Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 31a
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM THOSE WHO REST ON THE SABBATH, IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] BOTH FROM ISRAELITES AND CUTHEANS.1 IF HE VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM GARlic EATERS, HE MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM ISRAELITES AND CUTHEANS;2 FROM THOSE WHO GO UP3 TO JERUSALEM, HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM ISRAELITES BUT FROM CUTHEANS HE IS PERMITTED.4
GEMARA. What is meant by 'THOSE WHO REST ON THE SABBATH'? Shall we say, 'those who observe the Sabbath,' why particularly Cutheans: even heathens [if they observe the Sabbath] too? Hence It must mean 'those who are commanded to observe the Sabbath.'' If so, consider the last clause: FROM THOSE WHO GO UP TO JERUSALEM, HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM ISRAELITES BUT FROM CUTHEANS HE IS PERMITTED. But why so: are they not commanded too?5 - Sand Abaye: In both clauses the reference is to those who are commanded and fulfil [their obligations]. Hence, in the first clause, both Israelites and Cutheans are commanded and observe [the Sabbath]; but those heathens who rest on the Sabbath do so without being obliged to. As for making pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Jews are commanded and observe it; but Cutheans, though commanded, do not.
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS,] 'KONAM THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM THE CHILDREN OF NOAH,' HE MAY BENEFIT FROM ISRAELITES, BUT NOT FROM HEATHENS.
GEMARA. But are then Israelites excluded from the children of Noah? - Since Abraham was sanctified, they are called by his name.6
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS, 'KONAM] THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM THE SEED OF ABRAHAM,' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM ISRAELITES, BUT PERMITTED [TO BENEFIT] FROM HEATHENS.
GEMARA. But there is Ishmael?7 - It is written, for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.8 But there is Esau? - 'In Isaac',9 but not all [the descendants of] Isaac.
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS, 'KONAM] THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM ISRAELITES', HE MUST BUY THINGS FROM THEM FOR MORE [THAN THEIR WORTH] AND SELL THEM FOR LESS.10 [IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM] IF ISRAELITES BENEFIT FROM ME, HE MUST BUY FROM THEM FOR LESS AND SELL FOR MORE [THAN THEIR WORTH], BUT NONE NEED CONSENT TO THIS.11 THAT I MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM THEM, NOR THEY FROM ME, HE MAY BENEFIT ONLY FROM HEATHENS.12
GEMARA. Samuel said: If one takes an article from an artisan13 on approval, and whilst in his possession it is accidentally damaged, he is liable for it. Hence we see that in his view the benefit is on the side of the buyer.14 We learnt: [IF ONE SAYS, ' KONAM] THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM ISRAELITES,' HE MUST . . . SELL THEM FOR LESS. Hence he may not sell at its actual worth: but if the purchaser benefits [not the vendor], why not sell at its actual worth? - The Mishnah refers to an unsaleable article.15 If so, consider the first statement : HE MUST BUY FOR MORE THAN THEIR WORTH.16 Moreover, consider the second clause: [IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM] IF ISRAELITES BENEFIT FROM ME,' HE MUST BUY FROM THEM FOR LESS AND SELL FOR MORE THAN THEIR WORTH. But if this refers to unsaleable merchandise, even [to sell] at its actual worth [should be permitted]?17 - The second clause refers to 'keen' merchandise.18 If so, why must he purchase at a lesser [price]; he may even pay the full value?19 -
(1) Lit., 'men of Cuth or Cuthah'; this was one of the five cities from which Sargon, King of Assyria, brought settlers for the depopulated Northern Palestine, after it had been conquered and its inhabitants deported (II Kings XVII, 24, 30). During the period of its depopulation the land had become overrun by lions, who now attacked the settlers; they took this as a sign of the wrath of the local deity, and so, after instruction, they became Jews, though continuing some of their heathen practices. The religious status of the Cutheans
(also called Samaritans) was of rather a vacillating nature. The Cutheans observed the Sabbath.
(2) It was customary for these to eat garlic on Friday evenings. B.K. 82a.
(3) For the three Festivals v. Deut. XVI, 16.
(4) The Cutheans built a temple upon mount Gerizim, and though this was destroyed by John Hyrcanus, they continued to reverence the site and make pilgrimages thereto, instead of to Jerusalem.
(5) Since they regarded themselves as true Jews and had formally become converts.
(6) I.e., they are referred to as descendants ofabraham, not of Noah.
(7) Hence his descendants, who are heathens, should be included in the vow.
(8) Gen. XXI, 12.
(9) I.e. , only a portion of his descendants.
(10) Because if he trades on ordinary terms, he is benefiting from them.
(11) I.e., since others are not likely to trade on such terms, in practice he may not trade with them at all.
(12) The point is this. One might think that since it is almost impossible for such a vow to be kept, it is by its very nature invalid; hence it is taught that its observance is not impossible, as he can fall back upon heathens.
(13) Ran reads: from a tradesman.
(14) Trustees are divided into various categories, according to their degrees of responsibility, depending upon the benefit they derive from their trust. Only one who borrows an article is liable for accidental damage, because all the benefit is on his side, the lender receiving nothing in return. Since Samuel rules that the prospective purchaser is liable for accidental damage, it is evident that he puts him in the same category as a borrower, who is the only one to derive benefit.
(15) I.e., something for which there are no buyers. Hence the vendor benefits from the transaction, unless he sells below market price.
(16) But if it is unsaleable, even if he pays no more than its market value, he is not benefiting.
(17) Since the purchaser does not thereby benefit from him.
(18) Goods in keen demand.
(19) As the vendor does not benefit, since he can easily sell it to someone else.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 31b
But the Mishnah refers to average merchandise;1 whilst Samuel refers to an article that is eagerly sought.
It was taught in agreement with Samuel : If one takes articles from a tradesman [on approval] to send them [as a gift] to his father-in-law's house, and stipulates: 'if they are accepted, I will pay you their value, but if not, I will pay you for their goodwill benefit':2 if they were accidentally damaged on the outward journey, he is liable;3 if on their return journey, he is not liable, because he is regarded as a paid trustee.4
A middleman [once] took an ass5 to sell, but could not sell it. On his way back it was accidentally injured, [whereupon] R. Nahman held him liable to make it good. Raba objected: 'if they were damaged on the outward journey, he is liable; if on their return journey. he is not!' - Sand he to him: The return journey of a middleman counts as an outward journey, for if he finds a purchaser even at his doorstep, will he not sell [it] to him?
MISHNAH. [IF ONE SAYS,] 'KONAM THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM THE UNCIRCUMCISED, HE MAY BENEFIT FROM UNCIRCUMCISED ISRAELITES BUT NOT FROM CIRCUMCISED HEATHENS; THAT I DO NOT BENEFIT FROM THE CIRCUMCISED,' HE IS FORBIDDEN TO BENEFIT FROM UNCIRCUMCISED ISRAELITES BUT NOT FROM CIRCUMCISED HEATHENS, BECAUSE 'UNCIRCUMCISED' IS A TERM APPLICABLE ONLY TO HEATHENS, AS IT IS WRITTEN, FOR ALL THE NATIONS ARE UNCIRCUMCISED AND ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL ARE UNCIRCUMCISED IN THE HEART.6 AND IT IS FURTHER SAID, AND THIS UNCIRCUMCISED PHILISTINE SHALL BE [AS ONE OF THEM],7 AND IT IS FURTHER SAID, LEST THE DAUGHTERS OF THE PHILISTINES REJOICE, LEST THE DAUGHTERS OF THE UNCIRCUMCISED TRIUMPH.8 R. ELEAZAR B. 'AZARIAH SAID: THE FORESKIN IS LOATHSOME, SINCE IT IS A TERM OF OPPROBRIUM FOR THE WICKED, AS IT IS WRITTEN, FOR ALL THE NATIONS ARE UNCIRCUMCISED. R. ISHMAEL SAID, GREAT IS [THE PRECEPT] OF CIRCUMCISION, SINCE THIRTEEN COVENANTS WERE MADE THEREON.9 R. JOSE SAID, CIRCUMCISION IS A GREAT PRECEPT, FOR IT OVERRIDES [THE SEVERITY OF] THE SABBATH.10 R. JOSHUA B. KARHA SAID: GREAT IS [THE PRECEPT OF] CIRCUMCISION. FOR [NEGLECTING] WHICH MOSES DID NOT HAVE [HIS PUNISHMENT] SUSPENDED EVEN FOR A SINGLE HOUR11 . R. NEHEMIAH SAID, GREAT IS [THE PRECEPT OF] CIRCUMCISION, SINCE IT SUPERSEDES THE LAWS OF LEPROSY.12 RABBI SAID, GREAT IS CIRCUMCISION, FOR [NOTWITHSTANDING] ALL THE PRECEPTS WHICH ABRAHAM FULFILLED HE WAS NOT DESIGNATED PERFECT UNTIL HE CIRCUMCISED HIMSELF, AS IT IS WRITTEN, WALK BEFORE ME, AND BE THOU PERFECT.13 ANOTHER EXPLANATION: GREAT IS CIRCUMCISION, SINCE BUT FOR THAT, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED THE UNIVERSE, AS IT IS WRITTEN, BUT FOR MY COVENANT BY DAY AND NIGHT,14 I WOULD NOT HAVE APPOINTED THE ORDINANCES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.15
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Joshua b. Karha said, Great is circumcision, for all the meritorious deeds performed by Moses our teacher did not stand him in stead when he displayed apathy towards circumcision, as it is written, and the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.16 R. Jose sand, God forbid that Moses should have been apathetic towards circumcision, but he reasoned thus: 'If I circumcise [my son] and [straightway] go forth [on my mission to Pharaoh], I will endanger his life, as it is written, and it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore.17 If I circumcise him, and tarry three days, - but the Holy One, blessed be He, has commanded: Go, return unto Egypt.18 Why then was Moses punished?
(1) Which is neither a drag on the market nor in keen demand.
(2) Which he would derive from his father-in-law's knowing that he wished to make him a present. Although only a matter of goodwill a monetary value could be set upon it.
(3) This supports Samuel's ruling.
(4) Who is not liable for accidental damage; this is because he has derived some benefit through having had it in his charge; but he cannot be considered as a simple borrower, the sole benefit being his, since this benefit has by now ceased, B.M. (Sonc. ed.) p. 460.
(5) חמדא. The word may also mean 'wine'.
(6) Jet. IX, 25. Thus, though there may be some circumcised among the heathens, they are collectively termed 'uncircumcised'; similarly, when the Israelites are rebuked for their leanings to paganism, they are denounced as 'uncircumcised of heart'.
(7) I Sam. XVII, 36, though he did not know whether Goliath was uncircumcised or not.
(8) II Sam. I, 20.
(9) In the passage dealing with God's command to Abraham to circumcise himself, the word 'covenant' occurs thirteen times. Gen. XVII.
(10) Circumcision, though entailing work, is performed on the Sabbath.
(11) This is discussed in the Gemara.
(12) A leprous spot, such as a swelling etc., may not be cut off (Deut. XXIV, is so interpreted); but if it is on the foreskin, it may be removed together with it.
(13) Gen. XVII, 1.
(14) This is taken to refer to circumcision, which, as shown above, is frequently designated as such.
(15) Jer. XXXIII, 25. This is the end of the Mishnah in our text, but other versions, including that of Ran and Tosaf., add the following: - Great is circumcision, for it counterbalances all other precepts put together, as it is written, behold he blood of the covenant, which he Lord hath made with you concerning all these words (Ex. XXIV, 8). All these words are understood to mean all God's precepts: and 'the blood of the covenant', though referring in its context to sacrifice, is applied to circumcision, on account of its frequent designation as covenant. Part of this reading is quoted in the Gemara as a Baraitha. - Weiss, Dor, II, 9. regards all these dicta as called forth by Christianity's abrogation of circumcision.
(16) Ex. IV, 24.
(17) Gen. XXXIV, 25. This refers to the inhabitants of the city of Shechem, who underwent circumcision. Moses considered it dangerous to take his son on a journey within the first three days of circumcision.
(18) Ex. IV, 19, implying without delay.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 32a
Because he busied himself first with the inn,1 as it is written, And it came to pass by the way, in the inn.2 R. Simeon b. Gamaliel sand: Satan3 did not seek to slay Moses but the child, for it is written, [Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it as his feet, and sand,] Surely a bloody hathan art thou to me.4 Go forth and see: who is called a hathan? Surely the infant [to be circumcised].5
R. Judah b. Bizna lectured: When Moses was lax in the perform ance of circumcision, Af and Hemah6 came and swallowed him up, leaving nought but his legs. Thereupon immediately Zipporah 'took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son';7 straightway he let him alone.8 In that moment Moses desired to slay them, as it is written, Cease from Af and forsake Hemah.9 Some say that he did slay Hemah, as it is written, I have not Hemah.10 But is it not written, for I was afraid of Af and Hemah?11 - There were two [angels named] Hemah. An alternative answer is this: [he slew] the troop commanded by Hemah, [but not Hemah himself].
It was taught: Rabbi sand, Great is circumcision, for none so ardently busied himself with [God's] precepts as our Father Abraham, yet he was called perfect only in virtue of circumcision, as it is written, Walk before me and be thou perfect,12 and it is written, And I will make my covenant between me and thee.13 Another version [of Rabbi's teaching] is this: Great is circumcision, for it counterbalances all the [other] precepts of the Torah, as it is written, For after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.14 Another version is: Great is circumcision, since but for it heaven and earth would not endure, as it is written, [Thus saith the Lord,] But for my covenant by day and night,15 I would not have appointed the ordinances of Heaven and earth.16 Now this [statement]17 conflicts with R. Eleazar's: for R. Eleazar18 said, Great is the Torah, since but for it heaven and earth could not endure, as it is written, But for my covenant by day and night, I would not have appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth.19
Rab Judah sand in Rab's name: When the Holy One, blessed be He, said to our Father Abraham, 'Walk before me and be thou perfect',20 he was seized with trembling. 'Perhaps,' he said, 'there is still aught shameful in me!' But when He added, 'And I will make my covenant between me and thee', his mind was appeased.21
Aid he brought him forth abroad.22 Now Abraham had said unto him, 'Sovereign of the Universe! I have gazed at the constellation which rules my destiny, and seen that I am not fated to beget children.' To which [God] replied: 'Go forth from thy astrological speculations: Israel is not subject to planetary influences.'
R. Isaac said: He who perfects himself, the Holy One, blessed be He, deals uprightly with him, as it is written, With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright thou wilt shew thyself upright.23 R. Hoshaia said: If one perfects himself, good fortune will be his,24 as it is written, Walk before me and be thou perfect;25 and it is further written, And thou shalt be a father of many nations.26
Rabbi27 said: He who practises enchantment will be harassed by witchcraft, as it is written, For against him, of [the seed of] Jacob, there is enchantment.28 But surely it is written with lamed aleph?29 - But he is thus punished as measure for measure.30 Ahabah the son of R. Zera learnt: He who does not practice enchantment is brought within a barrier [i.e., in proximity to God] which not even the Ministering Angeis may enter, as it is written, For there is no enchantment in Jacob, neither is there any divination in Israel: now it shall be asked [by the angels] of Jacob and Israel, What hath God wrought?31
R. Abbahu said in R. Eleazar's name: Why was our Father Abraham punished and his children doomed to Egyptian servitude for two hundred and ten years? Because he pressed scholars into his service, as it is written, He armed his dedicated servants32 born in his own house.33 Samuel34 said: Because he went too far in testing the attributes [i.e., the promises] of the Lord, as it is written, [And he sand, Lord God,] whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?35 R. Johanan sand: Because he prevented men from entering beneath the wings of the Shechinah, as it is written, [And the king of Sodom said it to Abraham,] Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.36
And he armed his trained servants, born in his own house.37 Rab said, he equipped them38 by [teaching them] the Torah.39 Samuel sand, he made them bright with gold [i.e., rewarded them for accompanying him]. Three hundred and eighteen:40 R. Ammi b. Abba sand: Eliezer outweighed them all. Others say, It was Eliezer, for this is the numerical value of his name.41
R. Ammi b. Abba also said: Abraham was three years old when he acknowledged the Creator, for it is written, Because [Heb. 'ekeb] that Abraham obeyed my voice:42 the numerical value of 'ekeb is one hundred seventy two.43 R. Ammi b. Abba also said:
(1) Instead of with circumcision.
(2) Ibid. IV, 24. This implies that as soon as he left the road he turned his attention to the inn, arranging his baggage, quarters, etc., instead of immediately circumcising his son.
(3) Var. lec. 'that angel'. Generally speaking. Satan was regarded as man's adversary and accuser, but without independent power, which be must derive from God. (Cf. Job I, seq., Zech. III. 1f.) In the older Talmudic literature Satan is seldom mentioned, but his name is found more frequently in the amoraic period, and it may well be that the variant reading here (angel) is the original one. V. also Kid. (Son. ed.) p. 142, n. 5.
(4) Ex. IV, 25.
(5) Hathan generally means bridegroom, son-in-law: but in connection with circumcision it refers to the infant to be circumcised
(6) Wrath and anger personified.
(7) As the whole body was swallowed up save the legs. Zipporah understood that this was a punishment for neglecting the circumcision of the foreskin.
(8) Ex. IV, 26.
(9) Ps XXXVII, 8. Af and Hemah are regarded here as proper nouns.
(10) Isa. XXVII, 4. Spoken by God, and according to this interpretation, because Hemah had been slain.
(11) Deut. IX, 19. This refers to the sin of the Golden Calf, which was subsequent to the incident under discussion.
(12) Gen. XVII, 1, in reference to circumcision.
(13) Ibid. XVII, 2. [Indicating that Abraham was to attain perfection through the covenant of circumcision.] Rashi, without pointing out any incorrectness in the text, relates this verse to the next passage; v. next note.
(14) Ex. XXXIV, 27. After the tenor of these words is taken to refer to all God's precepts; by a 'covenant', 'circumcision' is understood; thus the two - all God's precepts and circumcision - are equated. Rashi appears to have the following reading: As it is written, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words (Ex. XXIV, 8); and it is also written. And I will mike my covenant between me and thee (Gen. XVII, 2). Just as 'covenant' in the latter verse refers to circumcision, so also in the former; whilst the end of that verse, 'concerning all these words', shews that circumcision is equal in importance to 'all these words', i.e., all God's commandments.
(15) V. p. 93, n. 8.
(16) Jer. XXXIII, 25.
(17) Which identifies 'covenant' here with circumcision.
(18) [So Pes. 68b. Cur. edd. R. Eliezer.]
(19) Thus, according to him, 'covenant' in this verse refers to the Torah, not to circumcision.
(20) Gen. XVII, 1.
(21) For be then understood that the imperfection was not in himself, but in the lack of a formal covenant between him and the Almighty.
(22) Gen. XV, 5.
(23) II Sam. XXII, 26.
(24) Lit., 'the hour will stand by him'.
(25) Gen. XVII, 1.
(26) Ibid. XVII, 4. This should be his good fortune, as a reward for perfecting himself.
(27) Var. lec.: R. Levi.
(28) Num. XXIII, 23.
(29) Lo = not, so that the verse reads, Surely there is no enchantment in Jacob.
(30) I.e., this is not deduced from a Scriptural verse, but from the general axiom that punishment corresponds to the crime. Though the Jewish Sages attributed reality to supernatural agencies in general, they nevertheless sought to discourage superstitious practices; v. M. Joseph. Judaism as Creed and Life. pp. 79-81.
(31) Num. XXIII, 23. The Israelites, through not practising enchantments, are brought into such close contact with God, that they know secrets not entrusted to the angels.
(32) I.e., scholars dedicated to the study of the Torah. The word is treated as a derivative of hanok, to educate, dedicate.
(33) Gen. XIV, 14.
(34) Var. lec.: R. Samuel b. Nahmani.
(35) Gen. XV, 8.
(36) Ibid. XIV, 21. Abraham, by permitting this, instead of taking the persons himself, and teaching them to know' God, is said to have prevented them from coming beneath the wings of the Divine Presence. This dictum seems to indicate that R. Johanan was in favour of proselytes.
(37) Ibid. XIV, 14.
(38) A variant reading is herikan; he emptied them from the Torah, i.e., disregarded their learning and forced them into service, or perhaps, withdrew them from their studies.
(39) Wa-yarek is here connected with yarak to make shine; cf. yerakrak., yellow (shining).
(41) Hebrew letters are also used as numbers, and the numerical value of אליעזר is 318.
(42) Gen. XXVI, 5.
(43) The verse is therefore thus interpreted: 172 years hath Abraham obeyed my voice. As he lived 175 years in all, he was three years old when he acknowledged the Creator.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 32b
The numerical value of ha-satan [Satan] is three hundred sixty four.1
R. Ammi b. Abba also said: [First] Abram is written, then Abraham:2 at first God gave him mastery over two hundred forty three limbs, and later over two hundred forty eight, the additional ones being the two eyes, two ears, and the membrum.3
R. Ammi b. Abba also said: What is the meaning of, There is a little city. etc.?4 'A little city' refers to the body; and 'a few men within' to the limbs; 'and there came a great king against it and besieged [it]' to the Evil Urge;5 'and built great bulwarks against it', to sin; 'Now there was found in it a poor wise man, to the Good Urge; and he by his wisdom delivered the city, to repentance and good deeds; yet no man remembered that same poor man, for when the Evil Urge gains dominion, none remember the Good Urge.
Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty ones which are in the city.6 'Wisdom strengtheneth the wise' refers to repentance and good deeds; 'more than ten mighty ones,' viz., the two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, membrum and mouth.7
R. Zechariah said on R. Ishmael's authority: The Holy One, blessed be He, intended to bring forth the priesthood from Shem, as it is written, And he [sc. Melchizedek] was the priest of the most high God.8 But because he gave precedence in his blessing to Abraham over God, He brought it forth from Abraham; as it is written, And he blessed him and said. Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high God.9 Said Abraham to him, 'Is the blessing of a servant to be given precedence over that of his master?' Straightway it [the priesthood] was given to Abraham, as it is written, The Lord said unto my Lord,10 Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool;11 which is followed by, The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,'12 meaning, 'because of the words of Melchizedek.'13 Hence it is written, And he was a priest of the most High God, [implying that] he was a priest, but not his seed.14
MISHNAH. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE WHO IS UNDER A VOW NOT TO BENEFIT AUGHT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND ONE WHO IS FORBIDDEN TO EAT OF HIS FOOD, IS IN RESPECT OF WALKING [OVER HIS PROPERTY] AND [THE USE OF] UTENSILS NOT EMPLOYED IN THE PREPARATION OF FOOD.15 IF A MAN IS UNDER A VOW [NOT TO EAT] OF HIS NEIGHBOURS FOOD, THE LATTER MAY NOT LEND HIM A SIFTER, SIEVE, MILL-STONE OR OVEN,16 BUT HE MAY LEND HIM A SHIRT, RING, CLOAK, AND EARRINGS.17
GEMARA. Which Tanna [is the authority of the Mishnah]?18 - R. Adda b. Ahabah said, It is R. Eliezer. For it was taught: R. Eliezer said: Even the extra [given by a vendor to his customer] is forbidden to him who is under a vow not to benefit [by his neighbour].19
IF A MAN IS UNDER A VOW NOT TO [EAT] OF HIS NEIGHROUR'S FOOD, THE LATTER MAY NOT LEND HIM etc.
(1) This indicates that his seductive powers over mankind are only for 364 days of the year. On the 365th, viz., the Day of Atonement, he has no power over man.
(2) The original name of Abram, whose numerical value is 243, was changed to Abraham, with the value 248, the numbers of members of man's body. V. Mak. (Sonc. ed.) p. 109. n. 5.
(3) As a reward for his undergoing circumcision he was given mastery over those limbs, which, through hearing and seeing, entice one to immorality; but now he was enabled by his will-power to forbid them to look upon or listen to sin. The last mentioned, of course, refers to the control of the sex-lust. Cf. Maim. 'Guide', III, ch. 49.
(4) Eccl. IX, 14f.
(5) One's evil inclinations personified; in B.B. 16a he is identified with Satan.
(6) Ibid. VII, 19.
(7) I.e., by repentance and good deeds one can conquer the evil desires of all these.
(8) Gen. XIV, 18. The Midrash identifies him with Shem, the son of Noah, Abraham's eighth ancestor.
(9) Ibid. 19f.
(10) Here taken as referring to Abraham; cf. Ber. 7b, where my lord is explicitly so explained.
(11) Ps. CX, 1.
(12) Ibid. CX, 4.
(13) I.e., because of his giving precedence to Abraham.
(14) Though Abraham was a descendant of Melchizedek, and thus the priesthood was inherited by the latter's seed, yet this was through the merit of Abraham, not of Melchizedek. - Ran.
(15) If he is forbidden all benefit, these are forbidden; but if the vow is only in respect of food, these are permitted.
(16) This teaches that not only are those utensils prohibited which are used in the immediate preparation of food for eating, such as a cooking pot. but even those employed in the early stages only.
(17) [Or 'nose-rings].
(18) That even such a trifling benefit as walking over his property is forbidden.
(19) Since R. Eliezer held that the vow applied even to such trifles, he is the authority of our Mishnah.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 33a
But he vowed in respect of food?1 - Said R. Simeon b. Lakish: This refers to one who said, 'The benefit of your food be forbidden me.'2 But may it not mean that he is not to chew wheat [to a pulp] and apply it to his wound?3 - Raba replied: The Mishnah refers to one who said: 'Any benefit from you leading to the enjoyment of food be forbidden me.' R. Papa said: A sack for bringing fruit, an ass for bringing fruit, and even a mere basket, all lead to the enjoyment of food. R. Papa propounded: What of a horse for travelling [to a banquet] or a ring to appear in;4 or, what of passing over his land?5 - Come and hear: BUT HE MAY LEND HIM A SHIRT, RING, CLOAK AND EARRINGS. How is this to be understood? Shall I say it is not to appear in them, need this be stated?6 Hence it must mean to be seen in them, and it is taught that he may lend them to him! - No. After all, it does not mean to appear in them; but because the first clause teaches THE LATTER MAY NOT LEND HIM,7 the second clause teaches HE MAY LEND HIM.8
MISHNAH. AND WHATEVER IS NOT EMPLOYED IN THE PREPARATION OF FOOD, WHERE SUCH ARE HIRED OUT, IT IS FORBIDDEN.9
GEMARA. Hence the first clause applies even where such things are not hired. Which Tanna [rules thus]?10 - Said R. Adda b. Ahabah: It is R. Eliezer.11
MISHNAH. IF ONE IS UNDER A VOW NOT TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, THE LATTER MAY PAY HIS SHEKEL,12 SETTLE HIS DEBTS, AND RETURN A LOST ARTICLE TO HIM. WHERE PAYMENT IS TAKEN FOR THIS,13 THE BENEFIT MUST ACCRUE TO HEKDESH.14
GEMARA. Thus we see that it is merely driving away a lion [from his neighbour's property],15 and permitted. Which Tanna [rules thus]? - Said R. Hoshaia: This is
(1) Which does not include these utensils.
(2) Instead of simply 'Your food be forbidden me'. The additional words, 'b. etc.' are understood to include something besides actual food, viz., utensils for its preparation.
(3) I.e., the longer form may imply that food is forbidden no matter how used, yet still be confined to actual foodstuffs.
(4) So as to be treated as an honoured guest.
(5) On the way to a feast.
(6) For then he does not benefit at all, and it is obvious that he may lend them to him.
(7) This must be taught; v. p. 100, n. 2.
(8) I.e., it is merely to round off the Mishnah, though it is self-evident.
(9) Even to one who is under a vow in respect of food as explained in the Gemara above, for the remission of the hiring fee is a benefit leading to the enjoyment of food.
(10) That even where the benefit is so trifling, since it can be borrowed without a fee, it is forbidden.
(11) V. p. 100, n. 5.
(12) There was an annual tax of half a shekel for the upkeep of the Temple; v. Shek. I, 1; Ex. XXX, 13.
(13) E.g., if he lost work through returning the article; v. B.M. 30b.
(14) V. Glos. This is discussed in the Gemara.
(15) I.e., he is merely performing a neighbourly action, without bestowing real benefit, for even if the other man does not pay the shekel, he still shares in the public sacrifices; also, when his debts are settled, the debtor personally receives nothing.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 33b
Hanan's view.1 Raba said: You may even say that it agrees with all: [We suppose that] the man who is interdicted by vow not to benefit from his neighbour was lent [money] without obligation to repay.2
What is [the ruling of] Hanan? - We learnt: If a man departed overseas, and another arose and supported his wife: Hanan said: He has lost his money.3 But the sons of the High priests4 disputed this and maintained: He must swear how much he expended and is reimbursed [by the husband]. R. Dosa b. Harkinas ruled as they did; whilst R. Johanan b. Zakkai said: Hanan has ruled well - it is as though he had placed his money upon a deer's horn.5
Now, Raba did not say as R. Hoshaia, because he interpreted our Mishnah to harmonize with all views. R. Hoshaia did not say as Raba: [to settle a debt] that need not be repaid is forbidden as a preventive measure on account of [a debt] that must be repaid.6
AND RETURN A LOST ARTICLE TO HIM. R. Ammi and R. Assi [differ thereon] - one said: This is only when the property of the finder7 is forbidden to the loser, so that in returning it to him, he returns what is his own.8 But if the property of the loser is forbidden to the finder, he may not return it, because he benefits him by R. Joseph's perutah.9 But the other maintained: Even if the finder may not benefit from the loser's property, he may return it, and as for R. Joseph's perutah, this is rare.10
(1) This is explained further on.
