But e.g., If one said to a woman, 'Behold, thou art betrothed unto me,' and then to her companion, 'and thou'. Do we assume that he meant 'and thou too,' and so the second is betrothed;3 or perhaps he said to her companion, 'and do thou witness it', and so she is not betrothed?
But is R. Papa really in doubt? But since he said to Abaye. Does Samuel hold that inexplicit abbreviations are valid?4 it follows that he [R. Papa] holds that abbreviations are valid in the case of kiddushin? - R. Papa's question to Abaye was based on Samuel's opinion.5
R. Papa enquired: Are abbreviations binding in respect of pe'ah6 or not? What are the circumstances? Shall we say that one said, 'Let this furrow be pe'ah. and this one too' - that is a complete [declaration of] pe'ah? - His problem arises, e.g., if he [merely] said, 'and this,' without adding 'too'.7
(Hence it follows that if one says, 'Let the entire field be pe'ah', it is so?8 - Yes. And it was taught likewise: Whence do we know that if one wishes to render his whole field pe'ah, he can do so? From the verse, [And when ye reap the harvest of thy land, thou shalt not wholly reap] the corner of the field.)9 - Do we say, Since it [sc. pe'ah] is compared to sacrifices, just as abbreviations are binding in the case of sacrifices, so in the case of pe'ah too; or perhaps, the analogy holds good only in respect of [the injunction,] than shalt not delay?10 Now, where is the analogy found? - For it was taught:
(1) Betrothals. V. Glos.
(2) Not an abbreviation.
(3) Lit., 'kiddushin takes hold on her companion'.
(4) In reference to kiddushin, v. Kid. 5b.
(5) Recognising that Samuel held abbreviations to be valid in the case of kiddushin.
(6) Pe'ah-the corner of the field, which was left for the poor. v. Lev. XIX, 9.
(7) [Asheri seems to have read: Did he then mean 'and this too is for pe'ah' or 'and this is for personal expenses'.]
(8) The presumption is that R. Papa's problem arises only if the first furrow alone contained the necessary minimum, for otherwise the second would certainly be pe'ah; therefore the second furrow is in addition to the requisite minimum, and becomes pe'ah, if abbreviations are binding. But if more than the minimum can be pe'ah, it follows that even the whole field can be pe'ah.
(9) And not 'the corner in thy field'. Lev. MIX, 9.
(10) I.e., if pe'ah is not given within the fixed period, this injunction is violated.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 7a
[When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not delay to pay it, far the Lord will surely require it] of thee:1 this refers to gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and pe'ah.2
Are abbreviations binding in the case of charity or not? How does this arise? Shall we say, that one said, 'This zuz3 is for charity, and this one too,' that is a complete [declaration of] charity! - But, e.g., If one said, '[And] this,' omitting 'too'. What then: did he mean, 'and this too is for charity,' or, 'and this is for my personal expenditure,' his statement being incomplete?4 Do we say, Since this is likened to sacrifices, as it is written' [That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a free-will offering according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised] with thy mouth, which refers to charity:5 hence, just as abbreviations are valid for sacrifices, so with charity; or possibly the comparison is in respect of 'Thou shalt not delay' only?
Are abbreviations valid in respect of hefker or not? But that is charity?6 - This problem is based on a presupposition:7 Should you rule, abbreviations are valid in the case of charity, because there is no analogy by halves,8 [what of] hefker?9 Do we say: Hefker is charity; or possibly charity differs, charity being for the poor only, whilst hefker is both for the rich and the poor?
Rabina propounded: Are abbreviations effective in respect of a privy or not?9 How does this arise? Shall we say, that he declared, 'Let this place be for a privy, and this one too,' then obviously it is one? - But e.g., if he declared, 'and this,' omitting 'too'. What then? Does '[and] this' mean 'and this too shall be a privy,' or perhaps, what is meant by 'and this'? In respect of general use? Now, this proves that it is certain to Rabina that designation is valid for a privy. But Rabina propounded: What if one designates a place for a privy' or for baths; is designation effective or not?10 - Rabina propounded this problem on an assumption. [Thus:] Is designation effective or not, should you answer, Designation is effective, are abbreviations valid or not?11 This question remains.
I AM BANNED TO YOU,' etc. Abaye said: R. Akiba admits in respect to lashes, that he is not flagellated;12 for otherwise, let [the Mishnah] state, R. Akiba gave a stringent ruling.13 R. Papa said: With respect to, 'I am isolated [nedinah] from you,' all agree that he is forbidden; 'I am accursed [meshamatna] from you,' all agree that he is permitted. Wherein do they differ?
(1) Deut. XXIII, 22.
(2) Whilst he will surely require it refers to sacrifices, supra 4a. Hence they are assimilated to each other, being coupled in the same verse. The Hebrew for of thee is מעמך which can be rendered 'of that which is with thee', the reference being to the gleanings etc., which are to be left for those that are 'with dice', i.e., the poor. Ex. XXII, 24.
(3) Zuz, a silver coin, one fourth of a shekel.
(4) This alternative may apply to the query on pe'ah too: i.e., did he mean, 'and this furrow too', or, 'and this furrow be for my personal use?' V. p. 13, n. 7.
(5) This is deduced from the verse: the promise of charity is gone out of my mouth (Isa. SV, 23, so translated here), where a promise by mouth refers to charity.
(6) Renunciation of one's property is the equivalent of giving it to charity. Thus the problem has already been stated.
(7) Lit., 'he sass, "if you should say".'
(8) I.e., it cannot be confined to certain aspects only.
(9) A place so appointed may not be used for reciting prayers, even before it was used as a privy.
(10) In the sense that this place may not be used henceforth for reciting prayers.
(11) In all the foregoing problems on kiddushin, pe'ah, charity etc., the abbreviations, though apparently not clear in meaning, since alternatives are given, are regarded as explicit, since the alternatives are, in every case, of a remote character, and the question then arises whether abbreviations, though explicit enough, are effective in these cases, v. Ran. 6b, s.v. בעי.
(12) If he breaks the vow.
(13) 'WAS INCLINED' shows that he entertained some doubt, and would therefore not inflict the penalty of lashes.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 7b
In the case of, 'I am banned to you,' R. Akiba maintaining that it is the equivalent of 'isolated' [nedinah], whilst the Rabbis hold that it means accursed' [meshamatna]. Now, this conflicts with R. Hisda's view. For a certain man, who declared, 'I am accursed in respect of the property of the son of R. Jeremiah b. Abba' went before R. Hisda. Said he to him, 'None pay regard to this [ruling] of R. Akiba'. [Thus] he holds that they differ in respect to' 'I am accursed' [meshamatna].
R. Elai said in the name of Rab. If [a Rabbi] places a person under a ban in his presence, the ban can be revoked only in his presence; if in his absence, it can be revoked both in his presence and in his absence. R. Hanin said in Rab's name. One who hears his neighbour utter God's name in vain1 must place him under a ban; otherwise he himself must be under a ban,2 because the unnecessary utterance of the Divine Name always leads to poverty, and poverty leads to death, as it is written, [And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return unto Egypt]. For all the men are dead [which sought thy life];3 and it was taught: Wherever the Sages cast their eyes [in disapproval] death or poverty has resulted.
R. Abba said: I was standing in the presence of R. Huna, when he heard a woman utter God's name in vain. Thereupon he banned her, but immediately lifted the ban in her presence. This proves three things: [i] He who hears his neighbour utter the Divine Name unnecessarily must excommunicate him; [ii] If [a Rabbi] bans a person in his presence, the ban must be lifted in his presence too. [iii] No time need elapse between the imposition and the lifting of a ban.4
R. Giddal said in Rab's name: A scholar may utter a ban against himself, and lift it himself. But is this not obvious? - I would think that a prisoner cannot free himself from prison; hence we are taught otherwise. Now, how can such a thing occur? - As in the case of Mar Zutra the Pious:5 when a disciple incurred a ban,6 [Mar Zutra] first excommunicated himself and then the disciple.7 On arriving home, he lifted the ban from himself and then from the disciple.
R. Giddal also said in Rab's name:
(1) Lit., the mentioning of the Name from his neighbour's mouth.
(2) [I.e., deserves to be placed under a ban, (Ran).]
(3) Ex. IV, 19. It is stated infra 64b that the reference is to Dathan and Abiram, who in fact were alive at Korah's rebellion, but had become poverty-stricken. Four are regarded as dead: a poor man, a leper, a blind person, and one who has no children. They were not blind, for it is written, wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? (Num. XVI, 14). Again, they were not lepers, for we find that they had not been excluded from the congregation: in the midst of all Israel (Deut. XI, 6). Even if they had been childless, they still could have been a source of danger to Moses before Pharaoh. Hence when God assured Moses that the danger was past, He meant that they were now poor and without influence (Ran).
(4) Hence, the ban may be merely a nominal punishment. V. J.E. art. Anathema. The term used here is niddui, and though it is stated there (p. 560, 2) that niddui is for seven days (M.K. 16a, 17b), it is evident from this passage that there was a formal ban too of no particular duration.
(5) Heb. hasida, (hasid). In Rabbinic literature the term is a title of respect denoting the type of an ideal Jew; (cf. Ta'an. 8a; Tem. 15b).
(6) [Here the term used is shamta, 'desolation', 'curse'. According to Rashi, 'shamta' is a less severe form of ban than 'niddui'; Maimonides, Yad, Talmud Torah, VII, 2, equates them. Nahmanides, Mishpat ha-Herem, considers shamta to be a general term for the more severe form of excommunication, the Herem, and the less severe, the Niddui.
(7) This was done to safeguard the honour of his disciple.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 8a
Whence do we know that an oath may be taken to fulfil a precept? From the verse, I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.1 But is he not under a perpetual oath from Mount Sinai?2 - But what [R. Giddal] teaches us is that one may stimulate himself.3 R. Giddal also said in Rab's name: He who says, 'I will rise early to study this chapter or this tractate,' has vowed a great vow to the God of Israel. But he is under a perpetual oath from Mount Sinai, and an oath cannot fall upon another?4 Then [again] if he informs us that a person may thus stimulate himself, it is identical with R. Giddal's first [statement]? - This is what R. Giddal teaches: The oath is binding, since one can free [i.e., acquit] himself by the reading of the Shema' morning or evening.5 R. Giddal said in Rab's name: If one says to his neighbour, 'Let us rise early and study this chapter,' it is his [the former's] duty to rise early, as it is written, And he said unto me, arise, go forth into the plain, and there I will talk with thee. Then I arose and went forth into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there.6
R. Joseph said: If one was placed under a ban in a dream, ten persons are necessary for lifting the ban.7 They must have studied halachah;8 I but if they had only learnt [Mishnah],9 they cannot lift the ban; but if such as have studied halachah are unavailable, then even those who have only learnt Mishnah], but had not studied [halachah] will do. But if even such are unavailable, let him go and sit at the cross-roads, and extend greetings10 to ten men, until he finds ten men who have studied halachah.11 Rabina asked R. Ashi: If he knew [in his dream] the person who placed him tinder a ban, can this person lift the ban? - He answered: He might have been appointed [God's] messenger to ban him, but not to revoke it. R. Aha asked R. Ashi: What if one was both banned and readmitted12 in his dream? - Said he to him: Just as grain is impossible without straw,13
(1) Ps. CXIX, 106.
(2) Every Jew is regarded as having sworn at Sinai to observe God's precepts.
(3) By an oath, to do what he is in any case bound to do.
(4) I.e., an oath is not valid when referring to that which is already subject to an oath.
(5) The passage commencing: Hear O Israel etc. (Deut. VI, 4 seq.). There is a definite obligation to study day and night, which is derived either from Deut. VI, 7 (and thou shalt teach them, etc.) or from Josh. I, 8 (This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth). But it is stated in Men. 95b that the obligation is fulfilled by the reading of the Shema' morning and evening.
(6) Ezek. III, 22, 23. The Lord, having instructed him to go forth, had preceded him.
(7) Dreams were widely held to have a positive significance; indeed, as almost partaking of the nature of prophecy. As we see here, a definite quality of reality was ascribed to them. V. J.E. s.v. 'Dreams'.
(8) Heb., hilketha, v. next note.
(9) So Rashi and Ran on the basis of our text. Mishnah is the law in broad outline, which characterises the whole of our present Mishnah, as compiled by R. Judah I. Hilketha (halachah) (law, rule) would appear to connote here the Talmudic discussion thereon, i.e., the amoraic development of the Mishnah. For tanu (תנו) referring to amoraic teaching instead of Tannaitic. cf. Kaplan, Redaction of the Talmud, pp. 209 seq. Ran, Asheri, and Tosaf, offer another interpretation, based on a slightly different reading: They must have taught law, but not merely learnt it (themselves).
(10) Lit., 'give peace' - the usual form of a Jewish greeting.
(11) Tosaf.: the greetings of ten men at the cross-roads will remove his grief; but ten scholars are necessary for the removal of the ban.
(12) Lit., 'it was loosened for him'.
(13) Cf. Jer. XXIII, 28.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 8b
so is there no dream without meaningless matter.1
Rabina's wife was under a vow; he then came before R. Ashi, asking. Can the husband become an agent for his wife's regret?2 - He replied: If they [the three scholars] are ready assembled, he can do so: but not otherwise.3 Three things may be inferred front this incident: [i] A husband can become an agent for his wife's regret. [ii] It is not seemly4 for a scholar to revoke a vow in his teacher's town.5 [iii] If they [the necessary scholars] are already assembled, it is well. But a scholar may lift a ban even in the vicinity of his master, and even a single ordained scholar6 may lift a ban.
R. Simeon b. Zebid said in the name of R. Isaac b. Tabla, in the name of R. Hiyya Areka of the school of R. Aha, in the name of R. Zera in the name of R. Eleazar in the name of R. Hanania in the name of R. Mi'asha on the authority of R. Judah b. Il'ai: What is the meaning of, But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings?7 - This refers to those people who fear to utter the Divine name in vain.8 'The sin of righteousness with healing in its wings': Said Abaye, This proves that the motes dancing in the sun's rays have healing power. Now, he differs from R. Simeon b. Lakish, who said: There is no Gehinnom9 in the world to come,10 but the Holy One, blessed be He, will draw forth the sun from its sheath: the righteous shall be healed, and the wicked shall be judged and punished thereby. As it is written, But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings.11 Moreover, they shall be rejuvenated by it, as it is written, And ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall.12 But the wicked shall be punished thereby, as it is written, Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.13
(1) I.e., the ban is not lifted.
(2) So as to have the vow cancelled. On regret (haratah). v. infra 21b, a.l.
(3) Because having troubled to assemble three scholars, he may be anxious that his trouble should not be unrewarded and so exceed his wife's instructions as to the grounds on which she desired absolution.
(4) This is the reading of Ran. Cur. edd. (quoted by Rashi too): a scholar is not permitted.
(5) Since Rabina, himself a Rabbi, did not act in the town of R. Ashi, his teacher.
(6) Mumhe, v. Glos.
(7) Mal. III. 20.
(8) The name of God represents the Divine nature and the relation of God to His people. As such it was understood as the equivalent of the Divine Presence, hence the awe with which it was surrounded, cf. Kid. 71a, Sanh. 99a.
(9) Gehinnom (Gehenna) as an equivalent of hell, purgatory, takes its name from the place where children were once sacrificed to Moloch, viz., ge ben Hinnom, the valley of the son of Hinnom, to the south of Jerusalem (Josh. XV, 8; 11 Kings XXIII, 10; Jer. VII, 32-32; XIX, 6. 13-14).
(10) ['Olam ha-ba. Here, as it is clear from the context, the reference is to the Messianic days.]
(11) Thus, unlike Abaye, he applies the verse to the future world.
(12) Mal. III, 20.
(13) Mal. III, 19.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 9a
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS] 'AS THE VOWS OF THE WICKED, HE HAS VOWED IN RESPECT OF NEZIROTH, A SACRIFICE, AND AN OATH.1 [IF HE SAYS:] 'AS THE VOWS OF THE RIGHTEOUS,' HIS WORDS ARE OF NO EFFECT. [BUT IF HE SAID,] 'AS THEIR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS,' HE HAS VOWED IN RESPECT OF A NAZIRITE VOW AND A SACRIFICE.1
GEMARA. But perhaps he meant thus: 'I do not vow as the vows of the wicked?' - Samuel answered: The Mishnah refers to one who said, 'As the vows of the wicked behold I am,' [or] '[I take] upon myself,' [or] '[I am debarred] from it': [which means,] 'Behold, I am a nazir,' [or] 'I take upon myself [the obligation] to offer a sacrifice,' [or] 'I [am debarred] by an oath [to derive any benefit] therefrom. Behold, I am a nazir': but perhaps he meant, 'Behold, lam to fast'? - Said Samuel: That is if a nazir was passing in front of him.2 'I am [debarred] by an oath [to derive any benefit] therefrom.' But perhaps [hemennu] [from or of it] means 'that I am to eat of it'? - Said Raba: It means that he said, '[I am debarred] from it not to eat it.' If so, why state it?3 - I would argue, But he has not explicitly taken an oath!4 Hence we are informed [otherwise].5
[IF HE SAYS], 'AS THE VOWS OF THE RIGHTEOUS,' etc. Which Tanna recognises a distinction between a vow and a freewill offering:6 shall we say, neither R. Meir nor R. Judah? For it was taught: Better it is that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow and not pay.7 Better than both is not to vow at all: thus said R. Meir. R. Judah said: Better than both is to vow and repay.8 - You may even say that it is R. Meir:
(1) I.e., his vow is valid in respect of these. This will be explained in the Gemara.
(2) So he meant, 'such as he'.
(3) Since it is obvious.
(4) Hence it is not an oath.
(5) [The meaning of the Mishnah would be accordingly: If a nazirite is passing by and a man noticing him says. 'Behold, I am as he who makes the vows of the wicked', (meaning the nazirite, who in a sense is regarded as a sinner; v. infra 10a); or if a man with a beast before him says, 'I take upon myself as the vows of the wicked', or, with a loaf of bread before him, says. 'From it as the vows of the wicked', he becomes respectively a nazirite; Is obliged to bring a sacrifice; and is forbidden to eat of the loaf, each utterance being treated as an abbreviation of a vow (Ran).]
(6) In making a vow to offer a sacrifice, one says, 'Behold, I will bring a sacrifice'; since he may forget to do so, it is considered wrong to make a vow. But a freewill donation is declared thus: 'Behold, this animal is for a sacrifice'. Since the animal has already been put aside for the purpose, there is no fear of forgetfulness.
(7) Eccl. V, 4.
(8) Thus neither draw a distinction between a vow and a freewill-offering.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 9b
R. Meir spoke only of a vow, but not of a freewill-offering. But the Mishnah states: AS THEIR FREEWILL-OFFERINGS, HE HAS VOWED IN RESPECT OF NAZIR AND A SACRIFICE?1 - Learn: HE HAS made a freewill-offering IN RESPECT OF NAZIR AND A SACRIFICE. Now, wherein does a vower differ, that he is not [approved]: because he may thereby come to a stumbling-block?2 But a freewill-offering too can become a stumbling-block?3 - [He does as] Hillel the Elder.4 For it was taught: It was said of Hillel the Elder that no man ever trespassed through his burnt-offering;5 he would bring it as hullin6 to the Temple court, then sanctify it, and put his hand upon it7 and slaughter it. That is well in respect of a freewill-offering of sacrifices; but what can be said of a freewill-offering of neziroth?8 - It is as Simeon the Just.9 For it was taught: Simeon the Just said: Only once in my life have I eaten of the trespass-offering brought by a defiled tear. On one occasion a nazir came from the South country, and I saw that he had beautiful eyes, was of handsome appearance, and with thick locks of hair symmetrically arranged. Said I to him: 'My son, what [reason] didst thou see to destroy this beautiful hair of thine?'10 He replied: 'I was a shepherd for my father in my town. [Once] I went to draw water from a well, gazed upon my reflection in the water, whereupon my evil desires rushed upon me and sought to drive me from the world [through sin]. But I said unto it [my lust]: "Wretch! why dost thou vaunt thyself in a world that is not thine, with one who is destined to become worms and dust?11 I swear12 that I will shave thee off [his beautiful hair] for the sake of Heaven."' l immediately arose and kissed his head, saying: 'My son, may there be many nazirites such as thou in Israel! Of thee saith the Holy Writ, When either a man or a woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a nazirite, to separate themselves unto the Lord.13
R. Mani demurred: Wherein does the trespass-offering of an unclean nazirite differ, that he did not eat [thereof]: because it comes on account of sin? Then he should not have partaken [of] all trespass-offerings, since they come on account of sin? Said R. Jonah to him, This is the reason: When they regret [their evil deeds], they become nazirites, but when they become defiled, and the period of neziroth is lengthened,14 they regret their vow, and thus hullin is brought to the Temple court.15 If so, it is the same even with an undefiled nazir too?16 - A clean nazir is not so, for he [previ ously] estimates his will-power, [and decides] that he can vow.
(1) Rashi: this implies that it is stated as a vow. Asheri: the use of both terms together, FREEWILL-OFFERINGS and HE HAS VOWED proves that the Tanna of our Mishnah recognises no difference between them.
(2) By forgetting to fulfil his vow.
(3) Because when an animal has been dedicated, it may not be put to any use; in a momentary forgetfulness, however, one may use it.
(4) 'Elder' (Heb. zaken) does not necessarily refer to age, but was a title of scholarship; cf. Kid. 32b; Yoma 28b; J.M.K. III, beginning of 81c.
(5) By putting it to secular use after dedication.
(6) Non-holy, v. Glos.
(7) Lev. I, 4: And he shall put his hand upon the lead of the burnt-offering.
(8) Since the possibility of violating one of the laws of neziroth constitutes a stumblingblock.
(9) So the text as emended by Ran. - One who takes the vow of a nazirite in such circumstances as those related by Simeon the Just need not fear a stumbling-block. Scholars differ whether he is identical with Simeon I (310-291 or 300-270 B.C.E.) or Simeon II (219-199 B.C.E.). v. Ab. (Sonc. ed.) p. 2, n. 1.
