You may even say that it [the Mishnah] agrees with R. Judah, for R. Judah said this1 only of a freewill-offering, but not of a vow. But he teaches: Better than both is to vow and repay? — Learn: To make a freewill-offering and repay. Now, why is a vow objectional: because one may come thereby to a stumbling-block.2 [Does not] the same apply to a free-will offering whereby too he may come to a stumbling-block? — R. Judah conforms to his other view, viz., that a person may bring his lamb to the Temple-court, consecrate and lay [hands] upon it, and slaughter it.3 This answer suffices for a freewill-offering of a sacrifice; but what can be said of a free-will offering of neziroth? — R. Judah follows his view [there too]. For it was taught: R. Judah said: The early hasidim4 were eager to bring a sin-offering, because the Holy One, blessed be He, never caused them to stumble. What did they do? They arose and made a free-will vow of neziroth to the Omnipresent, so as to be liable to a sin-offering to the Omnipresent.5 R. Simeon said: They did not vow neziroth. But he who wished to bring a burnt-offering donated it freely, and brought it; if a peace-offering, he donated it freely and brought it; or if a thanks-offering and the four kinds of loaves,6 donated it freely and brought it. But they did not take neziroth upon themselves, so as not to be designated sinners, as it is written, And [the priest] shall make atonement for him, for that he sinned against a soul.7
Abaye said: Simeon the Just, R. Simeon, and R. Eleazar hakappar, are all of the same opinion, viz., that a nazir is a sinner. Simeon the Just and R. Simeon, as we have stated. R. Eleazar ha-Kappar Berabbi,8 as it was taught: And he shall make atonement for him, for that he sinned against a soul. Against which 'soul' then has he sinned? But it is because he afflicted himself through abstention from wine. Now, does not this afford an argument from the minor to the major? If one, who afflicted himself only in respect of wine, is called a sinner: how much more so one who ascetically refrains from everything. Hence, one who fasts is called a sinner. But this verse refers to an unclean nazir?9 — That is because he doubly sinned.10
MISHNAH. ONE WHO SAYS, 'KONAM,' 'KONAH,' OR 'KONAS,'11 THESE ARE THE SUBSTITUTES FOR KORBAN.12 'HEREK,' 'HEREK,' [OR] 'HEREF,' THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR HEREM.13 'NAZIK,' 'NAZIAH,' 'PAZIAH,' THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR NEZIROTH;14 'SHEBUTHAH,' 'SHEKUKAH,' OR ONE WHO VOWS BY MOHI,15 THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES FOR SHEBU'AH.16
GEMARA. It was stated: Substitutes: R. Johanan said: They are foreign equivalents [of the Hebrew]; R. Simeon b. Lakish said: They are forms devised by the Sages for the purpose of making vows; (and thus it is written, in the month which he had devised of his own heart).17 And why did the Rabbis institute substitutes? — That one should not say korban. Then let him say, korban? — Lest he say korban la-adonai [a sacrifice to the Lord]. And why not say korban la-adonai? — Lest one say la-adonai without korban, and thus utter the Divine Name in vain.18 And it was taught: R. Simeon said:
Original footnotes renumbered.
- That it is better to vow and repay.
- V. p. 21, nn. 1 & 6.
- It cannot become a stumbling-block, because it is hullin practically until it is killed.
- Hasid, PI. hasidim; lit., 'pious ones'. The hasidim referred to here are definitely not the Essenes (Weiss, Dor, I, P' 110). [Buchler, Types. p. 78, makes these early hasidim contemporaries of Shammai and Hillel.]
- V. Num. VI, 14.
- A thanks-offering was accompanied by forty loaves of bread, divided into four different kinds.
- Num. VI, 11.
- [Or, Berebi, designation by which Bar Kappara is known to distinguish him from his father who bore the same name, v. Nazir, (Sonc. ed.) p. 64, n. 1.]
- How then can one deduce that a nazir in general is a sinner?
