1) ONE WHO ACCEPTS TWO PERIODS OF NEZIRUS, ONE OF WHICH WILL INTERRUPT THE OTHER

SUMMARY: The Gemara asks a series of questions about one who accepts upon himself to become a Nazir in 20 days from now, and then he accepts, a second time, to become a Nazir. The Gemara explores whether a Nazir begins to observe immediately the second Nezirus he accepted, before 20 days have passed, even though he will then need to interrupt it when 20 days have passed in order to observe the first Nezirus he accepted, or whether he delays the second Nezirus until after 20 days have passed and after he has observed his first Nezirus (which begins in 20 days). The Gemara discusses the following cases:

1. The second Nezirus which the person accepted to observe is a Nezirus of 100 days. Does he delay the 100-day Nezirus until he finishes the first Nezirus (which starts in 20 days and lasts for 30 days, for a total of 50 days from now) so that he will not have to interrupt the observance of the 100-day Nezirus, or does he begin to observe the 100-day Nezirus now and interrupt it in 20 days with a 30-day Nezirus, and then continue his 100-day Nezirus after he completes the 30-day Nezirus?

2. The second Nezirus is a 30-day Nezirus (and not a 100-day Nezirus, as in the previous case). The Gemara asks that if in the previous case he begins the second Nezirus immediately, when does he begin the second Nezirus if it is only a 30-day Nezirus? Does he also begin the Nezirus immediately and then interrupt it after 20 days, or must he wait until 50 days have passed before he begins to observe the second Nezirus he accepted, so that he will observe 30 consecutive, uninterrupted days of Nezirus for his second Nezirus?

3. The second Nezirus he accepted is a Nazir Olam. If, in the second case, he begins his Nezirus immediately, what is the Halachah when the second Nezirus he accepted is a Nazir Olam. Does he begin to observe the Nezirus immediately and interrupt it, after 20 days, with the other Nezirus, or does he wait until he completes the first Nezirus, since interrupting it with an entirely different type of Nezirus (Nazir Olam) is a much more significant interruption than the potential interruption in the previous cases. (A Nazir Olam is considered a different type of Nazir because he may shave intermittently to lighten the weight of his hair. See 5a.)

This is the Gemara's third case according to TOSFOS. The ROSH suggests another explanation for the case: the person accepts one long Nezirus for the rest of his life, and he will never shave his hair. Does he begin the Nezirus immediately, or must he delay it until after he finishes the first Nezirus, which begins 20 days from now, because -- if he starts it now -- he will never have the opportunity to shave for the Nezirus that he will observe in 20 days from now?

4. If, in the previous case, even a Nazir Olam begins to observe his Nezirus immediately since it is possible for him to repeal (with "She'eilah") the Nezirus which will take effect in 20 days from now such that it will not interrupt his Nezirus of Nazir Olam (and he will not have to bring Korbanos for it), what is the Halachah if the Nezirus he accepted to observe after 20 days is a Nazir Shimshon, which he cannot annul with "She'eilah"? Does the first Nezirus begin immediately, whether it is a Nazir Olam or a Nazir for 100 (or 30) days, or is the second Nezirus ignored entirely since, if he begins to observe it, he will never be able to finish it (because it will be interrupted by a permanent interruption, the Nezirus of Nazir Shimshon, and a Nazir Shimshon never ends; "She'eilah" is not an option since a Nazir Shimshon cannot be repealed with "She'eilah")?

2) BECOMING A NAZIR "LIKE MOSHE ON THE SEVENTH OF ADAR"

QUESTION: The Gemara asks a series of questions about one who accepts upon himself to become a Nazir in 20 days from now, and then he accepts, a second time, to become a Nazir (see previous Insight). After it poses those questions, the Gemara adds a short, one-line question: What is the Halachah in the case of one who says, "[I shall be] like Moshe on the seventh of Adar"?

The Rishonim explain that the Gemara's question is that perhaps the person intends to make himself a Nazir, since many Jews certainly made themselves Nezirim on the seventh of Adar, the day of Moshe Rabeinu's passing, due to their profound grief. On the other hand, perhaps he refers to the day on which Moshe Rabeinu was born, which was also the seventh of Adar, and he intends to celebrate (and not to make himself a Nazir).

In what way is this question related to the rest of the Sugya? (See KEREN ORAH, who writes that he did not succeed in finding a connection between this question and the rest of the Sugya.)

ANSWERS:

(a) Perhaps the Gemara's question is whether it is assumed that a person wants to accept Nezirus when there is a doubt about the meaning of his statement. Although the rule is "Safek Nezirus l'Hakel," this rule applies only when the person's intention is known but a doubt about his status arises because of his statement. For example, when one says, "I am a Nazir if there are 100 Kur of grain in this silo," and then the grain is stolen (8a), his intention is clear but a doubt arises as a result of his statement. This rule may also apply when a person says a certain statement and there is a doubt whether he intends to accept upon himself the Mitzvah of Nezirus or some another Mitzvah, such as a Ta'anis (Rosh, 2b). When, however, there is a doubt whether the person intended to accept Nezirus or did not intend to accept Nezirus at all, is it assumed that he wants to be a Nazir because of the Mitzvah involved, or that he does not want to become a Nazir because of the trouble involved?

