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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Nedarim 21


(a) (Gemara - Mishnah): Chachamim declared that 4 vows are not binding ...
(b) Question: Who is the Tana of our Mishnah?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Aba Bar Mamal): R. Yehudah, citing R. Tarfon.
1. (Mishnah - R. Tarfon): None of them is a Nazir, for Nezirus requires Hafla'ah (a definite acceptance).
(d) Answer #2 (Rava): Our Mishnah can even be as Chachamim - the Mishnah does not say that they (later) agreed upon 3, rather, they both want (at the time the vowed) 3.
(e) Question (Ravina): If the seller demanded more than a Selah, and the buyer offered less than a Shekel (and they vowed not to compromise) - are these binding vows, or are these also vows of persuasion?
(f) Answer (Rav Ashi - Mishnah): Reuven was refusing to eat by Shimon. Reuven vowed not to enter Shimon's house, and not to drink even a drop of cold drink.
1. Reuven may enter the house and drink cold drink - he only intended to forbid eating and drinking.
2. Rhetorical question: But he said, a drop of cold drink!
3. Answer: Rather, this is how people speak (i.e. they say more than they intend to forbid).
i. Also by the buyer and seller, their vows are exaggerations of their intentions.

(g) Question (Ravina): That case is different!
1. It is known that Tzadikim make small offers and do much more (therefore, if Reuven agrees to drink a drop, Shimon will serve him a full meal).
2. Here, we have a doubt - perhaps each really intends to compromise on the price, and the vows are of persuasion;
3. Or, perhaps each is adamant not to budge, and the vows are real vows!
i. This question is unresolved.
(a) Version #1 (Rav Yehudah citing Rav): One who took one of the 4 vows must ask a Chacham for annulment.
(b) Objection (Shmuel): The Mishnah says that Chachamim permitted them - how can you say that one must ask a Chacham!
(c) Version #2 (Rav Yehudah citing Rav Asi): A Chacham may only permit a vow akin to one of the 4 vows.
1. He holds, a vow cannot be annulled through (mere) regret (rather, one must find grounds to consider the vow as a mistake).
(d) A man that had vowed came to Rav Huna to annul the vow.
1. Rav Huna: Do you still desire the vow?
2. The man: No.
i. Rav Huna permitted the vow.
(e) A man that had vowed came to Rabah Bar Rav Huna to annul the vow.
1. Rabah Bar Rav Huna: If 10 people had appeased you at the time of the vow, would you have vowed?
2. The man: No.
i. Rabah Bar Rav Huna permitted the vow.
(f) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): One who seeks annulment of a vow - we ask if he still desires the vow; if he says 'No', we permit the vow;
1. R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi says (citing his father), we ask him - if 10 people had appeased you at the time of the vow, would you have vowed?
2. If he says no, we permit the vow.
(g) A man came before Rav Asi to annul a vow.
1. Rav Asi: Do you regret the vow from the beginning?
2. The man (incredulously): No?! (Of course I do!) i. Rav Asi permitted the vow.
(h) A man came before R. Elazar to annul a vow.
1. R. Elazar: Are you still happy with the vow?
2. The man: Had they not angered me, I never would have vowed (and I regret that I did).
3. R. Elazar: It should be as you want (the vow is permitted).
(i) A woman had vowed that her daughter should not benefit from her.
1. R. Yochanan: Had you known that neighbors will say, you must have seen licentiousness in your daughter to make such a vow - would you have vowed?
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