- The verse shews that a double sin is referred to, because 'for that he sinned' alone would have sufficed; 'against a soul' is superfluous, and teaches that he is a sinner in two respects: (i) by becoming a nazir at all; (ii) by defiling his neziroth (Ran). — The whole passage shows the Jewish opposition to asceticism, for Judaism rejects the doctrine of the wickedness of this life and the inherent corruption of the body, which is the basis of asceticism. Whilst the community as a whole fasted in times of trouble (cf. Esth. IV, 16; Ta'an. 10a, 15a), and certain Rabbis too were addicted to it (e.g. R. Ze'ira, B.M. 85a), yet individual fasting was discouraged, as here; v. Maim. Yad, De'oth, III, 1; VI, 1; Lazarus, Ethics of Judaism, ¤¤ 246-256.
- [Its derivation is probably from kenum, 'self', 'person', and then the object in an elliptical sentence, 'I pledge (myself) my person with So-and-so (that I will not do this or that)', v. Cooke, North Semitic Inscriptions, p. 34. This is a substitute for korban vow, in which he declares 'this may be forbidden to me as is a sacrifice'. No satisfactory explanation has been given so far for the other terms, which seem to be corruptions of konam.]
- Heb. for sacrifice.
- The vow of a nazir: 'Behold, I will be a nazir'. These words may be substituted for nazir.
- This is explained in the Gemara. [The Mishnayoth text reads 'BY MOTHA', an abbreviation of Momatha, the Aramaic equivalent of Shebu'ah.]
- Heb. for oath.
- I Kings XII, 33, referring to the unauthorised festival instituted by Jeroboam in the eighth instead of the seventh month. [The Heb. for 'devised', [H], is the same as used by R. Johanan in his definition. The bracketed words appear to be a copyist's gloss that has crept into the text. They do not occur in MS.M.]
- This machinery for vows, regulating the manner in which they were to be made, points to the practice as being very prevalent. V. Weiss, Dor, I, 85.
Whence do we know that one must not say, 'Unto the Lord a burnt-offering,' 'unto the Lord a meal-offering,' 'unto the Lord a thanks-offering,' or 'unto the Lord a peace-offering'?1 Because it is written, [If any man of you bring] an offering to the Lord.2 And from the minor we may deduce the major: If concerning one who intended uttering the Divine Name only in connection with a sacrifice, the Torah taught, an offering to the Lord;3 how much more [care must one take against its deliberate utterance] in vain!
Shall we say that this [conflict] is dependent on Tannaim? For it was taught: Beth Shammai maintain: Substitutes of substitutes are binding; whilst Beth Hillel Say: They are not.4 Surely, the ruling that secondary substitutes are valid is based on the view that substitutes are foreign equivalents;5 whilst he who says that they are invalid holds that they are forms devised by the Sages?6 — No. All agree that substitutes are foreign words; but Beth Shammai hold that Gentiles speak in these [terms] too,7 whilst Beth Hillel hold that they do not speak in these [terms]. Alternatively Beth Shammai hold: Secondary substitutes [are declared valid] as a precautionary measure on account of substitutes themselves;8 but Beth Hillel maintain: We do not enact a precautionary measure for secondary substitutes on account of the substitutes themselves.
What forms do double modifications of vows take? — R. Joseph recited: Mekanamana, mekanehana, mekanesana. What are the secondary substitutes of herem? — Mafash'ah taught: harakim, harakim, harafim. Secondary substitutes of neziroth? — R. Joseph learnt: mehazakana, menazahana, mephana.9 The scholars inquired: What of mipahazna, mithhazana, mith'azana?10 Rabina asked R. Ashi: What of kinema: does it mean konam,11 or perhaps, kinemon besem [sweet cinnamon]?12 R. Aha, the son of R. Hiyya, asked R. Ashi: What of kinah: does it mean a fowl's sty,13 or konam? These remain questions.14
What are secondary substitutes of oaths? — Shebuel, shebuthiel, shekukeel. But shebuel may simply mean Shebhuel the son of Gershon? But say thus: Shebubiel, shebuthiel shekukeel.15 Samuel said: If one says ashbithah, he says nothing: ashkikah, he says nothing; karinsha, he says nothing.16
OR ONE WHO VOWS BY MOHI, THESE ARE SUBSTITUTES [FOR SHEBU'A]. It was taught: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: One who says 'by Mohi' [Moses]17 says nothing; 'by Momtha which Mohi said,'18 these are substitutes for an oath.
