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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 84a

Raba objected before R. Nahman: Now, is the husband not included in the term 'MANKIND'? But we learnt: [If she vows,] 'May I be removed from all Jews,' he must annul his own portion therein, and she shall minister unto him, whilst remaining removed from all Jews.1  But if you say that the husband is not included in MANKIND,2  it is a vow of self-denial, which he should permanently annul?3  — Here it is different, because it is obvious that she forbids to herself [primarily] what is [normally] permitted.4

SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM THE GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES, AND PE'AH. Now the poor tithe is not included;5  but it was taught in the Baraitha: And [she can benefit] from the poor tithe? — Said R. Joseph: That is no difficulty: one [teaching] agrees with R. Eliezer, the other with the Rabbis. For we learnt, R. Eliezer said: One need not designate the poor-tithe of demai;6

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. If she is divorced or becomes a widow. Infra 90a.
  2. [The terms 'Jews' and 'mankind' are taken to denote the same thing in relation to the husband.]
  3. For if the husband is not included in 'mankind', her vow cannot refer to cohabitation, which is forbidden in any case, but to benefit in general, and hence is a vow of mortification, which he can permanently annul (as stated on 79b); why then state 'whilst remaining removed from all Jews,' which, on this hypothesis, means that she may never benefit from them. So cur. edd. and as rendered by Asheri. Ran, Tosaf. and the chief reading of Asheri are much simpler: But if the husband is not included in mankind, why annul his own portion therein, seeing that the vow never referred to him?
  4. Hence she must have meant her husband too, it being altogether unlikely that her vow bore reference to after divorce. But normally the term does not include her husband.
  5. In the third and sixth years of the septennate a tithe was separated for the poor, the owner of the field giving it directly to whomsoever of the poor he pleased.
  6. V. next note.
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Nedarim 84b

whilst the Sages say: He must designate [it], but need not separate it.1  Now surely he who maintains that the doubt2  renders it tebel,3  also holds that he [the owner] possesses the good will thereof,4  and that being so, he may not benefit [her].5  Whilst he who maintains that no designation is necessary, is of the view that the doubt does not render it tebel;6  and wherever the doubt does not render it tebel, he [the owner] enjoys no goodwill therein,7  and therefore she may benefit therefrom.8  Said Abaye to him: [No.] All agree that the doubt renders it tebel, but R. Eliezer and the Rabbis differ in this: R. Eliezer maintains that the 'amme ha-arez are not suspected of withholding the poor tithe, since should he renounce the title to his property and thus become a poor man, he may take [the tithe] himself; hence he suffers no loss.9  But the Rabbis hold that no one will renounce ownership of his property, for he fears that another may acquire it;10  therefore they are suspected.11  Raba said: Here [the Mishnah] refers to the poor tithe distributed in the [owner's] house,12  in connection wherewith 'giving' is mentioned, [viz.,] and thou shalt give it unto the Levite, the stranger, etc.;13  therefore one [who vows not to benefit from mankind] may not benefit therefrom.14  Whilst there [in the Baraitha] the reference is to the poor tithe distributed in the threshing floor; since it is written thereof, And thou shalt leave it at thy gates,15  one may benefit therefrom.

'KONAM BE THE BENEFIT PRIESTS AND LEVITES HAVE FROM ME,' THEY CAN SEIZE, ETC. Thus we see that goodwill benefit has no monetary value.16  Then consider the last clause: [BUT IF HE VOWS]. 'KONAM BE THE BENEFIT THESE PRIESTS AND LEVITES HAVE FROM ME.' OTHERS TAKE [THE DUES]: but not these, thus proving that goodwill benefit has monetary value? — Said R. Hoshaia:17  There is no difficulty: the one [clause] accords with Rabbi, the other with R. Jose son of R. Judah. For it was taught: If one steals his neighbour's tebel and consumes it, he must pay him the value of the tebel:18  that is Rabbi's ruling. R. Jose son of R. Judah said: He must pay him only for the value of its hullin. Now presumably they differ in this:

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Demai, lit., 'of what (nature),' 'dubious' is the technical term for produce bought from a person who is not trusted to render the tithes, generally the 'am ha-arez; (v. Glos.) such produce had to be tithed by the purchaser. R. Eliezer maintains that it is unnecessary to designate any portion thereof as the poor tithe, because even if the first owner has definitely not separated the poor lithe the produce is permitted. But the Sages hold that as long as the poor tithe has not been separated the produce may not be eaten; therefore, since the original owner is under suspicion, he must designate the poor tithe himself, i.e., declare, 'this part of the produce is the poor tithe.' On the other hand, he is not compelled to give it to the poor, as he can challenge them, 'Prove that the first owner did not render the poor tithe.'
  2. Whether the poor tithe has been set aside or not.
  3. V. Glos.
  4. I.e., the owner can give the poor tithe to whomsoever of the poor he wishes.
  5. For the owner confers a definite benefit upon the person of his choice, since he could have given it to some other. Consequently, if a woman vows not to benefit from all mankind, she cannot take the poor tithe.
  6. Actually, according to this view, even if the poor tithe has definitely not been separated, it is not tebel; but since the discussion refers to demai, the doubt is mentioned.
  7. But must give it to the first poor man who applies. The interdependence of goodwill and tebel is deduced from Scripture.
  8. Lit., 'one'. For she does not benefit from the owner, but takes it in virtue of her own right.
  9. It is assumed that no person transgresses a law which he can observe without loss to himself. Hence there is no fear that the 'am ha-arez does not separate the poor-tithe. For he can designate part of the produce as poor tithe, formally renounce ownership if all his possessions, acquire the tithe, and then reacquire their possessions. Therefore when one purchases cereals from an 'am ha-arez, he may assume that the poor tithe has been separated, or that by formally renouncing ownership the peasant has exempted it.
  10. For such renunciation had to be in the presence of witnesses, supra 45a, one of whom might forestall the first owner and acquire it himself.
  11. Since Abaye had refuted R. Joseph's answer, the difficulty remains, and Raba proceeds to dispose of it.
  12. If for any reason the poor tithe was not distributed in the threshing floor, as it should have been, it must be done in the house.
  13. Deut. XXVI, 12.
  14. For 'thou shalt give' implies that the owner possesses disposal rights therein.
  15. Ibid. XIV, 28; this implies that it must be left for whomever wishes to take it, and that the owner cannot allot it to any line in particular.
  16. Since the priest and Levites, who may not benefit from him, can seize the dues against his wishes, though he possesses the right of disposing of them at will.
  17. Var. lec.: Joseph.
  18. I.e., the value of the hullin (v. Glos.) it contains and the monetary value of his disposal rights over the terumah and tithes therein.
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