I INTEND TO BE LIKE THIS: Granted that he takes hold of his hair, he does not say 'I intend to be through this,'5 [but only 'like this']? — Samuel said: We suppose that a nazirite is passing by at the time.
I INTEND TO CURL6 [MY HAIR]. How do we know that this [word MESALSEL] refers to the curling of the hair? — From a remark made by a maidservant7 of Rabbi's household, who said to a certain man: How much longer are you going to curl [mesalsel] your hair? But perhaps [it refers to] the Torah8 in accordance with the verse, Extol her [salseleha] and she will exalt thee?9 — Samuel said: Here, too, we suppose that he takes hold of his hair.
I MEAN TO TEND10 [MY HAIR]. How do we know that this [word MEKALKEL] refers to the tending of his hair? — From what we learnt: 'With regard to orpiment.11 R. Judah said that there must be sufficient to depilate the kilkul,'12 and Rab commented: [This means the hair of] one of the temples.13 But might it not mean tending the poor. in accordance with the verse, And Joseph sustained [wa-yekalkel] his father and his brothers?14 — Samuel said: Here too. we assume that he takes hold of his hair.
I UNDERTAKE TO DEVELOP15 TRESSES,'16 HE BECOMES A NAZIRITE. How do we know that this [word] shilluah signifies increase? — From the verse, Thy shoots [shelohayik] are a park of pomegranates.17 But perhaps it has the significance of 'removal'18 in accordance with the verse, And sendeth [we-sholeah] waters upon the fields?19 — The occurrence of the word pera' [tresses] in connection with the nazirite gives the tanna the clue. It says here, He shall be holy. he shall let the locks [pera'] grow long.20 and it says elsewhere regarding an ordinary priest,21 Nor' suffer their locks [pera'] to grow long [yeshallehu].22 Alternatively, we can say that the sholeah used of water,23 also signifies increase,24 for when produce is watered it shoots up.
[IF HE SAYS] 'I TAKE UPON MYSELF [AN OBLIGATION INVOLVING] BIRDS,' R. MEIR SAYS HE BECOMES A NAZIRITE. What is R. Meir's reason? — Resh Lakish said: [In making this vow] he has in mind the birds that are coupled with hair in the scriptural verse, Till his hair was grown long like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.25 R. Meir is of the opinion that a man will refer to one thing when he means something else occurring in the same context,26
Nazir 3bwhilst the Rabbis are of the opinion that a man will not refer to one thing when he means another. R. Johanan said: Both [R. Meir and the Rabbis] are agreed that a man will not refer to one thing etc.,1 and R. Meir's reason is that we take account of the possibility that what he had undertaken was to bring the birds of a ritually unclean nazirite.2
But if we are to take [possible meanings] into account, why should we not say that he was undertaking [to bring] a free will offering of birds? — in that event, he would have said, 'I undertake to bring a nest.'3
But perhaps he meant: I undertake [to bring] the birds of a leper?4 — We must suppose that a nazirite passes by at the time. But perhaps it was a ritually unclean nazirite and he desired to free him from his [obligatory] sacrifices? — We must suppose that a ritually clean nazirite passes by at the time.5
What [practical] difference is there between them?6 — There would be a difference [for example] if he should say: I take upon myself [an obligation involving] the birds mentioned in the same context as hair. According to R. Johanan, notwithstanding that he says this, he becomes a nazirite if one is passing at the time, but not otherwise;7 whereas according to R. Simeon b. Lakish, even though no nazirite passes by at the time [he becomes a nazirite].8
But is there any authority who disputes that a man may refer to one thing and mean another occurring in the same context? Has it not been taught: If a man says, '[By] my right hand,' it is accounted an oath.9 Now, surely the reason for this is the verse, When he lifted up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by Him who liveth for ever?10 — Not so. It is because the expression '[By my] right hand,' is itself an oath, as it has been taught: How do we know that if a man says. '[By] my right hand,' it is accounted an oath? From the verse, The Lord hath sworn by his right hand.11 And how do we know that if a man says. 'By my left hand,' it is accounted an oath? Because the verse continues, And by the arm of his strength.11
MISHNAH. [IF A MAN SAYS] 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE [TO ABSTAIN] FROM PRESSED GRAPES, OR FROM GRAPE STONES, OR FROM POLLING, OR FROM [CONTRACTING] RITUAL DEFILEMENT, HE BECOMES A NAZIRITE AND ALL THE REGULATIONS OF NAZIRITESHIP APPLY TO HIM.
GEMARA. The Mishnah is not in agreement with R. Simeon, for it has been taught: R. Simeon says that he does not incur the liabilities [of a nazirite] unless he vows to abstain from everything [that is forbidden to a nazirite], whilst the Rabbis say that even though he vows to abstain from one thing only, he becomes a nazirite.
What is R. Simeon's reason? — Scripture says. [He shall eat] nothing that is made of the grape-vine, from the pressed grapes even to the grape-stone.12 And what is the Rabbis' reason? — The verse reads, He shall abstain13 from wine and strong drink.14
What does R. Simeon make of the statement, 'He shall abstain from wine and strong drink'? — He requires it to prohibit wine the drinking of which is a ritual obligation as well as wine the drinking of which is optional. What is this [wine the drinking of which is obligatory]? The wine of Kiddush15 and Habdalah,15 [is it not]?
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