Who is the Tanna of the following [teaching] taught by the Rabbis: 'If a woman undertakes a nazirite vow, and contracts ritual defilement, and then her husband declares [her vow] void, she must bring the sin-offering of a bird, but not the burnt-offering of a bird'? — R. Hisda replied: It is R. Ishmael.2 How comes [R. Ishmael] to this ruling? — If he holds that the husband nullifies [his wife's vow],3 then she should not be required to bring the sinoffering of a bird, whilst if he holds that the husband only terminates4 [the vow],5 why should she not be required to bring the burnt-offering of a bird as well? — Actually he is of the opinion that a husband nullifies [his wife's vow], and he further agrees with R. Eleazar ha-Kappar. For it has been taught: R. Eleazar ha-Kappar, Berabbi,6 said: Why does the Scripture say, And make atonement for him, for that he sinned by reason of the soul.7 Against what 'soul' did he then sin? It can only be because he denied himself wine.8 If then this man who denied himself wine only is termed a sinner, how much more so is this true of one who is ascetic in all things!
But the verse is referring to an unclean nazirite,9 whilst we are applying it even to a ritually clean nazirite? — R. Eleazar ha-Kappar10 is of the opinion that a ritually clean nazirite is also a sinner, and the reason that Scripture teaches this [lesson in connection] with a defiled nazirite is that he repeats his sin.11
IF HE LEAVES IT AND RE-ENTERS, THE DAYS ARE RECKONED. It is stated that they are reckoned.12 Does then the naziriteship begin to operate merely because he has left [the graveyard]?13 — Samuel said: [We are speaking of] where he has left it, been sprinkled [a first and] a second time and bathed.14 But [are we to infer that] if he re-enters, then only are they reckoned, whilst if he does not re-enter, they are not reckoned? — The argument is progressive. Not only [do they count] if he leaves, but [they count] also if he re-enters [immediately after purification].15
R. Kahana and R. Assi asked Rab: Why have you not explained [the Mishnah] to us in this manner? — He replied: I was under the impression that you did not require [to be told].
R. ELIEZER SAID: NOT IF HE DOES SO ON THE SAME DAY, FOR IT SAYS, AND THE FORMER DAYS SHALL BE VOID, IMPLYING THAT THERE MUST BE FORMER DAYS. 'Ulla said: R. Eliezer was referring only to a ritually defiled person who makes a nazirite vow, but a ritually clean nazirite who contracts ritual defilement, makes [his naziriteship] void, even on the first day.16
Nazir 19bRaba added: R. Eliezer's reason1 is that the text continues, Because his consecration was defiled,2 i.e., because he undertook the naziriteship during defilement.
Abaye raised an objection [from the following]. [If a man says,] 'I wish to be a nazirite for one hundred days,' and contracts ritual defilement at the very beginning of them, it might be held that this makes void [the naziriteship], but the text reads, 'And the former days shall be void'; there must first be 'former days', and here there are no former days. If he contracts ritual defilement at the end of the hundred days, it might be held that this makes void [the naziriteship], but the text reads, 'And the former days shall be void', implying that there are later days too' and here there are no days to come. If he contracts ritual defilement on the ninety-ninth day. It might be held3 that he should not make void the naziriteship, but the text reads, And the former days shall be void, implying that there must be days to come, and here there are both former days4 and days to come. Now it cannot be said that we are dealing with a ritually defiled person who makes a nazirite vow, since the account begins. "'I wish to be a nazirite for a hundred days," and he contracts defilement at the very beginning of them,' and yet it says that former days are necessary. — This indeed is a refutation [of 'Ulla].
R. Papa asked Abaye: Regarding the days that are required, is it sufficient if one has passed and [the defilement occurs when] the second begins, or must two pass, and [the defilement occur when] the third has begun? — [Abaye] had no information on the subject, so [Rab Papa] went and asked Raba. He replied: The text reads they shall fall away.5
Both the word 'days', and the [plural] form, 'they shall fall away' are needed,6 for if the Divine Law had used the word 'days' and not the form 'they shall fall away', it might have been held that it is sufficient if one day has passed, and the second begun,7 and so the Divine Law wrote 'they shall fall away'. And if it had used the form 'they shall fall away', and not [the plural] 'days', it might have been held that even one day is sufficient, and so the Divine Law uses the word days.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN VOWS A NAZIRITESHIP OF LONG DURATION AND COMPLETES IT AND THEN ARRIVES IN THE LAND [OF ISRAEL], BETH SHAMMAI SAY THAT HE IS A NAZIRITE FOR THIRTY DAYS, BUT BETH HILLEL SAY THAT HIS NAZIRITESHIP COMMENCES AGAIN AS AT FIRST. IT IS RELATED THAT QUEEN HELENA,8 WHEN HER SON WENT TO WAR,9 SAID: 'IF MY SON RETURNS IN PEACE FROM THE WAR, I SHALL BE A NAZIRITE FOR SEVEN YEARS. HER SON RETURNED FROM THE WAR, AND SHE OBSERVED A NAZIRITESHIP FOR SEVEN YEARS. AT THE END OF THE SEVEN YEARS, SHE WENT UP TO THE LAND [OF ISRAEL]10 AND BETH HILLEL RULED THAT SHE MUST BE A NAZIRITE FOR A FURTHER SEVEN YEARS. TOWARDS THE END OF THIS SEVEN YEARS, SHE CONTRACTED RITUAL DEFILEMENT, AND SO ALTOGETHER SHE WAS A NAZIRITE FOR TWENTY-ONE YEARS. R. JUDAH SAID: SHE WAS ONLY A NAZIRITE FOR FOURTEEN YEARS.11
GEMARA. The first clause reads: BETH SHAMMAI SAY [HE] IS A NAZIRITE FOR THIRTY DAYS, BUT BETH HILLEL SAY THAT HIS NAZIRITESHIP COMMENCES AGAIN AS AT FIRST. May we say that the ground on which they differ is that Beth Shammai are of the opinion [Rabbis declared] foreign lands [to be unclean] on account of their soil,
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