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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Nezirut - Chapter 3, Nezirut - Chapter 4, Nezirut - Chapter 5

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Nezirut - Chapter 3

1

If a specification is not made the term for a nazirite vow is 30 days. What is implied? If a person said: "I am a nazirite," [he must uphold his vow] for no less than 30 days.1 Even if he said: "I will be a nazirite for an excessively long and protracted time," he must uphold the nazirite vows for [only] 30 days, for he did not specify a time.2

א

סתם נזירות שלשים יום כיצד מי שאמר הריני נזיר אין פחות משלשים יום ואפילו אמר הריני נזיר נזירות גדולה עד מאד הרבה הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום שהרי לא פירש זמן:

2

If he specified a time span that was less than 30 days, e.g., he said: "I will be a nazirite for one day," "...for ten days," or "...for twenty days," he must observe the nazirite vow for 30 days. For there is no concept of a nazirite vow for less than 30 days. This concept was conveyed by the Oral Tradition.

ב

פירש זמן פחות משלשים כגון שאמר הריני נזיר יום אחד או עשרה ימים או עשרים יום הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום שאין נזירות פחותה משלשים יום ודבר זה הלכה מפי הקבלה:

3

If a person explicitly mentioned a time span greater than 30 days:, e.g., he mentioned 31 days, 40 days, 100 days, or 100 years, he is a nazirite for the time he specified, neither more nor less.

ג

פירש זמן יותר משלשים יום כגון שאמר אחד ושלשים יום או ארבעים או מאה יום או מאה שנה הרי זה נזיר כזמן שפירש לא פחות ולא יותר:

4

When a person says: "I will be a nazirite for one hour," he must uphold his nazirite vows for 30 days. If he said: "I will be a nazirite for 30 days and one hour," he must be a nazirite for 31 days. For there is no conception of a nazirite vow [only for] hours.3

ד

האומר הריני נזיר שעה אחת הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום אמר הריני נזיר שלשים יום ושעה אחת הרי זה נזיר אחד ושלשים יום שאין נוזרין שעות:

5

[The following rules apply when a person] says: "I will be a nazirite from here until this-and-this place." If he did not set out on the road, he must uphold his nazirite vow for only 30 days. For his intent was to make a vow for a long nazirite vow,4 [as evident from the fact that] he did not specify a time.

[Different rules apply if] he set out on the way. If it was less than a 30 day journey, he must uphold his nazirite vow for 30 days.5 If it was more than a 30 day journey, he must observe one nazirite vow for the duration of the days of the journey.6

ה

האומר הריני נזיר מכאן עד מקום פלוני אם לא החזיק בדרך הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום בלבד שלא נתכוון זה אלא לנזירות גדולה והרי לא פירש זמן ואם החזיק בדרך אם היה מהלך פחות משלשים יום הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום ואם היה יותר משלשים יום הרי זה נזיר נזירות אחת כמנין הימים:

6

When a person says; "I will observe two terms of nazirite vows," or three or four, he must observe the number of nazirite vows he mentioned, each one lasting 30 days. At the end of each 30 day period, he must shave and bring his sacrifices and begin observing his second nazirite vow. Even if he said: "I will observe 100,000 nazirite vows" - and it is impossible for him to live that long - he should observe them one by one7 until he concludes the amount of nazirite vows he took.

ו

מי שאמר הריני נזיר שתי נזירות או שלש או ארבע הרי זה נזיר כמנין שאמר כל נזירות מהן שלשים יום ובסוף כל שלשים ושלשים מגלח ומביא קרבנותיו ומתחיל למנות נזירות שניה אפילו אמר הריני נזיר מאה אלף נזיריות שאי אפשר שיחיה כזמן הזה הרי זה מונה אחת אחר אחת עד שימות או עד שישלים מנין נזירותיו:

7

When a person says: "I will observe nazirite vows as many days there are in a year," he must observe as many nazirite vows as there are days in a year. If he explicitly mentioned a solar year, he must observe 365 nazirite vows, with each one being 30 days long. If he mentioned a lunar year, he must observe 354 nazirite vows. If he did not explicitly state [a solar or a lunar year], he must observe 354 nazirite vows. [The rationale is that as] we already explained,8 with regard to vows, we follow the wording usually employed by people at large. Now, most of the solar years are 365 days long. Most of the lunar years are 354 days long. And when people at large use the term "year," they mean a lunar year.

ז

האומר הריני נזיר כמנין ימות השנה מונה נזירותיו כמנין ימות השנה אם פירש שנות החמה מונה שלש מאות וששים וחמש נזירות כל אחד מהן שלשים יום ואם פירש שנת לבנה מונה שלש מאות ארבע וחמשים נזירות ואם סתם מונה שלש מאות וארבע וחמשים נזירות שהרי בארנו שכל הנדרים הולכין אחר לשון בני אדם ורוב שני החמה שלש מאות וחמשה וששים יום מונין לה ורוב שני הלבנה שלש מאות וארבע וחמשים יום מונין לה ואין קורין כל העם שנה סתם אלא לשנת הלבנה:

8

When a person says: "I will observe one and a half nazirite vows," he is obligated to observe two nazirite vows.9 When one says: "I will be a nazir and one day," or "I will be a nazir and one hour," he must observe two nazirite vows.

If he says: "I am a nazirite and one," he must observe two nazirite vows. If he says: "I am a nazirite, one, and more," he must observe three nazirite vows. If he says: "I am a nazirite, one, more, and again," he must observe four nazirite vows.10

[If he says:] "I am a nazirite for 30 days and one day," he must observe one nazirite vow for 31 days.11

ח

האומר הריני נזיר אחת ומחצה הרי זה נזיר שתי נזירות אמר הריני נזיר ויום אחד או שאמר הריני נזיר ושעה אחת הרי זה נזיר שתי נזירות אמר הריני נזיר ואחת הרי זה נזיר שתים הריני נזיר ואחת ועוד הרי זה נזיר שלש נזירות הריני נזיר ואחת ועוד ושוב הרי זה נזיר ארבע נזירות הריני נזיר שלשים יום ויום אחד הרי זה נזיר נזירות אחת של שלשים ואחד יום:

9

[The following rules apply when] there are two pairs of witnesses who testify concerning a person. One testifies that he took two nazirite vows. The other testifies that he took five vows.12 He is required to observe two vows. For included in the five are two and thus all testify that he took two vows.13

ט

מי שהיו שתי כתי עדים מעידין אותו אלו מעידין שנזר שתים ואלו מעידין שנזר חמש הרי זה נזיר שתים שבכלל חמש שתים והרי כולן מעידים בשתים:

10

[The following rules apply when a person] took two nazirite vows, whether he took them both at the same time or took them one after the other, e.g., he said: "I am a nazirite for a day"14 and "I am a nazirite for a day." If he counted the days of the first vow and set aside his sacrifices15 and then asked for the absolution of his vow and had it released, the days he observed the first vow can count for the second. He can bring the sacrifices that he set aside and complete his obligation.

[Moreover,] even if he brought [the sacrifices for] his atonement and even if he shaved off his hair and then asked for his vow to be absolved, the observance of the first vow fulfills the second. [The rationale is that] the second vow does not take effect until after the first one is completed.16 And since the first vow was released, it is as if it did not exist initially.17

י

מי שנזר שתי נזירות בין שנדר שתיהן בבת אחת בין שנדר זו אחר זו כגון שאמר הריני נזיר יום הריני נזיר יום ומנה את הראשונה והפריש קרבן ואחר כך נשאל על הראשונה והתיר נדרו עלתה לו ראשונה בשניה ומביא זה הקרבן ונפטר ואפילו הביא כפרתו ואפילו גלח שערו ואח"כ נשאל עליה עלתה לו ראשונה בשניה שהרי אין השניה חלה אלא לאחר הראשונה והראשונה כיון שהתירה כאילו אינה מעיקרה:

11

When a person says: "I will be a nazirite forever" or "I will be a nazirite for all the days of my life," he is considered as a nazirite forever. If he says: "I will be a nazirite for 1000 years," he is considered as a nazirite for a limited time,18 even though it is impossible for a person to live for a 1000 years.