(2) The creditor having lent it to be repaid at the debtor's leisure (Ran). Therefore, when his neighbour repays his debt, he confers no benefit upon him. Similarly, he may pay his shekel only when he is not bound to pay it himself, e.g., if he had already sent it and it was lost on the road.
(3) He has no claim upon the husband.
(4) There was a special court of priests, and this may be referred to here; v. Keth. 104b.
(5) I.e., he cannot expect its return.
(6) Lest it be thought that the latter too may be settled.
(7) Lit., 'restorer'.
(8) So that the loser is not benefiting.
(9) Since when a person is engaged in the performance of one precept, he is exempt from another, the finder, when fulfilling this precept, may decline to give a perutah of charity to a poor man. This is referred to as R. Joseph's perutah, because he based a certain ruling upon this fact. B.K. 56b.
(10) One rarely avails himself of that privilege, hence the finder gains nothing.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 34a
We learnt: WHERE PAYMENT IS TAKEN FOR THIS, THE BENEFIT MUST ACCRUE TO HEKDESH. Now, that is well on the view that even if the finder must not benefit from the loser's property, he may also return it: hence it is taught: WHERE PAYMENT IS MADE FOR THIS, THE BENEFIT MUST ACCRUE TO HEKDESH.1 But on the view that if the finder may not benefit from the loser he must not return it, why should the benefit accrue to hekdesh?2 - This law refers to one case only.3
Others report it in the following version: R. Ammi and R. Assi differ thereon: one said: This was taught only if the finder may not benefit from the loser's property. R. Joseph's perutah being rare; but if the loser may not benefit from the finder's property, he may not return it, because he [the finder] benefits him. While the other maintained: Even if the loser may not benefit from the finder's property, he may return it, for he is only returning his own.
We learnt: WHERE PAYMENT IS TAKEN FOR THIS, THE BENEFIT MUST ACCRUE TO HEKDESH. Now that is well on the view that even if the loser may not benefit from the finder, he may also return it: thus he justifies WHERE [etc.],4 but on the view that if the loser may not benefit from the finder, he may not return it, how is WHERE [etc.] explained?5 This is a difficulty.
(1) For since the finder cannot benefit from the loser, he cannot receive his fee from him; on the other hand, the loser is liable for it; therefore it goes to hekdesh; v. p. 104, n 2, for the reverse case.
(2) Since he may not return it, there is no fee.
(3) I.e., where the loser may not benefit from the finder. This is the interpretation of the passage according to our text. But the text of Ran is reversed, and (with its explanation) is as follows: This is well on the view that only if the loser may not benefit from the finder it may be returned, but not in the reverse case. Hence, the fee must go to the Temple treasury. if it is beneath the finder's dignity to accept it, for were the loser to retain it, he would be benefiting from the finder. But on the view that even if the finder must not benefit from the loser it may be returned, why must the fee go to the Temple treasury? If the finder declines it, the loser may retain it, since here is no prohibition upon him. If on the other hand the finder wishes to accept it, why may he not do so: in accepting it he is not benefiting from the loser, but merely being paid for lost time? The Talmud replies that though the law permitting the return of the lost article applies to both cases, the statement that the fee must go to the sanctuary applies only to one, viz., where the loser may not benefit from the finder.
(4) The law referring to this case, as explained above, where it is beneath the finder's dignity to accept the fee.
(5) For then it may be returned only if the loser may benefit from the finder; but in that case, why must the fee be given to hekdesh? If the finder does not accept it, the loser may retain it for himself.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 34b
Raba said: If a hefker loaf1 lies before a man, and he declares, 'This loaf be hekdesh', and he takes it to eat it,he trespasses in respect of its entire value; if to leave it to his children, he trespasses in respect of its goodwill value only.2 R. Hiyya b. Abin asked Raba: [What if one says to his neighbour,] 'My loaf [be forbidden] to you,' and then gifts it to him: now, he said, 'my loaf,' meaning only so long as it IS In his own possession;3 or perhaps, having said '[be forbidden] to you,' he has rendered it to him hekdesh?4 - He replied: It is obvious that even if he gifted it to him, it is forbidden. For what was it [his vow] to exclude? Surely not the case where it would be stolen from him?5 - He replied, No: It excludes the case where he invites him for it.6
(1) V. Glos.
(2) A Zar (i.e., not a priest) is forbidden to eat consecrated food; if he does, he is guilty of trespass. and bound to make restitution of its value plus a fifth (Lev. XXII, 14). Now as soon as he takes this consecrated loaf, with the intent of eating it, he withdraws it from the possession of hekdesh into his own. Hence he has trespassed in respect of the whole of it. But if he merely intends leaving it to his children, he merely benefits by its goodwill value (i.e., the benefit he enjoys through his children's knowing that he wishes to leave it to them) and hence liable for that only. [Had, however, the loaf been his own, he would not have been guilty of a trespass by taking it up with the intent of eating it. Since it was all the time in his possession, both before and after the consecration, he would be treated in regard to it as a Temple Treasurer, to whom the law of trespass does not apply, v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) p. 103.]
(3) Therefore now that he gave it to him, it is no longer his; hence permitted.
(4) So that the prohibition always remains.
(5) When A says to E, 'My loaf be forbidden to you', thus excluding B from its enjoyment, what is his purpose? Obviously, as long as it is in A's possession it is forbidden to B in any case, since it does not belong to him. Surely A did not intend his vow only in the unlikely event of the loaf being stolen? Hence he must have meant, 'Even if I give you this loaf which is now mine, it shall be forbidden to you.'
(6) I.e., if A should invite B to dine with him off that loaf of bread, it should be forbidden to him; but not if he gives it to him. This interpretation follows Ran. Others explain the passage differently. According to all versions, לאו must be deleted from the text.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 35a
He objected: If A says to B, 'Lend me your cow,' and B replies, 'Konam be [this] cow if I possess [another] for you,'1 or, my property be forbidden you if I possess any cow but this': [or,] 'Lend me your spade,' and he replies, 'This spade be forbidden me if I possess [another];' or 'my property be forbidden me, if I possess any spade but this', and it is discovered that he possesses [another]. During his, [B's] lifetime it is forbidden [him]; but if he dies, or it is given to him,2 it is permitted?3 - Said R. Aha son of R. Ika: That is if it was given to him through another.4 R. Ashi said: This may be proved too, for it is stated, 'it is given to him,' not 'he gives it to him.'5
Raba asked R. Nahman: Does the law of trespass apply to Konamoth?6 - He replied, We have learnt this: WHERE PAYMENT IS TAKEN FOR THIS, THE BENEFIT MUST ACCRUE TO HEKDESH. This teaches that it is as hekdesh: just as the law of trespass applies to hekdesh, so it applies to Konamoth.
This is dependent on Tannaim: If one Says, 'Konam, this loaf is hekdesh,'7 then whosoever eats it, whether he or his neighbour, commits trespass; therefore the law of redemption applies to it.8 [But if he says,] 'This loaf is hekdesh to me'; [by eating it] he commits trespass; but his neighbour does not commit a trespass; therefore the law of redemption does not apply:9 this is the view of R. Meir. But the Sages maintain: In both cases no trespass is involved, because the law of trespass does not apply to Konamoth.
R. Aha son of R. Avi asked R. Ashi: [If A says to B,] 'My loaf be forbidden to you,'10 and then makes a gift of it to him, who is liable for trespass? Shall the giver incur it but it is not forbidden to him? Is the receiver to incur it - but he can say, 'I desired to accept what is permitted, not what is forbidden?'11 - He replied: The receiver incurs the liability when he uses it, for whoever converts money of hekdesh into hullin,12 thinks that it is hullin, yet he is involved in trespass;13 so this one too is liable for trespass.
(1) The actual wording is difficult, and the commentators attempt various explanations. The literal translation is given here.
(2) V. infra.
(3) This contradicts Raba.
(4) B gave it to C, who gave it to A. Since B voluntarily (in contradistinction to theft) let it out of his possession, his vow loses its validity.
(5) Though the Hebrew word is the same for both, by tradition it was to be read as a niphal, not as a kal.
(6) A term in us technicus for things interdicted by a vow, usually introduced with the formula konam. Since konam is a korban (a sacrifice) when one vows that a thing shall be konam, he declares it to be virtually consecrated, and hence if the vow is violated, it is as though trespass has been committed. Or it may be argued that in spite of its origin, konam is used without the suggestion of consecration, but merely to imply prohibition.
(7) Not specifying to whom, and therefore applying it to all, including himself. [Read with MS. M.: 'This loaf is hekdesh', omitting konam,' v. also Shebu. 22a.]
(8) Since it is so much regarded as consecrated that by eating it one commits trespass, it is also so in respect of redemption, whereby it reverts to hullin (non-consecrated), whilst the redemption money becomes consecrated.
(9) Since it is not regarded as consecrated in respect of all.
(10) Using the formula 'konam'.
(11) The receiver not knowing that this was the forbidden loaf.
(12) V. Glos.
(13) Because the law of trespass applies only to unwitting misuse of hekdesh.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 35b
MISHNAH. AND HE MAY SEPARATE HIS TERUMAH AND HIS TITHES WITH HIS CONSENT.1 HE MAY OFFER UP FOR HIM THE BIRD SACRIFICES OF ZABIM AND ZABOTH2 AND THE BIRD SACRIFICES OF WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH, SIN-OFFERINGS AND GUILT-OFFERINGS.3 HE MAY TEACH HIM MIDRASH, HALACHOTH AND AGGADOTH,4 BUT NOT SCRIPTURE.5 YET HE MAY TEACH SCRIPTURE TO HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS.6
GEMARA. The scholars propounded: Are the priests [in sacrificing] our agents or agents of the All-Merciful? What is the practical difference? - In respect of one who is forbidden to benefit [from a priest]: if you say that they are our agents, surely he [the priest] benefits him [by offering up his sacrifices]; hence it is prohibited. But if you say that they are the agents of the All-Merciful, it is permitted. What [then is the ruling]? - Come and hear: We learnt: HE MAY OFFER UP FOR HIM THE BIRD SACRIFICES [etc.]. Now if you say that they are our agents, does he not benefit him? Then on your view, let him [the Tanna] teach, HE MAY OFFER UP SACRIFICES FOR HIM?7 But those who lack atonement are different.8 For R. Johanan said: All [sacrifices] require [the owner's] consent,9 save for those lacking atonement; since a man brings a sacrifice for his sons and daughters when minors, for it is said, This is the law of him that hath issue,10 [implying] both for a minor or an adult.11 If so, according to R. Johanan, does, This is the law for her that hath born [a male or a female]12 imply both an adult or a minor? Is a minor capable of childbirth? But R. Bibi recited in R. Nahman's presence: Three women use a resorbent [to prevent conception]: a minor, a pregnant woman, and a woman giving suck: a minor, lest she conceive and die?13 - That verse, 'This is the law for her that hath born', [teaches,] that it is a]] one whether the woman be sane or an imbecile, since one must offer a sacrifice for his wife, if an imbecile, in accordance with R. Judah's dictum. For it was taught. R. Judah said: A man must offer a rich man's sacrifice14 for his wife, and all other sacrifices which are incumbent upon her; since he writes thus for her [in her marriage settlement]: [I shall pay] every claim you may have against me from before up to now.15
(1) If A is forbidden to benefit from B, B (the maddir) may separate terumah on the produce of the former (called the muddar). The Gemara discusses whose consent is meant.
(2) V. Glos.
(3) Lev. XV, 14f, 29f, XII, 6-8. i.e., the maddir, if a priest, may offer these sacrifices for the muddar.
(4) The three branches of Jewish learning. Midrash (from darash, to study, investigate) means any kind of Biblical hermeneutics. In contradistinction to the peshat (literal interpretation) it denotes the deeper investigation into the text of the Bible in order to derive interpretations and laws not obvious on the surface. Halachoth is a term referring to religious law (embracing both civil and ritual law) whether based on Biblical exposition, (and thus arrived at by Midrash) or not. By Aggadah (or Haggadah, from higgid, to narrate) is meant the whole of the non-legal portion of the Talmud. Thus it includes narratives, homiletical exegesis of the Bible (which inculcate morals, beliefs, etc. but no actual laws) medicine, astronomy, dreams, legends and folklore in general.
(5) Lit., 'that which is (to be) read' sc. from a written text. The Pentateuch with its literal interpretations in contradistinction to Midrash, v. Aboth (Sonc. ed.) p. 75, n. 1. As will be seen on 37a, Scripture was generally regarded as the study of children only, adults usually investigating the deeper meaning too.
(6) From this we see that it was usual to teach the Bible to girls, in spite of the Talmudic deduction that daughters need not be educated (Kid. 30a). The opposition of R. Eliezer to teaching Torah to one's daughter (Sot. 20a: He who teaches his daughter Torah is as though he taught her lewdness) was probably directed against the teaching of the Oral Law, and the higher branches of study. [V. Maim. Yad. Talmud Torah, I, 13.] Yet even in respect of this, his view was not universally accepted, and Ben 'Azzai (a.l.) regarded it as a positive duty to teach Torah to one's daughters. The context shows that the reference is to the higher knowledge of Biblical law. In point of fact, there were learned women in Talmudic times e.g., Beruriah, wife of R. Meir (Pes. 62b).
(7) Sacrifices, in general, not lust these.
(8) I.e., those who are unclean, and not permitted to eat holy food (e.g., the flesh of sacrifices) or enter the Sanctuary until their sacrifices have been offered up. This term however does not refer to sinners, whose sacrifice makes atonement for them. The sin- and guilt-offerings mentioned in the Mishnah will also refer to the former.
(9) Before the priest may offer them.
(10) Lev. XV. 32, referring to the sacrifices.
(11) The expression 'this is the law' is emphatic, and hence extends its provisions to include those who might otherwise not have been included. Since a minor cannot bring a sacrifice himself, his father must do so for him. Moreover, a minor has no legal consent. Thus, we see that these sacrifices can be brought without their owner's (i.e., those on whose behalf it is offered) consent. Since their consent is unnecessary, the priests do not act as their agents, and on that account it is permitted.
(12) Ibid. XII, 7.
(13) V. Yeb. 12b. Thus we see that a minor is incapable of childbirth. - Of course, the same might have been stated simply on physiological grounds.
(14) Certain sacrifices were variable, depending on their owner's financial position (v. Lev. V, 1-13; XII, 1-8). Now in a strictly legal sense every married woman is poor, since she has no proprietary rights, everything belonging to her husband. Nevertheless, if he is wealthy, he must bring the sacrifice of a rich person.
(15) [This clause is taken as referring to sacrifices for which she may have become liable after the betrothal.] So curr. edd. Ran omits 'R. Judah said' from the beginning of the Baraitha, and adds at this point: R. Judah said: Therefore, if he divorced her, he is free from this liability, for thus she writes (in the document acknowledging receipt of settlements due to her on divorce): (I free you) from all the liabilities hitherto borne by you in respect of me. From the Rashi in B.M. 104a, it appears that his version there was the same as the Ran's here. Now, reverting to the argument, since R. Judah (and the first Tanna) taught that a husband is liable for his wife's obligatory sacrifices, 'this is the law' may be interpreted as applying to an imbecile too, the liability resting with her husband. For if this principle of the husband's liability were not admitted, this interpretation would be impossible, since an imbecile herself is not a responsible person.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 36a
R. Simi b. Abba objected: If he [the maddir]1 is a priest, he may sprinkle for him the blood of his sin-offering and his guilt-offering?2 - This refers to the blood of a leper's sin-offering and of a leper's guilt-offering [who lack atonement], as it is written, This shall be the law of the leper:3 both an adult and a minor.4
We learnt: If priests render a sacrifice piggul5 in the Temple, and do so intentionally, they are liable;6 This implies [that if they do so] unwittingly, they are exempt, though it was taught thereon:7 Yet their piggul stands.8 Now, it is well if you say that they are the agents of the All-Merciful: hence their piggul stands. But if you say that they are our agents, why is it so; let him say to him, 'I appointed you an agent for my advantage, not for my hurt'?9 - I will tell you: Piggul is different, because the Writ saith, neither shall it be imputed unto him:10 [implying that it is piggul] in spite of everything.11
The [above] text [states]: 'R. Johanan said: All require [the owner's] consent, save for those lacking atonement, since one brings a sacrifice for his sons and daughters when minors.' If so, let one offer a sin-offering on behalf of his neighbour for [eating] heleb,12 since one brings [a sin-offering] for his insane wife?13 Why then did R. Eleazar say: If a man set aside a sin-offering for heleb on his neighbour's behalf, his action is invalid?14 - [Now consider:] In respect to his insane wife, what are the circumstances? If she ate [heleb] whilst insane, she is not liable to a sacrifice;15 while if she ate it when sane, subsequently becoming insane, [there is the ruling of] R. Jeremiah who said in the name of R. Abbahu in R. Johanan's name: If a man ate heleb, set aside an offering, became insane, and then regained his sanity, it [the sacrifice] is unfit: having been once rejected, it remains so.16
Yet if so,17 a man should be able to offer the passover sacrifice for his neighbour,18 since he brings it for his sons and daughters, who are minors. Why then did R. Eleazar say: If a man sets aside a passover sacrifice for his neighbour his action18 is null? - Said R. Zera: [The law, And they shall take to them every man] a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, [a lamb for a house],19 is not Biblically incumbent [upon minors].20 And how do we know this? - Because we learnt: If a man says to his sons [who are not of age], 'I will slaughter the passover sacrifice for whomever of you first enters Jerusalem', then as soon as the first of them enters with his head and the greater part of his body, he acquires his portion, and assigns a part thereof to his brothers with him. Now, if you maintain that 'a lamb, according to the house of their fathers' is Biblically applicable [to minors], then standing over the flesh, can he transfer a portion to his brethren?21 If so, why did their father speak thus to them? - In order to stimulate them in [the performance of] precepts. It was taught likewise: it once happened [after their father had spoken thus] that the daughters entered [the city] before the sons, so that the daughters shewed themselves zealous, and the sons indolent.22
HE MAY SEPARATE HIS TERUMAH [etc.]
(1) V. Glos.
(2) Now. since these offerings are unspecified, they must refer to all, even of those who do not lack atonement.
(3) Lev. XIV, 2, referring to his purificatory sacrifices.
(4) Therefore the same reasoning applies as in the case of a zab.
(5) v. Glos. Such a sacrifice is 'not acceptable' and does not acquit its owner of his liability, so that he is bound to offer another.
(6) To compensate the owner of the sacrifice.
(7) This is absent in our text, but supplied from Men. 49a.
(8) Though committed unwittingly, the sacrifice remains piggul.
(9) I.e., such an act committed on behalf of someone else can be repudiated.
(10) Lev. VII, 18.
(11) I.e., the priest is the owner's agent, yet the latter cannot repudiate him, because his power of rendering a sacrifice piggul is absolute and unconditional.
(12) Forbidden fat. The objection is not particularly in regard to this sin-offering, but to all sin-offerings brought on account of transgression. The addition of heleb merely illustrates the type of offering referred to, and is frequently used as the general designation of a sin-offering.
(13) Who also has neither legal consent nor knowledge.
(14) The animal not becoming sanctified.
(15) Not being responsible for her actions.
(16) I.e., when the transgressor lost his reason, his sacrifice became unfit for offering, because an insane person cannot offer, and it remains unfit even if he regains his sanity. Thus we see that even if a sane person sinned, he is not liable to a sacrifice on becoming insane. Therefore, one cannot bring a sin-offering for his insane wife for actual transgression; hence the proposed analogy cannot be drawn.
(17) Still objecting to R. Johanan's first ruling.
(18) Without his knowledge.
(19) Ex. XII, 3.
(20) The Passover sacrifice had to be definitely assigned (before the animal was slain) to a number of persons and anyone not so appointed was subsequently forbidden to cat thereof. But this assignment does not, by Scriptural law, apply to minors at all. For this reason the father could slaughter for them, since they did not need to be appointed. Hence, one cannot argue from this to an adult, to whom the law off appointment applies.
(21) For the assignment of the sacrifice can be made only before it is slain, not after (Pes. 89a). How then can one son assign a portion of the sacrifice to his brothers after it is killed? Therefore we must conclude that by Biblical law they are not bound to be appointed for the eating of the sacrifice at all.
(22) But it is not stated that they lost their portion, proving that assignment is not Biblically incumbent upon them.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 36b
The scholars propounded: If one gives terumah of his own for his neighbour's produce, does he require his consent or not? Do we say, since it is a benefit for him, his consent is unnecessary;1 or perhaps, [the privilege of performing] the precept is his, and he prefers to perform it himself? Come and hear! HE MAY SEPARATE HIS TERUMAH AND HIS TITHES WITH HIS CONSENT. How is this meant: Shall we say, his own corn is used?2 Then with whose consent? If with his own, who appointed him an agent?3 But if it means with the owner's consent - does he not benefit him by acting as his agent?4 Hence it must mean that he separates his own [i.e., the maddir's] produce for the owner's. Now, with whose consent? If with the owner's, does he not benefit him? Hence it must mean with his own knowledge [without informing the owner].5 Now if you say that he requires his consent, does he not benefit him?6 - [No.] After all, it means the owner's [produce] for the owner's produce; and it is as Raba said [elsewhere], That the owner had announced, 'Whoever wishes to separate, let him do so;' here, too, the owner had announced etc.7
R. Jeremiah asked R. Zera: If one separates of his own for his neighbour's [produce], to whom does the goodwill [value] belong?8 Do we say, but for this man's produce, would the other's stack have been made fit to use?9 Or perhaps, but for this man's stack, the other man's produce would not be terumah?10 - He replied, Scripture saith, all the increase of thy seed . . . . and thou shalt give.11
He objected: HE MAY SEPARATE HIS TERUMAH AND HIS TITHES WITH HIS CONSENT. Now if you say that the goodwill belongs to the owner, surely he [the maddir] benefits him? Hence this proves that the goodwill is his!12 - I will tell you: it is not so. This means that the terumah belongs to the owner; 'HIS CONSENT also referring to the owner, who had announced, 'Whoever wishes to separate, let him do so.'
Come and hear: R. Abbahu said in R. Johanan's name: He who sanctifies the animal must add the fifth, whilst only he for whom atonement is made sanctifies a substitute;13 and he who gives terumah of his own for another man's produce, the goodwill is his.14
HE MAY TEACH HIM MIDRASH, HALACHOTH, AND AGGADOTH, BUT NOT SCRIPTURE. Why not Scripture - because he benefits him? But [by] Midrash too he benefits him? - Said Samuel: This refers to a place where the teaching of Scripture is remunerated, but not that of Midrash. How state this definitely?15 -
(1) As it may be taken for granted.
(2) Lit., '(produce) of the owner of the stack (is separated as terumah, etc.) for produce belonging to the owner of the stack.'
(3) I.e., surely A cannot separate terumah for B, using B's produce, without the latter's consent.
(4) Whereas his vow forbids him to benefit him.
(5) [This is not regarded as a direct benefit, since he does not give him aught; v. Ran.]
(6) For by consenting he shews that he regards it as a benefit.
(7) Though such an announcement is a sufficient authorisation, the maddir is not thereby specially appointed an agent, and so does not directly benefit him.
(8) I.e., if another Israelite paid him something to give the terumah to a particular friend of his, to whom does that thing belong?
(9) Therefore the goodwill should belong to him who renders the terumah.
(10) Produce can he declared terumah only on account of other produce. But one cannot take some corn and declare it terumah.
(11) Deut. XIV, 25. In its context, thou shalt give refers to the changing of produce into money; but it is here taken out of its context and related to all the increase of thy seed, shewing that the goodwill belongs to the owner of the corn, no matter who actually separates the tithe. This is the reading of our text, and also that of Ran. But such forcible disregard of the context is not very plausible. Asheri prefers a preferable reading: (When thou hast made an end of tithing) All the tithes of thine increase . . . and thou shalt give it to the Levite; (Deut. XXVI, 12).
(12) This of course is on the assumption that the naddir gives his own corn as terumah.
(13) If A dedicates an animal for B's sacrifice and it subsequently receives a blemish and must be redeemed, then if A, who sanctified it, redeems it himself, he must add a fifth to its value, but nut if B redeems it (this is deduced from Lev. XXVII, 15). Again, if another animal is substituted for the first, both the original and its substitute are holy (ibid. 10). R. Johanan rules that this is only if B, on whose behalf the animal was sanctified, made the substitution, but not if A did so.
(14) Sc. the man who gives it.
(15) Seeing that the statement in the Mishnah is unqualified.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 37a
He [the Tanna] informs us this: that even where a fee is taken, it may be accepted only for Scripture, but not for Midrash. Now, why does Midrash differ, that remuneration is forbidden: because it is written, And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you;1 and it is also written, Behold I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me2 just as I [taught you] gratuitously, so you must teach gratuitously? Then should not Scripture too be unremunerated? - Rab said: The fee is for guarding [the children]. R. Johanan maintained: The fee is for the teaching of accentuation.3
We learnt: HE MAY NOT TEACH HIM SCRIPTURE. Now that is well on the view that remuneration is for the teaching of accentuation. But on the view that payment is for acting as guardian - does an adult need one?4 - It refers to a child. If so, consider the last clause: BUT HE MAY TEACH SCRIPTURE TO HIS SONS: can a child have children? - It is defective, and teaches thus: HE MAY NOT TEACH HIM SCRIPTURE in the case of a minor: but if he is an adult, HE MAY TEACH SCRIPTURE BOTH TO him and HIS SONS.
An objection is raised: Children are not to study a new portion of Bible on the Sabbath; but they may make a first revision on the Sabbath.5 This is well on the view that remuneration is for the teaching of accentuation: hence a passage may not be read for the first time on the Sabbath;6 but on the view that payment is for acting as guardian, why is it forbidden to teach a passage for the first time on the Sabbath, yet permitted to give a first revision on the Sabbath; surely there is pay for guardianship oil the Sabbath?7 - Now, even according to your reasoning: is remuneration for teaching the accentuation on the Sabbath forbidden? Is it not included [in the weekly or monthly fee], which is permitted? For it was taught: If one engages a [day] labourer to look after a child,8 or the heifer,9 or to watch over the crops,10 he may not pay him for the Sabbath:11 therefore
(1) Deut. IV, 14.
(2) Ibid. 5.
(3) The whole system of punctuation and accentuation being post-Biblical, Moses' prohibition does not apply to it. The meaning of the phrase pisuk te' ammim is not altogether clear. Jastrow translates: 'the division of words into clauses in accordance with the sense, punctuation'. Be that as it may, it must at least refer to a particular manner of dividing the Biblical text with or without signs, over and above that which would naturally suggest itself by the subject matter. This conclusion must be drawn from the fact that it is regarded by Rab as non-Sinaitic: yet the clearly natural division, corresponding to peshat, could not have been thought of as introduced after Moses; what sense then did it make otherwise? There is mention of chanting in Meg. 32a, but there the reference is to the Mishnah as well as the Bible, the former being studied in a sort of chant, and the phrase pisuk te'ammim is not used there. [Berliner, A., however, in Bertr. z. hebr. Gram. p. 29, n. 1, quotes Rashi on Gen. Rab. XXXVI, (according to a M_nchen MS.) as explaining pisuk te'ammim as Tropen, cantillation.]
(4) Hence, Bible teaching to an adult should be unremunerated, in which case it should be permitted in the Mishnah.
(5) I.e., having studied it before, they may revise it even for the first time on the Sabbath.
(6) Because remuneration is made chiefly for teaching a passage for the first time, as that is the most difficult part of instruction. Hence, if a new passage is thus taught on the Sabbath, the teacher is paid chiefly for Sabbath labour, which is forbidden.
(7) What does it matter whether the passage is a new' one or not? The guardianship is the same in both cases, and remuneration for such work on the Sabbath is forbidden.
(8) That he should not ritually defile himself. It was customary for a child to draw the water from a well to mix with the ashes of the red heifer; this child had to be ritually clean.
(9) This refers to the red heifer. The guardian was to take care that 'no yoke came upon it' (Num. XIX, 2).
(10) This refers to the barley specially sown seventy days before Passover (Men. 85a) for the ceremony of 'sheaf waving' (v. Lev. XXIII. 11) and to the wheat of which were made the 'two wave-loaves' on Pentecost (ibid. 17). These crops were specially guarded.
