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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 68a

The School of R. Ishmael taught: [These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses] between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, [being yet in her youth in her father's house]:1  this teaches that in the case of a betrothed maiden both her father and her husband annul her vows.2  Now, according to the Tanna of the School of Ishmael, what is the purpose of 'and if she be to an husband'?3  — He utilizes it for Rabbah's other dictum.4  Now, how does Raba utilize the verse adduced by the Tanna of the School of Ishmael?5  — It is necessary to teach that the husband can annul vows which concern himself and his wife.6

The scholars propounded: Does the husband cut [the vow] or weaken [it]?7  How does this problem arise? E.g., If she [the betrothed maiden] vowed not to eat the size of two olives [of anything],8  and the arus heard of it and annulled the vow, and she ate them. Now, if we say that he cuts the vow apart, she is flagellated; but if he weakens it, it is merely forbidden.9  What [is the law]? — Come and hear: When was it said that if the husband died, his authority passes over10  to the father? In the case where the husband did not hear [the vow] before he died, or heard and annulled it, or heard it and was silent,11  and died on the same day: this is what we learnt: If the husband died, his authority passes over to the father;12

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Num. XXX, 17.
  2. The verse is interpreted as referring to one and the same woman; hence it states that her father and her husband have authority over her, and that is possible only in the case of a betrothed maiden.
  3. Which was utilized on 67a for this teaching.
  4. V. 70a.
  5. Since he deduces this from 'and if she be etc'.
  6. Deduced from 'between a man and his wife', i.e., only such vows as concern them and their mutual relationship.
  7. Does he completely nullify half the vow, leaving the other half for the father, or does he weaken the whole vow, whilst actually nullifying nothing of it? [The same question applies equally to the father (Ran).]
  8. Nothing whatsoever may be eaten of that which is forbidden, but the size of an olive is the smallest quantity for which punishment is imposed.
  9. If he cuts the vow in two, then the size of one olive remains forbidden in its full stringency, and therefore she is flagellated for the violation of her vow. But if he weakens the whole of the vow, though leaving it all forbidden, the prohibition is not so stringent that punishment should be imposed.
  10. Lit., 'emptied out'.
  11. So emended by BaH.
  12. In all these cases the husband had no actually confirmed the vow; therefore the father is left with the full authority to annul it.
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Nedarim 68b

but if he heard and confirmed it, or heard it and was silent, and died on the following day,1  he [the father] cannot annul it.2  If the father heard and annulled it, and died before the husband managed to hear of it, — this is what we learnt: If the father died, his authority does not pass over to the husband.3  If the husband heard and annulled it, and died before the father managed to hear of it, — in this case we learnt: If the husband died, his authority passes over to the father.4  If the husband heard and annulled it, and the father died before he managed to hear of it, the husband cannot annul it,5  because the husband can annul only in partnership.

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Having thus ipso facto confirmed it.
  2. Once the husband has confirmed, the father cannot annul it, even after the former's death.
  3. Infra 70a. With his death his annulment is void, and the husband is not empowered to nullify the vow himself, though in the reverse case the father could do so.
  4. The first clause of the Mishnah means that the father heard it before the husband's death; this clause, that the husband died before the father heard it. Now I might think that only if he had heard it in the husband's lifetime, and so could have annulled it together with him, does he inherit his authority, but if he had not heard of it in her husband's lifetime, his authority is not transmitted. Therefore this clause teaches otherwise,
  5. I.e., act in lieu of her father.
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