NEDARIM 60 (7 Av) - Dedicated in memory of Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens, N.Y., Niftar 7 Av 5757, 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.
1) "GIDULEI GIDULIN"
QUESTION: The Gemara cites proof from the Mishnah that even in the case of a "Davar she'Zar'o Kalah" (a fruit or seed which, when replanted in the ground, decomposes when it produces additional growth), the Gidulin do not annul the Ikar. The Mishnah states that "Gidulei Gidulin" (the secondary growth which sprouts from the initial addition to the original fruit) of Tevel are permitted, but they do not annul the Ikar. The Gemara asks why should they not annul the Ikar if, according to Rebbi Yanai, the Gidulin of Heter annul the Ikar?
REBBI AKIVA EIGER questions the Gemara's proof. He asks that the Mishnah is discussing Tevel, which is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin," as the Gemara says earlier (58a). Since the Ikar is Tevel, it obviously does not become Batel, because a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" does not become Batel! The Gemara itself (59a) asks why, in the case of a Neder, "even the Gidulei Gidulin are Asur" and not Batel. The Gemara there answers that a Neder is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" and thus the Isur cannot become Batel. Why does the Gemara here not give the same answer with regard to Tevel?
(a) The SHALMEI NEDARIM answers this question based on the words of the RAN in Avodah Zarah (73b). The Ran there writes that Tevel is considered a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" only when the owner has other Tevel from which he can separate Ma'aser on behalf of the first batch of Tevel ("mi'Makom Acher"). He cannot separate Ma'aser from within the Tevel itself because it is a mixture of fruits that are obligated and fruits that are exempt, and one may not separate "Min ha'Petur Al ha'Chiyuv." Hence, when he has no other Tevel available from which to separate Ma'aser on behalf of this Tevel, this Tevel is not a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin."
Accordingly, the Gemara asks, why does the Mishnah say unequivocally that Gidulei Gidulin are Asur? They should be Asur only when there is other Tevel from which the owner can separate Ma'aser on behalf of this Tevel. When there is no other Tevel, this Tevel indeed should be Batel and be permitted. (According to this approach, however, the Gemara's explanation of the Mishnah's law with regard to a Neder is not clear. The Gemara answers that a Neder is not Batel because it is a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin." The Mishnah, however, implies that it is never Batel -- even when he cannot find someone to be Matir his Neder! It could be that there exists no situation in which one cannot find someone to be Matir his Neder.)
(b) The Gemara earlier teaches that a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin" will be Batel when a person performs an action to be Mevatel it (see Insights to 59b). When the Gemara says that Gidulei Gidulin of a Neder are Asur, it refers to Gidulin which grew by themselves; the person did not plant the item in order to be Mevatel it. In contrast, the Mishnah that says that Gidulin of Tevel are Mutar refers to a case of one who planted the fruit in order to be Mevatel the Tevel. Similarly, the case of Gidulin of Terumah is a case of one who planted the fruit in order to be Mevatel the Terumah. This is why, in the case of Gidulin of Tevel, the Gemara gives a different reason (and not the reason of "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin") for why it is not Batel.
(c) The RASHASH answers that the Mishnah in Terumos -- that says that in the case of a "Davar she'Ein Zar'o Kalah" even the Gidulei Gidulin are Asur -- does not refer only to the previously-mentioned Halachah of Tevel, but it also refers to Terumah, which is discussed earlier in the Mishnah there. The Mishnah means that Gidulei Gidulin of a fruit of Terumah which is a "Davar she'Ein Zar'o Kalah" is not Batel. Terumah is not a "Davar she'Yesh Lo Matirin," and that is why the Gemara asks that it should be Batel.
2) SHABBOS: THE BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE WEEK
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah states that when a person makes a Neder to prohibit wine for "this week" ("Shabbos Zu"), he is prohibited from wine the entire week and "Shabbos she'Avrah." Similarly, when a person prohibits wine on himself for "this Shemitah cycle" ("Shavu'a Zeh"), he is prohibited from wine for the entire Shemitah cycle and "Shevi'is she'Avrah."
In contrast, when a person makes a Neder to prohibit wine for "this month," he is prohibited from wine for the entire month and "Rosh Chodesh l'Haba." Similarly, when a person makes a Neder to prohibit wine for "this year," he is prohibited from wine until the end of the year and "Rosh Hashanah l'Asid la'Vo."