(11) Since each day is separately paid for, and payment for the Sabbath per se is forbidden.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 37b
if they are lost [or harmed] [on the Sabbath], he is not responsible. But if he was engaged by the week, month, year or septennate, he is paid for the Sabbath; consequently, if they are lost, he is responsible.1 But in the matter of the Sabbath a new passage may not be studied for the first time for this reason: that the parents of the children may be free for the observance of the Sabbath. An alternative answer is this: because on the Sabbath they eat and drink [more than on weekdays] and feel sluggish;2 as Samuel said: The change in one's regular diet is the beginning of digestive trouble.3
Now, he who maintains that remuneration is for the teaching of accentuation, - why does he reject the view that it is for acting as guardian? - He reasons: Do daughters then need guarding?4 And he who maintains that the fee is for guardianship, - why does he reject the view that it is for teaching accents? - He holds that accents are also Biblical;5 for R. Ika b. Abin said in the name of R. Hananel in Rab's name: What is the meaning of, And they read in the book, in the law of God, distinctly, and they gave the sense, so that they understood the reading?6 'They read in the book, it, the law of God,' refers to Scripture; 'distinctly,' to Targum;7 'and they gave the sense', to the division of sentences; 'so that they understood the reading,' to the accentuation; others say, to the masoroth.8
R. Isaac said: The textual reading,9 as transmitted by the Soferim, their stylistic embellishments, [words] read [in the text] but not written, and words written but omitted in the reading, are all halachah from Moses at Sinai.10 By textual reading is meant words as erez, shamayim, mizraim.11 Stylistic embellishments: e.g., [and comfort ye your hearts;] after that ye shall pass on.12 [Let the damsel abide with its a few days, at least ten:] after that she shall go. [Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites;] afterwards, shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.13 [The singers went before,] the players on instruments followed after.14 Thy righteousness is like the great mountains.15
[Words] read [in the text] but not written: [the word] 'Euphrates' in [the verse] as he went to recover his border at the river [Euphrates];16 [the word] 'man' in [the verse] And the counsel of Ahitophel . . . was as if a [man] had enquired of the oracle of God;17 [the word] 'come' in [the verse] Behold, the days [come], saith the Lord, the city shall be built etc.;18 'for it' in [the verse] let there be no escape [for it]:19 'unto me' in [the verse] All that thou sayest [unto me] I will do; 'to me' [in the verse] And she went down unto the floor;20 'to me' in [the verse] And she said, These six measures of barley gave he unto me; for he said [to me],21 All these [words] are read but not written.22 The following are written but not read: [the word] 'pray' in forgive;23
(1) Thus we see that the Sabbath may be paid for providing it is included in the general weekly agreement. Hence, though the main work in teaching lies in the first reading, this should be permitted on the Sabbath, since the fee is included in the general arrangements.
(2) Hence are not fit to study a portion for the first time.
(3) Lit., 'disease of the bowels'. The Sabbath being a day of delight, the parents naturally wish to play and amuse themselves with their children thereon. But if the children study a new passage on that day, since this requires great concentration, the parents may be afraid of distracting their attention. It is interesting to observe from actual life what the Sabbath meant to the people. In spite of the innumerable restrictions pertaining to that day, and on account of which the Sabbath has been severely criticised as an intolerable burden, right from the New Testament times down to the present day, this simple statement, teaching no doctrine or view of the Sabbath, but recording a simple fact, vividly illustrates the utter shallowness of all that misinformed criticism. Cf. Schechter, Studies in Judaism ('The Law and Recent Criticism, pp. 296f). - 'On the one side, we hear the opinions of so many learned professors, proclaiming ex cathedra that the Law was a most terrible burden, and the life under it the most unbearable slavery . . . On the other side we have the testimony of a literature extending over about twenty-five centuries, and including all sorts and conditions of men, scholars, poets, mystics, lawyers . . . schoolmen, tradesmen, workmen, women, simpletons, who all . . . give unanimous evidence in favour of this Law, and of the bliss and happiness of living and dying under it, - and this, the testimony of people who were actually living under the Law, not merely theorising upon it'.
(4) Girls are generally at home and do not venture into the streets; hence require no guarding. Now the Mishnah states in general terms that he may not teach Scripture. Though this, as explained, refers to a minor, yet even so the law holds good both of boys and of girls, since no limitations are given. But if payment is for guardianship, he should be permitted to teach girls, who do not need it. - Another reading is: does an adult need guarding? According to this, the explanation that the Mishnah refers to a minor is rejected as being too farfetched.
(5) I.e., the system of accentuations goes back to Moses: consequently it was included in Moses' prohibition.
(6) Neh. VIII, 8.
(7) Targum, 'translation', generally refers to the Aramaic translation of the Bible. In Mishnaic phraseology it might refer to a translation from Hebrew or the Bible into any language, (v. J. Kid. 59a, where it denotes a Greek version of Aquila; Meg. II, 1; Shab. 115a), but the word Targum by itself was restricted to the Aramaic version of the Bible. This Aramaic translation was publically read in the synagogue, along with the original text, and rules for reading it were formulated (v. Meg. II, 1; Tosef. Meg. II, V). This practice was an ancient institution, dating back to the Second Temple, and according to Rab, going back to Ezra, v. J.E., XII, p. 57.
(8) Masoroth: Tosaf and Asheri refer this to the plene and defective readings, e.g., where the 'o' is represented by waw (plene) and where it is missing (defective); where the 'i' is shewn by yod, and where not. Ran simply states: the traditional readings. The term 'masorah' occurs in Ezek. XX, 37, and means 'fetter'. Thus the masorah is a fetter upon the text, i.e., it fixes its reading. In course of time it was connected with masar (to hand down), and thus came to mean traditional reading. The old Hebrew text was in all probability written without any breaks. it was the work of the Masorites to make the divisions into words, books, sections, paragraphs, etc., and fix the orthography and pronunciation. The traditionally fixed text, especially with a view to its orthography, was called masoreth; the division into sense-clauses, pisuk te'ammim; the traditional pronunciation, mikra. V. J.E. s.v. Masorah.
(9) V. preceding note.
(10) I.e., though these were established by the Soferim (v. Glos.) they are based on usage going back to Moses.
(11) In pause (viz., an ethnahta or sof pasuk) the tone-vowels are lengthened. Since there is nothing in the lettering to indicate this grammatical change, it was the work of the Soferim to teach it.
(12) Gen. XVIII, 5.
(13) Num. XXXI, 2.
(14) Ps. LXVIII, 26.
(15) Ps. XXXVI, 7. In all these examples 'after' is strictly speaking superfluous, for the verses would have made the same sense without it (presumably by the use of the copulative). In the last example, the comparative kaf (like) is also unnecessary, being omitted in the parallel stich: thy judgements are a great deep. But they are inserted in the text in order to give it a smoother flow. Ran: In all these cases, 'after' (Heb. ahar). and in the last example, 'like the mountains' (Heb. keharere) bear a disjunctive accent, so as to elucidate the meaning. E.g., the first example (disregarding the accents) might read, 'and comfort ye your hearts after ye shall have passed', and so the other examples. The last example, owing to the disjunctive of ke-harere, is according to Ran to be translated: Thy righteousness, O God, is as (manifest as) the mountains. These disjunctives are referred to as the embellishments of the Soferim. Goldschmidt, Nedarim a.l. (p. 442, n. 84) observes that a copulative word has been omitted in all these texts, as is shewn by the Samaritan text and some MSS.
(16) II Sam. VIII, 3.
(17) Ibid. XVI, 23.
(18) Jer. XXXI, 38.
(19) Jer. L. 29.
(20) Ruth III, 5.
(21) Ibid. 17.
(22) Wilna Gaon adds the following examples, given in some editions, and also in Soferim VI, 8: But (the children of) Benjamin would not hearken (Jud. XX, 13); Because (Heb. Ki 'al ken: ken is read but not written) the king's son is dead (II Sam. XVIII, 20); The seal of the Lord of (hosts) (II Kings XIX, 31); Adrammelech and Sharaezer (his sons) smote him (Ibid. 37).
(23) II Kings V, 18.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 38a
'these' in Now [these] are the commandments.1 'let him bend' in Against him that bendeth [let him bend] the bow;2 'five' in and on the south side, four thousand and five [five] hundred;3 'if' in it is time that [If] I am thy near kinsman.4 The foregoing are written but not read.5
R. Aha b. Adda said: In the West [i.e., Palestine] the following verse is divided into three verses, viz., And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud etc.6
R. Hama b. R. Hanina said: Moses became wealthy but from the chippings of the tablets, for it is written, Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first:7 their chips be thine.
R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: The Torah was given only to Moses and his seed, for it is written, write thee these words8 [and] Hew thee:9 just as the chips are thine so is the writing thine.10 But Moses in his generosity gave it to Israel, and concerning him it is said, He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed, etc.11 R. Hisda objected: And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments?12 - He commanded me, and I [passed it on] to you.13 [A further objection:] Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me?14 - He commanded me, and I taught you. Now, therefore, write this song for you!15 - This refers to the song alone.16 That this song be a witness for the against the children of Israel?17 - But only the [Scripture] dialectics [were given to Moses alone].18
R. Johanan said: The Holy One, blessed be He, causes His Divine Presence to rest only upon him who is strong, wealthy, wise and meek;19 and all these [qualifications] are deduced from Moses. Strong, for it is written, And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle;20 and a Master said, Moses our teacher spread it; and it is also written, Ten cubits shall be the length of the board.21 Yet perhaps it was long and thin?22 - But [it is derived] from this verse: And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them.23 Now, it was taught: The tables were six [handbreadths] in length, six in breadth, and three in thickness.24 Wealthy, [as it is written] Hew thee, [interpreted] the chips be thine. Wise: for Rab and Samuel both said, Fifty gates of understanding were created in the world, and all but one were given to Moses, for it is said, For thou hast made him [sc. Moses] a little lower than God.25 Meek, for it is written, Now the man Moses was very meek.26
R. Johanan said: All the prophets were wealthy. Whence do we derive this? From Moses, Samuel, Amos and Jonah. Moses, because it is written, I have not taken one ass from them.27 Now, if he meant without a hiring fee - did he then merely claim not to be one of those who take without a fee?28 He must hence have meant, even with a fee.29 But perhaps it was because of his poverty?30 - But [it is derived] from the verse, Hew thee etc.: the chips be thine. Samuel, because it is written, Behold here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken, or whose ass have I taken?31 Now, if he meant for nothing - did he then merely claim not to be one of those who take without payment? Hence he must have meant, even for payment. But perhaps it was due to poverty? - Rather from this verse, And his return was to Ramah: for there was his house.32 Whereupon Raba observed, wherever he went, his house went with him.33
(Raba said: A greater thing is said of Samuel than of Moses: for in the case of Moses it is stated, 'I have not taken one ass from them' implying even for a fee;34 but in the case of Samuel, he did not hire it even with their consent, for it is written, And they said, thou hast not defrauded us, nor taken advantage of our willingness.)35 Amos, because it is written, Then answered Amos and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son, but I was a herdman and a gatherer of sycamore fruit;36 which R. Joseph translated: Behold, I am the owner of flocks, and possess sycamore trees in the valley.37 Jonah, as it is written [and he found a ship going to Tarshish:] so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it.38 And R. Johanan observed: He paid for the hire of the whole ship. R. Romanus said: The hire of the ship was four thousand gold denarii.
R. Johanan also said: At first Moses used to study the Torah and forget it, until it was given to him as a gift, for it is said, And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him [ . . . two tables of testimony].39
MISHNAH. AND HE MAY SUPPORT HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN, THOUGH HE [THE MUDDAR] IS LIABLE FOR THEIR MAINTENANCE.40 BUT HE MAY NOT FEED HIS BEASTS, WHETHER CLEAN OR UNCLEAN.41 R. ELIEZER SAID: HE MAY FEED AN UNCLEAN BEAST OF HIS, BUT NOT A CLEAN ONE. THEY [THE SAGES] SAID TO HIM, WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN UNCLEAN AND A CLEAN BEAST? HE REPLIED TO THEM, THE LIFE OF A CLEAN BEAST BELONGS TO HEAVEN, BUT THE BODY IS HIS OWN;42 BUT AN UNCLEAN ANIMAL
(1) Deut. VI, 1. Wilna Gaon deletes this example, as in fact 'these' is read. He substitutes 'eth in As the Lord liveth ('eth - sign of the accusative) that made us this soul (Jer. XXXVIII, 16). In Heb. Zoth (this) and 'eth are similar, differing only in one letter, and this may have caused the error in the text.
(2) Jer. LI, 3.
(3) Ezek. XLVIII, 26.
(4) Ruth III, 12.
(5) Wilna Gaon adds the following examples: Ibid. XV, 21 Jer. XXXIX. These are given in Soferim VI.
(6) Ex. XIX, 9. [This is not to imply that in Palestine where the whole of the Pentateuch was read in three years, most verses were divided in two or three (v. Rappaport, Halichoth Kedem pp. 10 and 17). It only means that this was one of the few passages in which there existed a difference of division between the Palestinians and Babylonians; v. Blau, JQR, 1896, p. 143.]
(7) Ex. XXXIV, 1.
(8) Ibid. 27.
(9) Ibid. 1.
(10) The Torah is thy property.
(11) Prov. XXII, 9.
(12) Deut. IV, 24. This proves that it was not given to Moses for himself.
(13) This is the answer, which interprets the verse thus: And the Lord commanded me at that time, (and I determined) to teach you etc.
(14) Ibid. 5.
(15) Ibid. XXXI, 19. 'For you' shews that it was given to the Israelites in the first place.
(16) But the rest of the Torah was originally given to Moses alone.
(17) Deut. XXXI, 19. If the reference is to the song alone, how can that testify against Israel?
(18) And he taught them to the people.
(19) Cf. Maim. Guide, II, ch. 32. It seems strange that wealth should he regarded as a necessary qualification for prophecy. Poverty was not regarded as a fault, many of the Rabbis being poor (e.g., Hillel, before he became nasi; R. Joshua, the opponent of R. Gamaliel; R. Judah), yet were not thought of any the less. CF. also Aboth, VI, 4. Is it possible that 'wealthy' was included in order to oppose the N.T. teachings which imply that poverty in itself is a virtue? [According to Asheri these qualifications are deemed necessary for the gift of permanent prophecy. This would explain the inclusion of wealth, which dowers its possessor with the sense of independence. the better to proclaim the word of God and which commands greater respect.]
(20) Ex. XL, 19.
(21) Ex. XXVI, 16. This then was the height of the tabernacle: to have spread the tent over it he must have been extremely tall, and presumably correspondingly strong.
(22) In which case he would not necessarily be strong.
(23) Deut. IX, 17.
(24) These would be extremely heavy and require great strength to handle.
(25) Ps. VIII, 6.
(26) Num. XII, 3.
(27) Num. XVI, 15.
(28) Surely he did not pride himself on not being a thief!
(29) I.e., he had no need to hire an animal, possessing so many himself. Therefore he must have been wealthy.
(30) I.e., having so few possessions that he did not need one.
(31) I Sam. XII, 3.
(32) Ibid. VII, 17.
(33) I.e., he travelled about with all the retinue and baggage of his house: this could be done only by a wealthy man.
(34) This implies that he did not compel them to hire him an ass. Yet even when he merely requested it, they might have dissimulated their unwillingness through shame and hired it to him.
(35) Ibid. XII, 4.
(36) Amos VII, 14.
(37) Hence I have no need to turn my prophecy to professional uses. Boker, rendered in the A.V. 'herdman', is here translated 'owner of flocks'. [This is the rendering of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan; v. B.K. (Sonc. ed.) p. 9, n. 9.]
(38) Jon. I, 3.
(39) Ex. XXXI, 18. This shews that the two tables (i.e., the Torah) were made a gift to him.
(40) This continues the preceding Mishnahs. Tosaf.: this applies according to the Rabbis supra 33b, to maintenance above the minimum necessities, which is all a husband is liable For.
(41) Because a fattened animal has more value than otherwise; hence it is a direct benefit to the muddar.
(42) I.e., since it may be eaten, he directly benefits by its fattening
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 38b
BELONGS BODY AND LIFE TO HEAVEN.1 SAID THEY TO HIM, THE LIFE OF AN UNCLEAN BEAST TOO BELONGS TO HEAVEN AND THE BODY IS HIS. FOR IF HE WISHES, HE CAN SELL IT TO A HEATHEN OR FEED DOGS WITH IT.
GEMARA. R. Isaac b. Hananiah said in R. Huna's name: He who is under a vow not to benefit from his neighbour may give him his daughter in marriage. R. Zera pondered thereon: What are the circumstances? If the property of the bride's father is forbidden to the bridegroom, - is he not giving him a servant to serve him?2 If again the bridegroom's property is forbidden to the father of the bride3 - but even a greater thing was said: HE MAY SUPPORT HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN. THOUGH HE [THE MUDDAR] IS LIABLE FOR THEIR MAINTENANCE;4 then you say, He may give him his daughter in marriage! - After all, this refers to the case where the property of the father of the bride is forbidden to the bridegroom, but this treats of his daughter, a bogereth,5 [who marries] at her own desire. It was taught likewise: He who is under a vow not to benefit from his neighbour may not give him his daughter in marriage; but he may permit his daughter, a bogereth, to marry him at her own desire.
R. Jacob said: If a man imposes a vow on his son [to do no service for him], in order that his son may study,6 the latter may fill a barrel of water and light the lamp for him.7 R. Isaac said: He is permitted to broil him a small fish.
R. Jeremiah said in R. Johanan's name: If a man is under a vow not to benefit from his neighbour, the latter may offer him the cup of peace. What is that? - Here [in Babylon] it has been interpreted, the cup drunk in the house of mourning.8 In the West [Palestine] it was said: the cup of the baths.9
BUT HE MAY NOT FEED HIS BEASTS, WHETHER etc. It was taught: Joshua of 'Uzza said: He may feed his Canaanitish [i.e., heathen] bondmen and bondwomen, but not his beasts, whether clean or unclean. Why so? Because slaves are for service;10 beasts are for fattening.
MISHNAH. IF ONE IS FORBIDDEN TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND HE PAYS HIM A VISIT [IN SICKNESS] HE MUST STAND, BUT NOT SIT; HE MAY AFFORD HIM A CURE OF LIFE, BUT NOT A CURE OF MONEY.11
(1) Since it may not be eaten, he does not benefit through its fattening.
(2) Why is it then permitted? This is on the assumption that the reference is to a na'arah, (v. Glos.), whose labour belongs to her father, and who in turn transfers it to her husband.
(3) And R. Huna teaches that he may marry his daughter, though by maintaining her he indirectly benefits her father.
(4) So that he could support his daughter even when under her father's roof, and he is not considered as thereby benefiting her father. Surely then it is only too obvious that he may marry her.
(5) Over twelve years and six months and one day of age. She is no longer under her father's authority, and the profits of her labour belong to herself.
(6) Without interruption.
(7) For presumably his vow was not directed against such trifling services, which require very little time.
(8) It was customary to drink a special mourner's cup at the meals in a mourner's house. Keth. 8b.
(9) It was the custom to drink a cup of some beverage after a hot bath.
(10) Consequently their master does not gain anything when one feeds them. This refer, to extra food over the slave's requirements. - Ran.
(11) The meaning of this is discussed on 42b.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 39a
GEMARA. What are the circumstances? If the visitor's property is forbidden to the invalid, he may even sit? Whilst if the invalid's property is forbidden to the visitor, he may not even stand?1 - Said Samuel: In truth, it means that the visitor's property is forbidden to the invalid, and applies to a place where a fee is received for sitting [with an invalid], but not for standing.2 How state this definitely?3 - He [the Tanna] teaches us thus: that even where it is customary to take a fee for visiting, one may receive it only for sitting, but not for standing.4 An alternative answer is this: Just as R. Simeon maintained [elsewhere] that it is feared that he may tarry a long time whilst standing,5 so here too it is feared that he may stay a long time if he sits.6 'Ulla said: After all it means that the invalid's property is forbidden to the visitor, for7 he did not vow where it affects his health.8 If so, he may sit too? - Because he can stand.9
An objection is raised: If he fell sick, he may enter to visit him; if his son became ill, he may inquire [after his health] in the street.10 Now this is well according to 'Ulla, who maintains that it means that the invalid's property is forbidden to the visitor, for he did not vow where it affects his own health.11 But on Samuel's explanation, that the visitor's property is forbidden to the invalid, what is the difference between himself and his son? - He can answer you: Our Mishnah means that the invalid may not benefit from the visitor; in the Baraitha, the case Is reversed. How state this definitely?12 - Said Raba:
(1) For by standing in his house he is regarded as benefiting.
(2) It was customary to have companions or visitors for invalids, to cheer them up. Therefore if the visitor gives the invalid his company without accepting a fee, he is benefiting him.
(3) That money is paid for sitting and not for standing.
(4) One who sits presumably stays a long time; but one who stands pays only a fleeting visit, and hence may not receive a fee.
(5) V. 42b.
(6) I.e., the Mishnah refers to an invalid who is forbidden to benefit from the visitor. The visitor may not sit, lest he stay a long time, which is certainly a benefit to the invalid.
(7) Generally the Heb. kegon states a particular instance. Here, however, it introduces a general statement. - Rashi, Ran, and Asheri.
(8) The invalid never intended that his neighbour should be so stringently forbidden to benefit from him as not even to stand in his house to cheer him up in his illness.
(9) For the invalid would not have the visitor benefit from him more than is strictly necessary.
(10) But not enter his house.
(11) Therefore, if his son fell sick, the visitor may not enter his house, because it is to be assumed that the question of his son's health did not come into consideration at the time of the vow.
(12) On what grounds is this difference based?
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 39b
Our Mishnah presents a difficulty to Samuel: Why particularly teach that he may stand but not sit? Hence it must refer to a case where the invalid is forbidden to benefit from his visitor.1
Resh Lakish said: Where is visiting the sick indicated in the Torah? In the verse, If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men etc.2 How is it implied? - Raba answered: [The verse means this:] If these men die the common death of all men, who lie sick a-bed and men come in and visit them, what will people say? The Lord hath not sent me3 for this [task]. Raba expounded: But if the Lord make a new thing:4 if the Gehenna5 is already created, 'tis well: if not, let the Lord create it. But that is not so, for it was taught: Seven things were created before the world, viz., The Torah, repentance, the Garden of Eden, Gehenna, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, and the name of the Messiah. The Torah, for it is written, The Lord possessed me [sc. the Torah] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.6 Repentance, for it is written, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world . . . Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Repent, ye sons of men.7 The Garden of Eden, as it is written, And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden from aforetime.8 Gehenna, as it is written, For Tophet9 is ordained of old.10 The Throne of Glory, as it is written, Thy Throne is established from of old.11 The Temple, as it is written, A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.12 The name of the Messiah, as it is written, His name [sc. of Messiah] shall endure for ever, and [has existed] before the sun!13 - But Moses said thus: If a mouth has already been created for it [sc. Gehenna], 'tis well; if not, let the Lord create one. But is it not written, There is no new thing under the sun?14 - He said thus: If the mouth is not near to this spot, let it draw near.
Raba, or as others say, R. Isaac, lectured: What is meant by, The sun and the moon stood still in their zebul?15 What were they doing in the zebul, seeing that they were set in the raki'a?16 This teaches that the sun and the moon ascended from the raki'a to the :zebul and exclaimed before Him, 'Sovereign of the Universe! If thou wilt execute judgment for Amram's son,17 we will give forth our light; if not, we will not shine.' In that moment He shot spears and arrows at them. 'Every day,' He rebuked them, 'men worship you, and yet you give your light. For My honour you do not protest, yet you protest for the honour of flesh and blood.' [Since then,] spears and arrows are shot at them every day before they consent to shine,18 as it is written, And at the light of thy arrows they go, etc.19
It was taught: There is no measure for visiting the sick. What is meant by, 'there is no measure for visiting the sick?' R. Joseph thought to explain it: its reward is unlimited. Said Abaye to him: Is there a definite measure of reward for any precept? But we learnt: Be as heedful of a light precept as of a serious one, for thou knowest not the grant of reward for precepts? But Abaye explained it: Even a great person must visit a humble one. Raba said: [One must visit] even a hundred times a day. R. Abba son of R. Hanina said: He who visits an invalid takes away a sixtieth of his pain.20 Said they to him: If so, let sixty people visit him and restore him to health? - He replied: The sixtieth is as the tenth spoken of in the school of Rabbi, and [providing further that] he [the visitor] is of his affinity.21 For it was taught: Rabbi said: A daughter who enjoys maintenance from her brothers' estate receives a tenth of the estate.22 Said they to Rabbi: If so, if a man leaves ten daughters and one son, the latter receives nothing! He replied: The first [to marry] receives a tenth of the estate; the second, a tenth of the residue; the third, a tenth of what remains. [Now, if they all married at the same time], they redivide equally.23
R. Helbo fell ill. Thereupon R. Kahana went and proclaimed:
(1) It is certainly true that one who forbids his neighbour to benefit from him does not do so at the cost of his own health. But then he would draw no distinction between standing and sitting, and would desire the visitor to have the benefit of sitting in his house too. Hence on 'Ulla's interpretation the distinction in the Mishnah is wrong; therefore Samuel reverses it.
(2) Num. XVI, 29.
(4) Ibid. 30.
(5) V. p. 19, n. 6.
(6) Prov. VIII, 22.
(7) Ps. XC, 2f. 'Before', etc. applies to 'Repent'.
(8) Gen. II, 8.
(9) Another name for Gehenna.
(10) Isa. XXX, 33.
(11) Ps. XCIII, 2.
(12) Jer. XVII, 12.
(13) Ps. LXXII, 17. Now, according to this, Gehenna was definitely created before the world; how then could Moses be doubtful? - The general idea of this Baraitha is that these things are the indispensable prerequisites For the orderly progress of mankind upon earth. The Torah, the supreme source of instruction, the concept of repentance, in recognition that 'to err is human', and hence, if man falls, he needs the opportunity to rise again; the garden of Eden and the Gehenna symbolising reward and punishment, which, without conceding a purely utilitarian basis for ethical striving, are nevertheless powerful incentives thereto; the Throne of Glory and the Temple, indicating that the goal of creation is that the kingdom of God
(represented by the Temple) should be established on earth as it is in Heaven; and finally, the name of Messiah, the assurance that God's purpose shall be eventually achieved.
(14) Ecc. I, 9.
(15) Hab. Ill, 11.
(16) According to tradition, there are seven heavens, zebul being one.
(17) By punishing Korah and his confederates.
(18) Accepting the Almighty's rebuke, they refuse to shine, because of the insult to His glory, until they are forced to.
(20) A variant: his sickness.
(21) As the invalid. Born under the same planetary influence, Asheri; Rashi (and last.) 'of the same age'.
(22) She can, on marriage, demand a tenth of the estate for a dowry and trousseau. V. Keth. 68a.
(23) I.e., after taking one tenth of the estate, and another a tenth of what is left, and a third likewise, etc., they pool the lot together, and divide it equally. - Thus here too, the first visitor with the same affinity takes away a sixtieth of the sickness; the second a sixtieth of the remainder, and so on. Hence he would not be completely cured.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 40a
R. Helbo is sick. But none visited him. He rebuked them [sc. the scholars], saying, 'Did it not once happen that one of R. Akiba's disciples fell sick, and the Sages did not visit him? So R. Akiba himself entered [his house] to visit him, and because they swept and sprinkled the ground before him,1 he recovered. 'My master,' said he, 'you have revived me!' [Straightway] R. Akiba went forth and lectured: He who does not visit the sick is like a shedder of blood.
When R. Dimi came,2 he said: He who visits the sick causes him to live, whilst he who does not causes him to die. How does he cause [this]? Shall we say that he who visits the sick prays3 that he may live, whilst he who does not prays that he should die, - 'that he should die!' can you really think so? But [say thus:] He who does not visit the sick prays neither that he may live nor die.4
Whenever Raba fell sick, on the first day he would ask that his sickness should not be made known to any one lest his fortune be impaired.5 But after that, he said to them [his servants], 'Go, proclaim my illness in the market place, so that whoever is my enemy may rejoice, and it is written, Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth . . . Lest the Lord see it, and it displeases him, and he turn away his wrath from him.6 whilst he who loves me will pray for me.
Rab said: He who visits the sick will be delivered from the punishments of Gehenna, for it is written, Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the day of evil.7 'The poor' [dal] means none but the sick, as it is written, He will cut me off from pining sickness [mi-dalah];8 or from this verse: Why art thou so poorly [dal], thou son of the King?9 Whilst 'evil' refers to Gehenna, for it is written, The Lord hath made all things for himself' Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.10 Now, if one does visit, what is his reward? [You ask,] 'what is his reward?' Even as hath been said; 'he will be delivered from the punishment of Gehenna!' - But what is his reward in this world? - The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.11 'The Lord will preserve him'. - from the Evil Urge, 'and keep him alive' - [saving him] from sufferings; 'and he shall be blessed upon the' earth,' - that all will take pride in him;12 'and the wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies', - that he may procure friends like Naaman's, who healed his leprosy; and not chance upon friends like Rehoboam's, who divided his kingdom.
