THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) ONE PERSON ACCEPTING CONTRADICTORY CONDITIONAL OATHS OF NEZIRUS
QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses a case of nine people who made their Nezirus
contingent upon the status of a "Koy." The Gemara cites a Beraisa which says
that a single person can also become a Nazir nine times by making the same
types of conditions in his oaths of acceptance of Nezirus. The Gemara points
out that it is understandable how the first six conditional oaths can apply
to one person. However, the last three conditional oaths of acceptance of
Nezirus must, by definition, apply to more than one person, so how can one
person make such an oath? This is the Gemara's question.
Why is the Gemara not bothered by the first six conditional oaths of
Nezirus? Why should even the first six conditional oaths of Nezirus apply to
a single person? Some of the conditions contradict each other, such as, "I
am a Nazir if the Koy is a Chayah," and, "I am a Nazir if the Koy is not a
Chayah!" How could these contradictory oaths of Nezirus both take effect?
Whether the Koy is a Chayah or not, only one of the two oaths can take
effect! (ARZEI HA'LEVANON)
(a) The ARZEI HA'LEVANON (fn. 58) answers that the Gemara indeed knows that
all six sets of Nezirus cannot take effect at the same time on the same
person. The Gemara just means to say that six of the oaths can make a single
person into a Nazir (when stated at different times), while the other three
are meaningless when stated by a single person.
However, TOSFOS implies that the six oaths of Nezirus actually take effect
on the person at the same time.
(b) When the person says that he will be a Nazir if the Koy is a Chayah, he
does not mean to make his Nezirus dependent on the Koy being a full-fledged
Chayah. Rather, he means to say that if the Koy is a Vadai Chayah, he will
be a Vadai Nazir, and if the Koy is a Safek Chayah, he will be a Safek
Nazir. Whether or not he becomes a Nazir will not be determined, though, by
whether the Koy is actually a Chayah or not, because he did not make his
Nezirus dependent on the actual (unknown) status of the Koy, but on the
status with which the Koy is treated, which is the status of a Safek.
Therefore, whether or not the Koy actually is a Chayah in reality, since the
Safek is indeterminable his conditional oath makes him a Nazir Safek (a
Nazir whose true status is known only to Hashem, just like the true status
of a Koy is known only to Hashem). Therefore, each of the six conditions
make him a Nazir Safek (unless he states two of the oaths in a single
sentence, such as, "I am a Nazir if the Koy is or is not a Chayah," which
obviously will make him a Nazir Vadai).
This interpretation is supported by the Gemara's conclusion that if nine
people express the nine conditional oaths mentioned in the Mishnah, and then
a single person comes and accepts all of the oaths of Nezirus that these
people accepted, he becomes a Safek Nazir with nine sets of Safek Nezirus.
Since the Koy either is a Chayah or is not a Chayah, only one of the two
people who made those two conditional oaths becomes a Nazir. Why, then,
should the single person who accepted to be a Nazir like all nine people
become a Nazir Safek for both of the people who accepted contradictory
conditions? It must be that the Safek Nezirus of each person is not
dependent on whether the Koy actually is or is not a Chayah; rather, the
Safek Nezirus is an indeterminable Safek (the way the Koy is viewed by us as
an indeterminable Safek). This might be the Chidush of the Beraisa that
teaches that a person can accept nine sets of Safek Nezirus in this manner.
Even though the person accepted all nine sets of Safek Nezirus in one
sentence, we do not view it as one who said, "I am a Nazir whether a Koy is
a Chayah or is not a Chayah," but rather as a person who made nine separate
oaths of acceptance of Nezirus, conditional on the status of the Koy.
(c) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nezirus 2:10, and Perush ha'Mishnayos) rules that in
the case of our Mishnah, all of the people who accepted conditional oaths of
Nezirus become normal, Vadai Nezirim, and not Safek Nezirim. The person who
made his Nezirus dependent on the Koy being a Chayah meant that even if it
only has *some* of the laws of a Chayah, he will be a Nazir. Similarly, the
person who made his Nezirus dependent on the Koy not being a Chayah meant
that he will be a Nazir even if it is only unlike a Chayah in *some* of its
laws. According to his view, the answer to our original question is obvious;
if a single person accepted Nezirus with the six conditions of the Mishnah,
each of the conditions has been fulfilled, and thus he will be a Nazir with
six sets of Nezirus.
