But what of the rents [for the dead], concerning which, for … for … is written, viz., [Then David took hold on his clothes and rent them …] for Saul and for Jonathan his son:1 yet it was taught: If he was informed that his father had died, and he rent [his garments], and then it was discovered that it was his son, he has fulfilled the duty of rending?2 — I will tell you: there is no difficulty. The one [teaching] refers to an unspecified action; the other to a specified one.3 And it was taught [likewise]:4 If he was informed that his father had died, and he rent his garments, and then it was discovered to be his son, he did not fulfil the duty of rending. If he was told that a relation of his had died, and thinking that it was his father, he rent [his garments], and then it was discovered to be his son, he fulfilled the duty of rending.5 R. Ashi said: The one means [that he realised his error] within the period of an utterance;6 the other, [that he realised it] after the period of an utterance. ([Thus:] Your ruling that his duty of rending is fulfilled holds good when it is discovered to be his son within the period of an utterance, whilst your ruling that his obligation remains unfulfilled is [if he learnt it] after such period of an utterance.)7 And it was taught likewise: If one has all invalid in his house, who falls into a swoon and appears to be dead, and he rends his garments, and then he [the invalid] dies, his duty of rending is unfulfilled.8 Said R. Simeon b. Pazzi in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi on the authority of Bar Kappara. This was taught only if he died after the period of an utterance; but [if he died] within the period of an utterance, he need not rend his garments again.9 Now, the law is that [that which follows an action] within the period of an utterance is as [though it were simultaneous with] the utterance,10 except in the case of blasphemy, idolatry, betrothal and divorce.11
MISHNAH. IF SHE VOWS, 'KONAM, IF I TASTE THESE FIGS AND GRAPES, AND HE [THE HUSBAND] CONFIRMS [THE VOW] IN RESPECT OF FIGS, THE WHOLE [VOW] IS CONFIRMED; IF HE ANNULS IT IN RESPECT OF FIGS, IT IS NOT ANNULLED, UNLESS HE ANNULS IN RESPECT OF GRAPES TOO. IF SHE VOWS, 'KONAM IF I TASTE FIGS' AND 'IF I TASTE GRAPES', THEY ARE TWO DISTINCT VOWS.12
GEMARA. Who is the author of our Mishnah? — R. Ishmael. For it was taught: Her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void:13 If she vows, 'Konam, if I taste these figs and grapes', and he [the husband] confirms [the vow] in respect of figs, the whole vow is confirmed;
Original footnotes renumbered.
- II Sam. I, 11f. The repetition of 'for' implies that he made a rent for each specifically.
- Though it appears from the verse quoted that the rent must be for a particular person; the same then should hold good of annulment of vows.
- I.e., the Baraitha means that he rent his garment without specifying for whom (v. Tosaf.), but in the Mishnah he explicitly designated the wrong person.
- [H], v. note 6.
- Thus if he had explicitly rent his garments for the wrong person, his obligation is unfulfilled; but not if his error was a mental one only. [Some texts omit the last clause. The Baraitha just cited is thus regarded as contradictory to the first. On this reading [H] (v. n. 5) introduces a question and is to be rendered 'But was it not taught'. V. Asheri, 4a.)
- I.e., almost immediately after he rent his garments, within the time that it would take to make an utterance, e.g., a greeting, v. Nazir 20b.
- [On this reading, which is that of cur. edd., R. Ashi's main object is to reconcile the two Baraithas (v. n. 6), though his distinction in regard to the time when the error was discovered might serve also to explain our Mishnah (Ran). Some texts; however, omit the bracketed passage. On this latter reading R. Ashi's reply is intended solely to reconcile our Mishnah and the first cited Baraitha; v. Asheri, cur. edd. which retain the 'last clause' (v. n. 6) and this bracketed passage, present, on the view of Asheri, a conflated text.]
- Since he was alive when the garments were rent, that rending is invalid.
- So the text as emended by BaH.
- Hence cancelling or modifying the action, as the case may be.
- If one commits blasphemy or practises idolatry, and immediately, within the period of utterance, retracts, his retraction is unavailing. If a woman accepts kiddushin or a divorce, and immediately thereafter withdraws her consent, such withdrawal is invalid.
- And each can be annulled or confirmed without the other.
