Nedarim - Daf 65

  • Tzidkiyahu’s oath to Nevuchadnetzar and subsequent heter

It was taught in a Baraisa: המודר הנאה מחבירו אין מתירין לו אלא בפניו – One who is mudar hana’ah from his friend, we only release him from it in front of the other person. The Ran explains this is either to shame him to discourage him from annulling the neder made for his friend’s benefit, or so the subject of the neder does not incorrectly suspect the vower from violating his neder when he sees him benefiting from him. The source for this halachah is from Hashem telling Moshe to go to Midian to annul the oath he had made not to leave. In the process of demonstrating that Moshe had made an oath, the Gemara presents the story of Tzidkiyahu’s oath to Nevuchadnetzar: Tzidkiyahu once discovered Nevuchadnetzar eating a live hare, and Nevuchadnetzar demanded Tzidkiyahu swear not to publicize the matter. Tzidkiyahu subsequently suffered greatly from his inability to publicize it, and he sought and received a heter from Sanhedrin [the Ran discusses the rationale for the heter]. After Tzidkiyahu publicized the matter and Nevuchadnetzar was disgraced for it, he summoned Tzidkiyahu and the Sanhedrin and confronted them for permitting the oath, which they conceded was required to be done in Nevuchadnezar’s presence. He commanded that they sit on the ground in dishonor.

  •  יש דברים שהן כנולד ואינן כנולד

The next Mishnah states: Rebbe Meir says: יש דברים שהן כנולד ואינן כנולד – There are [events] that are like nolad, but are not considered nolad, and the neder is automatically void. The Chochomim disagree. An example: אמר קונם שאני נושא את פלונית שאביה רע – One said: “Konam my marrying Plonis, because her father is wicked,” אמרו לו מת או שעשה תשובה – and they told him that he died or that he repented, Rebbe Meir considers the neder void automatically. The Gemara asks why the father’s dying is not standard nolad. Rav Huna explained: נעשה כתולה נדרו בדבר – It is considered that he made the neder dependent on this fact. The Ran explains that since he intimated that his reason for vowing was the father’s wickedness, it is as if he limited the neder for the duration of the father’s wickedness, and it ends when he dies or repents. Rebbe Yochanan said: כבר מת וכבר עשה תשובה קאמרי ליה – The Mishnah means that they told him that the father had already died or repented before his neder was ever made, and it is void as a neder made under a mistaken premise.

  • פותחין לאדם בכתובת אשתו

The Mishnah states: פותחין לאדם בכתובת אשתו – We can open a neder for a person based on his having to pay his wife’s kesubah. This is illustrated by an incident in which a man vowed against benefiting from his wife, requiring him to divorce her. Rebbe Akiva required him to pay her kesubah of four hundred dinars, whereupon the man said he only had four hundred dinars, so would it not be sufficient if they would split them evenly? Rebbe Akiva declared: אפילו אתה מוכר שער ראשך אתה נותן לה כתובתה – “Even if you have to sell the hair on your head, you must pay her kesubah.” The man responded that had he known this, he never would have made the neder, and Rebbe Akiva annulled it. The Gemara wonders if our Mishnah assumes that מטלטלי – movable items, such as dinars, are obligated to the debt of a kesubah, which is the subject of a machlokes Tannaim. It answers that the story may be where he had property valued at four hundred dinars. When the Gemara objects further that Rebbe Akiva told him he would have to sell his own hair to pay her kesubah, and hair is a movable item [the Rosh explains this to refer to hair ready to be cut], it clarifies that Rebbe Akiva meant that even if he would have to sell his hair to buy food to eat, he would still be obligated to pay her kesubah.