יא

מי שאמר הריני נזיר לעולם או הריני נזיר כל ימי חיי הרי זה נזיר לעולם ואם אמר הריני נזיר אלף שנה הרי זה נזיר לזמן קצוב ואף על פי שאי אפשר שיחיה האדם אלף שנה:

12

What is the difference between a nazirite forever and a nazirite for a limited time? A nazirite for a limited time is forbidden to cut his hair until the conclusion of his nazirite vow, as [Numbers 6:5] states: "Throughout the days of his nazirite vow, a razor shall not pass over his head until the days are completed." A nazirite forever, by contrast, may alleviate [the burden of his hair]19 with a razor every twelve months. When he cuts his hair, he must bring a sacrifice of three animals,20 as [II Samuel 14:26] states [with regard to Avshalom]: "From year to year, when he would shave, because his hair was heavy for him and he would shave." Avshalom was a nazirite forever. This concept is a halachah transmitted by the Oral Tradition.21

When a nazirite forever becomes impure, he must bring sacrifices [to atone for] impurity and shave as is required in an instance of impurity like a nazirite for a limited time.

יב

ומה בין נזיר עולם לנזיר לזמן קצוב שהנזיר לזמן אסור לגלח עד סוף ימי נזירו שנאמר כל ימי נדר נזרו תער לא יעבור על ראשו עד מלאת הימים ונזיר עולם אם הכביד שערו מקל בתער משנים עשר חדש עד שנים עשר חדש ומביא קרבנו שלש בהמות כשיגלח שנאמר ויהי מקץ ימים לימים אשר יגלח כי כבד עליו וגלחו ואבשלום נזיר עולם היה ודבר זה הלכה היא מפי הקבלה ונזיר עולם שנטמא הרי זה מביא קרבן טומאה ומגלח תגלחת טומאה כמו נזיר לזמן קצוב:

13

Samson was not a nazirite in a complete sense, for he never took a nazirite vow.22 It was merely that the angel caused him to be separated from impurity.23

What were the laws applying to him? He was forbidden to drink wine and cut his hair.24 He was, however, permitted to incur impurity due to contact with the dead.25 This concept is a halachah transmitted by the Oral Tradition.

יג

שמשון לא היה נזיר גמור שהרי לא נדר בנזיר אלא המלאך הפרישו מן הטומאה וכיצד היה דינו היה אסור ביין ואסור בתגלחת ומותר להטמא למתים ודבר זה הלכה מפי הקבלה:

14

Accordingly, if someone said: "Behold I am a nazirite like Samson," he is a nazirite forever with regard to [the prohibition against] cutting his hair and [drinking] wine. He may not cut his hair every twelve months like others who are nazirites forever.26 He is, however, permitted to become impure because of contact with the dead.27

If one says: "My intent was to refer to another person whose name is [also] Samson," he is not a nazirite.28 When a person takes a nazirite vow like Samson's, he is not permitted to have it absolved, for Samson's nazirite vow was [binding] forever.29

יד

לפיכך מי שאמר הריני נזיר כשמשון הרי זה נזיר מן התגלחת ומן היין לעולם ואינו מגלח כל שנים עשר חדש כשאר נזירי עולם ומותר להטמא למתים ואם אמר לא נתכוונתי אלא לאיש אחר ששמו שמשון אינו נזיר ומי שנדר נזיר כשמשון אינו יכול להשאל על נדרו שנזירות שמשון לעולם היתה:

15

When a person says: "Behold, I am like Samson," "...like Manoach's son," "...like Delilah's husband," "...like the one who uprooted the gates of Gaza," or "...like the one whose eyes were gouged out by the Philistines," he must keep the nazirite restrictions observed by Samson even though these deeds could have been performed by another person.30

טו

האומר הריני כשמשון כבן מנוח כבעל דלילה כמי שעקר דלתות עזה כמי שנקרו פלשתים את עיניו הרי זה נזיר כנזירות שמשון ואע"פשאפשר שנעשו מעשים אלו לאיש אחר:

16

[The prophet] Samuel of Rama was a nazirite forever.31 Therefore one who says: "Behold, I am like Samuel of Rama," "...like Chanah's son," "...like Elkanah's son," "...like the one who hewed Agag at Gilgal," or the like, he is a nazirite forever. We do not say that perhaps his intent was to refer to another person who performed such deeds.32

טז

שמואל הרמתי נזיר עולם היה לפיכך האומר הריני כשמואל הרמתי כבן חנה כבן אלקנה כמי ששסף את אגג בגלגל וכיוצא באלו הרי זה נזיר עולם ואין אומרין שמא לאיש אחר שמעשיו כאלה נתכוון:

17

When a person says: "Behold, I am a nazirite as this building is full" or "...as this container is full," we investigate his [intent]. If he says: "My intent was not to be a nazirite for my entire life. [Instead,] my intent was only to prolong the days of my nazirite vow for a long time," he must observe his nazirite vow for [only] 30 days.33

If he said: "I made this vow without any specific intent,"34 we see the container as if it is filled with mustard seeds and he must be a nazirite for his entire life. He is permitted to cut his hair every twelve months. [At that time,] he must bring sacrifices like everyone who is a nazirite forever.35

יז

האומר הריני נזיר מלא הבית או מלא הקופה בודקין אותו אם אמר לא היה בדעתי שאהיה נזיר כל ימי ולא נתכוונתי אלא להאריך זמן הנזירות זמן מרובה הרי זה נזיר שלשים יום בלבד ואם אמר סתם נדרתי רואים את הקופה כאילו היא מלאה חרדל ויהיה נזיר כל ימיו ויש לו לגלח משנים עשר חדש לשנים עשר חדש ויביא קרבנותיו כשאר נזירי עולם:

18

When a person says: "Behold, I am a nazirite like the hairs of my head," "...like the dust of the earth," or "like the sand of the sea," it is as if he said: "I will keep as many nazirite vows as I have hairs on my head," "...as there is dust on the earth," or "...as there is sand on the seashore." Therefore he must shave his hair36every 30 days and begin observing a second nazirite vow for 30 days, cut his hair37 and [continue this pattern] until he dies.38 Whenever he shaves his hair, he is forbidden to drink wine or become impure because of contact with the dead.39 If he drinks [wine] or becomes impure, even on the day he shaves his head, he is worthy of lashes.

יח

האומר הריני נזיר כשער ראשי או כעפר הארץ או כחול הים הרי זה כמי שאמר הרי נזירות עלי כמנין שער ראשי או כמנין עפר הארץ או כמנין חול הים לפיכך יגלח כל שלשים יום ויתחיל למנות נזירות שניה שלשים יום ויגלח וכן עד שימות ובכל תגלחת ותגלחת אינו שותה יין ולא מיטמא למתים ואם שתה או נטמא אפילו ביום התגלחת הרי זה לוקה:

19

When a person says: "Behold, I am a nazirite if I eat this loaf of bread," "Behold, I am a nazirite if I eat it," and "Behold, I am a nazirite if I eat it,"40 if he eats it, he is obligated to observe as many nazirite vows as he took.41 He observes them consecutively, each one for 30 days. At the end of each 30 days, he shaves [his hair] and brings his sacrifices.

יט

האומר הריני נזיר אם אוכל ככר זו הריני נזיר אם אוכלנה הריני נזיר אם אוכלנה ואכלה הרי זה חייב בנזירות כמנין שאמר ומונה אחת אחר אחת כל אחת מהן שלשים ומגלח בסוף כל שלשים ומביא קרבנו:

Footnotes
1.

Numbers 6:5 states that the nazir's hair "will be holy" קדוש יהיה. Nazir 5a notes that Yihiyeh יהיה is numerically equivalent to 30 and states that this is the span of an ordinary nazirite vow. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Nazir 1:3), the Rambam writes that the numerical equivalence is merely a support and that the concept was taught as as part of the Oral Tradition.

2.

And 30 days can be considered "an excessively long and protracted time."

3.

Hence if the time span he mentioned is less than 30 days, he is required to observe the vow for 30 days. When he says 30 days and an hour, the ruling is that since he mentioned more than 30 days, he is required to observe 31 days.

4.

Which is 30 days as explained above.

5.

For as above, there is no conception of observing a nazirite vow for a shorter time.

