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Thursday, 21 Sivan 5773 / May 30, 2013

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Nezirut - Chapter 6, Nezirut - Chapter 7, Nezirut - Chapter 8

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Nezirut - Chapter 6

Halacha 1

When a nazirite drinks wine or eats a grape product, even if he does so for many days, he does not invalidate even one of the days of his nazirite vow.1 Similar [principles apply] if he shaved a minority of his head, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

If, however, the majority of his head was shaved, whether with a razor or through another means which is as effective as a razor and enough of the hairs to fold over their head to their base2 were removed whether intentionally or unintentionally3 - even if thieves shaved his head against his will - thirty days are invalidated. [He must wait] until he has an uncut mane of hair.4 Afterwards, he counts [the remaining days].

Halacha 2

What is implied? A person took a nazirite vow for 100 days5 and after 20 days, the majority of his hair was shaved. He must wait 30 days until the hair of his head grows. After 30 days, he counts eighty days to complete his nazirite vow. Throughout these 30 days, he must observe all the particular nazirite law, but the days are not counted [as part of his nazirite vow].

Halacha 3

When a nazirite contracted ritual impurity [stemming from a corpse] whether intentionally or unintentionally - even if gentiles caused him to incur impurity against his will - all of the days he observed are invalidated. He must perform the shaving required for impurity,6 bring the sacrifices [associated with arising from] impurity, and begin to count the days of his nazirite vow [anew]. [This is implied by Numbers 6:12]: "The first days will fall." Even if he becomes impure on the day that he completes his [nazirite] vow,7 at the conclusion of the day, all of the days are invalidated.

Halacha 4

If he contracted impurity on the day after he completed [his nazirite vow], i.e., the day on which he would have brought the sacrifices [associated with the completion of a nazirite vow] in purity had he not become impure, he invalidates only 30 days.8

What should he do? He must bring the sacrifices [associated with arising from] impurity when he becomes pure and perform the shaving required for impurity. He then observes the nazirite laws for 30 days, he performs the shaving [associated with completing a nazirite vow] in purity and brings the appropriate sacrifices.9 If he contracts ritual impurity after the blood [of any of the sacrifices] was sprinkled upon him, none [of the days] are invalidated.10 Instead, he should bring the remainder11 of the sacrifices [associated with completing a nazirite vow] in purity after he regains ritual purity.12

Halacha 5

If he contracted ritual impurity on the following day,13 i.e., the day which is fit for him to begin letting his hair grow, had he shaven his hair after the completion of his vow,14 he does not invalidate anything even though he did not shave yet. For he has completed his nazirite vow and everything associated with it.15

Halacha 6

If he becomes impure on the day he took the [nazirite] vow or on the second day, [these days] are not invalidated. Instead, he completes [the days of his vow including] them after he brings his sacrifices.16 [This is derived from the prooftext cited above:] "The days will fall." [The use of the plural implies that] there must be at least two [full] days. Therefore if he becomes impure from the third day onward, he invalidates all the previous days.

Halacha 7

When a person takes a nazirite vow although he is ritually impure due to contact with a corpse, the nazirite vow takes effect.17 If he becomes impure again,18 drinks wine, or shaves his head, he is liable for lashes. If he remains impure for several days, they are not counted for him until he has [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled upon him on the third and seventh days [after he contracted ritual impurity] and he immerses himself [in a mikveh] on the seventh day.19 When a person takes a [nazirite] vow while he is ritually impure, the seventh day is counted for him.20 When, by contrast, a nazirite who was ritually pure, became impure, he should not begin counting until the eighth day.

Halacha 8

When a person takes a nazirite vow in a cemetery, the nazirite vow takes effect.21 Even if he remains there for several days, they are not counted for him. He is liable for lashes for remaining there.22 If he was warned not to take a nazirite vow while there, he should not shave his hair when he leaves there.23 If while in the cemetery he contracted impurity in one of the ways which would require a nazirite to shave,24he should neither shave nor bring a sacrifice [associated with emerging from] impurity.25

Halacha 9

If [a nazirite] entered [a cemetery] in a closed container, chest, or closet, [made a nazirite vow there, and then] a colleague came and opened the top,26 [causing] him to contract ritual impurity, he is not liable for lashes even though he remains there.27 He does, however, receive stripes for rebellious conduct if he remains [there].28

Halacha 10

When the nazirite29 left the cemetery, remained several days [outside], and then returned, the days he remained outside are not counted [as part of his nazirite vow].30 If he departed, had [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled upon him, immersed himself [in a mikveh],31 counted several days of his nazirite vow and returned to the cemetery, the days that he counts are significant for him.32 Even if he enters the cemetery on the eighth day [after becoming impure], the seventh day is counted for him.33 If while there he contracted one of the types of impurity for which a nazirite is required to shave, he is required to bring a sacrifice [as required when emerging from] impurity.34 The days [he counted] previously are invalidated35 and he must perform the shaving [required when emerging from] impurity.

Halacha 11

What does the shaving [required when emerging from ritual] impurity involve? When a nazirite becomes impure in one of the ways which require him to shave because of it, he must have [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled upon him on the third and seventh days. He then has his hair shaved on the seventh day.36 And after having [the ashes] sprinkled on him on the seventh day, he immerses in [a mikveh] as is required of all those who are ritually impure [due to contact with a human] corpse.37 He waits until sunset and brings his sacrifices on the eighth day.38 These [sacrifices] are: two turtle doves39 or two young doves,40 one as a burnt offering and one as a sin offering, and a year-old lamb as a guilt offering. All of the preceding days are invalidated and he begins counting his nazirite vow [anew]. If he shaved on the eighth day,41 he may bring his sacrifices on that day.

Halacha 12

When does he begin counting [the days of his nazirite vow]? When he brings his sin offering. His burnt offering and his guilt offering,42 by contrast, do not hold him back from [beginning] his counting.43

Halacha 13

If he had [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled upon him on the third day and the seventh day, but did not immerse himself, [but instead] delayed his immersion, when he immerses, he should wait until sunset and bring his sacrifices on the following day.44 If he immersed himself and waited until after sunset, but delayed [bringing] his sacrifices, he cannot begin counting [the days of his vow] until he brings his sin offering.45 His burnt offering and guilt offering do not hold him back from counting, as explained [in the previous halachah].

Halacha 14

When a nazirite performs the shaving [required after] ritual impurity, he does not have to shave at the entrance to the Temple or cast his hair on the fire [where his sacrifices are being cooked].46 Whether he shaves outside the Temple or inside, it is forbidden to benefit from his hair.47 It must be buried. [If it is burnt,] it is forbidden [to benefit from] its ashes as is true of the ashes of [all forbidden substances that] must be buried.48 When one shaves in the Temple,49 if he casts [his hair] under the pot where his guilt offering [is being cooked], he fulfills his obligation.50

Halacha 15

When a nazirite becomes impure through contact with a corpse on several occasions, whether he was warned about each individual time or he was not warned about each individual time,51 he brings only one [set of] sacrifices for all the times he became impure.

When does the above apply? When he becomes impure a second time before he brings the sacrifices [associated with emerging from] impurity the first time, but was delayed for several days after he regain ritual purity from bringing his sin offering and contracted impurity in those days.52 [In such a situation], he only brings one sacrifice. When, however, he contracted impurity, became ritually pure, and brought his sin offering, should he contract impurity a second time after bringing his sin offering, he is required to bring a second set of sacrifices even though he has not brought his guilt offering or his burnt offering.

