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1. There is a difference between one who pledges his fixed value and one who pledges his actual value, and he dies before paying.
2. There is a significant difference between one who pledges "half his fixed/actual value" or "the fixed/actual value of half of himself."
3. The Beraisa lists two stringencies of actual value over fixed value.
4. One who says that he obligates himself to pay "the value of this ox" as a Korban is obligated to fulfill his word even if the ox dies. However, if he says that he obligates himself to bring "this ox" as a Korban, or even if he says that he obligates "upon myself" to bring this ox as a Korban, if the ox dies he is not obligated to bring anything.
5. Rebbi Meir: A person may dedicate to Hekdesh something that is not yet extant.
A BIT MORE
1. While his heirs would have to pay his fixed value from the estate, they would not have to pay his actual value. A person's worth is determined according to his value on the slave market. A dead person has no monetary value.
2. In the first case, he must pay half of his fixed/actual value (according to the Tana of the Mishnah, unlike the opinion of Rebbi Yosi in the Beraisa). In the second case, he must pay his entire fixed/actual value because he cannot live without half of himself. It is akin to pledging to give his entire fixed/actual value (or the value of a vital organ such as his heart).
3. Actual value is relevant even to animals and birds (or anything, for that matter), and one receives no poverty discount to help him fulfill his vow, as opposed to a fixed value, for which a poverty discount is stated by the Torah.
4. Unless the person obligates himself to bring the value of the ox, his obligation is dependent only on that particular ox. Rebbi Chiya says that even obligating "upon myself" to bring that ox as a Korban means merely that he obligates himself to undergo the difficulty of bringing it to the Beis ha'Mikdash.
5. This is why the Beraisa states that a person is obligated to give money to Hekdesh when he pledges to give the value of the ox that he will receive when he sells his ox. Even though the money is not currently in his possession (since he has not yet sold the ox), when he receives the money he is obligated to give it to Hekdesh.
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