(10) V. Num. VI, 18.
(11) Meaning himself. In thus apostrophising his lust he did not ascribe any persona], independent identity to it, as is evident from the context.
(12) Lit., 'by the service' (of the Temple).
(13) Num. VI, 2. A nazirite vow made for such reasons may be regarded as the vow of the righteous. Simeon the Just's refusal to partake of these sacrifices must be regarded as a protest against the growing ascetic practice of taking vows to be a nazirite, - usually a sign of unhappy times; Weiss, Dor, I, 85, v. Nazir (Sonc. ed.) p. 13.
(14) Since they must recommence their neziroth; v' Num. VI, 12.
(15) Actually, of course, the animal would be consecrated; but it is as though it were hullin, since their neziroth, on account of which the sacrifice is brought, was not whole-hearted.
(16) He may regret the vow before the expiration of his term.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 10a
You may even say that it [the Mishnah] agrees with R. Judah, for R. Judah said this1 only of a freewill-offering, but not of a vow. But he teaches: Better than both is to vow and repay? - Learn: To make a freewill-offering and repay. Now, why is a vow objectional: because one may come thereby to a stumbling-block.2 [Does not] the same apply to a free-will offering whereby too he may come to a stumbling-block? - R. Judah conforms to his other view, viz., that a person may bring his lamb to the Temple-court, consecrate and lay [hands] upon it, and slaughter it.3 This answer suffices for a freewill-offering of a sacrifice; but what can be said of a free-will offering of neziroth? - R. Judah follows his view [there too]. For it was taught: R. Judah said: The early hasidim4 were eager to bring a sin-offering, because the Holy One, blessed be He, never caused them to stumble. What did they do? They arose and made a free-will vow of neziroth to the Omnipresent, so as to be liable to a sin-offering to the Omnipresent.5 R. Simeon said: They did not vow neziroth. But he who wished to bring a burnt-offering donated it freely, and brought it; if a peace-offering, he donated it freely and brought it; or if a thanks-offering and the four kinds of loaves,6 donated it freely and brought it. But they did not take neziroth upon themselves, so as not to be designated sinners, as it is written, And [the priest] shall make atonement for him, for that he sinned against a soul.7
Abaye said: Simeon the Just, R. Simeon, and R. Eleazar hakappar, are all of the same opinion, viz., that a nazir is a sinner. Simeon the Just and R. Simeon, as we have stated. R. Eleazar ha-Kappar Berabbi,8 as it was taught: And he shall make atonement for him, for that he sinned against a soul. Against which 'soul' then has he sinned? But it is because he afflicted himself through abstention from wine. Now, does not this afford an argument from the minor to the major? If one, who afflicted himself only in respect of wine, is called a sinner: how much more so one who ascetically refrains from everything. Hence, one who fasts is called a sinner. But this verse refers to an unclean nazir?9 - That is because he doubly sinned.10
MISHNAH. ONE WHO SAYS, 'KONAM,' 'KONAH,' OR 'KONAS,'11 THESE ARE THE SUBSTITUTES FOR KORBAN.12 'HEREK,' 'HEREK,' [OR] 'HEREF,' THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR HEREM.13 'NAZIK,' 'NAZIAH,' 'PAZIAH,' THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR NEZIROTH;14 'SHEBUTHAH,' 'SHEKUKAH,' OR ONE WHO VOWS BY MOHI,15 THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR SHEBU'AH.16
GEMARA. It was stated: Substitutes: R. Johanan said: They are foreign equivalents [of the Hebrew]; R. Simeon b. Lakish said: They are forms devised by the Sages for the purpose of making vows;
(and thus it is written, in the month which he had devised of his own heart).17 And why did the Rabbis institute substitutes? - That one should not say korban. Then let him Say, korban? - Lest he say korban la-adonai [a sacrifice to the Lord]. And why not say korban la-adonai? - Lest one say la-adonai without korban, and thus utter the Divine Name in vain.18 And it was taught: R. Simeon said:
(1) That it is better to vow and repay.
(2) V. p. 21, nn. 1 & 6.
(3) It cannot become a stumbling-block, because it is hullin practically until it is killed.
(4) Hasid, PI. hasidim; lit., 'pious ones'. The hasidim referred to here are definitely not the Essenes (Weiss, Dor, I, P' 110). [Buchler, Types. p. 78, makes these early hasidim contemporaries of Shammai and Hillel.]
(5) V. Num. VI, 14.
(6) A thanks-offering was accompanied by forty loaves of bread, divided into four different kinds.
(7) Num. VI, 11 .
(8) [Or, Berebi, designation by which Bar Kappara is known to distinguish him from his father who bore the same name, v. Nazir, (Sonc. ed.) p. 64, n. 1.]
(9) How then can one deduce that a nazir in general is a sinner?
(10) The verse shews that a double sin is referred to, because 'for that he sinned' alone would have sufficed; 'against a soul' is superfluous, and teaches that he is a sinner in two respects: (i) by becoming a nazir at all; (ii) by defiling his neziroth (Ran). - The whole passage shows the Jewish opposition to asceticism, for Judaism rejects the doctrine of the wickedness of this life and the inherent corruption of the body, which is the basis of asceticism. Whilst the community as a whole fasted in times of trouble (cf. Esth. IV, 16; Ta'an. 10a, 15a), and certain Rabbis too were addicted to it (e.g. R. Ze'ira, B.M. 85a), yet individual fasting was discouraged, as here; v. Maim. Yad, De'oth, III, 1; VI, 1; Lazarus, Ethics of Judaism, ¤¤ 246-256.
(11) [Its derivation is probably from kenum, 'self', 'person', and then the object in an elliptical sentence, 'I pledge (myself) my person with So-and-so (that I will not do this or that)', v. Cooke, North Semitic Inscriptions, p. 34. This is a substitute for korban vow, in which he declares 'this may be forbidden to me as is a sacrifice'. No satisfactory explanation has been given so far for the other terms, which seem to be corruptions of konam.]
(12) Heb. for sacrifice.
(14) The vow of a nazir: 'Behold, I will be a nazir'. These words may be substituted for nazir.
(15) This is explained in the Gemara. [The Mishnayoth text reads 'BY MOTHA', an abbreviation of Momatha, the Aramaic equivalent of Shebu'ah.]
(16) Heb. for oath.
(17) I Kings XII, 33, referring to the unauthorised festival instituted by Jeroboam in the eighth instead of the seventh month. [The Heb. for 'devised', בדה is the same as used by R. Johanan in his definition. The bracketed words appear to be a copyist's gloss that has crept into the text. They do not occur in MS.M.]
(18) This machinery for vows, regulating the manner in which they were to be made, points to the practice as being very prevalent. V. Weiss, Dor, I, 85.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 10b
Whence do we know that one must not say, 'Unto the Lord a burnt-offering,' 'unto the Lord a meal-offering,' 'unto the Lord a thanks-offering,' or 'unto the Lord a peace-offering'?1 Because it is written, [If any man of you bring] an offering to the Lord.2 And from the minor we may deduce the major: If concerning one who intended uttering the Divine Name only in connection with a sacrifice, the Torah taught, an offering to the Lord;3 how much more [care must one take against its deliberate utterance] in vain!
Shall we say that this [conflict] is dependent on Tannaim? For it was taught: Beth Shammai maintain: Substitutes of substitutes are binding; whilst Beth Hillel Say: They are not.4 Surely, the ruling that secondary substitutes are valid is based on the view that substitutes are foreign equivalents;5 whilst he who says that they are invalid holds that they are forms devised by the Sages?6 - No. All agree that substitutes are foreign words; but Beth Shammai hold that Gentiles speak in these [terms] too,7 whilst Beth Hillel hold that they do not speak in these [terms]. Alternatively Beth Shammai hold: Secondary substitutes [are declared valid] as a precautionary measure on account of substitutes themselves;8 but Beth Hillel maintain: We do not enact a precautionary measure for secondary substitutes on account of the substitutes themselves.
What forms do double modifications of vows take? - R. Joseph recited: Mekanamana, mekanehana, mekanesana. What are the secondary substitutes of herem? - Mafash'ah taught: harakim, harakim, harafim. Secondary substitutes of neziroth? - R. Joseph learnt: mehazakana, menazahana, mephana.9 The scholars inquired: What of mipahazna, mithhazana, mith'azana?10 Rabina asked R. Ashi: What of kinema: does it mean konam,11 or perhaps, kinemon besem [sweet cinnamon]?12 R. Aha, the son of R. Hiyya, asked R. Ashi: What of kinah: does it mean a fowl's sty,13 or konam? These remain questions.14
What are secondary substitutes of oaths? - Shebuel, shebuthiel, shekukeel. But shebuel may simply mean Shebhuel the son of Gershon? But say thus: Shebubiel, shebuthiel shekukeel.15 Samuel said: If one says ashbithah, he says nothing: ashkikah, he says nothing; karinsha, he says nothing.16
OR ONE WHO VOWS BY MOHI, THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES [FOR SHEBU'A]. It was taught: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: One who says 'by Mohi' [Moses]17 says nothing; 'by Momtha which Mohi said,'18 these are substitutes for an oath.
MISHNAH. IF ONE SAYS [TO HIS NEIGHBOUR], 'THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE NOT19 HULLIN,'20 'BE NOT KASHER,'21 'BE NOT PURE,' 'BE CLEAN OR UNCLEAN,'22 'BE NOTHAR,'23 OR PIGGUL,24 HE IS FORBIDDEN.25 AS THE LAMB,'26 AS THE TEMPLE SHEDS OF CATTLE OR WOOD,'27 'AS THE WOOD' [ON THE ALTAR], AS THE FIRE [ON THE ALTAR],'28 ' AS THE ALTAR,' 'AS THE TEMPLE, AS JERUSALEM;' [OR] IF ONE VOWED BY REFERENCE TO THE ALTAR UTENSILS,29 THOUGH HE DID NOT MENTION KORBAN, IT IS AS THOUGH HE HAD VOWED BY KORBAN.30 R. JUDAH SAID: HE WHO SAYS JERUSALEM31 HAS SAID NOTHING.
(1) In this order, the Divine Name preceding.
(2) Lev. I, 1; thus the offering must precede.
(3) But not the reverse, lest one utter the Name in vain.
(4) Lit., 'they are permitted'.
(5) Hence, the first modifications are correct foreign words, the substitutes thereof are corrupt, but also used, and hence valid for oaths.
(6) Hence secondary substitutes, not having been assigned by the Sages to that purpose, are invalid.
(7) Sc. secondary substitutes; hence they are valid.
(8) Which would otherwise be treated as invalid by the masses.
(9) [Read Menazakna . . . mepazahna, each of which consists ofthe three consonantal letters of the substitutes with prefix and suffix; v. Strashun].
(10) [Strashun reads: Mepahazna, menahazna, menakazna, the last consonantal letters of the substitutes being transposed. This receives support from MS.M.]. Are they binding or not?
(11) Hence it is valid.
(12) Ex. XXX, 23; i.e., it is not a vow-form at all.
(13) I.e., the fem. of קן (kin), a bird's nest.
(14) In all these doubtful forms the question arises when they were actually used to express vows, the question being whether they imply vows or something else - notwithstanding the intention of their user.
(15) מהו 'What is the law' in cur. edd. is to be deleted; Bah.
(16) These forms are ineffective for expressing oaths.
(17) ['By Moses', was one of the common forms of asseveration, cf. Bez. 38b; Shab. 101b. V. Chajes, Notes.]
(18) By the oath which Moses uttered. [The allusion is to Ex. II, 21, where ויואל משה is rendered, 'Moses swore'. (Ran).]
(19) The Hebrew is la-hullin, here regarded as meaning: not hullin. V. also p. 28, n. 8.
(20) V. Glos.
(21) Lit., 'fit', ritually permitted for consumption.
(22) So cur. edd. Asheri explains: be as sacrifices, to which the laws of cleanliness and uncleanness apply - i.e., forbidden. Rashi's text reads simply: be not clean, be unclean, etc.
(23) Lit., 'left over'. The flesh of an offering which remains over after the period in which it must be eaten, v. Ex. XXIX, 34, and Lev., VII, 17.
(24) Lit., 'abomination'. The flesh of an animal sacrificed with the deliberate intention of eating it after the permitted period; it is then forbidden even within the period, v. Lev. VII, 18.
(25) To eat aught of his neighbour.
(26) I.e., the lamb of the daily sacrifice.
(27) The alternative is implied by the use of the plural in the Mishnah (Tosaf.).
(28) [So T.J. Others: Fire-offerings, cf. Lev. XXI. 6. (V. Asheri and Tosaf.)]
(29) I.e., your food be as the altar utensils unto me, hence, forbidden.
(30) V. Mishnah 20a.
(31) Without as i.e., 'Your food be Jerusalem to me'.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 11a
GEMARA. The scholars presumed. What does la-hullin mean: Let it not be as hullin, [implying] but as a sacrifice. Who is the authority of our Mishnah? If R. Meir: but he does not hold that the positive may be inferred from the negative?1 For we learnt, R. Meir said: Every stipulation which is not like the stipulation of the children of Gad and Reuben is invalid.2 Hence it must be R. Judah.3 Then consider the conclusion: R. JUDAH SAID: HE WHO SAYS JERUSALEM HAS SAID NOTHING. Now, since the conclusion is R. Judah, the former clause is not R. Judah?4 - The whole Mishnah gives R. Judah's ruling, but this is what is stated: for R. JUDAH SAID: HE WHO SAYS JERUSALEM HAS SAID NOTHING.5
But if one says, 'as Jerusalem,' is he forbidden according to R. Judah? But it was taught: R. Judah said: He who says, 'as Jerusalem,' has said nothing, unless he vows by what is sacrificed in Jerusalem! - It is all R. Judah, and two Tannaim, conflict as to his views.6
(1) To render it legally binding. Thus, if one says, 'Iet it not be as hullin', we may not infer that he meant, 'but let it be as a korban', and so declare it forbidden.
(2) Num. XXXII, 20-23; 29-30, q.v. We see there that Moses stipulated what was to happen in each case, and did not rely on one clause only, from which the reverse might be deduced, v. Kid. 61a.
(3) That the positive is inferred from the negative, and is then legally binding.
(4) Since it is specifically pointed out that the second clause is R. Judah.
(5) For that reason 'as' is specified in all the previous expressions.
(6) The Tanna of the Mishnah holding R. Judah's view to be that 'as Jerusalem' is a binding form, and the Tanna of the Baraitha that it is not.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 11b
It was taught: [If one says,] 'That which I might eat of yours,' or 'that which I might not eat of yours, be hullin,' or, 'be the hullin,' or, 'be as hullin,' he is permitted.1 [If he says,] 'That which I might eat of yours be not hullin,' he is forbidden;2 'that which I might not eat of yours be not hullin,' he is permitted. Now with whom does the first clause agree? With R. Meir, viz., who does not hold that the positive may be inferred from the negative.3 Then consider the latter clause: 'That which I might not eat of yours be not hullin,' he is permitted. But we learnt: [If one says,] 'That which I might not eat of yours be not for korban': R. Meir forbids [him]. Now we raised the difficulty: but he does not rule that the positive may be inferred from the negative?4 And R. Abba replied: It is as though he said, 'Let it [i.e., your food] be for the korban, therefore I will not eat of yours.'5 Then here too' perhaps, he meant, 'Let it not be hullin; therefore I may not eat of yours'? - This Tanna agrees with R. Meir on one point, but disagrees with him on another. He agrees with him on one point. that the positive may not be inferred from the negative; but disagrees with him on another, [viz.,] on [the interpretation of] la-korban. R. Ashi said: In the one case he said le-hullin;6 in the other7 he said, 'la-hullin', which might mean, 'let it not be hullin,8 but as a korban'.
BE CLEAN OR UNCLEAN,' 'AS NOTHAR,' 'AS PIGGUL, HE IS FORBIDDEN. Rami b. Hama asked: What if one said: 'This be unto me as the flesh of a peace-offering after the sprinkling of the blood'? But if he vowed thus, he related [his vow] to what is permissible!9 - But (the question arises thus]: E.g., if there lay flesh of a peace-offering before him and permitted food lay beside it' and he said, 'This be like this'. What then: did he relate it to its original state,10 or to its present [permitted] condition? - Raba answered: Come and hear: [We learnt:] IF ONE SAYS . . . AS NOTHAR, [OR] AS PIGGUL, [HE IS FORBIDDEN].
(1) To eat or benefit from his neighbour.
(2) Rashi. Ran is inclined to delete the clause, since, as the Talmud shews, this Baraitha is taught according to R. Meir, who holds that the positive may not be inferred from the negative.
(3) Hence, when he Says, 'That which I might not eat of yours be hullin', we may not infer that that which he might eat should not be hullin, and so prohibited.
(4) The hypothesis being that he is forbidden on account of this inference.
(5) The Hebrew form is la-korban: in popular speech la 'to the' may be a hurried utterance of la' 'not'; therefore on the first assumption what he said was: 'shall not be a korban'; in the answer the preposition is given its normal meaning, viz., shall be for the korban.
(6) Meaning as (or, for) hullin. [This can by no means he taken to denote 'not', and since R. Meir does not infer the positive from the negative, he does not consider it a vow.]
(7) The case interpreted by R. Abba.
(8) [So Ran. curr. edd. la-hullin, 'not hullin'].
(9) His words imply no prohibition.
(10) Before the sprinkling of the blood, when it was forbidden.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 12a
Now, nothar and piggul1 are [possible only] after the sprinkling of the blood! -2 R. Huna the son of R. Nathan said to him, This refers to nothar of a burnt-offering.3 Said he to him, If so, let him [the Tanna] teach: As the flesh of the burnt-offering?4 - He proceeds to a climax.5 [Thus:] It is unnecessary [to teach that if one relates his vow to] the flesh of a burnt-offering, that he is forbidden, since he referred it to a sacrifice. But it is necessary for him [to teach the case of] nothar and piggul of a burnt-offering. For I would think that he referred it to the prohibitions of nothar and piggul, so that it counts as a reference to what is inherently forbidden, and he is not prohibited;6 hence he informs us [otherwise].
An objection is raised: Which is the bond mentioned in the Torah?7 If one says, 'Behold! I am not to eat meat or drink wine, as on the day that my father or teacher died,' [or] 'as on the day when Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was slain,'8 [or] 'as on the day that I saw Jerusalem in ruins.' Now Samuel commented thereon: Providing that he was under a vow in respect to that very day.9 What does this mean? Surely that e.g., he stood thus on a Sunday, on which day his father had died, and though there were many permitted Sundays, it is taught that he is forbidden; this proves that the original [Sunday] is referred to.10 - Samuel's dictum was thus stated: Samuel said, Providing that he was under a vow uninterruptedly since that day.11
Rabina said, Come and hear: [If one says, 'This be unto me] as Aaron's dough12 or as his terumah', he is permitted.13 Hence, [if he vowed,] 'as the terumah of the loaves of the thanksgiving-offering,'14 he would be forbidden.15
(1) Some delete piggul, since at no time was it permitted. If retained in the text, it is so because nothar and piggul are generally coupled; but Raba's deductions are from nothar only.
(2) The proof is this. A sacrifice is forbidden because at some time it was consecrated by a vow. With the sprinkling of its blood it loses its forbidden character until it becomes nothar, when it resumes it. But a direct reference to nothar itself is inadmissible in a vow, because nothar is Divinely forbidden, and not the result of a vow (v. text, and p. 30, n. 2). Hence the reference must have been to the condition of the flesh before the sprinkling of the blood.
(3) The flesh of which is not permitted even after the sprinkling of the blood: hence it proves nothing.
(4) Without reference to nothar at all.
(5) Lit., he states, 'it is unnecessary'.
(6) When a man imposes a prohibition by referring one thing to another, the latter must be also artificially forbidden, e.g., a sacrifice, which was originally permitted, and then forbidden through consecration. But if it is Divinely forbidden, without the agency of man, the vow is invalid. Thus, if one says, 'This be to me as the flesh of the swine', it is not forbidden. Now, the prohibition of piggul and nothar are Divine: therefore, If the reference was in point of that particular prohibition, the vow would be invalid.
(7) Num. XXX, 3: If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word.
(8) After the destruction of the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.E. and the deportation of the nobles and the upper classes to Babylon, Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was appointed governor of the small community that was left. As a result of a conspiracy he was slain on the second day of Tishri. Jer. XL-XLI.
(9) The assumed meaning is: he had vowed on the day of his father's death, or had once vowed not to eat meat on the day that Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was slain, and now he vowed a second time, 'I am not to eat meat, etc. as on the day when I am forbidden by my previous vow, thus the second vow was related to an interdict which was itself the result of a vow (Ran.).
(10) I.e., the first Sunday distinguished by his former vow.
(11) I.e., he had been under a vow every Sunday until this present vow. Hence nothing can be proved. v. Shebu. (Sonc. ed.) p. 105.
(12) Num. XV, 20-21. Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering. This, and terumah (v. Glos.) belonged to Aaron, i.e., the priest, and was prohibited to a star (I.e., a non-priest).
(13) To benefit therefrom. The vow is invalid, because the dough and the terumah, not being prohibited to all, are regarded as Divinely forbidden: v. p. 30, n. 2.
(14) V. Lev. VII, 22ff. Of the forty loaves brought (p. 32, n. 1) one out of each set of ten was terumah, and belonged to the priest.
