Nazir Chart #13

Chart for Nazir Daf 57b


1 A MAN Chayav Rav Huna: Peturah (3)
Rav Ada : Chayaves
2 A WOMAN Rav Huna: Chayav (4)
Rav Ada : Patur (5)
Peturah (2)
3 A CHILD Rav Huna: Chayav
Rav Ada : Patur (5)
Peturah (2)
4 A NOCHRI Patur (6) Peturah (2)




(1) In the chart, we have indicated the Halachic status of the one who does the shaving (the Makif) and not the status of the one who is being shaved (the Nikaf). The liability of he Nikaf is relatively straightforward: If the Nikaf is an adult male, he is always Chayav (i.e. he has transgressed a Torah prohibition). If the Nikaf is a woman, child, or Nochri, the Nikaf is always Patur. (Even Rav Ada bar Ahavah agrees that a woman who is being shaved is Peturah, since the Torah compares the Lav of Hakafah to the Lav of Gilu'ach (shaving the beard), as is described in Kidushin 35b and as Tosfos mentions here.)

(What we have written in the previous paragraph is the opinion of most Rishonim and Acharonim, but it is not unanimous. First, the KESEF MISHNAH (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 12:1), writes that according to the Rambam, if the Nikaf does no Ma'aseh he has not even transgressed a Lav. Most commentaries reject the interpretation of the Kesef Mishneh, though, positing that a passive Nikaf also transgresses a Lav although he is not Chayav Malkus (since he did not do an act to assist the person shaving him, such as bending his head towards the razor), see Makos 20b.

Second, according to one line of reasoning presented by Tosfos (Shevuos 3a, beginning of DH v'Al, and cited by the Ran in the end of Makos in the name of "Yesh Mefarshim"), it is permitted for a man to be shaved by a Nochri, woman or Katan, according to Rav Ada bar Ahavah, since the liability of the Nikaf depends upon the liability of the Makif (see Teshuvos Rebbi Akiva Eiger 1:13). Nevertheless, the conclusion of Tosfos (and the Ran and the other Rishonim) is that even according to Rav Ada bar Ahavah the status of the Nikaf is not compared to that of the Makif in order to be lenient and exempt the Nikaf from liability. This is also the conclusion of Tosfos in our Sugya.)

(2) It goes without saying that this is also Mutar to do.

(3) The Sugya implies that even l'Chatchilah it is permitted for a woman to shave the head of a Katan, according to Rav Huna, and that is why Rav Huna permitted his wife to shave the heads of his children. This is also implied by the Gemara in Bava Metzia (10b), and this is in fact the ruling of Tosfos here. However, the RAMBAM and RA'AVAD (Hilchos Avodah Zarah 12:6) prohibit a woman to shave a child's head, mid'Rabanan. It appears that their reasoning is because of Chinuch of the Katan -- in order that he not become accustomed to having his head shaved and continue to do so when he becomes an adult.

(According to their opinion, it is clear why Rav Ada bar Ahavah cursed the wife of Rav Huna; according to Rav Huna it was prohibited mid'Rabanan for her to shave the heads of the children.)

(4) Tosfos remains in doubt about this Halachah in the end of his comments on our Sugya, but seems inclined to be Machmir (for there is no reason to differentiate it from a man shaving a child).

(5) According to Rav Ada bar Ahavah who compares the status of the Makif to that of the Nikaf, it appears that even l'Chatchilah it is permitted for a woman to shave the head of another woman and of a child -- Tosfos, Shevuos 3a, DH v'Al. (Doing so is not prohibited due to the Mitzvah of Chinuch -- see Insights in the name of the Sha'ar ha'Melech.)

(6) Tosfos concludes that even Rav Huna permits this (l'Chatchilah), for it is only prohibited to shave a Jew. (See Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz, though, who is Machmir in this regard).