Nedarim - Daf 88

  • “Partial knowledge” regarding hafarah and a blind person’s inadvertent killing

The Mishnah had taught about one who knows he can revoke nedarim but did not know he had rights to be meifir a particular neder. Rebbe Meir says he cannot be meifir, because the “partial knowledge” he had the day he heard the neder is not sufficient for hafarah.  (Still, the partial knowledge does qualify as a “day of hearing” to prevent him from revoking thereafter). The Chochomim say he can revoke the first day, and his partial knowledge is adequate. The Gemara poses a contradiction from the law of a blind person who kills inadvertently: Rebbe Yehudah (the assumed disputant in our Mishnah) says he does not go to exile, because the passuk says "בלא ראות" – without seeing, indicating that he normally can see, and a blind person’s partial awareness is not tantamount to proper knowledge. Rebbe Meir says he goes to exile, and is included in “without seeing,” because he considers his partial awareness sufficient. This is the opposite of their positions in our Mishnah!? Rava answers that each subject is darshened based on context. Rebbe Yehudah says that the passuk stating – “ואשר יבא את רעהו ביער“ – “one who goes with his friend into the forest” would include a blind person, so the extra “without seeing” must be to exclude him. Rebbe Meir says that the phrase “"בבלי דעת – ”without awareness,” would already exclude a blind person who lacks full awareness, so the additional exclusionary phrase of “without seeing” must be to include a blind person.

  • Giving property to a woman such that her husband will not acquire it

The next Mishnah states: One who prohibited benefit to his son-in-law, and wishes to give money to his daughter, must say: “"הרי המעות האלו נתונין לך במתנה – ”This money is hereby given to you as a gift, “"ובלבד שלא יהא לבעליך רשות בהן – provided that your husband has no rights to it, אלא מה שאת נושאת ונותנת בפיך – but that you take and place in your mouth [the food purchased with it].” The Gemara explains this is Rebbe Meir’s opinion, that יד אשה כיד בעלה – the wife’s hand is like her husband’s hand, and everything she acquires becomes his possessions. Therefore, a condition that he should not acquire it would not prevent him from taking possession of it. Rather, he must additionally stipulate that it remains his until she places it in her mouth, at which point the husband cannot acquire it. Rav says that the entire formula is necessary, because he paskens like Rebbe Meir. Shmuel says that even saying “Do what you want with the money” is sufficient, because he paskens like the Chochomim, who disagree with Rebbe Meir.

  • Transferring ownership through one’s wife for shitufei mevo’os

Rebbe Zeira asked from a Mishnah about the law of shitufei mevo’os, in which people of multiple courtyards join together for common usage of the central mavoi, which is often accomplished by one party transferring ownership of a food item to all the residents of the mavoi. This transfer must be performed through someone that can acquire independently of the owner. Yet, the Mishnah (presumably authored by Rebbe Meir) teaches that one may transfer wine for shitufei mevo’os through his wife, indicating that one’s wife is able to acquire property without the husband taking possession!? Rava initially answers that when the husband gives property to his wife (such as the case of shitufei mevo’os), it leaves his domain completely. When this answer is challenged from a Baraisa, Rav Ashi instead answers that the Mishnah is discussing a case where she herself owns a courtyard independent of her husband, דמגו דזכיא לנפשה זכיא לאחריני - since she must acquire a portion of the wine for the shitufei mevo’os for herself to be effective, she can also acquire it on behalf of the other residents.