Halacha 16

[The following rules apply when] a nazirite performed the shaving [required when completing his vow in] purity and afterwards discovered that he had contracted the ritual impurity [stemming from contact with a corpse] in the midst of the days of his vow. If he became impure due to a [the source for] impurity that was known [by others], all [of the days of his vow] are invalidated.53 He must bring the sacrifices [required when emerging from] impurity, perform the shaving [required when emerging from] impurity, count [the days of] another nazirite vow, and bring the sacrifices [required when completing his vow in] purity.

If he became impure due to [a source of] impurity [likened to] the depths,54 he does not invalidate [the days he observed].55 This is a law communicated by the Oral Tradition.56

Halacha 17

If he discovered that he was impure - whether from a known [source of] impurity or [a source of] impurity [likened to] the depths - before the blood from one of his sacrifices57 was sprinkled upon him, all [the days] are invalidated.58If he discovers this after the blood from one of his sacrifices was sprinkled upon him,59[should this be] an unknown [source of] impurity, it does not invalidate [the days] even though he has not performed his shaving yet.

Halacha 18

What is meant by impurity [likened to] the depths?60 [A human corpse which] no one, not even one at the end of the world knows about. The concept of impurity [likened to] the depths applies only with regard to a person who died naturally, but not to a person who was killed. For the killer knows [of the existence of the corpse].61

Halacha 19

When a corpse is found in open view, this is not considered impurity [likened to] the depths.62 If a corpse is found sunk in the earth of a cave while covered with water, this is impurity [likened to] the depths which is not known. If [it is discovered] buried in straw or in pebbles, it is impurity [likened to] the depths.63 If [it is discovered] in water in the dark or clefts of the rocks, it is not impurity [likened to] the depths.64

Halacha 20

[The following rule applies when] a nazirite who became impure through contact with a corpse goes down to a cave and immerses there,65 brings the sacrifices required [after emerging from] impurity, counts [the days of his] nazirite vow, performs the shaving [required after completing the vow in] purity, and afterwards, discovers that there was a corpse sunk in the earth of the cave when he descended to immerse himself. Although this is an unknown source of impurity, all of the days are invalidated. [The rationale is that] his impurity was an established fact and hence, that condition is presumed to continue until he definitely purified himself.66

[In the above situation, if a nazirite] descended to [the pool] to cool himself off, he is ritually pure until he has certain [knowledge] that he touched the corpse.67 If the corpse is found floating on the water, we presume that [the nazirite] is impure. Since [the corpse] is floating, we operate under the presumption that [the nazirite] touched it.68

FOOTNOTES
1.

Thus if he drank wine for ten days in a thirty day nazirite period, he need not observe more than the thirty days.

2.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 11.

3.

I.e., the ruling is not dependent on his intent, but on the fact, is the majority of his head shaven or not.

4.

I.e., and growing such a mane of hair takes 30 days.

5.

According to the Rambam, the same ruling applies whether the nazirite vow is for 30 days or longer.

6.

See Halachah 11

7.

I.e., the thirtieth day of an ordinary nazirite vow or the last day of a prolonged vow.

8.

I.e., thus had he taken a prolonged nazirite vow, he will benefit from the observance of all the days beyond the minimum of thirty. The commentaries discuss whether the invalidation of the 30 days is a Sciptural requirement or a Rabbinic decree.

9.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 1.

10.

For once the blood is sprinkled upon him, he is considered to have completed his nazirite vow (Nazir 46a; see also Chapter 8, Halachah 5).

11.

I.e., the sacrifices other than the one whose blood was sprinkled on him. They were disqualified because of the impurity he contracted.

12.

For while a person is impure due to ritual impurity contracted from contact with a corpse, we do not offer any sacrifices for him (Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash).

13.

E.g., after an ordinary nazirite vow on the thirty-second day or on the hundred and second day if he took a nazirite vow for 100 days (Meiri, Nazir 14b).

14.

Our text reflects the version of the Mishneh Torah in authoritative manuscripts and early printings. The standard version of the text reads somewhat differently.

15.

Even though he has neither shaved, nor brought his sacrifices (Meiri, loc. cit.).

16.

I.e., the sacrifices that must be brought when a nazirite becomes impure, as described in Halachah 11.

17.

And he must observe the relevant prohibitions.

18.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 17.

19.

This is the requirement to be observed when emerging from the impurity associated with a human corpse, as described in Hilchot Parah Adumah 11:1. If the impure person has the ashes sprinkled upon him on after the third day of his impurity, the second sprinkling must be performed four days afterwards.

20.

As stated in the following halachah, such a person is not required to bring any sacrifices after emerging from impurity. Hence, he may begin counting from the seventh day when he becomes ritually pure. Since a nazirite who becomes impure is required to bring sacrifices on the eighth day (see Halachah 11), he does not begin counting the days of his nazirite vow until that day (Kessef Mishneh).

21.

Even though he contracts impurity there, as stated in the previous halachah.

22.

I.e., provided he remains there for the time it takes to prostrate oneself (Chapter 5, Halachah 19).

23.

I.e., since he is not required to bring a sacrifice, he is not required to shave (Radbaz). The commentaries question, however, why the Rambam mentions a warning in regard to shaving. The only halachic context where a warning is relevant is with regard to lashes. The Radbaz explains that a printing error crept into the text and the proper version should read: "If he was warned not to take a nazirite vow while there, he is liable for lashes. He should not shave his hair...." The Kessef Mishneh also suggests a similar, but not identical emendation. It must, however, be noted that the present version of the text is found in many authoritative manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The Kiryat Sefer attempts to explain its meaning.

24.

See Chapter 7, Halachot 2-6. The impurity imparted by the cemetery itself is never sufficient to warrant shaving as explained there.

25.

Since he was not pure at the time he took the nazirite vow, he is not required to shave when he incurs impurity.

26.

Without his consent. If he acted with his consent, he is liable, as stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 18.

27.

From Chapter 5, Halachah 19, one might think that the nazirite would be liable, because he remained in the cemetery in a state of ritual impurity. Indeed, the Ra'avad argues that he should be held liable if he remains. Nevertheless, according to the Rambam's understanding of Nazir 17b, it can be explained that possibly, a distinction can be made between a nazirite who took his vow outside the cemetery and one who took his vow inside the cemetery in such a situation. The rationale is that if he was a nazirite previously, entry into the cemetery in a closed container put him in a precarious position. Hence, he is liable if he remains there. In this instance, since he was not a nazirite previously, there is no difficulty with his entry. Hence he is not liable for remaining (Ma'aseh Rokeach). The Radbaz does not accept this explanation and maintains that here, the nazirite is not liable only because he was not given a warning.

28.

For although it is questionable whether he is liable according to Scriptural Law, he is definitely treating his nazirite vow lightly. Hence, he is given this punishment according to Rabbinic Law.

29.

This is also speaking about a nazirite who accepted his nazirite vows in a cemetery.

30.

Since he did not emerge from ritual impurity, even though he left the cemetery, the laws stated in Halachah 8 apply and he is not required to bring a sacrifice even if he certainly becomes impure in a manner which would ordinarily require a nazirite to bring a sacrifice upon his emergence from impurity.

31.

I.e., performed the rites necessary to emerge from ritual impurity.

32.