(15) Because the prohibition of those is evidently due to a vow.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 12b
But the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves is [forbidden] only after the sprinkling of the blood!1 - [No.] Infer thus: [If he vows,] 'as the terumah of the shekel-chamber,'2 he is forbidden. But what if [he said,] 'as the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves,' he is permitted? Then let him [the Tanna] state the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves, then how much more so 'his terumah'!3 - He teaches us this: The terumah of the thanksgiving loaves is 'his terumah'.4 Alternatively, the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves may also mean before the sprinkling of the blood,5 e.g., if it was separated during the kneading [of the dough].6 Even as R. Tobi b. Kisna said in Samuel's name: If the thanksgiving loaves are baked as four loaves [instead of forty], it suffices. But does not the Writ state forty?7 - As a meritorious deed. But terumah has to be taken therefrom?8 And should you answer that one loaf is taken for all, - but we learnt: [And of it he shall offer] one out of each oblation:9 'one' teaches that terumah is not to be taken from one oblation for another?10 And should you say that a piece is taken from each, - but we learnt: 'One' teaches that a piece is not to be taken? But it must be that he separates it during kneading, taking one [part] of the leaven, one of the unleavened cakes, one of the unleavened wafer, and one of the fried cake;11 [so here too].
Shall we say that this is dependent on Tannaim? [For it was taught: If one says,] 'This be unto me as a firstling,'12 R. Jacob forbids it, while R. Jose permits it. Now, how is this meant? If we say, before the sprinkling of the blood:13 what is the reason of him who permits it? If after, on what grounds does the other forbid it? But it surely [means]
(1) This itself is disputed. The view of R. Eliezer b. Simon is adopted here. Since, by deduction, this vow is binding, we evidently regard the reference as being to the present state.
(2) This refers to a special fund kept in the Temple for various purposes. mainly congregational sacrifices; Shek. III, 2: IV, 1. - This is the deduction to be made, not the previous one.
(3) If a vow referring to the terumah of the loaves of a thanks-offering is invalid, though in their origin their own prohibition is due to a vow, how much more will a vow referring to other terumah, which is Divinely forbidden, be valid. Also, it is a general rule that there is a preference for teaching the less likely, so that the more likely may be deduced therefrom a minori.
(4) I.e., the word 'terumah' embraces all forms of terumah.
(5) It is even then forbidden to a star, v. Glos.
(6) Although the loaves become sanctified only by the sprinkling of the blood, according to our premise, yet if the terumah was separated in the dough, it is consecrated.
(7) Not actually. But since the Writ speaks of four species, and terumah (I.e., one in ten) was to be given from each, it follows that forty had to be made.
(8) One from each ten.
(9) Lev. VII, 14.
(10) Each kind of loaf is here referred to as an oblation.
(11) V. Lev. VII, 12.
(12) v. Num. XVIII, 15.
(13) Of the firstling, when it is definitely forbidden.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 13a
that flesh of a firstling lay before him, and this other flesh lay at its side, and he declared, 'this be as this,' and [thus] it is a controversy of Tannaim?1 - No. All treat of before the sprinkling of the blood; and what is the reason of him who permits it? The Writ States, If a man vow,2 [teaching] that one must vow by that which is [itself] forbidden through a vow; thus excluding a firstling, which is an interdicted thing. And he who forbids it?3 - The Writ states, 'unto the Lord,'2 to include an interdicted thing.4 Then he who permits it, how does he interpret 'unto the Lord'? - He employs it in respect of relating [a vow] to a sin-offering or a guilt-offering.5 Now, what [reason] do you see to include a sin-offering and a guilt-offering and exclude the firstling? - I include the sin-offering and the guilt-offering which one sanctifies6 by a vow,7 but exclude the firstling, which is holy from its mother's womb. But he who forbids?8 A firstling too one sanctifies by a vow. For it was taught: It was said on the authority of Rabbi, Whence do we know that one is bidden to consecrate the firstling born in one's house? - From the verse, [All] the firstling males [that come of thy herd and thy flock] thou shalt sanctify [unto the Lord].9 But he who permits it [argues thus]: If he does not consecrate it, is it not holy?10
. . . AS THE LAMB, AS THE TEMPLE SHEDS etc. It was taught: A lamb, for a lamb, as a lamb; [or] sheds, for sheds, as sheds; [or] wood, for wood, as wood; [or] fire, for fire, as fire; [or] the altar, for the altar, as the altar; [or] the temple, for the temple, as the temple; or Jerusalem, for Jerusalem, as Jerusalem, - in all these cases, [if he says,] 'what I might eat of yours,' he is forbidden; 'what I might not eat of yours,' he is permitted.
Now which Tanna do we know draws no distinction between a lamb, for a lamb and as a lamb? - R. Meir.11 Then consider the second clause: and in all these cases, [if he says], 'that which I might not eat of yours [be so],' he is permitted. But we learnt: [If one says to his neighbour,] 'That which I might not eat of yours be not for korban, R. Meir forbids [him]. Now R. Abba commented thereon: It is as though he said, 'Let it [i.e., your food] be for korban, therefore I may not eat of yours'? - This is no difficulty: in the one case he said, 'lo le-imra';12 in the other he said, 'le-imra'.13
MISHNAH. IF ONE SAYS [TO HIS NEIGHBOUR], 'THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE KORBAN', [OR]' A BURNT-OFFERING',14 [OR] 'A MEAL-OFFERING', [OR]' A SIN-OFFERING [OR] 'A THANKSGIVING-OFFERING', [OR]' A PEACE-OFFERING, - HE IS FORBIDDEN.15 R. JUDAH PERMITTED [HIM].16 [IF HE SAYS,] 'THE KORBAN,' [OR] 'AS A KORBAN,' [OR]' KORBAN,17 BE THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS,' HE IS FORBIDDEN.18 IF HE SAYS: THAT WHICH I MIGHT NOT EAT OF YOURS BE FOR A KORBAN,'19 R. MEIR FORBIDS [HIM].
GEMARA. Now, the Mishnah teaches, [IF HE SAYS.] 'THE KORBAN,' [OR] 'AS KORBAN,' [OR] 'A KORBAN BE THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS,' HE IS FORBIDDEN. Thus, it is anonymously taught as R. Meir, who recognises no distinction between 'it sheep' and 'for a sheep'.20 But if so, then as to what he [the Tanna] teaches: 'THE KORBAN . . . [BE] THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS,' HE IS FORBIDDEN. But it was taught: The Sages concede to R. Judah that if one says, 'Oh, korban,' or 'Oh, burnt-offering,' 'Oh, meal-offering,' 'Oh, sin-offering, what I will eat this of thine,' he is permitted, because he merely vowed by the life of the korban!21 -
(1) Whether the reference is to its present (permitted) state or to its original (forbidden) condition.
(2) Num. XXX, 3.
(3) What is his reason?
(4) This will not apply to all Divinely forbidden things, but only to such as the firstling, as the Talmud proceeds to explain.
(5) That the vow is valid.
(6) Lit., 'seizes'.
(7) Though one cannot offer these as vows, without having incurred the obligation, the actual animal is forbidden as a result of the vow of consecration, since another could equally well have been sacrificed.
(8) How will he meet this argument?
(9) Deut. XV, 19. Thus, though Divinely consecrated, yet its owner must formally declare it holy, and hence it may be regarded as subject to a vow.
(10) Of course it is! Hence its interdict is not the result of a vow.
(11) Since R. Judah rules that if one says Jerusalem, without 'for' or 'as', the vow is invalid.
(12) 'Let it not be for the lamb' - hence it is permitted. [So cur. edd. MS.M. and Ran read: In one case he said la'-imra; 'let it not be the lamb'. V. supra. p. 28, n. 8.]
(13) 'Let it be for the lamb' - there he is forbidden.
(14) [The two may also be taken together and thus rendered 'a sacrifice of a burnt-offering'.]
(15) To eat aright of his neighbour's.
(16) Because he did not say, 'as a sacrifice', etc.
(17) In this last case korban is used as an oath: I swear by the sacrifice to eat naught of thine.
(18) Vowing by means of korban formula was a specifically Jewish practice: v. Josephus, Contra Apionem, 1, ¤¤ 22, Halevy, Doroth I, 3, pp. 314 f.
(19) In the Gemara these words are subsequently otherwise interpreted, but in the promise they are thus translated.
(20) V. supra p. 33, n. 6.
(21) That he would eat. Then why not assume the same in our Mishnah?
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 13b
This is no difficulty: Here he said ha korban,'1 there he said ha-korban.2 What is the reason?3 He meant, '[I swear] by the life of the sacrifice.'4 He [the Tanna] teaches: THAT WHICH I MIGHT NOT EAT OF YOURS BE NOT FOR KORBAN, R. MEIR FORBIDS HIM. But R. Meir does not rule that the positive may be inferred from the negative?5 R. Abba answered: it is as though he said: 'Let it be for korban, therefore I will not eat of yours'.6
MISHNAH. IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, 'KONAM BE MY MOUTH SPEAKING WITH YOU,' [OR] 'MY HANDS WORKING FOR YOU,' [OR] 'MY FEET WALKING WITH YOU,' HE IS FORBIDDEN.7
GEMARA. But a contradiction is shown: There is greater stringency in oaths than in vows, and greater stringency in vows than in oaths. There is greater stringency in vows, for vows apply to obligatory as to optional matters,8 which is not so in the case of oaths.9 And there is greater stringency in oaths, for oaths are valid with respect to things both abstract and concrete, but vows are not so?10 - Said Rab Judah: It means that he says,11 'let my mouth be forbidden in respect of my speech,' or 'my hands in respect of their work', or 'my feet in respect of their walking'.12 This may be inferred too, for he [the Tanna] teaches: 'MY MOUTH SPEAKING WITH YOU,' not, ['konam] if I speak with you'.13
MISHNAH. NOW THESE ARE PERMITTED:14 [HE WHO SAYS,] WHAT I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE HULLIN,' 'AS THE FLESH OF THE SWINE, AS THE OBJECT OF IDOLATROUS WORSHIP,'15 AS PERFORATED HIDES,'16 'AS NEBELOTH AND TEREFOTH',17 AS ABOMINATIONS AND REPTILES, AS AARON'S DOUGH OR HIS TERUMAH',18 - [IN ALL THESE CASES] HE IS PERMITTED. IF ONE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'BEHOLD! THOU ART UNTO ME AS MY MOTHER,'19 HE MUST BE GIVEN AN OPENING ON OTHER GROUNDS,20 IN ORDER THAT HE SHOULD NOT ACT FRIVOLOUSLY IN SUCH MATTERS.21
GEMARA. Now, the reason is because he said, 'WHAT I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE HULLIN'; but if he said, 'What I might eat of yours be lehullin,' it would imply: let it not be hullin but a korban.22 Whose view is taught in our Mishnah? If R. Meir's, but he does not hold
(1) The ha being a separate word, and thus an interjection expressing an affirmative oath - I will eat. [The vowel of the ha as interjection is, in addition, of a longer quality than that of ha as definite article.]
(2) Here the ha is an inseparate def. art.; hence he must have meant, 'What I might eat of yours he a sacrifice', and therefore he is forbidden.
(3) Of the Baraitha, that he is permitted.
(4) That I will eat of yours.
(5) And according to our premise the reason for R. Meir's ruling is that we deduce the opposite from his words, thus: 'but that which I might eat of thine be for korban'.
(6) V. p. 28, n. 8.
(7) According to the terms of his vow.
(8) I.e., if one said, 'I am forbidden by a vow to erect a sukkah (v. Glos.), or put on tefillin', (v. Glos.) the vow is binding, although he is bound to do these things. and if he does them, he violates the injunction he shall not break his word.
(9) I.e., if he said, 'I swear not to erect a sukkah, his oath is invalid.
(10) Vows being applicable to concrete things only. Walking, talking and working are regarded here as abstractions (by contrast with the vow that a loaf of broad etc shall be as a sacrifice and forbidden), yet the Mishnah states that the vows are valid.
(11) I.e., it is regarded as though he says.
(12) The reason for this assumption is this: the konam of the Mishnah may refer either to my mouth (concrete) or to my talking (abstract). In the former case the vow would be valid, but not in the latter. Since it is not clear which, we adopt the more rigorous interpretation.
(13) In which case the speaking would be the object of the vow: the speaking being abstract, the vow would be invalid.
(14) I.e., invalid.
(15) Lit., 'as the worship of stars'.
(16) The hide was perforated opposite the heart, which was cut out from the living animal and offered to the idol. Cf. 'A.Z. 29b and 32a.
(17) V. Glos. s.v. nebelah (pl. nebeloth) and terefoth (pl. terefoth).
(18) V. supra 12a, a.l.
(19) I.e., forbidden.
(20) Lit., 'from another place'. I.e., when he wishes his vow to be annulled, the Rabbi, who must find for him some grounds of regret to invalidate his vow, must not do so by pointing out that such a vow is derogatory to his mother's dignity.
(21) His mother's honour is too easy a ground for regret, and if the vow is invalidated on that score it is an encouragement to make such vows lightly, since they can easily be annulled. The making of vows was discouraged: cf. 9a.
(22) And the vow would be binding.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 14a
that the positive may be inferred from the negative? But if R. Judah's, it is identical with the earlier Mishnah?1 - Because he [the Tanna] teaches, 'AS THE FLESH OF THE SWINE, AS THE OBJECT OF IDOLATROUS WORSHIP,' he teaches hullin too.2 Rabina said: This is what he teaches: NOW THESE ARE PERMITTED as [if he said WHAT I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE] HULLIN, VIZ., [IF ONE SAYS,] 'AS THE FLESH OF THE SWINE AS THE OBJECT OF IDOLATROUS WORSHIP'; and if HULLIN were not stated, I would have thought that absolution3 is required But could I possibly think so? Since the last clause teaches: IF ONE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'BEHOLD! THOU ART UNTO ME AS MY MOTHER,' HE MUST BE GIVEN AN OPENING ON OTHER GROUNDS, it follows that in the first cause absolution is unnecessary? But it is clear that HULLIN is mentioned incidentally.
Whence do we know it?4 - Scripture states, If a man vow a vow unto the Lord:5 This teaches that one must vow by what is [itself] forbidden through a vow.6 If so, even [if one vows] by a [Divinely] interdicted object too, since it is written, to bind his soul with a bond?7 - That is necessary for what was taught: Which is the bond referred to in the Torah etc.8
HE WHO SAYS TO HIS WIFE, BEHOLD! THOU ART UNTO ME AS MY MOTHER', etc. But a contradiction is shewn: If one says to his wife, 'Behold! thou art unto me as the flesh of my mother, as the flesh of my sister, as 'orlah,9 as kil'ayim10 of the vineyard, his words are of no effect.11 - Said Abaye: His words are of no effect by Biblical law, yet absolution is required by Rabbinical law. Raba answered: One refers to a scholar; the other refers to an 'am haarez.12 And it was taught even so: If one vows by the Torah,13 his words are of no effect. Yet R. Johanan commented: He must retract [his vow] before a Sage; while R. Nahman observed: A scholar does not need absolution.
(1) Supra 10b.
(2) I.e., hullin is unnecessary in itself, but mentioned merely for the sake of completeness.
(3) Lit., 'a request' (for revocation).
(4) That these vows are not binding.
(5) Num. XXX, 3.
(6) Translating: if a man vow by referring to a vow.
(7) Ibid. This may also be interpreted: to bind his soul by that which is already a bond, vis. something Divinely interdicted.
(8) V. supra 12a.
(9) V. Glos.
(10) V. Glos. Deut. XXII, 9.
(11) Because all these objects are forbidden by the Law.
(12) Lit., 'people of the earth' - an ignoramus. v. J.E. s.v. In the first case the vow is entirely invalid; but an ignoramus will treat vows too lightly if shewn leniency, and therefore needs absolution.
(13) (E.g., 'I vow by the Torah not to eat of this loaf' - in reality a kind of oath. V. infra (Ran).]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 14b
It was taught: If one vows by the Torah, his words are of no effect; by what is written therein, his vow is binding; by it and by what is written therein, his vow is binding. Since he states, 'by what is written therein, his vow is binding,' is it necessary to mention, 'by it and by what is written therein?' - R. Nahman answered: There is no difficulty: one means that a Torah is lying on the ground; the other, that [the vower] holds a Torah in his hand. If it is lying on the ground, his thoughts are of the parchment; if he holds it in his hand, his thoughts are of the Divine Names therein.1 Alternatively, [both clauses mean] that it is lying on the ground, and we are informed this: even when it is lying on the ground, since he vows, 'by what is written therein,' his vow is valid;2 and an anti-climax is taught.3 A further alternative: the whole [Baraitha] indeed means that he holds it in his hand, and we are informed this:4 Since he holds it in his hand, even if he merely says 'by it,' it is as though he said, 'by what is written therein'.5
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS,] 'KONAM IF I SLEEP', 'IF I SPEAK', OR 'IF I WALK';6 OR IF ONE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'KONAM IF I COHABIT WITH YOU,' HE IS LIABLE TO [THE INJUNCTION] HE SHALL NOT BREAK HIS WORD.7
GEMARA. It was stated: [If one says,] 'Konam be my eyes sleeping to-day, if I sleep to-morrow' - Rab Judah said in Rab's name: He must not sleep that day, lest he sleep on the morrow. But R. Nahman said: He may sleep on that day, and we do not fear that he may sleep on the morrow. Yet Rab Judah agrees that if one says, 'Konam be my eyes sleeping tomorrow, If I sleep to-day,' he may sleep that day;
(1) The Heb. bamah shekathuw bah may mean either, by what is written therein, or, by that whereon it (the Law) is written. Now if the Scroll is lying on the ground, and one says, 'bamah shekathuw bah', we assume that he thought that it was a mere scroll not written upon, since it had been irreverently placed on the ground, and his words refer to the actual parchment, unless he says 'bah ubamah shekathuw bah', which can only mean by the scroll and by what is written therein. A reference to the parchment is invalid; to the Divine Names, is binding.
(2) I.e we assume the Heb. bamah shekathuw bah to bear that meaning, not, 'by that whereon it is written'.
(3) In the clause: 'By it and by what is is written therein.' Lit., 'this, and the other goes without saying'.
(4) Bah. [Cur. ed.: 'the whole also, the middle clause etc.'. Ran: 'the final clause informs us this'. All of which shows the text is in disorder. An attempt may he made to restore the text on the basis of MS.M. and Ran: 'The first clause (refers to the case) where it lies on the ground (MS.M.), the final clause (Ran) where he holds it in his hand (MS.M.). Such a text is also implied in the Ran on the passage.]
(5) I.e., bah u-bamah shekathuw bah are now translated 'by it or by what is written therein', the copulative sometimes meaning or. The text is not quite clear, that of the Ran has been adopted as giving the most plausible rendering.
(6) I.e., I am forbidden by a vow to sleep, etc. [Lit., 'konam be that which I sleep'. V. Laible, MGWJ. 1916, pp. 29ff'.]
(7) Num. XXX, 3.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 15a
a person may be lax with respect to a condition, but he is observant of an actual prohibition.1 We learnt: [IF ONE SAYS,] 'KONAM IF I SLEEP, IF I WALK, IF I SPEAK, etc. How is it meant? If literally, 'if I sleep,' is such a vow valid? But it was taught: There is greater stringency in oaths than in vows, for oaths are valid with respect to things both abstract and concrete, but vows are not so; and sleep is an abstract thing! But if he said, 'Konam be my eyes sleeping,'2 then, if he states no time-limit, is he permitted to go on until he violates the injunction, he shall not break his word?' But R. Johanan said: [If one says,] 'I swear not to sleep for three days', he is flagellated and may sleep immediately.3 But if it means that he says, 'Konam be my eyes sleeping tomorrow, if I sleep to-day4 - surely you say that a person is observant in respect of an actual prohibition?5 Hence it is obvious that he says, 'Konam be my eyes sleeping to-day, if I sleep tomorrow. Now, if he did not sleep that first day, how can the injunction, he shall not break his word6 apply, even if he slept on the second? Hence it surely means that he did sleep, thus proving that he is permitted to do so. This refutes Rab Judah! When is this stated? If he happened to sleep on the first day.7 Rabina said: After all, it is as taught,8 yet how can he shall not break his word apply? - By Rabbinical law.9 But can the Biblical injunction apply by Rabbinical law?10 - Yes. Even as it was taught: Things which are permitted, yet some treat them as forbidden, you must not permit them in their presence, because it is written, he shall not break his word.11
We learnt: [If one says to his wife, 'Konam be] that which you benefit from me until Passover, if you go to your father's house until the Festival',12 if she went before Passover, she may not benefit from him until Passover. Now, only if she went before Passover is she forbidden, but not otherwise?13 - R. Abba answered: If she went before Passover, she is forbidden and is flagellated;14 If she did not go, she is merely forbidden. Then consider the second clause: After Passover, she is subject to he shall not break his word. Now if she did not benefit before Passover, how can the injunction apply? Hence it is obvious that she did benefit, which proves that this is permitted,
(1) Thus, where the second day is merely a condition for the first, we fear that even after having slept on the first, he may do so on the second too, hut where the second day is the subject of the actual vow, we do not fear that having slept on the first he will disregard the prohibition of the second.
(2) Since the konam falls upon the eyes, the vow is valid, eyes being concrete.
(3) Because it is impossible to keep awake three consecutive days. Therefore his oath is inherently vain (v. Shebu. 25a); hence he is punished, and the oath is invalid.
(4) It cannot mean that he simply said, 'konam be my eyes sleeping to-day', as in that case it is obvious; hence the stipulation must be assumed, and the meaning of the Mishnah will be that he must take heed not to sleep on the first day, lest he sleep on the second too, and thereby violate the injunction, for on any other meaning the Mishnah is superfluous.
(5) So there is no reason for refraining from sleeping that day, since he will observe his oath on the next.
(6) Num. XXX, 3.
(7) Despite the prohibition for which very reason he may not sleep on the first.
(8) Literally, viz., 'konam if I sleep'.
(9) Though by Biblical law the vow is invalid, since sleep is abstract, the Rabbis declared it binding, and therefore the injunction holds good.
(10) Lit., 'is there (the transgression) he shall not break in a Rabbinic (law)'.
(11) When one is accustomed to treat a thing as forbidden, it is as though it were subject to a vow. Thus, though the prohibitive force of custom is Rabbinical only, the Biblical injunction applies to it.