MISHNAH. IF ONE SAYS [TO HIS NEIGHBOUR], 'THAT WHICH I MIGHT EAT OF YOURS BE NOT19 HULLIN,'20 'BE NOT KASHER,'21 'BE NOT PURE,' 'BE CLEAN OR UNCLEAN,'22 'BE NOTHAR,'23 OR PIGGUL,24 HE IS FORBIDDEN.25 AS THE LAMB,'26 AS THE TEMPLE SHEDS OF CATTLE OR WOOD,'27 'AS THE WOOD' [ON THE ALTAR], AS THE FIRE [ON THE ALTAR],'28 'AS THE ALTAR,' 'AS THE TEMPLE, AS JERUSALEM;' [OR] IF ONE VOWED BY REFERENCE TO THE ALTAR UTENSILS,29 THOUGH HE DID NOT MENTION KORBAN, IT IS AS THOUGH HE HAD VOWED BY KORBAN.30 R. JUDAH SAID: HE WHO SAYS JERUSALEM31 HAS SAID NOTHING.
Original footnotes renumbered.
- In this order, the Divine Name preceding.
- Lev. I, 1; thus the offering must precede.
- But not the reverse, lest one utter the Name in vain.
- Lit., 'they are permitted'.
- Hence, the first modifications are correct foreign words, the substitutes thereof are corrupt, but also used, and hence valid for oaths.
- Hence secondary substitutes, not having been assigned by the Sages to that purpose, are invalid.
- Sc. secondary substitutes; hence they are valid.
- Which would otherwise be treated as invalid by the masses.
- [Read Menazakna … mepazahna, each of which consists ofthe three consonantal letters of the substitutes with prefix and suffix; v. Strashun].
- [Strashun reads: Mepahazna, menahazna, menakazna, the last consonantal letters of the substitutes being transposed. This receives support from MS.M.]. Are they binding or not?
- Hence it is valid.
- Ex. XXX, 23; i.e., it is not a vow-form at all.
- I.e., the fem. of [H] (kin), a bird's nest.
- In all these doubtful forms the question arises when they were actually used to express vows, the question being whether they imply vows or something else — notwithstanding the intention of their user.
- [H] 'What is the law' in cur. edd. is to be deleted; BaH.
- These forms are ineffective for expressing oaths.
- ['By Moses', was one of the common forms of asseveration, cf. Bez. 38b; Shab. 101b. V. Chajes, Notes.]
- By the oath which Moses uttered. [The allusion is to Ex. II, 21, where [H] is rendered, 'Moses swore'. (Ran).]
- The Hebrew is la-hullin, here regarded as meaning: not hullin. V. also p. 28, n. 8.
- V. Glos.
- Lit., 'fit', ritually permitted for consumption.
- So cur. edd. Asheri explains: be as sacrifices, to which the laws of cleanliness and uncleanness apply — i.e., forbidden. Rashi's text reads simply: be not clean, be unclean, etc.
- Lit., 'left over'. The flesh of an offering which remains over after the period in which it must be eaten, v. Ex. XXIX, 34, and Lev., VII, 17.
- Lit., 'abomination'. The flesh of an animal sacrificed with the deliberate intention of eating it after the permitted period; it is then forbidden even within the period, v. Lev. VII, 18.
- To eat aught of his neighbour.
- I.e., the lamb of the daily sacrifice.
- The alternative is implied by the use of the plural in the Mishnah (Tosaf.).
- [So T.J. Others: Fire-offerings, cf. Lev. XXI. 6. (V. Asheri and Tosaf.)]
- I.e., your food be as the altar utensils unto me, hence, forbidden.
- V. Mishnah 20a.
- Without as i.e., 'Your food be Jerusalem to me'.