I.e., the days he counted before reentering the cemetery. The days he spent in the cemetery are not counted, as indicated by Chapter 7, Halachah 7. As evident from the continuation of the halachah, this applies in an instance when he is not certain that he contracted impurity for which he is liable according to Scriptural Law.

33.

And he must count only 29 days afterwards rather than 30. In actual fact, he is a nazirite who was ritually pure and contracted impurity. Nevertheless, his counting begins on the seventh day and not the eighth (as one might think based on Halachah 7). The rationale is since he originally accepted his nazirite vow in a cemetery, he is governed by the laws that apply in such an instance (Radbaz).

34.

Although he was impure previously, his contracting impurity in this manner is significant enough for him to be required to bring the required sacrifices.

35.

He must, however, have waited at least two days outside the cemetery. For as the Rambam states in Halachah 6, only two or more days can be invalidated.

36.

See Numbers 6:9.

37.

See Hilchot Parah Adumah 11:1.

38.

See Numbers 6:10.

39.

A smaller, wild variety of the dove family. See Hilchot Issurei Mizbeiach 3:2 for more particulars.

40.

Ordinary domesticated doves.

41.

After purifying himself on the seventh day (Kessef Mishneh).

42.

As stated in Hilchot Shegagot 3:11, this is in contrast to all other guilt offerings required by the Torah.

43.

I.e., even if he brings them on a later date, it is not significant.

44.

Because until he immerses himself and waits until sunset, he is not pure and cannot bring his sacrifices.

45.

For the sin offering is the primary factor leading to his emergence from impurity. See Halachah 15.

46.

These acts are required for the shaving required after a nazirite completes his vow in purity. See Chapter 8, Halachah 2.

47.

Numbers 6:11 describes his hair as "holy." Implied is that it is forbidden to benefit from it (Radbaz).

48.

See Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 19:12-14.

49.

I.e., on the Temple Mount. Alternatively, it could refer to someone who entered the Women's Courtyard (where the nazirites perform the shaving associated with completing their vows in ritual purity).

50.

I.e., he is seeking to emulate a nazirite who shaves after completing his vow in purity who casts his hair under the pot where his peace offering is being cooked. There is a difference of opinion among the Sages (Nazir, Tosefta 4:5) if it is desirable to emulate that act. The Rambam follows the view that at the outset, the hair should be buried and not destroyed by fire. Nevertheless, all authorities agree that after the fact, the shaving is acceptable if the hair is burnt.

51.

As stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 16, if a person receives a warning, he receives lashes for every time he contracts impurity. Nevertheless, these warnings have nothing to do with the concept of ritual impurity and have no effect upon it (Radbaz).

52.

As evident from Halachah 13, bringing the sin offering is the determining factor in a nazirite's resumption of the counting of the days of his nazirite vows. Hence, if he has not brought that sacrifice, the two times he contracted ritual impurity can be covered by one sin offering.

53.

As stated in Halachah 3. Since he was impure, the fact that he completed the observance of his nazirite vow is not significant.

54.

See Halachah 18.

55.

And he is considered to have completed his nazirite vow.

56.

I.e., this is not a concept that can be derived through the principles of Biblical exegesis or through deductive logic. Instead, it is part of the Oral Tradition communicated to Moses at Sinai (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Nazir 9:2).

57.

Seemingly, this applies to any one of the sacrifices, not only the sin offering.

58.

For until the blood is sprinkled upon him, he has not concluded his nazirite vow.

59.

For this completes the observance of the nazirite vow. Afterwards, he may drink wine and become impure.

60.

Just like mortal wisdom cannot fathom the extent of the depths, so, too, the existence of this corpse is not known to any mortal (Rav Ovadiah of Bartenura, Parah 3:2).

61.

The Radbaz states that it must be apparent that the person was killed by another human and not an animal. It must be noted that the Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, but the Radbaz supports the Rambam's position.

62.

For it is likely it was seen by others.

63.

In all of these instances, it is highly possible that no other person knew about the impurity.

64.

In these instances, though it is difficult for a person from the outside to see the corpse, since it is possible that he will, the impurity is considered to be public knowledge.

65.

I.e., to conclude the process of emerging from ritual impurity.

66.

Thus in this instance, since it is possible that he touched the corpse when immersing, we are not certain that he purified himself. In the previous halachot, leniency was granted, because the nazirite was ritually pure. Hence we presume that he continues in that state unless we know for certain that he became impure. In this instance, however, he already was impure. Hence we presume that he remains in this state until we know for certain that he has regained purity.

67.

I.e., we follow the logic mentioned in the previous note with regard to the situation when a nazirite is ritually pure.

68.

In Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTumah 14:3, the Rambam writes that if one is in doubt whether he touched a dead lizard floating on water, he is ritually pure, but concludes that this principle applies only with regard to impurity resulting from contact with a dead lizard and not to similar situations applying with regard to other sources of impurity. The rationale is that we follow the principle: When a doubt concerning ritual impurity arises in a private place, we rule stringently. Since the corpse is floating and can be seen, we do not consider it an unknown source of impurity.

Nezirut - Chapter 7

Halacha 1

There are types of impurity resulting from [contact with] a corpse that do not require a nazirite to perform a shaving and do not invalidate the days previously observed even though he became impure in a manner that requires him to observe impurity for [at least] seven days.1 [The rationale is that] it is not stated concerning such situations: "When one will become impure due [to contact with] a corpse...", but rather [Numbers 6:9], "When a person will die upon him." [This implies that] he must become impure with those impurities that involve the actual substance of the corpse.2 Afterwards, he must bring the sacrifices [required] and perform the shaving required [when emerging from] impurity. All of the days [he observed] initially are invalidated.

Halacha 2

These are the types of impurity stemming from contact with a corpse that a nazirite must shave because of [contact with] them: a) an stillborn fetus, even if the sinews connecting its limbs have not formed,3 b) an olive-sized portion of the flesh of a corpse,4 c) an olive-sized portion of a decomposed corpse,5 d) bones from a corpse which represent the majority of the number of the bones of a corpse6 even though their volume is not a fourth of a kav,7 e) bones which represent the majority of the structure of the bones of a corpse even though their volume is not a fourth of a kav,8 f) a half of a kav of bones9 even though they do not represent the majority of the number or the structure of the bones of the corpse - all the bones must, however, be from one corpse, not from two, g) the backbone that comes from one corpse, h) the skull that comes from one corpse, i) a [complete] limb that comes from one corpse, j) a limb taken from a living person that has flesh that could cause it to regenerate in a living person,10 k) half a log11of blood from one corpse, and l) a handful of the decomposed mass of a corpse.12

What is meant by the term netzel? Flesh from a corpse that decomposed and became putrid liquid.

Halacha 3

The decomposed mass (rekev) of a corpse does not convey ritual impurity unless it was buried naked in a marble coffin13 and was entirely intact. If one limb was lacking or it was buried in garments14 or in a wooden or metal15 coffin, there is no concept of rekev. The concept of rekev applies with regard to a corpse alone. This excludes a person who was slain, for his blood is lacking.

Halacha 4

When two corpses are buried together,16 the hair and the nails of a corpse were cut off and buried together with it,17 or a woman was buried together with a fetus in her womb,18 the rekev does not convey ritual impurity.