6.

I.e., he accepted the nazirite vow in the hope that its merit would arouse protective spiritual forces that would guard him over the course of the journey (Tosafot, Nazir 7a).

7.

I.e., he is not considered a nazirite for life as mentioned in Halachah 12.

8.

Hilchot Nedarim 9:1.

9.

Each one being 30 days. Since he spoke of nazirite vows, we understand that his intent was to observe more than one nazirite vow. Since there is no concept of observing half a nazirite vow, we require him to observe two.

10.

Each of the extra statements is considered as adding a nazirite vow.

11.

For it is not clear that he wanted to observe two nazirite vows. The commentaries note that there is slight difficulty with the Rambam's statement based on the text of Nazir 7b. Nevertheless, they offer several possible resolutions to the issue.

12.

The person himself denies taking any nazirite vows or says that he forgot about the matter (Nazir 20a and commentaries).

13.

I.e., there is no disagreement regarding that, so he is obligated to observe the two nazirite vows.

14.

In which instance he is obligated to observe a nazirite vow for an entire month (Halachah 2).

15.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 2.

16.

In this context, this statement means that as long as the first vow is being observed, the days cannot be reckoned as part of the observance of the second vow. Implied is that if they are not considered as part of the observance of the first vow, they can be considered as part of the observance of the second.

17.

See Hilchot Sh'vuot 6:17-18 which explains that a sages' absolution of a vow causes it to be considered as if it was never made.

18.

The differences between these two categories are discussed in the following halachah.

The Ra'avad notes that the Rambam's ruling appears to be based on the Tosefta and the Jerusalem Talmud (Nazir 1:4). The Babylonian Talmud (Nazir 8b) appears to differ, but the version of that text seems distorted.

19.

He should not, however, shave his head entirely.

20.

As is required when one completes a nazirite vow in purity. See Chapter 8, Halachah 1.

21.

Even though the concept is reinforced by a verse, were the Oral Tradition not to have conveyed this idea, the verse could have been interpreted otherwise (Kessef Mishneh).

22.

Although the angel gave instructions (Judges 13:5): "The youth shall be a nazirite unto God," Samson never took a nazirite vow himself, nor did his father administer one to him. See Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XVIII, pp. 68-70, which compares this situation to one in which a Jewish court converts a gentile child. When the child comes of age, if he does not protest, the conversion is binding upon him. Similarly, since Samson - and Samuel - did not protest, the nazirite restrictions conveyed from above became binding upon them.

24.

As Judges 16:17 states: "A razor has never been brought up against my head, for I am a nazirite unto God from my mother's womb."

25.

Hence he was not forbidden to come in contact with the corpses of the Philistines whom he killed (Nazir 4b).

26.

For Samson was not allowed to cut his hair at all, as indicated by the verse cited above.

27.

This is permitted even as an initial and preferred option [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Nazir 1:2).

28.

See Hilchot Nedarim 2:12 which explains that a person is given the option of explaining his intent with regard to a vow that he took. See the glosses of the Kessef Mishneh and the Radbaz to the following halachah which discuss in detail whether this rule applies when it seems obvious that the person's intent was to take a vow to be a nazirite like Samson was.

29.

Since Samson's nazirite vow was imposed upon him by an angel at God's command, it could not be absolved as other vows taken because of man's desires (Rashi, Makkot 22a).

30.

This applies if the person making the vow remains silent. If, however, he specifically states that his intent was another person, his word is accepted as stated in the previous halachah (Radbaz).

31.

Nazir 66a derives this concept through the principles of Biblical exegesis.

32.

This applies if the person making the vow remains silent. If, however, he specifically states that his intent was another person, his word is accepted as stated in the previous halachah (Radbaz).

33.

See Halachah 1.

34.

I.e., with the intent that my words be interpreted by the sages according to their principles.

35.

For he did not specify a time at which point his vow is concluded. See Halachah 12.

36.

And bring the required sacrifices.

37.

And bring the required sacrifices.

38.

For there are more hairs on one's head than 30 day periods in a person's life.

39.

Because the second nazirite vow begins as soon as the first one is concluded.

40.

I.e., he makes three successive vows concerning the same loaf of bread.

41.

I.e., this teaches that a nazirite vow can become binding even though one is already obligated to observe an existing vow.

Nezirut - Chapter 4

1

When a person says: "Behold I am a nazirite," he should perform the shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity1 on the thirty-first day.2 If he performed this shaving on the thirtieth day, he fulfills his obligation.3 If he says: "Behold I am a nazirite for thirty days," he may only perform the shaving on the thirty-first day.4

א

האומר הריני נזיר הרי זה מגלח תגלחת טהרה יום אחד ושלשים ואם גלח ביום שלשים יצא אמר הריני נזיר שלשים יום אינו מגלח אלא ביום אחד ושלשים:

2

When a person takes two nazirite vows, he should perform the shaving for the first one on the thirty-first day and the second on the sixty-first day.5 If he performed the first shaving on the thirtieth day, he should perform the second on the sixtieth.6 If he performed the [second] shaving on the fifty-ninth day, he fulfills his obligation, for the thirtieth day is counted also for the second nazirite vow.7

ב

מי שנזר שתי נזיריות מגלח את הראשונה ביום אחד ושלשים ואת השניה ביום אחד וששים ואם גלח את הראשונה יום שלשים מגלח את השניה יום ששים ואם גלח יום תשעה וחמשים יצא שיום שלשים עולה לו אף למנין נזירות שניה:

3

When a person says: "Behold I am a nazirite, and [will be] a nazirite should a son be born to me,"8 if he began9 observing his nazirite vow10 and then a son was born to him, he should complete his own nazirite vow and then begin counting [the one associated with] his son.

[The following rules apply if] he said: "Behold I will be a nazirite should a son be born to me and behold I am a nazirite for these-and-these days." If he began [observing] his own nazirite vow and then a son was born to him, he should interrupt [the counting of] his vow and begin counting [the one associated with] his son. Afterwards, he goes back and completes his own vow.11 They are both considered as one nazirite vow. Therefore if he becomes impure in the midst of the nazirite vow [associated with] his son, he invalidates everything. If he became impure after [completing] the nazirite vow [associated with] his son, he invalidates only [the days after the completion of] the nazirite vow [associated with] his son.12

For how many days [must he observe the nazirite laws] to complete his own [nazirite] vow?13 If there remained 30 days or more [from the days he was required to observe for] his nazirite vow14 after his son was born, he should observe the nazirite vow [associated with] his son and then complete the days remaining from his own nazirite vow. If less than 30 days remain from his nazirite vow, he must count 30 days after the nazirite vow [associated with] his son, for there is never less than 30 days between one shaving [associated with the conclusion of a nazirite vow] and another.

ג

האומר הריני נזיר ונזיר כשיהיה לי בן והתחיל נזירות שלו ואחר כך נולד לו בן משלים את שלו ואח"כ מונה את של בנו אמר הריני נזיר כשיהיה לי בן והריני נזיר כך וכך יום והתחיל בנזירות שלו ואחר כך נולד לו בן פוסק נזירות שלו ומונה את של בנו ואח"כ חוזר ומשלים את שלו והרי שתיהן כנזירות אחת לפיכך אם נטמא בתוך נזירות של בנו סותר הכל נטמא אחר נזירות בנו כשהתחיל להשלים נזירותו אינו סותר אלא עד נזירות בנו ובכמה ימים משלים את שלו אם נשאר מנזירותו כשנולד הבן שלשים או יותר מונה נזירות בנו ומשלים הימים שנשארו מנזירותו ואם נשארו מנזירותו פחות משלשים מונה שלשים אחר נזירות בנו שאין בין תגלחת לתגלחת פחות משלשים יום:

4

What is implied? One says: "Behold I will be a nazirite when a son will be born to me and behold I am a nazirite for 100 days," he begins observing his nazirite vow and then a son was born to him. If 30 or more days remain from the 100 days concerning which he took the vow after his son was born, he does not forfeit anything. For he [temporarily] concludes his own nazirite vow, begins counting that associated with his son, performs the shaving, brings his sacrifices and then completes the 30 or more days that remain from his own nazirite vow. [At its conclusion,] he performs the shaving. If less than 30 remain from the 100, he forfeits some until [it is counted that he observed] 70 [days].

