VOWS OF PERSUASION
(Gemara - R. Aba bar Mamal, to R. Ami): You said that R. Yehudah Nesi'ah (the grandson of Rebbi) said that our Mishnah is like R. Yehudah, citing R. Tarfon.
(Mishnah - R. Tarfon): (If six men saw a man walking towards them, and each of them accepted Nezirus contingent on the identity of the man, or on whether or not their colleagues became Nezirim,) none of them is a Nazir, for Nezirus requires Hafla'ah (a definite acceptance. Nedarim are equated to Nezirus.)
Rejection (Rava): Our Mishnah is even like Chachamim. It does not say that they (later) agreed upon three, rather, (when they vow) they each want three.
Question (Ravina): If the seller vowed to charge (at least a Perutah) more than a Sela, and the buyer vowed to pay less than a Shekel, are these proper vows, or are they vows of persuasion (that are permitted? We cannot learn from the Mishnah, for here they are more precise, or because their offers are further apart.)
Answer (Rav Ashi - Mishnah): If Reuven was refusing to eat by Shimon, and Reuven vowed not to enter Shimon's house, and not to drink even a drop of cold drink (from Shimon), he may enter the house and drink cold drink. He intended to forbid only eating and drinking. (Even eating and drinking is permitted, for he did not say that he forbids it.)
Question: He said that even a drop of cold drink is forbidden!
Answer: Rather, (in such cases) people do not mean exactly what they say;
Also the buyer and seller do not mean exactly what they say! (All the more so, for they are not as precise as Reuven was, and there is less discrepancy between their words and their intent!)
Objection (Ravina): That case is different!
Tzadikim make small offers and do much. (If Reuven would agree to drink a drop, Shimon would serve him a full meal.)
Here, we have a doubt. Perhaps each really intends to compromise on the price, and the vows are of persuasion;
Or, perhaps each is adamant not to budge, and the vows are real vows!
This question is unresolved.
PERMITTING THE FOUR VOWS
Version #1 (Rav Yehudah citing Rav): One who took one of the four vows must ask a Chacham for permission.
Objection (Shmuel): The Mishnah says that Chachamim permitted them. You cannot say that one must ask a Chacham!
Version #2 - Rav Yosef (Rav Yehudah citing Rav Asi): A Chacham can permit a vow only if it is like one of the four vows.
He holds that a vow cannot be permitted through (mere) regret. (Rather, one must show why the vow was a mistake from the beginning.)
A man who had vowed came to Rav Huna to permit the vow.
Rav Huna - Do you still desire the vow?
The man - No.
Rav Huna permitted the vow.
A man who had vowed came to Rabah bar Rav Huna to permit the vow.
Rabah bar Rav Huna - If 10 people had appeased you at the time of the vow, would you have vowed?
The man - No.
Rabah bar Rav Huna permitted the vow.
(Beraisa - R. Yehudah): If one seeks permission of a vow, we ask if he still desires the vow. If he says 'no', we permit it;
R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi says, in the name of his father, we ask him 'if 10 people had appeased you at the time of the vow, would you have vowed?'
If he says no, we permit the vow.
A man came to R. Asi to permit a vow. (Ran - this is not Rav Asi. The Mordechai (Shevuos 759) holds that it was Rav Asi.)
R. Asi - Do you regret the vow from the beginning?
The man (incredulously) - No?! (Of course I do!)
R. Asi permitted the vow.
A man came before R. Elazar to permit a vow.
R. Elazar - Are you still happy with the vow?
The man - Had they not angered me, I never would have vowed (and I regret that I did).
R. Elazar - It should be like you want (the vow is permitted).
A woman had vowed that her daughter should not benefit from her.
R. Yochanan - Had you known that neighbors will say that surely you vowed because you saw immorality in her, would you have vowed?
The woman - No.
R. Yochanan permitted the vow.