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Nedarim 2

NEDARIM 2,3,4,5 - dedicated by Uri Wolfson and Naftali Wilk in honor of Rav Mordechai Rabin of Har Nof, a true beacon of Torah and Chesed.

(a) The Torah empowers a person to create a prohibition, or obligation, upon himself through the means of his speech, as the verse states (Bamidbar 30:3), "If a man makes a "Neder" (vow) to Hashem, or swears a "Shevu'ah" (oath) to create a prohibition upon himself, he may not violate his word. As he spoke, he shall do." By pronouncing a Shevu'ah (pl. Shevuos) one can either prohibit an act that was formerly permitted, or make obligatory an act that was formerly voluntary. By pronouncing a Neder (pl. Nedarim), in contrast, one can only prohibit and not obligate, with the exception of Nidrei Hekdesh (vows to consecrate a sacrifice) which can also obligate a person (to bring the sacrifice he vowed). Maseches Nedarim, and the description that follows, deal exclusively with normal Nedarim ("Nidrei Isur") as opposed to Nidrei Hekdesh. (Regarding Nidrei Hekdesh, see Background to Megilah 8:4.)
(b) A Neder differs from a Shevu'ah primarily in that when a person expresses a Neder, he must place a prohibition upon an object (e.g. "this bread is prohibited to me"), while when he expresses a Shevu'ah, he places a prohibition upon himself (e.g. "I am prohibited to eat this bread"), as the Gemara says in Nedarim 2b (see Insights to 2:3). There are several important consequences of this primary difference:

1. A Neder, which prohibits an object, can prohibit the object not only to oneself but to others as well, as long as the object belongs to the person who expressed the Neder.
2. A Shevu'ah can prohibit an action that is not related to any tangible object ("Davar she'Ein Bo Mamash") such as sleeping. In contrast, a Neder cannot take effect on an intangible object, because the prohibition must have an object upon which to take effect (Nedarim 16b; the Mishnah and Gemara there suggest many other practical consequences of this difference between Nedarim and Shevu'os.)
(c) A Neder can be made by "connecting" an object that is permitted to another object which is prohibited, such as a Korban. (Some Rishonim refer to this as "a Neder performed through Hatfasah." Some Rishonim maintain that this is an integral part of the expression of a Neder without which the Neder is not binding, see Insights to 2:2). The Gemara explains that when making a Neder, one may only connect an object to a "Davar ha'Nadur," i.e. another object which has been prohibited either through a Neder or by becoming Hekdesh (consecrated). If one attempts to make a Neder by connecting an object to a "Davar ha'Asur," the Neder is not binding (Nedarim 14a). "Davar ha'Asur" in this context refers to an object which is not prohibited because of an Isur that a *person* placed upon it, but because of an Isur Torah that applied to it naturally (e.g. meat that was cooked with milk, or a non-kosher animal). According to some Tana'im, if a Neder is pronounced by connecting an object to an object of Hekdesh, the object of the Neder, too, becomes Hekdesh to the extent that one who benefits from it must bring a Korban Me'ilah (Nedarim 35a, see Background to Yevamos 88:6).
(d) One who violates a Neder transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh (Bamidbar ibid., Devarim 23:24) and a Mitzvas Lo Sa'aseh (Bamidbar ibid.) and is punished with Malkos, 39 lashes (RAMBAM Hilchos Nedarim 1:4-5).

(a) A person can create a Neder or Shevu'ah with a Kinuy, an expression using a corrupted form of a word, such as "Konam" instead of "Korban" or "Shevusa" instead of "Shevuah" (Nedarim 2a).
(b) The Amora'im argue as to whether these expressions are actual words in foreign languages that are loosely based on the Hebrew vocabulary, or whether they are expressions that the Chachamim instituted for the specific purpose of creating Nedarim (Nedarim 10a). In either case, it is preferable to use Kinuyim when making a Neder rather than the proper Hebrew term, so that one should not come to utter the Name of HaSh-m in vain (ibid.); if one uses the proper Hebrew term it is more likely that one will utter the Holy Name along with it by association.

2) [line 2] CHARAMIM
(a) There are two types of Charamim (a type of vow or pledge in which one pronounces "This object should be a Cherem"):

1. Chermei Kohanim, which are given to the Kohanim for their personal use and cannot be redeemed from the Kohen;
2. Chermei Gavo'ah, which are given to the Beis ha'Mikdash for the Bedek ha'Bayis and can be redeemed like any other Hekdesh.
(b) Most Rishonim explain that our Mishnah is referring to a person who want to make some or all of his possessions Cherem, as above. The RAN explains that our Mishnah is referring to a person who wants to make a vow (Nidrei Isur) by "connecting" an object that is permitted to another object that it is prohibited to use because the item has been consecrated through a Cherem (i.e. the Cherem is used to describe the level of Isur that he wants to impart upon the items in his vow, see above 1a:c). (See also RAMBAM Hilchos Nedarim 1:16, Insights to Nedarim 2:1.)