The Rishonim cite two explanations for the Mishnah's words about the status of Shabbos, Shevi'is, Rosh Chodesh, and Rosh Hashanah. The first explanation is that the Neder was made in the middle of the week (or month, year, or Shemitah cycle), and the Mishnah is discussing the status of the Shabbos (or Rosh Chodesh, Rosh Hashanah, or Shemitah year) at the end of that time period. The Mishnah means that the Shabbos day at the end of the week, and the Shemitah year at the end of the cycle, belong to the preceding time period and thus they are also included in the Neder. In contrast, the Rosh Chodesh at the end of the month of the person's Neder, and the Rosh Hashanah at the end of the year of the person's Neder, belong to the following year and thus they are not included in the Neder, and the person is permitted to drink wine on those days at the end of the time period of his Neder. The RAN and ROSH prefer this explanation.
The second explanation agrees that Shabbos and Shemitah belong to the previous time period or cycle, and Rosh Chodesh and Rosh Hashanah belong to the following cycle. However, the second explanation interprets the case of the Mishnah differently. The person made the Neder on Shabbos itself and said that wine is prohibited to him "this week." Similarly, in the other cases of the Mishnah, the person made the Neder during the Shemitah year, on Rosh Chodesh, or on Rosh Hashanah.
The Mishnah teaches that the person is prohibited from wine not only during the following six days, but also on the day of Shabbos as well (the day on which he made the Neder), even though "Shabbos she'Avrah" -- "Shabbos normally belongs to the previous week." The same applies to a Neder made during the Shemitah year; he is prohibited from wine during that Shemitah year and during the incoming Shemitah cycle (the following six years), even though the Shemitah year normally belongs to the previous cycle.
In the case of Rosh Chodesh and Rosh Hashanah, the person made the Neder on Rosh Chodesh or on Rosh Hashanah and prohibited himself from wine for the upcoming month or year. He is prohibited from wine throughout the coming month (or year) as well as on the day of Rosh Chodesh (or Rosh Hashanah) as well, the day on which he made his Neder, because that day belongs to the following time period.
Although this explanation is more consistent with the wording of the Gemara later (60b), the Rishonim reject this explanation in favor of the first one. (This explanation is more consistent with the wording of the Gemara because this explanation justifies the Gemara's question that "it is obvious" that he is prohibited on the day he makes the Neder. Moreover, when the Gemara answers that the Mishnah teaches the law in a case of "Chodesh Chaser" (a 29-day month), it refers to the month which he includes in his Neder and it does not mean the month that follows the month of the Neder. Also, the Girsa printed in our texts supports this explanation (line 12, "v'Lo Litsar" as opposed to "v'Litsar"; see RAN.)
There are a number of strong questions on this explanation.
(a) The RAN asks that the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah (12b) states that if one makes a Neder to prohibit his friend from deriving pleasure from him "for the year," his friend is prohibited from deriving pleasure from him only until the end of that year, even if the Neder was made on the twenty-ninth day of Elul (the last day of the year). Why, then, is one who makes a Neder on Shabbos prohibited throughout the week that follows? He should be prohibited only on Shabbos, and the following week he should be permitted to drink wine since Shabbos is the end of the week (like the twenty-ninth day of Elul is the end of the year)!
(b) The KEREN ORAH asks that the Gemara (60b) -- according to the Girsa of the second explanation -- states that one might have thought that if a person made a Neder on the first day of a two-day Rosh Chodesh, which is the thirtieth day of the preceding month (such as the first day of Rosh Chodesh Elul which is the thirtieth day of Av), he is not prohibited on that day but only on the days of the following month. The Mishnah therefore teaches that people call the thirtieth day of the month "Rosh Chodesh," and that day is also included in the prohibition of the following month.
If the thirtieth day of the month is part of the previous month, why should one be permitted on that day and prohibited the following month? On the contrary, he should be prohibited on that day and permitted the following month (as the Gemara in Rosh Hashanah says)!
A similar question may be asked on the MEFARESH, who prefers the second explanation of the Mishnah. The Mefaresh later (61a, DH Chamishim) writes that according to this explanation, when the Gemara asks about the status of the Yovel year (whether it is included with the previous years or with the following years), it means to ask that when a person makes a Neder during the Yovel year, is he prohibited during this year and the following years, or is he permitted during this year (and prohibited the following years) since the Yovel year is the last year of the previous fifty-year cycle and his Neder takes effect only during the following Yovel cycle? Although this possibility is consistent with the Gemara's ruling in the case of Rosh Chodesh (that if the first day of Rosh Chodesh is not part of the following month he would be permitted on that day), nevertheless the same problem with that ruling may be posed here, on what the Mefaresh writes in the case of Yovel. Why should he not be prohibited during the Yovel year in which he makes his Neder?
(a) There is a clear distinction between a Neder made on the twenty-ninth day of Elul and a Neder made on Shabbos or the first day of Rosh Chodesh or during a Yovel year. The twenty-ninth day of Elul does not demarcate the end of a year. It is an ordinary day like any other day. It just happens to immediately precede Rosh Hashanah. One who makes a Neder on the twenty-ninth of Elul and says "this year" does not refer to the following year which starts on Rosh Hashanah (because that year is not included in the phrase, "this year"). Rather, his words must refer to the year in which the present day occurs, even though that year happens to end at nightfall.