It was taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: If the young tell you to build, and the old to destroy, hearken to the elders, but hearken not to the young, for the building of youth is destruction, whilst the destruction of the old is building. And a sign for the matter is Rehoboam the son of Solomon.13
R. Shisha son of R. Idi said: One should not visit the sick during the first three or the last three hours [of the day], lest he thereby omit to pray14 for him. During the first three hours of the day his [the invalid's] illness is alleviated; in the last three hours his sickness is most virulent.15
Rabin said in Rab's name: Whence do we know that the Almighty sustains the sick? From the verse, The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing.16 Rabin also said in Rab's name: Whence do we know that the Divine Presence rests above an invalid's bed? From the verse, The Lord doth set himself upon the bed of languishing.17 It was taught likewise: He who visits the sick must not sit upon the bed, or on a stool or a chair, but must [reverently] robe himself and sit upon the ground, because the Divine Presence rests above an invalid's bed, as it is written, The Lord doth set himself upon the bed of languishing.
Rabin also said in Rab's name: [The swelling of] the Euphrates testifies abundantly to rain in the West.18 Now, he disagrees with Samuel, who said: A river increases [in volume] from its bed.19 Now, Samuel is self-contradictory. For Samuel said: Running water does not purify,
(1) Asheri: R. Akiba, finding the chamber neglected, gave the necessary orders.
(2) From Palestine.
(3) Lit., 'begs mercy for him'.
(4) Through the lack of his prayers, which might have been accepted, he is said to cause his death.
(5) If his illness became known, people might talk about it and thus affect his fate
(6) Prov. XXIV, 17f.
(7) Ps. XLI, 2.
(8) Isa. XXXVIII, 12.
(9) II Sam. XIII, 4.
(10) Prov. XVI, 4.
(11) Ps. XLI, 3.
(12) Lit., 'all will be honoured in him' - he will be a source of pride to all.
(13) His elder councillors advised him to submit to the malcontents, thus apparently weakening his authority; whilst his young friends advised him to strengthen his rule by rejecting their demands. As a result of listening to the young men his kingdom was split. Kings XII.
(14) Lit., 'dismiss' his mind from mercies.
(15) Consequently, a visitor in the first three hours may think him on the road to recovery, and consider prayer unnecessary; in the last three hours, on the other hand, he may feel that prayer is hopeless.
(16) Ps. XLI, 4.
(17) This is another rendering of the same verse. Rashi suggests another interpretation; for yisa'denu, meaning 'he will strengthen him', read yesharenu, 'he will abide with him'.
(18) Palestine. When it rains in Palestine, which is higher than Babylon, the water flows down and causes the swelling of the Euphrates. This is another way of saying that the rise of a river is due to the rains. The practical bearing of this on ritual law is discussed below.
(19) Lit., 'From its rock': though it appears to swell through the rains, actually more water gushes upwards from the river bed than is added by the rain,
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 40b
except the Euphrates in Tishri.1 Samuel's father made mikwaoth for his daughters in Nisan2 and had mats set for them in the days of Tishri.3
R. Ammi said in Rab's name: What is meant by the verse, Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing?4 This is a lamp, plate and
(1) Tishri is the seventh month of the Jewish year, generally coinciding with September-October. If a mikweh (ritual bath) is made of collected rain water, it is efficacious only if its water is still, not running or flowing. On the other hand, a well or spring with its water gushing forth from its source is efficacious even when it flows onward. Now, during the whole year, the river may contain more rain water or melted snow than its own natural waters; consequently, it is all considered as rain water, which does not cleanse when in a running state. But in Tishri the rains have ceased, nor is there any melted snow in the river. Then it is like a well or spring, and even though running its water is efficacious for ritual cleansing. Now, according to this, the river's rise is caused mainly by rain. This conflicts with the view that at all times the water from its source is more.
(2) Nisan, the first Jewish month, corresponding to March-April. As the river is then swollen by rain, he did not permit them to take their ritual bath in the running river, but made special enclosed baths for them.
(3) In Tishri they performed their ablutions in the river. Now the bed of the river is miry, and should the feet sink into it, the water cannot reach them and the immersion is invalid; he therefore placed mats in the river bed for them to stand on. Ran gives another explanation: He hung up mats on the shore to serve as a screen, For modesty. [Obermeyer op. cit. p. 278: he set up for them tents made of reeds]. On both explanations this story is mentioned here in support of Samuel's second dictum.
(4) Ezek. XII, 3.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 41a
a rug.1 [And thou shalt serve thine enemies . . . ] in want of all things.2 R. Ammi said in Rab's name: This means without a lamp or table. R. Hisda said: Without a wife; R. Shesheth said: Without an attendant; R. Nahman said: Without knowledge. A Tanna taught: Without salt or fat. Abaye said: We have it on tradition that no one is poor save he who lacks knowledge. In the West [palestine] there is a proverb: He who has this, has everything; he who lacks this, what has he? Has one acquired this, what does he lack? Has he not acquired this, what does he possess?
R. Alexandri said in the name of R. Hiyya b. Abba: A sick man does not recover from his sickness until all his sins are forgiven him, as it is written, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.3 R. Hamnuna said: He [then] returns to the days of his youth, for it is written, His flesh shall be fresher than a child's: he shall return to the days of his youth.4
Thou host turned his bed in his sickness.'5 R. Joseph said: This means that he forgets his learning. R. Joseph fell ill and forgot his learning; but Abaye restored it to him. Hence it is frequently stated that R. Joseph said, 'I have not heard this law,' and Abaye reminded him, 'You yourself did teach it to us and did deduce it from this particular Baraitha.'
When Rabbi had studied his teaching in thirteen different interpretations, he taught R. Hiyya only seven of them. Eventually Rabbi fell sick [and forgot his learning]. Thereupon R. Hiyya restored to him the seven versions which he had taught him, but the other six were lost. Now, there was a certain fuller who had overheard Rabbi when he was studying them himself; so R. Hiyya went and learned them from the fuller, and then repeated these before Rabbi. When Rabbi met him, he said to him, 'Thou hast taught6 both R. Hiyya and myself'. Others say that he spoke thus to him: 'Thou hast taught R. Hiyya, and he has taught me.
R. Alexandri also said in the name of R. Hiyya b. Abba: Greater is the miracle wrought for the sick than for Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. [For] that of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah [concerned] a fire kindled by man, which all can extinguish; whilst that of a sick person is [in connection with] a heavenly fire,7 and who can extinguish that?
R. Alexandri also said in the name of R. Hiyya b. Abba, - others state, R. Joshua b. Levi said: When a man's end has come, all have dominion over him, for it is written, And it will be that whosoever findeth me will slay me.8 Rab deduced it from this verse: They stand forth this day to receive thy judgments: for all are thy servants.9
Rabbah b. Shila was told that a tall man had died. [Now it happened thus:] This man was riding on a little mule and when he came to a bridge, the mule shied and threw the man, and he was killed. Thereupon Rabbah applied to him the verse, They stand forth this day to receive thy judgments etc.
Samuel saw a scorpion borne by a frog across a river, and then stung a man, so that he died. Thereupon Samuel quoted, They stand forth this day to receive thy judgments etc.10
Samuel said: Only a sick person who is feverish11 may be visited. What does this exclude? It excludes those concerning whom it has been taught by R. Jose b. Parta in R. Eliezer's name, viz., One must not visit those suffering with bowel [trouble], or with eye disease, or from headaches. Now the first is well, the reason being through embarrassment;12 but what is the reason of the other two? - On account of Rab Judah's dictum, viz., Speech is injurious to the eyes and to [people suffering from] headaches.13
Raba said: Feverishness, were it not a forerunner of the angel of death,14 it would be as salutary
(1) These are the minimum requisites of a wanderer.
(2) Deut. XXVIII, 48.
(3) Ps. CIII, 3.
(4) Job XXXIII, 25.
(5) Ps. XLI, 4.
(6) Lit., 'made'.
(7) I.e., his temperature rises.
(8) Gen. IV, 14; thus Cain, thinking that his end had arrived, recognised that everything would have power to slay him.
(9) Ps. CXIX, 91. I.e., all become servants to carry out God's judgment of doom.
(10) Though a scorpion cannot swim, he was carried across by the frog, in order to fulfil God's judgment.
(11) Lit., 'when he is wrapped in heat'.
(12) He has his bowels frequently moved.
(13) This is the reading of Asheri; cur. edd. add, 'and is good for fever' and Wilna Gaon amends likewise.
(14) Both in the Bible and in the Talmud death is regarded as coming to man through an angel. Thus we find mention of the 'angel of the Lord' destroying 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp (II Kings XIX, 35); the destroying angel (II Sam. XXIV, 15); 'the angel of the Lord' whom David saw standing 'between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem' (I Chron. XXI, 15). In the Talmud this angel is frequently referred to, and he was conceived as causing death by dropping gall into the mouth of the victim; 'A.Z. 20b; v. J.E. IV, 480ff.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 41b
once in thirty days as thorns which surround [and protect] a palm tree, and as theriak1 to the body2 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: [I want] neither it nor its theriak.
Rabbah b. Jonathan said in R. Jehiel's name: 'Arsan is beneficial for healing the sick. What is 'arsan? - Said R. Jonathan: Old peeled barley which sticks to the sieve.3 Abaye observed: They require boiling as the flesh of an ox. R. Joseph said: It is fine barley flour which sticks to the sieve; [whereupon] Abaye remarked: It needs as much boiling as the flesh of an ox.
R. Johanan said: We must not visit one afflicted with burdam,4 nor mention its [real] name. What is the reason? - R. Eleazar said: Because it is like a gushing well.5 R. Eleazar also said: Why is it called burdam? Because it is a gushing well.6
THE LATTER MAY AFFORD HIM A CURE OF LIFE BUT NOT A CURE OF MONEY. What does this mean? Shall we say that 'A CURE OF LIFE means without payment, and 'A CURE OF MONEY' is for a fee?7 Then let him [the Tanna] state: He may heal him without payment, but not for a fee? - But by 'A CURE OF LIFE' his own person is meant: whilst 'A CURE OF MONEY' refers to his cattle.8 R. Zutra b. Tobiah said in Rab's name: Nevertheless he may tell him: this drug is beneficial for it, that drug is injurious for it.
MISHNAH. HE MAY BATHE TOGETHER WITH HIM IN A LARGE BATH, BUT NOT IN A SMALL ONE,9 HE MAY SLEEP IN A BED WITH HIM. R. JUDAH SAID: [ONLY] IN SUMMER, BUT NOT IN WINTER, BECAUSE HE [THEREBY] BENEFITS HIM.10 HE MAY RECLINE ON A COUCH11 OR EAT AT THE SAME TABLE WITH HIM12 BUT NOT OUT OF THE SAME DISH;13 BUT HE MAY DINE WITH HIM OUT OF A BOWL WHICH RETURNS.14
GEMARA. It was taught: He may not bathe together with him in a bath, or sleep in a bed with him, whether large or small: this is R. Meir's ruling. R. Judah said: A large one in winter, and a small one in summer are permitted.15 He may bathe with him in a large bath, and may take a hot air bath with him [even] in a small one.16 He may recline on a couch with him, and eat at the same table, but not out of the same dish. Yet he may eat out of the same bowl that returns. R. Jose b. Hanina said: that means the bowl that returns to the host.17
MISHNAH. HE MAY NOT EAT WITH HIM OUT OF THE BOWL PUT BEFORE WORKMEN,18 NOR MAY HE WORK WITH HIM ON THE SAME FURROW: THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY: HE MAY WORK, PROVIDED HE IS AT A DISTANCE.
GEMARA. There is no dispute at all that they may not work near [each other]. They differ only in reference to [working at] a distance. R. Meir maintains: We forbid at a distance as a preventive measure on account of nearby, for he [the maddir] softens the ground before him; while the Rabbis hold: We do not enact a preventive measure.
(1) A certain compound believed to be an antidote against poisonous bites.
(2) I.e., the fever has a purging and purifying effect on the body.
(3) On account of its fatness. Lit., 'of the top of the sieve'.
(4) Dysentery, bloody flux; Rashi quotes a version burdas.
(5) Not to shame the one afflicted with it.
(6) The word is a compound; bor dam, a well of blood.
(7) LIFE, Heb. nefesh. will then be the equivalent of desire (nefesh in Heb. sometimes bears that meaning, c.g., Gen. XXIII, 8: If it be your desire, Heb. nafshekem), i.e., of his own free will. The Mishnah then will refer to the doctor being a muddar (v. Glos.), who may not accept a fee from the invalid.
(8) Hence, nefesh in the Mishnah is translated 'his soul', i.e., himself, whilst mamon (money) refers to his chattels. According to this interpretation the invalid is the muddar; nevertheless, the saving of life overrules other considerations. This is so, even if another doctor is available, for the skill of the first may be greater. In fact, the prohibition to heal his cattle holds good only if another doctor can he obtained, - Ran.
(9) In a small one his own body perceptibly raises the level of the water, and also adds to its heat; he thereby benefits him.
(10) By adding warmth.
(11) Even in winter, as no benefit is gained.
(12) This is not forbidden lest he eat of the other's portion.
(13) A large bowl was sometimes placed on the table, from which all ate. The maddir and the muddar may not eat out of the same bowl, lest the former take too little from it and thereby benefit the latter.
(14) This is explained in the Gemara.
(15) In the first case the warmth is not appreciably increased, whilst in the second the increase is of no advantage.
(16) The addition of heat there being of no benefit.
(17) I.e., there is so much in it that it goes back to the host unemptied. Another meaning: that continually goes back to the host to be replenished. In that case the maddir does not benefit the muddar by taking a small portion.
(18) The employer used to provide a large bowl of food for his workmen, out of which they all ate.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 42a
MISHNAH. HE WHO IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, [IF THE VOW WAS IMPOSED] BEFORE THE SEVENTH YEAR,1 MAY NOT ENTER HIS FIELD [IN THE SEVENTH YEAR]2 NOR TAKE OF THE OVERHANGING [FRUIT].3 BUT IF [THE VOW WAS IMPOSED] IN THE SEVENTH YEAR, HE MAY NOT ENTER HIS FIELD, BUT MAY EAT OF THE OVERHANGING BRANCHES.4 IF HE WAS [MERELY] FORBIDDEN IN RESPECT OF FOOD [BUT NOT ALL BENEFIT], [AND THE VOW WAS IMPOSED] BEFORE THE SEVENTH YEAR, HE MAY ENTER HIS FIELD, BUT MAY NOT EAT OF ITS FRUITS; BUT [IF IT WAS IMPOSED] IN THE SEVENTH YEAR, HE MAY ENTER [HIS FIELD] AND EAT [OF ITS FRUITS].
GEMARA. Rab and Samuel both ruled: [If one says to his neighbour], 'This my property [be forbidden] to you', [if he vowed] before the seventh year, he may not enter his field or take of the overhanging [fruits] even when the seventh year arrives. But if he vowed in the seventh year, he may not enter his field, yet may enjoy the overhanging [fruits]. R. Johanan and Resh Lakish both maintained [If one says to his neighbour,] 'This my property [be forbidden] to you'; [if he vowed] before the seventh year he may neither enter his field nor eat of the overhanging [fruits]; when the seventh year arrives, he may not enter his field, yet may eat of the overhanging [fruits].
Shall we say that they differ in this: Rab and Samuel hold that a man can prohibit [unto others] that which is in his ownership, [for the prohibition to be effective] even after it passes out of his ownership;5 whilst R. Johanan and Resh Lakish maintain: One cannot prohibit [unto others] that which is in his ownership [for the prohibition to continue even] after it leaves his ownership? Now can you reason so? Does anyone rule that a person cannot declare prohibited that which is his, even after it passes out of his ownership? If so, let them differ with reference to 'this property [be forbidden etc.],' and how much more so would it apply to 'this my property!'6 Moreover, we have learnt that a person can declare prohibited that which is in his ownership for even after it leaves his ownership. For we learnt: If one says to his son, 'Konam, if you benefit from me,' - if he dies, he inherits him.7 [But if he explicitly stipulates] during his lifetime and after his death,
(1) Lev. XXV, 1-7. The seventh year was called the year of release. The land was not to be ploughed or sowed, and its crops, with certain reservations, were free to all.
(2) To gather of its crops, since he is forbidden 'the treading of the foot'. Cf. Mishnah on 32b.
(3) I.e., if the maddir has a tree close to his boundary, and the fruit overhangs the muddar's field, so that it is possible for the muddar to take of the fruit without entering the maddir's land, he is still forbidden to do so.
(4) [Omitted in the printed Mishnayoth version].
(5) Consequently, though in the seventh year the crops do not belong exclusively to their owner, being free to all, yet the vow made before retains its validity, forbidding the muddar to take even of the overhanging fruits.
(6) I.e., even if one says, 'This property be forbidden to you', R. Johanan and Resh Lakish maintain that the vow is ineffective for the seventh year, when the crops are no longer his. The same will hold good with even greater force, if he vows 'this my property' etc., for in that case he appears to limit the incidence of the vow to the period in which it is his.
(7) For it is his by right.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 42b
if he dies he does not succeed him! - Here it is different, because he [explicitly] stated during his lifetime and after his death.1 Yet at all events there is a difficulty?2 - But [explain the dispute thus:] There is no dispute at all in respect of 'this property etc.'3 They differ [only] in respect of 'My property etc.' Rab and Samuel maintain: There is no difference between 'This property' or 'my property': one can prohibit [for all time]. But R. Johanan and Resh Lakish maintain: [By saying,] 'This property,' he can prohibit; my property,' he cannot prohibit. But does anyone maintain that there is no difference between 'this property' and 'my property'? But we learnt: If one says to his neighbour, 'Konam, if I enter your house,' or 'if I purchase your field,' and then the owner dies or sells it, he is permitted [to enter or buy it]. [But if he says, 'Konam], if I enter this house', or 'if I purchase this field,' and the owner dies or sells it, he is forbidden! - But [explain thus:] R. Johanan and Resh Lakish refer to 'my property'; Rab and Samuel to 'this property': and they do not differ.
BUT [IF THE VOW WAS IMPOSED] IN THE SEVENTH YEAR, HE MAY NOT ENTER HIS FIELD etc. Why may he eat of the overhanging [fruits] - because they are [now] ownerless? But the land too is ownerless.4 - Said 'Ulla: This refers to trees standing on the border.5 R. Simeon b. Eliakim said: It is forbidden lest he stand and linger there.6
MISHNAH. HE WHO IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR MAY NEITHER LEND TO HIM NOR BORROW FROM HIM NOR ADVANCE HIM OR RECEIVE FROM HIM A LOAN.7 HE MAY NEITHER SELL TO NOR PURCHASE FROM HIM.
(1) But otherwise it may well be that the validity of a vow ceases when its subject is no longer under the control of the maddir.
(2) Sc. the first.
(3) The vow remains valid even in the seventh year.
(4) In the sense that every person has the right to enter and take of its crops.
(5) Therefore, since it is unnecessary to enter the field, it is not ownerless.
(6) The land is ownerless only in respect of entering and taking its crops: this done, it reverts to its real owner. But we fear that the muddar, having eaten his fill, may tarry there, which is forbidden to him.
(7) Yalwenu (lawah) and yash'ilenu (sha'al) refer to money and utensils respectively.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 43a
GEMARA. As for 'HE MUST NOT LEND TO HIM,' that is well, since he [thereby] benefits him. But 'HE MUST NOT BORROW FROM HIM' - how does he benefit him? Further, [even] 'HE MUST NOT RECEIVE A LOAN FROM HIM' and 'HE MUST NOT PURCHASE FROM HIM' are well, since he [the muddar] may benefit.1 But 'HE MUST NOT BORROW FROM HIM': how does he [the muddar] benefit? - Said R. Jose son of R. Hanina: It means e.g., that they made a vow not to benefit from one another. Abaye answered: He is forbidden to borrow, lest he also lend, and the same applies to the other clauses.2
MISHNAH. IF ONE SAYS TO ANOTHER, 'LEND ME YOUR COW, TO WHICH THE OTHER REPLIES, 'IT IS NOT FREE'; WHEREUPON HE EXCLAIMS, KONAM, IF I EVER PLOUGH MY FIELD WITH IT', IF HE GENERALly PLOUGHED HIMSELF, HE IS FORBIDDEN,3 BUT OTHERS ARE PERMITTED. BUT IF HE DID NOT GENERALLY PLOUGH HIMSELF, HE AND ALL MEN ARE FORBIDDEN.4 IF ONE IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT AUGHT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND HE HAS NAUGHT TO EAT, HE [THE MADDIR] CAN GO TO THE SHOPKEEPER AND SAY, SO-AND-SO IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT AUGHT FROM ME, AND I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO'. THE SHOPKEEPER MAY THEN SUPPLY HIM, AND COME AND RECEIVE PAYMENT FROM HIM [THE MADDIR]. IF HE HAD HIS [THE MUDDAR'S] HOUSE TO BUILD, OR HIS FENCE TO ERECT, OR HIS FIELD TO REAP, HE [THE MADDIR] MAY GO TO LABOURERS, AND SAY, 'SO-AND-SO IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT AUGHT FROM ME, AND I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO.' THERE UPON THEY WORK FOR HIM [THE MUDDAR]. AND COME AND RECEIVE WAGES FROM HIM [THE MADDIR]. IF THEY ARE WALKING TOGETHER ON THE ROAD, AND HE [THE MUDDAR] HAS NOTHING TO EAT, HE [THE MADDIR] CAN MAKE A GIFT TO A THIRD PERSON, AND HE [THE MUDDAR] IS PERMITTED [TO HAVE] IT. IF THERE IS NO OTHER WITH THEM, HE PLACES IT ON A STONE OR A WALL, SAYING, 'THIS IS FREE TO WHOMEVER DESIRES IT'; AND THE OTHER TAKES AND EATS IT. BUT R. JOSE FORBIDS THIS.
GEMARA. R. Johanan said, what is R. Jose's reason? He maintains that hefker5 is like a gift: just as a gift [is not valid] until it passes from the possession of the giver into that of the receiver, so hefker too [is not valid] until it passes into the ownership of him who acquires it.6 R. Abba objected: And the other [the muddar] takes and eats it; but R. Jose forbids this. Said R. Jose: When is that? If the vow preceded his renunciation;
(1) For the maddir may borrow worn coins, and return new ones. As the value of coins depended to some extent on their weight, the muddar would benefit. Likewise, the maddir may not purchase an article for which there is no demand, and for the same reason.
(2) By 'other clauses' the reference is only to borrowing money. - Asheri.
(3) To plough the field with that cow, if it is subsequently lent to him.
(4) For his vow must have referred to others.
(5) V. Glos.
(6) I.e., when a person declares a thing to be hefker, it does not immediately cease to be his, but remains his property until taken. Thus the muddar takes the maddir's food.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 43b
but if his renunciation preceded his vow, it is permitted. Now if you say [that it belongs to the first owner] until it comes Into the possession of him who acquires it, what does it matter whether his vow preceded his renunciation or the reverse? - He raised the objection and answered it himself: He who vows has no thought of what he has renounced.
Raba objected: [If the dying person assigned] part [of his property] to the first, and all of it to the second, [and then recovered,] the first acquires, but not the second!1 But Raba said, This is R. Jose's reason: It is a preventive measure, on account of the gift of Beth Horon.2
It was taught: If one declares his field hefker: he can retract within the first three days, but not after.3
(1) V. B.B. 148b. The law of a sick person likely to die is this: If he assigns all his property to anyone, and then recovers, his gift is invalid, it being assumed that it was made only on account of expected death. But if he leaves part for himself, it is valid; for, we argue, were it on account of approaching death, he would have left nothing for himself. Here, when he made the first assignation, part was still left for himself: hence it remains valid on his recovery. But after the assignation of the second nothing is left: consequently, on his recovery, it is null. Now, if it is maintained that a gift is not valid until the recipient actually takes possession, why is it more valid for the first than for the second: just as the portion assigned to the second is the residue left by the first, so that assigned to the first may be regarded as the residue left by the second? - So Rashi. On this interpretation, 'all of it' means 'the rest of it'. Asheri and Tosaf., however, point out that in such a case both gifts would be null on recovery, since he leaves after all nothing for himself. Accordingly, they explain thus: He assigned part of his property to A, then all to B, meaning also that already assigned to A. Consequently his gift to B was the result of a new intention, not borne in mind when making his first gift. Now, just as in making a gift, the donor intends it to apply even to that which he has already given away, as shewn, so when one vows, the vow is made even with respect to that which he has previously declared hefker. This refutes the distinction drawn by R. Abba. - Ran has a variant reading of this passage.
(2) V. 48a. There it is a case of a gift being an obvious evasion; so here too, his declaration of hefker does not appear genuine but as a mere evasion of his vow.
(3) This is in reference to the tithe. No tithe was due on produce taken from ownerless fields. Now, if he either revokes his declaration within the first three days, or takes possession without a formal retraction, his declaration is null: consequently, it has never been ownerless, and the crops must be tithed. But after three days, the declaration has legal force. Naturally, if no one else takes possession thereof, he can do so himself, but whether he or another, it is free from tithe.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 44a
If he declares, 'Let this field be hefker for one day, one week, one year, or one septennate';1 before possession has been taken thereof, whether by himself or by a stranger, he can retract. But if it has [already] been acquired by himself or by a stranger, he cannot retract. [Must we assume that] the first clause agrees with the Rabbis, and the second with R. Jose?2 - Said 'Ulla: The second clause too agrees with the Rabbis. If so, why 'before possession has been taken thereof, whether by himself or by a stranger, he can retract?' - [Hefker for] a year or a septennate is different, being unusual.3 Resh Lakish said, Since the second clause agrees with R. Jose,4 the first too must agree with him. But this is the reason of the first clause:5 that the law of hefker may not be forgotten.6 If so, let it be hefker even from the first day? - Said Rabbah, This is on account of evaders, who may declare their property hefker, and then reacquire it.7 [Will you maintain] that by Biblical law it is not hefker:8
(1) After the end of which it is to revert to himself, if no one has taken possession in the meanwhile.
(2) For since he cannot retract after three days even though no person has taken possession, it is evident that hefker is legally valid even before it reaches another. This agrees with the view of the Sages that the maddir can declare his property hefker and the muddar acquire it without its being regarded as passing direct from one to the other. But the second clause, stating that he can retract so long as no one has taken possession, shews that until then it is legally his. This agrees with R. Jose, that the maddir cannot declare his property hefker for the muddar to acquire it.
(3) 'Ulla interprets the whole Baraitha on the view of the Rabbis. Consequently, if one declares his property hefker, it immediately becomes so, and should the first owner take possession thereof, even immediately, the law of hefker applies thereto, rendering it free from tithe. That it is by Biblical law. Since, however, this is manifestly exposed to abuse, for by a legal fiction everyone could thus evade the tithe, the Rabbis enacted that the law of hefker should apply only after three days, during which a stranger can take possession. So Rashi and Asheri appear to interpret it, though according to the latter, if the first owner resumes possession within three days, explicitly declaring that he is acquiring hefker but not retracting, the crops are exempt From tithe. Ran and Tosaf. explain that within the first three days he can retract even if a stranger has already taken possession thereof. In N.M. 273, 9 the first interpretation is accepted. But in the second clause, the declaration itself is weak, being limited to a certain Period. Consequently the Rabbis admit that it is not valid until one has actually taken possession. - It may be asked, if it is hefker even if re-acquired by the first owner, of what use is the enactment? The answer is that to acquire hefker it is insufficient to make a mere declaration of acquisition, but some work must be done in the field. Before the owner has time to do this, he may be forestalled: that is regarded as a sufficient check to evasion (v. Rashi).
(4) Resh Lakish accepts the obvious implications.
(5) That 'after three days, the declaration is binding', even if no one has taken possession thereof.
(6) For if we rule that whenever the owner resumes possession, it is not regarded as hefker. it will be forgotten altogether that hefker is exempt from tithe. Therefore the Rabbis ruled that after three days the declaration is binding. Nevertheless, since on this view it is not, Biblically, hefker even after three days if no stranger has taken possession, the crops are not Free from tithe on the first owner re-acquiring them, for the Rabbis have no power to exempt crops which by Biblical law are liable, as is explained infra.
(7) V. p. 139, n. 5.
(8) V. n. 3.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 44b
but perhaps he will come to tithe from [produce] that is liable for [produce] that is exempt, or vice versa?1 - He is told, 'When you tithe, tithe for it out of itself.'2
An objection is raised: If a man declares his vineyard hefker and rises early on the following morning and vintages it,3 he is liable to peret,4 'oleloth,5 the forgotten sheaves,6 and pe'ah,7 but he is exempt from tithe. Now as for 'Ulla, it is well: it states the rabbinic law, and states the Biblical law.8 But on the view of Resh Lakish, why is he free from tithe?9 - He answers you thus: My statement is based on R. Jose; whilst this accords with the Rabbis.10
(1) The tithe could be separated from one lot of produce upon another (of the same species), providing that both bore the same liability. E.g if one harvests his two fields, he can take From one the tenth of the combined produce. If, however, he separates a tithe of one field, thus freeing the rest, he cannot take another tithe from the same for the second field. Similarly, if he has two lots of corn, one liable to tithe by Biblical law, and the other only by Rabbinical law, so that by Biblical law it is really exempt, he may not separate from the one for the other. Now it has been explained here that according to R. Jose, so long as no stranger has taken possession, it is not hefker by Biblical law even after three days. and consequently Biblically liable. But by Rabbinical law it is hefker, even if the original owner re-acquires it. Nevertheless, as explained on p. 139, n. 5, the Rabbis ordered that he shall tithe it. Thus, in this respect, the Rabbis restored it to Biblical law. But the owner, being told that it is hefker, may regard the liability to tithe as merely a Rabbinical measure, and therefore, if he has any other corn which is only Rabbinically liable, separate from the one, which is really Biblically exempt, For the Biblically liable, or vice versa.