3) [line 3] SHEVU'OS
(a) A person can make an oath, or "Shevu'as Bituy," by swearing to do something or not to do something or by swearing that he did or did not do something in the past. If he does not keep his word, or if his oath regarding an action of the past is false, he transgresses the Torah's prohibition not to swear falsely (Vayikra 19:12 -- RAMBAM Hilchos Shevu'os 1:3). If his oath was made regarding an action that he will or will not do in the future, he transgresses the Torah's prohibition not to violate one's word as well (Bamidbar 30:3, see above 1a:a -- KESEF MISHNAH ibid.). It is prohibited to make an unnecessary or ridiculous oath. Such a Shevu'ah is known as a "Shevu'as Shav," which the Torah prohibits in the Ten Commandments, Shemos 20:7. (See Rambam, Hilchos Shevu'os 1:4, for a description of the various categories of Shevu'as Shav.)
(b) Shevu'os in which a person prohibits certain acts upon himself are similar to Nedarim. However, as opposed to Nidrei Isur and Charamim, in which a person places a prohibition on a specific *object* (e.g. "this bread is prohibited"), when making Shevu'os a person places a prohibition upon *himself* which prohibits himself from performing a certain action (e.g. "I am prohibited to eat this bread"), as the Gemara says in Nedarim 2b (see above, 1a:b, and Insights to 2:3).
(c) Some Rishonim maintain that when expressing a Shevu'ah, one must mention a name of or a reference to Hash-m in order for the Shevu'ah to take effect (see RAN and Rishonim to Nedarim 2a).
(d) If one unintentionally transgresses his oath (Shevu'as Bituy), he is required to bring a Korban Shevu'ah. The Korban Shevu'ah is a Korban Oleh v'Yored, which means that the makeup of the Korban varies based on the means of the penitent. If he is wealthy, he brings a female sheep or goat as a Chatas. If he cannot afford this, he brings two doves or two turtledoves, one as an Olah and one as a Chatas. If he cannot even afford the birds, he brings one tenth of an Eifah of fine flour as a Minchas Chatas. (Vayikra 5:6-13) If a person makes an oath prohibiting himself to do a certain act and he *knowingly* transgresses his oath, or if he knowingly takes a false oath that he did or did not do a certain act, he is punished with Malkos. However, if he swears *to do* something and does not do it, he does not get Malkos, since no action is involved (RAMBAM Hilchos Shevu'os 4:20). If one unintentionally takes a Shevu'as Shav, he is not punishable. If he intentionally takes such a Shevu'ah, he is punished with Malkos (RAMBAM Hilchos Shevu'os 1:7).

4) [line 3] NEZIRUS (a) If a person makes a vow to become a Nazir without stipulating a time period, his Nezirus lasts for a period of thirty days, as our Gemara shows from the verses. During this period, the Nazir is not allowed to 1. cut his hair; 2. become Tamei by touching or being in the same room as a corpse; or 3. consume any products of the grapevine.
(b) If a Nazir becomes Tamei through contact with or being in the same room as a corpse, on the third and seventh days he must be sprinkled with water that has the ashes of the Parah Adumah in it to become Tahor. On the seventh day of his purification he shaves off the hair of his head. On the eighth day, he brings the sacrifices of a Nazir who becomes Tamei and begins counting his Nazirite days anew. The sacrifices he brings are two turtledoves (Tor) or two young common doves (Yonah), one as a Chatas and one as an Olah. He must also bring a yearling sheep as an Asham. He may then start counting his Nazirite days anew. These Korbanos and this shaving are in addition to the Korbanos and shaving of every Nazir upon the completion of his Nezirus.
(c) When a Nazir completes his period of Nezirus, he must offer three sacrifices: a male sheep as an Olah, a female sheep as a Chatas, and a ram as a Shelamim. Together with the Shelamim he brings 6 and 2/3 Esronos of Soles (fine flour) which are made into 20 loaves of Matzah, 10 Chalos (unleavened loaves) and 10 Rekikin (flat Matzos). He then shaves his hair and burns it under the pot in which the Shelamim is cooked (Bamidbar 6:18). (Sefer ha'Chinuch #377)

5) [last line] MENUDEH ANI LECHA - I am [prohibited] to you as a person who has been excommunicated


In order to keep food warm for the Shabbos day meal, dishes are heated on Friday and completely wrapped in insulating material (the process called Hatmanah) before sunset. If the material used adds heat to the food, the Hatmanah is prohibited.

8) [line 10] V'SU, YADOS INSHI? AIRI VEHON - and furthermore, did he (the Tana of the Mishnah) forget to mention Yados? [No,] he mentioned them...

9) [line 28] D'AVSHU LEI - there are many [Halachos for the Tana to teach]

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