(12) 'The Festival', without any further determinant, always refers to Tabernacles, six months after Passover.
(13) Though the condition extends to Tabernacles, we do not fear that she may yet violate it after Passover: this refutes Rab Judah.
(14) If she benefits from him.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 15b
thus refuting Rab Judah! - [No.] That Mishnah teaches that if she benefited, she is involved in, 'he shall not break his word'.
We learnt: [If one says to his wife, 'Konam be] that which you benefit from me until the Festival, if you go to your father's house before Passover': if she goes before Passover, she may not benefit from him until the Festival, but is permitted to go after Passover. [Thus,] if she goes, she is forbidden, but not otherwise?1 - Raba answered: The same law applies that even without going she is forbidden. But if she goes, she is forbidden [to benefit], and receives lashes [if she does]; if she does not go, she is merely forbidden.
An objection is raised: [If he says,] 'This loaf [of bread be forbidden] to me to-day, if I go to such and such a place to-morrow: if he eats it, he is liable to an injunction, 'he shall not go'!2 - Does he [the Tanna] teach: he may eat it - [surely] he teaches, 'if he eats it' so that if he eats it he is under the injunction not to go.3 [The Baraitha continues:] If he goes, he violates the injunction, he shall not break his word.4 But there is no [clause] teaching that he goes [on the second day]: this contradicts Rab Judah!5 - R. Judah answers you: In truth, he could teach, he goes: but since the first clause teaches, 'if he eats', not being able to teach.'he eats'.6 the second clause too teaches, 'if he goes
IF ONE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, KONAM IF I COHABIT WITH YOU.' HE IS LIABLE TO [THE INJUNCTION,] HE SHALL NOT BREAK HIS WORD. But he is obligated to her by Biblical law, as it is written, her food, her raiment, and her marriage rights he shall not diminish?7 - It means that he vows, 'The pleasure of cohabitation with you be forbidden me': thus he surely denies himself the enjoyment of cohabitation.8 For R. Kahana said: [If a woman says to her husband,] 'Cohabitation with me be forbidden to you,' she is compelled to grant it, since she is under an obligation to him. [But if she says,] 'The pleasure of cohabitation with you be forbidden me,' he is forbidden [to cohabit]. Since one may not be fed with what is prohibited to him.9
MISHNAH. [IF HE SAYS,] '[I SWEAR] AN OATH NOT TO SLEEP, OR, 'TALK,' OR, 'WALK,' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO DO SO]. [IF HE SAYS,] 'A KORBAN BE WHAT I MIGHT NOT EAT OF YOURS,'10 [OR] 'OH KORBAN! IF I EAT OF YOURS,' [OR] 'WHAT I MIGHT NOT EAT OF YOURS BE NOT A KORBAN UNTO ME,' HE IS PERMITTED [TO EAT OF HIS NEIGHBOURS'].
(1) Though by going any time before Passover, subsequent to having benefited from her husband, the vow is violated. This contradicts Rab Judah.
(2) This too refutes Rab Judah, since he may eat the loaf on the first day.
(3) But actually this is forbidden.
(4) Num. XXX, 3.
(5) For if he may not eat the loaf on the first day. the Baraitha should teach such a clause on the assumption that he did not eat it.
(6) For it cannot be taught that he may eat - this being Rab Judah's opinion.
(7) Ex. XXI, 10. How then can he free himself by a vow?
(8) Hence his vow is valid, since it falls primarily upon himself.
(9) So here too. Where the husband or wife make a vow, depriving the other if his or her rights, it is invalid. But if the vow deprives its maker from the enjoyment of his or her privileges, it is valid, though the other is affected thereby too.
(10) An alternative is: 'By the sacrifice (i.e., I swear by the sacrifice) I will not eat of yours.' [On this interpretation, the declaration is a form of oath taken by the life of the korban which is not binding. V. supra 13a, (Ran).]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 16a
GEMARA. Whose view is taught in our Mishnah? - R. Meir's; for if R. Judah's, he recognises no distinction between a korban and Oh, korban.1 Then consider the latter clause [IF HE SAYS,]. 'WHAT I MIGHT NOT EAT OF YOURS BE NOT A KORBAN UNTO ME,' HE IS PERMITTED. But we learnt: [If one says,] 'That which I might not eat of yours be not for a korban unto me': R. Meir forbids [him]. And R. Abba observed thereon: It is as though he said, 'let it [i.e., your food] be for a korban, therefore I may not eat of yours.2 - There is no difficulty: in the latter case he said, 'le-korban' [for a korban]; but here [in our Mishnah] he said, 'la'-korban,'3 which means: let it not be a korban.
MISHNAH. [IF HE SAYS, 'I TAKE] AN OATH [THAT] I WILL NOT EAT OF YOURS,' [OR] 'OH OATH THAT4 I EAT OF YOURS,' [OR 'I TAKE] NO OATH [THAT] I WILL NOT EAT OF YOURS,'5 HE IS FORBIDDEN.
GEMARA. This proves that 'Oh oath that I eat of yours implies that I will not eat. Now this contradicts the following: Oaths are of two categories, which are extended to four, viz., '[I swear] that I will eat,' 'that I will not eat,' 'that I have eaten, 'that I have not eaten'.6 Now, since he enumerates, 'that I will eat,' 'that I will not eat,' 'that I have eaten.' 'that I have not eaten, it follows that [the phrase,] 'that I eat of yours' implies, 'I will eat'? - Abaye answered: 'That I eat' has two meanings. If one was being urged to eat, and he replied: 'I will eat, I will eat, moreover. [I take] an oath that I eat,' it implies, 'I will eat.' But if he said, 'I will not eat, I will not eat,' and then added: '[I take] an oath that I eat,' it implies, 'I will not eat'.7 R. Ashi answered: 'That I eat,' in connection with an oath,8 really means that he [actually] said, 'I will not eat'.9 If so, it is obvious: why state it? - I might think it is a mispronunciation10 which caused him to stumble;11 we are therefore taught [otherwise]. Abaye does not give R. Ashi's reason, because it is not stated, 'That I will not eat.' R. Ashi rejects Abaye's interpretation: he holds, 'that I will not eat' may also bear two meanings. [Thus:-] if one was being urged to eat, and he said, 'I will not eat, I will not eat, and then added, 'I [swear by] an oath', whether [he concluded] 'that I eat,' or, 'that I do not eat,' it implies, 'I will eat'. While the language, 'An oath that I will not eat,' may also be explained as meaning, 'I swear [indeed] that I will not eat.'12 But the Tanna13 states a general rule: she-'okel [always] means that I will eat, and she-lo 'okel, that I will not eat.14 MISHNAH. IN THESE INSTANCES OATHS ARE MORE RIGOROUS THAN VOWS.15 YET THERE IS [ALSO] GREATER STRINGENCY IN VOWS THAN IN OATHS. E.G., IF ONE SAYS, 'KONAM BE THE SUKKAH THAT I MAKE,' OR, 'THE LULAB THAT I TAKE, OR, THE TEFILLIN16 THAT I PUT ON:' [WHEN EXPRESSED] AS VOWS THEY ARE BINDING, BUT AS OATHS THEY ARE NOT, BECAUSE ONE CANNOT SWEAR TO TRANSGRESS THE PRECEPTS.
(1) This is argued from the fact the Mishnah does not include the form 'korban be what I might eat of yours', as permissible, as it does in the case of 'Oh, korban', which could be included according to R. Judah's opinion that the particle 'as' is necessary to render the oath binding, v. supra.
(2) Then why not assume the same here?
(3) So Ran. cur. edd. lo le-korban.
(4) V. Gemara.
(5) This even according to R. Meir, for the Talmud states (Shebu'oth 36a) that R. Meir holds that the positive may be inferred from the negative in oaths.
(6) The two categories are affirmative and negative oaths referring to the future, which are extended to include similar oaths in the past.
(7) The Heb. then means: 'I swear in this matter of eating' - viz., that I will not eat. [The whole turns on the meaning attached to שאוכל. The particle ש may denote 'that' or 'if' (or 'that which'). In the first instance, the circumstance favours the former interpretation: 'An oath that I eat', i.e., 'I swear that I eat'. In the latter, he probably meant: 'An oath if (or that which) I eat, i.e., 'I swear not to eat', (or, 'By oath be forbidden that which I eat); cf. Shebu. 19b.]
(8) I.e., the Mishnah, when employing this phrase in connection with oaths.
(9) I.e., the Mishnah merely indicates that his oath bore reference to eating, but actually it was a negative one.
(10) Lit 'a twisting of the tongue'.
(11) Saying she-i-'okel instead of she-'okel, the difference in Hebrew being very slight. - This answer, as well as the discussion supra et passim on le-korban and lo korban, implies that the vows and oaths, as hypothetically posited in the Mishnah, were actually taken in Hebrew, not in another language. Thus Hebrew was generally spoken when the Mishnah was composed, and the Hebrew employed in the Mishnah would appear a natural, not an artificial language. V. M.H. Segal, Mishnaic Hebrew Grammar, Introduction.
(12) The text is not quite clear, but the general meaning appears to be this: When he says, 'lo akilna, lo akilna (I will not eat),' he may mean it positively, 'I will certainly not eat'; when he further adds, 'I swear that I will eat (she-'okel)' or 'that I will not eat' he is strengthening his first statement, for 'I swear that I will eat (she-'ohel)' may mean, 'I swear in respect of this matter of eating'. On the other hand, his first words may mean, 'I will not eat'? - of course I will! Hence the subsequent oath confirms this, for 'I swear that I will not eat (she-lo 'okel)' may mean, 'An oath may be imposed upon what I will no eat, but not upon what I will eat.' Hence, if Abaye's explanation is correct, that the Tanna teaches that she-'okel may imply a negative, he should also teach that she-lo 'okel may imply an affirmative. [MS.M. preserves a better reading: . . , if one was being urged to eat . . . whether (he concluded) 'that I eat' or 'that I do not eat' he means 'I shall not eat', while the language 'An oath that I will not eat' may be explained 'An oath that I do eat'. The meaning is thus clearer: When he first says 'I will not eat', his subsequent statement, whatever it is, will, on Abaye's explanation, be taken as confirming the first: If it is 'An oath that I eat' the particle ש (v. supra p. 43. n. 4) denotes 'if' or ('that which') and he means 'I swear I eat'; if it is 'An oath that I do not eat' the particle is simply taken in the sense of 'that'. And thus similarly on Abaye's view, the phrase 'that I do not eat' could also be explained in a positive sense: 'I swear. . . if I do not eat', viz., where it was preceded by the statement 'I will eat'. This however, is impossible, in view of the Mishnah in Shebu'oth, which draws a distinction between 'that I will eat' and 'that I will not eat' and not between the circumstances that produced the oath.]
(13) Of the Mishnah in Shebu'oth.
(14) Disregarding the special cases where the general tenor of a person's speech or the inflection of his voice reverses the literal meaning of his oath.
(15) Since the Mishnah (15b) states that a vow in these terms is not binding.
(16) V. Glos. for these words.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 16b
GEMARA. MORE RIGOROUS? That implies that they are [valid] vows;1 but it is taught, He is permitted?2 - This is taught in reference to the second clause of the other section: [viz.,] [If one says,] ['I swear] on oath not to sleep,' or, 'talk,' or 'walk,' he is forbidden [to do so]: IN THESE INSTANCES OATHS ARE MORE RIGOROUS THAN vows.3
YET THERE IS GREATER STRINGENCY IN VOWS THAN IN OATHS etc. R. Kahana recited, R. Giddal said in Rab's name, and R. Tabyomi recited, R. Giddal said in Samuel's name: Whence do we know that one cannot swear [a valid oath] to violate the precepts? Front the verse, When a man . . . swear an oath . . . he shall not break his word,'4 [this implies,] he may not break his word,5 but he must break a word [i.e., an oath] in respect of Heavenly matters.6 Now, why are vows different: because it is written, When a man vow a vow unto the Lord . . . he shall not break his word?7 But [of] oaths too it is written, or swear an oath unto the Lord he shall not break his word?8 - Abaye answered: In that case [vows] one says: 'The pleasure of the sukkah be forbidden me';9 but in this case [oaths] one says; 'I swear that I shall not benefit from the sukkah'.10 Raba objected: Were the precepts then given for enjoyment?11 But Raba answered: There [in the case of vows] one says, 'The sitting in the sukkah be forbidden me';12 but here [oaths] one says, 'I swear not to sit in the sukkah'.
Now, do we learn that one cannot swear to transgress the precepts from this verse: do we not rather deduce it from elsewhere? For it was taught: If one swears to annul a precept, and does not, I might think that he is liable,13
(1) Save that their binding character is not so rigid as that of oaths; but if not binding at all, the term is inapplicable.
(2) V. Mishnah 25b; that indicates that these vows are quite invalid.
(3) For as stated in the Mishnah on 14b, such vows are indeed binding, but as explained by Rabina (v. 15a), only by Rabbinical Law; whereas oaths of a similar nature are Biblically valid.
(4) Num. XXX, 3.
(5) I.e., when it refers to human, optional matters.
(6) I.e., when the subject of the vow is obligatory.
(7) Ibid. Implying that it is binding even when referring to Divine, non-optional matters. This is inferred by regarding unto (ל) as meaning against: i.e., when a man vows contrary to the Lord's precepts.
(8) Ibid. Not actually; but as to the Lord immediately precedes or swear an oath, it may he regarded as referring to it.
(9) Hence it is binding, as one may not coy that which he has vowed not to enjoy.
(10) I.e., the oath falls primarily upon the person. v. supra 2b; but one cannot free himself from a Biblical obligation.
(11) Technically speaking, one cannot be said to drive physical enjoyment from the fulfilment of a precept, and therefore a vow in these terms would not be binding. One's highest enjoyment should be in obedience to God's word. [Apart from its halachic implications, the object of this saying was to keep the ethical principle free from any admixture of the idea of utility V. Lazarus, M. Ethics of Judaism, I, p. 284.]
(12) Thus the vow falls upon the sukkah, which is rendered forbidden, and upon the person; therefore it is valid.
(13) For swearing falsely.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 17a
hence the Bible teaches, [or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips] to do evil, or to do good etc.:1 just as doing good refers to something optional,2 so doing evil refers [only] to something optional. This excludes one who swears to annul a precept, and did not annul it,3 because it is not optional! - One verse is to exempt him from the sacrifice due for [violating] an oath, and the other is to exempt him [from punishment4 for having violated] the injunction concerning an oath.
MISHNAH. A VOW WITHIN A VOW IS VALID,5 BUT NOT AN OATH WITHIN AN OATH. E.G., IF ONE DECLARES, 'BEHOLD, I WILL BE A NAZIR IF I EAT [THIS LOAF].' 'I WILL BE A NAZIR IF I EAT [THIS LOAF],' AND THEN EATS [IT], HE IS LIABLE IN RESPECT OF EACH [VOW].6 BUT IF HE SAYS, 'I SWEAR THAT I WILL NOT EAT [THIS LOAF],' 'I SWEAR THAT I WILL NOT EAT [THIS LOAF],' AND THEN EATS [IT], HE IS LIABLE [TO PUNISHMENT] FOR ONE [OATH] ONLY.
GEMARA. R. Huna said: This holds good only if one says, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day [if I eat this loaf]; I will be a nazir to-morrow [if I eat this loaf]', since an extra day is added, the [second] neziruth7 is binding in addition to the first.8 But if he says, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day, I will be a nazir to-day,' the second neziruth is not valid in addition to the first. But Samuel said: Even if one declares, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day, I will be a nazir to-day,' the second neziruth is binding. Now, according to R. Huna, [the Mishnah,] instead of teaching BUT NOT AN OATH WITHIN AN OATH, should teach, Sometimes A VOW WITHIN A VOW IS VALID, and sometimes not. [If one says,] 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; behold, I will be a nazir to-morrow,' the vow within the vow is binding. But if he says, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day, I will be a nazir to-day,'
(1) Lev. V, 4.
(2) V. Shebu. Sonc. ed.) p. 147 for notes.
(3) Teaching that no penalty is incurred.
(4) [I.e., the penalty of lashed for transgressing 'he shall not break his word'. He is however lashed for uttering a vain oath; v. Shebu. 29a (Tosaf).]
(5) Lit., 'there is a vow within a vow'.
(6) And he must observe two periods of neziroth of thirty days each. This double vow relating to the same thing is called a vow within a vow.
(7) Abstract noun from nazir, 'naziriteship'.
(8) And the full statutory period of thirty days must be observed for the second neziruth.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 17b
the second is not binding?1 - This is a difficulty.
We learnt: A VOW WITHIN A VOW IS VALID, BUT NOT AN OATH WITHIN AN OATH. How is this? shall we say that one declared, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day. Behold, I will be a nazir tomorrow':2 then an analogous oath is: 'I swear not to eat figs. I swear not to eat grapes,' why should this second oath be invalid? But the invalidity of all oath within an oath arises thus: 'I swear not to eat figs, I swear not to eat figs.' Then an analogous vow in respect of neziruth is: 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; and it is stated, A VOW WITHIN A VOW IS VALID. This refutes R. Huna? - R. Huna answers you: The Mishnah applies to one who said: 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day. Behold, I will be a nazir to-morrow;'3 and an analogous oath is: 'I swear not to eat figs I swear not to eat figs and grapes,'4 the second oath being invalid. But did not Rabbah Say: [If one says,] 'I swear not to eat figs,' and then adds, 'I swear not to eat figs and grapes'; if he eats figs, sets aside [an animal for] a sacrifice and then eats grapes, the grapes constitute [only] half the extent [of his second oath],5 and a sacrifice is not brought for [the violation of] such. Front this we see that if one declares, 'I swear not to eat figs,' and then adds,' I swear not to eat figs and grapes': since the [second] oath is valid in respect of grapes, it is valid in respect of figs too? - R. Huna does not agree with Rabbah.
An objection is raised; If one made two vows of neziruth, observed6 the first, set aside a sacrifice,7 and then had himself absolved thereof [sc. the first vow], the second is accounted to him in [the observance of] the first.8 How is this? Shall we say that he declared, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; Behold, I will be a nazir tomorrow', why does the second replace the first; surely there is an additional day? But it is obvious that he said: 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; Behold, I will be a nazir to-day.'
(1) The point of the difficulty is that the Tanna should not draw a distinction between vows and oaths, when it can be drawn between vows themselves.
(2) The second vow being a real addition to the first.
(3) So that the second vow is identical with the first, save that a day is added.
(4) The second oath thus included the first, and added thereto.
(5) Which embraces grapes and figs.
(6) Lit., 'counted' - the days of his vow.
(7) Due on the expiration of neziroth.
(8) I.e., the term of neziroth already observed is accounted to the second view, since the first was revoked.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 18a
This contradicts R. Huna! - No. After all, [it means that he said,] 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; Behold, I will be a nazir to-morrow; and how is it accounted to him? With the exception of that additional day. Alternatively, [it means], e.g that one undertook two periods of neziruth simultaneously.1
R. Hamnuna objected: To vow a vow of a Nazirite, declaring themselves it Nazirite [into the Lord]:2 teaches hence [we learn] that neziruth falls upon neziruth.3 For I would think, does it [the reverse] not follow a fortiori: If an oath, which is [more] stringent, is not binding upon another oath; how much more so neziruth, which is less rigorous!4 Therefore it is stated, 'a nazirite, declaring himself a nazirite to the Lord'; from which [we learnt] that neziroth falls upon neziroth. Now how is this? Shall we say, that one said, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to-day; Behold, I will be a nazir to-morrow, - is a verse necessary? But presumably it applies to one who said, 'Behold, I will be a nazir to day, Behold, I will be a nazir to-day;' and it is stated that the second [vow of] neziruth is binding in addition to the first?5 - No. This refers to one who undertook two [periods of] neziruth simultaneously.
Now, wherein is an oath more rigorous than a vow? Shall we say in so far that it is applicable even to the abstract:6 but a vow too is more stringent, since it is as valid in respect to a precept as in respect to anything optional?7 - But it is because it is written in reference thereto, he shall not be held guiltless [that taketh my name in vain].8
BUT IF HE SAYS, 'I SWEAR THAT I WILL NOT EAT [THIS LOAF],' 'I SWEAR THAT I WILL NOT EAT [THIS LOAF],' AND THEN EATS IT, HE IS LIABLE [TO PUNISHMENT] FOR ONE [OATH] ONLY. Raba said: If he was absolved of the first, the second becomes binding. How is this deduced? Since it is not stated, It is only one [oath], but, HE IS LIABLE [TO PUNISHMENT] FOR ONE [OATH] ONLY: thus, there is no room for it;9 but if the first is revoked, the second becomes binding. A different version [of Raba's dictum] is this: There is no penalty [for the second], yet it is an oath. For what purpose is it so?10 - For Raba's dictum. For Raba said: If he was absolved of the first, the second takes its place. Shall we say that the following supports him: If one made two vows of neziruth, observed the first, set aside a sacrifice, and was then absolved thereof, the second [vow] is fulfilled in [the observance of] the first?11 - [No.] This refers e.g., to one who vowed two periods of neziruth simultaneously.12
(1) Declaring. 'I vow two periods of neziroth'.
(2) Num. VI, 2.
(3) I.e., a vow of neziruth is binding upon one who is already a nazir, translating thus: . . . of a nazirite, when he is already a nazirite to the Lord.
(4) The greater stringency of oaths is explained below. To shew that the second is binding-surely it is obvious!
(5) This contradicts R. Huna.
(6) V. supra 13b, a.l.
(7) V. Mishnah on 16a.
(8) Ex. XX, 7.
(9) I.e., for the second to impose a penalty, since that is incurred on account of the first.
(10) Since he is not punished for violating the second, whilst he is already bound by the first, what does it matter whether we regard the second as an oath or not?
(11) This proves that the second is actually valid.