(2) Only in this respect is it regarded as hefker even if the first owner resumes possession.
(3) Thus he resumed possession thereof.
(4) Single grapes fallen off during the cutting, which must be left for the poor. - Lev. XIX, 10.
(5) 'Olelah, 'oleleth, pl. 'oleloth, gleanings reserved for the poor; in general, a small single bunch on a single branch. Ibid. and Deut. XXIV, 21.
(6) Sheaves (here grapes) forgotten in the course of ingathering, which had to be left for the poor. - Deut. XXIV, 19.
(7) Pe'ah - corner; the corner of the field left for the poor. - Lev. XIX, 9.
(8) 'Ulla maintains that the Baraitha in stating that he can retract within the first three days, teaches the Rabbinical law, whereas this Baraitha states the Biblical law according to which it is hefker immediately.
(9) Since he maintains that within the first three days it is not hefker even by Biblical law, and hence subject to tithes, and even after that it is hefker only by Rabbinical law, why is it taught here that on the very next day it is free from tithe?
(10) Who maintain in the Mishnah that it is hefker immediately, hence free from tithe.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 45a
Alternatively: One case refers to hefker declared in the presence of two; the other, if declared before three. For R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozadak: Hefker declared in the presence of three is valid, but not in the presence of two.1 R. Joshua b. Levi said: By the Torah, it is hefker even if declared in the presence of one: why then are three required? So that one can take possession, and the other two attest it.2 [
(1) Until one actually takes possession. Therefore, in the Mishnah, since no person is present, R. Jose maintains that if the maddir declares the food hefker, and the muddar takes it, he receives it directly from the maddir. But the vineyard, we assume, was renounced in the presence of three; therefore even R. Jose agrees that the renunciation is immediately valid. Hence, if he re-acquires it, it is exempt from tithe. The stronger validity of hefker in the presence of three is due to its greater publicity.
(2) For otherwise the first owner can deny his renunciation.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 45b
MISHNAH. IF [TWO] JOINT OWNERS MADE A VOW NOT TO BENEFIT FROM ONE ANOTHER, THEY MAY NOT ENTER THE COURTYARD.1 R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAID: EACH ENTERS INTO HIS OWN.2
(1) Which belongs to both.
(2) He maintains that it is as though it had been stipulated when jointly acquiring the property, that it should belong to each partner separately for his entering therein. Consequently, when he enters, he is not benefiting from the other. The Sages do not accept this view.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 46a
AND BOTH ARE FORBIDDEN TO SET UP A MILL-STONE OR AN OVEN OR BREED FOWLS THEREIN.1 IF [ONLY] ONE WAS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM THE OTHER, HE MAY NOT ENTER THE COURT. R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAID: HE CAN MAINTAIN, 'I AM ENTERING INTO MY OWN, NOT INTO YOURS.' HE WHO THUS VOWED IS FORCED TO SELL HIS SHARE [OF THE COURT].2 IF A MAN FROM THE STREET WAS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM ONE OF THEM, HE MAY NOT ENTER THE COURT. R. ELIEZER B. JACOB SAID: HE CAN MAINTAIN, 'I ENTER YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S PORTION, AND I DO NOT ENTER INTO YOURS. IF ONE IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND THE LATTER POSSESSES A BATH-HOUSE OR AN OLIVE PRESS LEASED TO SOMEONE IN THE TOWN, AND HE HAS AN INTEREST THEREIN, HE [THE MUDDAR] IS FORBIDDEN [TO MAKE USE OF THEM]; IF NOT, HE is PERMITTED. IF A MAN SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, 'KONAM, IF I ENTER YOUR HOUSE', OR 'IF I PURCHASE YOUR FIELD,' AND THEN [THE OWNER] DIES OR SELLS IT TO ANOTHER, HE IS PERMITTED [TO ENTER OR BUY IT]; [BUT IF HE SAYS.] 'KONAM, IF I ENTER THIS HOUSE, OR 'IF I PURCHASE THIS FIELD,' AND [THE OWNER] DIES OR SELLS IT TO ANOTHER, HE IS FORBIDDEN.
GEMARA. The scholars propounded: They differ when they interdicted themselves by vow. But what if each imposed a vow upon the other? Do we say, they differ [only] in the former case, but that in the latter the Rabbis agree with R. Eliezer b. Jacob, since they are involuntarily prohibited;3 or perhaps the Rabbis dispute even in the latter case?4 Come and hear: IF [ONLY] ONE WAS FORBIDDEN BY VOW5 TO BENEFIT FROM THE OTHER . . . and the Rabbis dispute it! - Learn, forbade himself from his neighbour.6 This is logical too, for the second clause states: NOW, HE WHO THUS VOWED IS FORCED TO SELL HIS SHARE OF THE COURT. Now, this is reasonable if the vow was self-imposed: hence he is compelled. But if you say that a vow was imposed against him, why is he compelled. Seeing that the position is not of his making?7
Rabbah said in Ze'iri's name:
(1) R. Eliezer b. Jacob admits this, for joint owners can object to this. Consequently, if they do not, each benefits by the permission of the other.
(2) For since he may enter, but not the other (this being taught on the view of the Sages), the second, in resentment, might enter none the less in disregard of the vow.
(3) For if they voluntarily interdict themselves of all benefit, it may be maintained that each thereby renounces also his share, which is inseparable from his partner's. But when each forbids the other, it may be argued that neither can prohibit that which the other enjoys in his own right.
(4) For the prohibition arises because in their opinion it is impossible to distinguish between the portions belonging to each.
(5) Muddar is the hofal, and implies that the vow was imposed upon him by another.
(6) Nadur, passive Kal. implies self-imposed. No emendation is really made in the Mishnah, but the Talmud answers that muddar may be synonymous with nadur, self-imposed.
(7) Lit., 'surely he is under constraint'. I.e., it is equitable to force him to sell, if as a result of his own vow he may come to transgression, but not otherwise.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 46b
The dispute is only if it [the court] is large enough to be divided; but if not, all agree that they are permitted.1 Said R. Joseph to him: But what of a synagogue which is as a thing which cannot be divided,2 yet we learnt, Both are forbidden [the use of] the [common] property of the town?3 - But, said R. Joseph in Ze'iri's name, The controversy is only when it is not [large] enough to divide;4 but if it is, all agree that both are forbidden. R. Huna said: The halachah is as R. Eliezer b. Jacob; and R. Eleazar said likewise: The halachah is as R. Eliezer b. Jacob.
IF ONE IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND THE LATTER POSSESSES A BATH-HOUSE etc. How much is meant by AN INTEREST THEREIN? - R. Nahman said: A half, third, or a quarter, but not less.5 Abaye said, Even for less, he is forbidden. Under what conditions is he permitted? If he [the lessee] rents it in return for [the payment of] the land-tax.6
(1) The smallest area of a court to be of any use as such is four square cubits. Now, only if it contains at least eight square cubits do the Rabbis maintain that each is forbidden to enter, since it is possible for them to divide, and yet each portion shall be large enough itself for a court; for then it cannot be said that when they purchased it jointly, each was entitled to the whole of it, as explained on p. 142, n. 2. But a lesser area cannot be divided, and therefore the original condition of purchase must have been that the whole belongs to each.
(2) Since its essential use is joint worship, and should it be divided, it ceases to be a synagogue.
(3) Infra 48a.
(4) Yet even then the Rabbis maintain that each is forbidden to enter.
(5) Less than a quarter is regarded as negligible. And the muddar is not forbidden to use it on its account. [Var. lec., 'but for eggs it is permitted'. בבצים for בבציר, the reference being to the egg-shaped forms of clay which are placed in the oven of the bath-house for drying. If his interest consists in the use he makes of the bath-house for that purpose, it is not regarded of any consequence.]
(6) The tax must have been very high if the owner was prepared to forego any possible profit. - Taska was the Persian land tax. (v. Obermeyer. p. 221, n. 3), and the Mishnah, which was produced in Palestine, cannot actually refer to this tax. Abaye's interpretation must therefore be regarded merely as an illustration. [Aliter: If he (the lessee) obtained it on a rental; retaining all the profit to himself.]
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 47a
IF ONE SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR etc. Abimi1 propounded: What [if one says to his neighbour.] 'Konam, if you enter this house,' and then he sells it or dies: Can one prohibit that which he owns [for the prohibition] to be effective even when it leaves his ownership, or not? - Said Raba, Come and hear: If one says to his son, 'Konam that you benefit not from me,' and he dies, he is his heir. [But if he explicitly stipulates] during his lifetime and he dies, he does not succeed him. This proves that one can prohibit that which he owns [for the prohibition] to hold good when it leaves his ownership. The proof is conclusive.
We learnt elsewhere: [If one says.] 'Konam be these fruits to me,' or, 'Be they konam for my mouth,' or, 'Be they konam to my mouth': he is forbidden [to benefit] from what has been exchanged for them or grown from them.2 Rami b. Hama propounded. If he vows, 'Konam be these fruits to So-and-so', what of their exchange? Do we say, With respect to oneself, since he can forbid to himself [even] his neighbour's property, he can [likewise] forbid to himself what is not yet in existence;3 but as for his neighbour, since one cannot prohibit another's produce to his neighbour, he likewise cannot prohibit what is non-existent;
(1) Var. lec.: Abaye.
(2) Infra 57a.
(3) What may be given for the produce subsequent to the vow is regarded as non-existent when the vow is made.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 47b
or perhaps since what is taken in exchange is the same as what grows from its seed, there is no difference between oneself and his neighbour?1 - Said R. Aha b. Manyumi, Come and hear: If a man says to his wife, 'Konam, if I benefit thee,' she may borrow [money], and the creditors come and exact it from him. Why can the creditors collect it [from him]: surely because what is taken in exchange is not the same as what grows from them?2 Said Raba, possibly it is forbidden [to make an exchange] in the first place only, but if it has been done, it is valid.3 But come and hear: If a man betroths [a woman] with 'orlah,4 she is not betrothed; but if he sells it and betroths her with the money thereof, she is betrothed!5 - [No.] Here too it may be forbidden in the first place only, but if done it is valid.
MISHNAH. [IF A MAN SAYS TO HIS NEIGHBOUR.] 'I AM HEREM TO YOU,' THE MUDDAR IS FORBIDDEN [TO DERIVE BENEFIT]. 'YOU ARE HEREM TO ME,' THE MADDIR IS FORBIDDEN. I AM [HEREM] TO YOU, AND YOU ARE [HEREM] TO ME, BOTH ARE PROHIBITED. BOTH ARE PERMITTED [TO ENJOY THE USE OF] THOSE THINGS WHICH BELONG TO THOSE WHO CAME UP FROM BABYLON [TO PALESTINE],6 BUT ARE FORBIDDEN [THE USE OF] THINGS THAT BELONG TO THAT TOWN.7
(1) For it is obvious that the fruit which grows is forbidden to his neighbour, and possibly what is given in exchange is the same.
(2) Thus, in this case, the money she receives is not the same that is repaid.
(3) I.e., it can be maintained that the problem regarding what is exchanged for them, is whether one may deliberately exchange these fruits for something else, so that it shall be permitted to the muddar. But if they were exchanged, they certainly are permitted. Hence, in this case, since the wife receives the money before the creditors exact it from her husband, it is regarded as a fail accompli, the legality of which is not in doubt. (The explanation follows Asheri. Ran gives a different interpretation).
(4) 'Fruit of uncircumcision. V. Lev. XIX, 23.
(5) This proves that the prohibition does not remain upon what has been exchanged for something forbidden.
(6) I.e., the band of immigrants who returned to Palestine under Zerubbabel, and later under Ezra and Nehemiah, who declared certain things inalienable property which can be deemed ownerless.
(7) In which each citizen has a share.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 48a
NOW, WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT BELONG TO THEM THAT CAME UP FROM BABYLON? E.G., THE TEMPLE MOUNT, THE COURTS OF THE TEMPLE AND THE WELL ON THE MIDROAD.1 WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT BELONG TO THAT TOWN, E.G., THE PUBLIC SQUARE, THE BATH-HOUSE, THE SYNAGOGUE, THE ARK [IN WHICH THE SACRED SCROLLS WERE KEPT] AND THE BOOKS [OF THE LAW],2 AND [THE ESTATE OF] HIM WHO ASSIGNS HIS PORTION TO THE NASI.3 R. JUDAH SAID: IT IS THE SAME WHETHER HE ASSIGNS IT TO THE NASI OR TO A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL, BUT WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? IF HE ASSIGNS IT TO THE NASI, HE NEED NOT [FORMALLY] CONFER TITLE;4 WHILST IN THE CASE OF AN INDIVIDUAL IT IS NECESSARY TO CONFER TITLE.5 BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN: FORMAL GRANT OF TITLE IS NECESSARY IN BOTH CASES; THEY MENTIONED THE NASI IN PARTICULAR AS THIS IS USUAL.6 R. JUDAH SAID: THE GALILEANS NEED NOT ASSIGN [THEIR PORTION], BECAUSE THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE ALREADY DONE SO FOR THEM.
GEMARA. Why is it forbidden?7 - Said R. Shesheth, The Mishnah teaches thus: How can they repair their position?8 Let them assign their portion to the nasi.9
R. JUDAH SAID: THE GALILEANS NEED NOT ASSIGN [THEIR PORTION]. BECAUSE THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE ALREADY DONE SO FOR THEM. It was taught: R. Judah said: the Galileans were quarrelsome and wont to make vows not to benefit from each other: so their fathers arose and assigned their portions to the nasi.
MISHNAH. IF ONE IS FORBIDDEN BY VOW TO BENEFIT FROM HIS NEIGHBOUR AND HAS NOTHING TO EAT, THE LATTER CAN GIVE IT [FOOD] TO A THIRD PARTY, AND THE FORMER IS PERMITTED TO USE IT. IT HAPPENED TO ONE IN BETH HORON10 THAT HIS FATHER WAS FORBIDDEN TO BENEFIT FROM HIM. NOW HE [THE SON] WAS GIVING HIS SON IN MARRIAGE;11 SO HE SAID TO HIS NEIGHBOUR, 'THE COURTYARD AND THE BANQUET BE A GIFT TO YOU, BUT THEY ARE YOURS ONLY THAT MY FATHER MAY COME AND FEAST WITH US AT THE BANQUET. THEREUPON HE ANSWERED, 'IF THEY ARE MINE, LET THEM BE CONSECRATED TO HEAVEN!' 'BUT I DID NOT GIVE YOU MY PROPERTY TO CONSECRATE IT TO HEAVEN, HE PROTESTED. YOU GAVE ME YOURS SO THAT YOU AND YOUR FATHER MIGHT EAT AND DRINK TOGETHER AND BECOME RECONCILED TO ONE ANOTHER, WHILST THE SIN [OF A BROKEN VOW] SHOULD DEVOLVE UPON HIS HEAD,'12 HE RETORTED. [WHEN THE MATTER CAME BEFORE] THE SAGES, THEY RULED: EVERY GIFT WHICH IS NOT [SO GIVEN] THAT IF HE [THE RECIPIENT] CONSECRATES IT, IT IS CONSECRATED, IS NO GIFT [AT ALL].
GEMARA. [Does the Mishnah adduce] a Story to contradict [its ruling]?13 - The text is defective, and was thus taught: But if the end proves [his intention] at the beginning,14 it is forbidden, and so it happened in Beth Horon, in the case of one whose last action demonstrated his first [as a mere evasion].
Raba said: They [the Sages] taught [that it is forbidden] only if he said, 'They are yours only in order that my father may come [etc.].' But if he said, 'They are yours so that my father may come, he meant, 'It depends on your will.'15 A different version is this: Raba said: Do not think that he is forbidden only if he said, 'And they are yours only in order that my father may come', but if he said, 'They are yours so that my father may come' it is permitted. [That is not so,] for even if he said, 'They are yours: let my father come,' it is forbidden. What is the reason? Because the banquet proves his intention.
(1) Between Babylon and Palestine, for the supply of water to the pilgrims, v. 'Erub. 104b. These things were declared the property of all Israel.
(2) (Rashi. Asheri: Books purchased by the congregation for the reading of the general public.]
(3) The head of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem and subsequent places. According to this reading, this portion too would be forbidden. But the Gemara amends the text of the Mishnah.
(4) I.e., by the mere documentary assignation it becomes the Nasi's property.
(5) E.g., one of the recognised methods of acquisition.
(6) For one would fear to assign his portion in communal property to an individual, lest he then forbid it to him. V. also Halevy, Doroth, I, 3, p. 61 and general discussion a.l.
(7) This question is based on the assumption that if the maddir assigns his portion to the nasi, the muddar is still forbidden.
(8) Since the use of communal property as defined in the Mishnah is essential to them.
(9) In cur. edd. a portion of the Mishnah is here reproduced in brackets, viz., 'R. Judah said, It is the same . . . this is usual'. But the quotation is pointless, and should be deleted.
(10) A border town between Benjamin and Ephraim.
(11) And desired his father's presence.
(12) [Probably a euphemism for 'my head'. J. reads 'my head'.]
(13) Surely not! For the Mishnah states that the maddir may make a gift for the muddar to benefit thereby, and then quotes a case where this was forbidden.
(14) That it was a mere device.
(15) Hence it is permitted.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 48b
A certain man had a son who used to carry off bundles of flax. Thereupon his father forbade his property to him.1 'But,' said others to him, 'what if the son of your son is a scholar?'2 He replied, 'Let him acquire it, and if my3 grandson be a scholar, it shall be his.'4 Now, what is the law? - The Pumbedithans5 ruled, This is a case of 'Acquire, in order to give possession,' and such does not give a legal title. R. Nahman said: He [the son] acquires [it], for [the giving of] a sudarium too is a case of 'Acquire, in order to give possession.'6 R. Ashi demurred: But in the case of a sudarium, who tells you that if he retains it, it is not his?7 Moreover, the sudarium is a case of 'Acquire in order to give possession,' and 'Acquire [it] from now.'8 But as for this property, - when shall he acquire it? When his grandson is a scholar: [but] by then the sudarium [whereby the transference was made] has been returned to its owner.9 Raba [also] questioned R. Nahman: But the gift of Beth Horon was a case of 'Acquire, in order to give possession,' yet it was invalid? Sometimes he answered, Because his banquet proves his intention;10 sometimes he answered, This is taught in accordance with R. Eliezer, who maintained that even the extra [given by the vendor to a customer] is forbidden to one who is interdicted by vow to benefit.11
We learnt, THE SAGES RUled, EVERY GIFT WHICH IS NOT [SO GIVEN] THAT IF HE [THE BENEFICIARY] CONSECRATES IT, IT IS CONSECRATED, IS NOT A GIFT [AT ALL]. Now, what does EVERY include? Surely it includes such as this case of stealing flax?12 - No. It includes the case of the second version of Raba's ruling.13 [
(1) Though, as stated above, (supra 47a) his son would still inherit it, this story may be explained on the supposition that he had two sons, and wished to give the whole of his estate to the second (Ran).
(2) At the time he had no grandson yet.
(3) This is Rashi's reading. Cur. edd.: and if . . . . [Var. lec. 'let him not acquire, and if . . .' v. Bah.]
(4) But if not, it reverts to my other son. - Ran.
(5) A great academy town in Babylonia, at the mouth of the Beditha (which is the meaning of the name), a canal of the Euphrates.
(6) One of the methods of acquisition was by exchange (halifin), in which an object (a sudarium kerchief) was given by the purchaser or recipient to the vendor or donor as a symbolical substitute v. B.M. 47a. Now, actually. this was given merely in order that the latter might give legal possession to the former, and was generally returned, yet it was valid.
(7) I.e., though in fact it was only a symbol, and usually returned, yet it may be retained; but here it was not intended that the son should have possession at all but merely to be the medium of transference, for if his grandson would not be a scholar, the estate was to revert to his second son.
(8) [Ran reads: Acquire in order to give possession from now.] As soon as the vendor acquires the scarf, the purchaser is the legal owner of his purchase.
(9) [At the time when the title was granted the grandson was not yet in existence, and when he is ripe enough to receive the legacy the act of transference had long been a matter of the past, and no longer effective.]
(10) I.e., it was not a genuine gift at all.
(11) On account of this he ruled that he may not even walk over his field (32b), though ordinarily walking over another person's field is not accounted an encroachment of rights. Thus R. Eliezer treats vows far more stringently than other matters. Consequently, here too he rules the gift invalid. But the Sages, who disagree with him, would regard the gift of Beth Horon valid.
(12) That such a gift is invalid, not merely because of the greater stringency of vows, but because 'Acquire in order to give possession' confers no title. [This is the reading of Ran. Rashi and Asheri: Where the condition was repeated or cast in two forms (v. supra p. 149 n. 3). Our text presents a conflation of the two readings.]
(13) V. Supra.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 49a
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO EAT] WHAT IS COOKED [MEBUSHAL] IS PERMITTED WHAT IS ROASTED OR SEETHED.1 IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM THAT I TASTE ANY COOKED DISH [TABSHIL]' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO EAT] FOOD LOOSELY COOKED IN A POT, BUT IS PERMITTED [TO PARTAKE] OF WHAT IS SOLIDLY PREPARED.2 HE MAY ALSO EAT A HARD BOILED EGG3 AND REMUZIAN CUCUMBERS.4 HE WHO VOWS ABSTINENCE FROM FOOD PREPARED IN A POT, IS FORBIDDEN ONLY BOILED DISHES; BUT IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM THAT I TASTE NOT WHATEVER DESCENDS INTO A POT, HE IS FORBIDDEN EVERYTHING PREPARED IN A POT.5
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Josiah forbids [them].6 And though there is no proof of this,7 there is some indication, for it is said, And they boiled8 the Passover in fire, according to the law.9 Shall we say that they differ in this: That R. Josiah holds: Follow Biblical usage; whilst our Tanna maintains: In vows follow the popular usage? No. All agree that in vows we must follow popular usage: but each [rules] according to [the usage] in his district. In the district of our Tanna roast is called roast, and cooked, cooked. But in R. Josiah's, even roast is called cooked. But he adduces a verse? - That is a mere support.10
[IF HE SAYS,] 'KONAM THAT I TASTE NOT ANY COOKED DISH [TABSHIL]. But he vowed [abstinence] from a tabshil?11 - Said Abaye: This Tanna designates everything with which bread is eaten a tabshil.12 And it was taught [likewise], He who vows [abstinence] from a tabshil is forbidden all cooked food [tabshil], and whatsoever is roasted, seethed, or boiled; he is also forbidden soft preserves of gourds with which the sick eat their bread. But this is not so. For R. Jeremiah fell sick. When the doctor called to heal him, he saw a pumpkin lying in the house. Thereupon he left the house, saying. 'The angel of death is in that house,13 yet I am to cure him'!14 - That is no difficulty: the former refers to soft preserves; the latter to hard.15 Raba b. 'Ulla said: The latter refers to the pumpkin itself;16 the former to its inner contents.17 For Rab Judah said: The soft part of a pumpkin [should be eaten] with beet; the soft part of linseed is good with kutah.18 But this may not be told to the ignorant.19
Raba said: By 'the sick', scholars are meant.20 This agrees with another dictum of his. For Raba said:
(1) Seethed. Heb. shaluk שלוק, denotes more thoroughly boiled than cooked (mebushal).
(2) Because (tabshil is only applicable to a loose liquid-like substance, but not to a dense mass.
(3) [טורמוטא, Gr. ** trembling, hence shrivelled up; v. Gemara. J. explains it as lightly boiled egg; cf. Krauss. T.A. I. pp. 125 and 515.]
(4) This is discussed on 51a.
(5) Both liquids and solids.
(6) Sc. what is roasted or seethed. This refers to the first clause of the Mishnah.
(7) That מבושל includes these.
(8) Heb. ויבשלו, impf. of בשל of which מבושל is a pass. part.
(9) II Chron. XXXV, 13. But the Passover Sacrifice had to be roasted; hence מבושל is applicable to roasts too. Yet this is not actual proof, because as stated infra, in vows the popular usage is the norm.
(10) His ruling, however, is not based thereon.
(11) Which implies both loosely cooked and a dense mass.
(12) But not otherwise; a dense mass cannot be eaten with bread.
(13) I.e the pumpkin is like poison for him.
(14) This shows that they are injurious to invalids.
(15) The soft are beneficial, the hard, injurious.
(16) I.e., the outer portion, which is hard and injurious.
(17) Its heart, which is soft and beneficial
(18) A preserve consisting of sour milk, bread-crusts and salt. - Jast.
(19) Lest they tear up the growing flax to obtain the seed (Ran). Because it will appear absurd to then, (Tosaf).
(20) I.e., in the Baraitha stating that 'the sick' eat their bread with soft preserves of gourds, the Rabbis and students are meant, not the literally sick. Hence there is no contradiction between that and the story of R. Jeremiah.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 49b
In accordance with whom is it that we pray for the invalid and the sick?1 In accordance with R. Jose.2 Since he said, 'the invalid and the sick,' It follows that 'invalid' is literal, and 'the sick' [metaphorically] means the Rabbis.3
BUT IS PERMITTED [TO PARTAKE] OF A DISH SOLIDLY PREPARED. Our Mishnah does not agree with the Babylonians, for R. Zera said: The Babylonians are fools, eating bread with bread.4 R. Hisda said: There is none5 to make enquiries of the epicureans6 of Huzal7 how porridge is best eaten, whether a wheat porridge with wheaten bread, and a barley porridge with barley bread, or perhaps [they are best reversed,] wheat with barley, and barley with wheat. Raba ate it with stunted [parched] grains. Rabbah son of R. Huna found R. Huna eating porridge with his fingers. So he said to him, 'Why do you eat with your hands?' He replied, Thus did Rah say, [To eat] porridge with [one] finger is well: how much more so with two or three! Rab said to his son Hiyya, and R. Huna said the same to his son Rabbah, 'If you are invited to eat porridge, [you may even go] a parasang8 for it; to eat beef, even three parasangs. Rab said to his son Hiyya, and R. Huna said likewise to his son Rabbah: You must never expectorate before your teacher, save [after eating] a pumpkin or porridge, because they are like lead pellets:9 expectorate this even in the presence of King Shapur.10
R. Jose and R. Judah, - one ate porridge with his fingers, and one with a prick.11 He who was eating with the prick said to him who was eating with the fingers, 'How long will you make me eat your filth?'12 The other replied, 'How long will you feed me with your saliva?'13
Lesbian figs14 were placed before R. Judah and R. Simeon. R. Judah ate; R. Simeon did not. [Whereupon] R. Judah asked him, 'Why are [you], Sir not eating?' He replied. 'These never pass out at all from the stomach.' But R. Judah retorted, 'All the more [reason or eating them], as they will sustain us tomorrow.'15 R. Judah was sitting before R. Tarfon, who remarked to him, 'Your face shines to-day.' He replied. 'Your servants went out to the fields yesterday and brought us beets, which we ate unsalted, had we salted them, my face would have shone even more.
A certain matron16 said to R. Judah, 'A teacher and drunkard!'17 He replied, You may well believe me that18 I taste [no wine] but that of Kiddush and Habdalah19 and the four cups of Passover,20 on account of which I have to bind my temples from Passover until Pentecost;21 but a man's wisdom maketh his face shine.22 A min23 said to R. Judah. 'Your face is like that of a moneylender or pig breeder.'24 He replied, 'Both of these are forbidden to Jews; but there are twenty-four conveniences between my house and the School, and every hour I visit one of them.'
When R. Judah went to the Beth ha-Midrash,25 he used to take a pitcher on his shoulders [to sit on], saying. 'Great is labour, for it honours the worker.'26 R. Simeon used to carry a basket upon his shoulders, saying likewise, 'Great is labour, for it honours the worker.'
R. Judah's wife went out, brought wool, and made an embroidered cloak. On going to market she used to put it on, whilst when R. Judah went [to synagogue] to pray he used to wear it. When he donned it, he uttered the benediction, Blessed be He who hath robed me with a robe.27 Now, it happened once that R. Simeon b. Gamaliel proclaimed a fast,28 but R. Judah did not attend the fast-service.29 Being informed that he had nothing to wear, he [R. Simeon b. Gamaliel] sent him a robe, which he did not accept.
(1) In our daily prayers; v. P.B. p. 47.