ד

כיצד האומר הריני נזיר כשיהיה לי בן והריני נזיר מאה יום והתחיל בנזירות שלו ונולד לו בן אם נשאר מן המאה שנדר שלשים יום או יתר כשנולד הבן לא הפסיד כלום שהרי פוסק נזירות שלו ומתחיל ומונה של בנו ומגלח ומביא קרבנותיו ומשלים השלשים או יתר שנשארו מנזירותו ומגלח לנזירותו ואם נשאר מן המאה פחות משלשים סותר עד שבעים:

5

What is implied? If his son was born on the eightieth day, he should count the vow associated with his son, complete that vow, perform the shaving, and begin counting 30 days after that shaving. Thus he loses the ten days that [immediately] preceded [the birth of] his son, i.e., the days from the seventieth day until the son's birth. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ה

כיצד נולד הבן ביום שמונים מונה של בנו ומשלים את של בנו ומגלח ומתחיל למנות מאחר התגלחת שלשים יום ונמצא מפסיד מקודם הולד עשרה ימים שהם מיום שבעים עד הולד וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

6

When a person says: "Behold I will be a nazirite15 after twenty days pass," and then says: "I am a nazirite beginning now for 100 days,"16 he should observe his nazirite vow for twenty days17 and interrupts [his counting].18 He then begins to count 30 days for the nazirite vow that was to begin after twenty days. After he completes [the observance of this vow], he performs the shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity and brings his sacrifices. He then counts the 80 days to complete the 100, performs the shaving and brings his sacrifices.

ו

האומר הריני נזיר לאחר עשרים יום וחזר ואמר הריני נזיר מעתה מאה יום מונה עשרים יום ופוסק ומתחיל למנות שלשים שהיא הנזירות שנדר לאחר עשרים ואחר השלשים מגלח תגלחת טהרה ומביא קרבנותיו וחוזר ומונה שמונים יום כדי להשלים המאה שנדר בסוף ומגלח ומביא קרבנותיו:

7

If one says: "Behold I will be a nazirite after twenty days pass," and then says: "I am a nazirite beginning now," he should [observe the second vow first,] counting 30 days. He should then perform the shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity,19 and count another 30 days. This is for the vow he took that would begin after 20 days.

One might say: Let him observe 20 days, interrupt [the observance of that vow], and observe 30 days and perform a shaving.20 Thus there will remain ten days left from the nazirite vow which he began to observe initially for which he observed only 20 days. [We do not say this, because] there may never be less than 30 days between shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity and another.

ז

אמר הריני נזיר לאחר עשרים יום והריני נזיר מעתה מונה שלשים יום ומגלח תגלחת טהרה וחוזר ומונה שלשים יום אחרים והיא הנזירות שנדר לאחר עשרים שאם תאמר מונה עשרים ופוסק מונה שלשים ומגלח נשארו מנזירות שהתחיל בה עשרה יום בלבד ואין בין תגלחת טהרה לתגלחת טהרה לעולם פחות משלשים יום:

8

If one says: "Behold I will be a nazirite after twenty days pass," and then says: "I am a nazirite forever beginning now," the nazirite vow which he took originally never takes effect.21

ח

אמר הריני נזיר לאחר עשרים יום וחזר ואמר הריני נזיר עולם מעתה לא חלה עליו נזירות שנדר בראשונה:

9

Similarly, if one says: "Behold I will be a nazirite like Samson22 after twenty days pass," and then says: "I am a nazirite beginning now, he should not shave for the last nazirite vow he took.23

ט

וכן אם אמר הריני נזיר שמשון לאחר עשרים יום וחזר ואמר הריני נזיר מעתה אינו מגלח לנזירות זו שנדר באחרונה:

10

When a person says: "Behold I am a nazirite one day before I die," he is forbidden to drink wine, to become impure [due to contact with the dead], and to shave forever.24

י

מי שאמר הרי אני נזיר יום אחד לפני מיתתי הרי זה אסור לשתות יין ולהטמא ולגלח לעולם:

11

[The following rules apply when a person takes a vow,] saying: "I will be a nazirite on the day when the son of David25 comes." If he took the vow during the week, he is forbidden to [perform any act that violates the nazirite prohibitions] forever.26 If he took the vow on the Sabbath or a festival, he is permitted on that Sabbath or festival. Afterwards, he is forbidden forever.

[The rationale is that] there is a doubt concerning the question whether [the son of David] will come on a Sabbath or festival or not.27 Since the matter is an unresolved question, on the day he took the nazirite vow, the nazirite [restrictions] do not apply to him. For whenever there is a question whether the nazirite restrictions apply, we rule leniently.28 On the following Sabbath, although the above question still remains, it does not eliminate the nazirite vow that has taken effect concerning him.

יא

האומר הריני נזיר ביום שבן דוד בא בו אם בחול נדר הרי זה אסור לעולם ואם בשבת או ביום טוב נדר אותה שבת או אותו יום טוב מותר מכאן ואילך אסור לעולם שהדבר ספק אם יבא בשבת או ביום טוב או לא יבוא והואיל והוא ספק ביום שנדר לא חלה עליו נזירות שספק נזירות להקל מכאן ואילך חלה עליו נזירות ושבת הבאה שהיא ספק אינה מפקעת נזירות שחלה עליו:

12

When a nazirite completes the days of his nazirite vow and does not perform the shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity,29 he is forbidden to shave, to drink wine, and to become impure due to contact with the dead as he was before and all the particular laws associated with the nazirite vow are incumbent on him. If he shaves, drinks wine, or becomes impure [because of contact with the dead], he is liable for lashes.30

יב

נזיר ששלמו ימי נזירותו ולא גלח תגלחת טהרה הרי זה אסור לגלח ולשתות יין ולהטמא למתים כשהיה מקודם וכל דקדוקי נזירות עליו ואם גלח או שתה יין או נטמא לוקה:

13

[The following rules apply when a person] takes a nazirite vow and thinks that it is not binding and hence acts as if he was not bound by his vow and drinks wine.31 Afterwards, he asked a sage and he ruled that it is a vow and that he is obligated to observe the nazirite laws. He should count the days from the day on which he took the vow.32 According to Rabbinic decree, he should continue to observe the prohibitions for the number of days which he acted as if it was permitted to him.

יג

מי שנדר בנזיר ודמה שאינו נדר והיה נוהג היתר בנדרו ושתה יין ולאחר זמן שאל לחכם והורהו שהוא נדר ושהוא חייב בנזירות הרי זה מונה משעה שנדר ומדברי סופרים שינהוג איסור כימים שנהג בהן היתר:

14

What is implied? He took a vow for 30 days and acted as if his vow was permitted for ten days and observed the prohibitions for twenty days. After the thirtieth day, he asked a sage and he told him that he was forbidden. He must observe ten days from the time he asked to compensate for the ten days during which he acted as if he was permitted. If he drinks [wine], shaves, or becomes impure [due to contact with a corpse], he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.33

יד

כיצד הרי שנדר שלשים יום ונהג היתר בנדרו עשרה ימים ונהג איסור עשרים יום ולאחר השלשים שאל לחכם ואסר לו הרי זה מונה עשרה ימים מיום ששאל כנגד העשרה שנהג בהן היתר ואם שתה או גלח או נטמא בעשרת ימים האלו מכין אותו מכת מרדות:

15

When does the above apply? With regard to a nazirite vow for a short time.34 If, by contrast, he took a prolonged nazirite vow,35 it is sufficient that he observe a nazirite vow for 30 days even though he violated this prolonged nazirite vow for his entire life. If he does not observe a prohibition at all, we do not pay attention to him at all.36

טו

במה דברים אמורים בנזירות מועטת אבל בנזירות מרובה דיו שינהוג שלשים יום בנזירות אף על פי שעבר על נזירותו המרובה כל ימיו ואם לא נהג איסור בעצמו אין נזקקין לו כלל:

16

Whenever a court pays attention to such a person or one like him and they inform these people who act contemptuously with regard to vows that they are not obligated to observe them according to Scriptural law, or they give a lenient ruling or they find a rationale why he could ask for the absolution of the vow, we place that court of commoners under a ban of ostracism.