Similarly, if one ground up a corpse until it became a decomposed mass, [these laws do not apply]. It must decompose naturally. If one ground the corpse and then left its remains until they decomposed naturally or a portion of the body decomposed while the person was alive, he died, and then the entire body decomposed, there is an unresolved doubt [concerning the ruling]. Hence, if [a nazirite] becomes impure because of this rekev, there is an unresolved doubt whether he is impure. Similarly, there is an unresolved doubt whether [a nazirite] is impure if he contacts impurity from a fourth of a kav of bones coming from the backbone or the skull when he is under the same shelter19 as they are.

Halacha 5

[With regard to] all of these twelve [sources] of impurity that we listed:20 If a nazirite touches one of these sources, carries it, covers it from above with [a portion of his body], [the source of] impurity covers [a portion of] the nazirite's [body], or the nazirite and [the source of] impurity were located under the same shelter, [the nazirite becomes impure].21 He must perform the shaving [required because of] impurity and bring the sacrifices [required because of] impurity. All [of the days he observed] are invalidated. The only exception is a rekev. It does not convey impurity when one touches it, for it is impossible to touch it entirely [at the same time], for it is not a single mass.22 If, however, one carried it or became impure because one was under the same shelter,23 he must perform the shaving.

Halacha 6

Similarly, if a nazirite touches or carries a bone24 from a corpse - even if it is merely the size of a barley-corn25 - must perform a shaving because of it and bring the sacrifices [required because of] impurity. All [of the days he observed] are invalidated. A bone the size of a barley corn does not, however, convey impurity26 if one was under the same shelter.27

If, by contrast, [a nazirite] becomes impure because of contact with one of the following twelve matters, [the days he observed] are not invalidated:

a) a clod of earth from the Diaspora;28

b) [earth from] a field in which a grave had been plowed;29 both of these convey impurity through touch or if they were carried;30

c) branches which emerge from trees,31 protrusions that emerge from fences,32 from a bed, a camel, or the like, cover him and one of the twelve sources of impurity [mentioned in the Halachah 2];33

d) he becomes impure by being under the same shelter as a quarter of a kav of bones34 that do not constitute the majority of the number of the corpse's bones, nor the greater portion of his structure;

e) he became impure because of a revi'it of blood from a corpse which conveys ritual impurity whether one touches it, carries it, or is found under the same shelter;35 f) he became impure because he touched or was under the same shelter36 as a gravestone37or a stone at the side of a grave;38 for they convey impurity in either of these two ways; g) he became impurity because of contact with a limb cut from a living person or a corpse which does not have sufficient flesh upon it.39

Halacha 7

Even though in all the above situations, [the nazirite] is impure for seven days and he must have [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled [upon him] on the third and seventh days, he should not perform the shaving [required when emerging from] impurity, nor bring the sacrifices [required at that time], nor are his initial days invalidated. Nevertheless, the days when he is impure are not counted as part of his nazirite vow.

Halacha 8

When [a nazirite] touches a shelter in which a corpse is found or utensils40 that are touching a corpse,41 he should not have [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled [upon him] on the third and seventh days.42 It appears to me43 that this law is unique to a nazirite. Any other person who contracts impurity that persists for seven days from utensils must have [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled [upon him] on the third and seventh days, as will be explained in Hilchot Tuma'at Meit.44 Similarly, it appears to me that the reason [a nazirite] does not have [the ashes of the Red Heifer] sprinkled [upon him] on the third and seventh days if he touched utensils [that convey such ritual impurity] is so that the days on which he is impure because [of contact with] the utensil will be counted as part of the days of his nazirite vow.45

Halacha 9

When a nazirite contracts tzara'at46 and has his status [as a metzora] defined,47 all of the days during which he is set apart [as a metzora] and the seven days that he counts after purifying himself from his tzara'at between the first shaving48 and the second shaving49 do not count as days of his nazirite vow.50 The days when he is quarantined,51 by contrast, are counted [as part of his nazirite vow].52 Similarly, if either a male or a female has a zav emission from their flesh,53 all of the days of the emission are counted as part of their [nazirite vow] although they are impure.54 This matter is a halachah transmitted to Moses at Sinai.

Halacha 10

Needless to say, if [a nazirite] becomes impure as a result of other sources of impurity55 that the days during which he is impure are counted [as part of his nazirite vow] and no days are invalidated. If he becomes impure due to contact with a corpse during the time he is afflicted with tzara'at, all of the previous days are invalidated. [The rationale is that] he is still a nazirite, even though he is ritually impure.

Halacha 11

A nazirite is permitted to become impure due to contact with a corpse when doing so is a mitzvah56 and may shave when doing so is a mitzvah.57 He is, however, forbidden to partake of [all] wine, whether in connection with a mitzvah or with regard to matters left to one's own choice.

What is implied? A person took an oath that he will drink wine on this day. Thus it is a mitzvah for him to drink.58 Afterwards, he took a nazirite vow. The nazirite vow takes effect and [supercedes] the oath he took. Hence he is forbidden to drink wine. Needless to say, [a nazirite]59 is forbidden [to partake of] the wine [over which] Kiddush and Havdalah are recited. For [associating these blessings with wine] is merely a Rabbinic ordinance.60

Halacha 12

What is meant by the statement that he is permitted to become impure due to contact with a corpse when it is a mitzvah? If he was walking on the road and encountered a corpse and there was no one else to bury it,61 he should become impure through contact with it and bury it.62 These matters were communicated by the Oral Tradition.

Halacha 13

When a nazirite and a priest63 encounter a corpse that it is a mitzvah [to bury] the nazirite should [bury it and] become impure even though he invalidates the days [he observed] previously and must bring a sacrifice [because of his] impurity. The priest should not become impure. [The rationale is that the nazirite's] holiness is within the context of time64 - even if he took an everlasting nazirite vow65 - while the priest's holiness is beyond the context of time.

Halacha 14

If two nazirites - one whose nazirite vow was for 30 days and one whose nazirite vow was for 100 days encounter [such a corpse] - the one whose nazirite vow was for 30 days should become impure, If one was a nazirite for a limited amount of time66 and the other was a nazirite forever, the nazirite for a limited amount of time should become impure. For the nazirite for all time has a higher degree of holiness.

Halacha 15

What is meant by the statement that he is permitted to shave when doing so is a mitzvah? When a nazirite contracts tzara'at and becomes healed in the midst of the days of his nazirite vow, he should shave all of his hair.67

[The rationale is that] by shaving, he fulfills a positive commandment,68 for concerning a metzora, [Leviticus 14:8] states: "And he shall shave all of his hair." Whenever there is [a conflict between] a positive commandment and a negative commandment, if it is possible to observe both of them, that is desirable. If not, the positive commandment supercedes the negative commandment.69

Nevertheless, when a nazirite shaves his hair during the midst of his nazirite vow, he violates both a negative commandment and a positive commandment, as [Numbers 6:5] states: "[His hair] is holy. He shall let the mane of the hair of his head grow." And [the observance of] a positive commandment does not supercede a negative commandment that [is reinforced by] a positive commandment. Why then does the positive commandment of shaving the blemish supercede his nazirite vow? Because the nazirite has already become impure because of the tzara'at and the days when he is defined as impure are not counted [towards the fulfillment of his vow], as we explained.70 [Hence,] his [hair] is not holy during these days. Thus the positive commandment [mentioned above] is withdrawn and only the negative commandment [Leviticus, loc. cit.]: "A razor shall not pass over his head" alone remains incumbent upon him. Therefore the positive commandment of shaving [because of the tzara'at] can come and supercede it.71

FOOTNOTES
1.

