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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 83a

she receives forty [lashes].1  If her husband disallowed her and she did not know that he disallowed her, and she drank wine and defiled herself through the dead, she does not receive forty [lashes]. But if you maintain, He can annul [only] in respect of that which causes self-denial, but not in respect of that which does not, perhaps he annulled her vow only in respect of wine, since [abstention therefrom] is a deprivation, but not of the kernels or husks [of grapes], abstention from which is no deprivation; hence let her receive forty?2  — R. Joseph replied: There is [no state of] semi-neziruth.3  Said Abaye to him: Does that imply that there is a sacrifice for semi-neziruth?4  But, said Abaye, there is no semi-neziruth,5  nor is there a sacrifice for semi-neziruth.

An objection is raised: If a woman made a vow of neziruth, set aside an animal, and then her husband disallowed her: she must bring the sin-offering of a bird, but not burnt-offering of a bird.6  But if you say, a sacrifice is not incurred for half [the period of] neziruth, why must she bring the sin-offering of a bird? — What then: a sacrifice is incurred for half [the period of] neziruth — then she should bring three animals, [viz.,] a sin-offering, a burnt offering and a peace-offering?7  But after all no sacrifice is incurred for half neziruth; whilst, as for the sin-offering of a bird which she must bring, that is because such is due even in case of doubt.8

He [further] objected: If a woman made a vow of a nazirite and became defiled, and then her husband disallowed her, she must bring the sin-offering of a bird, but not the burnt-offering of a bird. But if you rule, he can annul [only] in respect of what involves self-denial, but cannot annul that which involves no self-denial,

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. The usual punishment for violating a negative injunction. Actually only thirty-nine lashes were given.
  2. For 'she goes unpunished' implies for no matter which injunction of a nazirite she transgresses. By 'perhaps' etc., 'surely can annul only' is meant.
  3. One is either completely a nazirite or not at all. But the vow to abstain from two loaves is divisible.
  4. Surely not! Since R. Joseph replied that there is no state of semi-neziruth, it follows that there may be a sacrifice for semi-neziruth. E.g., if a woman vowed to become a nazirite, whose duration, if unspecified, is thirty days, and after fifteen her husband learnt of her vow and annulled it. Now, his annulment cancels the following fifteen days, but not the previous, and Abaye expresses his surprise that, as is implied in R. Joseph's answer, the sacrifices are to be offered for half the period of neziruth.
  5. I.e., that some provisions of neziruth shall apply whilst others do not.
  6. On the expiration of the neziruth, three sacrifices are due, a burnt-offering, a sin-offering, and a peace-offering; Num. VI, 14. If, however, a nazir comes defiled through the dead within his period he must bring one animal as guilt-offering and two turtle-doves or young pigeons, one as a sin-offering and the other as a burnt-offering, and then recommence the full period afresh; ibid. 10f. Now, this is the meaning of the Baraitha. If a woman made the vow of a nazirite, and separated the animal for a guilt-offering, became defiled, and then had the vow annulled, she must offer only the pigeon sin-offering, but not the pigeon burnt-offering. Tosaf. and Asheri both question the purpose of the clause 'and set aside her animal,' which is apparently irrelevant, and leave the difficulty unresolved. Ran explains that its purpose is to shew that even if she had gone so far as to dedicate her guilt-offering, annulment cancels the neziruth retrospectively.
  7. Since the annulment by the husband is not retrospective (v. supra p. 244, n. 1) the short period in which she practised neziruth stands and is for her regarded as the whole, at the termination of which the three animals enumerated above are due. Cf. Num. VI, 13: And this is the law of the nazirite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled etc. Since her husband annulled the vow, her days are fulfilled by whatever period she observed.
  8. E.g., if a pregnant woman miscarried, and it is unknown whether the fetus had attained viability, in which case the sacrifices of childbirth are due, or not, she must bring a fowl sin-offering. Since this sacrifice is brought even for a doubtful liability, she must also bring it here for the sin of having vowed to be a nazirite; cf. 10a.
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Nedarim 83b

perhaps he disallowed her [only] in respect of wine, [abstention from] which is a real hardship, but not in respect of defilement through the dead, since no hardship is involved?1  I will tell you: [The prohibition of] defilement through the dead too involves hardship, for it is written, and the living will lay it to his heart;2  whereon it was taught: R. Meir used to say, What is meant by. and the living will lay it to his heart? He who laments will be lamented; he who weeps will be wept for; he who buries will be buried.3


GEMARA. Thus we see that she may derive her sustenance from his [her husband's goods],8  thus proving that her husband is not included in 'MANKIND' (in the sense of her vow]. Then consider the second clause: AND SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES, AND PE'AH; but she may not eat of her husband's, which proves that he is included in 'MANKIND'? — Said 'Ulla: After all, the husband is not included, and [the Mishnah] teaches thus: moreover, he cannot annul because SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES, AND PE'AH.9  Raba said: In truth, the husband is included in 'mankind', and (the second clause] states a reason. [Thus:] Why cannot he annul?10  Because SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES, AND PE'AH.11  R. Nahman said: In truth, the husband is not included in 'MANKIND', and the Mishnah teaches thus: if she was divorced, SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES, AND PE'AH.12

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. On 'perhaps etc.' v. p. 258, n. 1. Hence in spite of the annulment she ought to complete the full period and then offer the usual sacrifices. Tosaf. objects that the same answer could be given here as above, viz., there is no state of semi-neziruth; and replies that this perhaps holds good only of the kernels and husks of grapes, and everything appertaining thereto. But the prohibition of defilement is quite distinct from that of wine, (as is illustrated by a Samson nazirite. V. Nazir 4a) and therefore one may exist without the other.
  2. Ecc. VII, 2.
  3. I.e., one who pays the last respects to the dead will be similarly honoured, and, by implication, he who refrains will be likewise treated with contempt. It is therefore a matter of self-denial to abstain from death defilement, since thereby one forfeits the respects of his fellow-men at his own death.
  4. Lit., 'creatures'.
  5. Discussed in the Gemara.
  6. These are free to all. Since these are hefker (v. Glos.), she does not benefit from mankind in taking them.
  7. Since these belong to them, he cannot prohibit them.
  8. As otherwise it is certainly a vow of self-denial, which he may annul. It is now assumed that 'AND SHE CAN … PE'AH' does not give the reason why he cannot annul, but is an independent statement. For surely abstention from all mankind, including her husband, is no less deprivation than abstention from a tradesman from whom alone the husband can obtain supplies, which is regarded as mortification (v. supra 79b), though there too recourse might be had to gleanings, etc.! (Ran.).
  9. I.e., in the first place he cannot annul because his own substance is available to her, but an additional reason is that SHE CAN, etc. This furnishes a reason only when taken in conjunction with the first, but not independently (Ran. v. n. 5).
  10. Seeing that she cannot benefit even from her husband.
  11. As for the argument in n. 5, Raba will maintain that abstention from a tradesman from whom alone the husband can obtain supplies constitutes mortification only in winter, when gleanings, etc. are not available (Ran).
  12. I.e., though the husband is not included when she vows, he is after divorcing her, and then she must have recourse to gleanings, etc.
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