Nedarim - Daf 75

  • Machlokes about revoking nedarim before they are made

The next Mishnah states: One who says to his wife before traveling: כל הנדרים שתדורי מכאן עד שאבא ממקום פלוני הרי הן קיימין – “All nedarim that you vow from when I leave here until I return from such-and-such a place, shall be confirmed,” לא אמר כלום – he has said nothing, because hakamah cannot be made before the neder exists. הרי הן מופרין – But if he said: “They shall be revoked,” Rebbe Eliezer says the hafarah is valid, and the Chochomim say it is not. Rebbe Eliezer argues: אם הפר נדרים שבאו לכלל איסור – If one may revoke nedarim that already came to prohibition, לא יפר נדרים שלא באו לכלל איסור – should he not be able to revoke nedarim that did not come to prohibition? If anything, it should be easier to revoke nedarim that have not yet taken effect! The Chochomim respond that the Torah wrote hakamah near hafarah  (אישה יקימנו ואישה יפירנו)to teach that only nedarim which can be confirmed are able to be revoked, but nedarim which have not yet been made, and cannot be confirmed (as the Mishnah began), also cannot be revoked.

  • If nedarim which are revoked before they are made take effect according to Rebbe Eliezer

The Gemara inquires: According to Rebbe Eliezer, that one may revoke nedarim before they are made, מיחל חלין ובטלין - do they take effect and then are voided by the hafarah,או דלמא לא חלין כלל – or do they not take effect at all (i.e., does the hafarah prevent their ever taking effect)? The Gemara provides a practical difference: כגון דאתפיס אחרינא בהדין נדרא – In a case where someone else linked to this neder (the Ran’s example is where she said, “I am a nezirah” and someone said “I am like her”). If the neder took effect, even for a moment, the second person’s neder would also take effect, but if her neder was prevented from taking effect, the second neder would not be valid. The Gemara attempts to resolve the question from our Mishnah, in which Rebbe Eliezer argued that if one may revoke nedarim that have taken effect, certainly he can revoke those which have not. If the nedarim are prevented from taking effect, the kal vachomer is readily understood, for it is easier to prevent their taking effect than to void them. The Gemara rejects this proof.

  • Chochomim’s argument from the laws of mikveh

The Gemara suggests another proof from a Baraisa, in which the Chochomim argued to Rebbe Eliezer: ומה מקוה שמעלה את הטמאין מטומאתן – If a mikveh, which raises tamei people from their tumah state,אין מציל על הטהורים מליטמא – does not save tahor people from becoming tamei (i.e., if a person touches tumah while immersed in a mikveh he still becomes tamei), אדם שאין מעלה את הטמאין מטומאתן – then a person, who does not raise tamei items from their tumah (e.g., by swallowing and regurgitating a tamei ring), אינו דין הוא שלא יציל על הטהורין מליטמא – certainly should not save tahor items from becoming tamei? Meaning, it should follow that one who swallows a tahor ring and enters an ohel with a corpse should not protect the ring from becoming tamei. Yet, in truth he does. The Chochomim thus undermine Rebbe Eliezer’s kal vachomer with this argument. This indicates that Rebbe Eliezer’s ruling would prevent nedarim from taking effect, just as the cases the Chochomim discussed were preventing tumah. The Gemara on the next Daf points out that the latter part of the Baraisa would seem to indicate the reverse and concludes that the Chochomim themselves were uncertain of the mechanics of Rebbe Eliezer’s ruling.