(a) The Gemara asks that perhaps he means "Ehei b'Ta'anis" ("I will accept
upon myself a fast"). Shmuel answers that the Mishnah is referring to a case
where he says "Ehei" while a Nazir walks past him.
The Gemara immediately points out that we see from here that Shmuel holds
"Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are *not* valid Yadayim. If they had been
considered valid Yadayim, then it would not have been necessary for a Nazir
to be walking past in order for the person's statement, "Ehei," to make him
What, then, is the Gemara's original question on the Mishnah? Why did the
Gemara ask that perhaps "Ehei" means "Ehei b'Ta'anis?" The Gemara should
have assumed simply that the Mishnah holds "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos"
(b) The Gemara continues and asks that even when there is a Nazir walking
past, perhaps the person intends only that he will pay for the Nazir's
Korbanos, but he does not intend to become a Nazir himself. This question
implies that the Gemara thinks that even when there is a Nazir walking in
front of him, it is still "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos." The Gemara answers
that the Mishnah is discussing a case where the person says that he meant in
his heart to accept upon himself Nezirus.
If it is not clear what his intent is when he says "Ehei," and the "Yadayim
she'Einan Mochichos" are not Yadayim, then how does what he thinks in his
heart make any difference? He must articulate his Neder, and it is not
enough to think it in his heart, and "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not
considered to be articulated!
(c) The Gemara asks that if the case of the Mishnah is where there is a
Nazir walking past when the person says "Ehei," then what is the Mishnah
teaching? It is obvious that he becomes a Nazir! The Gemara answers that the
Mishnah is teaching that he does not have to speak out his intention
What is the Gemara's question? Why is the Gemara asking what the Mishnah's
Chidush is? A few lines earlier the Gemara says that the Mishnah is teaching
us that when a person does not speak out a complete sentence but only a Yad,
the Torah considers that to be a Neder, as derived from a verse. Hence, even
when there is a Nazir walking past, since the person only said "Ehei," his
statement is still only a Yad l'Nazir, and the Mishnah is teaching that
Yadus Nezirus is a valid form of accepting upon oneself an oath of Nezirus!
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES, quoting the TOSFOS HA'ROSH, explains that the
Gemara is assuming that saying the word "Ehei" makes a person a Nazir not
only when he says afterward that he meant that the word "Ehei" should make
him a Nazir, but even when he says that he meant for the word to mean
whatever the Rabanan understand it to mean. He becomes a Nazir even when he
says that he had intention for the word "Ehei" to mean whatever it would
naturally be understood to mean.
The Tosfos ha'Rosh seems to be saying that even if "Yadayim she'Einan
Mochichos" are considered Yadayim, nevertheless we cannot be certain about
what the person intended unless he later tells us what he meant (see Nedarim
18b regarding "Perusham l'Hakel). Therefore, even though the word "Ehei" has
more of an implication of Nezirus than of a Ta'anis for the reason that the
Rosh and Tosfos give, nevertheless we are still unsure whether the person
really intended to use the word "Ehei" to make himself a Nezirus or whether
he intended to accept upon himself a Ta'anis. (We do not follow the Rov that
most people use that word for Nezirus, for the reason that we wrote in
Insights to Nedarim 53:1:b.) Therefore, he should be a Safek Nazir (and he
should not be able to bring Korbanos of Nazir) unless he says explicitly
that he meant to become a Nazir. The ROSH (in his Perush on the Gemara) adds
that since we rule Safek Nezirus l'Hakel (see Nedarim 19b), he does not
become a Nazir at all!
Alternatively, perhaps it is not the Gemara asking the question, but it
might be Shmuel himself asking the question on the Mishnah, that perhaps
"Ehei" means to accept a Ta'anis. Accordingly, the question is based on
Shmuel's own view that "Yadayim she'Einan Mochichos" are not Yadayim. (See
RAN in Nedarim 71a, DH Mina Hani Mili, for a similar approach.)
(b) RAV BARUCH BER LEIBOVITZ (Birkas Shmuel, Kidushin 1:5) explains that
when there is a Nazir walking past, the word "Ehei" is considered "Yadayim
Mochichos" both for making himself a Nazir and for accepting upon himself to
bring the Korbanos of the other Nazir. How, though, can one phrase imply two
different things? If it has two different meanings, then it cannot be a Yad
Mochi'ach for either of them!
It seems that he understands that "Yadayim Mochichos" does not mean that
*we* know what the person means through his words. Rather, it means that his
intention is *expressed* by his words and reflected by the circumstances in
which they were said. When there is a Nazir walking past, it is more evident
from his words that he wants to make himself a Nazir than when there is no
Nazir walking past, for when there is no Nazir walking past we have to add
much more to his words to make them refer to accepting Nezirus.
Alternatively, the Gemara might be asking why is he a Nazir even if he says
specifically that he did not want to make himself a Nazir but that he just
wanted to bring the other person's Korbanos. Even though there is a Yad
Mochi'ach that he wanted to make himself a Nazir, he can still explain his
words differently, like the Mishnah says in Nedarim (20a), and his
explanation is accepted even if he puts a relatively unusual meaning into
the words that he spoke.
The Gemara answers that our Mishnah is not talking about a case where he
says that he wants to pay for the other Nazir's Korbanos, but rather it is
talking about a case where he admits that he wants to make himself a Nazir.
(c) According to Tosfos, who says that when there is a Nazir walking past,
his statement "Ehei" is a Yad Mochi'ach, the question might be that when
there is a Nazir walking past, his statement is *more* than a Yad Mochi'ach
since we understand from the circumstances that he wants to make himself a
The Gemara answers that since he did not finish his statement and specify
that "I will be *a Nazir*," it remains nothing more than a Yad.
The Rosh, however, learns that when there is a Nazir walking past, it is
still a Yad *she'Eino* Mochi'ach, and thus it is not reasonable to say that
the Gemara thought that it was akin to actually stating that he wants to be
a Nazir. What, then, is the Gemara asking when it says that it is obvious
that he is a Nazir? The Gemara's question might be that since the Mishnah
divides the Halcahos of Yados into two cases, the first being that saying
"Ehei" makes him a Nazir and the second being that saying "Ehei Na'eh" makes
him a Nazir, it is teaching two points. First, it is teaching that a Yad
works for Nezirus. The Gemara is now asking that once we know that a Yad is
effective for Nezirus, what is the second point that the Mishnah is teaching
by splitting Yados it into two cases?
The Gemara answers that we might have thought that when he says "Ehei" and
there is a Nazir walking past, it is not even a Yad she'Eino Mochi'ach,
since what he spoke out alone (without the circumstances of a Nazir walking
past) does not imply Nezirus at all and is not even a Yad at all. Thus, we
might have thought that the circumstantial evidence cannot make the words he
said into a Yad. Therefore, the Mishnah teaches that it *can* make his words
into a Yad (albeit a Yad she'Eino Mochi'ach).