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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nazir

Folio 6a

but how is it to be reconciled with Bar Pada's view? — Bar Pada will say: Consider the clause which follows, [viz.:] If, however, he should poll for the first on the thirtieth day, he can poll for the second on the sixtieth day. Thus the second clause lends support to his view, whilst the original clause [must be read] as though it contained the words 'whole days'.

Is not R. Mattena in conflict with this second clause?1  — R. Mattena can reply: This must be interpreted in the light of the next clause, which says that the thirtieth day counts as belonging to both periods.2  This is taken to signify then that part of a day is equivalent to a whole day. But has he [the Tanna] not stated this once already?3  — It might be thought that this is only true for one naziriteship but not for two, and so we are told [that it is also true for two].4

We have learnt: Should he poll on the day prior to the sixtieth, he has fulfillied his obligation. since the thirtieth day is included in the [required] number.5  Now, this fits in well enough with the view of R. Mattena, but for Bar Pada what necessity is there [for this statement], since he says that [the normal duration] is thirty days less one? — He will say: This is the very passage on which I rely for my opinion.

We have learnt: If a person says, 'I intend to be a nazirite' and contracts ritual defilement on the thirtieth day, the whole period is rendered void.5  Now, this fits in well enough with the view of R. Mattena, but does it not conflict with that of Bar Pada? —

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Cf. 11. 4.
  2. As end of the first and beginning of the second naziriteship.
  3. As an inference from another clause of the same Mishnah (v. supra, p. 17); what necessity is there then for this latter clause?
  4. That one part of the day belongs to one and the other to the second period.
  5. Infra p. 53.
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Nazir 6b

Bar Pada will say: Consider the subsequent clause [which reads]: R. Eliezer says: Only the [next] seven days are void.1  Now if you assume that thirty days are necessary [as the minimum period of nazirite separation], should not all be void?2  [R. Mattena, however, will reply:] R. Eliezer is of the opinion that part of a day is equivalent to the whole.3

We have learnt: [If a man says] 'I intend to be a nazirite for one hundred days,' and contracts ritual defilement on the hundredth day, the whole period is rendered void. R. Eliezer said that only thirty days are rendered void.4  Now, if we assume5  that R. Eliezer considers part of a day to be equivalent to a whole day, surely only seven days should be annulled?1  Again [on the other hand] if we assume6  that he does not regard part of the day as equivalent to a whole day, should not the whole period be annulled?7  — In point of fact, we do not regard part of a day as equivalent to a whole day. In that case, why is not the whole period annulled? — Said Resh Lakish: R. Eliezer's reason is as follows: Scripture says, And this is the law of the nazirite, [on the day] when the days of his consecration are fulfilled.8  Thus the Torah expressly declares that if he contracts ritual defilement on the day of fulfilment, the law for a nazirite vow [of unspecified duration] is to be applied to him.9

May we say [that the difference between R. Mattena and Bar Pada] is the same as that between the following Tannaim? [For it was taught:] From the verse, Until the days be fulfilled,10  I can only infer that the vow must continue in force at least two days,11  and so the text adds, He shall be holy; he shall let the locks grow long,12  and hair does not 'grow long' in less than thirty days. This is the view of R. Josiah. R. Jonathan, however, said that this [reasoning] is unnecessary, for we have the text, Until the days be fulfilled.12  What days then are those which have to be 'fulfilled'? You must say the thirty days [of the lunar month].13  May we assume that R. Mattena agrees with R. Josiah, and Bar Pada with R. Jonathan? — R. Mattena can maintain that both [authorities] agree that thirty days is the necessary period and the point at issue between them is whether the word 'until' [preceding a number] signifies the inclusion or exclusion [of the last unit of that number].14  R. Josiah is of the opinion that in the term 'until' [the last unit] is not included,15  whereas R. Jonathan is of the opinion that by the use of 'until', [the last unit] is included.16

The Master stated: What days then are those which have to be 'fulfilled'? You must say, The thirty days [of a lunar month]. But could it not be a week17  — [In the case of] a week, what deficiency is there to make up?

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Since he is unable to offer his nazirite sacrifices until he has been sprinkled with the ashes of the red heifer on the third and seventh days. V. Num. XIX, 1ff.
  2. Because the defilement takes place while the vow is still in force.
  3. Hence when the defilement takes place, the vow is no longer in force.
  4. Infra P. 53.
  5. As does R. Mattena.
  6. As does Bar Pada.
  7. For then the naziriteship is not complete until the close of the hundredth day and defilement during the naziriteship nullifies the whole preceding period.
  8. Num. VI, 13.
  9. I.e., he is to be a nazirite again for 30 days. [i.e., not more and not less, irrespective of the question whether or not part of the day is equivalent to a whole day (Tosaf.).]
  10. Ibid. 5.
  11. 'Two' being the minimum to which the plural 'days' could he applied.
  12. Num. VI, 5.
  13. An ordinary lunar month contains 29 days, a 'full' month 30 days.
  14. I.e., whether e.g. 'until 30' means 30 or 29.
  15. And the number thirty is derived by means of the rest of the verse, 'He shall let the locks grow long'.
  16. And the number thirty is obtained from 'Until the days be fulfilled'.
  17. Lit., 'a Sabbath', i.e., six working days completed by the Sabbath to make a week.
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