Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Daf: Nedarim 69-75

These daf are fascinating in terms of the psychology of language, but I don't have too many off-the-daf added notes to offer. Mostly we've been scrambling to stay ahead of the pace, in anticipation of the complex korbanos of Nazir and the long aggadata found in Sotah.

The case of a person who says, “Make this temurah of an olah temurah of a shelamim,” is fundamentally different from the person who says, “This neder is upheld nullified.” As the Ran notes, the former simultaneity is logically possible, if we dedicate value rather than the animal itself.

It’s odd that we bring a braita to support Shemuel, when Shemuel himself is simply explaining the mishnah. Who needs a braita to support a mishnah?! The Rosh notes this, and offers a way to read it so that this is needed.

On 71b-72a, the Rosh notes (on 72a) that we didn’t really need the re-marriage element of the case for this to work.

The Ran explains why the married man has less power to nullify the neder than the (post-kiddushin) fiancee. It’s not that his power is less, it’s that the father, partner of the fiancee, is gone.

The use of “talmid chacham” here to describe a forethinking person is interesting. There is no Torah, per se, in this act of thinking ahead, except that we say איזהו חכם? הרואה את הנולד. Who is wise? One who sees that which will happen.
Of course, this use of “talmid chacham” as well as the younger “tzurba meirabbanan” is not meant in the literal sense, as it is in Taanis 10b regarding the title of talmid chacham, and who deserves the title.

Note the Ran on “urcheih,” who explains what exactly the talmid chacham is trying to do here.

R’ Yehudah deduces a law from the word והשקה, which he translates as “and he shall give her to drink.” The Rosh explains that we are building on the “mapik hei,” which indicates that the word is a contraction of והשקה אותה. Note the inside margin comment, though, which shows that this source appears in the Tosefta with a different pasuk, and that the Rambam surprisingly had a third pasuk!

The Rosh explains on 72b and 75a that one cannot uphold/reject a vow in advance because one does not know the content, and so the upholding/rejection is like a vow made in error. On 75a he brings a separate explanation from R’ Elazar miMetz regarding upholding a neder.

How does the gemara know that where a man chooses to nullify his vows in advance, any vows he makes are never applicable at all, not even for a pre-nullification instant? The Ran has a wordy explanation, but the Rosh puts it succinctly: If the vow had applied for a moment, he wouldn’t have the power to nullify it personally.

Note the Rosh on הא כדאיתא והא כדאיתא addressing the apparent logical fallacy.

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