The Rambam explains these concepts in the following halachot.

2.

In Hilchot Tumat Meit 3:3, the Rambam writes: "All ritual impurity resulting from a corpse for which a nazirite is not required to shave does not stem from Scriptural Law." If this impurity were Rabbinic in origin, the Rambam would not have to explain why it does not invalidate the previous days, it would be obvious. A Rabbinic decree cannot supercede Scriptural Law and according to Scriptural Law, it is forbidden for a nazirite to shave.

As explained in the notes to Chapter 5, Halachah 15, there are times when the Rambam uses the term midivrei sofrim, which usually means "stemming from Rabbinic decree" to refer to matters that are of Scriptural origin, but derived by our Sages using the accepted principles of Biblical exegesis (see Hilchot Ishut 1:2; Sefer HaMitzvot, General Principle 2). Similarly, with regard to the contraction of ritual impurity in question: Although it is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah, it could be considered of Scriptural origin, because it was derived through the laws of Biblical exegesis. Hence, the Rambam needs a derivation from a Scriptural source to explain why shaving is not required.

3.

I.e., a fetus in a preliminary stage of development.

4.

Whether still soft or dried (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:1).

5.

The Rambam defines the term netzel at the conclusion of the halachah; see also Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:1.

6.

More details concerning the impurity resulting from the bones of a corpse are discussed in Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:8-10.

7.

A kav is a relatively small measure (1376 cc according to Shiurei Torah, 2400 cc according to Chazon Ish). Thus we are probably speaking of the bones of an infant or a fetus. See Halachah 4.

8.

Whether still soft or dried (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:1).

9.

A person becomes impure even when he comes into contact with a fourth of a kav of bones (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:9). Nevertheless, a nazirite is not required to shave unless there is a half a kav there. See Halachot 6-7.

10.

For a limb that is cut off from a living body is considered as if it was cut off from a corpse (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:3).

11.

Half a log is 172 cc according to Shiurei Torah and 300 cc according to Chazon Ish. Even though one revi'it is sufficient to convey ritual impurity (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:12), for a nazirite to be required to shave, twice that amount is required. See also Halachah 6.

12.

See the following halachah for a more detailed definition of the term rekev; see also Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:11.

13.

For in such a situation, the decomposed mass contains nothing more than the corpse, for marble does not decompose. The same law would apply to a glass or stone coffin (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 3:4).

14.

For then its clothes would be mixed together with it.

15.

For metal rusts and wood rots and thus the mass would contain something other than the corpse (ibid.).

16.

For the concept of rekev applies only when there is one corpse.

17.

Since the hair and/or nails were separated, they are considered as separate entities.

18.

For the fetus is considered a separate entity.

19.

Or covers them with part of his body or part of his body is covered by them, as stated in the following halachah. As indicated by Halachah 6, the unresolved doubt applies only with regard to the impurity resulting from being in the same shelter as this amount of a corpse's bones. If one touches a corpse, he becomes impure, no matter how small the quantity of bones he touches is.

20.

In Halachah 2.

21.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 1:10-11.

22.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Ohelot 2:2).

23.

For the fetus is considered a separate entity.

24.

Or a piece of a bone.

25.

This is not a minimum measure; even a smaller portion of a bone is sufficient to make the nazirite impure (Radbaz).

26.

In Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:8 and in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Ohelot 1:8, 2:3) the Rambam explains that this concept is derived from the exegesis of Numbers 14:19: "When a person dies in a tent." Implied is that the object that conveys impurity must clearly indicate that it comes from a person and this is not true of a bone this small.

27.

For the fetus is considered a separate entity.

28.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Ohelot 2:3), the Rambam writes that in the Diaspora, people are not as careful with regard to burial and will bury a corpse anywhere. Accordingly, our Sages feared that perhaps a small portion of a bone would become mixed together with earth. Hence, they decreed that all earth from the Diaspora -even if brought to Eretz Yisrael - conveys ritual impurity. See also Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:16.

Based on Chapter 2, Halachot 21-22, we are forced to say that we are speaking about an instance where a nazirite from Eretz Yisrael came in contact with the earth of the Diaspora. If a nazirite vow is taken in the Diaspora, different laws apply as stated there (Radbaz).

29.

For we fear that small pieces of the corpse's bones were strewn over the field and that the nazirite came in contact with one (ibid.).

30.

But not because of an ohel (shelter).

31.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 13:1-2 where the Rambam writes that for a shelter to convey ritual impurity according to Scriptural Law, the shelter must be a handbreadth by a handbreadth.

32.

I.e., protrusions less than a handbreadth by a handbreadth.

33.

Our text follows the authentic manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed text follows a different - and somewhat difficult to comprehend - version. See the conclusion of Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 19:6 where the Rambam discusses this issue and states that such impurity is midivrei sofrim, "from the words of the Sages."

34.

See the notes to Halachah 2.

35.

As mentioned in the notes to Halachah 2, according to Scriptural Law, one is ritually impure. Nevertheless, the Oral Tradition teaches that a nazirite is not required to perform a shaving in this instance (Nazir 54a).

36.

For the fetus is considered a separate entity.

37.

I.e., the stone laid over the corpse. See the definition of this and the following term in Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:15.

38.

Which serves as support for the gravestone.

39.

I.e., enough flesh that would cause the flesh to regenerate as stated in Halachah 2. See Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 2:3.

40.

The Radbaz maintains that this applies to utensils other than those made of metal. Touching metal utensils requires a person to have the ashes of the Red Heifer. According to the Rambam, however, it appears that there is no difference between metal utensils and those of other substances.

41.

Since the utensil is touching the corpse, touching the utensil is considered equivalent to touching the corpse (Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 5:3).

42.

Even though he must consider himself impure.

43.

This expression indicates a ruling for which the Rambam does not have an explicit source in the previous Rabbinic literature, but instead derives through his own process of deduction.

The Rambam makes this deduction according to his interpretation of Nazir 7:3 which links these two matters with those mentioned in Halachah 6. The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's statement, maintaining that for this law to apply the utensils must be touching the corpse at the time he is touching the utensils. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam would also accept this conception and states that it appears to be indicated by the Rambam's wording here. Others, however, note that the Rambam's wording in Hilchot Tuma'at Meit, loc. cit., does not lead to that conclusion.

44.

Hilchot Tuma'at Meit, loc. cit.

45.

Were the sprinkling of the ashes to be required, he would be required to shave. Hence, he would not be able to count them as part of his vow (Kessef Mishneh). This constitutes a difference between the subjects mentioned in this halachah and those mentioned in Halachah 6.

46.

A skin affliction with symptoms similar to that of leprosy, but rather than being merely a physical condition is a sign of spiritual impurity.

47.

I.e., the priest has declared that he is afflicted by tzara'at, as stated in Leviticus 13:11.

48.

As Leviticus 14:5-8 describes, when a person who was afflicted with tzara'at is purged of that affliction, he must bring sacrifices and shave his hair. Afterwards, he may enter the camp of the Jewish people, but may not dwell within his own tent for seven days.

49.

Which is performed after these seven days (ibid.:9).

50.

See Halachah 15 which states that during these days, his hair is not "holy." This state of ritual impurity does not, however, invalidate the days counted previously (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Nazir 7:3).

51.