In contrast, Shabbos marks the end of the week and is set apart from all other days of the week (as implied by its name). It is a day which marks not only that the week is ending but that a new week is about to begin.
The same applies to Rosh Chodesh. Even if the first day of Rosh Chodesh is not part of the following month, the fact that it is a special day with a unique name indicates that the previous month is coming to an end. Similarly, the arrival of the Yovel year indicates that the previous fifty-year cycle is coming to an end. Since the special day of Shabbos (or Rosh Chodesh or the Yovel year) carries with it the message that a new cycle is about to begin, one who prohibits wine to himself "this week" might not be referring to the week which is ending but to the approaching week which is about to begin. Since it is more logical that he intends to create an Isur to last for more than one day (since he did not say simply, "today"), it is assumed that he is referring to the coming cycle and not to the cycle which has reached its end. Accordingly, when he makes a Neder on Shabbos, it is possible that he is prohibited from wine during the following week. In the case of Rosh Chodesh and Yovel, it is possible that his Neder prohibits him from wine only during the upcoming cycle but not during the day (or year) on which he makes the Neder.
Why, though, should he be prohibited from wine during the Shabbos on which he makes the Neder (as the Ran asks)? With regard to Rosh Chodesh and Yovel, he is permitted to drink wine on that day (or year) and is prohibited only in the following cycle. The same distinction should apply when he made his Neder on Shabbos or during a Shemitah year: the day of Shabbos (or the year of Shemitah) should not be included in his Neder!
The answer is that the term "week" refers merely to a seven-day cycle which consists of six days plus a Shabbos day. Similarly, the term "Shemitah cycle" refers merely to a seven-year cycle which consists of six years plus a Shevi'is year. Although the Shabbos is normally counted at the end of the six days, it also may be counted at the beginning of the six days (as long as it does not come in the middle of the six days). Since the person who makes the Neder on Shabbos intends to prohibit himself from wine for the following week, the day of Shabbos on which he makes the Neder is associated with the following six days. This approach is supported by the wording of the Ran and Rosh who clearly write that one who makes a Neder on Shabbos is prohibited from wine on Shabbos "and the following six days" but not the following Shabbos. The week is rearranged, so to speak, to fit the Neder, rather than an eighth day of Isur being added to the Neder. (This approach also resolves the Girsa of "Yomei d'Mikamei Shabata," from which the Ran (60b, DH Shabbos Zu) cites further proof against this second explanation of the Mishnah.)
In contrast, when a person makes a Neder on the first day of Rosh Chodesh or during the Yovel year, the month or Yovel cycle cannot be rearranged to make this the beginning of the following month or cycle, because each day of the month bears a number. This day is the thirtieth day of the month and it cannot be rearranged to be called the first day of the following month (if people do not call it that). The same applies to the Yovel year. Yovel is counted as year fifty in the Torah-mandated count of the Yovel cycle, and as such it cannot be called year one. With regard to Shemitah, however, the Torah never states that the Shemitah year must be counted as the seventh year in the cycle and the following year as year one of the new cycle. The counting of the years is necessary only for the Yovel cycle. Therefore, when one intends to make the Neder apply to the following cycle, the present year is not included in his Neder because it is not part of the following cycle.
3) A NEDER FOR "A DAY"
QUESTION: The Gemara asks whether a Neder made to prohibit wine for "a day" ("Yom") is like a Neder made for "this day" ("ha'Yom") and is prohibited only until nightfall, or whether it is like a Neder made for "one day" ("Yom Echad") and is prohibited for a period of twenty-four hours.
Why does the Gemara not entertain a third, simpler possibility? When one says "a day," perhaps he means to accept upon himself an Isur for any day that he chooses, and not necessarily the present day or the immediate twenty-four cycle/He should be able to choose any day he wants on which to observe his Neder!
ANSWER: The RAN (3b, DH Bal Te'acher) writes that when a person says, "I accept upon myself to become a Nazir," he may not postpone the Nezirus to a later date even though he did not say, "I am a Nazir," but only accepted upon himself to become a Nazir later. Since he lacks no action to make himself a Nazir (because a mere verbal acceptance of Nezirus suffices), the Nezirus takes effect automatically at the first possible moment, which is right now.
The same will apply when one says, "Wine is prohibited to me for a day (Yom)." Even if he says afterwards that he wants to choose a future day on which the Neder should take effect, since he lacks no action the Neder takes effect now. Hence, the only question of the Gemara is whether he intends to make the Neder only until nightfall or for a period of twenty-four hours.