Monday, December 24, 2007

The Ra”n Elucidated - Daf 3

Delaying his Nezirus - The Gemora asks (Nedarim 3b): How does one violate the prohibition of Not to delay by nezirus? If one says, “I am a nazir,” he is automatically a nazir! If he eats grapes or drinks wine, he has violated the prohibition of a nazir, but he has not delayed!?

Rava answers: It is applicable in the following case: If one says, “I will not leave this world without becoming a nazir first,” he has an obligation from that moment on to become a nazir. (Since he might die at any moment, he is required to become a nazir immediately; otherwise, he is delaying.)

Rava cites proof to this concept from the following halacha: If a Kohen says to his wife: “Here is your get on the condition that it should take effect one moment before my death,” she is forbidden from eating terumah immediately because we are concerned that he will die the next moment. This same logic applies in this case of nezirus as well. We are concerned that he will die at any moment; therefore, he is obligated to become a nazir immediately.

The Ran explains that there is a distinction between the two cases. If she would eat terumah and her husband wouldn’t die, she has not violated any prohibition. However, he is obligated to become a nazir immediately, and if he does not, he has violated the prohibition against delaying (even though he didn’t die yet). This is because it is as if he said, “It is upon me to become a nazir in a manner that there is no concern that I will not be able to fulfill this vow of nezirus before I die.”

He asks: When an individual makes a vow to bring an offering, he is not regarded as delaying the fulfillment of his vow, unless three festivals have passed. Shouldn’t we allow the person to become a nazir within three festivals; why is he immediately regarded as procrastinating?

He answers: If one vows that he will bring an offering immediately, he is required to bring it immediately. If he procrastinates at all, he is regarded as delaying and he has violated the prohibition against delaying. He is only allowed to wait three festivals if he vowed to bring an offering without imposing any deadline. Here, we interpret his nezirus vow to mean that he wants to become a nazir immediately; any delay will be regarded as violating the terms of his vow.