This question may be related to the previous question of the Gemara. The Gemara asks what the Halachah is in a case in which there is a doubt whether the second Nezirus the person accepted starts immediately even though it will be permanently interrupted after 20 days pass, or whether the second Nezirus is not observed at all. The reason why it should be observed for at least twenty days is that since the person made a statement which may mean that he intends to observe an extra Nezirus, it is assumed that he indeed wants that Nezirus to take effect even though it cannot be finished.

(b) The BRISKER RAV suggests a novel interpretation of the Gemara's question and how it relates to the preceding questions. The Gemara here asks what the Halachah is in a case in which a person says, "I want to be as Moshe would have been had he accepted Nezirus on the seventh of Adar, the last day of his life." That is, the person accepts Nezirus for one day, as if today is the last day of his life. What is the Halachah in such a case? Since he cannot finish the Nezirus of 30 days in only one day, is he not a Nazir at all, or since if he would die the following day the Nezirus would be considered a valid, 30-day Nezirus which is merely interrupted by his death, his acceptance of Nezirus is valid and he is a Nazir for 30 days? This question is similar to the Gemara's question earlier about a person who makes himself a Nazir 20 days before he becomes a Nazir Shimshon, in which case he will not be able to complete his 30-day Nezirus. (Although the Gemara earlier (7a) teaches that one who accepts Nezirus for one day must observe Nezirus for 30 days, in that case his statement is interpreted to mean that "I will accept Nezirus in a way which will make me a Nazir for one day," and if the only way to become a Nazir for one day is by becoming a Nazir for 30 days, he accepts that upon himself. In the case of the Gemara here, however, when he says that he is "like Moshe on the seventh of Adar," he specifies that he wants only a single day of Nezirus and not more, and thus perhaps the Nezirus does not take effect at all.)

(c) Perhaps another original explanation may be suggested to explain how this question of the Gemara is a direct continuation of the previous question of the Gemara. It seems somewhat forced to say that the statement "like Moshe on the seventh of Adar" may mean that he wants to celebrate like the day on which Moshe was born. After all, those who lived at the time Moshe was born were unaware of any reason to celebrate; when he was born his mother hid him and only his immediate family knew of his birth. Rather, the statement certainly refers to the day he died, when the Jews experienced such profound grief over his death that they presumably accepted upon themselves Nezirus for the rest of their lives. This person, too, accepts upon himself to become a Nazir for the rest of his life.

It is not clear, however, exactly what type of Nazir he wants to be for the rest of his life. There are two types of Nazir who observe Nezirus for their entire lives -- a Nazir Olam (like Avshalom) and a Nazir Shimshon. Each type of Nezirus has a Kula and a Chumra. A Nazir Olam may cut his hair periodically and may rescind (with "She'eilah") his Nezirus. A Nazir Shimshon may not cut his hair or rescind his Nezirus. On the other hand, a Nazir Shimshon may be Metamei l'Mesim (4b) while a Nazir Olam may not. Since the person's intention is in doubt, both possibilities must be taken into account. Consequently, when one declares that he is "like Moshe on the seventh of Adar," he should have the stringencies of both types of Nezirus: he should not be permitted to cut his hair for the rest of his life, he should not be permitted to be Metamei l'Mesim, and he should not be able to rescind his Nezirus.

Normally, in a case of doubt about Nezirus the principle of "Safek Nezirus l'Hakel" applies. This principle, however, does not apply in all cases of Safek Nezirus. The Gemara explains that the logic behind the principle of "Safek Nezirus l'Hakel" is that a person would not have accepted the Nezirus in the first place had he known that it would not be treated as a definite Nezirus but only as a Safek Nezirus, because the laws of a Safek Nazir are more stringent than the laws of a definite Nazir. A definite Nazir shaves after 30 days, brings his Korbanos, and concludes his Nezirus. A Safek Nazir may never shave, since he cannot bring the necessary Korbanos to conclude his Nezirus.

This logic, however, applies only when the doubt is whether he became a Nazir or did not become a Nazir. In the case of the Gemara here, he certainly wants to become a Nazir; the doubt is only which type of Nazir he wants to become. In such a case, it is assumed that a person is willing to accept such a doubtful Nezirus, because there is no additional stringency which does not exist in either of his two possible intentions. The status of Safek Nazir in this case is not more stringent than the combination of the two possibilities of each definite Nezirus. In addition, neither of the two possibilities can be described as the "lenient" one, because each one has a Kula and a Chumra. Ignoring both possibilities is not an option, because he certainly has in mind one of the two. (It will not help to ask him which of the two types of Nazir he intended to become, because he says that he did not have any particular intention in mind and he wanted the Chachamim to interpret what he said (Nedarim 18b).)

Accordingly, the question of the Gemara is as follows: If, in the case of a person who says that he will be a Nazir Shimshon after 20 days, the Halachah is that he does not begin the second Nezirus immediately since he cannot rescind the Nezirus of Nazir Shimshon, what is the Halachah in a case in which one accepts a Nezirus "like Moshe on the seventh of Adar" after 20 days, and then he accepts an ordinary Nezirus? Perhaps the second Nezirus is ignored because the Nezirus -- which he accepted upon himself by saying "like Moshe on the seventh of Adar" -- is not rescindable in practice due to the Safek, and therefore it is like a Nazir Shimshon. Alternatively, since it will be a Kula if he does not have to observe the second Nezirus, and this Nazir is required to conduct himself l'Chumra, perhaps he is a Nazir Olam who may rescind his Nezirus and thus the Nezirus should begin immediately. (M. KORNFELD)

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