(2) V. R.H. 16a. The Rabbis there maintain that a man is judged on New Year, and once he is sentenced, whether to life or death, the verdict cannot be reversed. Consequently, in their opinion it would be futile to pray for the recovery of the sick during the year. Hence the practice of praying for them accords with R. Jose's view, that man is judged every day.
(3) Who are weakened by their intensive studies.
(4) I. e., even food solidly prepared is eaten by them with bread consequently such would be included in the term 'tabhshil' and forbidden.
(5) So the text as emended by Bah. Asheri reads: Is there any one etc.
(6) Lit., 'those who are very careful in their eating'. Rashi and one version of the Ran. Others: the fastidious.
(7) A very old town lying below Nehardea, but nearer to Sura and belonging to the judicial circuit of the latter: Obermeyer, p. 299.
(8) V. Glos.
(9) I.e., it is dangerous to swallow the saliva left in the mouth after eating these.
(10) Known otherwise as Shapur I. He was King of Persia and a friend of Samuel; Ber. 56a
(11) Used as a fork.
(12) They were both eating out of the same dish.
(13) Because the thorn was not wiped each time after being put into his mouth.
(14) Jast. These are very difficult to digest.
(15) As such below, R. Judah was extremely poor; hence this was a consideration to him, though there is probably an element of humour in his retort.
(16) This is mostly used of Roman ladies of noble birth.
(17) מורה ורוי i.e., you are a Sage, yet you are drunk! His faces was always red and shining, giving that impressions.
(18) Lit., 'My faith in the hand of this woman if . . .'
(19) Kiddush: a short blessing of sanctification, recited at the commencement of Sabbaths and festivals. Habdalah, lit., ' separation', a benediction said at the end of Sabbaths and festivals, thanking God for the distinction He created between holy and non-holy days. Both are recited over wine, which is drunk.
(20) Four cups of wine are drunk at the meals on the first evening (without Palestine, two evenings) of Passover.
(21) They gave him such a headache! Doubtlessly a metaphorical exaggeration.
(22) Ecc. VIII, 1.
(23) [So MS.M. (v. Glos.), cur. edd. 'Sadducee'.]
(24) Their faces are always shining because of their great profits!
(25) School House.
(26) Lit., 'its master'. Otherwise he would have had to sit on the floor. It is not clear whether the school was so deficient in equipment that this was really necessary, or he himself wished to shew his appreciation of labour. In the story of the deposition of R. Gamaliel (Ber. 27b-28a). It is stated that many additional seats were placed for the great accretion of new disciples, proving that it was not customary to sit on the floor. R. Judah belonged to the following generation.
(27) There is no such benediction in the statutory liturgy, and R. Judah probably uttered this without the use of the Divine Name and without mention of God's sovereignty. Through the omission of these it is not really a benediction at all, hence R. Judah might recite it. (Real benedictions may not be uttered save where the Rabbis have prescribed them).
(28) Over and above the statutory fasts special fasts were proclaimed in times of drought or on account of national disasters, such as pestilence, evil decrees, etc.; Ta'an. 19a.
(29) A special service was held: Ta'an. 15a.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 50a
Lifting up the mat [upon which he was sitting], he exclaimed to the messengers, 'See what I have here,1 but I do not wish to benefit from this world.'2
The daughter of Kalba Shebu'a3 betrothed herself to R. Akiba.4 When her father heard thereof, he vowed that she was not to benefit from aught of his property. Then she went and married him in winter.5 They slept on straw, and he had to pick out the straw from his hair. 'If Only I could afford it,' said he to her, 'I would present you with a golden Jerusalem.'6 [Later] Elijah came to them in the guise of a mortal,7 and cried out at the door. 'Give the some straw, for my wife is in confinement and I have nothing for her to lie on.' 'See!' R. Akiba observed to his wife, 'there is a man who lacks even straw.' [Subsequently] she counselled him, 'Go, and become a scholar.' So he left her, and spent twelve years [studying] under R. Eliezer and R. Joshua. At the end of this period, he was returning home, when from the back of the house he heard a wicked man jeering at his wife, 'Your father did well to you. Firstly, because he is your inferior; and secondly, he has abandoned you to living widowhood all these years.' She replied, 'Yet were he to hear my desires, he would be absent another twelve years. Seeing that she has thus given me permission,' he said, 'I will go back.' So he went back, and was absent for another twelve years, [at the end of which] he returned with twenty-four thousand disciples.8 Everyone flocked to welcome him, including her [his wife] too. But that wicked man said to her, 'And whither art thou going?'9 'A righteous man knoweth the life of his beast,'10 she retorted. So she went to see him, but the disciples wished to repulse her. 'Make way for her,' he told them, 'for my [learning] and yours are hers.' When Kalba Shebu'a heard thereof, he came [before R. Akiba] and asked for the remission of his vow and he annulled it for him.
From six incidents did R. Akiba become rich: [i] From Kalba Shebu'a.11 [ii] From a ship's ram. For every ship is provided with the figurehead of an animal. Once this [a wooden ram] was forgotten on the sea shore, and R. Akiba found it.12 [iii] From a hollowed out trunk.13 For he once gave four it to sailors, and told them to bring him something [that he needed]. But they found only a hollow log on the sea shore, which they brought to him, saying, 'Sit on this and wait'.14 It was found to be full of denarii. For it once happened that a ship sunk and all the treasures thereof were placed in that log, and it was found at that time. [iv] From the serokita.15 [v] From a matron.16 [vi]
(1) My a miracle, upon which he had relied, the place was filled with gold.
(2) This story shows that R. Judah, i.e R. Judah b. Ila'i, was extremely poor. In general the scholars of that generation lived in great poverty, as a result of the Hadrianic persecutions. V. A. Buchler, The Jewish Community of Sepphoris, pp. 67 seq.
(3) V. Git. 56a.
(4) Then a poor shepherd.
(5) An interval generally elapsed between betrothal (kiddushin) and marriage (nesu'in).
(6) A golden ornament with Jerusalem engraved thereon. V. 'Ed. II. 7.
(7) Cf. Sanh. 109a, 113b; v. Tosaf. Hul. 6a. s.v. אשכחיה.
(8) Cur. edd.: 'pairs of disciples'. But 'pairs' is absent in the version of Ket. 62b, and should be deleted here.
(9) Taunting her that she was too humble to be observed by so great a scholar.
(10) Prov. XII, 10.
(11) Who shared his wealth with him.
(12) It contained money.
(13) גזע גװזא, a stem, trunk: Rashi translates: a ship's coffer, from גנז to hide, and גזא, treasure.
(14) [Lit., 'make this a tarrying place' (Goldschmidt); or 'Let our master make this (a tarrying place)', Rashi.]
(15) 'Aruch translates: Ishmaelite traders. The phrase is missing in 'En Jacob and unnoticed by the commentaries, and is obviously a corrupt dittography of ומן מטרוניתא (Jast.)
(16) A large sum of money was once needed for the school house. R. Akiba borrowed it from a matron, and at her request gave the Almighty and the sea as sureties for its punctual repayment. But when the money fell due, R. Akiba was unwell. Thereupon the matron stood at the edge of the sea did exclaimed, 'Sovereign of the Universe! Thou knowest that to Thee and to the sea have I entrusted my money'. In reply, He inspired the Emperor's daughter with a mad fit, in the course of which she threw a chest full of treasures into the sea, which was washed up at the matron's feet. On his recovery, he brought her the money, with apologies for the delay: but she told him what had happened, and sent him away with many gifts.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 50b
The wife of Turnusrufus.1 [vi] From Keti'a b. Shalom.2
R. Gamada gave four zuz to sailors to bring him something. But as they could not obtain it, they brought him a monkey for it. The monkey escaped, and made his way into a hole. In searching for it, they found it lying on precious stones, and brought them all to him.
The Emperor's3 daughter said to R. Joshua b. Hananiah: 'Such comely wisdom in an ugly vessel!'4 He replied. 'Learn front thy father's palace. In what is the wine stored?' 'In earthern jars.' she answered. 'But all [common] people store [wine] in earthern vessels and thou too likewise! Thou shouldst keep it in jars of gold and silver!' So she went and had the wine replaced in vessels of gold and silver, and it turned sour. 'Thus,' said he to her, 'The Torah is likewise!' 'But are there not handsome people who are learned too?' 'Were they ugly they would be even more learned,' he retorted.
A certain woman of Nehardea came before Rab Judah5 for a lawsuit, and was declared guilty by the court. 'Would your teacher Samuel6 have judged thus?' she said. 'Do you know him then?' he asked. 'Yes, He is short and big-stomached, black and large teethed.' 'What, you have come to insult him! Let that woman be under the ban!' he exclaimed. She burst and died.
HE MAY ALSO EAT A WELL-BOILED EGG [BEZA TURMITA] - What is beza turmita? - Samuel said: The slave who can prepare one is worth a thousand denarii. For it must be placed a thousand times in hot water and a thousand times in cold, until small enough to be swallowed whole. If one is ulcerated, it attracts the matter to itself, and when it passes out the doctor knows what medicine is required and how to treat him. Samuel used to examine himself with Kulha,7 [which weakened him so] that his household tore their hair [in despair].
We have learnt elsewhere: If one is working among kelusfin, [Lesbian figs], he may not eat of benoth sheba';8 among benoth sheba', he may not eat of kelusfin. What are kelusfin? - A species of figs of which pap is made. A certain man once gave his slave to his friend to teach him a thousand different ways of making pap, but he taught him only eight hundred. So he summoned him to a lawsuit before Rabbi. Rabbi remarked, 'Our fathers said, "We have forgotten prosperity,"9 but we have never even seen it!'10
Rabbi made a wedding feast for his son Simeon, (and did not invite Bar Kappara).11 He wrote above the banqueting-hall,12 'Twenty-four thousand myriad denarii have been expended on these festivities 'Thereupon Bar Kappara said, 'If it is thus with those who transgress His will13 , how much more so with those who do His will!' When he [subsequently] invited him, he observed, 'If it is thus with those who do His will in this world, how much more so [will it be] in the world to come!'
On the day that Rabbi laughed, punishment would come upon the world.14 So he said to Bar Kappara [who was a humorist]. 'Do not make me laugh, and I will give you forty measures of wheat.' He replied. 'But let the Master see
(1) Tineius Rufus, a Roman governor of Judea. After her husband's death she became a convert and married R. Akiba, bringing him in much wealth. V.'A. Z. 20a.
(2) Keti'a b. Shalom was condemned to death by a Roman emperor - probably Hadrian - for giving counsel against the emperor and in favour of the Jews. He made R. Akiba his heir. - 'A.Z. (Sonc. ed.) 10b, pp. 53ff.
(3) [Hadrian: v. J.E. VII. 291.
(4) He was very ugly.
(5) [At Pumbeditha where he had his school.]
(6) R. Judah was for a short time a pupil of Samuel, after the death of Rab and R. Asst: v. Yeb. 18a.]
(7) A stalk of some plant, which acted in the same way as the beza turmita.
(8) A different species of figs. The reference is to Deut. XXIII, 25: When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes until thy fill at thin own pleasure. The Rabbis interpret this as referring to workers, who may eat any of the fruit - not particularly grapes - upon which they are engaged, but must confine themselves thereto.
(9) Cf. Lam. III, 17, implying that they had once known it.
(10) I.e., it is extraordinary that in these bad times he should know as many as he did.
(11) The bracketed phrase is transposed its our editions.
(12) Where the festivities took place.
(13) A reference to the wrong done in not inviting him.
(14) Rabbi suffered internal pains for thirteen years, during which there was never a drought. - B.M. 85a.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 51a
that I may take whatever measure I desire.' So he took a large basket, pitched it over,1 placed it on his head, went [to Rabbi] and said to him. 'Fill me the forty measures of wheat which I may demand front you.' Thereupon Rabbi burst into laughter, and said to him, 'Did I not warn you not to jest?' He replied. 'I wish but to take the wheat which I may [justly] demand.'
Bar Kappara [once] said to Rabbi's daughter. 'Tomorrow I will drink wine to your father's dancing and your mother's singing.'2
Ben Eleasa, a very wealthy man, was Rabbi's son-in-law, and he was invited to the wedding of R. Simeon b. Rabbi. [At the wedding] Bar Kappara asked Rabbi, What is meant by to'ebah?3 Now, every explanation offered by Rabbi was refuted by him, so he said to him, 'Explain it yourself.' He replied. 'Let your housewife come and fill me a cup.' She came and did so, upon which he said to Rabbi, 'Arise, and dance for me, that I may tell it to you.' Thus saith the Divine Law, 'to'ebah': to'eh attah bah.4 At his second cup he asked him , 'What is meant by tebel?'5 He replied in the same manner as before, [until] he remarked, 'Do [something] for me, and I will tell you.' On his complying, he said 'tebel hu' means: Is there tablin [perfume] in it [the animal]? Is intimacy therewith sweeter than all other intimacies?6 Then he further questioned, 'And what is meant by zimmah?'7 'Do as before, [and I will tell you.'] When he did so, he said, 'zimmah' means zu mah hi'.8 Now, Ben Eleasa could not endure all this, so he and his wife left.
What is [known of] Ben Eleasa? - It was taught: Ben Eleasa did not disburse his money for nothing, but that he might achieve thereby the High Priest's style of hair-dressing, as it is written, They shall only poll their heads.9 It was taught: [That means] in the Lulian fashion.10 What was the Lulian style? - Rab Judah said: A unique style of hairdressing. How is that? - Raba said: The end [of one row of hair] reaching the roots of the other, and such was the hairdressing fashion of the High Priest.11
AND REMUZIAN CUCUMBERS [DELA'ATH HA-REMUZAH]. What is DELA'ATH HA-REMUZAH? - Samuel said, Karkuz pumpkins.12 R. Ashi said, cucumbers baked in ashes. Rabina objected to R. Ashi: R. Nehemiah said: Syrian cucumbers, i.e., Egyptian cucumbers, are kil'ayim13 in respect of Greek and Remuzian [cucumbers!]14 This refutation is unanswerable.
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM FOOD PREPARED IN A POT IS FORBIDDEN ONLY BOILED DISHES. BUT IF ONE SAYS, 'KONAM, IF I TASTE AUGHT THAT DESCENDS INTO A POT', HE IS FORBIDDEN EVERYTHING PREPARED IN A POT.15
GEMARA. It was taught: He who vows [abstinence] from what goes into a boiling pot, may not eat of what goes into a stew pot, because it has already entered the boiling pot before going into the stew pot; from what goes into a stew pot, he may eat of what goes into a boiling pot; from what is [wholly] prepared in a boiling pot, he may eat of what is prepared in a stew pot; from what is wholly prepared in a boiling pot, he may eat what is [partially] prepared in a stew pot. If he vows [abstinence] from what goes into an oven, only bread is forbidden him. But if he declares, 'Everything made in an oven be forbidden me,' he is forbidden everything that is made in an oven.
(1) That it should retain the the wheat.
(2) Jast. lit., 'croaking', connecting קירקני will קירקור the croaking of frogs. Asheri, Rosh and Tosaf: 'in the rounds', perhaps connecting it with ** circus. (Goldschmidt). Rash: when she fills my clip.
(3) Abomination. Lev. XX, 13, referring to unnatural vice.
(4) Thou errest in respect of her, i e., by forsaking the permitted and indulging in the forbidden.
(5) Disgrace. Lev. XVIII, 23, referring to bestiality: E.V.: 'confusion'.
(6) Lit., 'different from'. That thou leavest thine own kind for it.
(7) Wickedness, Ibid. 17, referring to incest with a wife's daughter.
(8) Who is she, i.e. , through promiscuous intercourse the parentage is unknown, and thus a father might marry his daughter.
(9) Ezek. XLI, 20.
(10) Lulianus was a popular corruption of Julianus. V. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 128 n. 2.
(11) Eleasa expended huge sums to have his hair so dressed. Presumably it was a costly process known only to a few experts.
(12) That do not improve in cooking כרכוז. Obermeyer. op. cit. pp. 35f., identifies it with Circesium on the Euphrates. some 73 parasangs from Pumbeditha on the way to Palestine.
(13) V. Glos.
(14) And mayest be sown together with them, v. Deut. XXII, 9, which applies to all diverse species, cf Kil. I, 5. - This Baraitha proves that remuzah indicates the place of origin, not the manner of its preparation. Obermeyer a.l. regards הרמוצא as a form of הרמאם the river Hirmas which rises by Nisibis.
(15) This is repeated exactly in VI, 1. From Ran it would appear that it was absent in VI, 1, in his edition its correct place being here. Rashi, on the other hand, comments upon it in both places. It is possible that the words MISHNAH and GEMARA should be deleted, the whole being a quotation from the first Mishnah serving as a caption for the discussion in the Gemara (Marginal Gloss to Wilna ed.). - As to the difference between 'boiled dishes' and 'food prepared in a pot', the first term applies to dishes completely boiled therein, the second to food only partially prepared therein and finished elsewhere.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 51b
MISHNAH. [IF HE VOWS ABSTINENCE] FROM THE PRESERVE, HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY PRESERVED VEGETABLES;1 [IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM,] IF I TASTE PRESERVE', HE IS FORBIDDEN ALL PRESERVES. 'FROM THE SEETHED,' HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY SEETHED MEAT; 'KONAM, IF I TASTE SEETHED HE IS FORBIDDEN EVERY THING SEETHED.
GEMARA. R. Aha the son of R. Awia asked R. Ashi: If one said, 'That which is preserved,' 'that which is roasted,' 'that which is salted', what do these terms imply?2 - This remains a problem.
MISHNAH. [IF ONE VOWS ABSTINENCE] 'FROM THE ROAST,' HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY ROAST MEAT: THIS IS R. JUDAH'S OPINION. '[KONAM,] IF I TASTE ROAST', HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO PARTAKE] OF ALL FORMS OF ROAST. 'FROM THE SALTED, HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY SALTED FISH; '[KONAM, IF I TASTED SALTED [FOOD].' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO PARTAKE] OF EVERYTHING PRESERVED IN SALT. '[KONAM,] IF I TASTE FISH OR FISHES,'3 HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO EAT] THEM, BOTH LARGE AND SMALL, SALTED AND UNSALTED, RAW AND COOKED. YET HE MAY EAT HASHED TERITH,4 BRINE, AND FISH PICKLE.5 HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM ZAHANAH.6 IS FORBIDDEN HASHED TERITH, BUT MAY PARTAKE OF BRINE AND FISH PICKLE. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM HASHED TERITH MAY NOT7 PARTAKE OF BRINE AND FISH PICKLE.
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: [If he vows] '[Konam. If I taste] fish [day],' he is forbidden large ones but permitted small ones '[Konam] if I taste dagah,'8 he is forbidden small ones , but permitted large ones . '[Konam,] if I taste dag [and] dagah,' he is forbidden both large and small ones. R. Papa said to Abaye: How do we know that '[Konam, If I taste] dag' implies large ones only? because it is written, Now the Lord had prepared a great fish dag] to swallow up Jonah?9 But is it not written, Then Jonah prayed onto the Lord his God out of the fish's [dagah] belly?10 - This is no difficulty: perhaps he was vomited forth by the large fish and swallowed again by a smaller one. But [what of the verse] And the fish [dagah] that was in the river died?11 did only the small fish die, not the Iarge? - Hence dagah implies both large and small, but in vows human speech is followed.12
HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM ZAHANAH. etc. Rabina asked R. Ashi: What if one says. 'Zihin be forbidden me'?13 The problem remains.
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM MILK MAY PARTAKE OF CURD.14 BUT R. JOSE FORBIDS IT. 'FROM CURD,' HE IS PERMITTED MILK. ABBA SAUL SAID: HE WHO VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM CHEESE, IS INTERDICTED THEREFROM, WHETHER SALTED OR UNSALTED. FROM MEAT,'
(1) The use of the def. art. limits the vow to the most common form of preserve.
(2) Are they the equivalent of the definite art, and so limited, or not?
(3) 'Fish' refers to large ones, 'fishes' to small, which are sold in quantities.
(4) A certain fish. This is sold in slices, whereas his vow related to is hole ones only.
(5) This is absent from cur. edd., but is inserted by Bah.
(6) Mud-fish, small fish preserved in brine, similar to terith (Jast.).
(7) This is the reading of Rashi and Asheri. Other editions, likewise Ran, read 'may'.
(8) Fem. of dag used in the collective.
(9) Jon. II, 1.
(10) Ibid. 2, shewing that dagah too refers to large fish.
(11) Ex. VII, 21.
(12) In general usage, dag refers to large fish, dagah to small.
(13) Zihin, a preparation of small fish, is analogous to zahanah. The problem is whether he is allowed brine and fish pickle (muries).
(14) Maim: whey.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 52a
HE MAY PARTAKE OF BROTH AND THE SEDIMENTS OF BOILED MEAT;1 BUT R. JUDAH FORBIDS THEM]. R. JUDAH SAID: IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT [IN SUCH A CASE] R. TARFON FORBADE US2 [EVEN] EGGS BOILED THEREWITH. THEY REPLIED, THAT IS SO, BUT ONLY IF HE VOWS, 'THIS MEAT BE FORBIDDEN ME. FOR IF HE VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM SOMETHING, AND IT IS MIXED UP WITH ANOTHER, IF IT [THE FORBIDDEN FOOD] IS SUFFICIENT TO IMPART ITS TASTE [TO THE OTHER]. IT3 IS FORBIDDEN.4 IF HE VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM WINE, HE IS PERMITTED [TO FAT] FOOD WHICH CONTAINS THE TASTE OF WINE; BUT IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM IF I TASTE THIS WINE', AND IT FALLS INTO FOOD, IF IT IS SUFFICIENT TO IMPART ITS TASTE [TO THE FOOD]. IT IS FORBIDDEN.
(1) Bits of meat that fall away from the piece in boiling and form a jelly.
(2) Ear. Iec. me.
(3) That other food.
(4) But if one vows abstinence from meat in general, the eggs boiled therewith, likewise the soup and meat sediment, are permitted.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 52b
GEMARA. But the following contradicts this. [If one vows abstinence] from lentils, lentil cakes are forbidden him; R. Jose permits then,!1 - There is no difficulty: each Master [rules] according to [the usage] of his locality. In that of the Rabbis, milk is called milk, and curd, curd; but in that of R. Jose, curd too is called curd of milk.
It was taught: He who vows [abstinence] from milk, is permitted curd; from curd,is permitted milk; from milk, is permitted cheese; from cheese, is permitted milk; from broth, is permitted meat sediment; from meat sediment, is permitted broth. If he says, 'This meat be forbidden me,' the meat itself, its broth and its sediment, are forbidden him. If he vows [to abstain] from wine, he may partake of food which contains the taste of wine; but if he says, 'Konam that I taste not this wine,' and it falls into food, if the taste of wine is [perceptible] therein, it is forbidden.
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM GRAPES IS PERMITTED WINE: FROM OLIVES, IS PERMITTED OIL. IF HE SAYS, KONAM. THAT I TASTE NOT THESE OLIVES AND GRAPES', BOTH THEY AND THEIR JUICE2 ARE FORBIDDEN.
GEMARA. Ram b. Hama propounded: Is 'these' essential, or 'that I taste not' essential?3
(But, if you can think that 'these' is essential, why add 'that I taste not'? - He [the Tanna] may teach this [by the addition]: even if he Says. 'that I taste not.' yet only if he declares, 'these' is he prohibited, but not otherwise.) - Raba said. Come and hear: [If one says Konam be these fruits to me,'4 'Be they konam to my mouth,' he is forbidden [to benefit] from what is exchanged for them or what grows of their seeds. This implies that he may benefit from their juice!5 - In truth, even their juice is forbidden; but he [the Tanna] prefers to teach that what is exchanged for them is the same as what grows from their seeds.6 Come and hear: 'That I eat not or taste not of them,' he is permitted [to benefit] from what is exchanged for them or what grows of their seeds.7 This implies that their juice is forbidden!8 - Because the first clause does not mention their juice, the second clause omits it too.9
Come and hear: R. Judah said: It once happened that [in such a case] R. Tarfon forbade us [even] eggs boiled therewith. They replied, that is so. By only if he vows, 'This meat be forbidden me.' For if he vows [to abstain] from something, and it is mixed up with another, if it [the forbidden food] is sufficient to impart its taste [to the other], it is forbidden!10 - There is no question about 'these': that is certainly essential.11 The problem is with respect to 'that I taste not': is that essential or not?12 - Come and hear: ['Konam that I taste not fish or fishes'], he is forbidden [to eat] them, both large and small, salted and unsalted, raw and cooked. Yet he may eat hashed terith and brine!13 - Raba said: Providing it [the brine] had already issued from them [before the vow].14
(1) Infra 53b. Thus R. Jose permits what is made from the forbidden substance, whilst in the Mishnah he declares curd forbidden under the term milk.
(2) Lit., 'what comes from them'.
(3) Since an ordinary vow does not interdict the juice (If grapes and olives, whilst in the second clause thus is forbidden, the question arises, on account of which particular phrase are they prohibited? Is it because he vowed 'these grapes', or because he added 'that I taste not', superfluous in itself, being implied in konam, and therefore perhaps extending the vow to oil and wine?
(4) Infra 57a.
(5) Though he said 'these'. This proves that the essential clause in the Mishnah is 'that I taste not'.
(6) Though the firmer is an entirely different thing: how much more than that which actually issues therefrom!
(7) This continues the quotation.
(8) For, according to the last answer, this is more likely to be forbidden than the others. Hence, were this permitted, it would be explicitly stated. This too proves that the essential clause is 'that I taste not'.
(9) For the sake of uniformity. But actually it may be permitted.
(10) This definitely proves that 'this' is essential.
(11) I.e., it is certain that 'these' alone extends the vow as indicated.
(12) Is that phrase alone sufficient to extend its scope?
(13) Brine is the juice that issues from the fish, yet it is permitted, though he said, 'that I taste not'. This proves that that alone is insufficient.
(14) But the brine which issues thereafter may be forbidden: hence the problem remains.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 53a
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM DATES IS PERMITTED DATE HONEY; FROM WINTER GRAPES,'1 HE IS PERMITTED VINEGAR MADE FROM WINTER GRAPES - R. JUDAH B. BATHYRA SAID: IF IT BEARS THE NAME OF ITS ORIGIN,2 AND HE VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM IT,3 HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM WHAT COMES FROM IT. BUT THE SAGES PERMIT IT.
GEMARA. But the Sages are identical with the first Tanna? - They differ in respect of the following which was taught: R. Simeon b. Eleazar laid down this general rule: Whatever is eaten itself, and what comes from it too is eaten, e.g., dates and the honey of dates, and he vowed [abstinence] from the substance itself, he is forbidden that which comes from it;4 but if he vows [abstinence] from what comes from it, he is also forbidden the substance itself.5 But if the substance is not eaten itself, whilst what comes from it is,6 and he vowed [abstinence] from the substance itself, he is forbidden only what comes from it,7 because he meant nought else but what comes from it.8
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM WINE MAY PARTAKE OF APPLE-WINE [CIDER]; FROM OIL HE IS PERMITTED SESAME OIL;9 FROM HONEY, HE IS PERMITTED DATE HONEY; FROM VINEGAR, HE IS PERMITTED THE VINEGAR OF WINTER GRAPES; FROM LEEKS, HE IS PERMITTED PORRET;10 FROM VEGETABLES, HE IS PERMITTED FIELD HERBS,11 BECAUSE IT IS A QUALIFYING EPITHET.12
GEMARA. It was taught: He who vows [to abstain] from oil: to Palestine sesame oil is permitted him, but he is forbidden olive oil; in Babylon, he is forbidden sesame oil but permitted olive oil. In the place where they are both commonly used, both are forbidden. But that is obvious? - It is necessary to teach it only when most people use one: I might think that the majority must be followed. We are therefore taught that a doubtful prohibition is [resolved] stringently.13
He who vows [abstinence] from vegetables, in normal years is forbidden garden vegetables but permitted wild vegetables; in the seventh year. He is forbidden wild vegetables but permitted garden vegetables.14 R. Abbahu said on the authority of R. Hanina b. Gamaliel:
(1) סתוא סתוניות winter, remaining on the tree till winter.
(2) As here, the vinegar being called 'winter grapes vinegar'.
(3) Sc. the article of its origin, i.e., winter grapes.
(4) T. J. has 'permitted', which Wilna Gaon regards as correct.
(5) V. preceding note.
(6) E.g winter grapes.
(7) If the substance is foresworn.
(8) The first Tanna, who rules that vinegar of winter grapes is permitted, disagrees with R. Simeon b. Eleazar, whilst the Sages agree with him. Hence, 'the Sages permit it', refers to the substance itself, when not usually eaten, but not to what comes from it
(9) שומשום (pl. שומשמין) probably fr. שמש (sun-flower), sesame.
(10) קפלוט pl. קפלוטות (**), is a species of leek with a head (porrum capitatum).
(11) Wild vegetables.
(12) The reason of all these is that is where a qualifying epithet is normally added to the name of the substance it is not included in the unspecified term: thus, in speaking of wine (unspecified), grape wine is meant, not apple wine: and so the rest.
