GEMARA. Who can the author of [the first paragraph of] our Mishnah be? For it [agrees] neither with R. Jose nor with the Rabbis. For it has been taught: If a man vows [to be a nazirite] and transgresses a rule of his naziriteship, his case is not examined,2 unless he [first] observes in [nazirite] abstinence as many days as he has passed in indulgence.3 R. Jose said that thirty days are enough.4 Now if [the author] be the Rabbis, [the case also of] naziriteship for a long period offers difficulty,5 whilst if it be R. Jose, [the case of] naziriteship for a short period offers difficulty?6 — It may be maintained either that [the author] is R. Jose, or that [the authors] are the Rabbis. It may be maintained that [the author] is R. Jose, by supposing that [the Mishnah refers] to a long period of naziriteship [only],7 and [the Baraitha] to a short period of naziriteship [as well].8 It can also be maintained that [the authors] are the Rabbis, in which case we must read [in the Mishnah] not, 'FROM THE TIME THAT THE VOW WAS MADE,'9 but 'equal [to the period which has elapsed] since the vow was made.'10
IF HE SEEKS RELEASE FROM THE SAGES, AND THEY ABSOLVE HIM etc.: R. Jeremiah said: From [the opinion of] Beth Shammai we can infer that of Beth Hillel. Do not Beth Shammai assert that consecration in error is effective and yet when it becomes clear11 that the nazirite vow is not valid, [the animal] goes forth to pasture with the herd? So too, for Beth Hillel. Although they say that substitution in error is effective substitution, this is only true where the original consecration remains,12 but where the original consecration is revoked,13 [the consecration resulting from] the substitution is also revoked.14
The Master said: 'DO YOU NOT ADMIT THAT IF HE CALLS THE NINTH THE TENTH, etc. It has been stated: In the case of the tithe, R. Nahman said that [this is the rule only] if this is done in error, not if it is done intentionally.15 R. Hisda and Rabbah b. R Huna, however, said that [it is certainly the rule] if it is done in error, and all the more so if it is done intentionally.16
Raba said to R. Nahman: According to you who assert that [it is the rule only] if it is done in error and not if done intentionally, when Beth Shammai asked Beth Hillel, DO YOU NOT ADMIT THAT IF HE CALLED THE NINTH THE TENTH, THE TENTH THE NINTH, OR THE ELEVENTH THE TENTH, THAT ALL THREE ARE SACRED? and Beth Hillel were silent,17 why could they not have answered that the case of tithes is different since these18 cannot be made sacred intentionally?19 — R. Shimi b. Ashi replied: The reason that they did not do so is because of an a fortiori argument that might be based on this [by Beth Shammai].20 For [Beth Shammai might have argued that] if tithes that cannot be consecrated [out of turn] intentionally can be so consecrated in error, then ordinary consecration that can be done intentionally should certainly take effect [in error].21 This [argument], however, would be unsound, for [ordinary] consecration depends entirely upon the intention of the owner.22
MISHNAH. IF A MAN VOWS TO BE A NAZIRITE AND ON GOING TO BRING HIS ANIMAL [FOR THE SACRIFICE] FINDS THAT IT HAS BEEN STOLEN, THEN IF HE HAD DECLARED HIMSELF A NAZIRITE BEFORE THE THEFT OF HIS ANIMAL,23 HE IS [STILL] A NAZIRITE,
Nazir 32bBUT IF HE HAD DECLARED HIMSELF A NAZIRITE AFTER THE THEFT OF HIS ANIMAL, HE IS NOT A NAZIRITE.1 IT WAS ON THIS POINT THAT NAHUM THE MEDE FELL INTO ERROR WHEN NAZIRITES ARRIVED [IN JERUSALEM] FROM THE DIASPORA AND FOUND THE TEMPLE IN RUINS.2 NAHUM THE MEDE SAID TO THEM, 'HAD YOU KNOWN THAT THE TEMPLE WOULD BE DESTROYED, WOULD YOU HAVE BECOME NAZIRITES?' THEY ANSWERED, NO, AND SO NAHUM THE MEDE ABSOLVED THEM.3 WHEN, HOWEVER, THE MATTER CAME TO THE NOTICE OF THE SAGES THEY SAID: WHOEVER DECLARED HIMSELF A NAZIRITE BEFORE THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE IS A NAZIRITE, BUT IF AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE, HE IS NOT A NAZIRITE.
GEMARA. Rabbah said: The Rabbis overruled R. Eliezer and laid down [the law] in accordance with their own views. For we have learnt: It is permitted to grant release on the ground of improbable contingencies;4 this is the opinion of R. Eliezer, but the Sages forbid this.5
Rabbah6 said further: Although the Rabbis said that improbable contingencies cannot be made the grounds for release, yet conditions involving improbable contingencies can be made a ground for release. For example, it would have been possible to say to them: Suppose someone had come and said to you7 that the Temple would be destroyed, would you have uttered your vow?
R. Joseph said: Had I been there, I should have said to them:8 Is it not written, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these,9 which points to [the destruction of] the first and second temples?10 — Granted that they knew it would be destroyed, did they know when this would occur?11
MISHNAH. IF [PEOPLE] WERE WALKING ALONG THE ROAD AND [SAW] SOMEONE COMING TOWARDS THEM, AND ONE SAID, 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE IF IT IS SO-AND-SO, WHILST ANOTHER SAID, 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE IF IT IS NOT SO-AND-SO,' [AND A THIRD MAN,] '7 DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE IF ONE OF YOU IS A NAZIRITE,' [A FOURTH, 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE] IF NEITHER OF YOU IS A NAZIRITE,' [A FIFTH, 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE] IF BOTH OF YOU ARE NAZIRITES,' [AND A SIXTH, 'I DECLARE MYSELF A NAZIRITE] IF ALL OF YOU ARE NAZIRITES.' BETH SHAMMAI SAY THAT ALL [SIX] OF THEM ARE NAZIRITES, BUT BETH HILLEL SAY THAT ONLY THOSE WHOSE WORDS WERE NOT FULFILLED, ARE NAZIRITES.14 R. TARFON SAID: NOT ONE OF THEM IS A NAZIRITE. IF [THE PERSON APPROACHING] TURNED AWAY SUDDENLY15 [WITHOUT BEING IDENTIFIED], HE16 IS NOT A NAZIRITE. R. SIMEON SAYS: HE SHOULD SAY, 'IF I WAS RIGHT,17 I AM A NAZIRITE OBLIGATORILY, OTHERWISE I WISH TO BE A NAZIRITE, VOLUNTARILY.
GEMARA. Why should the ones whose words were not fulfilled become nazirites?18 — Rab Judah replied: Read, 'those whose words were fulfilled.'
- To Next Folio -