טז

כל בית דין שנזקקין לזה וכיוצא בו ומודיעין לאלו שמזלזלין בנדרים שאין חייבין מן התורה או שיורו להן להקל או שיפתחו להן פתח מנדין אותו בית דין ההדיוט:

17

When a woman takes a nazirite vow, the days of the vow are completed, she brings her sacrifices, one of the animals is slaughtered and its blood is poured [on the altar], if her husband hears of her vow, he cannot nullify it. This applies even if she has not shaven her hair already. Before its blood is poured on the altar, he may nullify her vow.37

When does the above apply? With regard to the shaving [required when a nazirite vow is completed in] purity. With regard to the shaving performed because one has contracted impurity, the husband may nullify her vow. Even though she has already offered the sacrifices associated with the contraction of impurity, [he may nullify her vow,] because she still must observe another nazirite vow.38

יז

האשה שנדרה בנזירות ושלמו ימי הנזירות והביאה קרבנותיה ונשחטה אחת מן הבהמות ונזרק דמה ואחר כך שמע בעלה אע"פ שעדיין לא גלחה אינו יכול להפר ואם קודם זריקה הרי זה יפר בד"א בתגלחת טהרה אבל בתגלחת טומאה יפר אף על פי שקרבו הקרבנות של תגלחת טומאה מפני שהיא עדיין צריכה למנות נזירות אחרת:

Footnotes
1.

See Chapter 8, Halachah 1. As mentioned there, he also brings the appropriate sacrifices.

2.

For unless he specifies otherwise, a nazirite vow must be upheld for 30 days.

3.

This leniency is granted based on the principle that a portion of a day is considered as the entire day. Hence it is considered as if he observed his vow for 30 days (see Nazir 5b and notes).

4.

Since he explicitly mentioned 30 days, we assume that he meant thirty complete days.

5.

For the thirty-first day is considered as the first day of the second vow.

6.

In this instance, the thirtieth day is considered as the first day of the second vow.

7.

For a portion of the day is considered as the entire day.

8.

I.e., he is vowing to observe two nazirite vows. One is unconditional and the other is dependent on whether or not a son is born to him.

9.

The Radbaz emphasizes that these laws apply when he began observing his own nazirite vow before his son was born. If his son was born before he began observing his own nazirite vow, he may observe whichever vow he desires first.

10.

I.e., the vow he took without making it conditional on the birth of a son.

11.

As illustrated in the conclusion of the halachah.

12.

Because he has already observed the rites marking the completion of the nazirite vow associated with his son.

According to the Rambam, in such an instance, the person's observance of the days of his vow that preceded the vow associated with his son is considered significant. The rationale is that if the observance of the vow associated with his son is considered significant, the days that preceded it are likewise significant. The Ra'avad differs and maintains that although the observance of the vow associated with his son is significant, none of the days associated with his own vow should be counted. For his own vow is an integral unit and should be considered as such.

13.

I.e., in a situation where he does not become impure and must complete his own vow after completing the vow associated with the birth of his son. See the illustrations in the following halachot.

14.

I.e., his own nazirite vow was prolonged, extending more than the required 30 days.

15.

I.e., he takes an ordinary nazirite vow which extends 30 days.

16.

And thus the two vows clash.

17.

Thus he will have observed 20 of the 100 days of his longer vow.

18.

He does not, however, perform a shaving or bring sacrifices.

19.

Completing the observance of that vow.

20.

Completing the observance of that vow.

21.

Because it is superceded by the second vow which is binding for life. The observance of that vow prevents the observance of the original vow.

22.

See Chapter 3, Halachot 13-14.

23.

The rationale is that he is not allowed to shave because of his first vow. He must, however, observe the stringencies of an ordinary nazirite vow for the first 20 days and perhaps, even for the first 30 days (Radbaz).

24.

For that day might be the day of his death in which instance retroactively the vow he took would take effect. See the notes to the following halachah.

25.

I.e., the Mashiach.

26.

For perhaps the Mashiach will come that day. As we say in the popular restatement of the Rambam's Thirteen Principles of Faith, "I await his coming every day."

27.

The Rambam's ruling is based on Eruvin 43b. The Kessef Mishneh interprets the Rambam's understanding of that passage as follows: There is a question whether the prohibition against going beyond one's Sabbath boundaries (see Hilchot Shabbat, ch. 27) applies ten handbreadths above the ground or not. Thus there is a question whether Mashiach - who obviously will observe the Sabbath laws - can come on the Sabbath for that will require him descending from heaven and thus going beyond his Sabbath boundaries.

(Kin'at Eliyahu questions the entire issue, noting that according to the Rambam, Mashiach will be a flesh and blood human being who will "wage the wars of G‑d... build the Temple" (see Hilchot Melachim 11:1). No where does the Rambam make mention of him descending from heaven.

28.

Seemingly, every day, there is a question whether the Mashiach will come and hence, we should rule leniently every day. The Radbaz explains that since we are certain that it is possible for Mashiach to come that day, he must observe the nazirite restrictions. For if Mashiach would actually come that day, retroactively the vow he took would take effect.

29.

As evident from Chapter 8, Halachah 5, more precisely, it is the nazirite's offering of his sacrifices and not his shaving which completes his nazirite vow.

30.

Nazir 15a derives this concept from the exegesis of Numbers 6:6.

31.

The laws mentioned here apply only to drinking wine. Shaving or becoming impure nullify his nazirite vow and require him to begin counting again anew. See Chapter 6, Halachot 1-3.

32.

When these days are completed, according to Scriptural law, he is no longer obligated to observe his nazirite vow even though he did not observe it for the full amount of time that he vowed.

33.

This is the punishment given for breaking a Rabbinic decree.

34.

A nazirite vow of 30 days.

35.

A vow for a longer period.

36.

The sages pay no attention to him. Even if there is legitimate reason for him to ask for his vow to be released, his request is not heeded (Ra'avad).

37.

For he has the right to nullify a nazirite vow which his wife takes (Chapter 2, Halachah 17).

38.

For the impurity nullifies the observance of the nazirite vow entirely.

Nezirut - Chapter 5

1

There are three matters that are forbidden to a nazirite: a) ritual impurity [resulting from contact with a human corpse],1 b) shaving [his hair],2and c) [partaking of] products of the vine. [This applies] both to the fruit3or the waste products of the fruit.4 Alcoholic beverages made from dates, figs, or the like are permitted to a nazirite. The shaichar forbidden to [a nazirite] by the Torah5 is an alcoholic beverage made from a mixture of wine.6

א

שלשה מינין אסורין לנזיר הטומאה והתגלחת והיוצא מן הגפן בין פרי בין פסולת פרי אבל השכר של תמרים או של גרוגרות וכיוצא בהן מותר לנזיר ושכר זה שנאסר עליו בתורה הוא השכר של תערובת היין:

2

What is meant by "products of the grape vine"? When a nazirite eats an olive-sized portion of the fruit [of the vine]: fresh grapes, raisins, or unripened grapes, or he eats an olive-sized portion of the waste products of the fruit which are the peels or the seeds, he is liable for lashes. Similarly, if he drank revi'it7 of wine or ate an olive-sized portion of coagulated wine - this is considered as fruit - or drank a revi'it of vinegar - which is the waste products of the fruit - he is liable for lashes. Grape leaves, the tender shoots of the branches of the vine, grape sap, and grape buds are permitted to a nazirite, for they are neither fruit, nor the waste products of fruit, but rather are considered as parts of the tree.

