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Prepared by Rabbi N. Slifkin
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Nedarim 20

NEDARIM 19 & 20 (7 Av) - has been dedicated to the memory of Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens N.Y., by his wife and daughters. G-d fearing and knowledgeable, Simcha was well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah. He will long be remembered.


(a) If a person made a Neder with the term Cherem, and says that he meant a fishing net;
(b) If he said Korban, and says he meant a royal tribute;
(c) If he says "Atzmi (myself) as a Korban," and says that he meant as a bone (etzem) set aside for Nedarim;
(d) If he made a Konam on his wife benefiting from him, and says that he meant his first divorced wife;
(e) (R. Meir) He does not need to ask for release; if he does need to, then he is punishable, and we are stringent.
(f) (Chachamim) They are released via Charatah (regret), and they are instructed not to take Nedarim lightly.
(a) Question: R. Meir first says that he does not need to ask release, but then says he is punishable if he does not do so
(b) Answer: He means that if made by a Talmid Chacham, they do not need release, but it made by an Am Ha'Aretz, they do need it.
(c) Question: R. Meir's statement about being stringent means that they cannot be released via Charatah; but what does he mean by saying that they are punishable?
(d) Answer: As per a Beraisa:
1. (R. Yehudah) If someone transgresses his Nezirus, we don't attend to his case until he has observed proper Nezirus for an equivalent period.
2. (R. Yosi) However, if it has been more than thirty days, he need only observe it for thirty days.
3. (R. Yosef) Since we said that we don't attend to his case, a Beis Din that does so has no acted properly.
4. (R. Acha bar Yaakov) It is banned.
(a) A person should not accustom himself to making Nedarim, as he will eventually transgress Shevuos.
(b) One should not frequent an Am Ha'Aretz, as he will eventually feed you on Tevel.
(c) A Kohen should not frequent a Kohen who is an Am Ha'Aretz, as he will eventually feed him Terumah which is Tamei.
(d) One should not converse excessively with a woman, as it will eventually lead to illicit relations.
(a) (R. Acha b. R. Yeshayah) One who gazes at women will eventually end in sin.
1. One who stares at the heel of a women will have degenerate children.
2. (Rav Yosef) This also applies to a person's wife when she is a Niddah.
3. (Resh Lakish) The "heel" refers to the unclean part opposite the heel.
(b) When Moshe tells the people that Hashem's fear will be before their faces, this refers to shame; "so that you shall not sin" teaches that shame leads to fear of sin.
1. Thus, it is a good sign if a person feels shame.
2. Others say that a person who feels shame will not sin; and one who does not feel shame, his ancestors were not at Sinai.
(a) (R. Yochanan b. Dahavai) The Malachei HaShareis told me four things:
1. People are born lame because their parents "overturned the table";
2. They are born dumb, because they kissed "that place";
3. They are born deaf, because they spoke during relations;
4. They are born blind, because they look at "that place."

(b) Question: We see that one may converse during relations:
1. Ima Shalom was asked why her children were so beautiful.
2. She replied that her husband does not "speak to her" at the beginning or end of the night, only at midnight.
3. When he does so, he uncovers a Tefach and leaves a Tefach covered, and acts as though forced by a demon.
4. When asked at the time, he said that he doesn't "speak" during the other times so as not to think of other women, resulting in children who are like Mamzerim.
(c) Answer: One is allowed to converse about relevant matters.
(d) (R. Yochanan) This is the view of R. Yochanan b. Dahavai, but the Chachamim ruled that a man may do whatever he likes with his wife,.
1. It is like meat from the butcher, which may be eaten salted, roasted, cooked, or seethed; similarly with fish.
(e) (Ameimar) The Malachei HaShareis referred to by R. Yochanan b. Dahavai are the Rabbanan.
1. If it were otherwise, how could R. Yochanan rule against them; they know how a child is formed better than we.
2. The Rabbanan are called Malachei HaShareis because they are distinguished.
(f) A woman told Rebbi that her husband had "overturned the table."
1. He replied that the Torah had permitted it, and there was nothing he could do.
(g) A woman told Rav that her husband had "overturned the table."
1. He replied that it is no different from a fish.
(h) "Do not follow your hearts" teaches that one may not drink from one cup and think about another.
1. (Ravina) This is necessary to teach in the case where both are his wives.
(a) (R. Levi) "I will purge out the rebels" - This refers to children from the following nine categories:
(b) Children born of a fearful wife, of a forced relationship, of a hated wife, of relations where he was excommunicated, of a woman mistaken for another wife, of a woman who was just quarreled with, of relations where he was drunk, of a mentally divorced wife, of promiscuity, and of a brazen woman.
(c) Question: R. Yonasan was cited as saying that one who is claimed for marital relations by his wife will have children such as were not found even in the generation of Moshe;
1. In that generation, men of understanding were needed, but none were found;
2. Whereas concerning Yissacher, called a donkey in reference to Leah hearing Yaakov's donkey and requesting marital relations, it is said that his sons possessed understanding!?
(d) Answer: It is acceptable only if she appeases him with words (and does not actually demand relations).

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