(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Nedarim, 31

NEDARIM 31 - dedicated anonymously in honor of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, and in honor of those who study the Dafyomi around the world.


OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that if one makes a Neder not to derive pleasure from Arelim (uncircumcised people), he is permitted to derive pleasure from an Arel who is Jewish, while he is prohibited to derive pleasure from *any* Nochri -- even from a circumcised Nochri. Since the meaning of a Neder is determined by the way most people speak, and the word "Arelim" is colloquially used to refer to all Nochrim (regardless of whether they are circumcised or not) and not to Jews, it is clear that the person who makes such a Neder wants to prohibit himself from deriving pleasure only from Nochrim.

What is his status, though, with regard to a Jew who intentionally refuses to have a Milah? Is the Mishnah teaching that all Jews are automatically considered circumcised, even if they intentionally refuse to have a Milah, or is it referring only to Jews who want to have a Milah but are unable to do Milah for reasons beyond their control (such as for reasons of health)?

(a) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nedarim 9:21), the CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN and ME'IRI (in the name of TOSFOS; see also TOSFOS in Avodah Zarah 27a, DH Ika) maintain that even a Jew who intentionally refuses to be circumcised is also not deemed an Arel. They seem to derive this from the words of the Mishnah that says that the term Arel refers only to a Nochri.

(b) The RITVA is of the opinion that only one who cannot be circumcised for reasons beyond his control (that is, his brothers died from Milah) is not considered an Arel. If, however, a Jew intentionally refuses to have a Milah, he *is* considered an Arel. The NIMUKEI YOSEF and ME'IRI explain that the term "Arel" refers to anyone who takes no interest in the Mitzvah of Milah and does not support it; therefore, anyone who intentionally does not have a Milah is deemed an Arel.

The MISHNAH LA'MELECH (Hilchos Nedarim 10:7) points out that the wording of the Mefaresh in our Gemara implies that one who intentionally is not circumcised is not considered an Arel, but he is not considered a "Mahul" (circumcised person) either.

HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 217:41) states that one who makes a Neder not to have pleasure from "Arelim" is permitted to have pleasure from Jewish Arelim. The Shulchan Aruch also rules (217:42) that one who makes a Neder not to have pleasure from "Mulim" is prohibited from having pleasure from Jews who are uncircumcised. This seems to be in accordance with the view of the Rambam who does not differentiate between intentional or non-intentional Arelim.

REBBI AKIVA EIGER (on the Shulchan Aruch) cites the BEIS YOSEF who writes that a Jew who intentionally does not have a Milah is considered an Arel. According to the PRI CHADASH, though, one is considered an Arel only if he refuses to have a Milah out of a malicious desire to "anger" Hashem.

The RASHASH in Avodah Zarah (27a) remains with a question as to why the Shulchan Aruch in Hilchos Nedarim implies that all Jews are considered to be Mulim, clearly contradicting what he wrote in the Beis Yosef as cited by Rebbi Akiva Eiger. Moreover, in Hilchos Milah the Shulchan Aruch writes that only a Jew who is an Arel against his will is still considered a Mahul (and therefore he is permitted to be a Mohel, as implied by the Gemara in Avodah Zarah), which seems to contradict his words in Hilchos Nedarim where he implies that any uncircumcised Jew is not considered a Mahul.

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,