ב

היוצא מן הגפן כיצד נזיר שאכל כזית מן הפרי שהוא ענבים לחים או יבשים או בוסר או שאכל כזית מפסולת הפרי שהיא הזגין והם הקליפה החיצונה או החרצנים והם הזגין הפנימין שזורעים אותן הרי זה לוקה וכן אם שתה רביעית יין או אכל כזית מיין קרוש שהוא הפרי או שתה רביעית חומץ שהוא פסולת הפרי הרי זה לוקה אבל העלין והלולבים ומי גפנים והסמדר הרי אלו מותרין לנזיר שאינן לא פרי ולא פסולת פרי אלא מן העץ הן נחשבין:

3

All forbidden grape [products] can be combined together [to produce the minimum measure for which one is liable for lashes].8

What is implied? One who mixed together fresh grapes with raisins, or with unripened grapes, pits, and peels, and ate an olive-sized portion of the mixture is liable for lashes. Similarly, if he ate them one after the other9 until he ate an olive-sized portion of the entire group, he is liable for lashes. Similarly, he is liable for lashes if he drank a revi'it of a mixture of wine and vinegar.10

ג

כל איסורי גפן מצטרפין זה עם זה כיצד הרי שצירף ענבים לחים עם יבשים או עם בוסר וחרצן וזג ואכל מן התערובת כזית לוקה וכן אם אכלם זה אחר זה עד שאכל מן הכל כזית לוקה וכן אם שתה רביעית תערובת יין וחומץ לוקה:

4

A permitted substance is not included together with a forbidden substance [to produce the minimum measure] for which a nazirite [is liable for lashes].11

What is implied? Wine was mixed together with honey [producing a mixture] in which the flavor of wine [could be tasted in] its entirety and [a nazirite] drank the mixture. Raisins were pressed together with dried figs [producing a mixture] in which the flavor of raisins [could be tasted in] its entirety and [a nazirite] ate the mixture. He is not liable for lashes unless there will be an olive-sized portion of grape products in a portion of the mixture the size of three eggs as is the law with regard to other prohibitions that are forbidden universally, as we explained in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot.12

ד

דבר המותר אינו מצטרף לדבר האסור בנזיר כיצד יין שנתערב בדבש אף על פי שטעם הכל טעם יין ושתה מן התערובת וכן הצמוקין שדרסן עם הגרוגרות וטעם הכל טעם צמוקין ואכל מן התערובת אינו לוקה עד שיהיה מדבר האסור בתערובת כזית בכדי שלש ביצים ואכל כשלש ביצים כשאר האיסורין השוים בכל אדם כמו שבארנו בהלכות מאכלות אסורות:

5

Similarly, if a person soaked his bread in wine and there was a revi'it of wine within k'dei [achilat] p'ras13 of the bread and he ate a p'ras [of the bread], he will have consumed a revi'it of wine.14 [Hence,] he is worthy of lashes. Concerning this and similar situations, the Torah [Numbers 6:3] states: "Anything that has been steeped in grape [wine] shall you not partake."15 This forbids an entity in which wine has been mixed and its flavor is the flavor of wine.16 [This applies] provided it has both the flavor and substance [of the wine] as is the case with regard to other prohibited foods.17

ה

וכן אם שרה פתו ביין והיה הרביעית יין בכדי פרס מן הפת ואכל כדי פרס שנמצא שאכל רביעית יין הרי זה לוקה ועל זה וכיוצא בו נאמר בתורה וכל משרת ענבים לאסור דבר שנתערב בו היין וטעמו כטעם היין והוא שיהיה טעמו וממשו כשאר איסורי מאכלות:

6

If wine or the like were mixed together with honey and the flavor of wine cannot be detected, it is permitted for a nazirite [to partake of the mixture]. [The nazirite prohibitions] should not be considered more severe than [those against] fat and blood.18

ו

נתערב יין וכיוצא בו בדבש ואין שם טעם יין הרי זה מותר לנזיר לא יהיה זה חמור מחלב ודם:

7

If the mixture had the flavor of wine, but there is not a revi'it of wine within k'dei [achilat] p'ras, [the mixture] is prohibited according to Rabbinic decree, as we explained in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot.19 If [a nazirite] partakes of it, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.

ז

היה בו טעם יין ואין שם רביעית בכדי אכילת פרס הרי זה אסור מדברי סופרים כמו שבארנו בהלכות מאכלות אסורות ומכין אותו אם אכל מכת מרדות:

8

When a nazirite eats an olive-sized portion of grapes, an olive-sized portion of [grape] seeds, an olive-sized portion of [grape] peels, and an olive-sized portion of raisins, and drinks an olive-sized portion of wine - even if he squeezed a cluster of grapes and drank [their juice]20 - receives five sets of lashes. For each [of the substances is forbidden] by a different prohibition. And he receives a sixth set of lashes for the violation of [the prohibition]: "He shall not desecrate his word"21 that applies to all vows.

Similarly, if he ate an olive-sized portion of peels or an olive-sized portion of grapes, he receives two sets of lashes, one for the peels or one for the grapes, and he is given [an additional set of] lashes because of [the prohibition]: "He shall not desecrate his word." This law also applies to a nazirite who shaves [his hair] or becomes impure. He receives two sets of lashes: one because of the violation of the particular prohibition and one, because of the prohibition that applies to all vows: "He shall not desecrate his word."

ח

נזיר שאכל כזית ענבים וכזית חרצן וכזית זג וכזית צמוקים ושתה רביעית יין ואפילו סחט אשכול ושתה ממנו רביעית הרי זה לוקה חמש מלקיות שכל אחד מהן בלאו אחד הוא ולוקה מלקות ששית משום לא יחל דברו שהוא שוה בכל הנדרים וכן אם אכל כזית זג או כזית ענבים לוקה שתים אחת משום זג או משום ענבים ואחת משום לא יחל דברו והוא הדין לנזיר שגלח או נטמא שהוא לוקה שתים אחת על האסור המיוחד בו ואחת על האסור השוה בכל הנדרים שהוא לא יחל דברו:

9

When a nazirite drank a revi'it of wine and a revi'it of vinegar, he receives only one set of lashes. He is not liable for the wine and for the vinegar independently. [The rationale is that] the Torah does not say: "Do not drink wine" and "Do not drink vinegar." Instead, [it states, Numbers 6:3]: "[He shall abstain from wine or alcoholic beverages.] He shall not drink vinegar of wine or vinegar of alcoholic beverages," i.e., he should not drink wine or a beverage into which wine was mixed - [that is the meaning of the term,] "alcoholic beverages" [in the verse] - even if they have become vinegar.22 Since [the Torah] repeated only the term vinegar which is one term, he does not receive lashes for them both independently.

ט

נזיר ששתה רביעית יין ורביעית חומץ אינו לוקה אלא אחת שאינו חייב על היין בפני עצמו ועל החומץ בפני עצמו שאין כתוב יין לא ישתה וחומץ לא ישתה אלא כך חומץ יין וחומץ שכר לא ישתה כלומר לא ישתה יין ולא דבר שנתערב בו היין והוא השכר ואפילו החמיצו והואיל ולא כפל אלא החומץ שהוא שם אחד אינו לוקה על זה בפני עצמו ועל זה בפני עצמו:

10

When a nazirite is drinking wine for the entire day, even though he is liable in God's eyes23 for every revi'it, he receives only [two sets of] lashes, one for drinking wine and one for "desecrat[ing] his word," as we explained.24If he was given a warning for every revi'it, i.e., he was told: "Do not drink," "Do not drink," and he, [nevertheless,] did drink, he is liable for each [revi'it].25

According to Rabbinic decree, it is forbidden for a nazirite to abide amidst a gathering of people drinking wine. [Instead,] he should separate himself far from them, because they present a hurdle for him. Our Sages26 said: "Do not come close [even to] the area around the vineyard."27

י

נזיר שהיה שותה ביין כל היום כולו אע"פ שהוא חייב לשמים על כל רביעית ורביעית אינו לוקה אלא אחת משום יין ואחת דלא יחל דברו כמו שבארנו ואם התרו בו על כל רביעית ורביעית ואמרו לו אל תשתה אל תשתה והוא שותה חייב על כל אחד ואחד מדברי סופרים שאסור לנזיר לעמוד במושב שותי יין ויתרחק ממנו הרבה שהרי מכשול לפניו אמרו חכמים סביב לכרם לא יקרב:

11

When a nazirite cuts off one hair, whether using a razor or a scissor, he is liable for lashes, provided he cuts it from its roots as a razor would.28 Similarly, if he pulls out [a hair] by hand, he is liable for lashes. Both [the nazirite] whose hair is cut29 and the person who cuts his hair [are liable], as [indicated by Numbers 6:5]: "A razor will not pass over his head." If he left enough of [the hair] so that it could be bent over for its tip to touch its root, he does not receive lashes,30 because [cutting in this manner] is not [equivalent to shaving it] with a razor.