2) "MI'UT V'RIBUY," "PRAT U'KLAL"
QUESTIONS: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Elazar teaches that a
Nazir is prohibited from eating even Alin v'Lulavin (leaves and young
sprouts) of the grape vine. The Gemara points out that the Tana of our
Mishnah argues and permits a Nazir to eat Alin v'Lulavin. The Gemara
explains that the source of the argument revolves around a more general
argument concerning a certain point of exegetical methodology.
The verse (Bamidbar 6:3) first mentions a specific category ("mi'Yayin
v'Shechar") of grape products prohibited to a Nazir, and then (Bamidbar 6:4)
it mentions the general category ("mi'Kol Asher Ye'a'seh mi'Gefen") of all
grape products prohibited to a Nazir, and then (ibid.) it mentions another
specific category ("me'Chartzanim v'Ad Zag").
The Gemara says that Rebbi Elazar approaches this type of verse by
classifying the phrase of the specific category as a "Mi'ut" (a term that
excludes) and the phrase of the general category as a "Ribuy" (a term that
includes). He only takes into account the first two of the three phrases in
the verse, classifying the verse as a Limud of "Mi'ut v'Ribuy," a Mi'ut
followed by a Ribuy. Such a Limud teaches that everything that can possibly
be included in the general category is included in the verse except for one
specific thing (in this case, Shevishta, branches (or hard leaves; see
Tosfos 35b, DH Ika)). Rebbi Elazar does not take into account the third
phrase, as we will discuss shortly.
The Tana of our Mishnah, on the other hand, takes into account all three
phrases, classifying the verse as a Limud of "Prat u'Klal u'Prat." Such a
Limud teaches that the verse is including in the general category only those
objects that are similar to the Prat (see Chart). Hence, the verse is
excluding not only branches and hard leaves, but also Alin v'Lulavin (soft
leaves and young sprouts).
TOSFOS (DH mi'Yayin) asks why Rebbi Elazar does not take into account the
third phrase (which is a Mi'ut) of the verse. Tosfos answers that Rebbi
Elazar uses that phrase to teach the Halachah of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah,
who rules that a Nazir is only punished if he eats two grape-seeds
("Chartzanim") and one peal ("Zag"). The Gemara (35a) indeed suggests that
Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah himself learns like Rebbi Elazar (that the Limud of
the verse is a Mi'ut v'Ribuy).
How does the Gemara know that Rebbi Elazar must hold like Rebbi Elazar ben
Azaryah? Perhaps Rebbi Elazar learns like the Rabanan and takes into account
the last phrase and learns the Limud of the verse as a "Mi'ut Ribuy
u'Mi'ut!" Presumably, a "Mi'ut Ribuy u'Mi'ut" (MRM) is equivalent to a
"Ribuy Mi'ut v'Ribuy" (RMR), which also includes everything except for one
item, just like a "Miut v'Ribuy" (we can make this presumption based on the
fact that according to the Rabanan, a "Klal Prat u'Klal" (KPK) and a "Prat
Klal u'Prat" (PKP) are almost identical forms of Limud in that both types of
Limud include items that are "k'Ein ha'Prat"). In addition, if Rebbi Elazar
does not learn the last phrase as a Mi'ut, why does he prefer to use that
phrase to learn Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah's Halachah over using it as a
(b) Why does the Gemara assume that Rebbi Elazar, who includes Alin
v'Lulavin in the Nazir's prohibition of grape products, learns verses as
"Mi'ut v'Ribuy?" Perhaps he holds like the Rabanan who use the approach of
"Prat u'Klal," and he merely explains that the first two verses are a "Prat
u'Klal" which teaches that everything is included in the Halachah of the
verse (since the Klal adds to the Prat), and that is why Alin v'Lulavin are
included, while he does not take into account the last phrase (the second
Prat) of the verse because he uses it for Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah's
teaching! In the same vein, we can ask why does the Gemara (35a) assume that
Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah must hold of the approach of "Mi'ut vRibuy?" Why
can he not hold of the approach of "Prat u'Klal" and still disregard the
last phrase of the verse (since it is already being used to teach his
Halachah of "two Chartzanim and one Zag")?