I.e., the days prior to the determination of whether he truly is afflicted with tzara'at when we wait to evaluate whether a blemish that he possesses is tzara'at or not. See Leviticus 13:4-5; Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 7:2.

52.

Since he is not required to shave his hair off after the conclusion of these days, they are counted as part of his nazirite vow (Kessef Mishneh).

53.

A man becomes a zav when he has an emission from his urinary tract similar, but not identical to that which results from gonorrhea. A woman becomes a zavah when she experiences vaginal bleeding at times other than would be expected due to her menstrual cycle. In both cases, the individuals are ritually impure. See Leviticus, ch. 15.

54.

Here also, since emerging from this impurity does not involve shaving, these days are counted as part of his nazirite vow (Radbaz).

55.

E.g., he became impure due to contact with a dead lizard or because of the emission of semen in which instance he is impure only for a day.

56.

See the following halachah.

57.

See Halachah 15.

58.

I.e., he is commanded to fulfill his oath and prohibited against not fulfilling it.

59.

Even one who has not taken a vow.

60.

See Hilchot Shabbat 29:1, 6. There is a Scriptural obligation to recite these prayers, but the association with a cup of wine is Rabbinic in origin (Radbaz).

61.

See Hilchot Evel 3:8 which elaborates concerning this matter with regard to the prohibition incumbent on priests not to come in contact with ritual impurity:

When does the above apply? When the priest is alone and there is no one else with him; even when he calls out on the road, no one answers him. If, however, when he calls others answer, this is not considered an unattended corpse. Instead, he should call to the others and they should come and tend to [the corpse].

62.

Even though it is a mitzvah for him to become impure and bury the corpse, he is obligated to shave and bring sacrifices. All the days of his nazirite vow which he observed previously are invalidated.

63.

Who is also forbidden to become impure due to contract with a corpse, but is commanded to bury a corpse if there is no one else to do so, as cited in note 56.

64.

I.e., limited to the span of his nazirite vow.

65.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 11. Although such a person must observe the nazirite laws for all time, his state of holiness is not an intrinsic element of his being, but rather dependent on his desire to take the nazirite vow. Before he took the vow he was not obligated by these restrictions and he may have the vow absolved - and thus remove them. The holiness of a priest, by contrast, is an inherent element of his being, not dependent upon his choice or will (Lechem Mishneh; see also Radbaz, Hilchot Evel 3:9).

66.

Even a span of time that he will never complete, e.g., 150 years, see Chapter 3, Halachah 12.

67.

Even though shaving the hair on his head is forbidden.

68.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Tzara'at 11:1.

69.

And hence, the nazirite should shave his hair.

70.

Halachah 9.

71.

The Ra'avad accepts the Rambam's ruling, but gives a different rationale: The commandments associated with the nazirite vow are considered as insubstantial, because the nazirite could appeal to have his nazirite vow absolved. Although the rationale given by the Ra'avad is mentioned in Yevamot 5a, the Rambam favors the reason he gave, for there are some nazirites who do not have the option of absolving their nazirite vows (see Chapter 3, Halachah 14).

Nezirut - Chapter 8

Halacha 1

What does the shaving [required after completion of the nazirite vow in] purity involve? When the nazirite completes [the observance of] the days of his nazirite vow, he should bring three animals [as sacrifices]: a male lamb for a burnt offering, a ewe1 as a sin offering,2 and a ram3 as a peace offering.

[The following rules apply when a person] brought three animals, but did not specify [for which sacrifice each was designated]. The one fit to be offered as a sin offering should be offered as a sin offering. The one fit to be offered as a burnt offering should be offered as a burnt offering. And the one fit to be offered as a peace offering should be offered as a peace offering.4

Together with the ram brought as a peace offering, he should bring six and two thirds esronot5 of fine flour. He should bake twenty loaves from them: ten loaves of matzah6 and ten loaves of matzah wafers.7 He should pour a revi'it [of a log] of oil over these twenty [loaves]. This measure is a halachah transmitted to Moses at Sinai. The twenty loaves should be brought in one container.8

Halacha 2

He should slaughter the sin offering first,9 then the burnt offering, and then the peace offering. Afterwards, he should shave. If he shaved after bringing the sin offering or the burnt offering, he fulfills his obligation. He should cook the peace offering or boil it.10 He should take from the sauce of the peace offering and apply it to his hair. Afterwards, he should place the hair under the pot where the peace offering is cooking. If he placed it under the pot of the sin offering, he fulfilled his obligation.11

Halacha 3

Where does he shave his hair? In the Women's Courtyard,12 in the Chamber of the Nazirites that was in its southeastern corner. There they would cook their peace offerings13 and cast their hair into the fire. If he shaved outside the Temple,14 he fulfills his obligation. Whether he shaves outside the Temple or inside it, he should cast his hair under the pot.15

He should not shave until the entrance to the Temple courtyard is open, for [Numbers 6:18] states: "at the entrance16 to the Tent of Meeting." The intent is not that he should shave in front of the entrance of the Sanctuary, for that would be demeaning to the Sanctuary.17

Halacha 4

Afterwards, the priest takes the roasted forearm of the ram, one matzah from the basket, and one wafer and places them on the palm or the nazirite18 or female nazirite and waves them.19 Afterwards, the nazirite is permitted to drink wine and to become impure due to contact with the dead.

Halacha 5

A bald nazirite does not have to pass a razor over his head. Even though a nazirite, [a nazirite] does not have hair20 or does not have a palm21 may still bring his sacrifices. He [may] then drink [wine] and become impure. If he brought his sacrifices, but did not shave his head, [the failure] to shave does not prevent [the termination of his nazirite vow] and he may drink [wine] and become impure that evening.22 Once the blood from one [of the sacrifices] has been sprinkled upon him, he is permitted although [the portions of the sacrifice] were not placed on his hand and he did not wave them. For all these factors are [the most desirable way of performing the mitzvah]; they are not an absolute requirement.

Halacha 6

Although the shaving is not an absolute requirement, it is a mitzvah [for the nazirite] to shave,23 even if an extensive time has past [since the completion of his nazirite vow].

When a nazirite shaves without using a razor24 or he shaved and left two hairs,25 it is as if he did nothing; he did not fulfill the mitzvah of shaving. [This applies] whether the nazirite is pure or impure.

Halacha 7

[When a nazirite] shaved, left two hairs, his hair grew back entirely, and he shaved [his head again, removing] those two hairs,26 or27 he shaved one and the other fell off, he has fulfilled the mitzvah of shaving.28 If one fell off and he shaved the other one, the mitzvah of shaving does not apply.29

Halacha 8

When a nazirite shaved [his head] when his peace offering was brought and that offering was unacceptable,30 his shaving is also unacceptable and his sacrifices are not of consequence for him.31 If he shaved when his sin offering was brought and it was discovered that the sin offering was not slaughtered with that intent,32 and afterwards, he brought the peace offering and the burnt offering and offered them as required, his shaving is also unacceptable and his sacrifices are not of consequence for him.33

Halacha 9

If he shaved [his head] when his burnt offering and peace offering were brought, but they were slaughtered for another intent,34 , his shaving is also unacceptable and his sacrifices are not of consequence for him.35

Halacha 10

If he shaved [his head] when he brought [all] three offerings and one of them was acceptable, his shaving is acceptable.36 [Afterwards,] he should bring the other offerings [that were not acceptable] and offer them in an acceptable manner.

