Nedarim - Daf 22

  • Openings that may not be used to annul a neder because the regret may not be sincere

The grandson of Rebbe Yannai the Elder came before him to seek an opening for his neder. Rebbe Yannai the Elder asked him: אילו הוה ידעת דפתחין פינקסך וממשמשין בעובדך מי נדרת - if you would have known that in Heaven, they open your ledger and examine your actions when you vowed, would you have vowed? The  Ran explains that a person who makes a neder gives the impression that he holds himself to be a great person who will not stumble and violate his neder. Therefore, in Heaven they scrutinize his deeds to see if his opinion of himself reflects the truth. Rebbe Abba said the source for this is the passuk in Mishlei, “ואחר נדרים לבקר” – and after vows to search. Even though Rebbe Yannai released him from the neder, the Gemara notes that we do not follow this in practice. The Rishonim explain that when one is told the severity of his misdeed, he may profess regret even if he actually does not regret his neder. The Gemara adds three more openings that we do not use for the same reason .

  • The trait of כעס

Rebbe Shmuel bar Nachmani said in the name of Rebbe Yonasan: כל הכועס כל מיני גיהנם שולטין בו - anyone who gets angry, all types of Gehinnom dominate him, as it says: "והסר כעס מלבך והעבר רעה מבשרך" - remove anger from your heart and remove “evil” from your flesh, referring to Gehinnom.ולא עוד אלא שהתחתוניות שולטות בו - And not only that, but hemorrhoids dominate him, as it says: "ונתן ה' לך שם לב רגז וכליון עינים ודאבון נפש" - and Hashem will give you there an angered heart and longing of eyes and suffering of soul. איזהו דבר שמכלה את העינים ומדאיב את הנפש  - What causes the eyes to long and the soul to suffer? הוי אומר אלו התחתוניות - It is hemorrhoids. Other Amoraim added several more evils of anger: כל הכועס אפי' שכינה אינה חשובה כנגדו - Whoever gets angry, even the Shechinah is not significant to him. משכח תלמודו ומוסיף טיפשות - It causes one to forget his learning and increases his foolishness. בידוע שעונותיו מרובין מזכיותיו - It is certain that his sins outnumber his merits, as it says in the passuk: ובעל חמה רב פשע– and a man of wrath is full of sin.

  • Annulling shevuos

Rebbe Assi said: אין נזקקין לאלקי ישראל - we do not address one who swears by the G-d of Yisroel, to annul his vow,חוץ מקונם אשתי נהנית לי שגנבה את כיסי ושהכתה את בני - except for one who said, “konam my wife’s benefit from me, because she stole my purse,” or “because she hit my child,” ונודע שלא גנבה ושלא הכתו - and it became known that she did not steal it or hit him. The Ran explains that we do not ideally allow annulment of any shevuah (although b’dieved, an annulment would be effective). However, in the above case of a shevuah causing division between a man and his wife, which additionally was based on an error, we will allow an annulment. After reporting two incidents where Amoraim followed this ruling, the Gemara concludes that in fact, the halachah is that we do allow annulments of shevuos.