IF SHE VOWS WHILE UNDER HER HUSBAND'S AUTHORITY, HE CAN DISALLOW HER. HOW SO? IF SHE DECLARED, 'BEHOLD! I WILL BE A NAZIRITE AFTER THIRTY DAYS,' [AND HER HUSBAND ANNULLED IT], EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS WIDOWED OR DIVORCED WITHIN THE THIRTY DAYS, IT IS ANNULLED. IF SHE VOWED ON ONE DAY, AND HE DIVORCED HER ON THE SAME DAY AND TOOK HER BACK ON THE SAME DAY, HE CANNOT ANNUL IT. THIS IS THE GENERAL. RULE: ONCE SHE HAS GONE FORTH AS HER OWN MISTRESS [EVEN] FOR A SINGLE HOUR, HE CANNOT ANNUL.
GEMARA. It was taught: If a widow or a divorced woman declares, 'Behold! I will be a nazirite when I marry,' and she marries, — R. Ishmael said: He [the husband] can annul. R. Akiba ruled: He cannot annul. (And the mnemonic is Yelaly).1 If a married woman declares, 'Behold! I will be a nazirite when I am divorced,' and she is divorced: R. Ishmael ruled: He cannot annul;2 R. Akiba said: He can annul.3 R. Ishmael argued: Behold, it is said, But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced … shall stand against her,4 implying that the [incidence of] the vow must be in the period of widowhood or divorce.5 [But] R. Akiba maintains: It is written, with whatever she hath bound her soul,4 implying that the binding of the vow must be [created] in the period of widowhood or divorce.6
R. Hisda said: Our Mishnah agrees with R. Akiba.7 Abaye said: It may agree even with R. Ishmael: in the Mishnah she made herself dependent upon a time factor; the period may end without her being divorced or the period may end without her being married;8 but in the Baraitha she made the vow dependent upon marriage.9
'This is the general rule,' taught with respect to a betrothed maiden,10 is to extend the law to where the father accompanied the [betrothed] husband's messengers, or the father's messengers accompanied the [betrothed] husband's messengers, — that in the case of a betrothed maiden her vows are annulled by her father and husband.11 'THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE,' taught in the chapter,12 'Now these are the vows,' is meant to extend [the law] to where the father delivered her to her [betrothed] husband's messengers, or where the father's agents delivered her to the messengers of the [betrothed] husband, [and it teaches] that the husband cannot annul [vows] made [by her] previously.13
MISHNAH. THERE ARE NINE MAIDENS WHOSE VOWS14 STAND:15 [i] A BOGERETH WHO [VOWED] AND IS AN ORPHAN;16 [ii] A MAIDEN [WHO VOWED] AND [THEN] BECAME A BOGERETH AND IS AN ORPHAN;
Original footnotes renumbered.
- I.e., in the clause just quoted, R. Ishmael rules Yafer, he may annul; R. Akiba: Lo yafer, he cannot annul. In the next clause it is the reverse, R. Ishmael says, Lo Yafer; and R. Akiba: Yafer.
- The husband's annulment whilst she is married is invalid after divorce.
- Thus in both cases R. Ishmael maintains that the woman's status when the vow is to take effect is the deciding factor, and R. Akiba holds that it depends on her status when she vows.
- Num. XXX, 10.
- And that in that case it 'shall stand against her', i.e., it cannot be annulled, proving that the incidence of the vow is what matters.
- I.e., that she makes the vow then, and that in that case her husband cannot annul.
- Since in both clauses of the Mishnah the matter is determined by the time when the vow was made.
- Adopting the reading of BaH. v. Ran.
- If she is unmarried, and vows to be a nazirite when she marries, there must he a change of status between the making of the vow and its incidence; in that case R. Ishmael rules that we regard the latter. But if she merely postpones the incidence of the vow, she may bear the same status when the vow becomes operative as when it is made; there R. Ishmael may admit that we regard the time of making the vow.
- Supra 71a. Whenever a general rule is stated, it is always meant to add to the specific case actually given.
- When the father gives over his daughter to the messengers of the husband to escort her to her new home, she is regarded as a nesu'ah, and has passed out of her father's authority. But if he or his messengers accompany her, together with her husband's messengers, she is yet under his authority, and he still shares the power to annul with her husband. On this home-taking ceremony v. Keth. 48b.