Halacha 11

Whenever we have said: "His shaving is unacceptable," he is considered as one who shaved in the midst of the days of his nazirite vow who invalidates 30 days [of observance] as explained.37 Thus he should observe [the laws of a nazirite for] 30 days after the unacceptable shaving and bring his sacrifices.38

Halacha 12

The peace offerings of a nazirite that were slaughtered in a manner that did not conform to their requirements39 are acceptable,40 but they do not fulfill the obligations of [the nazirite] who brought them.41 They may only be eaten for one day42 and they need not [be accompanied by] bread,43 nor are they placed [on the nazirite's hand for waving],44 nor is the foreleg [given to the priest].

Halacha 13

These three animals and the bread that accompanies them all must come from ordinary property45 as is true with regard to other vows to sanctify offerings, as will be explained in the appropriate place.46

Halacha 14

When a person says: "I am becoming a nazirite on the condition that when I perform the shaving, I will be able to bring my sacrifices using [money exchanged for] the second tithe,"47 he becomes a nazirite, but he should not bring his sacrifices using such funds. Instead, [he must purchase them] with ordinary funds.48

Halacha 15

When a man takes a vow to become a nazirite, he may bring sacrifices set aside by his father for this purpose.49 A woman, by contrast may not perform the shaving using the sacrifices of her father.50 This is a halachah conveyed by the Oral Tradition.

What is implied? A person's father took a nazirite vow, set aside money to purchase sacrifices [to offer on the completion of that vow], but died [before he could offer them]. [The money] was left without being designated for any specific purpose.51 After his father died, he said: "I am a nazirite on the condition that I am able to bring my sacrifices from the money which my father set aside for his sacrifices," he may bring his sacrifices from these [funds]. Similarly, if he and his father were nazirites and his father set aside money [for his sacrifices] without designating it for a specific offering and then died, if, after the father's death, the son said: "I will perform the shaving with the sacrifices of my father," he may bring his sacrifices from these [funds].52 If he does not make these statements,53the money should be use for freewill [offerings].54

If the father died and left many sons, they should divide the money that was not specified [among themselves], because it is their inheritance. Each one may perform the shaving [with sacrifices purchased] from his portion.55 The firstborn receives a double portion.56

Halacha 16

Whether the father was a nazirite for all time57 and the son was a nazirite for a limited time or the father was a nazirite for a limited time and the son was a nazirite for all time, [the son] may perform the shaving and bring his sacrifices from the money [designated] for the nazirite vow of his father.

Halacha 17

If the father set aside money to bring the sacrifices [that are required when a nazirite emerges from] impurity and dies, the sons may not use that money to purchase sacrifices [that are offered when one completes the nazirite vow in] purity.58 Similarly, if the father set them aside for the sacrifices [offered when one completes the nazirite vow in] purity, the son may not use them for the shaving [and the sacrifices required when a nazirite emerges from] impurity. [There is] an unresolved doubt whether this [is acceptable]. If he brought his sacrifices from such funds, he is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation.59

Halacha 18

If a person says: "It is my responsibility to perform the shaving for a nazirite," he is obligated to bring the sacrifices required when a nazirite [completes his vow] in purity. He may have them offered by any nazirite that he desires. If he said: "I am obligated to bring half of the sacrifices of a nazirite," or he said: "It is my responsibility to [provide the means for] half the shaving for a nazirite,"60 he is obligated to bring half the sacrifices [required of] any nazirite he desires. That nazirite should bring the remainder of his sacrifices from his own funds. If, however, he said: "I am obligated to bring the sacrifices of half a nazirite," he must bring all of the sacrifices of a nazirite, for there is no concept of being half a nazirite.61

Halacha 19

When one says: "I am becoming a nazirite and I accept the responsibility to [provide the means for] the shaving for a nazirite," and his colleague says: "And so am I," the colleague is a nazirite, but he is not obligated to [provide the means for] the shaving, for he only included himself in his colleague's statements with regard to becoming a nazirite. If he said: "And so am I, and I accept the responsibility to [provide the means for] the shaving for a nazirite," he is obligated [for this as well]. If they are clever, each one should bring sacrifices provided by his colleague.62 If they do not do this, they are each obligated to [provide the means for] the shaving of other nazirites.

Halacha 20

If one says: "[I am a nazirite and]63 it is my responsibility to [provide the means for] half the shaving for a nazirite," and his colleague hears and says: "And I also am a nazirite and I also accept the responsibility to [provide the means for] half the shaving for a nazirite," [they are both nazirites]. If they are clever, one should bring half the sacrifices of the other and the second should bring half the sacrifices of the first and then each one should complete the [required] sacrifices [from his own resources]. If not, [in addition to bringing their own sacrifices,] each one must bring half the sacrifices of any nazirite he chooses.

FOOTNOTES
1.

Both the ewe and the lamb must be less than a year old (Numbers 6:14).

2.

See Hilchot De'ot 3:1 where the Rambam quotes Ta'anit 11a that states that a nazirite is required to bring a sin offering, because he abstained from drinking wine and elaborates on the negative aspects of an ascetic existence.

3.

At least two years old.

4.

Although the ewe is also fit to be brought as a peace offering, since it is the only one fit to be brought as a sin offering, we designate it for such and use the male lamb for the peace offering.

5.

An isaron is equivalent to the size of 43.2 eggs. In modern measure, the size of an egg is 57.6 cc according to Shiurei Torah, and 99.5 cc according to Chazon Ish.

6.

These loaves were made from a mixture of flour, water, and oil. The oil was adder to the batter before they were baked (Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 9:21).

7.

These wafers were made with flour and water. After they were baked, oil was poured over them (ibid.:23).

8.

Numbers 6:17 speaks of "the basket of matzot."

9.

The order of the rituals outlined by the Rambam follows the order in which they are mentioned in Numbers 6:15-18. This explanation may clarify the questions raised by the Kessef Mishneh.

10.

Rav Avraham MinHaHer interprets this term as meaning boiling it with water alone, without spices.

11.

Although Numbers 6:15 mentions the peace offering since uses the word zevach, offering and that term can also be applied to the sin offering, putting the hair under the sin offering is acceptable (Nazir 45b).

12.

The courtyard before the Temple itself. It was given this name, because women were allowed to congregate on balconies there at certain times. See Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 5:7-9.

13.

The sin offerings had to be cooked within the Temple Courtyard and the burnt offerings were placed on the fire of the altar.

14.

We have translated the term mikdash as "Temple," for that is the most apparent meaning and most authorities understand it being used in this context. The Radbaz, however, notes that in certain contexts (see the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, Rosh HaShanah 4:1), the Rambam interprets the term mikdash as referring to the city of Jerusalem as a whole. And in his commentary to Ma'aser Sheni 3:4, he states that the term medinah (the term used in this halachah) refers to cities outside Jerusalem.

15.

The Radbaz understands the Rambam as implying that even when one shaves outside of Jerusalem, he should send his hair to have it cast under the fire in the Chamber of the Nazirites. Not all authorities share this view.

16.

The Hebrew words petach, "entrance," and patuach, "open," share the same root. Seemingly, the gate to the Temple building must also be open. See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 5:5.

17.

The Chamber of the Nazirites where he would shave is, by contrast, a private place.

18.

The Rambam is quoting Numbers 6:19-20. See Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 9:9, where the Rambam writes that (because it is a peace offering) he must also wave the ram's breast and thigh and the inner portions of the animal that were offered on the altar.