(12) Hence the second is binding; but if one declares, 'I swear not to eat this loaf, I swear not to eat this loaf', it may be that his second statement has no validity at all. For further notes on this passage v. Shebu. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 150ff.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 18b
MISHNAH. UNSPECIFIED VOWS ARE INTERPRETED STRICTLY, BUT IF SPECIFIED,1 LENIENTLY. E.G., IF ONE VOWS, BEHOLD! THIS BE TO ME AS SALTED MEAT,' OR, 'AS WINE OF LIBATION': NOW, IF HE VOWED BY ALLUSION TO A PEACEOFFERING,2 HE IS FORBIDDEN;3 IF BY AN IDOLATROUS SACRIFICE, HE IS PERMITTED, BUT IF IT WAS UNSPECIFIED, HE IS FORBIDDEN. [IF ONE DECLARES], 'BEHOLD! THIS BE TO ME AS HEREM': IF AS A HEREM TO THE LORD,4 HE IS FORBIDDEN; IF AS A HEREM TO THE PRIESTS, HE IS PERMITTED.5 IF IT IS UNSPECIFIED, HE IS FORBIDDEN. 'BEHOLD! THIS BE TO ME AS TITHE': IF HE VOWED, AS CATTLE TITHES, HE IS FORBIDDEN; IF AS CORN TITHES, HE IS PERMITTED; IF UNSPECIFIED, HE IS FORBIDDEN.6 'BEHOLD! THIS BE TO ME AS TERUMAH';7 IF HE VOWED, AS THE TERUMAH OF THE TEMPLE-CHAMBER,8 HE IS FORBIDDEN; IF AS THE TERUMAH OF THE THRESHING-FLOOR [I.E., OF CORN]. HE IS PERMITTED;9 IF UNSPECIFIED, HE IS FORBIDDEN: THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. MEIR. R. JUDAH SAID; AN UNSPECIFied REFERENCE TO TERUMAH IN JUDEA10 IS BINDING, BUT NOT IN GALILEE, BECAUSE THE GALILEANS ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE TERUMAH OF THE TEMPLE-CHAMBER.11 UNQUALIFIED ALLUSIONS TO HARAMIM IN JUDEA ARE NOT BINDING. BUT IN GALILEE THEY ARE, BECAUSE THE GALILEANS ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH PRIESTLY HARAMIM.12
GEMARA. But we learnt: A doubt in neziruth is treated leniently?13 - R. Zera answered; There is no difficulty; This [our Mishnah] agrees with the Rabbis; the other, with R. Eliezer. For it was taught: If one consecrates [all] his beasts and his cattle,14 the koy15 is included. R. Eliezer said: He has not consecrated the koy.16 He who maintains that one permits doubt to extend to his chattels,17 maintains likewise that he permits it to extend to himself too.18 But he who holds that one does not permit doubt to extend to his chattels, will maintain this all the more of one's own person.
(1) After the vow is made in general terms (Ran).
(2) [Var. lec. 'TO HEAVEN', v. next note.]
(3) To benefit from the object of his vow - i.e., his vow is valid.
(4) Lit., 'of Heaven'. For 'Heaven' as a synonym of god cf. I Macc. III, 18 (though some ancient authorities read there 'the God of heaven'); Matt. XXI. 25; v. A. Marmorstein, The Old Rabbinic doctrine of God, I, pp. 14 and 105-106.
(5) That which was devoted (herem) to the Lord, i.e., to be utilized in or sold for Temple purposes, could not be redeemed, and hence was definitely forbidden for secular use (Lev. XXVII, 28); but if devoted to the priests. it might be so used once they had taken possession of it (Num. XVIII, 14); it is therefore regarded as permitted, and a reference to it in a vow has no validity.
(6) The cattle tithe had to be formally designated, hence it is regarded as humanly forbidden, and a reference to it is valid; but the corn tithe belonged automatically to the Levite, even if not formally designated; therefore it is regarded as Divinely forbidden; v. supra 13b.
(7) V. Glos.
(8) For congregational sacrifices; v. Shek. III. 2; IV. 1.
(9) V. p. 50. n. 8. The terumah of the Temple fund had to be formally designated, but that of corn was regarded as Divinely and automatically forbidden.
(10) I.e., the southern portion of Palestine.
(11) The Galileans, living at some distance from the Temple, did not think much about the Temple fund, consequently, when they spoke of terumah without any further qualification, they meant terumah if corn.
(12) As the priests lived mainly in Judea, priestly haramim were unusual in Galilee; hence a Divine Herem must have been meant.
(13) Toho. IV, 12. E.g., if one vows, 'Behold! I will be a nazir if the man who is just passing is one', and that person disappeared before it could be ascertained whether he was or not, the vow is not binding. This contradicts the Mishnah that an unspecified vow, the meaning of which is doubtful, is rigorously interpreted.
(14) So Rashi and Asheri. Ran: his beasts or his cattle; Tosaf. maintains that it refers to both cases The term 'cattle'
(behemah) refers to domesticated animals; 'beasts' (hayyah) to wild or semi-wild animals.
(15) Probably a kind of bearded deer or antelope. It is doubtful whether this belongs to the genus of cattle or of beasts. This view is that the koy must be included in the one or the other. Or, according to the interpretation of the Ran, we are strict because of our doubt.
(16) Because his vow embraced animals of certain, but not of uncertain genus.
(17) I.e., in consecrating his cattle or his beasts, he meant it to include the lot, though aware that it is of doubtful genus.
(18) Thus, having subjected himself to an unspecified vow, his intention is that the most rigorous interpretation of his words shall apply.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 19a
Abaye said to him: How have you explained [the Mishnah] 'A doubt in neziruth is ruled leniently' - as being R. Eliezer's view? Then consider the latter clause: Doubtful first-borns, whether of man1 or beast,2 whether clean or unclean - the claimant must furnish proof [that they are first-borns].3 And it was taught thereon: They may neither be sheared nor put to service!4 - He replied: Why do you compare innate sanctity5 with man-made sanctity?6 But if there is a difficulty, it is this: Doubtful fluids,7 in respect of becoming unclean [themselves], are unclean; in respect of defiling others, they are clean:8 this is R. Meir's view, and R. Eliezer agreed with him. But is it R. Eliezer's opinion that in respect of becoming unclean [themselves] they are unclean? But it was taught, R. Eliezer said: Liquids have no uncleanness at all [by Scriptural law]; the proof is that Jose b. Joezer of Zeredah9 testified10 that the stag locust11 is clean [i.e., fit for food], and that the fluids12 in the [temple] slaughter-house are clean?13 Now, there is no difficulty according to Samuel's interpretation that they are clean [only] insofar that they cannot defile other liquids, but that nevertheless they are unclean in themselves; but according to Rab, who maintained that they are literally clean [even in respect of themselves], what can be said?14 But [answer thus]: One [the Mishnah in Toharoth] teaches R. Judah's view; the other [our Mishnah] gives R. Simeon's. For it was taught: [If one says,] 'Behold! I will be a nazir,' if this stack contains a hundred kor,'15 and he goes and finds it stolen or destroyed: R. Judah ruled that he is not a nazir: R. Simeon, that he is.16
Now, R. Judah is self-contradictory. Did he say that one does not place himself in a doubtful position?17 Then a contradiction is shewn: R. JUDAH SAID: AN UNSPECIFIED REFERENCE TO TERUMAH IN [JUDEA IS BINDING, BUT NOT IN GALILEE, BECAUSE THE GALILEANS ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE TERUMAH OF THE TEMPLE-CHAMBER. Thus the reason is that they are unfamiliar,
(1) If, e.g., a woman gave birth to twins, a male and a female, and it is not known the head of which appeared first (this being legally regarded as birth). If of the male, he is a firstborn; but if of the female, the male is not a first-born even if he subsequently issued first.
(2) If, e.g., two cows calved, one a male and one a female, one a firstling and one not; and it is not known whether the male is the firstling. Only male firstlings belong to the priest.
(3) I.e., if the priest claims the firstling or redemption money for the first-born.
(4) Just as certain firstlings. (v. Deut. XV, 19). How then can this be the view of R. Eliezer, who holds that when in doubt the animal is not regarded as consecrated?
(5) Lit., 'sanctity that comes of itself', v. B.M. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 26ff.
(6) In the former case a rigorous view is naturally taken. But when man consecrates, he has in mind only that which certainty comes within the terms of his consecration.
(7) E.g., if an unclean person, whose touch defiles liquids. put his hand into a vessel, and it is not known whether he actually touched the liquid there or not.
(8) They do not defile them.
(9) I Kings XI, 26.
(10) On the historic occasion, when as a result of a dispute between R. Gamaliel and R. Joshua, the former was temporarily deposed from the Patriarchate, and R. Eliezer b. 'Azariah appointed in his stead. An examination was then made of scholars' traditions, which were investigated and declared valid or otherwise, v. 'Ed. (Sonc. ed.) Introduction, XI.
(11) Heb. Ayil, of doubtful meaning.
(12) The flow of blood and water.
(13) Even by Rabbinical law. Since the general uncleanliness of liquids is rabbinical only, it was not imposed upon liquids in the temple slaughter house, so as not to defile the flesh of sacrifices. The language of this testimony is Aramaic, whereas all other laws in the Mishnah are couched in Hebrew. Weiss, Dor, I, 105, sees in this a proof of its extreme antiquity; v. A.Z. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 181ff for further notes.
(14) It may appear that this difficulty arises in any case. But if the Mishnah, 'an uncertain vow of neziruth', is not R. Eliezer's ruling, it can be answered that though the entire law of the uncleanness of liquids is rabbinical only, he is nevertheless stringent in a case of doubt. But if the Mishnah agrees with R. Eliezer, so that though neziruth and vows in general are Biblically binding, he is lenient in case of doubt, how can he treat liquids strictly, when the law is merely rabbinical?
(15) A measure of capacity: 36.44 litres in dry measure; 364.4 litres in liquid measure. J.E. 'Weights and Measures'.
(16) Lit., 'R. Judah permits. R. Simeon forbids'.
(17) I.e., he meant to be a nazir only if it certainly contained that measure.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 19b
but if they were familiar [therewith], it would be binding?1 - Raba answered: In the case of the stack he holds that since doubt is graver than certainty, one will not put himself into that doubtful position. For if he is a certain nazir, he may shave2 and offer his sacrifice, which may be eaten, but if he is a doubtful nazir, he may never shave.3 R. Huna b. Judah asked Raba; But what if he said, 'Behold! I will be a lifelong nazir'?4 He replied; Even then, a lifelong nazir, his doubt is graver than his certainty; for a certain nazir lightens the burden of his hair and offers three animals,5 but not so a doubtful nazir. But what if he said, 'Behold! I will be a Samson nazirite'?6 - He replied: A Samson nazirite was not included.7 Said he to him: But R. Adda b. Ahabah said: A Samson Nazirite was taught?8 He replied; If it was taught, it was taught.9
R. Ashi said: That [the Mishnah in Toharoth] gives the view of R. Judah quoting R. Tarfon.10 For it was taught: R. Judah said on the authority of R. Tarfon: Neither is a nazir, because neziroth must be expressed with certainty.11 If so, why particularly if the stack was stolen or destroyed?12 - To shew how far-reaching is R. Simeon's view, that even if it was stolen or destroyed, he still maintains that one places himself in a doubtful position.
R. JUDAH SAID: AN UNSPECIFIED REFERENCE TO TERUMAH IN JUDEA etc. But if they were familiar therewith, it would be binding, which shews that the doubt is ruled stringently. Then consider the last clause: UNQUALIFIED ALLUSIONS TO HARA MIM IN JUDEA ARE NOT BINDING BUT IN GALILEE THEY ARE, BECAUSE THE GALILEANS ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH PRIESTLY HARAMIM. But if they were familiar, they would be invalid: thus in doubt we are lenient? - Abaye answered: The last clause is the view of R. Eleazar b. R. Zadok. For it was taught: R. Judah said: An unspecified [reference to] terumah in Judah is binding. R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok said: unspecified [references to] haramim in Galilee are binding.
(1) Though it would still be doubtful to which he referred.
(2) On the expiration of his term of neziroth.
(3) Because this must follow his sacrifices. But being a doubtful nazir, he cannot offer any at all, lest he be not one, in which case the animal, having been wrongfully designated as a nazir's sacrifice, is hullin (q.v. Glos.), which may not be brought to the Temple Court.
(4) Here the doubt cannot he more stringent than the certainty, as the term never expires, and since R. Judah draws no distinction in neziroth, his ruling must apply even to such.
(5) V. Nazir, 4.
(6) V. ibid. In which case his hair may never be cut.
(7) The term nazir may include a lifelong nazir, but not a Samson nazir, which would require special mention.
(8) [I.e., that R. Judah declares that he is not a nazir even in the case of a Samson nazirite vow (Ran).]
(9) I cannot answer it.
(10) But not his own view.
(11) This refers to the following case: If two persons were walking together, and one said: 'I will be a nazir, if the man who is coming towards us is one'; whereupon the other said: 'I will be a nazir if he is not', the vow is binding upon neither, because of the element of doubt in each when it was made, v. Naz. 34a.
(12) Even if the stack is intact and contains the stipulated measure, the vow of neziruth is invalid, since when it was taken it was unknown.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 20a
MISHNAH. IF ONE VIEWS BY HEREM,1 AND THEN SAYS, 'I VOWED ONLY BY A FISHING NET',2 BY KORBAN, AND THEN SAYS, I VOWED ONLY BY ROYAL GIFTS',3 [IF HE SAYS] BEHOLD! [I MYSELF] 'AZMI BE A KORBAN',4 AND THEN STATES. 'I VOWED ONLY BY THE EZEM [BONE] WHICH I KEEP FOR THE PURPOSE OF VOWING';5 [IF ONE SAYS,] 'KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT MY WIFE HAS OF ME, AND THEN DECLARES, I SPOKE ONLY OF MY FIRST WIFE, WHOM I HAVE DIVORCED (IF NONE OF THESE [VOWS] DO THEY REQUIRE TO SEEK ABSOLUTION.6 BUT IF A REQUEST FOR ABSOLUTION IS PREFERRED, THEY ARE PUNISHED AND TREATED STRICTLY: THIS IS THE VIEW OF R. MEIR, BUT THE SAGES SAY: THEY ARE GIVEN AN OPENING [FOR REGRET] (IN OTHER GROUNDS.7 AND THEY ARE ADMONISHED SO THAT THEY DO NOT TREAT VOWS WITH LEVITY.
GEMARA. This is self-contradictory: You say, OF NONE OF THESE VOWS DO THEY REQUIRE TO SEEK ABSOLUTION; and then you continue: IF A REQUEST FOR ABSOLUTION IS PREFERRED, THEY ARE PUNISHED AND TREATED STRICTLY?8 - Said Rab Judah, This is its meaning; OF NONE OF THESE VOWS DO THEY REQUIRE TO SEEK ABSOLUTION. This applies however only to a scholar;9 and when 'am ha-arez10 applies for absolution, he is punished and treated strictly. Now 'TREATED STRICTLY' is well: it means that we do not suggest an opening for regret.11 But how are they punished? - As it was taught: If one vowed neziroth and then violated his vow: his case is not examined unless he observes his vow for the full period that he had violated it: this is the view of R. Judah. R. Jose said: This applies only to short neziroth [i.e., thirty days]; but in the case of a long period of neziroth, thirty days are sufficient.12 R. Joseph said: Since the Rabbis have decreed, his case is not to be examined, if a Beth din13 does attend to it [before time], it does not act right [and must be reprimanded]. R. Aha b. Jacob said: It is banned.14
BUT THE SAGES SAY: THEY ARE GIVEN AN OPENING [FOR] REGRET etc. It was taught: Never make a practice of vowing, for ultimately you will trespass in the matter of oaths,15 and do not frequent an 'am ha-arez, for eventually he will give you tebalim;16 and do not associate with a priest, an 'am ha-arez, for ultimately he will give you terumah to eat;17 and do not converse much with women, as this will ultimately lead you to unchastity.18 R. Aha of the school of19 R. Josiah said: He who gazes at a woman eventually comes to sin, and he who looks even at a woman's heel will beget degenerate children. R. Joseph said: This applies even to one's own wife when she is a niddah.20 R. Simeon b. Lakish said: 'Heel' that is stated means the unclean part, which is directly opposite the heel.
It was taught: [And Moses said unto the people, fear not: for God is come to prove you,] that his fear may be before your faces:21 By this is meant shamefacedness; that ye sin not22 - this teaches that shamefacedness leads to fear of sin: hence it was said23 that it is a good sign if a man is shamefaced.24 Others say: No man who experiences shame25 will easily sin; and he who is not shamefaced - it is certain that his ancestors were not present at Mount Sinai.
R. Johanan b. Dahabai said: The Ministering Angels told me four things: People are born lame because they [sc. their parents] overturned their table [i.e., practised unnatural cohabitation]; dumb, because they kiss 'that place'; deaf, because they converse during cohabitation; blind, because they look at 'that place'. But this contradicts the following: Imma Shalom26 was asked: Why are
(1) Viz., 'This be herem unto me'.
(2) Herem meaning net too; i.e., 'I did not vow at all'.
(3) Korban meaning an offering, and hence applicable to gifts or tribute to the king.
(4) Implying that he had consecrated himself to the Lord and needed redemption; v. Lev. XXVII, 1-8. (Rashi). [Or: May I myself be forbidden to you as korban (Ran).]
(5) [In order to give the impression to the hearer that I am making a vow.]
(6) Being invalid, according to the meaning assigned to them.
(7) Lit., 'from another place'. I.e., they cannot obtain absolution on the plea that thy had attached an unusual significance to their words, for the phrase cf. supra 13b.
(8) The first implies that they are altogether invalid, whereas the second implies that they are valid vows.
(9) Who is careful about making vows.
(10) V. Glos.
(11) When one desired absolution, the Rabbi usually suggested grounds for granting it; here, however, such aid was to be withheld.
(12) E.g., if he had vowed to be a nazir a hundred days, violated his vow for fifty days, and then desired absolution, it is enough to observe thirty days only, and then he is absolved. Here too he is punished in this way.
(13) Lit., 'house of law': Jewish court of law. Any three persons could constitute themselves a Beth din, by request, and it is to such a constituted body of laymen that this dictum probably refers. [Absolution could he granted either by one Rabbi or by three laymen; infra.]
(14) On the term used shamta, v. supra p. 17, n. 2.
(15) Which are more stringent.
(16) Tebel, pl. tebalim, produce from which no tithes have been set aside.
(17) According to this reading the exhortation is to a zar. The Ran however reads: 'unclean terumah', which was forbidden even to a priest, in which case the exhortation is to a priest.
(18) The present statement is not meant to be derogatory to women, who were held in high esteem, but conditioned by the prevailing laxity in sexual matters which characterised many of the ancient peoples. V. Herford Talmud and Apocrypha, pp. 163ff.
(19) Berabbi or Beribbi is a contraction of Be Rab, belonging to the school of an eminent teacher (Jast.).
(20) A woman during her period of menstruation and seven days following.
(21) Ex. XX, 17.
(23) This indicates a very ancient tradition; v. Frankel, Z.: Darke ha-Mishnah, p. 305; Bacher, Tradition und Tradenten, pp. 160, 171 seqq.
(24) Cf. Yeb. 79a, where a sense of shame is said to be one of the characteristics of the Jew; also Ab. V, 20, where 'shamefacedness' is contrasted with 'bold-facedness', i.e., impudence or insolence.
(25) I.e., who is not hardened or callous, but feels humiliated when he does wrong.
(26) The wife of R. Eliezer b. Hyrkanos, a sister of Gamaliel II.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 20b
thy children so exceedingly beautiful? She replied: [Because] he [my husband] 'converses' with me neither at the beginning nor at the end of the night, but [only] at midnight; and when he 'converses', he uncovers a handbreadth and covers a hand breadth, and is as though he were compelled by a demon. And when I asked him, What is the reason for this [for choosing midnight], he replied, So that I may not think of another woman,1 lest my children be as bastards.2 - There is no difficulty: this refers to conjugal matters;3 the other refers to other matters.
R. Johanan said: The above is the view of R. Johanan b. Dahabai; but our Sages said: The halachah is not as R. Johanan b. Dahabai, but a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife [at intercourse]: A parable; Meat which comes from the abattoir, may be eaten salted, roasted, cooked or seethed; so with fish from the fishmonger.4 Amemar said: Who are the 'Ministering Angels'? The Rabbis. For should you maintain it literally, why did R. Johanan say that the halachah is not as R. Johanan b. Dahabai, seeing that the angels know more about the formation of the fetus than we? And why are they designated 'Ministering Angels'? - Because they are as distinguished as they.5
A woman once came before Rabbi and said, 'Rabbi! I set a table before my husband, but he overturned it.' Rabbi replied: 'My daughter! the Torah hath permitted thee to him - what then can I do for thee?' A woman once came before Rab and complained. 'Rabbi! I set a table before my husband, but he overturned it.' Rab replied; Wherein does it differ from a fish?6
And that ye seek not after your own heart.7 [Deducing] from this Rabbi taught: One may not drink out of one goblet and think of another.8 Rabina said: This is necessary only when both are his wives.
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me.9 R. Levi said: This refers to children belonging to the following nine categories: children of fear,10 of outrage, of a hated wife, one under a ban,11 of a woman mistaken for another,12 of strife,13 of intoxication [during intercourse], of a mentally divorced wife,14 of promiscuity, and of a brazen woman.15 But that is not so: for did not R. Samuel b. Nahmani say in the name of R. Jonathan: One who is summoned to his marital duty by his wife will beget children such as were not to be found even in the generation of Moses? For it is said, Take you wise men, and understanding [and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you];16 and it is written, So I took the chiefs of your tribes, wise men and known17 but 'understanding' is not mentioned.18 But it is also written, Issachar is a large-boned ass;19 whilst elsewhere it is written, And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the titles?20 - [It is virtuous] only when the wife ingratiates herself [with her husband].21
MISHNAH. FOUR TYPES OF VOWS HAVE THE SAGES INVALIDATED;22 VIZ., VOWS INCENTIVE, VOWS OF EXAGGERATION, VOWS IN ERROR, AND VOWS [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE.23 VOWS INCENTIVE: E.G., IF ONE WAS SELLING AN ARTICLE AND SAID, KONAM THAT I DO NOT LET YOU HAVE IT FOR LESS THAN A SELA''; AND THE OTHER REPLIED, KONAM THAT I DO NOT GIVE YOU MORE THAN A SHEKEL -
(1) At the beginning of the night women are still going about in the streets; at the end, before morning, they are abroad again.
