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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 69a

If the father heard and annulled it, and the husband died before he managed to hear of it, the father can again annul the husband's portion. R. Nathan said; That is the view of Beth Shammai; but Beth Hillel maintain: He cannot annul it [a second time]. This proves that according to Beth Shammai, he cuts it apart, whilst in the view of Beth Hillel he weakens it.1  This proves it.2

Raba propounded: Can absolution be sought from confirmation,3  or not? Should you say, no absolution can be sought front confirmation, is there absolution from annulment, or not?4  — Come and hear: For R. Johanan said: One can seek absolution from confirmation but not from annulment.

Rabbah propounded: What if [he said], 'It is confirmed to thee, it is confirmed to thee,' and then sought absolution of his first confirmation? — Come and hear: For Raba said: If he obtained absolution from the first, the second becomes binding upon him.5

Rabbah propounded: What if [he declares]. 'It be confirmed unto thee and annulled unto thee, but the confirmation be not valid unless the annulment had operated?'6

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Hence, according to Beth Shammai, when the father annulled it, the husband's portion remains, as it were, intact in all its stringency. The husband's right to annul the other half is sufficiently tangible, since that half is as stringent in itself as the whole, to be transmitted to the father. But in the views of Beth Hillel annulment by the father, as by the husband, merely weakens it; hence the husband's right to wipe off entirely a prohibition that is already weakened is too intangible to be transmitted to the father. — But in the first clause, where without the father having annulled his share, the husband annuls it and then dies, since the father can annul his own share he can annul too the weakened share of the husband (Asheri).
  2. And since in all disputes between Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel the halachah is in the latter, the final ruling is that the husband weakens the incidence of the whole vow.
  3. By a Sage, after expressing 'regret'.
  4. The confirmation of a vow is as a vow; hence the question whether it can be revoked. The revocation of the annulment of a vow should not be in question, since it might be assumed that one cannot revoke in order to impose a prohibition, but that elsewhere (76b) we find the two likened to each other.
  5. V. supra 18a: just as there, so here too, and hence the second confirmation retains its full force.
  6. Without the stipulation it is obvious that the annulment is invalid, for a vow once confirmed cannot be annulled. Since, however, one is made dependent upon the other, the question arises whether the annulment cancels the confirmation or not.
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Nedarim 69b

— Come and hear [a solution] from the controversy of R. Meir and R. Jose; For we learnt: [If one declares,] 'This [animal] be a substitute for a burnt-offering, a substitute for a peace-offering,' it is a substitute for a burnt-offering [only]; this is R. Meir's view. But R. Jose ruled: If that was his original intention,1  since it is impossible to pronounce both designations simultaneously, his declarations are valid.2  Now, even R. Meir asserted [that the second statement is disregarded] only because he did not say, 'Let the first not be valid unless the second take effect'; but here that he declared, 'but the confirmation be not valid unless the annulment has operated,' even R. Meir admits that the annulment is valid.

Rabbah propounded: What [if he declares], 'It be confirmed unto thee and annulled to thee simultaneously?'3  — Come and hear: For Rabbah said: Whatever is not [valid] consecutively, is not valid even simultaneously.4

Rabbah propounded: What [if he declares], 'It be confirmed to thee to-day? Do we rule, it is as though he had said to her, 'but it be annulled unto thee to-morrow' [by implication], or perhaps he in fact did not declare thus?

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. To declare it a substitute for both.
  2. V. Lev. XXVII, 33; He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy. This is interpreted as meaning that if an animal he dedicated for a particular sacrifice, e.g., a peace-offering, and then a second substituted for it, both are holy, the second having exactly the same holiness as the first. Now, R. Meir rules that if he declares it a substitute for two other consecrated animals in succession, only the first declaration is valid, and the second disregarded. But R. Jose maintains that if the second statement was not added as an afterthought, but formed part of the original intention, the whole is valid. Consequently, the animal must be sold, and the money expended half for a burnt-offering and half for a peace-offering.
  3. [Or, if he said at one and the same time 'It be confirmed and annulled to thee'].
  4. If one marries two sisters in succession, the second marriage is obviously invalid; hence, if one makes a simultaneous declaration of marriage to two sisters, such declaration is entirely null, v. Kid. 50b. Thus here too, since they could not both take effect if pronounced in succession, they are null when pronounced simultaneously. It is therefore as though he has not spoken at all, and he remains at liberty to confirm or annul the vow, as he pleases.
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