יא

נזיר שגלח שערה אחת לוקה בין בתער בין בזוג והוא שקצצה מעיקרה כעין תער וכן אם תלשה בידו לוקה אחד המגלח ואחד המתגלח שנאמר תער לא יעבור על ראשו ואם הניח ממנו כדי לכוף ראשה לעיקרה אינו לוקה שאין זה כעין תער:

12

If a person applied a potion that removed hair to his head and in this way, removed his hair, he is not liable for lashes.31 He is, however, nullifying the observance of a positive commandment, as [Numbers 6:5] states: "He shall let the mane of the hair of his head grow."

יב

העביר על ראשו סם שמשיר את השער והשיר את השער אינו לוקה אלא ביטל מצות עשה שנאמר גדל פרע שער ראשו:

13

When a nazirite shaves his entire head, he is liable for only one set of lashes for the shaving. If he was given a warning concerning each hair, i.e., he was told: "Do not shave," "Do not shave," and he shaved, he is liable for lashes for every hair.

יג

נזיר שגלח כל ראשו אינו לוקה משום התגלחת אלא אחת ואם התרו בו על כל שער ושער ואמרו לו אל תגלח אל תגלח והוא מגלח לוקה על כל אחת ואחת:

14

When a nazirite is scrubbing his hair with his hands and scraping [his scalp] with his nails, he need not worry [about removing hairs accidentally], because his intent is not to remove hair and it is possible that he will not remove any.32 He should not, however, comb his hair with a comb or scrape his head with earth, for [these activities] will certainly remove hair. If he does so, he is not liable for lashes.33

יד

נזיר חופף על שערו בידו וחוכך בצפרניו ואם נפל שער אינו חושש שהרי אין כוונתו להשיר ואפשר שלא ישיר אבל לא יסרוק במסרק ולא יחוף באדמה מפני שמשרת את השער ודאי ואם עשה כן אינו לוקה:

15

When a nazirite becomes impure through contact with a human corpse in a manner that would require him to remain impure for seven days,34 he is liable for lashes. [This applies] with regard to ritual impurity for which he is required to shave, as will be explained,35 and for ritual impurity for which he is not required to shave.36

טו

נזיר שנטמא למת טומאת שבעה בין בטומאות שהוא מגלח עליהן כמו שיתבאר בין בטומאות שאינו מגלח עליהן הרי זה לוקה:

16

[When a nazirite] becomes impure through contact with a human corpse many times, even though in God's eyes, he is liable for lashes for each time, the court holds him liable for only one set of lashes. If he was given a warning concerning each time, and he, nevertheless, became impure, he is liable for lashes for every time he [became impure].

טז

נטמא למת פעמים הרבה אף על פי שהוא חייב מלקות על כל אחת ואחת לשמים אין בית דין מלקין אותו אלא אחת ואם התרו בו על כל פעם ופעם והוא מטמא לוקה כל אחת ואחת:

17

When does the above apply? When he became impure and then returned and touched, carried, or stood over [the corpse]. If, however, he was touching a corpse and while the corpse was still in his hand, he touched another corpse, he is liable only once even though he was warned for each time he touched it, for his [state of purity] has already been desecrated.37

יז

במה דברים אמורים בשנטמא ופירש וחזר ונגע או נשא או האהיל אבל אם היה נוגע במת ועדיין המת בידו ונגע במת אחר אינו חייב אלא אחת אע"פ שהתרו בו על כל נגיעה ונגיעה שהרי מחולל ועומד:

18

When a nazirite enters a home and remains there until a person dies or he enters a shelter in which a corpse is located while he is in a closed container, chest, or closet38 and a colleague came and opened the top of the chest with his consent,39 he is liable for two sets of lashes:40 one, due to [the violation of] the prohibition [Numbers 6:6]: "He shall not approach a human corpse" and one, due to [the violation of] the prohibition [ibid.:7]: "He shall not become impure," for his impurity and his entry come about at the same time.41 If, however, he enters [such a shelter] in an ordinary manner, his becoming ritually impure precedes his entry. For from the time that his nose or his toes enter, he becomes ritually impure42 and he does not become liable for entering [the shelter] until his entire [body] enters.43

יח

נזיר שנכנס לבית ושהה שם עד שמת שם המת או שנכנס לאהל המת בשידה תיבה ומגדל ובא חבירו ופרע גג התיבה מעליו מדעתו הרי זה לוקה שתים אחת משום לא יבא ואחת משום לא יטמא שהרי טומאה וביאה באין כאחת אבל אם נכנס כדרכו טומאתו קודמת לביאתו שמעת שיכניס חוטמו או אצבעות רגליו נטמא ואינו חייב משום ביאה עד שיבוא כולו:

19

When [a nazirite] enters a shelter where a corpse is located or a cemetery unintentionally44 and after he discovers this fact, he received a warning, but did not jump up and leave, but instead remained there, he is liable for lashes.45[This applies] provided he remains there for the time it takes to prostrate oneself like a ritually impure person who enters the Temple.46

יט

נכנס לאהל המת או לבית הקברות בשגגה ואחר שנודע לו התרו בו ולא קפץ ויצא אלא עמד שם הרי זה לוקה והוא שישהא שם כדי השתחויה כמו טמא שנכנס למקדש:

20

[The following rules apply when one] causes a nazirite to contract ritual impurity. If the nazirite acted intentionally, the nazirite is liable for lashes and the person who caused him to contract impurity violates the prohibition against placing a stumbling block in front of the blind.47 If the nazirite was not aware of the transgression and the person who caused him to contract impurity acted intentionally, neither of them are liable for lashes.48

Why is the person who caused the nazirite to contract impurity not liable for lashes?49 Since [Numbers 6:9] states: "He defiles his Nazirite head," a person is only liable if he willfully causes his own self to incur impurity.50

כ

המטמא את הנזיר אם היה הנזיר מזיד הנזיר לוקה וזה שטמאו עובר משום ולפני עור לא תתן מכשול ואם היה הנזיר שוגג וזה שטמאו מזיד אין אחד מהם לוקה ולמה לא ילקה המטמא את הנזיר לפי שנאמר וטמא את ראש נזרו אינו לוקה עד שיטמא עצמו מדעתו:

21

When a nazirite who is in a state of ritual purity makes himself ritually impure, he is also liable for lashes for [the violation of the prohibition, Deuteronomy 23:22]: "Do not delay in paying it."51 For he delayed the fulfillment of his nazirite vow in purity and performed a deed.52 Similarly, if he took a nazirite vow while in a cemetery, he is also liable for lashes for [the violation of the prohibition]: "Do not delay in paying it."53

From this we learn, that a nazirite who made himself impure receives four sets of lashes:

a) because of the prohibition: "He shall not become impure,"

b) because of the prohibition: "He shall not desecrate his word,"

c) because of the prohibition: "Do not delay in paying it," and because of the prohibition: "He shall not approach..." if he entered and incurred ritual impurity at the same time, as we explained.54

כא

נזיר טהור שטמא עצמו לוקה אף משום לא תאחר לשלמו שהרי איחר נזירות טהרה ועשה מעשה וכן אם נדר בבית הקברות לוקה אף משום לא תאחר הא למדת שהנזיר שטמא עצמו לוקה ארבע מלקיות משום לא יטמא ומשום לא יחל דברו ומשום לא תאחר לשלמו ומשום לא יבוא אם היתה ביאה וטומאה כאחת כמו שבארנו:

Footnotes
1.

See Halachah 15 and onward.

2.

See Halachah 11.

3.

Whether grapes or wine.

4.

E.g., peels or pits. See the following halachah.

6.

E.g., a brandy, vermouth, or the like.

7.

I.e., a quarter of a larger measure called a log. A revi'it is 86 cc according to Shiurei Torah and 150 cc according to Chazon Ish.

8.

This represents a contrast to other Torah prohibitions. As stated in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 4:16, "when a person takes a small amount of fat, a small amount of blood, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher animal, a small amount of the meat of a nevelah, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher fish, a small amount of the meat of a non-kosher fowl, or the like from other prohibited substances, although he collects an olive-sized portion from the entire mixture and partakes of it, he is not liable for lashes."