(13) Consequently, though a particular oil is used by a minority only, yet if its usage is sufficiently prevalent to warrant the assumption that the vow may have been meant to include it, it is forbidden.
(14) Since none are planted then, by the unspecified term wild vegetables are meant.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 53b
This was taught only where vegetables are not imported into Palestine from abroad;1 but where they are imported into Palestine from abroad, [garden vegetables] are forbidden. This is dependent on Tannaim: Vegetables may not be imported from abroad into Palestine; R. Hanina b. Gamaliel said: We may import them. What is the reason of him who prohibits it? - R. Jeremiah said: On account of the clods of earth.2
MISHNAH. [HE WHO VOWS TO ABSTAIN] FROM CABBAGE IS FORBIDDEN ASPARAGUS;3 FROM ASPARAGUS, HE IS PERMITTED CABBAGE;4 FROM POUNDED BEANS, HE IS FORBIDDEN MIKPEH:5 R. JOSE PERMITS IT. [IF ONE VOWS TO ABSTAIN] FROM MIKPEH, HE IS FORBIDDEN GARLIC. R. JOSE PERMITS IT; FROM GARLIC, HE IS PERMITTED MIKPEH. FROM LENTILS, LENTIL CAKES ARE FORBIDDEN HIM. R. JOSE PERMITS THEM. FROM LENTIL CAKES, LENTILS ARE PERMITTED HIM. [IF ONE SAYS] 'KONAM, IF I TASTE HITTAH, HITTIN',6 BOTH THE FLOUR THEREOF AND THE [BAKED] BREAD ARE FORBIDDEN TO HIM: IF I TASTE GERIS, GERISSIN',7 HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO PARTAKE] OF THEM WHETHER RAW OR COOKED. R. JUDAH SAID: [IF ONE DECLARES], 'KONAM, IF I TASTE HITTAH OR GERIS,' HE MAY CHEW THEM RAW.
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: [If one vows 'Konam,] if I taste hittah [wheat]', baked wheat [i.e., flour] is forbidden him, but he may chew it raw; '[Konam,] if I taste hittin,'8 he may not chew them raw, but if baked, they are permitted;9 'If I taste hittah, hittin', he may neither eat them baked nor chew them raw. [If he says. 'Konam,] if I taste geris', it is forbidden cooked, but may be chewed [raw]; '[Konam], if I taste gerrissin', he is forbidden either to cook them or chew them raw. [
(1) Lit., 'outside the Land (of Israel)'.
(2) Which may adhere to the roots when they are brought: these clods were considered unclean, v. Shab. 15b.
(3) Being considered a species of the genus 'cabbage' (Jast.).
(4) The part is included in the whole, but the whole is not included in the part.
(5) A stiff mass of oil, grist, and onions (Jast.).
(6) hittah, a grain of wheat, also (generically) wheat; pl. hittim (in popular speech the Aramaic plural hittin, was used).
(7) Geris, a pounded bean, also used collectively: pl. gerissim.
(8) Wheat, but plural in form.
(9) Such are the respective meanings assigned in common speech to hittah and hittin: the same difference occurs in geris and gerissin.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 54a
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM VEGETABLES IS PERMITTED GOURDS. R. AKIBA FORBIDS THEM. THE [SAGES] SAID TO HIM, BUT WHEN A MAN SAYS TO HIS AGENT 'FETCH ME VEGETABLES, HE REPLIES, I COULD OBTAIN ONLY GOURDS. HE ANSWERED, EXACTLY: BUT WOULD HE SAY, 'I COULD OBTAIN ONLY PULSE?'1 BUT THAT GOURDS ARE INCLUDED IN VEGETABLES, WHILST PULSE IS [DEFINITELY] NOT. HE IS [ALSO] FORBIDDEN FRESH EGYPTIAN BEANS. BUT PERMITTED THE DRY SPECIES].2
GEMARA. HE WHO VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM VEGETABLES etc. But he vowed [to abstain] from vegetables!3 - Said 'Ulla: This refers to one who vows. 'The vegetables of the pot [be forbidden] to me.'4 But perhaps he meant vegetables which are eaten [with food cooked] in a pot?5 - He said: 'Vegetables that are cooked in a pot [he forbidden] to me.'6
Wherein do they differ? - The Rabbis maintain: Whatever an agent must inquire about does not belong to the same species;7 but R. Akiba maintains, Whatever the agent needs inquire about is of the same species.8 Abaye said: R. Akiba admits in respect to punishment that he is not flagellated.9
We learnt elsewhere: If the agent carried out his commission, the principal10 is guilty of a trespass; if he did not carry out his commission, he himself is guilty of a trespass.11 With which Tanna does this agree? R. Hisda said: Our Mishnah does not agree with R. Akiba. For we learnt:12 Thus, if he said to him, 'Give the guests meat, and he gave them liver; '[give them] liver,' and he gave them meat, the agent is guilty of a trespass.13 But if this agrees with R. Akiba: did he not say. Whatever an agent must inquire about, belongs to that species? In that case, the principal, and not the agent, should be liable to a trespass-[offering]?14 Abaye said, This may agree even with R. Akiba:
(1) If only pulse were obtainable, he would simply report that vegetables were unobtainable.
(2) These are two different species, the fresh regarded as a vegetable, the dry a cereal, because it is ground into flour.
(3) Which gourds are certainly not.
(4) And since gourds are boiled in pots, R. Akiba maintains that they are included.
(5) E.g., onions, which are put in a pot for seasoning.
(6) This most refer to something prepared for itself, and not mere seasoning.
(7) A servant, being told to buy vegetables and finding only gourds, would ask his master whether these would do.
(8) For if not, he would reject them immediately.
(9) For eating them. Though he forbids them, it is not certain that they are vegetables.
(10) Lit., 'householder'.
(11) V. Me'il, 20a. The reference is to hekdesh (q.v. Glos.), which must not be appropriated for secular use; if it is (unwittingly), a trespass-offering must be brought, v. Lev. V, 14. Now, if one instructs his agent to do this, and his instructions are exactly carried out, he is responsible; if not, the agent is held to have acted of his own accord and is himself responsible.
(12) Continuing the Mishnah quoted.
(13) It should be observed that by offering this hekdesh to the guests the agent has already misappropriated it by withdrawing it from sacred to secular ownership. The sacrifice is due for that withdrawal; hence when the guests eat it. It is no longer sacred, and no obligation rests upon them.
(14) For if one is sent to buy meat and finds only liver, he should certainly consult his master about it. Therefore, if the servant gave liver when ordered to give meat, on R. Akiba's view he carried out his master's instructions.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 54b
does not R. Akiba admit that he must consult [his principal]?1 When this discussion was repeated before Raba, he remarked, Nahmani hath said well.2
Which Tanna disagrees with R. Akiba? - R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. For it was taught: He who vows [to abstain] from meat, is forbidden every kind of meat; he is also forbidden the head, feet, windpipe, liver, heart, and fowl; but he is permitted the flesh of fish and locusts. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: He who vows [to abstain] from meat is forbidden every kind of meat, but permitted the head, feet, windpipe, liver, heart and fowl, and it is superfluous to mention the flesh of fish and locusts.3 And thus R. Simeon b. Gamaliel used to say: The entrails are not meat, and he who eats them is no man. In respect of what is this said?4 [To teach that] he who eats them as meat is no man in respect of purchase.5
Why does the first Tanna declare fowl forbidden? Because the agent is wont to inquire about it! But the same applies to flesh of fish in regard to which the agent too, if he can obtain no meat, consults [his master] saying. 'If I cannot obtain meat, shall I bring fish?' Hence it should be forbidden? - Said Abaye: This refers to one who was bled [just before his vow] who [consequently] would not eat fish.6 If so he would not eat fowl either, for Samuel said: If one is bled, and then eats fowl, his heart will palpitate like a fowl's. And it was taught: One must not be bled and eat fish, fowl, or pickled meat. And it was taught: If one is bled, he must not eat milk, cheese, eggs, cress owl, or pickled meat! - Fowl is different, because it may be eaten after being thoroughly boiled. Abaye [also] said:7 It refers to one whose eyes ache, fish being injurious to the eyes. If so, he should eat fish, for Samuel said, Nun, Samek, 'Ayin8 [read] Nuna [fish] sama [are a healing] la-'enayim [to the eyes]! - That is at the end of the illness.9
(1) Though maintaining that it is of the same species, R. Akiba agrees that a servant should not take meat when ordered to get liver without further instructions. Consequently his action is regarded as his own.
(2) Abaye was an orphan brought up in the house of Rabbah b. Nahmani, who called him by the name of his father, v. Git. (Sonc. ed.) p. 240, n. 6.
(3) Thus he maintains that liver is not included in meat, and so differs from R. Akiba.
(4) Thus the reading as emended by Hart. Since R. Simeon does not exclude the entrails from the things forbidden, in what respect are they not meat?
(5) I.e., If one likes them as much as other meat and is prepared to pay the same price, he is regarded as irrational (Rashi). Tosaf. in Meil. 20b s v. קרבײם explains this: If one buys an animal and finds that the entrails are unfit fir food, he cannot demand that the sale be nullified in that account, since they are not meant for human consumption.
(6) It was considered unhealthy to eat fish after being bled. Since then he would not have eaten fish in any case, his vow was not directed against it.
(7) 'Also' must be added if this reading be retained, since the first answer was also Abaye's. In Me'il. loc. cit., however, the reading is 'R. Papa'.
(8) Three letters of the Hebrew alphabet in order.
(9) When the eyes are recovering, fish is beneficial, but at the beginning of the ailment of fish is injurious.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 55a
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM DAGAN [GRAIN] IS FORBIDDEN DRY EGYPTIAN BEANS: THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW, BUT THE SAGES SAY: ONLY THE FIVE PIECES ARE FORBIDDEN HIM.1 R. MEIR SAID: IF HE VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM TEBU'AH,2 HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY THE FIVE SPECIES; BUT ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM DAGAN, IS FORBIDDEN ALL; YET HE IS PERMITTED THE FRUITS OF THE TREE AND VEGETABLES.
GEMARA. Shall we say that DAGAN implies anything that can he heaped up?3 To this R. Joseph objected: And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first-fruits of corn [dagan] wine and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.4 But should you say that DAGAN implies everything that can be heaped up, what is meant by, And as soon as the commandment came abroad they brought in abundance?5 - Abaye answered: It is to include the fruits of the tree and vegetables.
R. MEIR SAID: IF ONE VOWS [TO ABSTAIN] FROM TEBU'AH, etc. R. Johanan said: All agree that if one vows [to abstain] from tebu'ah, the five species only are forbidden to him. It was taught likewise: And both6 agree that if one vows [abstinence] from tebu'ah, only the five species are forbidden. But that is obvious? - Tonight argue, tebu'ah implies everything: therefore he teaches that it does not imply everything. R. Joseph objected: And as soon as the commandment came abroad, they brought in abundance etc.?7 - Raba answered: Tebu'ah is one thing: tebu'ath sadeh is another.8
The Son of Mar Samuel ordered that thirteen thousand zuz worth of 'allalta9 from Nehar Pania10 should be given to Raba. So Raba sent [an enquiry] to R. Joseph: what is meant by 'allalta? - R. Joseph replied, It is [taught in] a Baraitha: And all agree that if he vows [abstinence] from tebu'ah, the five species only are forbidden him. Said Abaye to him. How compare? Tebu'ah implies only the five species, [whereas] 'allalta implies everything. When this was repeated before Raba, he observed, I am in no doubt that 'allalta means everything. My problem is this: What of the rent of houses and the hire of ships? Shall We say, Since they depreciate, they are not included in 'allalta,' or perhaps since the depreciation is imperceptible they [too] are termed 'allalta?11 The scholars narrated this to R. Joseph, 'Since he does not need us!' he exclaimed, 'why did he send to us?' And so R. Joseph was annoyed. When Raba learnt this, he went before him on the eve of the Day of Atonement, and found his attendant mixing him a cup of wine.12 'Let me prepare it for him,' said he. So he gave it to him, and he mixed the cup of wine. On drinking it he observed, 'This mixture is like that of Raba the son of R. Joseph b. Hama. 'It is indeed he,' was his reply. He then said to him, 'Do not take your seat13 until you have explained this verse to me. [Viz.,] What is meant by, 'And from the wilderness, Mattanah; and from Mattanah, Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel, Bamoth'?14 - He replied , When one makes himself as the wilderness, which is free to all,15 the Torah is presented to
in from the field', is wider in scope, and applies to everything brought in from the field, even fruit and vegetables. him as a gift [mattanah] as it is written, 'And from the wilderness, Mattanah'. And once he has it as a gift, God gives it to him as an inheritance [nahaliel],16 as it is written, 'And from Mattanah, Nahaliel;' And when God gives it him as an inheritance, he ascends to greatness' as it is written, 'And from Nahaliel, Bamoth [heights']. But if he exalts himself, the Holy One, blessed be He, casts him down, as it is written, 'And from Bamoth, the valley'.17 Moreover, he is made to sink18 into the earth, as it is written, Which is pressed down19 into the desolate soil. But should he repent, the Holy One, blessed be He, will raise him again,
(1) Viz., Wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spell.
(2) Field produce.
(3) Heb. midgan: this being the reason that R. Meir forbids dry Egyptian beans under the term DAGAN.
(4) II Chron. XXXI, 5: The emphasis laid upon the abundance of their offering implies that they brought more tithes than required by Biblical law.
(5) Since they were obliged to tithe DAGAN by Biblical law, and DAGAN includes all things that can be heaped up, what did they add to the Biblical ordinance? (Rashi). Asheri explains: since DAGAN includes all things that can be heaped up, what else be implied by the phrase 'and all the increase of the field'?
(6) R. Meir and the Sages.
(7) 'And all the increase of the field' (tebu'ath sadeh) is not confined there to the five species only (Rashi). Tosaf. remarks: And Abaye has already interpreted it as referring to vegetables and fruit.
(8) I.e. tebu'ah does mean the five species only: but tehu'ath sadeh, lit., 'that which is brought
(9) 'Allalta, connected with Heb. עלל (cf. Lam. I, 22: and do unto them, as thou has done unto me ועולל למו כאשר עוללת לי) denotes that which is produced (in the fields), and is the Aramaic equivalent of tebu'ah.
(10) [Harpania, a rich agricultural town in the Mesene district S. of Babylon situated on a hill and canal. Obermeyer (op. cit.) p. 198ff.]
(11) 'Allalta, perhaps derived by popular etymology from עלל to enter, to come in (as revenue), applies to that which appreciates, not depreciates. viz., field produce, which from the time of sowing until it is ready for food appreciates in value. Once ready, it cannot depreciate as food, whereas a house, even when still fit for its purpose, continuously depreciates.
(12) Wine was not drunk raw, but had to be diluted with water.
(13) Lit., 'sit on your legs'. V. Nazir (Sonc. ed.) p. 87, n. 7.
(14) Num. XXI, 19f.
(15) I.e., is prepared truly to teach the Torah to all.
(16) I.e., it becomes his safe possession.
(17) From the heights he is hurled down into the valley.
(18) Var. lec. pressed down - שוקפין - which has a more obvious connection with the verse adduced.
(19) ונשקפה E.V. 'which looketh', is here connected with שקף to strike (down).
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 55b
as it is written, Every valley shall be exalted.1
It was taught: He who vows [to abstain] from dagan is also forbidden dry Egyptian beans; yet moist ones are permitted. He is also permitted rice, grist, groats and pearl-barley. He who vows [to abstain] from the fruits of that year, is forbidden all the fruit of that year, but is permitted goats, lambs, milk, eggs, and fledglings [of that year].2 But if he vows, 'The growths of this year [be forbidden] to me,' all these are forbidden. He who vows [abstinence] from the fruits of the earth is forbidden all the fruits of the earth, yet is permitted mushrooms and truffles; but if he vows, 'that which grows from the earth [be forbidden] to me,' all these are forbidden him. But this contradicts the following: For that which does not grow from the earth, one must recite the benediction, 'by whose word all things exist.'3 And it was taught: For salt, brine mushrooms, and truffles, 'by whose word all things exist' is said!4 - Abaye answered, They do indeed grow out of the earth, but draw their sustenance from the air,5 and not from the earth. But he [the Tanna] states: For that which does not grow out of the earth?6 - Read: For that which does not draw its sustenance from the earth.7
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM GARMENTS IS PERMITTED SACK-CLOTH,8 CURTAIN,9 AND BLANKET WRAPPING. IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM, IF WOOL COMES UPON ME,' HE MAY COVER HIMSELF WITH WOOL FLEECES;10 [KONAM] IF FLAX COMES UPON ME', HE MAY COVER HIMSELF WITH FLAX BUNDLES.11 R. JUDAH SAID: IT ALL DEPENDS UPON THE PERSON WHO VOWS, [THUS:] IF HE IS LADEN [WITH WOOL OR FLAX] AND PERSPIRES AND HIS ODOUR IS OPPRESSIVE, AND HE VOWS 'KONAM' IF WOOL OR FLAX COME UPON ME,' HE MAY WEAR THEM, BUT NOT THROW THEM [AS A BUNDLE] OVER HIS BACK.12
GEMARA. It was taught: He who vows [not to benefit] from garments is permitted sack-cloth, curtain, and blanket wrapping. But he is forbidden a belt,13 fascia,14 scortea, a leather spread, shoes,15 knee breeches breeches and a hat. What is a scortea? - Rabbah b. But Huna said: a leather coat.
It was taught: One may go out [on the Sabbath] wearing a thick sack-cloth, a coarse blanket, a curtain, and a blanket wrap, to keep off the rain;16 but not with a box, basket17 or matting for the sane purpose. Shepherds may go out with sacks;18 not only shepherds, but all men, but that the Sages spoke of what is usual.
R. JUDAH SAID, IT ALL DEPENDS UPON THE PERSON WHO VOWED, etc. It was taught: How did R. Judah say, it all depends upon the person who vows? If he is wearing wool, and he is irritated and he vows 'Konam, if wool comes upon me,' he is forbidden to wear, but permitted to carry it; if he is laden with flax and perspires and vows, 'Konam, if flax comes upon me, he may wear but must not carry it.
(1) Isa. XL, 4.
(2) Though metaphorically they too might be regarded as the fruits of the year, the vow must be understood literally.
(3) This deals with the blessings to be recited before partaking of food or drink.
(4) The combination of these two statements proves that mushrooms and truffles are not earth-grown, and thus contradicts the ruling that a vow to abstain from what grows from the earth includes them.
(5) Therefore they are included in the vow, 'growths of the earth'; yet since their sustenance is drawn chiefly from the air, they are not regarded as earth grown in respect of a benediction.
(6) Whilst according to Abaye they do.
(7) This is hardly an emendation, but rather an interpretation; cf. p. 3, n. 2.
(8) [Of goats-hair, v. Kel. XXVII, 1.]
(9) Some kind of rough, ready garment, which was not a garment proper.
(10) Because the vow implies garments which can he worn.
(11) אניצי פשתן flax - stalks after they are soaked, beaten and baked (Jast.).
(12) For in the circumstances it is evident that his vow referred to it as a load, not as a garment.
(13) The פונדא was a hollow belt used as a pouch.
(14) A band or sash; Lat. fascia.
(15) The word is the plural of **, impilia (pair of) felt shoes (Jast.).
(16) These, though not actually garments, are nevertheless counted as such, and hence permissible on the Sabbath.
(17) Placed over the head to ward off the rains.
(18) In the first clause, 'sack-cloth' would seem to refer to a rough garment; in the second, 'sacks' is probably to be understood literally', put over one's head to ward off the rain.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 56a
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM A HOUSE IS PERMITTED THE UPPER STOREY:1 THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY: THE UPPER STOREY IS INCLUDED IN 'HOUSE'. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO HAVE THE USE OF] THE UPPER STOREY IS PERMITTED [THE USE OF] THE HOUSE.
GEMARA. Which Tanna taught: [And I put a plague of leprosy] in a house [of the land of your possession]:2 this includes the side-chambers;3 'in a house', this includes the upper storey? - R. Hisda said, It is R. Meir's teaching. For if the Rabbis', why require 'in a house' to include the upper storey, since they say that an upper storey is an integral part of the house? Abaye said, it may agree even with the Rabbis, yet a verse is necessary. For you might think, [since] it is written, 'in a house of the land of your possession': that which is [directly] attached to the land4 is called 'house', but the upper storey, not being attached to the land, [is not called 'house']. With whom does the following dictum of R. Huna b. Hiyya in 'Ulla's name agree? Viz., [If one says,] I sell you a house5 within my house,' he can offer him an upper storey. Hence it is only because he says, 'I sell you a house within my house';6 but in the case of 'house' without definition he cannot offer him the upper storey. Shall we say, It agrees with R. Meir? - You may even say, It agrees with the Rabbis: by 'aliyyah, the best7 of his houses is meant.8
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINANCE] FROM A BED IS PERMITTED DARGESH:9 THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY: DARGESH IS INCLUDED IN 'BED'. IF HE VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A DARGESH, HE IS ALLOWED [THE USE OF] A BED.
GEMARA. What is dargesh? - 'Ulla said: A bed reserved for the domestic genius.10 Said the Rabbis to 'Ulla: But we learnt, When he [sc. the High Priest] was given the mourner's meal,11 all the people sat on the ground, whilst he reclined on the dargesh. Now, in normal times12 he does not sit upon it, yet on that day he does! Rabina demurred to this: Let it be analogous to meat and wine, of which at other times12 he partakes or not, as he pleases, whereas on that day we give them to him?13 But this is the difficulty. for it was taught: The dargesh was not lowered14 but stood up [on its legs]. Now if you say that it is the bed of the domestic genius, has it not been taught: He who lowers his bed, lowers not merely his own bed [as mourner], but all the beds of the house? - This is no difficulty:
(1) These were quite distinct, often belonging to separate owners; cf. B.M. 116b.
(2) Lev. XIV, 34.
(3) יציע, V. B.B. 61a. So curr edd. Ran and Wilna Gaon emend it to צבוע painted walls, because side chambers are excluded in the Sifra from the laws of leprosy, and the teaching is that even these are subject to the lass of house leprosy. This is necessary, because leprosy in garments only applies to undyed materials. - Neg. XI, 3.
(4) This soil.
(5) [בית may mean either an apartment or a whole house, v. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 247. n. 6.]
(7) מעולה fr. עלה, lit., 'the highest'.
(8) I.e., the purchaser can demand the best of his houses, the phrase in Hebrew בית שבביתי denoting the superlative. But if he simply sold him a בית he could give him an upper storey.
(9) V. Gemara.
(10) I.e., one not put to any use, but to bring good luck to the house.
(11) The first meal eaten by mourners after the funeral was called the סעודת הבראה meal of comfort or restoration, v. Sanh. 20a.
(12) Lit., 'the whole year'.
(13) [On the wine drunk at the house of the mourner, v. Keth. 8a. There is however no law stated anywhere else that meat had to form part of the mourner's meal of comfort. The only reference in Sem. XIV speaks merely of a local custom (cf. Tur Yoreh De'ah, 282). It should however be noted that the parallel passages (Sanh. 20a and M.K. 27a) read: 'Let it be analogous to eating and drinking', and this is also the reading of MS.M. here.]
(14) As is the rule with all other stools and beds in a house of mourning.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 56b
for it may be similar to the trestle1 reserved for utensils. For it was taught, If there was a trestle reserved for utensils [in the house], he need not lower it. But if there is a difficulty, it is this: For it was taught: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: As for the dargesh, its thongs are untied and it automatically collapses;2 but if the dargesh is the bed of the domestic genius, has it then thongs? When Rabin came,3 he said, I consulted one of the scholars named R. Tahlifa b. Tahlifa of the West,4 who frequented the leather-workers' market, and he told me, What is dargesh.? A leather bed.5 It has been stated: What is a mittah, and what a dargesh? - R. Jeremiah said, [In] a mittah [a bedstead] the strapwork is drawn on top; a dargesh has the strapwork inside.6
An objection is raised: From when are wooden articles ready to receive uncleanliness?7 A mittah and a cradle from when they are smoothed [by being rubbed] with fish skin.8 Now if the mittah has its strapwork drawn up on top, why must it be smoothed with fish skin?9 But both [the mittah and the dargesh] have their strappings drawn inside: a mittah has its straps drawn in and on through slits [in the boards]; those of a dargesh go in and on through loops.
R. Jacob b. Aha said in Rabbi's name: A mittah whose poles10 protrude [downwards]11 is set up [on its side], and that is sufficient.12 R. Jacob b. Idi said in R. Joshua b. Levi's name: The halachah is as R. Simeon b. Gamaliel.13
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM A TOWN, MAY ENTER THE TOWN TEHUM:14 BUT MAY NOT ENTER ITS OUTSKIRTS.15 BUT ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A HOUSE, IS FORBIDDEN FROM THE DOOR-STOP16 AND WITHIN.
GEMARA. Whence do we know that the outskirts of a town are as the town itself? - R. Johanan said, Because it is written, and it came to pass, when Joshua was in Jericho etc.17 Now, what is meant by 'in Jericho'? Shall we say, actually in Jericho: but is it not written. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel?18 Hence it must mean in its outskirts.19 Then say that it means even in the tehum?20 - But with respect to the tehum it is written, And ye shall measure without the city [in the east side two thousand cubits etc.].21
BUT ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A HOUSE IS FORBIDDEN FROM THE DOOR-STOP AND WITHIN. But not from the door-stop and without.22 R. Mari objected: Then the priest shall go out of the house;23 I might think that he goes home and then has it probably of the width. To these a cross-piece was attached, the whole forming a frame over which a net or curtain was slung. shut up; therefore it is taught, to the door of the house.24 If [I had only to go by] 'to the door of the house,' I might think that he stands under the lintel and closes it; therefore, it is written, ['Then the priest shall go] out of the house', implying that he must go right out of it - How so? He must stand at the side of the lintel and close it. Yet how do we know that if he goes home and has it closed, or stands under the lintel and shuts it, that it is validly shut? From the verse, And shut up the house,25 implying no matter how it be done.26 - In the case of the [leprous] house it is different, because it is written 'out of the house', implying that he must go right out of the house.
(1) מטה mittah, lit., 'bed'; this trestle must have been similar in shape to a bed.
(2) This too refers to a house of mourning.
(3) From Palestine.
(4) The Palestinian.
(5) Its strapping consisted of leather instead of ropes. Not being supported by long legs it stood very low. For this reason it is disputed in the Mishnah whether it is included in bed or not, and also whether it needs lowering during mourning. v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 107, n. 1.
(6) The straps are attached on the inside through slits in the frame.
(7) An article cannot become unclean unless it is completely finished for rise.
(8) To polish the surface, v. Kel. XXI, 1.
(9) By the mittah the bedstead itself, i.e., the framework, is understood. If this framework is always overlaid with straps; why need it he smoothed at all?
(10) נקליטין, two poles fixed at the head and foot of the bedstead, in the centre
(11) I.e., below the level of the bedding to the space underneath.
(12) The reference is to a house of mourning. Such a bed, if actually lowered, may appear to he standing in its usual position, since then the poles protrude upwards.
(13) That the thongs of a dargesh must be untied in a house of mourning.
(14) A distance of two thousand cubits right round the town boundaries.
(15) 70 2/3 cubits from the town borders. The two thousand cubits which is the permitted journey outside the town on the Sabbath, are calculated from the outer edge of these 70 2/3 cubits, v. 'Er. 52b.
(16) The moulding of the door frame against which the door shuts.
(17) Josh. V, 13.
(18) Ibid. VI, 1.
(19) Which are referred to as the town itself.
(20) Perhaps Joshua was stationed within the tehum of Jericho which is spoken of as 'in Jericho'.
(21) Num. XXXV. 5.
(22) I.e., the steps or threshold up to the doorstep are permitted.
(23) Lev. XIV, 38. The priest, after inspecting the leprous house for the first time, was to go out and have it sealed up for a week.
(24) Lev. XIV, 38.
