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) WHY IS TERUMAH NOT A "DAVAR HA'NADUR"
QUESTION: The Gemara says if a person makes a Neder by comparing an object
to Terumah, the Neder is not valid, because Terumah is a Davar ha'Asur and
is not a Davar ha'Nadur.
Why is Terumah not a Davar ha'Nadur? Terumah seems to be no different than
Hekdesh, whereby a person declares the fruits to be Terumah and makes them
Asur for a Yisrael to eat. Why is it not a Davar ha'Nadur like Hekdesh?
(a) The RAN explains that had the Terumah been Asur because of the person's
declaration, it should have been Asur to everyone. The fact that it is only
Asur to Yisraelim and is Mutar to Kohanim shows that it is not the person
who made the Isur, but the Torah that made the Isur. The person just gives
the fruits a status of Terumah by separating them and calling them Terumah,
and the Torah then makes them Asur to Zarim and Mutar to Kohanim. In
contrast, when a person declares an item to be Hekdesh, he directly creates
the Isur and makes the item Asur to everyone in the world.
(b) TOSFOS and the ROSH explain that even before Terumah is separated from
the fruits, the fruits are Asur as Tevel. If anything, when one separates
the fruits and declares them to be Terumah, he is making them *permitted*
and not prohibited, since they become permitted where they previously were
prohibited (that is, to Kohanim). Therefore, a person does not create the
Isur when he separates Terumah, and thus Terumah is not a Davar ha'Nadur.
RAV YOSEF ENGEL (in ASVUN D'ORAISA) explains that the argument between the
Ran and Tosfos might be based on the nature of the Isur of Tevel. Tosfos
holds that the reason why Tevel is Asur is because of the Terumah that is
mixed with all of the other fruits. The Ran, on the other hand, holds that
Tevel is an independent Isur that is not related to the Isur of Terumah; the
Isur of Tevel is merely removed when one separates fruits from it and calls
those fruits Terumah and creates a new Isur of Terumah on those fruits.
According to Tosfos, though, who says that the Isur of Tevel is merely the
Isur of Terumah that is mixed in with the fruits, why is Tevel forbidden
even to Kohanim, if Terumah is permitted to Kohanim? According to Tosfos,
Terumah is also forbidden to Kohanim, since it belongs to Hashem, but the
Torah gives the Kohanim the rights to eat it when it is separated from the
rest of the fruits, because "mi'Shulchan Gavoha Ka Zachu" (see TOSFOS
Shabbos 24b, DH l'Fi). The Ran might disagree with this because he holds
that "mi'Shulchan Gavoha Ka Zachu" applies only to Kodshim and not to items
such as Terumah (like the RI cited by Tosfos in Shabbos there says).
(c) The RAMBAM explains that even though a person chooses what fruits will
be Terumah, a person cannot create Terumah by himself on fruits that have no
obligation of Terumah. Since the status of Terumah comes about only through
an obligation, it is called a Davar ha'Asur and not a Davar ha'Nadur.
However, if an Isur that comes about only as a result of an obligation is a
Davar ha'Asur, then why may a person make a Neder by comparing an object to
a Korban Chatas (13a)? Such a Korban also comes about through an obligation,
and thus it should be considered a Davar ha'Asur and not a Davar ha'Nadur!
The Rambam answers that there exists a Chatas that is brought voluntarily,
and that is the Chatas that a Nazir brings, because a person can voluntarily
make himself a Nazir and then bring a Chatas when the Nezirus is over. Since
all Korbanos Chatas are in the same category, a person may make a Neder even
by comparing an object to a Chatas Chelev, since there exists a type of
Chatas that *is* brought voluntarily.
2) BEING "MATFIS" TO A "BECHOR"
QUESTION: Rami bar Chama asks (11b) whether one's Neder takes effect when he
compares (with Hatfasah) the object to the meat of a Korban Shelamim that is
resting in front of him, and the blood of the Korban has already been
sprinkled (l'Achar Zerikas Damim) on the Mizbe'ach, so that the meat itself
is Mutar. Does the person have intention to be Matfis to the Korban in its
original state, "b'Ikro Ka Matfis," before Zerikas Damim when it was Asur,
in which case the Neder does not take effect because he is being Matfis to a
Davar ha'Asur? Or does he have intention to be Matfis to the Korban in its
present state, "b'Hetera Ka Matfis," after the Zerikas Damim when it is
Mutar, in which case the Neder takes effect because he is being Matfis to a
The Gemara here (12b) cites a Beraisa in an attempt to show that this
question is the subject of a Machlokes Tana'im. The Beraisa discusses a case
in which a person makes a Neder by being Matfis to a Bechor. Rebbi Yakov
prohibits the item (the Neder takes effect), and Rebbi Yosi permits it (the
Neder does not take effect). The Gemara suggests that the case of the
Beraisa is referring to when one makes a Neder by being Matfis to the flesh
of a Bechor after Zerikas Damim, and the Machlokes between Rebbi Yakov and
Rebbi Yosi is whether "b'Ikro Ka Matfis" or "b'Hetera Ka Matfis." The Gemara
refutes this explanation of the Beraisa and gives a different explanation
for the case in the Beraisa. It says that being Matfis to a Bechor is
different than being Matfis to a normal Korban, because a Bechor is
sanctified from birth, Kadosh m'Rechem, and it does not need to be
sanctified by the owner. Hence, it is a Davar ha'Asur according to Rebbi
Yosi and the Neder does not take effect. Rebbi Yakov says that although it
is Kadosh m'Rechem, there is still a Mitzvah for the owner to be Makdish it,
and thus it is considered a Davar ha'Nadur and the Neder does take effect.
How could the Gemara have thought that the argument in the Beraisa is
whether a person is Matfis "b'Ikro" or "b'Hetera?" If that is what they were
arguing about, then they should have expressed their views in the more
general and broader case of one who makes a Neder by being Matfis to the
meat of a Korban Shelamim after Zerikas Damim!
ANSWER: Perhaps the Gemara thought that the Tana'im discussed a case of
being Matfis to a Bechor because a Bechor may not be eaten by non-Kohanim
(according to Beis Hillel in Bechoros 32b). One might think that since it is
Asur for Zarim, it is a Davar ha'Nadur and a person may make a Neder by
being Matfis to it, even if everyone holds that a person is Matfis
"b'Hetera." The Beraisa therefore teaches that Rebbi Yosi says that one
cannot be Matfis to it, just as we find that one cannot be Matfis to Terumah
which is also Asur for Zarim, since it is Mutar to Kohanim (see previous