(2) Figuratively, of course. This shews that they did converse.
(3) That are permitted.
(4) [This parable serves to express the absence of reserve that may characterise the mutual and intimate relationship of husband and wife without offending the laws of chastity.]
(5) Rashi (in Kid. 71a): they are distinguished in dress, being robed in white and turbaned; cf. passage a.l.: Shah. 25b.
(6) V. supra.
(7) Num. XV, 39.
(8) Whilst cohabiting with one woman to think of another.
(9) Ezek. XX, 38.
(10) When a husband imposes himself upon his wife by force; Asheri reads: children of a maidservant (אמה instead of אימה); v. MGWJ 1934 p 136. n. 1.
(11) A person under a ban was forbidden to cohabit.
(12) Having intended to cohabit with one of his wives, he cohabited with another.
(13) Not a hated wife, but one with whom he had just then quarrelled.
(14) I.e., when her husband has decided to divorce her.
(15) One who openly demands her conjugal rights.
(16) Deut. I. 13.
(17) Ibid. I, 15.
(18) The Heb. נבונים is here taken to denote the highest degree of wisdom - but such could not be found.
(19) Gen. XLIX, 14; cf. Gen. XXX. 16-18. The allusion is to the legend that Leah heard the braying of Jacob's ass, and so came out of the tent and said to Jacob, thou must come in unto me. She had thus demanded her conjugal rights.
(20) I Chron. XII. 33; though such men were not to be found in the days of Moses. This was Leah's reward, thus proving that it is meritorious for a woman to demand her rights.
(21) She may shew her desires, as did Leah, who merely invited Jacob into her tent, but not explicitly demand their gratification.
(22) Lit., 'permitted'.
(23) This is explained infra 27a.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 21a
BOTH ARE AGREED UPON THREE DENARII.1
GEMARA. FOUR VOWS HAVE THE RABBIS INVALIDATED etc. R. Abba b. Memel said to R. Ammi: You have told us in the name of R. Judah Nesi'ah:2 Which Tanna holds this view? - R. Judah, who said on the authority of R. Tarfon: Neither is a nazir, because neziroth must be expressed with certainty.3 Raba said: You may even say, The Rabbis. Does the Mishnah teach, both [subsequently] agreed - it teaches, BOTH ARE AGREED.4
Rabina asked R. Ashi: If he demanded more than a se'ah, and the other offered less than a shekel5 is it a [valid] vow, or still a matter of incitement?6 - He replied. We have learnt this. If one was urging his neighbour to eat in his house, and he answered: 'Konam if I enter your house,' or 'if I drink a drop of cold water', he may enter his house and drink cold water, because he only meant eating and drinking in general.7 But why? Did he not state, a drop of cold water? Hence this is the usual manner of speech.8 Thus here too: this is the usual manner of speech!9 - He said to him:
(1) A sela' _ two shekels _ four denarii.
(2) R. Judah, the Prince II.
(3) 19b. Thus here too, in the case of the incentive vow, since the two parties are dependent upon another, the vow is invalid.
(4) Thus, neither meant the vow seriously at all; but the conditional vow of neziroth was really meant.
(5) [I.e., the vendor demanded a sela' and a perutah (v. Glos.) and the buyer offered a shekel minus a perutah (Ran).]
(6) Since each was so exact, it may be that the sum was literally meant by both, and the vow likewise.
(7) But did not intend his words literally.
(8) For emphasis stating 'a drop of water', when in reality something substantial was meant.
(9) For emphasis: but neither meant his words literally, hence the vow is invalid.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 21b
How compare? In the case of cold water, 'the righteous promise little and perform much';1 but here, It is really doubtful whether he [the vendor] implied that he would take less than a sela', and [the buyer] that he would give more than a shekel,2 and it is [a vow of] incitement, or perhaps, each spoke literally, and it is a valid [vow]? This problem remains unsolved.
Rab Judah said in R. Assi's name: For these four vows [formal] absolution must be sought from a Sage. When I stated this before Samuel, he observed: The Tanna teaches, FOUR VOWS HAVE THE SAGES INVALIDATED,3 yet you say. absolution must be sought from a Sage! R. Joseph reported this discussion in the following version: Rab Judah said in R. Assi's name: A Sage may remit only such [vows] as are similar to these four. Thus in his view mere regret is not given as an opening [for absolution].4 A man once came before R. Huna [for absolution]. He asked him: 'Are you still of the same mind?' and he replied 'No!' Thereupon he absolved him. A man once came before Rabbah son of R. Huna, who asked him: 'Had ten men been present to appease you just then, would you have vowed?' On his replying 'No!' he absolved him. It was taught: R. Judah said: We ask him, 'Are you still of the same mind?' If he answers, No!' he is absolved. R. Ishmael son of R. Jose said on his father's authority: We say to him: 'Had ten men been present to appease you just then, would you have vowed?' If he replies in the negative, absolution is granted.
(Mnemonic: Assi and Eleazar, Johanan and Jannai).5
A man once came before R. Assi. He asked him: 'Do you now regret [that you ever vowed]?' and he replied, 'Do I not?' Thereupon he absolved him.6 A man once came before R. Eleazar. He said to him, 'Do you desire your vow?'7 'He replied: 'Had I not been provoked, I certainly would not have desired aught.' 'Let it be as you wish,' answered he. A woman who had subjected her daughter to a vow8 came before R. Johanan. Said he to her, 'Had you known that your neighbours would say of your daughter,
(1) When the would-be host urged him to partake just a little, he understood that a full meal was intended, and therefore made the vow in the terms he did, meaning, however, to debar himself only from a substantial meal.
(2) Both intending to compromise on three denarii.
(3) I.e., they have no binding power at all.
(4) A definite reason for absolution is necessary, based on a fact which was unknown when the vow was made; consequently, it may be regarded as having been made in error. But if the only reason for cancellation is that the vower regrets it, absolution cannot be granted, v. infra 77b.
(5) A mnemonic is a short phrase or a string of words or letters each consisting of catchwords of statements or incidents, strung together as an aid to the memory.
(6) (He holds that mere regret is accepted as ground for revoking a vow, contrary to the view of Rab Assi in the name of Rab Judah, the author of this ruling here being Rabbi Assi, a Palestinian Amora as distinct from the former, who was a Babylonian. (Ran).]
(7) Ran: I.e., have you no regret that you ever made the vow except that you wish that it be no longer valid from now, in which case absolution cannot be granted. Rashi: 'Did you fully desire to vow, i.e., were you calm and composed, vowing with full deliberation' this seems more plausible.
(8) Not to benefit from her mother.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 22a
"If her mother had not seen something shameful1 in her [behaviour], she would not have put her under a vow without cause" - would you have vowed?' On her replying in the negative, he absolved her. The grandson of R. Jannai the Elder2 came before him Said he to him, 'Had you known that [when you vow] your ledger3 is opened [in heaven] and your deeds examined - would you have vowed?' On his giving a negative reply, he absolved him R. Abba said: Which verse [teaches this]? After vows cometh examination.4 But though R. Jannai proposed this as a ground for absolution, we may not do so.5 Nor do we suggest the following, which Rabbah b. Bar Hanah related in R. Johanan's name: What opening did R. Gamaliel give to a certain old man? Thee is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise is health.6 He who speaketh [a vow] is worthy of being pierced by the sword, but that the tongue of the wise [i.e., absolution] health. Nor do we suggest the following, viz., what was taught, R. Nathan said: One who vows is as though he built a high place,7 and he who fulfils it is as though he sacrificed thereon. Now the first [half] may be given as an opening,8 but as for the second, Abaye maintained: We suggest [it]; Raba said: We do not suggest [it]. This is the version of the discussion as recited by R. Kahana. R. Tabyomi reported it thus: We may not suggest the latter half;9 but as for the first, - Abaye maintained: We suggest [it]; Raba said: We do not. The law is that neither the first [half] nor the second may be proposed.
Nor do we suggest the following dictum of Samuel, Viz., Even when one fulfils his vow he is called wicked. R. Abba said: Which verse [teaches this]? But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.10 And [the meaning of] forbearance is learnt from forbearance as expressed elsewhere. Here it is written, But if thou shalt forbear to vow, and there it is written, There the wicked forbear from insolence.11 R. Joseph said: We too have learnt so. [If one says:] 'As the vows of the righteous,' his words are of no effect. [But if he says:] 'As the vows of the wicked,' he has vowed in respect of a nazirite vow and a sacrifice.12
R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: He who loses his temper is exposed to all the torments of Gehenna,13 for it is written, Therefore remove anger from thy heart,' thus wilt thou put away evil from thy flesh.14 Now 'evil' can only mean Gehenna, as it is written, The Lord hath made all things for himself yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.15 Moreover, he is made to suffer from abdominal troubles, as it is written, But the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind.16 Now what causes failing eyes and a sorrowful mind? Abdominal troubles.
When 'Ulla went up to Palestine,17 he was joined by two inhabitants of Hozai,18 one of whom arose and slew the other. The murderer asked of 'Ulla: 'Did I do well?' 'Yes,' he replied; 'moreover, cut his throat clean across.'19 When he came before R. Johanan, he asked him, 'Maybe, God forbid, I have strengthened the hands of transgressors?' He replied, 'You have saved your life.'20 Then R. Johanan wondered: The Lord shall give them there an infuriated heart21 refers to Babylon?22 'Ulla replied, 'We had not yet
(1) Lit., 'something best left alone'.
(2) Lit., 'the son of the daughter'. Var. lec.: Jannai Rabbah, the Great. He was a Palestinian amora of the first generation
(second and third generation); to be distinguished from Jannai the Younger, a Palestinian amora of the fourth generation.
(3) The notion that there is a Heavenly ledger in which man's doings are recorded (cf. Aboth, III, 20) is probably connected with the idea of the Book of Life, in which are inscribed on the Judgment Day of New Year those who are to be granted life for the ensuing year (cf R.H. 15b). The Sefer Hasidim (13th century) observes that God is in no need of a book of records: 'the Torah speaks the language of man', i e.. figuratively. Cf Aboth, (Sonc. ed .) p. 12, n. 9.
(4) Prov. XX, 25.
(5) Because it terrifies one too much, and makes him ready to express a regret which he may not feel.
(6) Ibid. XII, 18.
(7) For sacrifice - this being forbidden since the building of Solomon's Temple.
(8) Merely building a high place without sacrificing is not so heinous all offence, and therefore the suggestion is not so terrifying.
(9) All agreeing that it is too frightening.
(10) Deut. XXIII, 23.
(11) Job III, 17. Thus forbearing being employed of the wicked in the latter verse, its use in the former shews that he who vows is also so dubbed.
(12) Supra 9a.
(13) V. p. 19, n. 6.
(14) Ecc. XI, 10.
(15) Prov. XVI, 4. This is understood to mean Gehenna.
(16) Deut. XXVIII, 65.
(17) 'Ulla was a Prominent Palestinian amora of the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. He frequently visited Babylonia, in pursuance of the general policy of maintaining intellectual intercourse between these two great centres, and his learning was very highly esteemed there; Bacher, Ag. Bab. Amor. pp. 93-97.
(18) [Or Be'Hozae, the modern Khuzistan, province S.W. Persia, Obermeyer, Die Landschaft Babylonien, pp. 204ff.]
(19) Fearing that disapproval would endanger his own life; moreover, he wished to hasten his death.
(20) The action was excusable, being in self-defence.
(22) How then could one Jew become so angry with another in Palestine as to slay him?
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 22b
crossed the Jordan [into Palestine].'
Rabbah son of R. Huna said: He who loses his temper, even the Divine Presence is unimportant in his eyes, as it is written, The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek God,' God is not in all his thoughts.1 R. Jeremiah of Difti2 said: He forgets his learning and waxes ever more stupid, as it is written, For anger resteth in the bosom of fools;3 and it is written, But the fool layeth open his folly.4 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: It is certain that his sins out number his merits, as it is written, And a furious man aboundeth in transgressions.5
R. Adda son of R. Hanina said: Had not Israel sinned, only the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua would have been given them, [the latter] because it records the disposition of Palestine [among the tribes].6 Whence is this known? For much wisdom proceedeth from much anger.7
R. Assi said: Absolution is not granted for8 [a vow in the name of] the God of Israel, except [the following]: 'Konam be any benefit [by the God of Israel] my wife has of me, because she stole my purse or beat my child'; and it was subsequently learnt that she had done neither.9
A woman once came before R. Assi. He asked her, 'How did you vow?' She replied, 'By the God of Israel.' Said he to her, 'Had you vowed by mohi, which is a mere substitute,10 I would absolve you. Now that you did not vow by mohi, but by the God of Israel, I will not absolve you.
R. Kahana visited11 R. Joseph's home. The latter said to him, 'Eat something'; to which he replied, 'No, by the Master of all, I will not taste anything.' R. Joseph answered, 'No, by the Master of all, you may not eat.' Now R. Kahana rightly said, 'No, by the Master of all, etc.' [to strengthen his vow]; but why did R. Joseph repeat this? - This is what he said: 'Since you have said, "No, by the Master of all", you may not eat.'12
Raba said in R. Nahman's name: The law is: Regret may be made an opening [for absolution], and absolution is granted for [a vow made in the name of] the God of Israel.
Raba was praising R. Sehorah to R. Nahman as a great man. Thereupon N. Nahman said: 'When he comes to you, bring him to me.' Now he [R. Sehorah] had a vow for absolution, so he went before R. Nahman, who asked him: 'Did you vow bearing this13 in mind?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'Or this?' 'Yes.' This being repeated a number of times, R. Nahman became angry and exclaimed, 'Go to your room!'14 R. Sehorah departed, and found an opening for himself: Rabbi said: Which is the right course that man should choose for himself? That which he feels to be honourable to himself, and brings him honour from mankind.15 But now, since R. Nahman has become angry, I did not vow on this understanding. He thus absolved himself.
R. Simeon son of Rabbi had a vow for absolution. He went before the Rabbis, who asked him, 'Did you vow bearing this in mind?' He replied, 'Yes.' 'Or this?' 'Yes.' [This was repeated] several times,
(1) Ps. X, 4.
(2) V. p. 214, n. 2.
(3) Ecc. VII, 9.
(4) Prov. XIII, 26.
(5) Prov. XXIX, 22.
(6) But the other books, consisting mostly of the rebukings of the prophets, would have been unnecessary.
(7) Ecc. I, 18; i.e., the anger of God caused Him to send many prophets with their wise teachings. - We learn through error, and sin becomes the occasion of a fuller Revelation by God.
(8) Lit., 'no (request for absolution) is attended to in the case of'.
(9) [This exception is made for the sake of restoring peace in the home.]
(10) V. Mishnah, supra 10a.
(11) Lit., 'happened (to be) at'.
(12) I.e., Even if you desire, because one cannot be absolved from such an oath.
(13) Some fact mentioned.
(14) I cannot absolve you.
(15) V. Aboth II. 2 (Sonc. ed.) p. 12, n. 2 and 5.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 23a
and the Rabbis passed wearily to and fro 'twixt sun and shade.1 Said Botnith, the son of Abba Saul b. Botnith, to him, 'Did you vow in order that the Rabbis should thus wearily pass from sun to shade and from shade to sun?' 'No,' replied he. Thereupon they absolved him.
R. Ishmael son of R. Jose had a vow for absolution. He went before the Rabbis, who asked him, 'Did you vow bearing this in mind?' 'Even so,' replied he. 'Or this?' ' Yes.' This was repeated several times. A fuller, seeing that he was paining the Rabbis, smote him with his basket.2 Said he, 'I did not vow to be beaten by a fuller,' and so he absolved himself. R. Aha of Difti objected to Rabina: But this was an unexpected fact, as it had not occurred to him that a fuller would smite him, and we learnt: An unexpected fact may not be given as an opening?3 - He replied: This is not unexpected, because scoffers4 are common who vex the Rabbis.5
Abaye's wife had a daughter. He declared, '[She must marry] one of my relations,' and she maintained, 'one of mine'. So he said to her: '[All] benefit from me be forbidden to you if you disregard my wish and marry her to one of your relations.' She went, ignored his desire, and married her to her relation. [Subsequently Abaye] went before R. Joseph [for absolution], who asked him: 'Had you known that she would disregard your wish and marry her to her relation, would you have vowed?' He answered, 'No,' and R. Joseph absolved him. But is such permitted?6 - Yes, and it was taught : A man once imposed a vow on his wife not to make the festival pilgrimage [to Jerusalem]; but she disregarded his wish, and did go. He went to R. Jose [for absolution], who said to him, 'Had you known that she would disregard your wish and make the journey, would you have imposed the vow on her?' He answered, 'No,' and R. Jose absolved him.
MISHNAH. R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAID: ALSO HE7 WHO WISHES TO SUBJECT HIS FRIEND TO A VOW TO EAT WITH HIM, SHOULD DECLARE: EVERY VOW WHICH I MAY MAKE IN THE FUTURE SHALL BE NULL'. [HIS VOWS ARE THEN INVALID,] PROVIDING THAT HE REMEMBERS THIS AT THE TIME OF THE VOW.
GEMARA. But since he says, 'Every vow which I may make in the future shall be null,' he will surely not listen to him8 and not come to [eat with] him? -
(1) In an endeavour to find grounds for absolution.
(2) The Rabbis appear to have held open session.
(3) V. infra 64a. The tact must have been in existence, when the vow was made, but overlooked. If, however, it occurred only subsequently, it cannot be a ground for absolution.
(4) Apikora (pakar) etymologically should mean a loose, unbridled person. Its phonetic similarity phonetic similarity to Epicurus, the philosopher, stamped it with the meaning of sceptic, heretic, and that is its probable meaning in Sanh. XI, 2, where an apikoros is excluded from the world to come. The definition given in the Gemara, 99b, viz., one who is scornful of the Rabbis, which is the same as it bears here, was in all probability an extension of its meaning, due to feuds between the Rabbis and some sections of the people.
(5) And as their adherents naturally try to punish them, the incident could have been anticipated, and therefore is not regarded as unexpected
(6) The vow itself providing cause for absolution.
(7) The friend.
(8) This too is an example of a vow of incitement, v. Gemara.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 23b
The text is defective, and this is what was taught : He who desires his friend to eat with him, and after urging him, imposes a vow upon him, it is 'a vow of incitement [and hence invalid]. And he who desires that none of his vows made during the year shall be valid, let him stand at the beginning of the year and declare, 'Every vow which I may make in the future shall be null.1 [HIS VOWS ARE THEN INVALID,] PROVIDING THAT HE REMEMBERS THIS AT THE TIME OF THE VOW. But if he remembers, he has cancelled the declaration and confirmed the vow?2 - Abaye answered: Read: providing that it is not remembered at the time of the vow. Raba said, After all, it is as we said originally.3 Here the circumstances are e.g., that one stipulated at the beginning of the year, but does not know in reference to what. Now he vows. Hence, if he remembers [the stipulation] and he declares: 'I vow in accordance with my original intention', his vow has no reality. But if he does not declare thus, he has cancelled his stipulation and confirmed his vow.
R. Huna b. Hinena wished to lecture thereon [sc. anticipatory cancellation] at the public session. But Raba remonstrated with him : The Tanna has intentionally obscured the law,4 in order that vows should not be lightly treated, whilst you desire to teach it publicly!
The scholars propounded: Do the Rabbis disagree with R. Eliezer b. Jacob or not?5 And should you say that they differ, is the halachah like him or not?6 - Come and hear: For we learnt: If one says to his neighbour,
(1) This may have provided a support for the custom of reciting Kol Nidre (a formula for dispensation of vows) prior to the Evening Service of the Day of Atonement (Ran.). The context makes it perfectly obvious that only vows, where the maker abjures benefit from aught. or imposes an interdict of his own property upon his neighbour, are referred to. V. J.E. s.v. Kol Nidre. Though the beginning of the year (New Year) is mentioned here, the Day of Atonement was probably chosen on account of its great solemnity. But Kol Nidre as part of the ritual is later than the Talmud, and, as seen from the following statement about R. Huna h. Hinena, the law of revocation in advance was not made public.
(2) Since, when vowing. he knows of his previous declaration, he obviously disregards it. as otherwise he would not vow at all.
(3) The received text is correct.
(4) By giving a defective text. This implies that here, at least, the lacuna is not accidental, due to faulty transmission, but deliberate; cf. p. 2, n. 3.
(5) But regard this as a binding vow.
(6) Since the Mishnah teaches it as an individual opinion.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 24a
'Konam that I do not benefit from your if you do not accept for your son a kor of wheat and two barrels of wine,' - his neighbour may annul his vow without [recourse to] a Sage, by saying: 'Did you vow for any other purpose but to honour me? This [nonacceptance] is my honour.' Thus, it is only because he asserts, 'This is my honour'; but otherwise, it is [a binding] vow. Whose view is this? If R. Eliezer b. Jacob's, - it is a vow of incitement ?1 Hence it must be the Rabbis,2 thus proving that they disagree with R. Eliezer! - [No.] After all, it may be R. Eliezer b. Jacob's view: he admits that this is a [real] vow, for he [who makes it] says [in effect], 'I am not a dog, that I should benefit from you without your benefiting from me.'