9.

He must, however, eat the olived-sized portion within the time it takes to eat three eggs, as explained in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 14:8.

10.

From the Rambam's wording, it appears that eating and drinking are not combined to reach a single measure.

11.

This ruling is the subject of a difference of opinion among our Sages (Nazir 35b-37b). Although there is an opinion which maintains that with regard to a nazirite - in contrast to all the other prohibitions of the Torah - the permitted food should be counted as part of the forbidden measure, the Rambam does not accept this view as Halachah.

12.

Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:3.

13.

The measure described in the previous halachah.

14.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 14:9 where the Rambam states that to be liable for lashes, one must drink a prohibited substance in the time it takes to drink a revi'it. Here, however, he mentions the time it takes to eat k'dei achilat p'ras. It is possible to explain that here, the person is "eating" the wine, i.e., ingesting it as it is absorbed in solid food. Hence, he uses a measure of time that involves eating. In Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot, he speaks about drinking. Hence, he uses a measure of time that involves drinking.

15.

We have translated the verse according to its halachic interpretation. Its literal meaning is somewhat different.

16.

Nazir 37a exemplifies this concept as follows: One soaked grapes in water and the flavor of the water became that of grape juice.

17.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:3.

18.

I.e., as stated in Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:1-2, if a prohibited substance becomes mixed into another entity, its presence is nullified if there is so much of the permitted entity that the flavor of the prohibited substance cannot be detected. (When it is impossible to have someone taste the mixture, we require 60 times the amount of the forbidden substance.)

19.

See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:2-3. There the Rambam states that if there was less than an olive-sized portion of forbidden fat in a portion the size of three eggs, it is considered as if the substance of the prohibited substance is not present. Hence, according to Scriptural Law, there is no prohibition, even if the flavor of the forbidden fat is detectable.

The Ra'avad differs and quotes authorities who maintain that although lashes are not given in such an instance, the prohibition is of Scriptural origin.

20.

The Rambam is indicating that grape juice and wine are governed by the same laws. Alternatively, that grapes and grape juice are not considered as part of the same prohibition.

21.

See Hilchot Nedarim 1:5; see also Chapter 1, Halachah 2.

22.

I.e., the verse uses vinegar as an adjective for wine and mentions only prohibition. Thus the prohibition is against drinking wine, even wine that has become vinegar. Even though two separate adjurations are mentioned in the prooftext, there is no separate prohibition for drinking vinegar from wine and vinegar from alcoholic beverages coming from wine, because the end product, vinegar, is the same in both instances.

The Ra'avad differs and maintains that there is a separate prohibition against drinking vinegar, just like there are separate prohibitions against eating grapes and eating raisins. See the gloss of the Radbaz for a discussion of this matter.

23.

And God will mete out punishment to him for every violation [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Nazir 6:4)].

24.

See Halachah 8.

25.

The warning causes every violation to be considered independently (Radbaz).

26.

Avodah Zarah 59a.

27.

For if he comes close, he might be tempted to partake of the grapes.

28.

The prooftext cited below indicates that the hair must be removed as effectively as a razor does. It does not, however, indicate that only cutting it with a razor makes a person liable. Note the contrast to the prohibition against cutting the hairs of one's beard. As mentioned in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 12:1, that prohibition applies only to removal of one's hair with a razor.

29.

From a comparison to the laws governing the prohibition against shaving the corners of one's head (Ibid.:1), it would appear that the person whose hair is cut is not liable for lashes unless he assists the person doing the shaving by moving his head or the like. Otherwise, he will not performed a deed and one is liable for lashes only when his violation involves a deed.

30.

Nor are the days of one's nazirite vow nullified by such an act (Nazir 39b).

31.

The Radbaz explains the rationale for this leniency: When applying the potion, the person is not removing the hair with his own hands.

32.

Even though he had no intention of removing hairs, were it impossible to scrape his head with his nails without removing hair, it would be forbidden for him, because doing so would be tantamount to willfully removing hairs, as the Rambam continues. Compare to Hilchot Shabbat 1:6.

33.

For he did not intentionally remove the hairs (Kessef Mishneh). The Shiurei HaKorban explains that since these activities do not produce a razor-clean shave, he is not liable for the violation of a negative commandment. According to the Radbaz who maintains that such a commandment is in fact involved, the question arises: Since it is inevitable (a p'sik reishah) that the hairs will be removed, why is he not liable.

34.

I.e., the ritual impurity incurred when he touches or carries a corpse or is located under the same covering as it.

35.

See Chapter 7, where this subject is discussed in detail.

36.

The Mishneh LiMelech and other commentaries question the Rambam's ruling, noting that in Hilchot Tumat Meit 3:3, he writes: "All ritual impurity resulting from a corpse for which a nazirite is not required to shave does not stem from Scriptural Law." If the impurity does not stem from Scriptural Law, why is the nazirite punished by lashes?

The Ma'aseh Rokeach explains that 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. See also Chapter 7, Halachah 1, where this issue is discussed.

37.

The Rambam's ruling can be explained based on the following concept: When a person is in contact with a corpse, a person he touches is impure for seven days. When, however, he is not in contact with a corpse, a person he touches is impure only until the evening.

Thus if he is in contact with a corpse, there is no difference halachically if he touches another corpse. If, however, he is not in contact with a corpse, it is halachically significant if he touches another corpse, because the impurity resulting from touching him is more severe. And since touching the corpse is halachically significant for others, it is also halachically significant for him. Hence he is liable for lashes for such contact.

38.

I.e., while he is in a closed container, it is as if he is not under the same shelter as the corpse and he does not contract ritual impurity.

39.

If the container is opened without his consent, he is not liable, for he is considered to have transgressed due to forces beyond his control. See Hilchot Evel 3:5.

40.

For as mentioned in the mitzvot cited in the introduction to these halachot and in Chapter 1, Halachah 1, there are two prohibitions involved in this instance as the Rambam continues to explain.

41.

The removal of the top of the container brings about his "entry" into the place where the corpse is located and, at that same time, he becomes impure.

42.

See Hilchot Tuma'at Meit 1:11.

43.

Compare to Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 3:18.

In this instance, since he is already ritually impure, the prohibition against entering a place of ritual impurity does not apply to him (Nazir 43a).

44.

I.e., he was not aware that a corpse was located in this place or that it was a cemetery.

45.

The commentaries question why the person is liable for lashes. Although he is performing a transgression by remaining in the cemetery, seemingly, the performance of that transgression does not involve a deed and hence, he should not be liable for lashes. The Lechem Mishneh explains that since he performed a deed when he entered in violation of the prohibition, he is liable when he remained afterwards in conscious violation of the prohibition. Others cite the gloss of the Maggid Mishneh to Hilchot Sechirut 13:2 which explains that whenever a transgression usually involves a deed - as a nazirite would usually perform a deed to contract ritual impurity - one is liable for lashes even when one violates the transgression without performing a deed. See also Hilchot Evel 3:4.

46.

See Hilchot Bi'at HaMikdash 3:21-24.

47.

See Hilchot Rotzeach 12:14 which interprets this as a general prohibition, warning a person against causing a colleague to transgress.

48.

The nazirite is not liable because he did not transgress intentionally. The other person is not liable for the reasons the Rambam proceeds to explain.

49.

See Hilchot Evel 3:5 which states that in a parallel situation when a person causes a priest to become ritually impure, the person who causes him to incur the impurity is indeed, liable. For it is the person who causes him to incur impurity who violates the prohibition. And similarly, one who shaves a nazirite's head is liable (Halachah 11).

50.

See the gloss of the Radbaz to Hilchot Kilayim 10:31 which comments on the apparent contradiction between that halachah and the ruling here.

51.

See Chapter 1, Halachah 4; Hilchot Arachin VaCharamim 1:1; Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot 14:13, with regard to the nature of this prohibition.

52.

By incurring ritual impurity.

53.

The commentaries question: Since he was in the cemetery at the time he took the vow, seemingly, his violation of the prohibition does not involve a deed. Generally, when a transgression does not involve a deed, lashes are not given. Why then is he liable? Among the resolutions offered is that failing to depart is also considered a deed (Tosafot, Nazir 17a).

54.

See Halachah 18.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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