Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Son, but not a Daughter

The Mishna (Daf Yomi: Nazir 13a): If someone says: “I will be a nazir when I will have a son,” he becomes a nazir when he has a son. If he has a daughter, or a tumtum (no signs of gender), or an androgynous (signs of both genders), he does not become a nazir.

Tosfos explains: He declares the nezirus in this manner as a way of thanking Hashem for providing him with a son.

The Beis Yosef explains that according to Tosfos, it is understandable why the Mishna said “a son,” and not “a daughter,” for otherwise, we would have said that the Mishna was not precise with its wording.

The Mabit (1:120) adds that if he would have a daughter, he would not be a nazir, for he is saddened that he had a daughter and not a son. In general though, a daughter would be included when he says, “a son.”

The Meiri writes that the explanation of the Mishna is as follows: Even though the word “son” connotes any child, and not necessarily a son, but its primary meaning suggests a male child.