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Nedarim, 3

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.


QUESTION: The Gemara explains that the Isur of Bal Te'acher applies to Nezirus in a case where a person says, "I will not leave the world before I become a Nazir."

Why is that a case of Bal Te'acher of Nezirus? The person did not yet become a Nazir, for he only promised to make himself a Nazir at a later time, and the reason he is obligated to make himself a Nazir is apparently because his statement was a Shevu'ah or a Neder Mitzvah (that is, one who accepts upon himself to perform a voluntary Mitzvah in the future is bound to keep his word; see Ran 8a, DH v'ha'Lo). The *Nezirus* itself, though, does not obligate him to become a Nazir, so how can this be called Bal Te'acher of *Nezirus*? If anything, it should be Bal Te'acher of Neder!

In addition, why does the Gemara give this complex case of Nezirus? It should have given a simple case where a person says merely, "I accept upon myself to make myself a Nazir at a later date," and if he delays becoming a Nazir he transgresses Bal Te'acher (TOSFOS in the name of RABEINU YOSEF)!


(a) In his first answer, TOSFOS seems to learn that it is true that what obligates the person to become a Nazir is simply a Neder Mitzvah. Nevertheless, it is called "Bal Te'acher" of *Nezirus* because his Neder Mitzvah is a Neder to perform the Mitzvah of Nezirus. The Gemara might be teaching that Nezirus is indeed considered a Mitzvah such that a resolution to become a Nazir is binding.

Regarding the second question, Tosfos writes that the Gemara indeed means to give the simple case. When the person says, "I will not leave the world before I become a Nazir," he means that "I accept upon myself to make myself a Nazir at some point in my life," which is the simple case of accepting upon oneself to become a Nazir. The reason why the Gemara mentions that he specifies that he will become a Nazir *during his lifetime* is in order to show clearly that the person is not leaving Nezirus as an option, but that he is obligating himself to accept Nezirus.

(b) In his second answer, TOSFOS implies that the statement that the person makes of "I will not leave the world before I become a Nazir" is the actual Kabalah, acceptance, of Nezirus, but nevertheless he is not yet required to actually observe the laws of Nezirus. Normally, after one has accepted upon himself Nezirus he must immediately observe the laws of Nezirus for thirty consecutive days. In the case of our Gemara, though, since he specified that he will practice the Nezirus any time before he dies, he may choose to practice the Nezirus that he has accepted upon himself any thirty consecutive days of his life. When he chooses to observe his Nezirus, he does not have to accept it upon himself again by saying "I hereby accept to become a Nazir," because the statement that he already made was the acceptance of the Nezirus. If so, when he delays practicing the laws of Nezirus, it is indeed Bal Te'acher of Nezirus. This also seems to be the intention of the RAN.

A practical difference between these two approaches would be whether or not Bal Te'acher would apply to a person who says "I accept to become prohibited from eating grapes with a Neder for thirty days, sometime before I die." According to the first approach, he will not have to refrain from eating grapes at all, since he has not yet accepted upon himself not to eat them. Since it is not a Mitzvah to refrain from grapes, there is no reason that he should be bound to accept such a Neder upon himself in the future; he can simply change his mind and not prohibit himself to eat grapes.

On the other hand, according to the Ran, he has already made a Neder to refrain from eating grapes by making such a statement, and therefore he will have to refrain from grapes sometime during his lifetime. As the GILYON HA'SHAS points out, this is indeed the opinion of the Ran later in this Maseches (Daf 63).

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