THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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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.
1) "BAL TE'ACHER" OF NEZIRUS
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).