Come and hear: If one says to his neighbour, ' Konam that you benefit not from me, if you do not give my son a kor of wheat and two barrels of wine,' - R. Meir rules: He is [so] forbidden until he gives; but the Rabbis maintain: He too can annul his vow without a Sage by declaring: 'I regard it as though I have received it.' Thus, it is only because he says, 'I regard it as though I have received it' ; but otherwise it is [a valid] vow. Whose view is this? If R. Eliezer b. Jacob's, - but it is a vow of incitement. Hence it must be the Rabbis'; thus proving that they disagree with him! - [No.] Verily, it may be R. Eliezer b. Jacob's view: he admits that this is a [real] vow, for he [who makes it] says, 'I am not a king to benefit you without your benefiting me.'
Mar Kashisha son of R. Hisda said to R. Ashi, Come and hear: VOWS [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE: If one subjected his neighbour to a vow to dine with him,3 and then he or his son fell sick, or a river prevented him [from coming to him]. But otherwise the vow is binding. Whose view is this? If R. Eliezer b. Jacob's, - but it is [a vow of] incitement. Hence it must be the Rabbis', which proves that they disagree with him! - [No.] This may be R. Eliezer b. Jacob's view. Do you think that the inviter imposed the vow upon the invited? On the contrary, the invited imposed the vow upon the inviter. Thus: He said to his neighbour, 'Do you invite me to your banquet?' 'Yes,' replied he. 'Then make a vow to that effect.' So he vowed, and then he [the person invited] or his son fell sick, or was kept back by a river; such are vows [broken] under pressure.
Come and hear: R. Eliezer b. Jacob went even further [in his definition of vows of incitement]: If one says to his neighbour, 'konam that I do not benefit from you if you will not be my guest and partake of fresh bread and a hot drink with me'; and the latter remonstrated in his turn - such too are vows of incitement.4 But the Sages did not admit this. Now, to what does this disagreement refer? Surely,
(1) Which is invalid in any case.
(2) The text is thus emended by Bah.
(3) Saying, 'You are forbidden to benefit from me if you do not eat with me'.
(4) [Although the fact that the invitation was so carefully worded, and that the other remonstrated would tend to indicate that the vower was in earnest.]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 24b
even to the first [illustration given by R. Eliezer b. Jacob]! This proves that the Rabbis dispute his ruling [in its entirety]. This proves it.1 What is our final conclusion on the matter?2 - Come and hear: For R. Huna said: The halachah is like R. Eliezer b. Jacob.3
MISHNAH. VOWS OF EXAGGERATION: WHEN ONE SAYS, 'KONAM IF I DID NOT SEE ON THIS ROAD AS MANY AS DEPARTED FROM EGYPT, OR 'IF I DID NOT SEE A SERPENT LIKE THE BEAM OF AN OLIVE PRESS.
GEMARA. It was taught: Vows of exaggeration are invalid, but oaths of such a nature are binding. How are such oaths possible? Shall we say that one said. 'I swear [so and so] if I have not seen etc.' - he said nothing!4 - Abaye answered: When one declares, 'I swear that I did see' etc.5 Raba objected: If so, why teach it?6 Moreover, it is taught parallel to vows!7 But, said Raba: When one says, 'May [all] the fruit in the world be forbidden me on oath if I did not see on this road as many as departed from Egypt.' Rabina said to R. Ashi: Perhaps this man saw an ant nest and designated them8 'those who left Egypt's his oath thus being genuine? -
(1) So cur. edd. Asheri: No. The disagreement refers only to the latter example. Accordingly, the next question: what is our final conclusion, still refers to the same problem, whether the Rabbis disagree or not.
(2) Having proved that they disagree, whose view is law? V. preceding note.
(3) Ran: The answerer knew that R. Huna referred to the first too, or assumed that he would be referring to the Mishnah, which was well known by all, rather than the Baraitha, which was not so well known. Alternatively, the whole point of the question whether the Rabbis disagree is to know the correct halachah, for since they are in the majority it may not be as R. Eliezer b. Jacob. Now, however, that R. Huna gave his ruling that the halachah is as R. Eliezer b. Jacob in the whole matter, it makes no difference whether the Rabbis disagree with him or not.
(4) He did not complete his sentence.
(5) It is then not regarded as an intentionally false oath, meriting punishment, but as an oath of exaggeration.
(6) It is obvious.
(7) Just as vows seek to impose an interdict, so do these oaths too.
(8) On account of their large number.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 25a
He replied. One who swears, swears in our sense, and we do not think of an ant nest. Now, does one never swear in his own sense? But it was taught: When an oath is administered, he [the man swearing] is admonished: 'Know that we do not adjure you according to your own mind, but according to our mind1 and the mind of the Court.' Now, what does this exclude? Surely the case of one who gave [his creditor] checkers [tokens in game] and [mentally] dubbed them coins; and since he is admonished, 'according to our intention,' it follows that [otherwise] one may swear in his own sense? - No. It excludes such an incident as Raba's cane. A man with a monetary claim upon his neighbour once came before Raba, demanding of the debtor, 'Come and pay me.' 'I have repaid you,' pleaded he. 'If so,' said Raba to him, 'go and swear to him that you have repaid.' Thereupon he went and brought a [hollow] cane, placed the money therein, and came before the Court, walking and leaning on it. [Before swearing] he said to the plaintiff: 'Hold the cane in your hand'. He then took a scroll of the Law and swore that he had repaid him all that he [the creditor] held in his hand.2 The creditor thereupon broke the cane in his rage and the money poured out on the ground; it was thus seen that he had [literally] sworn to the truth.3
But even so, does one never swear in his own sense? But it was taught: Thus we find that when Moses adjured the children of Israel in the plains of Moab, he said unto them, 'Know that I do not adjure you in your sense, but in mine, and in that of the Omnipresent', as it is written, Neither with you only etc.4 Now what did Moses say to Israel? Surely this: Lest you transgress my words5 and then say. 'We swore in our own sense'; therefore he exhorted them: [swear] in my sense. What does this exclude: surely the naming of idols 'god'? This proves that one does sometimes swear in his own sense. - No. Idols too are called 'god', as it is written, And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment.6 Then let him adjure then, to fulfil the commands? - That might imply the commands of the King. Then let him adjure then, to fulfil all the commands? - That might imply [the precept of] fringes,7 for a Master said, The precept of fringes is equal to all the [other] precepts of the Torah.8 But why did not Moses simply adjure the Israelites to fulfil the Torah?9 - Because that would imply one Torah only.10 Then why not adjure then, to fulfil the Toroth?11 - That might mean the Torah of the meal-offering, the Torah of the sin-offering, the Torah of the trespass-offering.12 Then why not impose an oath to fulfil the whole Torah? - The whole Torah might mean merely to refrain from idolatry, as it was taught : Idolatry is so grave a sin that the rejection thereof is as the fulfilment of the whole Torah. Then why not impose an oath to observe the prohibition against idolatry and the whole Torah; or to fulfil the six hundred thirteen precepts? - Moses used a general expression without troubling [to enumerate details].13
OR IF I DID NOT SEE A SERPENT LIKE THE BEAMS OF AN OLIVE-PRESS. Is this impossible? Was there not a serpent in the days of King Shapur14 before which thirteen stables of straw were laced, and it swallowed then, all?15 - Samuel answered: He meant 'as smooth as a bean, etc.' But are not all serpents smooth? - We speak [of one who declared that] its back was smooth [not on]y the neck].16 Then let him [the Tanna] state 'smooth'? - He thereby informs us in passing that the beams of the olive-press must be smooth. How does this affect the law? - In respect of buying and selling: to tell you that if one sells the beams of an olive-press. the sale is valid only if they are smooth, but not otherwise.17
(1) [In Shebu. 29b. the reading is 'the mind of the Omnipresent'.]
(2) In his (the debtor's) possession i.e., all that he claimed of him.
(3) Hence the exhortation is needed to exclude such oaths, as the defendant may really believe that be is swearing truly. But no person regards his oath as true when he mentally attaches a particular meaning to his words.
(4) Deut. XXIX, 13; i.e., not merely according to your thoughts.
(5) [So Bah. cur. edd. 'lest you do something'.]
(6) Ex. XII, 12.
(7) Num. XV, 38.
(8) Because it is written, and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord. Ibid. 39.
(9) Instead of imposing an oath against idol worship, which, as shewn, is ambiguous.
(10) The written Law, but not the Oral law. The former is the Bible, more especially the Pentateuch, while the latter is the whole body of tradition and Rabbinical development thereof. It is generally assumed that the Oral Law was the matter In dispute between the Pharisees, who accepted it, and the Sadducees, who rejected it. Weiss, Dor, I, 116 seq.; Halevy, Doroth, I, 3, 360 seq. denies this ii to, and maintains that the Sadducees were purely a political party that rejected religious teaching altogether, and only later, through force of circumstances, attempted some interpretation of Scripture.
(11) Pl. of Torah.
(12) Each of which is referred to a 'torah': Lev. VI, 7, 18; VII, 1.
(13) The text of the whole passage is in some disorder, the translation is of the text as emended by Bah; for further notes v. Shebu. (Sonc. ed.) pp. 159ff.
(14) Shapur I, a contemporary of Samuel and King of Persia.
(15) This question assumes that the comparison is in point of size. - Aruch reads: thirteen hides full of straw'. Rashi in Shebu. 29b explains that it was a man-eating serpent. hot coals were concealed in the straw, and these killed it. [This is reminiscent of the Apocryphal story of Daniel and the Dragon]
(16) The backs of serpents are not smooth but somewhat scaly, caused by hard folds of skin, v. Lewysohn, Zoologie, p. 234.
(17) A number of other interpretations have been given to the whole passage. Rashi translates: spotted like a beam. Ran: incised like a beam; and an alternative, based on the Jerusalemi: square like a beam, instead of circular. Asheri inclines to the last interpretation.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 25b
MISHNAH. VOWS IN ERROR: [IF ONE SAYS, 'KONAM,] IF I ATE OR DRANK, AND THEN REMEMBERED THAT HE HAD; OR, 'IF I EAT OR DRINK,' AND THEN FORGOT [HIS VOW] AND ATE OR DRANK; [OR] 'KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT WHICH MY WIFE HAS OF ME, BECAUSE SHE STOLE MY PURSE OR BEAT MY CHILD, AND IT WAS SUBSEQUENTLY LEARNT THAT SHE HAD NOT BEATEN HIM NOR STOLEN; ALL THESE ARE VOWS IN ERROR. IF A MAN SAW PEOPLE EATING [HIS] FIGS AND SAID TO THEM, LET THE FIGS BE A KORBAN TO YOU,' AND THEN DISCOVERED THEM TO BE HIS FATHER OR HIS BROTHERS,1 WHILE OTHERS WERE WITH THEM TOO - BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: HIS FATHER AND BROTHERS ARE PERMITTED, BUT THE REST ARE FORBIDDEN. BETH HILLEL RULE: ALL ARE PERMITTED.
GEMARA. It was taught: Just as vows in error are permitted, so are oaths in error.2 What are oaths in error? - E.g., those of R. Kahana and R. Assi. One said, I swear that Rab taught this, whilst the other asserted, I swear that he taught this: thus each swore truthfully according to his belief.
IF A MAN SAW PEOPLE EATING [HIS] FIGS. We learnt elsewhere: The Sabbaths and festivals are suggested as an opening [for regret].3 Before then the ruling was that for those day's the vow is canceled, but for others it is binding; until R. Akiba taught: A vow which is partially annulled is entirely annulled.
Rabbah said: All agree that if he said, 'Had I known that my father was among you I would have declared, "You are all forbidden except my father",' all are forbidden but his father is permitted. They differ only if he asserted, 'Had I known that my father was among you. I would have said, "So-and-so are forbidden and my father is permitted".'4
(1) Whom he would not have prohibited.
(2) V. Shebu. 28b.
(3) E.g., if one made a self-denying vow, the Rabbi may ask him, 'Had you known that this is forbidden on Sabbaths and Festivals, would you have vowed?' Should he answer 'No', he is absolved.
(4) In the former instance, the second declaration, apart from excluding his father, does not alter the vow at all, since just as he first vowed 'you are all forbidden', so now too. Therefore it is not regarded as even partially annulled. But in the second case, the actual form of the vow is changed from the inclusive you are all forbidden' to the detailed enumeration 'So-and-so are forbidden', even if the enumeration covered all. Because of these two factors, viz., the exclusion of his father and the change in form in respect to the rest, it is regarded as partially annulled. Thus the view of Beth Hillel is in accordance with R. Akiba's dictum, whilst Beth Shammai's decision agrees with the earlier ruling. In many cases we find Beth Shammai adhering to the older view; cf. Weiss, Dor, I, 183.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 26a
But Raba maintained: All agree that if he declared, 'Had I known that my father was among you I would have said, "So-and-so are forbidden but my father is permitted",' all are permitted.1 They are in dispute only if he declared, 'Had I known that my father was among you, I would have said, "You are all forbidden except my father".' Beth Shammai agree with R. Meir, who maintains, one's first words are to be reckoned with, and Beth Hillel agree with R. Jose who said, one's last words count.2
R. Papa objected to Raba: In what instance did R. Akiba rule that a vow which is partially annulled is entirely annulled? E.g., [If one said.] 'Konam, that I do not benefit from any of you,' if one was [subsequently] permitted [to afford him benefit], they are all permitted. [But if he said,] 'Konam that I do not benefit from A, B, C,' etc.: if the first was [subsequently] permitted, all are permitted; but if the last-named was permitted, he alone is permitted, but the rest are forbidden. As for Rabbah, it is well, [for] he can apply the first clause3 to one who [in the first instance] enumerated A, B, C, etc.;4 while the second clause5 refers to one who [in the first instance] declared, 'to any of you.'6 But as for yourself: granted that you can apply the first clause to one who [in his second statement] declared, 'to any of you.'7
(1) Even Beth Shammai regard such as a partially annulled vow, and accept R. Akiba's dictum.
(2) The dispute refers to his second declaration, which is divided into 'first words' and 'last words'. The first words are, 'you are all forbidden'; since these are identical with his earlier declaration, Beth Shammai maintain that his vow has not even been partially annulled. His last words are 'except my father', since these definitely limit the scope of the earlier declaration, Beth Hillel maintain that the vow has thereby been partially, and consequently entirely, annulled.
(3) Viz., 'konam that I do not benefit from all of you'.
(4) Subsequently altering it to the form given in the Mishnah.
(5) 'Konam that I do not benefit from A, B, C', etc.
(6) Hence the actual forms given refer to the second declaration. Now, Rabbah maintains that the dispute of Beth Hillel and Beth Shammai, as that of R. Akiba and his predecessors, refers to a case where the second declaration, besides excluding a particular person, differs in form from the first. Hence in the two instances dealt with here it is the view only of R. Akiba (and Beth Hillel) that that absolution extends to all; but his predecessors hold that even in these instances absolution is limited to the person definitely excluded. This explanation does not allow for the distinction drawn in the two subdivisions of the second clause, and Raba draws attention to it in his reply. - A number of varying interpretations have been given in this passage. The one adopted here is that of Tosaf.
(7) Hence, as explained by Raba above, this ruling is disputed by R. Akiba's predecessors; therefore it is given as an illustration of R. Akiba's view on, implying that his predecessors disagree.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 26b
But as for the second clause, where one enumerated, A, B, C - is this R. Akiba's view [only]: why do the Rabbis disagree therewith? But you say that all agree that the vow is entirely annulled? - Raba answered: Even according to Rabbah, is R. Akiba's ruling satisfactory? How have you explained it: that he said, 'any of you': who then is the 'first', and who is the 'last'? But [explain it thus]: The first clause means that he said, 'any of you'; but the second refers e.g., to one who made each dependent on the preceding, vowing, B be as A, C be as B, etc.1 This may be proved too, for it is taught: if the middle person was permitted, those mentioned after him are [also] permitted, but not those named before.
R. Adda b. Ahaba objected to Raba: 'Konam, if I taste onions, because they are injurious to the heart': then one said to him, But the wild onion2 is good for the heart - he is permitted to partake of wild onions, and not only of these, but of all onions. Such a case happened before R. Meir, who gave absolution in respect of all onions. Does it not mean that he declared, 'Had I known that wild onions are good for the heart, I would have vowed: "all onions be forbidden me, but wild onions be permitted"'?3 - No. This refers to one who declared, 'Had I known that wild onions are good for the heart, I would have vowed, "Such and such onions be forbidden me, but wild onions be permitted"'; and therefore R. Meir's ruling agrees with both R. Akiba and the Rabbis.
Rabina objected to Raba: R. Nathan said: A vow may be partly permitted and partly binding. E.g., if one vowed not to eat a basket [of figs],
(1) Therefore if by his second statement A is excluded, the rest are likewise excluded. But if the last-named is excluded, the vow remains in full force with respect to those mentioned earlier.
(2) Rashi: the name of a place - probably Cyprus.
(3) This contradicts Raba's view that Beth Shammai's ruling, confining absolution only to that explicitly excluded, is in agreement with R. Meir. Here we see that R. Meir himself granted complete absolution.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 27a
among which were shuah1 figs, and then declared, 'Had I known that shuali figs were among them, I would not have vowed' - the basket of figs is forbidden, but the shuah figs are permitted. Then R. Akiba came and taught: A vow which is partially annulled is entirely annulled. Does it not mean that he declared, 'Had I known that shuah figs were among them, I would have vowed: "The black figs and white figs be forbidden, but the shuah figs be permitted"?' Yet it is R. Akiba's view only, but the Rabbis dispute it.2 - No. This refers to one who declared, 'Had I known that shuah figs were among them, I would have vowed, "Let the whole basket [of figs] be forbidden, but the shuah figs permitted."'
Which Tanna is the authority for the following dictum of the Rabbis? If one vowed simultaneously not to benefit from five men, if he is absolved in respect of one of them, he is absolved in respect of all; but [if he stated,] 'Except one of them,' that one is permitted, but the others are forbidden [to him]. According to Rabbah, the first clause agrees with R. Akiba [only], and the second clause with all.3 According to Raba, the second clause agrees with the Rabbis [only], and the first clause with all.
MISHNAH. VOWS [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE: IF ONE SUBJECTED HIS NEIGHBOUR TO A VOW, TO DINE WITH HIM,4 AND THEN HE OR HIS SON FELL SICK, OR A RIVER PREVENTED HIM [FROM COMING TO HIM] - SUCH IS A VOW [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE.
GEMARA. A man once deposited his rights5 at Beth din, and declared: 'If I do not appear within thirty days, these rights shall be void.' Subsequently he was unavoidably prevented from appearing. Thereupon R. Huna ruled: His rights are void. But Rabbah said to him, He was unavoidably prevented, and the Divine Law exempts such,for it is written, But unto the damsel shalt thou do nothing.6 And should you answer, the death penalty is different ,7 but we learnt ; VOWS [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE; IF ONE SUBJECTED HIS NEIGHBOUR TO A VOW TO DINE WITH HIM, AND THEN HE OR HIS SON FELL SICK, OR A RIVER PREVENTED HIM [FROM COMING TO HIM] - SUCH IS A VOW [BROKEN] UNDER PRESSURE!8 Now, according to Rabbah, wherein does this differ from what We learnt: [If one said to his wife,] 'Behold! this is thy divorce, [to be effective] from now, if I do not come back within twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, the divorce is valid?9 Yet why so? was he not forcibly prevented! - I will tell you. There it may be different,
(1) A species of white figs.
(2) This contradicts Raba's view that in such a case there is no dispute.
(3) In the first clause it is assumed that his partially revoking statement was, 'Had I known that X was in the group, I would have said, ' 'A, B, C, etc. be forbidden, but X be permitted".' This assumption is based on the contrast with the second clause, where one was excluded, from which it is assumed that his revoking statement was, 'Had I known . . . I would have declared, "All of you be forbidden etc."'
(4) Saying, 'You are forbidden to benefit from me if you do not eat with me'.
(5) A document embodying his rights (Tosaf.).
(6) Deut. XXII, 26. This refers to a betrothed maiden who was violated against her will; but if she was a consenting party, she was punished with death.
(7) Because of its gravity.
(8) Proving that such exemption holds good in all cases.
(9) And if she is childless she is free from Levirate marriage or the ceremony of loosening the 'shoe (v. Deut XXV, 5. seq.), because she is not the deceased's widow.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 27b
because had he known that he would die, he would have decided and given the divorce so as to take effect immediately.1 And how does it differ from the case of the man who declared, 'If I do not come within thirty days from now, let it be a divorce. ' He came [on the last day], but was cut off through [the lack of] a ferry. [Yet though] he cried out, 'See! I have come; see! I have come!' Samuel ruled, That is not called coming2 . But why: surely he was unavoidably prevented? - Perhaps an accident that can be foreseen is different, and [the lack of] a ferry could be foreseen.3
Now according to R. Huna, let us see; It is an asmakta,4 and an asmakta gives no title?5 - Here it is different, because he had deposited his rights.6 And where they are deposited, is it not an asmakta? But we learnt: If one repaid a portion of his debt, and then placed the bond in the hands of a third party, and declared, 'If I do not repay [the balance] within thirty days, return the bill to the creditor,'7 and the time came and he did not repay, R. Jose maintained: He [the third party] must surrender the bond to the [creditor]; R. Judah maintained: He must not surrender it. And R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbahu in Rab's name: The halachah is not as R. Jose, who ruled that an asmakta gives a legal claim.8 - Here it is different, because he had declared, 'These rights shall be void.'9 Now the law is: an asmakta does give a legal claim, providing that no unavoidable accident supervened and that a formal acquisition was made10 at an authoritative Beth din.11
MISHNAH. ONE MAY VOW TO MURDERERS,12 ROBBERS,13 AND PUBLICANS THAT IT [THE PRODUCE WHICH THEY DEMAND] IS TERUMAH, EVEN IF IT IS NOT,14 OR THAT IT BELONGS TO THE ROYAL HOUSE, EVEN IF IT DOES NOT. BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: ONE MAY MAKE ANY FORM OF VOW,
(1) So that the result would be the same.
