NEDARIM 20 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levi) Turkel, by his children Eddie and Lawrence and his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz. Max was a warm and loving husband and father and is missed dearly by his family and friends. His Yahrzeit is 5 Teves.


(a)(Mishnah - R. Meir): In the following cases, one need not ask a Chacham to permit his vow. If he asks, we punish him and apply stringencies to him:

1.He said (this is forbidden like) "Cherem", and said later that he meant a fishing net (it is also called Cherem);

2.He said "Korban", and said that he meant a gift given to kings;

3.He said "Atzmi (I am like a) Korban", and said that he meant a bone (Etzem) set aside for Nedarim;

4.He vowed that his wife may not benefit from him, and says that he meant his ex-wife;

(b)Chachamim say, we find a different Pesach for him, and teach him not to take Nedarim lightly.

(c)(Gemara) Question: It says that one need not ask a Chacham, and then says that if he asks, we punish him and apply stringencies to him!

(d)Answer (Rav Yehudah): If a Chacham vowed, he need not ask to permit his vow. If an Am ha'Aretz vowed and asks to permit it, we punish him and apply stringencies to him.

(e)Question: Granted, 'we apply stringencies to him' means that we are not Pose'ach with regret;

1.How do we punish him?

(f)Answer (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): If someone transgressed his Nezirus, we don't permit him until he has observed Nezirus for as long as he transgressed.

(g)R. Yosi says, this refers to a short Nezirus. If he transgressed more than thirty days of a long Nezirus, he need observe only thirty days (and the we permit him).

(h)(R. Yosef): Since it says that we don't permit him, a Beis Din that did so acted improperly.

(i)(Rav Acha bar Yakov): We excommunicate the Beis Din.


(a)(Mishnah - Chachamim): We find a different Pesach for him...

(b)(Beraisa): Do not make Nedarim regularly, for this will lead you to transgress Shevuos.

(c)Do not frequent an Am ha'Aretz, for he is prone to feed you Tevel;

(d)Do not frequent a Kohen Am ha'Aretz (even if you are a Kohen), for he is prone to feed you Tamei Terumah.

(e)Do not converse excessively with a woman, for this will lead you to transgress adultery.

(f)(R. Acha b'Ribi Yoshiyah): Anyone who gazes at women will eventually end in sin.

(g)One who gazes at a woman's heel will have improper children.

(h)(Rav Yosef): This applies even to his own wife when she is a Nidah.

(i)(Reish Lakish): "Heel" is a euphemism for the place (of Ervah) in line with the heel.

(j)(Beraisa): "In order that fear of Hash-m will be on your faces" refers to shame;

1."In order that you will not sin" teaches that shame leads to fear of sin.

2.This is the source that it is a good sign if a person has a sense of shame.

(k)Others say, one with a sense of shame is not quick to sin. If one has no sense of shame, his ancestors were not at Sinai (the place from where Bnei Yisrael received this Midah).


(a)(R. Yochanan ben Dehavai): The ministering angels told me four things:

1.Lame people result from parents who had Bi'ah Lo k'Darkah (in the anus);

2.Mutes result from fathers who kissed the place (of Bi'ah);

3.Deaf people result from parents who spoke during Bi'ah;

4.Blind people result from fathers who looked at the place"


(b)Question: Eima Shalom said that her children were exceedingly beautiful because her husband (R. Eliezer) does not have relations with her at the beginning or end of the night, only at midnight.

1.When he has relations, he uncovers a Tefach and leaves a Tefach covered, and rushes as if a Shed (demon) was forcing him.

2.I asked him (at the time, why he has relations only at midnight). He said that it is lest he think about other women, which would make the children like Mamzerim. (This shows that one may talk during Bi'ah!)

(c)Answer: One may talk only about matters of Bi'ah.

(d)(R. Yochanan): This is R. Yochanan ben Dehavai's opinion. Chachamim say, the Halachah is that a man may do whatever he wants with his wife,.

1.This is like one who bought meat from the butcher, or fish from a fisherman. He may eat it salted, roasted, cooked, or overcooked; however he desires.

(e)(Ameimar): R. Yochanan ben Dehavai heard these matters from 'ministering angels', i.e. Rabanan;

1.If actual angels had told him, R. Yochanan would not have ruled against him. The angels understand the formation of fetuses better than we do!

2.He calls them 'ministering angels' because they are so different from regular people (Rosh - regarding Torah, Mitzvos and Kedushah; Rashi Kidushin 72a - they dress beautifully), like angels.

(f)A woman complained to Rebbi that her husband had Bi'ah Lo k'Darkah with her.

1.Rebbi - What can I do? The Torah permitted him to do with you as he desires!

(g)A woman complained to Rav that her husband had Bi'ah Lo k'Darkah with her.

1.Rav - Why is this different than fish? (He may cook it any way he desires!)

(h)"Do not follow your hearts" forbids thinking about another woman during Bi'ah.

(i)(Ravina): We need to teach this only for the case when also the other woman is his wife.

(j)(R. Levi): "I will purge (alternatively - I created) from you those who rebel against Me" refers to children who result from one of the following improper Bi'os:

1.She fears to tell him that she does not desire Bi'ah now, he forced her, he hates her (and therefore thinks about another woman), he was excommunicated, he thought that this was a different wife of his, he was quarreling with her, he was drunk, he resolved to divorce her, she had Bi'ah with many men, or she verbally requested Bi'ah.

(k)Question: R. Shmuel bar Nachmani said that if a woman requests Bi'ah, the resulting children will be greater than the elite of Moshe's generation!

1.Moshe sought (for the 70 elders) "Nevonim" (men who understand a matter from other matters), but it does not say that the elders picked were Nevonim.

2.When Leah told Yakov 'I hired you (for Bi'ah) tonight', Yisachar was conceived, and it says "from descendants of Yisachar, who have Binah"!

(l)Answer: It is proper to demonstrate her desire (without explicitly requesting Bi'ah).



(a)(Mishnah): Chachamim permitted four vows: vows of persuasion, of exaggeration, of Shogeg, and of Ones.

(b)The following are vows of persuasion. Levi was selling an item, and he vowed not to (benefit from the money he receives, or from a certain food, if he will) sell it for less than four. David vowed not to pay more than two. Both of them want the price to be three.