1) "I WILL BE"
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah states that a person who says "Ehei" ("I will be") intends to accept upon himself to become a Nazir, and thus he becomes a Nazir.
(a) The Gemara asks that perhaps he means "Ehei b'Ta'anis" ("I will accept upon myself a fast"). Shmuel answers that the Mishnah refers to a case in which he says "Ehei" while a Nazir walks past him.
The Gemara immediately points out that Shmuel's answer shows that he maintains "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not valid Yadayim. If he would rule that "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are valid Yadayim, he would not need to explain that in the Mishnah's case a Nazir was walking past in order for the person's statement "Ehei" to make him a Nazir.
According to the Gemara's explanation that the statement "Ehei" would be an effective acceptance of Nezirus if "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are valid Yadayim, what is the Gemara's original question on the Mishnah? Why does the Gemara ask that perhaps "Ehei" means "Ehei b'Ta'anis"? The Gemara should assume that the Mishnah simply maintains "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are Yadayim!
(b) The Gemara continues and asks that even when there is a Nazir walking past when the person says "Ehei," perhaps he intends to say only that he will pay for the Nazir's Korbanos, but he does not intend to become a Nazir himself. This question implies that the Gemara assumes that even when a Nazir walks in front of him, his statement is still "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos." The Gemara answers that the Mishnah is discussing a case in which the person says that he meant in his heart to accept Nezirus upon himself.
If it is not clear what his intent is when he says "Ehei," and "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not Yadayim, why does the intention in his heart make any difference? He must articulate his Neder and it does not suffice to think it in his heart, and "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not considered to be articulated words.
(c) The Gemara asks that if, in the Mishnah's case, a Nazir walks by when the person says "Ehei," what is the Mishnah teaching? It is obvious that he becomes a Nazir. The Gemara answers that the Mishnah is teaching that he does not have to state his intention explicitly.
Why does the Gemara ask what new law the Mishnah teaches? A few lines earlier the Gemara says that the Mishnah teaches that when a person does not articulate a complete sentence but only a Yad, the Torah considers the statement a valid Neder, as derived from a verse. Hence, even when a Nazir walks by at that moment, since the person says only "Ehei" his statement is only a Yad l'Nazir, and the Mishnah is teaching that Yadus Nezirus is a valid form of acceptance of an oath of Nezirus!
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES in the name of the TOSFOS HA'ROSH explains that the Gemara assumes that pronouncing the word "Ehei" makes a person a Nazir not only when he says afterward that he meant that the word "Ehei" should make him a Nazir, but even when he says that he meant that the word should mean whatever the Rabanan understand it to mean. He becomes a Nazir even when he says that he had intention for the word "Ehei" to mean whatever it would naturally be understood to mean.
The Tosfos ha'Rosh apparently means that even if "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are considered Yadayim, nevertheless the person's intent remains in doubt unless he later explains what he meant (see Nedarim 18b with regard to "Perusham l'Hakel"). Therefore, although the word "Ehei" has more of an implication of Nezirus than of a Ta'anis for the reason the Rosh and Tosfos give, nevertheless there remains a doubt whether the person really intended to use the word "Ehei" to make himself a Nazir or whether he intended to accept upon himself a Ta'anis. (The Rov that most people use that word for Nezirus does not apply, for the reason described in Insights to Nedarim 53:1:b.) Therefore, his status should be that of a Safek Nazir (and he should not be able to bring the Korbanos of a Nazir) unless he says explicitly that he meant to become a Nazir. The ROSH (in his commentary on the Gemara) adds that since the Halachah is Safek Nezirus l'Hakel (see Nedarim 19b), he does not become a Nazir at all.
Alternatively, perhaps it is not the Gemara which asks the question, but it is Shmuel himself who asks the question that perhaps "Ehei" means an acceptance of a Ta'anis. Accordingly, the question is based on Shmuel's own view that "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not Yadayim. (See RAN to Nedarim 71a, DH Mena Hani Mili, for a similar approach.)
(b) RAV BARUCH BER LEIBOWITZ (in BIRKAS SHMUEL, Kidushin 1:5) explains that when there is a Nazir walking past, the word "Ehei" is considered "Yadayim Mochichos" both to make himself a Nazir and to accept upon himself the obligation to bring the Korbanos of the other Nazir. How, though, can one phrase imply two different things? If it has two different meanings, it cannot be a Yad Mochi'ach for either one!
It seems that he understands that "Yadayim Mochichos" does not mean that we know what the person means through his words. Rather, it means that his intention is expressed by his words and reflected by the circumstances in which they were said. When there is a Nazir walking past, it is more evident from his words that he wants to make himself a Nazir than when there is no Nazir walking past, for when there is no Nazir walking past we have to add much more to his words to make them refer to an acceptance of Nezirus.
Alternatively, the Gemara might be asking why he becomes a Nazir even if he specifically says that he did not intend to make himself a Nazir but only to accept upon himself to bring the other person's Korbanos. Although there is a Yad Mochi'ach that he wanted to make himself a Nazir, he still may explain his words differently (as the Mishnah says in Nedarim 20a), and his explanation is accepted even if he ascribes a relatively unusual meaning into the words he spoke.
The Gemara answers that the Mishnah here does not refer to a case in which he says that he wants to pay for the other Nazir's Korbanos, but rather it refers to a case in which he admits that he wants to make himself a Nazir.
(c) According to Tosfos -- who explains that when there is a Nazir walking past, the person's statement "Ehei" is a Yad Mochi'ach -- the Gemara's question might be that when there is a Nazir walking past his statement is more than a Yad Mochi'ach since the circumstances indicate that he wants to make himself a Nazir.
The Gemara answers that since he did not finish his statement and specify that "[I will be] a Nazir," his statement remains nothing more than a Yad.
The Rosh, however, understands that when there is a Nazir walking past, his statement "Ehei" is still considered a Yad she'Eino Mochi'ach, and thus it is not reasonable to suggest that the Gemara assumed that such a statement is akin to stating that he wants to be a Nazir. What, then, is the Gemara's question when it says that it is obvious that he is a Nazir? The Gemara's question might be that since the Mishnah divides the Halachos of Yados into two cases (one who says "Ehei" becomes a Nazir, and one who says "Ehei Na'eh" becomes a Nazir), it intends to teach two points. The first point it teaches is clear: a Yad works for Nezirus. The Gemara now asks that once we know that a Yad is effective for Nezirus, what is the second point the Mishnah teaches (by dividing the Halachos of Yados into two cases)?
The Gemara answers that we might have thought that when he says "Ehei" and there is a Nazir walking past, his statement is not even a Yad she'Eino Mochi'ach because the actual word he spoke does not imply Nezirus at all (without the circumstances of a Nazir walking past) and is not even a Yad. We have thought that the circumstantial evidence cannot make the words he said into a Yad. Therefore, the Mishnah teaches that it can make his words into a Yad (albeit a Yad she'Eino Mochi'ach).