THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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NEDARIM 26 - dedicated anonymously in honor of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, and in
honor of those who study the Dafyomi around the world.
1) "MA'AMID" OR "MESHANEH"
QUESTION: Rabah (26a) states that the Machlokes between the Rabanan and
Rebbi Akiva regarding whether or not we say that a Neder that was partially
annulled becomes entirely annulled ("Hutar Miktzaso, Hutar Kulo") applies
only in a case of "Meshaneh." In a case of "Ma'amid," though, everyone
agrees that the rest if the Neder remains in force. Rava argues and says
that the Rabnanan and Rebbi Akiva argue only in a case of "Ma'amid," in
which case Rebbi Akiva says that the entire Neder is annulled. In a case of
"Meshaneh," though, everyone agrees that the entire Neder is annulled. (See
Chart to Nedarim 26a for a definition of "Meshaneh" and "Ma'amid.")
Rav Ada bar Ahavah challenges both opinions from the Mishnah later (66a)
which discusses a case of a Neder not to eat onions. A person made a Neder
not to eat onions because they are unhealthy for the heart. He was informed
that the Kufri species of onion is beneficial for the heart. Rebbi Meir in
the Mishnah there rules that since his Neder becomes partially annulled, the
entire Neder becomes annulled. The Gemara assumes that the case of the
Mishnah is a case of "Ma'amid," and thus it is a clear refutation of the
opinion of Rava (and certainly of Rabah). (The Gemara rejects the question
by saying that the case there is a case of "Meshaneh.")
Ravina then challenges Rava from a Beraisa in which Rebbi Nasan says that in
a case where a person makes a Neder that he will not eat the contents of a
basket (because they are inferior figs) and then he discovers that the
basket also contains figs of superior quality, part of his Neder remains in
force (and he may not eat the inferior figs), while part of it is annulled
(and he may eat the superior figs). Rebbi Akiva argues and says that the
entire Neder is annulled, because "Hutar Miktzaso, Hutar Kulo." The Gemara
assumes that the Beraisa is discussing a case of "Meshaneh," and thus it is
a clear refutation of the opinion of Rava, for we see that Rebbi Akiva
argues with the Rabanan even in a case of "Meshaneh."
Why does the Gemara assume, in its first challenge (that of Rav Ada bar
Ahavah) that the case in point is a case of "Ma'amid," while in its second
challenge, it assumes that the case in point is a case of "Meshanah?"
(a) TOSFOS (27a) asks this question. Tosfos answers that when a person makes
a Neder prohibiting himself from eating "onions," the word "onions" is a
general term that refers to the type of vegetable called "onion," regardless
of the species. It makes sense, therefore, that even when he finds out about
the benefits of Kufri onions, he will maintain ("Ma'amid") his original
expression in his Neder and he will not change his Neder and list all of the
species of onions that he intended to prohibit. When he realizes that he
does not want Kufri onions to be included in his Neder, he says that had he
known, he would have said, "All onions are prohibited to me except for Kufri
In contrast, when he makes a Neder not to eat "the basket" without saying
the word "figs," he obviously does not mean, literally, that he is not going
to eat the basket, because the basket is made out of wood and is not edible.
Rather, he obviously means to prohibiting the *contents* of the basket.
Therefore, when he discovers that he did not want to include part of the
contents in his Neder, it is logical that he says that he would not have
phrased his Neder by saying that "the basket is prohibited to me, except for
superior figs," because that would not be consistent, parallel speech, for
"basket" and "figs" are two different categories of items altogether. He
would have to specify each separate species and then say "except for
superior figs (B'nos Shu'ach)" (or, alternatively, he would have to say that
he prohibits "the basket, except for the smaller container within the
basket"). When he articulates an exception to his Neder, he must articulate
it in terms consistent with the subject of his Neder.
Tosfos also points out that there is a different Girsa in the Gemara which
answers this question.
(b) The PARASHAS NEDARIM answers that the case of onions in the Mishnah
later, which Rav Ada bar Ahavah quotes, is the Seifa of the same Mishnah
that discusses the case of a person who made a Neder not to eat meat and
then realized that he did not want to include Shabbos and Yom Tov in his
Neder. Hence, since the case of Shabbos and Yom Tov is discussing "Ma'amid"
according to Rava, the Gemara logically assumed that the rest of the
Mishnah -- the case of onions -- is also discussing a case of "Ma'amid."
After the Gemara answers that the case of onions there is actually a case of
"Meshaneh," it is logical to assume that the Tosefta -- which discusses the
case of onions together with the case of "Kalkalah" (the basket of figs) --
is also discussing "Meshaneh!" The Gemara answers that the case of onions in
the Tosefta is a case of "Ma'amid," while the case of onions in the Mishnah
is a case of "Meshaneh."