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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 12a

Now, nothar and piggul1  are [possible only] after the sprinkling of the blood! — 2 R. Huna the son of R. Nathan said to him, This refers to nothar of a burnt-offering.3  Said he to him, If so, let him [the Tanna] teach: As the flesh of the burnt-offering?4  — He proceeds to a climax.5  [Thus:] It is unnecessary [to teach that if one relates his vow to] the flesh of a burnt-offering, that he is forbidden, since he referred it to a sacrifice. But it is necessary for him [to teach the case of] nothar and piggul of a burnt-offering. For I would think that he referred it to the prohibitions of nothar and piggul, so that it counts as a reference to what is inherently forbidden, and he is not prohibited;6  hence he informs us [otherwise].

An objection is raised: Which is the bond mentioned in the Torah?7  If one says, 'Behold! I am not to eat meat or drink wine, as on the day that my father or teacher died,' [or] 'as on the day when Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was slain,'8  [or] 'as on the day that I saw Jerusalem in ruins.' Now Samuel commented thereon: Providing that he was under a vow in respect to that very day.9  What does this mean? Surely that e.g., he stood thus on a Sunday, on which day his father had died, and though there were many permitted Sundays, it is taught that he is forbidden; this proves that the original [Sunday] is referred to.10  — Samuel's dictum was thus stated: Samuel said, Providing that he was under a vow uninterruptedly since that day.11

Rabina said, Come and hear: [If one says, 'This be unto me] as Aaron's dough12  or as his terumah', he is permitted.13  Hence, [if he vowed,] 'as the terumah of the loaves of the thanksgiving-offering,'14  he would be forbidden.15

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Some delete piggul, since at no time was it permitted. If retained in the text, it is so because nothar and piggul are generally coupled; but Raba's deductions are from nothar only.
  2. The proof is this. A sacrifice is forbidden because at some time it was consecrated by a vow. With the sprinkling of its blood it loses its forbidden character until it becomes nothar, when it resumes it. But a direct reference to nothar itself is inadmissible in a vow, because nothar is Divinely forbidden, and not the result of a vow (v. text, and p. 30, n. 2). Hence the reference must have been to the condition of the flesh before the sprinkling of the blood.
  3. The flesh of which is not permitted even after the sprinkling of the blood: hence it proves nothing.
  4. Without reference to nothar at all.
  5. Lit., he states, 'it is unnecessary'.
  6. When a man imposes a prohibition by referring one thing to another, the latter must be also artificially forbidden, e.g., a sacrifice, which was originally permitted, and then forbidden through consecration. But if it is Divinely forbidden, without the agency of man, the vow is invalid. Thus, if one says, 'This be to me as the flesh of the swine', it is not forbidden. Now, the prohibition of piggul and nothar are Divine: therefore, If the reference was in point of that particular prohibition, the vow would be invalid.
  7. Num. XXX, 3: If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word.
  8. After the destruction of the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.E. and the deportation of the nobles and the upper classes to Babylon, Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was appointed governor of the small community that was left. As a result of a conspiracy he was slain on the second day of Tishri. Jer. XL-XLI.
  9. The assumed meaning is: he had vowed on the day of his father's death, or had once vowed not to eat meat on the day that Gedaliah the son of Ahikam was slain, and now he vowed a second time, 'I am not to eat meat, etc. as on the day when I am forbidden by my previous vow, thus the second vow was related to an interdict which was itself the result of a vow (Ran.).
  10. I.e., the first Sunday distinguished by his former vow.
  11. I.e., he had been under a vow every Sunday until this present vow. Hence nothing can be proved. v. Shebu. (Sonc. ed.) p. 105.
  12. Num. XV, 20-21. Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering. This, and terumah (v. Glos.) belonged to Aaron, i.e., the priest, and was prohibited to a star (I.e., a non-priest).
  13. To benefit therefrom. The vow is invalid, because the dough and the terumah, not being prohibited to all, are regarded as Divinely forbidden: v. p. 30, n. 2.
  14. V. Lev. VII, 22ff. Of the forty loaves brought (p. 32, n. 1) one out of each set of ten was terumah, and belonged to the priest.
  15. Because the prohibition of those is evidently due to a vow.

Nedarim 12b

But the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves is [forbidden] only after the sprinkling of the blood!1  — [No.] Infer thus: [If he vows,] 'as the terumah of the shekel-chamber,'2  he is forbidden. But what if [he said,] 'as the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves,' he is permitted? Then let him [the Tanna] state the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves, then how much more so 'his terumah'!3  — He teaches us this: The terumah of the thanksgiving loaves is 'his terumah'.4  Alternatively, the terumah of the thanksgiving loaves may also mean before the sprinkling of the blood,5  e.g., if it was separated during the kneading [of the dough].6  Even as R. Tobi b. Kisna said in Samuel's name: If the thanksgiving loaves are baked as four loaves [instead of forty], it suffices. But does not the Writ state forty?7  — As a meritorious deed. But terumah has to be taken therefrom?8  And should you answer that one loaf is taken for all, — but we learnt: [And of it he shall offer] one out of each oblation:9  'one' teaches that terumah is not to be taken from one oblation for another?10  And should you say that a piece is taken from each, — but we learnt: 'One' teaches that a piece is not to be taken? But it must be that he separates it during kneading, taking one [part] of the leaven, one of the unleavened cakes, one of the unleavened wafer, and one of the fried cake;11  [so here too].

Shall we say that this is dependent on Tannaim? [For it was taught: If one says,] 'This be unto me as a firstling,'12  R. Jacob forbids it, while R. Jose permits it. Now, how is this meant? If we say, before the sprinkling of the blood:13  what is the reason of him who permits it? If after, on what grounds does the other forbid it? But it surely [means]

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. This itself is disputed. The view of R. Eliezer b. Simon is adopted here. Since, by deduction, this vow is binding, we evidently regard the reference as being to the present state.
  2. This refers to a special fund kept in the Temple for various purposes. mainly congregational sacrifices; Shek. III, 2: IV, 1. — This is the deduction to be made, not the previous one.
  3. If a vow referring to the terumah of the loaves of a thanks-offering is invalid, though in their origin their own prohibition is due to a vow, how much more will a vow referring to other terumah, which is Divinely forbidden, be valid. Also, it is a general rule that there is a preference for teaching the less likely, so that the more likely may be deduced therefrom a minori.
  4. I.e., the word 'terumah' embraces all forms of terumah.
  5. It is even then forbidden to a star, v. Glos.
  6. Although the loaves become sanctified only by the sprinkling of the blood, according to our premise, yet if the terumah was separated in the dough, it is consecrated.
  7. Not actually. But since the Writ speaks of four species, and terumah (I.e., one in ten) was to be given from each, it follows that forty had to be made.
  8. One from each ten.
  9. Lev. VII, 14.
  10. Each kind of loaf is here referred to as an oblation.
  11. V. Lev. VII, 12.
  12. v. Num. XVIII, 15.
  13. Of the firstling, when it is definitely forbidden.