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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim
Come and hear: R. Eliezer said to them: If defiled seeds are rendered clean by being sown in the soil, how much more so if [already] sown and rooted [in the soil]!3 This proves that they do not take effect at all.
Now, do not the Rabbis admit the validity of [such] an ad majus conclusion? Surely it was taught: I might think that a man can sell his daughter when a na'arah:4 — But you can argue a minori: if she who was already sold goes free,5 is it not logical that if not sold yet, she cannot be sold [now]!6
Nedarim 76b— Yes: elsewhere they do draw an ad majus conclusion, but here it is different, because Scripture writes, Her husband may confirm it, and her husband may annul it:1 [teaching], that which has entered the category of confirmation, has entered the category of annulment; but that which has not entered the category of confirmation, has not entered the category of annulment.
MISHNAH. [THE PERIOD ALLOWED FOR] THE ANNULMENT OF VOWS IS THE WHOLE DAY:2 THIS MAY RESULT IN GREATER STRINGENCY OR GREATER LENIENCY.3 THUS, IF SHE VOWED ON THE NIGHT OF THE SABBATH, HE CAN ANNUL ON THE NIGHT OF THE SABBATH AND ON THE SABBATH DAY UNTIL NIGHTFALL. IF SHE VOWED JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL,4 HE CAN ANNUL ONLY UNTIL NIGHTFALL: FOR IF NIGHT FELL AND HE HAD NOT ANNULLED IT, HE CAN NO LONGER ANNUL IT.
GEMARA. It was taught: [The period allowed for] the annulment of vows is the whole day. R. Jose son of R. Judah and R. Eliezer son of R. Simeon maintained: Twenty-four hours.5 What is the reason of the first Tanna? — Scripture saith, [But if her husband disallowed her] on the day that he heard it.6 And what is the reason of the Rabbis? — Because it is written, [But if her husband altogether holds his peace at her] from day to day.7 But on the view of the first Tanna, surely it is written, 'from day to day'? — That is necessary. For were [only] 'on the day that he heard it' [written], I would say, only by day,8 but not by night; therefore it is written, 'from day to day'.9 Now, according to him who cites 'from day to day', is it not written, 'on the day that he heard it'? — That is necessary. For were only 'from day to day' written, I would think that he can annul her vows from [e.g.,] the first day of one week to the first day of the following;10 therefore it is written, 'on the day that he heard it'.
R. Simon b. Pazzi said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: The halachah is not in accordance with that pair.11 Levi wished to give a practical decision in accordance with these Tannaim; whereupon Rab said to him, Thus said my dear relative,12 The halachah is not in accordance with that pair. Hiyya b. Rab used to shoot arrows and at the same time examine [a person] desirous of absolution;13 Rabbah b. R. Huna would [repeatedly] sit down and stand up.14
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