Nedarim - Daf 87

  • Contradiction between mistaken hafarah and mistaken kriah

The Gemara observes that our Mishnah, which taught that a hafarah for the wrong person is invalid, holds that the passuk’s using the term, "יניא אותה" - “he shall restrain her” is meant specifically, that he must know her identity. This seems to contradict a Baraisa, which teaches that if one is told that his father died, and he tore kriah, and then discovered that it was actually his son who died, the kriah is valid (despite there being similarly specific terms in the passuk describing Dovid’s kriah over Shaul and Yonasan). The Gemara answers that the Baraisa of kriah should be interpreted that he was not told which of his relatives had died; he assumed it was his father but was not certain. Such an unspecific kriah can be valid for the true deceased relative. Our Mishnah is speaking where he was clearly told the wrong identity of the vower, and his hafarah was made accordingly for the wrong person. The Gemara supports this answer with a Baraisa that explicitly distinguishes between where he was told erroneously that his father died, where the kriah is invalid, and where he merely assumed erroneously it was father, where the kriah is valid.

  • תוך כדי דיבור

Rav Ashi offers another solution: The Baraisa which validates a kriah done for the wrong person is when the truth was discovered בתוך כדי דיבור – within the time required for an utterance (i.e., the amount of time necessary to say “Shalom Alecha Rebbi”). Just as one can correct or retract a statement within this time period, an action such as kriah is also considered to continue for this time period, and thus qualifies as a kriah for the correct person. Our Mishnah is speaking where the correct identity of the vower was discovered after this time span. This answer is supported by a Baraisa, which teaches that one who tore kriah for a relative who seemed to have died, and actually died afterwards, the kriah would be valid if the death occurred within תוך כדי דיבור. The Gemara concludes with a ruling that all statements can be retracted within תוך כדי דיבור, with four exceptions: blasphemy, idol worship (both of which incur the death penalty even if he immediately retracts his blasphemous or idolatrous declaration), marriage, and divorce (which are effective even if he retracts immediately after performing them). The Ran explains that the seriousness of these activities dictates that a person would not do them without a complete and unconditional intent.

  • Three-way machlokes about partial hakamah and hafarah

The next Mishnah states: If a woman vowed, “קונם תאנים וענבים אלו שאני טועמת” – “Konam my tasting these figs and grapes,” and her husband confirmed the fig aspect of the neder, it is confirmed entirely and even the grape aspect cannot be revoked. If he revoked the fig aspect of the neder, it is not revoked until he revokes the grape aspect as well. The Ran explains that although the hafarah permits the figs, the grapes remain prohibited until he revokes them directly. [The Ran also offers an alternate explanation]. The Gemara says that our Mishnah is the opinion of Rebbe Yishmael, but Rebbe Akiva holds, based on the Torah comparing hafarah and hakamah, that just as a partial hakamah effects a complete confirmation, so too a partial hafarah revokes the entire neder. A third opinion is quoted from the Chachomim, saying: just as a partial hafarah only voids the aspect which he revoked, so too a partial hakamah only confirms the aspect that he confirmed.