does this Baraitha support R. Ammi? — Because it states, 'whether he made her a declaration or not.'1 Alternately, [it follows] from the first clause, which States, 'then when she does come under his authority, she is surely completely his': but if he did not betroth her, how is she completely his? Hence it follows that he had made a declaration to her.
What is meant by 'and just as it is in reference to other matters, so it is in reference to vows'? — Said Raba, It means this: Do you not admit that one is not stoned for [violating] her, as in the case of a betrothed maiden?2 R. Ashi said, The Mishnah too supports [this interpretation]:3 THE YEBAMAH IS NOT AS COMPLETELY UNITED TO HER [BETROTHED] HUSBAND AS AN ARUSAH TO HER [BETROTHED] HUSBAND.4
MISHNAH. IF A MAN SAYS TO HIS WIFE, 'ALL VOWS WHICH YOU MAY VOW FROM NOW UNTIL I RETURN FROM SUCH AND SUCH A PLACE ARE CONFIRMED,' THE STATEMENT IS VALUELESS; [IF HE SAID] 'BEHOLD, THEY ARE ANNULLED,' — R. ELIEZER RULES, THEY ARE ANNULLED; THE SAGES MAINTAINED, THEY ARE NOT ANNULLED. SAID R. ELIEZER: IF HE CAN ANNUL VOWS WHICH HAVE ALREADY HAD THE FORCE OF A PROHIBITION,5 SURELY HE CAN ANNUL THOSE WHICH HAVE NOT HAD THE FORCE OF PROHIBITION! THEY SAID TO HIM: BEHOLD, IT IS SAID, HER HUSBAND MAY ESTABLISH IT, AND HER HUSBAND MAY ANNUL IT:6 THAT WHICH HAS ENTERED THE CATEGORY OF CONFIRMATION, HAS ENTERED THE CATEGORY OF ANNULMENT;7 BUT THAT WHICH HAS NOT ENTERED THE CATEGORY OF CONFIRMATION, HAS NOT ENTERED THE CATEGORY OF ANNULMENT.
GEMARA. The scholars propounded: In R. Eliezer's view, do they take effect and [then] become annulled, or do they take no effect at all? What is the practical difference?
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Which proves that the former is the case here, as otherwise this is irrelevant.
- Even if a declaration was made, her seducer is not stoned: this proves that she is not yet his wife, and therefore the same is true of vows.
- [That R. Akiba based his argument on the penalty for violation, and consequently that the Mishnah deals with the case where a declaration was made, (cf. Rashi).]
- [Since he is designated as her husband, this shows that we deal with a case where he made a declaration (Rashi); v. supra p. 233, n. 1.] And the reference can only be to the penalty for violation.
- I.e., after they are made.
- Num. XXX, 14.
- Having been made, it can be confirmed, and hence annulled too.
— E.g., if another man makes a vow dependent on this.1 Now, if you say that [the wife's vows] take effect, the dependence is a real one;2 but if you say that they take no effect, there is no substantiality in it.3 What [is the law]? — Come and hear: SAID R. ELIEZER, IF HE CAN ANNUL VOWS WHICH HAVE ALREADY HAD THE FORCE OF A PROHIBITION, SURELY HE CAN ANNUL VOWS WHICH HAVE NOT HAD THE FORCE OF PROHIBITION! This proves that they take no effect at all. — [No.] Is it then stated, which do not have the force etc.: WHICH HAVE NOT HAD THE FORCE OF PROHIBITION is taught, [meaning], which have not yet had the force of a prohibition.4
Come and hear: R. Eliezer said to them. If where a man cannot annul his own vows, once he has vowed,5 he can nevertheless annul his own vows before making them;6 then where he can annul his wife's vows after she vowed, how much the more should he be able to annul them before she vows! Now, surely this means that his wife's [vows] are like his: just as his vows take no effect at all,7 so his wife's vows too would take no effect at all! — No: each is governed by its own laws.8
Come and hear: They answered R. Eliezer: If a mikweh,9 though it raises the unclean front their uncleanness, cannot nevertheless save the clean from becoming unclean;10 then a man, who cannot raise the unclean from their uncleanness,11 how much the more can he not save the clean from becoming unclean.12 This proves that they13 take no effect at all.14
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Lit., 'attached to them'. I.e., if the wife vowed, 'Behold, I will be a nazirite'; and another person exclaimed, 'And I likewise'.
- Hence the second vow is valid.
- And the vow made dependent upon the wife's vow is invalid.
- Yet they may take effect only, however, to be immediately made void.
- I.e., every person excepting a married woman.
- By an anticipatory declaration of annulment; v. supra 23b.
- If preceded by a declaration of annulment; for if they did take effect, only a Rabbi could grant absolution. Moreover, the anticipatory annulment, forgotten at the time of actual vowing, renders it a vow made in error, which ab initio is no vow. Cf. supra 23b.
- Though one is deduced from the other, it is not necessary to assume similarity in all respects. An anticipatory annulment of one's own vows prevents them from taking effect at all, whilst if applied to his wife's, they may take effect and become void.
- A ritual bath, by immersion in which unclean persons or things are purified.
- I.e., one cannot take a ritual bath to be kept clean, should he subsequently come into contact with defiling matter.
- Rashi; if a man swallowed an unclean ring and then took a ritual bath, the ring, since it is within him, is not purified, but remains defiled after excretion.
- If he swallows a clean ring, and then comes in contact with the dead, the ring ought to become unclean, whereas the law is that it remains clean (Ran), v. Hul. 71a. — So also, though a husband can annul a vow when made, he cannot before. So cur. edd. and Rashi. Asheri and Ran have a simpler and more effective reading: They replied to R. Eliezer, Let the mikweh prove it, which frees the unclean from their uncleanness, yet cannot prevent the clean from becoming unclean. So also, a husband may annul his wife's vow after it has become binding, but not before.
- Sc. the wife's vows annulled in anticipation.
- Since they draw an analogy from a mikweh, which cannot prevent a clean man from becoming unclean, it follows that in R. Eliezer's view the husband's annulment prevents the vow from taking effect at all.