I might go on to infer from this that [gentiles] cannot become nazirites [at all]. Scripture [therefore] says man? — But it has been stated: R. Johanan said, This is a [traditional] ruling with regard to the nazirite.1
Now if it is a fact [that 'man' includes gentiles],2 what need is there for the expression, When a man shall clearly utter a vow … according to thy valuation3 occurring in connection with 'Arakin? For consider! 'Arakin are compared [in this verse] with vows, as it says, When a man shall clearly utter a vow … according to thy valuation,3 and it has been taught in connection with vows: Scripture mentions the word man4 in order to include gentiles, who are allowed to vow vowed-offerings5 and freewill-offerings,6 just as Israelites do.7 What need then is there for the verse, 'When a man shall clearly utter' in connection with 'Arakin?8 — In point of fact, this [word] 'man' is required for the inclusion of [a youth] who can discriminate but has not quite reached manhood.9
This is all very well [if we accept the view of] the authority10 who considers that a youth who can discriminate but has not quite reached manhood has a Scriptural right [to make Vows],11 but [if we accept the view of] the authority12 who considers this right to be rabbinic, what need is there for, When a man shall clearly utter [etc.]?13 It serves to include a gentile [youth] who can discriminate but has not quite reached manhood.14
This is all very well if we accept the view of the authority15 who argues [as follows: The words 'children of Israel' imply that] Israelites can be the subject of 'Arakin vows but not gentiles. I might go on to infer from this that [gentiles] cannot vow 'Arakin, Scripture [therefore] says man.16 If, however, we accept the view of the authority17 who argues [as follows: The words children of Israel imply that] Israelites can vow 'Arakin but not gentiles. I might go on to infer from this that [gentiles] cannot be the subject of 'Arakin, Scripture [therefore] says man: [our difficulty remains]. For seeing that even a baby a month old can be the subject of an 'Arakin vow, what need is there of, 'when [a man] shall clearly utter'?18 — R. Adda b. Ahaba replied: Its purpose is to bring within the scope of the rule an adult gentile who although he is an adult [cannot make even ordinary vows, if he] cannot discriminate.19
Now what need is there of [the phrase,] 'when [a man] shall clearly utter' mentioned in connection with the naziriteship? For seeing that the naziriteship is compared with [ordinary] vowing20 what need is there of 'when [a man] shall clearly utter'? — It serves to include allusions the significance of which is not manifest.21 For it has been stated: Abaye said that allusions whose significance is not manifest have the force of a direct statement, whilst Raba said that they have not the force of a direct statement.22 Now if we accept Abaye's view, there is no difficulty,23 but if we accept Raba's view what can we reply?24 In point of fact 'when [a man] shall clearly utter' is necessary for R. Tarfon's case. For it has been taught: R. Judah on behalf of R. Tarfon said that not one of these people25 is a nazirite, because naziriteship is not intended except when assumed unequivocally.26 This is all very well if we accept the view of R. Tarfon, but [if we accept the view of] the Rabbis what can you reply?27 In point of fact it is necessary for [the following] which has been taught: Annulment of vows has no foundation28 and is without [Scriptural] support.29 R. Eliezer says that it has [Scriptural] support, for Scripture says twice 'when [a man] shall clearly utter'?30 one signifies a distinct binding expression,31 and one a distinctness [which opens the way] to annulment.32
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: What can his master compel him [to disregard]? [The vow of] Naziriteship, but not [other] vows, or [vows involving] 'Arakin.2
Why this difference in the case of the nazirite-vow? — The Allmerciful has said, To bind his soul with a bond,3 showing that only those who are their own masters4 are referred to, and excluding slaves, who are not their own masters. But if this is the reason, the same should be true of [other] vows?5 — R. Shesheth replied: We suppose here6 that a cluster of grapes lay before [the slave].7 In the case of vows, where if this [cluster] becomes prohibited to him, others will not become prohibited, [his master] cannot compel him [to eat this one]. But in the case of a nazirite-vow, if this one becomes forbidden,8 all others become forbidden; and that is why he can compel him [to eat it].9
But do not [ordinary] vows10 include the possibility that there is available Only the one cluster of grapes in question, so that if he does not eat it he will grow weak11 [and yet the vow takes effect]? — Raba therefore said: We suppose that a pressed grape lay before him.12 In the case of vows, he is prohibited from eating that one only, and so [his master] cannot compel him [to break his vow]. But in the case of the nazirite-vow where he is also prohibited from eating others, he can compel him [to break his vow].
But do not [ordinary] vows include the possibility that there is available only the one pressed grape in question, so that if he does not eat it he will grow weak [and yet the vow takes effect]? Abaye therefore replied: [The Baraitha really means] what is his master obliged to compel him [to disregard]? [The vow of] naziriteship.13 but he does not [even] have to compel him [to disregard ordinary] vows or oaths.14 This is because the verse says [If any one swear] to do evil or to do good.15 Just as doing good is a voluntary undertaking, so must the doing of evil be a voluntary undertaking, the doing of evil to others being thereby excluded, since he has not the right [to harm others].16
MISHNAH. SHOULD [THE SLAVE] FLEE FROM [HIS MASTER'S] PRESENCE,17 R. MEIR SAID THAT HE MUST NOT DRINK WINE, BUT R. JOSE SAID THAT HE MAY.
GEMARA. Is it possible that R. Meir and R. Jose] differ in regard to the following dictum of Samuel? For Samuel has said: Should a man renounce ownership of his slave, he becomes free, no deed of emancipation being required. Does R. Meir agree with Samuel18 and R. Jose differ from him? — No; both hold this opinion of Samuel.19 But the one who says he should drink considers that since he is ultimately to return to his master, he ought to drink in order not to grow emaciated. The other, who says that he should not drink considers that he should feel the pangs of deprivation in order that he should return [to his master].
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