- Num. XXX, 14.
but if he annulled it in respect of figs, it1 is not annulled, unless he annuls in respect of the grapes too: this is R. Ishmael's opinion. R. Akiba said: Behold, it is written, her husband may [yekimennu] confirm it or her husband may annul it [yeferenu]: just as yekimennu implies mimmennu [part of it],2 so yeferenu means part thereof.3 And R. Ishmael?4 — Is it then written, he shall annul [part] thereof? And R. Akiba?5 — Annulment is assimilated to confirmation: just as confirmation [denotes a part] thereof, so annulment too [denotes a part] thereof. R. Hiyya b. Abba said in R. Johanan's name: These are the views of R. Ishmael and R. Akiba. But the Sages maintain: Confirmation is assimilated to annulment: just as in the case of annulment, that which he annulled is void, so also in respect to confirmation, that which he confirmed is confirmed.6
IF SHE VOWS, 'KONAM, IF I TASTE FIGS' [AND 'IF I TASTE GRAPES, etc.']. Raba said: Our Mishnah agrees with R. Simeon, who ruled: He must say 'I swear' to each one separately.7
MISHNAH. [IF THE HUSBAND DECLARES,] 'I KNOW THAT THERE WERE VOWS, BUT DID NOT KNOW THAT THEY COULD BE ANNULLED', HE MAY ANNUL THEM [NOW]. [BUT IF HE SAYS:] 'I KNOW THAT ONE CAN ANNUL, BUT DID NOT KNOW THAT THIS WAS A VOW,' R. MEIR RULED: HE CANNOT ANNUL IT, WHILST THE SAGES MAINTAIN: HE CAN ANNUL.8
GEMARA. But the following contradicts this: [Or if he smote him with any stone, wherewith a man may die,] seeing him not [… then the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge]:9 this excludes a blind man;10 that is R. Judah's view. R. Meir said: It is to include a blind person!11 —
Original footnotes renumbered.
- [a. Either the whole vow; or b. the part he did not annul (Ran); v. p. 880, n. 5.]
- Yekimennu is taken as a contraction of yakim mimmenu, 'he shall confirm part of it'.
- Though yeferenu itself cannot bear that meaning, it is nevertheless so rendered by analogy with yekimennu. Hence if he annulled part thereof, the entire vow is annulled.
- How does he justify his view?
- And how does he dispose of this objection?
- On this reading, the Sages regard it as axiomatic that part of a vow can be annulled, and by analogy rule likewise for confirmation. Hence the statement of the Mishnah, that if he annulled the vow in respect of figs it is not annulled, must mean that the vow is not entirely void; the conflict in the Baraitha must also be interpreted on the same lines. But in the Tosefta it appears that if one annulled only part thereof the entire vow remains valid. Consequently the reading of some editions is preferable: But the Sages maintain, just as in the case of annulment, even that part which he annulled is not void, so is confirmation too — even that which he confirmed is not confirmed (Ran).
- V. supra p. 211, n. 3; so here too, only if she says 'If I taste' for each separately, is it regarded as two distinct vows.
- V. supra 79a for notes.
- Num. XXXV, 23f.
- Who is not exiled to the refuge cities for manslaughter.
- In Deut. XIX, 5, it is stated, as when a man goeth into a wood with his neighbour, etc. This implies that the unwitting murderer must have known where his victim was, but that he killed him unintentionally. If, however, he did not know of his presence, the law of exile is inapplicable. Now a blind person does not see his victim, nevertheless, owing to the greater keenness of his other faculties he senses the presence of the victim, though not knowing exactly where he is. R. Judah maintains that the partial knowledge of the blind is regarded as full knowledge, and would be sufficient for the law to operate. Consequently, when Scripture states, 'seeing him not', which implies that he might however have seen him, it must teach the exclusion of the blind. R. Meir's view is that partial knowledge is in itself not regarded as complete knowledge; hence, without any verse one would assume that a blind person is excluded. Consequently, 'seeing him not' cannot exclude the blind, since for that no verse is necessary, but must be translated, 'though not seeing him', i.e., though unable to see him, and the verse extends the law to the blind. Thus this contradicts the Mishnah, for there R. Meir rules that since he possessed the partial knowledge that a husband can annul vows, he is regarded as having possessed the complete knowledge, and therefore cannot annul after the day of hearing. Likewise R. Judah here is opposed to the Sages in the Mishnah, by whom R. Judah is meant, when they are in opposition to R. Meir (Rashi). Ran, Asheri and Tosaf. give different interpretations.