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1) A NEDER WHICH PROHIBITS TWO LOAVES OF BREAD

QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case in which a woman made a Neder to prohibit upon herself the consumption of two loaves of bread. Abstaining from one of them entailed suffering (Inuy Nefesh), while abstaining from the other did not. The Rishonim explain that such a case exists where one loaf was of a fine quality, while the other loaf was of inferior quality.

The Tosefta (Perek 7) states that any Neder which a woman makes to prohibit herself from eating something is considered a Neder of Inuy Nefesh, whether the food is good or bad, and even if she has never tasted the specific food which she prohibited to herself.

According to the Tosefta, to what case does the Gemara refer? How can one of the loaves of bread included in her Neder not entail Inuy Nefesh? (NIMUKEI YOSEF)

ANSWERS:

(a) The NIMUKEI YOSEF answers that the Tosefta refers specifically to a situation in which the woman feels deprived from not eating the food which she prohibited to herself, even though most people dislike that particular food. The Gemara here, in contrast, refers to a situation in which the woman does not feel deprived at all by forgoing the second loaf (since it is of inferior quality), and hence abstaining from the second loaf is not Inuy Nefesh.

The Tosefta is teaching that even when deprivation of the item which the Neder prohibits involves a form of suffering which only this woman experiences, it is still considered a Neder of Inuy Nefesh which the husband may annul, despite the fact that no one else would experience suffering from being deprived of that item. One might have thought that her Neder is not considered a Neder of Inuy Nefesh because the verse says "le'Anos Nafesh" (Bamidbar 30:14), which implies a form of suffering which is common to the general public. The verse does not say "le'Anos Nafshah," which would imply a form of suffering which only she experiences. The Tosefta teaches that Inuy Nefesh is determined by one's personal suffering and not by what the public at large considers suffering.

The CHASAM SOFER points out that although this answer reconciles the Gemara with the Tosefta, the ruling of the SHULCHAN ARUCH remains problematic. When the Shulchan Aruch (YD 234:61) quotes the Tosefta, he writes that "even if the food to her is bad" (she does not like the food and has no desire to eat it), her husband may annul the Neder because it is Inuy Nefesh. The Shulchan Aruch clearly does not follow the Nimukei Yosef's interpretation of the Tosefta. Rather, the Shulchan Aruch understands that the Tosefta means that any Neder which prohibits food, whether she wants the food or not, is considered a Neder of Inuy Nefesh. According to this interpretation of the Tosefta, however, how does the Shulchan Aruch understand the ruling of the Gemara (which the Shulchan Aruch cites in YD 234:63) that one of the loaves of bread is not Inuy Nefesh to her? (See TAZ there, who explains that the Shulchan Aruch means that the food is bad for her health but she still desires it, and thus her Neder is a Neder of Inuy Nefesh and the husband may annul it. In contrast, in the case of the two loaves the second loaf is not only bad for her health but she also does not desire it. This is similar to the approach of the Nimukei Yosef.)

(b) The SHACH cites the BEIS YOSEF who explains that in the case of the Gemara, the woman's Neder involves only two specific loaves. In such a case, the second loaf to which she is prohibited is not considered Inuy Nefesh, because she is able to eat all other loaves of bread in the world besides the two loaves which her Neder prohibits. The Tosefta, on the other hand, refers to a Neder which prohibits an entire category of food (such as "all bread"), in which case it constitutes Inuy Nefesh even if she does not desire that food; being prohibited from an entire category of food is inherently considered a form of suffering.

2) ANNULLING A NEDER OF "INUY NEFESH" BECAUSE IT IS "BEINO L'BEINAH"

QUESTION: The Gemara discusses a case in which a woman made a Neder to prohibit upon herself the consumption of two loaves of bread. Abstaining from one of them entailed suffering (Inuy Nefesh), while abstaining from the other did not. The Rishonim explain that such a case exists where one loaf was of a fine quality, while the other loaf was of inferior quality.

Rav Yehudah in the name of Shmuel says that since the husband is able to annul the Neder insofar as it applies to the loaf of Inuy Nefesh (the loaf she wants to eat but cannot), he may annul the entire Neder. The RAN adds that even if he does not expressly specify that he is annulling both parts of the Neder, the entire Neder is annulled.

Rebbi Yochanan disagrees with Rav Yehudah and says that her husband may annul only the part of the Neder which causes her suffering.

The RAN explains that the difference of opinion is based on the rule mentioned earlier (87a) that a husband who annuls his wife's Neder must annul the entire Neder. This requirement is derived from the verse, "v'Ishah Yefeirenu" -- "... her husband shall annul [all of] it" (Bamidbar 30:14). Shmuel maintains that since the husband may annul the part of his wife's Neder which causes her suffering, and the Torah teaches that a husband who annuls his wife's Neder must annul the entire Neder, it must be that the Torah allows him to annul the entire Neder when only part of it causes her suffering. (According to this explanation, not only may the husband annul the entire Neder, but he must* annul the entire Neder if he wants to annul any part of it.)

Rebbi Yochanan, on the other hand, agrees with the principle that the husband must annul the entire Neder and cannot part of it. However, he maintains that this rule is limited to the parts of the Neder which the Torah empowers the husband to annul (the parts which are Inuy Nefesh). That is, he must annul all of the parts of the Neder which are Inuy Nefesh, but he does not have to annul the parts of the Neder which are not Inuy Nefesh.

Everyone agrees, however, that this principle applies only to the Hafarah of Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh but not to the Hafarah of Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah. In the case of Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah, the husband may annul only the parts of the Neder which affect him (see Insights to 79:2). (The ROSH deduces this Halachah from the words of the verse, "Bein Ish l'Ishto" (Bamidbar 30:17).)

The KEREN ORAH asks an interesting point. He asserts that although not every Neder she'Beino l'Beinah entails Inuy Nefesh, every Neder of Inuy Nefesh entails Devarim she'Beino l'Beinah. This is because a woman who is suffering loses favor in her husband's eyes, and thus her suffering becomes a matter between the two of them. Consequently, the husband should be able to annul the part of the Neder of Inuy Nefesh which is also a matter that affects him (she'Beino l'Beinah)!

ANSWER: The KEREN ORAH answers that when the verse "Yefeirenu" teaches that the husband must annul the entire Neder when he wants to annul part of it because of Inuy Nefesh, it means that the husband is not permitted to annul a Neder because of Beino l'Beinah when it is a Neder of Inuy Nefesh. He must annul the entire Neder and cannot annul only part of it based on the grounds that the part he wants to annul is Beino l'Beinah, when that part is also Inuy Nefesh.

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