- I.e., in the present Mishnah, which forms part of Chapter XI.
- I.e., vows made before her homecoming. Having passed out of her father's authority, (v. n. 2) she is her own mistress until she enters her husband's home, and if she vowed in the interval, he cannot annul.
- 'Maidens' is not used here in the restricted sense of na'arah, but means girls and women in general who were betrothed while still in the stage of na'arah.
- I.e., they cannot be annulled.
- The reference is to 'an orphan during her father's lifetime,' i.e., one who was married with nissu'in, and then widowed or divorced. Even if she is still a minor, her father no longer has any authority over her, so she is called 'an orphan during her father's lifetime.'
[iii] A NA'ARAH WHO IS NOT YET A BOGERETH, AND IS AN ORPHAN;1 [iv] A BOGERETH [WHO VOWED] AND WHOSE FATHER DIED;2 [v] A NA'ARAH [WHO VOWED] AND IS NOW A BOGERETH AND WHOSE FATHER DIED;2 [vi] A NA'ARAH WHO IS NOT YET A BOGERETH AND WHOSE FATHER DIED; [vii] A MAIDEN WHOSE FATHER DIED, AND AFTER HER FATHER DIED SHE BECAME A BOGERETH;3 [viii] A BOGERETH4 WHOSE FATHER IS ALIVE; [ix] A MAIDEN TURNED BOGERETH, WHOSE FATHER IS ALIVE.5 R. JUDAH SAID: ALSO ONE WHO MARRIED HIS DAUGHTER WHILST A MINOR, AND SHE WAS WIDOWED OR DIVORCED AND RETURNED TO HIM [HER FATHER] AND IS STILL A NA'ARAH.
GEMARA. Rab Judah said in Rab's name: These are the words of R. Judah. But the Sages say: The vows of three maidens stand: [i] a bogereth; [ii] an orphan; and [iii] an orphan during her father's lifetime.6
MISHNAH. [IF SHE VOWS,] 'KONAM THAT I BENEFIT NOT FROM MY FATHER OR YOUR FATHER IF I PREPARE AUGHT FOR YOU,'7 OR, 'KONAM THAT I BENEFIT NOT FROM YOU, IF I PREPARE AUGHT FOR MY FATHER OR YOUR FATHER,' HE CAN ANNUL.
GEMARA. It was taught: [If she vows, 'Konam] that I benefit not from my father or your father, if I prepare aught for you,' — R. Nathan said: He cannot annul;8 the Sages maintain: He can annul.9 'May I be removed from Jews,10 if I minister to you,' — R. Nathan said: He cannot annul: the Sages rule: He can annul.
A man once vowed not to benefit from the world if he should marry before having studied halachah:11 he ran with ladder and cord,12 yet did not succeed in his studies. Thereupon R. Aha son of R. Huna came and led him into error,13 and caused him to marry;
Original footnotes renumbered.
- So Asheri: A na'arah who vowed before becoming a bogereth, and was orphaned (and is still not a bogereth). [These three belong to the group of maidens whose vows cannot be annulled because they are orphans (as defined).]
- [She made a vow as na'arah, lost her father and is still a na'arah. These three belong to the group of maidens whose vows cannot be annulled because they have no fathers.]
- [She lost her father, vowed, and then became a bogereth.]
- I.e., who vowed as a bogereth.
- I.e., who vowed as a na'arah, but comes to enquire about annulment when she is a bogereth. [These three belong to the group of maidens whose vows cannot be annulled because they have reached the status of bogereth.]
- V. p. 905, n. 7. There is actually no conflict, R. Judah's nine being included in the Sages' three. R. Judah's enumeration is merely in greater detail, and intended to sharpen his disciples' minds (T. J. a.l.).
- Lit., 'for thy mouth'.
- He does not regard it as a vow of self-denial, for she can refrain from doing anything for her husband.
- Since she is in duty bound to serve her husband.
- Cf. p. 909, n. 7.
- Laws. For a discussion of the full meaning of the term halachah v. Weiss, Dor. I, 70.
- [H] is the ladder by which one ascends the palm tree to gather its dates; [H], is the cord whereby its branches are pulled down, to facilitate gathering whilst one stands on the ground. — The expression is metaphorical: he made every possible effort.
- By making him believe that if he married the vow would not be valid.