(a) The way the Gemara knows that Rebbi Elazar does not take into account
the third phrase and make the verse into a "Mi'ut Ribuy u'Mi'ut" is because
all Tana'im agree that there is no such Limud as a "Mi'ut Ribuy u'Mi'ut," as
the Gemara makes clear later (35a). Even those who normally learn a verse as
"Mi'ut v'Ribuy" agree that if there is a limiting clause and then a broader
close and then another limiting clause, we learn it as a "Prat Klal u'Prat"
(and not a "Mi'ut v'Ribuy") and we take into account the second limiting
clause, thus including in the verse only things that are similar to the Prat
(in our case, Alin v'Lulavin would therefore be excluded from the Isur).
Why, though, would Rebbi Elazar prefer to use the last clause of the verse
for Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah's teaching rather than to view it as the second
limiting clause and make the verse a Limud of "Prat Klal u'Prat?"
TOSFOS (35a, DH Rebbi Elazar) suggests two different approaches. In his
second approach (that of the RI), Tosfos suggests that there is an accepted
tradition (Kabalah) that it is always preferable to learn a verse as a
"Mi'ut v'Ribuy" and to use the more common exegetical method than to learn a
verse as a "Prat Klal u'Prat" and use a rare and unusual exegetical method.
That is why Rebbi Elazar prefers to learn the verse as a "Mi'ut v'Ribuy" and
use the third clause for the teaching of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah. However,
if there is a choice between viewing the clauses of a verse as a "Mi'ut
v'Ribuy" or using each clause independently to teach a specific Halachah,
then it is preferable to view the verse as part of a series of a Limud (such
as a "Mi'ut v'Ribuy").
In his first approach, it appears that Tosfos learns that it is always
preferable to use the verse to teach a specific Halachah than to view it as
part of a series of a Limud (Klalim u'Pratim, or Ribuyim u'Mi'utim). It is
possible that these two approaches in Tosfos are arguing about the issue
that Rashi and Tosfos argue in Sukah (31a; Tosfos DH v'Rebbi Yehudah). Rashi
writes that we cannot apply any of the Thirteen Midos to learn a Halachah on
our own (except for Kal v'Chomer); there must be a Kabalah to apply those
principles. Tosfos argues and says that we may apply all of the Midos on our
own, except for Gezeirah Shavah. The argument seems to revolve around how to
define a "Klal u'Prat." Tosfos learns like the Ri, who says that it is
always preferable to view a verse as part of a series of Klalim and Pratim
rather to use it for a specific Halachah. Rashi, though, learns that a verse
is only considered a Klal or Prat if we cannot learn from it a specific
Halachah. Since we can never know if there is some specific Limud to learn
from a verse instead of using it as a "Klal u'Prat" (or similar Limud), we
must have a Kabalah in order to apply the rule of "Klal u'Prat" (or similar
Limud), just like we may use a verse to teach a Gezeirah Shavah only when
the verse is not being used to teach any specific Limud instead (a Kal
v'Chomer, though, may be made by oneself, since this limitation does not
apply to the Midah of a Kal v'Chomer).
(b) The reason the Gemara does not suggest that Rebbi Elazar includes Alin
v'Lulavin through a "Prat u'Klal" is because a "Prat u'Klal" includes every
object in the Klal with no exception, and thus a Nazir would be prohibited
from eating even branches. It is clear from Rebbi Elazar's words that he
holds that a Nazir is Chayav only for eating something edible, like Alin
v'Lulavin. Therefore, the only way to include everything in the Klal except
for one object is by learning the verse as a "Mi'ut v'Ribuy."