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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nazir

Folio 14a

Suppose it is decided that with a short naziriteship, since only ten days remain,1  these ten days would certainly not be reckoned,2  [what are we to say] of a naziriteship of a hundred days?3  Seeing that eighty remain, would these [eighty days] be reckoned2  or not?

And again, suppose it is decided that [the naziriteship] [in this case] operates [immediately], what would be the law if he were to say 'I wish to be a nazirite after twenty days time' and then 'I wish to be a life nazirite now',4  would this become operative [at once] or not?5  And again, supposing it is decided that in all these cases, since it is possible to secure release,6  they become operative [at once],7  what would be the law if he were to say 'I wish to become a nazirite like Samson in twenty days time', and then 'I wish to be an ordinary nazirite now'? In this case, since release cannot be secured,8  would it become operative or not?

If he were to say, 'I desire to be as Moses on the seventh of Adar,'9  what [would his meaning be]?10

Of these [questions], decide the first, [For it was taught: Should a man say] 'I wish to be a nazirite after twenty days time,' and then 'For a hundred days from now,' he reckons twenty days, and then thirty days, and then eighty days to complete the first naziriteship.11


If he contracts ritual defilement12  during the period [of naziriteship] on account of his son, R. Johanan said: This renders void [the first13  period as well], but Resh Lakish said: It is not void. 'R. Johanan said that it becomes void,' — because [the whole] is one long period of naziriteship; 'but Resh Lakish said that it is not void,' — since his own naziriteship, and the one on account of his son are distinct.

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. If it is interrupted by a naziriteship after twenty days.
  2. As completing the first naziriteship by adding them to the twenty days, since ten days do not allow for the hair to grow long and therefore this naziriteship does not commence until the other one is finished.
  3. Is it on the same footing as the short one, or does it commence at once?
  4. Though a life-nazirite polls every thirty days, the naziriteship is continuous and cannot be interrupted. Thus once the life-naziriteship operates it is impossible for the ordinary naziriteship to take effect.
  5. I.e., shall the life-naziriteship be suspended until the ordinary naziriteship has been observed, or does it become operative and he must obtain release from the other naziriteship.
  6. From the naziriteship which is to become operative in twenty days time.
  7. And he must secure release from the naziriteship which was to have operated after twenty days.
  8. A nazirite like Samson could never be freed from his vow, since Samson could not be freed.
  9. Supposed to be the date of the birth and death of Moses, v. Kid. 38a.
  10. Either 'As after the death of Moses on the seventh of Adar'; when presumably many nazirite vows were made by the Israelites, or, 'As after the birth of Moses on the seventh of Adar', a festive occasion.
  11. Tosef. Nazir II.
  12. With the dead.
  13. The period counted before his son's naziriteship came into operation.
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Nazir 14b

If he contracts ritual defilement during the period that he is leprous.1  R. Johanan said: This renders void [the earlier period of naziriteship]; but Resh Lakish said: It is not void. 'R. Johanan said that it becomes void,' — since he is in the midst of his period of naziriteship,2  'but Resh Lakish said that it is not void,' — because the period of leprosy and the naziriteship are distinct.

And it is necessary [to have both these controversies on record]. For if only the first3  were recorded, [we might say that] there R. Johanan was of the opinion that [the first period] becomes void because the same term, naziriteship, applies to both, whereas in the other he would agree with Resh Lakish that the nazirite period and the leprosy are distinct. Similarly had only the other [regarding leprosy] been recorded, [we might suppose that] only there did Resh Lakish hold [the two periods to be distinct], whereas in the first he would agree with R. Johanan. Thus the necessity [for recording both controversies] is demonstrated.

If he becomes unclean on a day [during the period that] his hair is growing.4  — Rab said: This does not render void [the earlier period]; this even according to R. Johanan who said [above] that the [earlier period] does become void, for this is only so [when the uncleanness is incurred] during the naziriteship itself, but not during the period his hair is growing which is merely the complement of the naziriteship.5  Samuel, on the other hand, said: It does render void [the earlier period]; and this even according to Resh Lakish who said [above] that [the earlier period] does not become void, for whereas there, there are two distinct naziriteships, here6  there is but one naziriteship.7

R. Hisda said: All would agree that should his hair be still unshorn8  when the blood [of his sacrifice had been sprinkled],9  he would have no remedy.10  With whose opinion does this statement accord? It cannot be with that of R. Eliezer,11  for seeing that in his opinion polling estops [him from drinking wine, the uncleanness]12  is still prior to the 'fulfilment of his [consecration]'13  and [the whole period] should become void!14  Nor can it accord with the Rabbis, Seeing that they say that the polling does not estop [him from drinking wine]!15 — In point of fact, it does accord with the opinion of the Rabbis, the phrase, 'he would have no remedy', meaning, 'he would have no means of fulfilling the precept of polling [in purity]'.

R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: A nazirite whose period is completed, is scourged for contracting ritual defilement,16  but not for polling or for [drinking] wine. Why is he scourged for ritual defilement? [Assuredly] because Scripture says. All the days that he consecrateth himself unto the Lord [he shall not come near to a dead body],17  thus including the days after fulfilment equally with the days before fulfilment! But in that case, for polling too he should be liable to scourging seeing that the All-Merciful Law Says. All the days of his naziriteship there shall cone no razor upon his head,18  thereby including the days after fulfilment equally with the days before fulfilment. Again, All the days of his naziriteship shall he eat nothing that is made of the grape-vine,19  should also include the days after fulfilment equally with the days before fulfilment? —

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. One who becomes leprous during his naziriteship completes it when the leprosy is cured.
  2. As is proved by the fact that when he recovers from his leprosy he completes his period.
  3. Relating the naziriteship on account of his son.
  4. If he had his hair polled by force, his naziriteship is not interrupted thereby and he completes his period. If this is less than thirty days, he must nevertheless allow his hair to grow for thirty days. The additional days constitute the 'period that his hair is growing'.
  5. And not an integral part of it.
  6. When he allows his hair to grow after having been polled by force.
  7. The additional days are an integral part of naziriteship and not a mere complement.
  8. Lit., 'hallowed', cf. Num. VI, 11.
  9. And he became unclean.
  10. In regard to polling and wine drinking-so it is assumed at present.
  11. V. infra 472.
  12. He cannot drink wine after polling
  13. Cf. Num. VI, 13.
  14. Cf. ibid. 12, and he begins a new period at the end of which he finds the remedy.
  15. And defilement after the termination of his period does not affect the naziriteship.
  16. Before offering his sacrifices.
  17. Num. VI, 6.
  18. Ibid. VI, 5.
  19. Num. VI. 4.

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