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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim

Folio 29a

Said R. Hamnuna to him: Whither then has their sanctity departed? What if one said to a woman, 'Be thou my wife to-day, but to-morrow thou art no longer my wife': would she be free without a divorce?1  — Raba replied: Can you compare monetary consecration to bodily consecration?2  Monetary sanctity may automatically end; but bodily consecration cannot end thus. Abaye objected to him: Cannot bodily consecration automatically cease? But it was taught: [If one says.] 'Let this ox be a burnt-offering for thirty days, and after that a peace-offering':3  it is a burnt-offering for thirty days, and after that a peace-offering. Now why? it has bodily sanctity, yet it loses it automatically!4  — This deals with one who consecrated its value.5  If so, consider the second clause: [If he says,] 'Let it be a burnt-offering after thirty days, but a peace-offering from now' [it is so]. Now, if you agree that one clause refers to bodily sanctity, and the other to monetary sanctity,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Notwithstanding that he had married her for a limited period. So here too, though he had declared, 'let them be korban until they are cut down'; yet when they are, they do not automatically lose their sanctity. but must be redeemed.
  2. The plants have only a monetary consecration, i.e., they cannot themselves be offered in the Temple, but must be redeemed, and their redemption money is utilized in the Temple service. But a married woman is herself consecrated to her husband.
  3. I.e., if sacrificed within thirty days, it must be a burnt-offering; if after, a peace-offering.
  4. Its sanctity as a burnt-offering has automatically ceased, though it retains the sanctity of a peace-offering.
  5. I.e., the value of this ox be consecrated as a burnt-offering for thirty days. viz., that if redeemed within thirty days, a burnt-offering must be bought for the money; if after, a peace-offering.

Nedarim 29b

hence the Tanna must teach both [clauses], because I would think that monetary consecration can automatically cease, but not so bodily sanctity; hence both are rightly taught. But if you maintain that the two refer to monetary consecration, why teach them both? If a higher sanctity can automatically give way to a lower sanctity, Surely it is superfluous to state that a lower sanctity can be replaced by a higher one?1  Shall we say that this is a refutation of Bar Pada, who maintained that sanctity cannot cease automatically? — Said R. Papa, Bar Pada can answer thus: The text is defective,2  and this is its meaning: If he did not say, 'let this be a peace — offering from now, it remains a burnt-offering after thirty days.3  This may be compared to the case of one who says to a woman, 'Be thou betrothed unto me after thirty days'; she becomes betrothed [then], even though the money [of betrothal] has been consumed [in the meanwhile].4  But is this not obvious?5  — This is necessary only [to teach that] where he supplemented his first declaration [it is still ineffective].6  Now that is well on the view that she [the woman] cannot retract;7  but on the view that she can retract, what can be said?8  — Even according to that view, this case is different, because a verbal promise to God is as actual delivery in secular transactions.9

R. Abin and R. Isaac b. Rabbi10  were sitting before R. Jeremiah, who was dozing. Now they sat and stated: According to Bar Pada, who maintained that they revert to their sanctity,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. The burnt-offering has a higher sanctity than a peace-offering.
  2. This is Rashi's reading, but is absent from the versions of Asheri, Ran, and Tosaf.
  3. The text is thus to be reconstructed: If one says, 'Let this ox be a burnt-offering for thirty days, and from now and after thirty days a peace-offering': it is a burnt-offering for the first thirty days, and a peace-offering after that. But if he did not say, 'Let it be a peace-offering from now and after thirty days', but merely, 'let it be a burnt-offering for thirty days; and a peace-offering afterwards'; it remains a burnt-offering after thirty days. In the former case, the sanctity pertaining to the burnt-offering automatically ceases, because that of the peace-offering is potentially concurrent therewith and extends beyond it; but in the latter case, the sanctity cannot automatically cease (Rashi). Ran, Asheri and Tosaf. explain it differently.
  4. So here too. When the second sanctity is not imposed concurrently with the first, the latter, on the completion of the thirty days, is similar to the money, which though consumed in the meanwhile, is nevertheless effective in betrothing the woman; so also the first sanctity remains though the period has been 'consumed'.
  5. Since it is taught that only when the second sanctity runs concurrently with the first does it take effect after thirty days, it is self-evident that if it is not imposed concurrently, the first sanctity remains after the period.
  6. I.e., if after declaring. 'this ox be a burnt-offering for thirty days and after that let it be a peaceoffering' (in which case, as we have seen, it remains a burnt-offering), he made a supplementary statement, 'let it be a peace-offering from now and after thirty days', it will still remain a burnt-offering after that period, because this statement from now' must be made at the outset. Now, if only the first clause had been taught. viz., that if he imposed the second sanctity concurrently with
  7. During the interval and become betrothed to another man. So here too, unless the second sanctity was at the outset imposed concurrently with the first, the force of the latter remains.
  8. So here too by analogy, even if the second sanctity was not imposed concurrently with the first, it should cancel the first after the thirty days.
  9. I.e., the declaration, 'this ox be a burnt-offering for thirty days', has more force than a normal promise affecting the interests of man only. but is regarded as though thereby the animal had actually been made into a burnt-offering. and therefore that sanctity, even though imposed for a limited period, remains after it, unless another was imposed concurrently therewith.
  10. [Read with MS.M 'b. Joseph'.]