(26) Now, when one is outside the lintel, he is also, of course, outside the door-stop: yet he is not regarded here as being right out of the house, thus contradicting the implication of the Mishnah that without the door-stop is not part of the house.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 57a
MISHNAH. [IF A MAN SAYS]. 'KONAM BE THESE FRUITS TO ME, BE THEY KONAM FOR MY MOUTH,' OR 'BE THEY KONAM TO MY MOUTH,' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM WHAT IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR WHAT GROWS FROM THEM. [IF HE SAYS KONAM] IF I EAT OR TASTE OF THEM, HE IS PERMITTED [TO BENEFIT] FROM WHAT IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR WHAT GROWS OF THEM, [THAT IS] IN A THING OF WHICH THE SEED ITSELF PERISHES: BUT IF THE SEED DOES NOT PERISH,1 EVEN THAT WHICH GROWS OUT OF THAT WHICH [FIRST] GREW FROM IT IS FORBIDDEN. IF HE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'KONAM BE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS TO ME,' .'KONAM BE THEY FOR MY MOUTH, OR 'KONAM BE THEY TO MY MOUTH':2 HE IS FORBIDDEN THAT WHICH IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR GROWN FROM THEM. [IF HE SAID, KONAM] IF I EAT OR TASTE [THEREOF]'. HE IS PERMITTED WHAT IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR WHAT IS GROWN FROM THEM, THAT IS IN A THING OF WHICH PERISHES THE SEED ITSELF, BUT IF THE SEED DOES PERISH, EVEN THAT WHICH GROWS OUT OF THAT WHICH [FIRST] GREW FROM IT IS FORBIDDEN. [IF HE SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'KONAM THAT] WHAT YOU WILL PRODUCE I WILL NOT EAT THEREOF UNTIL PASSOVER' OR 'THAT WHAT YOU WILL PRODUCE, I WILL NOT WEAR UNTIL PASSOVER', HE MAY EAT OR WEAR AFTER PASSOVER OF WHAT SHE PRODUCES BEFORE PASSOVER. '[THAT] WHAT YOU PRODUCE UNTIL PASSOVER I WILL NOT EAT', OR '[THAT] WHAT YOU PRODUCE UNTIL PASSOVER I WILL NOT WEAR', HE MAY NOT EAT OR WEAR AFTER PASSOVER WHAT SHE PRODUCES BEFORE PASSOVER.3 [IF HE SAYS, KONAM] BE ANY BENEFIT YOU HAVE FROM ME UNTIL PASSOVER, IF YOU GO TO YOUR FATHER'S HOUSE UNTIL THE FESTIVAL4 IF SHE GOES BEFORE PASSOVER SHE MAY NOT BENEFIT FROM HIM UNTIL PASSOVER:
(1) E.g., garlic or onions; these, when placed in the soil, do not rot away, but grow so that their growths always contain part of the original.
(2) And she was paid by means of agricultural produce.
(3) The reference is to her earnings in general, which he may not expend on food or clothing.
(4) [החג where unspecified denotes generally the Festival of Succoth, cf. I Kings VIII, 2.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 57b
IF SHE GOES AFTER PASSOVER1 SHE IS SUBJECT TO, HE SHALL NOT BREAK HIS WORD.2 ['KONAM] BE ANY BENEFIT YOU HAVE 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.
GEMARA. IF A MAN SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'KONAM BE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS TO ME,' 'FOR MY MOUTH,' OR 'TO MY MOUTH, etc.' Ishmael, of Kefar yama,3 - others say, Kefar Dima4 - propounded5 the case of an onion that has been pulled up in the seventh year and planted in the eighth, and its growth exceeds the stock. And this is what he asked: The growth is permitted, whilst the stock is forbidden:6 but since the growth exceeds the stock, the permitted growth comes and annuls what is forbidden;7 or is it not so?8 He came before R. Ammi, and he could not solve it. He then went before R. Isaac the smith,9 who solved it from the following dictum of R. Hanina of Torata10 in R. Jannai's name: If one plants an onion of terumah, and its increase exceeds the stock, it is [all] permitted.11 Said R. Jeremiah, others state, R. Zerika, to him, Do you abandon two and follow one? Now who are the two? - [i] R. Abbahu, who said in R. Johanan's name: If a young tree12 already with fruit is grafted on an old one, even if it multiplies two hundredfold, it [the original fruit] is forbidden.13 [ii] R. Samuel son of R. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan's name: If an onion is planted in a vineyard and the vineyard is [subsequently] removed, it [the onion] is forbidden.14
Then he [Ishmael] again went before R. Ammi, who solved it from the following: For R. Isaac said in R. Johanan's name: If a litra15 of onions was tithed16 and then planted, the whole of it must be re-tithed.17 This proves that the yield nullifies the stock.18 Perhaps, however, this is different, being in the direction of greater stringency!19 - But [it can be solved] from the following: For it was taught: R. Simeon said:
(1) After having enjoyed benefit from him.
(2) Num. XXX, 3.
(3) The former and modern Jabneel near Tiberias. V. Horowitz, Palestine, pp. 322ff.]
(4) In the original the difference is denoted by the single letter.
(5) Lit., 'brought up in his hand'.
(6) The produce of the seventh year, if retained for private use after a certain period, were forbidden for use. V. p. 183, n. 16.
(7) If something forbidden becomes mixed up with something permitted, the latter exceeding the former (the ratio of excess differs: generally it must be sixty times as much), the latter annuls the former, and it is all permitted. Here too, the stock is used with the increase.
(8) Rashi, Tosaf. and Asheri regard the problem as referring only to annulment, but that it is certain that the increase itself is permitted. Ran, however, interprets the problem as relating to the increase: either it is permitted, in which case it also annuls the stock, or all is forbidden since it grew from prohibited stock.
(9) The Rabbinate being unpaid (cf. infra 37a), many Rabbis were tradesmen or workers. E.g., Hillel was a woodcutter before he became nasi; R. Joshua was a charcoal maker, and there was a R. Johanan who was a sandal maker.
(10) This is the conjectured meaning of תריתאה otherwise תורתײה.
(11) To a lay Israelite. So likewise in our problem.
(12) I.e., less than three years old, the fruit of which, called 'orlah, is forbidden.
(13) Though elsewhere 'orlah is nullified by such an increase.
(14) For when growing there together, they were 'forbidden mixture', (Deut. XXII, 9) and hence the onion was forbidden. Though the vines were removed, and the further growth of the onion permitted, yet the original remains forbidden. (Ran.: yet it is all, including the increase, forbidden). Both these statements are opposed to the first in R. Jannai's name.
(15) **, the Roman Libra, a pound.
(16) I.e., all the priestly dues were separated from it.
(17) I.e., both the stock and the increase.
(18) Though the stock had been tithed once, the whole must he re-tithed, the original being assimilated to the increase.
(19) I.e., whereby assimilating the original to the increase the law is more stringent, it is so assimilated. But the problem is whether the original is regarded as nullified though thereby a prohibition is raised.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 58a
For everything [forbidden] which can become permitted, e .g., tebel,1 second tithe,2 hekdesh,3 and hadash,4 the Sages declared no limit.5 But for everything which cannot become permitted. e.g., terumah, the terumah of the tithe,6 hallah,7 'orlah,8 and kil'ayim of the vineyard,9 the Sages declared a limit.10 Said they to him, But seventh year produce cannot become permitted, yet the Sages set no limit to it. For we learnt: Seventh year produce of no matter what quality renders its own kind forbidden!11 He replied, my12 ruling too is only in respect of removal; but as for eating, [it renders it forbidden] only if sufficient to impart its taste thereto.13 But perhaps this too is different, since [the nullification] is in the direction of greater stringency. But solve it from the following: We learnt: Onions [of the sixth year] upon which rain fell, and which grew [in the seventh], - if the leaves are blackish, they are forbidden; if greenish, they are permitted.14 R. Hanina b. Antigonus said: If they can be pulled up by their leaves, they are forbidden.15 Conversely, on the termination of the seventh year they are permitted.16 This proves that the increase, which is permitted, nullifies that which is forbidden.17 But perhaps it refers to crushed [onions]?18 - But [it may be solved] from the following. For it was taught:
(1) V. Glos. This is forbidden for use, 'but becomes permitted oil payment of the priestly dues.
(2) A tithe which had to be eaten in Jerusalem, but forbidden elsewhere. It could, however, be redeemed, by allocating its value, plus a fifth, to he expended in Jerusalem, after which it might be enjoyed anywhere.
(3) Anything dedicated to the Temple which cannot be offered as sacrifice may be put to secular use after it is redeemed.
(4) Lit., 'new'. The new crops which are forbidden until the offering of the 'Omer, v. Lev. XXIII, 10-14.
(5) If these are mixed up with permitted food, the Sages do not rule that if the latter exceeds the former by a certain ratio the whole is permitted, as in the next clause. The reason is, since it is possible to cancel the prohibition in itself, there is no need to have recourse to nullification through excess.
(6) Of the tithe which the Levite received from the Israelite, he had to give one tenth to the priest.
(7) V. Glos. The last three are forbidden to a lay Israelite, and the prohibition itself cannot be cancelled.
(8) V. Glos.
(9) V. Glos.
(10) If these became mixed with other permitted substances, the latter nullifies them, providing they exceed them by certain fixed amounts.
(11) If mixed with other produce of the same kind, not of the seventh year, the latter is forbidden.
(12) So cur. edd., also Rashi and Asheri. Ran.: their ruling, which is more suitable to the context.
(13) The seventh year produce might he kept by its owner for his personal use only as long as like produce is still growing in the fields, and available to wild beasts. Once the produce has ceased from the fields the gathered species of the same produce must be 'removed'. That time, the exact limits of which are given in Sheb. IX. 2 et seqq. is called the time of removal. Now R. Simeon answers the difficulty thus: If seventh year produce, of no matter what quality, is mixed with other produce before the time of removal, it all becomes as the former, and must be eaten before the time of removal. For, since it is permitted until then, there is no need to have recourse to nullification by excess. But if after the time of removal (and this has not been removed, so that it may not be eaten). He permitted produce is forbidden only if there is sufficient of the prohibited to impart its taste to the whole mixture. Of course, where they are both of the same kind, this is strictly speaking impossible, but it is calculated on the basis of two different kinds. Now what has been said with respect of a mixture of two lots of produce, seventh year and non-seventh year, also applies to a single plant which is partly seventh and partly non-seventh year produce. E.g., if a sixth year onion is planted and grows no matter how slightly in the seventh, the addition, even if but the smallest fraction of the original, renders the whole as seventh year produce, which is subject to the law of removal. This we see that the increase, though grown out of that which is permitted, is reckoned as distinct from the original, and can render it forbidden. Hence, contrariwise, if the increase is permitted and of sufficient quantity, it can nullify the prohibition attaching to the original.
(14) Whilst the onion is growing naturally from the soil, its leaves have a blackish tint. But sometimes, after its natural growth has ceased, the rain inflates it, giving it a sort of over-ripeness. Then its leaves bear a greenish and faded appearance. Hence in this case, if the leaves are blackish, it is a sign that the onion has naturally grown in the seventh year, and therefore the addition renders it all forbidden, i.e. 'imposes upon the whole the law of seventh year produce. But if they are greenish, it has grown of itself, and hence permitted.
(15) Even if the leaves are not blackish, yet if they are strong enough for the whole onion to be pulled up by them without their breaking off, it is a sign if normal growth, and so forbidden.
(16) If seventh year onions were left in the soil and grew in the eighth, if the leaves go blackish, it is a sign of natural growth in the eighth, and therefore the whole onion is permitted. - Asheri observes that the two cases are not exactly similar. For the sixth year onion is
(17) And this solves the problem.
(18) I.e., if the onions were crushed and grated, so that the forbidden part no longer preserves its separate identity; in that case it is nullified by excess. But the problem arises only if the onion is intact.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 58b
If [a workman] is engaged in weeding leek plants1 for a Cuthean,2 he may make a light meal of them and must separate the tithes from them as certain.3 R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: If [the labourer is employed by] an Israelite suspected of violating the laws of the seventh year,4 he may make a light meal thereof [if working] in the eighth year.5 This proves that the growth, which is permitted, nullifies [the original stock], which is rendered forbidden even by a slight increase in the seventh, whereas he seventh under the same conditions is rendered permitted only by an increase in the eighth at least greater than the original. Nevertheless, the general principle, that blackishness of the leaves indicates natural growth, is the same in both. forbidden. But perhaps it refers to a plant whose seed perishes [in the soil]? - But it is taught: The following are leek plants: The lof,6 garlic and onions.7 But Perhaps it refers to crushed plants?8 - This teaches of one who is suspected of violating the Sabbatical year.9 But perhaps it refers to a mixture?10 - This teaches of one who is engaged in weeding.11 Now, shall we say that this refutes R. Johanan and R. Jonathan?12 - Said R. Isaac: The Sabbatical year produce is different; since the interdict is through the soil,13 its nullification too is through the soil.14 But the prohibition of the tithe is likewise through the soil,15 yet it is not nullified by the soil. For it was taught: If a litra of tithe, itself tebel,16 is sown in the soil and it improves [i.e.. increases], and is the equivalent of ten litras, it [sc. the whole] is liable to tithe17 and [is subject to the laws of] the Sabbatical year,18 whilst as for the [original] litra, a tithe thereof must be seperated from elsewhere,19 according to calculation.20
(1) The Talmud explains below what this is.
(2) V. Glos.
(3) If he wishes to make of them a regular meal. The obligation of tithing vegetables is Rabbinical only, not Biblical. When crops are tithed, and then resown, the new produce is again liable to the priestly dues. Nevertheless, a labourer engaged in working on crops may make a light meal of them. If, however, the crops originally sown were tebel (v. Glos.) one may not even make a light meal of their produce whilst working on them. Now, this Baraitha is to some extent self-contradictory, but in reality represents a compromise. Thus, the Cutheans disregarded their tithe obligations. Consequently, it must be assumed with certainty that they have not set aside the tithes from their produce, of which no regular meal may be made without tithing. This is not regarded as a doubtful tithe, viz. , that it is not known whether the Cuthean fulfilled his obligations or not, but as a certain tithe. Yet since the entire obligation is Rabbinical only, the Rabbis did not carry through this assumption to its extreme logical conclusion and forbid a labourer engaged thereon to enjoy even a snack, but permitted it, as ordinary tithed plants which are resown. This leniency is based on another possible assumption, viz., only if crops are taken in through the front of the house they are tebel in the sense that one may not even make a light meal thereof before the priestly dues are rendered. Here it is possible that these crops were never thus taken in (Tosaf.).
(4) I.e., that he planted them in the seventh year.
(5) Lit., 'the termination of the Sabbatical year'. Though the original is forbidden as seventh year produce, the increase nullifies it, and hence it is permitted to the labourer.
(6) A plant similar to colocasin, with edible leaves and roots, and bearing beans; and it is classified with onions and garlic (Jast.).
(7) Thus proving that it applies even to those plants whose original stock remain.
(8) The crushing obliterates the original stock.
(9) He would not trouble to crush it in order to evade the prohibition.
(10) I.e., the labourer may eat it only when it is mixed up with other plants, the excess of which nullifies the original forbidden stock.
(11) The labourer may eat while engaged in the act of weeding, though there is no mixture. Thus this definitely proves that the increase nullifies the original.
(12) V. supra 57b.
(13) Lev. XXV, 2: Then the land shall feet a sabbath unto the Lord
(14) But 'orlah is prohibited through immaturity, and 'diverse seeds' (kil'ayim) through mixture.
(15) I.e., by replanting. For if one sows tithed grains the produce in tebel: thus, by putting it into soil, it becomes prohibited.
(16) I.e., the tithe of which had not been given, v. p. 183, n. 9.
(17) Although itself a tithe, the ordinary law of tebel applies to it, and it must be retithed (and terumah too must be given).
(18) If it grew in that year.
(19) I.e., a tithe - the terumah of the tithe due in the first place - must be given to the priest. This tithe must not be taken out of the resultant crop, but from the previous year's, of which the litra was part, because one must not tithe one year's grain with another's.
(20) This proves that the forbidden nature of the untithed tithe remains, in spite of the fact that it was sown in the soil.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 59a
- I will tell you: The tithe obligation is caused by the storing up [of the grain].1 Rami b. Hama objected: [If a man says,] 'KONAM BE THESE FRUITS TO ME, 'BE THEY KONAM FOR MY MOUTH, OR 'BE THEY KONAM TO MY MOUTH,' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO BENEFIT] FROM WHAT IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR WHAT GROWS FROM THEM. [IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM] IF I EAT OR TASTE OF THEM,' HE IS PERMITTED [TO BENEFIT] FROM WHAT IS EXCHANGED FOR THEM OR WHAT GROWS OF THEM, [THAT IS] IN A THING OF WHICH THE SEED ITSELF PERISHES; BUT IF THE SEED DOES NOT PERISH, EVEN THAT WHICH GROWS OF THAT WHICH [FIRST] GREW FROM IT IS FORBIDDEN!2 - Said R. Abba: Vows3 are different: since if he wishes he can demand absolution from tithes, they are as [forbidden] things that may become permitted and [hence] are not nullified by excess.4 But with terumah likewise he may, if he wishes, demand absolution from it,5 and yet it can be nullified?6 For we learnt : If a se'ah7 of unclean terumah falls into less than a hundred of hullin it must [all] rot.8 [This implies. but if it falls] into a hundred [se'ahs of hullin], it is nullified? - I will tell you: This refers to terumah in the priest's hands, in regard to which he can demand no absolution.9 If so, consider the second clause: If it was undefiled, it should [all] be sold to a priest.10 But this refers to [terumah in the hands of] an Israelite, who inherited it from his maternal grandfathers a priest.11 But the second clause teaches, It must be sold to a priests save for the value of that se'ah?12 - But answer thus: As for vows, it is well, since it is meritorious to seek absolution from them on account of R. Nathan's dictum, Viz., He who vows, is as though he built a high place; and he who fulfils it, is as though he burned incense thereon. But what merit is there in seeking absolution from terumah.?13
The text [above] states: 'R. Johanan said: If a litra of onions was tithed and then planted, the whole of it must be retithed'. Now Rabbah14 was sitting and stating this law, whereupon R. Hisda said to him: Who will obey you and R. Johanan your teacher: whither has the permitted portion in them departed? He replied: But did we not learn something similar? Viz., 'Onions [of the sixth year] upon which rain fell, and which grew [in the seventh], -
(1) Until the grain is harvested and actually piled up in a stack, there is no obligation for the priestly dues. Thus it is not an obligation caused by the soil.
(2) This proves that the increase does not nullify the original, thus refuting R. Ammi's view.
(3) Konamoth, Lit., 'Vows expressed by Konam'.
(4) V. p. 183, n. 8.
(5) If one declares certain grain terumah in error, he can have this declaration nullified, and the grain reverts to its former state.
(6) Cur. edd. add 'by mere excess'. Wilna Gaon deletes this, since mere excess is insufficient, a hundred times its quantity being required.
(7) V. Glos.
(8) Unclean terumah may not he eaten by anyone, and therefore nothing can be done with the mixture.
(9) The Israelite who declares it terumah can have his declaration nullified only before it reaches the hands of the priest but not after.
(10) Obviously then it was still in the hands of an Israelite.
(11) Thus it had already belonged to a priest, and cannot be revoked.
(12) Which belongs to the priest as terumah. But under the circumstances here posited, even that se'ah too belongs to the Israelite.
(13) Therefore something prohibited by a vow is treated as that which can become permitted, since it ought to be revoked; but this does not apply to terumah.
(14) Var. lec.: Raba.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 59b
if the leaves are blackish, they are forbidden; if greenish, they are permitted.'1 But even if blackish, why are they forbidden? Let us say, whither has the permitted portion in them departed? - He replied: Do you think that it refers to the original stock? [Only] with respect to the increase is it taught. They are forbidden. If so, what does R. Simeon b. Gamaliel come to teach? For it was taught [thereon:] R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: That which grew under the obligation [of removal]2 is under that obligation: that which grew in a state of exemption is exempt. Surely the first Tanna too says thus? - The whole Mishnah is stated by R. Simeon h. Gamaliel.3 Yet you learn R. Simeon b. Gamaliel's view [to be thus] only where he took no trouble;4 but where one takes trouble,5 it [the stock] is nullified by the excess [of the increase].6 Now, where one takes trouble, is it nullified by the excess? But what of the case of the litra of tithe, itself !ebel, where he took trouble, yet it is taught, 'whilst as for the original litra, a tithe thereof must he separated from elsewhere according to calculation'?7 - The tithe is different, because Scripture saith, Thou shalt surely tithe all the increase of thy sowing.'8 and people sow what is permitted, but do not sow what is forbidden.9
The text [above states:] 'R. Hanina of Torata said in R. Jannai's name: If one plants an onion of terumah, and its increase exceeds the stock, it is [all] permitted.' Shall we say that the permitted increase
(1) V. 58a.
(2) Viz., in the Sabbatical year.
(3) The second clause is merely stating a reason for the ruling in the first.
(4) As in this case, the sixth year onions having been left in the earth during the seventh year.
(5) Where he plants the onions.
(6) This is Rabbah's remark: though it would appear that R. Simeon b. Gamaliel's view is opposed to his, in reality it is not.
(7) V. supra 58b.
(8) Deut. XIV, 22.
(9) U.e., we oblige him to give terumah on the original tithe, since he did wrong in sowing it without rendering the terumah. It is thus in the nature of a fine, that he should not profit by his neglect. But normally the original stock is nullified, when lahour is required to produce the excess.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 60a
nullifies the forbidden [stock]? But we learnt: What grows from terumah is [likewise] terumah? - He [R. Haninah] refers to the second growth.1 But we learnt this too: The second growth [of terumah] is hullin.?2 - He teaches us this: (this is so] even where the stock does not perish in the earth. But we learnt: The growth of tebel is permitted in the case where the seed thereof [which is tebel] perishes [in the earth], but if it does not perish, [even] its second growth is forbidden! - He teaches us [that the second growth is permitted] when it exceeds the original.3
MISHNAH. [IF ONE VOWS,] 'KONAM, IF I TASTE WINE TO-DAY, HE IS FORBIDDEN ONLY UNTIL IT GETS DARK; [IF HE SAYS] 'THIS SABBATH,'4 HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE WEEK AND THE SABBATH BELONGS TO THE PAST;5 'THIS MONTH,' HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE OF THAT MONTH, BUT THE BEGINNING OF THE [FOLLOWING] MONTH BELONGS TO THE FUTURE;6 'THIS YEAR,' HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE YEAR, WHIlst THE BEGINNING OF THE [FOLLOWING] YEAR BELONGS TO THE FUTURE; THIS SEPTENNATE,'7 HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE OF THAT SEPTENNATE, AND THE [FOLLOWING] SABBATICAL YEAR BELONGS TO THE PAST.8 BUT IF HE SAYS, 'ONE DAY,' 'ONE SABBATH,' 'ONE MONTH,' 'ONE YEAR,' [OR] 'ONE SEPTENNATE,' HE IS FORBIDDEN FROM DAY TO DAY.9 [IF ONE VOWS,] 'UNTIL PASSOVER, HE IS FORBIDDEN UNTIL IT ARRIVES; 'UNTIL IT BE' [PASSOVER], HE IS FORBIDDEN UNTIL IT GOES;10 'UNTIL PENE11 PASSOVER,' R. MEIR SAID: HE IS FORBIDDEN UNTIL IT ARRIVES; R. JOSE SAID: UNTIL IT GOES.
GEMARA. 'KONAM, IF I TASTE WINE' etc. R. Jeremiah12 said: At nightfall he must obtain absolution iron, a Sage.13 What is the reason? - R. Joseph said: 'To-day' is forbidden as a precautionary measure on account of 'one day'14
(1) I.e., an onion of terumah having been planted and its yield replanted, the second crop is permitted, but the first is terumah.
(2) Then what does R. Hanina teach?
(3) Whilst the Mishnah stating that it is forbidden holds good only if the growth does not exceed the original.
(4) 'Sabbath' denotes both the Sabbath day and a calendar week.
(5) I.e., the Sabbath following his vow, belongs to the current week, not the following.
(6) And hence permitted
(7) I.e., the seven-year cycle.
(8) I.e., it ends the Septennate in which the vow was made, and hence is included. An alternate rendering of the whole passage is this: 'This Sabbath' (that is the actual word of the Mishnah; v. n. I): e.g., if one vows on the Sabbath day, the whole week is forbidden, and the Sabbath of the past week too, i.e., the day of his vow, though belonging to the past week, while the vow obviously refers to the coming one, is nevertheless included. 'This month', e.g., if he vows on new moon (Rosh hodesh), the whole of the following month is forbidden, and the new moon itself is also accounted to the next month. 'This year', i.e., if one vows on new year's day, the whole of the year is forbidden, including that day, which belongs to the future. 'This septennate', i.e., if one vows in the Sabbatical year, the following septennate is forbidden, and the Sabbatical year itself in which he vows, though really belonging to the past Septennate. - On this interpretation, if a vow is made on the Sabbath, New Moon, New Year's day or in a Sabbatical year, for a Sabbath (i.e., calendar week), month, year, or septennate respectively, the day itself on which the vow is made, and in the last case, the Sabbatical year itself, are forbidden. The different phraseology used to indicate this, reference being made to the future in two cases and to the past in two others, intimates the law, if one vows in the middle of the week, etc. Thus, if in the middle of the week or septennate, the following Sabbath
(9) I.e., a day of twenty-four hours; likewise a month of thirty days, a year of twelve months, and a septennate of seven years.
(10) I.e., the future tense is regarded as future perfect.
(11) [Var. lec.: lifene. Either word may denote (a) the turn of; (b) the face of; (c) until before.]
(12) Asheri in his 'Pesakim' reads: R. Jeremiah b. Abba.
(13) But the vow is not lifted automatically.
(14) If when one vows 'to-day', he is told that the vow' automatically ends at nightfall, he may think the same of 'one day', which binds him, however, twenty-four hours.
Talmud - Mas. Nedarim 60b
Said Abaye to him: If so, let 'One day' be forbidden on account of 'to-day'?1 - He replied: 'To-day' may be mistaken for 'one day', but 'one day' cannot be mistaken for 'to-day'.2
Rabina said: Meremar told me: Thus said your father in R. Joseph's name: With whom does this statement of R. Jeremiah b. Abba agree? With R. Nathan. For it was taught: R. Nathan said: Whoever vows is as though he built a high place, and who fulfils it, is as though he burnt incense thereon.3
and Sabbatical year are forbidden; in the middle of the month or year, the following New Moon or New Year's day are permitted. Ran, Asheri and Tosaf. prefer the former interpretation: Rashi the latter.
THIS SABBATH, HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE WEEK [AND THE SABBATH BELONGS TO THE PAST]. This is obvious? - I might think that he meant the [week] days of the Sabbath:4 we are therefore taught [otherwise].
'THIS MONTH,' HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE OF THAT MONTH, BUT THE BEGINNING OF THE [FOLLOWING] MONTH BELONGS TO THE FUTURE. This is obvious? - It is necessary only when the [following] Month is defective: I might think that the new Moon belongs to the past, and is forbidden: it is therefore intimated that people call it new moon.5
'THIS YEAR,' HE IS FORBIDDEN THE WHOLE YEAR. The scholars propounded: What if one vows, 'Konam, if I taste wine a day'? is its law as 'to-day' or 'one day'? - Come and hear [a solution] from our Mishnah. 'KONAM, IF I TASTE WINE TO DAY HE IS FORBIDDEN WINE ONLY UNTIL IT GETS DARK; hence 'a day' is as 'one day'! Then consider the second clause: IF HE SAYS, 'ONE DAY,' HE IS FORBIDDEN FROM DAY TO DAY: hence a day' is as 'to-day'?6 Thus nothing can be deduced from this.
R. Ashi said, Come and hear: 'Konam, if I taste wine this year,'7 if the year was intercalated, he is forbidden for the year and the extra month. How is this meant?
(1) I.e., if he vows 'one day', let him be forbidden until the nightfall of the following day. Otherwise, if he terminates his vow in the middle of the day, twenty-four hours after its commencement, he may think that had he stated 'today', he could likewise end it in the middle of the day of his vow.
(2) I.e , if he vows 'one day', he may think that it ends at nightfall, just as 'to-day'; but if he vows 'to-day', he cannot possibly think that it ends before the nightfall of the same day, since in 'one day' the vow lasts beyond nightfall and includes part of the following day too.
(3) I.e., because one does wrong in vowing at all, he is treated stringently and ordered to obtain absolution for his vow when it should lapse automatically. In Rashi's opinion, this conflicts with the reason given by R. Joseph. But Asheri regards it as complementary thereto: whilst accepting the reasoning, he regards the fear of mistaking 'to-day' for 'one day' as insufficient in itself to justify this precautionary measure: hence he adds the reason drawn from R. Nathan's dictum.
(4) The Sabbath being a day of delight, it might be assumed that he never intended to deny himself wine on that day, since week-days too are implied in that term.
(5) The months of the Jewish year consist of either twenty-nine or thirty days and generally alternate. Hence, if the following month is detective (i.e., of twenty-nine days), this one is full. In the month following a full one, the first two days are designated 'new moon', the first being really the thirtieth day of the past full month. Hence, if one vowed in a full month, it might be thought that he is bound on the first new moon day of the next. Therefore the Mishnah teaches that since it is called new moon, People generally regard it as part of the next month, and hence he is permitted thereon. - This is the reading of Asheri, Ran and Tosaf. But our editions, and Rashi too. have: I might think that the new moon belongs to the past, and should not be forbidden. This reading cannot be reconciled with the first interpretation of the Mishnah, but agrees with the second (q.v. p. 190, n. 5). If he vowed 'this month' on the first new moon day, I might think that since it actually belongs to the past month he is not forbidden thereon. Therefore it is taught that since it is designated new moon, he must have meant to include it.
(6) In Heb. 'one' is expressed by אחד, but the indef. 'a' is unexpressed, lit., 'day', and hence the problem, and the differentiation between 'a day' and one day'.
(7) Lit., 'the year'.