(2) Because he had stipulated to come at a particular time.
(3) But the Mishnah refers to a river abnormally swollen by the rains and inciting snow.
(4) V. Glos.
(5) I.e., gives the claimant no rights, because it is presumed that such a promise was not meant seriously, but made only in order to give the transaction the character of good faith and solemnity.
(6) Not merely promised them.
(7) Who will thus be able to demand the full sum.
(8) V. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 734.
(9) This is a stronger declaration than e.g., 'I will not claim my rights'; hence it is valid.
(10) The conceding party formally ceded his rights. This was symbolically effected by one giving an article, e.g., a scarf, to the other.
(11) Rash and Maim.: an ordained Beth din; Ran: a Beth din with the power to enforce its decisions.
(12) I.e., robbers who kill if their demands are not granted.
(13) Rashi, Ran, Rosh and Tosaf. all interpret this as private robbers. Jast.: official oppressors. These are less desperate than murderers, and do not kill if their demands are refused.
(14) This vow is to save it from their hands, as terumah is forbidden to a zar, q.v. Glos. - It is remarkable that even murderers and robbers are assumed to respect the prohibition of terumah!
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 28a
EXCEPTING THAT SUSTAINED BY AN OATH;1 BUT BETH HILLEL MAINTAIN: EVEN SUCH ARE PERMISSIBLE.2 BETH SHAMMAI RULE: HE MUST NOT VOLUNTEER TO VOW;3 BETH HILLEL RULE: HE MAY DO SO. BETH SHAMMAI SAY: [HE MAY VOW] ONLY AS FAR AS HE [THE MURDERER, etc.] MAKES HIM VOW; BETH HILLEL SAY: EVEN IN RESPECT OF WHAT HE DOES NOT MAKE HIM VOW. E.G., IF HE [THE ROBBER] SAID TO HIM, SAY: KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT MY WIFE HAS OF ME'; AND HE DECLARED, 'KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT MY WIFE AND CHILDREN HAVE OF ME,' - BETH SHAMMAI RULE: HIS WIFE IS PERMITTED, BUT HIS CHILDREN ARE FORBIDDEN; BETH HILLEL RULE: BOTH ARE PERMITTED.
GEMARA. But Samuel said, The law of the country is law?4 - R. Hinena said in the name of R. Kahana in the name of Samuel: The Mishnah refers to a publican who is not limited to a legal due.5 The School of R. Jannai answered: This refers to an unauthorised collector.
OR THAT IT BELONGS TO THE ROYAL HOUSE, EVEN IF IT DOES NOT. How does he vow? - R. Amram said in Rab's name: By saying, 'May all the fruits of the world be forbidden me, if this does not belong to the royal house.' But if he said, 'may they be forbidden,' all the fruits of the world are forbidden to him.6 - He adds, to-day. But if so, the publican will not accept it! - He mentally stipulates 'to-day,' but makes no explicit reservation; and though we [normally] rule that an unexpressed stipulation is invalid,7 it is different when made under duress.
BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: ONE MAY MAKE ANY FORM OF VOW . . . BUT BETH HILLEL RULE THAT EVEN SUCH ARE PER MISSIBLE. BETH SHAMMAI RULE: THE OWNER MUST NOT VOLUNTEER TO VOW; BETH HILLEL RULE: HE MAY DO SO. BETH SHAMMAI SAY: HE MAY VOW ONLY AS FAR AS HE [THE MURDERER] MAKES HIM VOW; BETH HILLEL SAY: EVEN IN RESPECT OF WHAT HE DOES NOT MAKE HIM VOW. E.G., IF HE [THE ROBBER] SAID TO HIM, SAY: KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT MY WIFE HAS OF ME'; AND THE OWNER DECLARED, 'KONAM BE ANY BENEFIT MY WIFE AND CHIldren HAVE OF ME - BETH SHAMMAI RULE: HIS WIFE IS PERMITTED, BUT HIS CHILDREN ARE FORBIDDEN; BETH HILLEL RULE: BOTH ARE PERMITTED.
R. Huna said: A Tanna taught: Beth Shammai maintain: He must not volunteer with an oath; Beth Hillel say: He may volunteer even with an oath. Now, in the view of Beth Shammai, only with an oath may he not volunteer, but he may volunteer a vow. But we learnt: BETH SHAMMAI RULE: THE OWNER MUST NOT VOLUNTEER TO VOW. Moreover, he may merely not volunteer an oath, but he may vow with an oath [if requested]; but we learnt, BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: ONE MAY MAKE ANY FORM OF VOW, EXCEPTING THAT SUSTAINED BY AN OATH? - The Mishnah deals with a vow, to shew how far-reaching is Beth Shammai's ruling;8 whilst the Baraitha treats of an oath, to shew the full extent of Beth Hillel's view.9
R. Ashi answered, This is what is taught: Beth Shammai say, There is no absolution for an oath; and Beth Hillel say, There is absolution for an oath.10
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS,] 'LET THESE SAPLINGS BE KORBAN [I.E., CONSECRATED] IF THEY ARE NOT CUT DOWN'; OR, LET THIS GARMENT BE KORBAN IF IT IS NOT BURNT: THEY CAN BE REDEEMED.11 [IF HE SAYS,] 'LET THESE SAPLINGS BE KORBAN UNTIL THEY ARE CUT DOWN ; OR, LET THIS GARMENT BE KORBAN UNTIL IT IS BURNT',
(1) I.e. one may not vow, 'may this corn be forbidden me by an oath if' etc.
(2) Weiss, Dor I, p. 185, conjectures that this controversy arose out of Herod's demand that all the members of the nation should swear loyalty to him (Joseph. Ant. 15, ¤ 10).
(3) If the murderer does not demand a vow as an assurance, he must not offer to vow of his own accord.
(4) Therefore the publican has a legal claim: why then is the owner permitted to evade payment by a false vow?
(5) Under the Roman Procurators there was a tremendous amount of illegal extortion, particularly of octroi tolls, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 148.
(6) For if the vow contains no sort of evasion, it is binding whatever its purpose.
(7) Lit., 'words that are in the heart are no words'.
(8) I.e., one may not volunteer even a vow, which is not as grave as an oath.
(9) That one may volunteer even an oath, in spite of its greater gravity.
(10) According to this, the Baraitha does not treat of vows under pressure at all. The Heb. lo yiftah (rendered 'he may not volunteer') will mean: He (the rabbi) must not give an opening for regret, i.e., must not grant absolution.
(11) They are duly consecrated, and must be redeemed before they are permitted for secular use.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 28b
THEY CANNOT BE REDEEMED.1
GEMARA. Let [the Mishnah] teach 'they are consecrated!'2 - Because the second clause must state ' THEY CANNOT BE REDEEMED,'3 the first clause also states, 'THEY CAN BE REDEEMED.
How was the vow made?4 - Amemar answered: By saying, '. . . if they are not cut down to-day'; and the day passed without their being cut down. If so, why teach it: is it not obvious? - The need for teaching it arises e.g., when a strong wind is blowing.5 But the same is taught with respect to a garment: and does a garment stand to be burnt? - Even so; e.g., when a fire has broken out. So here too [in respect of plants], a strong wind is blowing; and I might think that he thought that they would not be saved, and therefore vowed.6 Hence the Mishnah informs us [that the vow is binding].
LET THESE SAPLINGS BE KORBAN etc. [Can they] never [be redeemed]?7 - Said Bar Pada: If he redeems them, they revert to their sanctity; if he redeems them again, they again revert to their sanctity, until they are cut down.8 When cut down, he redeems them once,9 and that suffices. 'Ulla said: Having been cut down, they require no further redemption.10
(1) Because a definite limit having been set, even if they are redeemed, they revert to their consecrated state.
(2) Instead of the unusual 'they can be redeemed'. This is the reading of Ran, Asheri, and one view of Tosaf. Rashi's reading, which is that of cur. edd. is, 'let the Mishnah teach "they are consecrated" (in one respect) "and unconsecrated" (in another)'; the meaning of which is, they are consecrated in accordance with his vow', but not so strongly that they cannot be redeemed. This aspect of non-consecration is merely by contrast with the case of the second clause, where, even if redeemed, they revert to their consecrated state. [Tosaf. in name of R. Isaac of Dampierre (Ri.) gives a more satisfactory interpretation to this reading: 'They are consecrated' as long as they are not cut down, and 'unconsecrated' when they are cut down.]
(3) It would be insufficient merely to state that they are consecrated, as the emphasis lies on the fact that redemption cannot release them.
(4) Since ultimately they have to be cut down, how' and when can they become consecrated?
(5) In which case it might be assumed that he never for a moment thought it possible for the saplings to be spared and did not consecrate them with a perfect heart.
(6) But not really meaning it, and so the vow is invalid.
(7) Surely that is impossible, since the vow set a limit to their period of sanctity!
(8) V. p. 82, n. 3.
(9) V. infra.
(10) Since by the term of the vow their consecration lasts only until then.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 29a
Said R. Hamnuna to him: Whither then has their sanctity departed? What if one said to a woman, 'Be thou my wife to-day, but to-morrow thou art no longer my wife': would she be free without a divorce?1 - Raba replied: Can you compare monetary consecration to bodily consecration?2 Monetary sanctity may automatically end; but bodily consecration cannot end thus. Abaye objected to him: Cannot bodily consecration automatically cease? But it was taught: [If one says.] 'Let this ox be a burntoffering for thirty days, and after that a peace-offering':3 it is a burntoffering for thirty days, and after that a peace-offering. Now why? it has bodily sanctity, yet it loses it automatically!4 - This deals with one who consecrated its value.5 If so, consider the second clause: [If he says,] 'Let it be a burnt-offering after thirty days, but a peace-offering from now' [it is so]. Now, if you agree that one clause refers to bodily sanctity, and the other to monetary sanctity,
(1) Notwithstanding that he had married her for a limited period. So here too, though he had declared, 'let them be korban until they are cut down'; yet when they are, they do not automatically lose their sanctity. but must be redeemed.
(2) The plants have only a monetary consecration, i.e., they cannot themselves be offered in the Temple, but must be redeemed, and their redemption money is utilized in the Temple service. But a married woman is herself consecrated to her husband.
(3) I.e., if sacrificed within thirty days, it must be a burnt-offering; if after, a peace-offering.
(4) Its sanctity as a burnt-offering has automatically ceased, though it retains the sanctity of a peace-offering.
(5) I.e. , the value of this ox be consecrated as a burnt-offering for thirty days. viz., that if redeemed within thirty days, a burntoffering must be bought for the money; if after, a peace-offering.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 29b
hence the Tanna must teach both [clauses], because I would think that monetary consecration can automatically cease, but not so bodily sanctity; hence both are rightly taught. But if you maintain that the two refer to monetary consecration, why teach them both? If a higher sanctity can automatically give way to a lower sanctity, Surely it is superfluous to state that a lower sanctity can be replaced by a higher one?1 Shall we say that this is a refutation of Bar Pada, who maintained that sanctity cannot cease automatically? - Said R. Papa, Bar Pada can answer thus: The text is defective,2 and this is its meaning: If he did not say, 'let this be a peace - offering from now, it remains a burnt-offering after thirty days.3 This may be compared to the case of one who says to a woman, 'Be thou betrothed unto me after thirty days'; she becomes betrothed [then], even though the money [of betrothal] has been consumed [in the meanwhile].4 But is this not obvious?5 - This is necessary only [to teach that ] where he supplemented his first declaration [it is still ineffective].6 Now that is well on the view that she [the woman] cannot retract;7 but on the view that she can retract, what can be said?8 - Even according to that view, this case is different, because a verbal promise to God is as actual delivery in secular transactions.9
R. Abin and R. Isaac b. Rabbi10 were sitting before R. Jeremiah, who was dozing. Now they sat and stated: According to Bar Pada, who maintained that they revert to their sanctity,
(1) The burnt-offering has a higher sanctity than a peace-offering.
(2) This is Rashi's reading, but is absent from the versions of Asheri, Ran, and Tosaf.
(3) The text is thus to be reconstructed: If one says, 'Let this ox be a burntoffering for thirty days, and from now and after thirty days a peace-offering': it is a burnt-offering for the first thirty days, and a peace-offering after that. But if he did not say, 'Let it be a peace-offering from now and after thirty days', but merely, 'let it be a burnt-offering for thirty days; and a peace-offering afterwards'; it remains a burnt-offering after thirty days. In the former case, the sanctity pertaining to the burnt-offering automatically ceases, because that of the peace-offering is potentially concurrent therewith and extends beyond it; but in the latter case, the sanctity cannot automatically cease (Rashi). Ran, Asheri and Tosaf. explain it differently.
(4) So here too. When the second sanctity is not imposed concurrently with the first, the latter, on the completion of the thirty days, is similar to the money, which though consumed in the meanwhile, is nevertheless effective in betrothing the woman; so also the first sanctity remains though the period has been 'consumed'.
(5) Since it is taught that only when the second sanctity runs concurrently with the first does it take effect after thirty days, it is self-evident that if it is not imposed concurrently, the first sanctity remains after the period.
(6) I.e. , if after declaring. 'this ox be a burnt-offering for thirty days and after that let it be a peaceoffering' (in which case, as we have seen, it remains a burnt-offering), he made a supplementary statement, 'let it be a peace-offering from now and after thirty days', it will still remain a burnt-offering after that period, because this statement from now' must be made at the outset. Now, if only the first clause had been taught. viz., that if he imposed the second sanctity concurrently with
(7) During the interval and become betrothed to another man. So here too, unless the second sanctity was at the outset imposed concurrently with the first, the force of the latter remains.
(8) So here too by analogy, even if the second sanctity was not imposed concurrently with the first, it should cancel the first after the thirty days.
(9) I.e., the declaration, 'this ox be a burntoffering for thirty days', has more force than a normal promise affecting the interests of man only. but is regarded as though thereby the animal had actually been made into a burnt-offering. and therefore that sanctity, even though imposed for a limited period, remains after it, unless another was imposed concurrently therewith.
(10) [Read with MS.M 'b. Joseph'.]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 30a
you may solve the problem of R. Hoshaia. Viz., what if one gives two perutahs to a woman, saying to her, 'Be thou betrothed unto me for one of these to-day. and for the other be thou betrothed unto me after I divorce thee'?1 [Now, from Bar Pada's ruling you may deduce that the second] is indeed [valid] kiddushin.2 This the first the former is duly effective, I would think that it is so even if this concurrent sanctity was imposed only in a supplementary statement. Hence the need for the second clause, viz., that if the second sanctity was not (at the very outset) imposed concurrently with the first, it cannot come into effect. roused R. Jeremiah, and he said to them, Why do you compare redemption by the owner to redemption by others? Thus did R. Johanan say: If he himself redeems them, they revert to their sanctity; but if others redeem them, they do not.3 Now a [divorced] woman may be compared to the case of redemption by others.4 It was stated likewise: R. Ammi said in R. Johanan's name: Only if he himself redeems them was this taught [that they revert to their sanctity]; but when others redeem them, they do not revert to their sanctity.
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM SEAFARERS, MAY BENEFIT FROM LAND-DWELLERS; FROM LAND-DWELLERS, HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] EVEN FROM SEAFARERS, BECAUSE SEAFARERS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TERM LAND-DWELLERS'; NOT THOSE WHO MERELY TRAVEL FROM ACCO TO JAFFA,5 BUT THOSE WHO SAIL AWAY GREAT DISTANCES [FROM LAND].
GEMARA. R. Papa and R. Aha son of R. Ika - one referred it [the last statement] to the first clause, and the other to the second. Now, he who referred it to the first clause learnt thus: HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM SEAFARERS MAY BENEFIT FROM LAND-DWELLERS. Hence, he may not benefit from seafarers; NOT THOSE WHO MERELY
(1) Is the second betrothal valid?
(2) For, just as the plants after redemption revert to their sanctity in virtue of an earlier declaration, so the woman, after being freed by a divorce, will revert to her betrothed state in virtue of the declaration prior thereto - Ran and Asheri. Rashi: For, when the plants are cut down, they should, according to the terms of the vow, lose their sanctity; yet in virtue of the first declaration they retain it until they are redeemed. So here too: though the divorce sets the woman free, the prior declaration is valid insofar as she becomes betrothed again. This interpretation is rather strained. Moreover, it would appear that the deduction is made from the fact that before being cut down the plants revert to their sanctity after being redeemed, and not because they require redemption even after being cut down. In Rashi's favour, however, it may be observed that this law of consecration after redemption is that of the Mishnah as explained both by Bar Pada and by 'Ulla. So that the particular reference to Bar Pada may indicate that the solution in deduced from the continued sanctity of the saplings after they are cut down, which is maintained by Bar Pada only.
(3) For since they are redeemed by others, they are no longer under the authority of their first owner, therefore his first declaration is no longer valid.
(4) Because once divorced, she is no longer under her husband's authority, just as the plants, when redeemed by others, are not under the authority of their first owner.
(5) Acco (also called Acre). A city and seaport of Phoenicia on a promontory at the foot of mount Carmel ('Cf. Josephus. Ant, II, 10, 2). Jaffa. A city of Palestine and a Mediterranean Port, 35 miles northwest of Jerusalem.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 30b
TRAVEL FROM ACCO TO JAFFA, as these are land-dwellers, BUT THOSE WHO SAIL AWAY GREAT DISTANCES [FROM LAND]. He who referred it to the second clause learnt thus: [IF ONE VOWS NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM LAND-DWELLERS, HE MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM SEAFARERS; [this applies] NOT ONLY TO THOSE WHO TRAVEL MERELY FROM ACCO TO JAFFA. BUT EVEN TO THOSE WHO TRAVEL GREAT DISTANCES, since they eventually land.
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM THE SEERS OF THE SUN, IS FORBIDDEN FROM THE BLIND TOO, BECAUSE HE MEANT THOSE WHOM THE SUN SEES'.1
GEMARA. What is the reason? - Since he did not say 'from those who see,' he meant to exclude only fish and embryos.1
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM THE BLACK-HAIRED MAY NOT [BENEFIT] FROM THE BALD AND THE GREY-HAIRED, BUT MAY [BENEFIT] FROM WOMEN AND CHILDREN, BECAUSE ONLY MEN ARE CALLED BLACKHAIRED.
GEMARA. What is the reason? - Since he did not say 'from those who possess hair'.2
BUT MAY [BENEFIT] FROM WOMEN AND CHILDREN, BECAUSE ONLY MEN ARE CALLED 'BLACK-HAIRED'. What is the reason? - Men sometimes cover their heads and sometimes not; but women's hair is always covered, and children are always bareheaded.3 MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM YILLODIM [THOSE BORN] MAY [BENEFIT] FROM NOLADIM THOSE TO BE BORN]; FROM NOLADIM, HE MAY NOT [BENEFIT] FROM YILLODIM. R. MEIR PERMITTED [HIM TO BENEFIT] EVEN FROM YILLODIM; BUT THE SAGES SAY: HE MEANT ALL WHOSE NATURE IT IS TO BE BORN.4
GEMARA. Now, according to R. Meir, noladim go without saying;5 who then is forbidden to him? - The text is defective, and thus to be reconstructed: ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM YILLODIM MAY [BENEFIT] FROM NOLADIM; FROM NOLADIM, YILLODIM ARE FORBIDDEN TO HIM. R. MEIR SAID: ALSO HE WHO VOWS NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM NOLADIM MAY [BENEFIT] FROM YILLODIM, JUST AS HE WHO VOWS NOT TO BENEFIT FROM YILLODIM MAY [BENEFIT] FROM NOLADIM.6
R. Papa said to Abaye: Are we to conclude that noladim implies those about to be born? If so, does the verse, thy two sons, which noladim unto thee in the land of Egypt,7 - mean 'who are to be born'?8 - What then will you say: that it implies who were born? If so, what of the verse, behold a child nolad unto the house of David Josiah by name:9 will you say that he was [already born]? but even Menasseh [Josiah's grandfather] was not yet born!10 But nolad implies both,11 and in vows, we follow general usage.12 BUT THE SAGES SAY: HE MEANT ALL WHOSE NATURE IT IS TO BE BORN. Excluding what? - It excludes fish and fowl.13
(1) [I.e.. he might have intended the phrase 'those who see the sun' as an euphemism for 'those whom the sun sees', i.e., the blind (cf. Bek. VIII, 3, סכי שמש, 'looking to the sun' used euphemistically for 'squinting'). But since with vows we adopt the more rigorous interpretation, he is forbidden to benefit from those who see as well as from the blind (cf. Rabinowitz, M. Graber Otzar ha-Safruth II, 137ff.).]
(2) Therefore bald and grey-haired people are included, since they were once black-haired.
(3) Hence women would be referred to as 'those of covered hair', and children as 'the bare-headed'. - Ran. In Mishnaic times it was the universal practise for women's hair to be covered, and its violation was deemed sufficient ground for divorce without payment of the kethubah (Keth. 72a Mishnah.) From the present passage it appears that no distinction was drawn between married and unmarried women, but later on custom became more lenient with respect to unmarried women (Shulhan 'Aruk', O.H. 75, 2; cf. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 398. n. 1 , referring to Gentiles). As for men, it was considered a sign of reverence and piety to cover the head (Kid. 31a, Shab. 118b); nevertheless only in the case of great scholars was it held to be indispensable (cf. Kid. 8a.
(4) I.e., not hatched, and therefore including both those already born and those to be born.
(5) That they are permitted. since the Mishnah states, R. MEIR PERMITTED
(HIM TO BENEFIT) EVEN FROM YILLODIM.
(6) I.e. in each case his words are taken literally.
(7) Gen. XLVIII.5.
(8) The reference being to Ephraim and Manasseh, who were already born.
(9) I Kings XIII, 2.
(10) This verse was spoken in the reign of Jeroboam I.
(11) Biblically. Sc. 'born' and 'to be born'.
(12) Lit., 'the language of the sons of men', which applies nolad to those who are yet to be born.
(13) Which are spawned and hatched respectively.