19.

The priest puts his hand beneath the hand of the nazirite and moves these sacred articles up, down, and to each of the four compass directions. See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Menachot 5:5).

20.

To shave.

21.

To wave the sacrifices.

22.

The Radbaz states that this is understandable if he brings his offerings on the thirtieth day of his nazirite vow, for until he completes thirty days of observance, he is bound by the terms of the vow. He questions why, however, the sacrifice is itself is not sufficient if it is brought on the thirty-first day or afterwards.

The Or Sameach explains that on any day, until sunset, he is given the option of bringing his hair to the Chamber of the Nazirites and burning it there. From the evening onward, that option is no longer viable. Hence until he either burns his hair there or the evening arrives, he is not able to drink wine.

23.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 93) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 377) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. The mitzvah includes both the shaving performed after the conclusion of the nazirite vow in purity and that performed after a nazirite emerges from impurity.

24.

From the fact that Numbers 6:9 mentions a razor in the prohibition against a nazirite cutting his hair, Nazir 40a deducts that a razor should be used in the shaving process.

25.

For in several halachic contexts, two hairs are considered as significant entities.

26.

Since he let his hair grow back, he must shave his entire head, not merely the two hairs left initially. Note the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh who explain that the Rambam shares the approach of Tosafot with regard to the interpretation of Nazir 42a.

27.

Before his hair started to grow back.

28.

Since there were two hairs at the time he started shaving and ultimately, there were none remaining, he is considered to have fulfilled the mitzvah.

29.

For at the time he began acting, the mitzvah of shaving no longer applied.

30.

E.g., its blood was spilled before it was poured on the altar; alternatively, it came in contact with impurity and was thus invalidated.

31.

The rationale is that since he cut his hair off in an unacceptable manner, i.e., since the sacrifice was unacceptable, his shaving was unacceptable, the sacrifices he offers afterwards are also not acceptable.

32.

But rather for the sake of another type of sacrifice. This disqualifies the sin offering (Hilchot Pesulei Hamukdashim 15:1).

33.

Since the sin offering was unacceptable, the shaving is unacceptable. Accordingly, the sacrifices he offered afterwards are also unacceptable.

34.

In such an instance, the sacrifices are acceptable (i.e., the appropriate portions can be offered on the altar and the others eaten), but the person who brings them is not considered to have fulfilled his obligation (ibid.). Accordingly, the nazirite is considered as having shaved his head before he was allowed to.

35.

Since the shaving is unacceptable, the sin offering he brought afterwards is also unacceptable.

36.

For as stated in Halachah 5, as long as one of the sacrifices was brought in an acceptable manner, he is considered to have concluded his nazirite vow.

37.

Chapter 6, Halachah 1.

38.

Shaving his hair again.

39.

E.g., it was not offered for the sake of a peace offering or the ram was less than two years old.

40.

The portions appropriate for the altar may be offered there and one may partake of the meat. They are considered as peace offerings that were offered voluntarily.

41.

To fulfill the obligations of his nazirite vow, he must bring a different sacrifice.

42.

As is the rule governing the peace offerings of a nazirite. Peace offerings that are brought voluntarily may be eaten for two days and the intervening night.

43.

As is required for a peace offering of a nazirite (see Halachah 1).

44.

As is required for a peace offering of a nazirite (see Halachah 4). This interpretation is based on the explanations of the Or Sameach. The Merkevet HaMishneh quotes the Orach Mishor who suggests amending the text so that it reads "they require presents" - i.e., the breast and the thigh that are given to a priest in connection with a voluntarily peace offering - "but not the foreleg" - which is given to the priest in connection with a Nazirite's peace offering.

45.

I.e., the sacrificial animals may not have been consecrated previously and the bread may not come from terumah or the second tithe.

46.

Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 16:15. The rationale is that since he is obligated to bring these offerings, they must be brought from resources that belong to him entirely (Radbaz).

47.

The second tithe must be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there in a state of ritual purity. If a person lives outside Jerusalem, the Torah gives him the option of redeeming the second tithe with its worth and taking that money to Jerusalem to purchase food to be eaten there in a state of ritual purity. Although money with which the second tithe was redeemed may be used to purchase voluntary peace offerings, it may not be used to purchase the peace offerings of a nazirite, as indicated by the previous halachah.

48.

The rationale is that as soon as he says: "I am becoming a nazirite," he must observe the restrictions associated with a nazirite vow. The statement: "on the condition that..." does not take effect, because it was made after he become obligated to observe the nazirite restrictions (Rashi, Beitzah 20a). From this, Tosafot concludes that if he reverses the order of the clauses, saying: "On the condition that when I perform the shaving, I will be able to bring my sacrifices using [money exchanged for] the second tithe, I will become a nazirite," he may bring his sacrifices from such funds.

49.

This law applies when the nazirite is the sole heir, as stated at the conclusion of the halachah.

50.

Even if she is her father's sole heir (Nazir 30a).

51.

I.e., he did not specify which coins should used to purchase a particular type of sacrifice. See Chapter 9, Halachot 3-4.

52.

I.e., even though when he took the nazirite vow, he did not have the intent to use the money set aside by his father - because his father was alive at that time - he may use it for his vow.

53.

Even if he was a nazirite himself (Radbaz).

54.

Burnt offerings brought as an embellishment to the altar.

55.

The remainder of the costs of the sacrifices, he must add from his own funds.

56.

As he does with regard to other aspects of the inheritance. It is necessary to clarify this point, because one might think that since this money is not the sons' personal property, he would not be given this extra portion.

57.

See Chapter 3, Halachot 11-12, which explain that a nazirite for all time performs a shaving once a year and brings three sacrifices at that time.

58.

He may, however, use the funds to bring the sacrifices required when he becomes impure and emerges from impurity.

59.

The commentaries raise questions regarding this ruling, because the unresolved doubt raises questions in either direction. For just as it is possible that he did not fulfill his obligation by bringing the sacrifices with the money set aside by his father, it is possible that he did. Hence, were he to bring sacrifices with his own funds, they would be unnecessary and he would be slaughtering ordinary animals in the Temple courtyard (a serious transgression). There is a way to avoid this difficulty, for him to offer his second set of sacrifices conditionally, i.e., making a stipulation: "If the first set of sacrifices were acceptable, then these are voluntarily offerings. If, however, the first set were unacceptable, then these are the offerings required" (Kessef Mishneh).

This approach is, however, still somewhat problematic, because a sin offering may not be brought as a voluntary offering. Therefore, the Lechem Mishneh (in his gloss to the conclusion of Chapter 10) states that he should bring only a sin offering of a fowl which is brought when there is a doubt (see Chapter 10, Halachah 8, and notes). And the Lechem Mishneh continues, he need not bring a burnt offering and a peace offering at all. They are not of fundamental importance and the offerings he brought originally are sufficient for him.

60.

We have chosen a translation that reflects more the halachic meaning of the person's statements than the words' literal meaning.

61.

See Chapter 3, Halachah 8. The Ra'avad questions the Rambam's ruling, but the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify it, based on the interpretation of Nazir 12b.

62.

By bringing each other's sacrifices, they fulfill their vows to provide for the shaving of another nazirite and fulfill their obligations for their own nazirite vows. If they do not do this, they must each bring the sacrifices for their own vows and the sacrifices for another nazirite.

63.

This addition is made on the basis of the gloss of the Radbaz.

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