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Nazir, 6

NAZIR 6 & 7 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.


QUESTION: Rav Masna and Bar Pada argue whether an oath of Nezirus, without a specified duration, is 30 days long (Rav Masna) or 29 days long (Bar Pada), mid'Oraisa. Bar Pada proves his opinion, that the duration of Nezirus is only 29 days, from the statement of the Tana, Rebbi Eliezer, who says that if one became Tamei on the thirtieth day of Nezirus, his Tum'ah is only "Soser Shiv'a" -- he does not have to observe another 30 days, but rather he waits only seven days and may then bring his Korbanos and conclude his Nezirus. The reason why he does not have to observe another period of Nezirus is because his Nezirus was already over by the time that the thirtieth day came. Hence, we see that Nezirus lasts for only 29 days.

Rav Masna replies that Rebbi Eliezer considers the Nezirus to be over on the thirtieth day not because he holds that Nezirus is only 29 days long, but because he holds that it is 30 days long and that "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies, and thus once part of the thirtieth day has passed, it is considered as though the Nazir observed his Nezirus for the entire thirtieth day. (Rebbi Eliezer holds that "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies even when the Nazir becomes Tamei in the middle of the thirtieth day, while the Rabanan argue and hold that "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies only when the Nazir has brought his Korbanos on the thirtieth day; the bringing of the Korbanos makes part of the thirtieth day considered to be like a full day.)

The Gemara then questions both opinions. How do Rav Masna and Bar Pada understand Rebbi Eliezer's words later in the Mishnah, where he says that if a person makes himself a Nazir for one hundred days and becomes Tamei on day 100, that Tum'ah is only "Soser" 30 days, meaning that after he becomes Tahor he must observe another 30 days of Nezirus. Why must he observe only 30 days? If, like Bar Pada holds, "Miktzas ha'Yom," part of a day, is *not* "k'Kulo," is not like a full day, then his entire Nezirus should be annulled and he should have to observe the full 100 days again. On the other hand, if, like Rav Masna holds, "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo," then he should only have to observe another seven days until he becomes Tahor and can bring the Korbanos, since his partial observance of day 100 is considered as though he observed the entire day!

The Gemara answers that "Miktzas ha'Yom" is *not* "k'Kulo" and becoming Tamei on day 100 really should ruin his entire Nezirus and require him to observe all 100 days again. However, Rebbi Eliezer learns from the verse (Bamidbar 6:13) yom melos yimay nizro that if a Nazir becomes Tamei on the last day of his Nezirus, he must only observe another 30 days and not the full number of days of his Nezirus. The Gemara does not elaborate further on this subject.

The answer of the Gemara, though, only explains Rebbi Eliezer's opinion according to Bar Pada's view, that "Miktzas ha'Yom" is not "k'Kulo." There does not seem to be any way to explain Rebbi Eliezer's view according to Rav Masna, who maintains "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo!" Is the Gemara rejecting Rav Masna's opinion and proving that Rebbi Eliezer holds like Bar Pada that "Miktzas ha'Yom" is not "k'Kulo?" (The Poskim appear to rule like Rav Masna.)


(a) TOSFOS (DH Amar Reish Lakish) and the ROSH explain that the Gemara's answer can conform to Rav Masna's opinion as well. Rav Masna learns that the case of Rebbi Eliezer in which a Nazir accepted Nezirus for 100 days is discussing a Nazir who specified that his Nezirus should last for 100 *full* days and should not end in the middle of the day. In such a case, Rav Masna agrees that we do not apply "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" (5b).

(b) MAHARAF (Rabeinu Peretz) cited by TOSFOS suggests that just like the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv teaches, according to Bar Pada, that Tum'ah on the last day of Nezirus does not ruin the entire Nezirus but only 30 days (l'Kula), similarly, according to Rav Masna, the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv teaches that even though "Miktzas ha'Yom" is "k'Kulo" and the Tum'ah should only require him to observe seven more days, the verse teaches that it is "Soser" *30* days (l'Chumra). (Maharaf points out that this Gezeiras ha'Kasuv applies only to a Nezirus in which a number of days was specified. If a person became Tamei on the last day of a normal Nezirus of an unspecified term (which lasts for 30 days), Rebbi Eliezer certainly holds that it is only "Soser" seven days, like the Gemara says earlier.)

(c) The BRISKER RAV (Hilchos Nezirus 4:1) points out that the RAMBAM seems to have had a different answer to this question. The Rambam rules that if a person makes himself a Nazir, specifying 30 days, he must shave his hair only on day 31, and if he shaves on day 30, b'Di'eved his shaving is not valid. The Rambam does not tell us what the Halachah is regarding a person who makes himself a Nazir for 100 days. We may infer, therefore, that the same Halachah would apply no matter how many days a person specified -- the Nazir must shave on the day *following* the last day of his Nezirus.

The Rambam (Hilchos Nezirus 4:2; see LECHEM MISHNEH) seems to rule like Rav Masna. The Brisker Rav asks that if the Rambam rules like Rav Masna, then a Nazir (who accepted Nezirus for 100 days) should be able to shave on day 100 because of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo!" The only reason he cannot shave on day 30 (where he accepted Nezirus for 30 days) is because the fact that he added to his statement the word "Sheloshim" ("thirty") which was unnecessary (because his Nezirus would have been 30 days long anyway, without specifying it) shows that he is trying to add something, and hence it is as if he said "thirty *complete* days." In contrast, when he accepts Nezirus for 100 days, there is no reason to infer from his words that he wants to observe 100 *complete* days, since he needs to say "one hundred" in order to specify the duration of his Nezirus. Why, then, should he not be allowed to bring his Korbanos on that day (day 100) according to the Rambam?

The Brisker Rav answers that the Rambam learns the Gemara earlier (5b) like the ME'IRI and not like Tosfos. According to the Me'iri, when the Gemara says that a person who accepted upon himself Nezirus and said that he will observe "Sheloshim" is considered to have said "Shelemim," it means that whenever the Nazir specifies a number of days, then the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply. The principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" only applies to a normal Nezirus that was accepted with no specified duration, in which case the Torah gives it a duration of thirty days. "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies to the Torah's Halachah. In contrast, the Torah does *not* give a person the right to *make for himself* a longer Nezirus and then to treat part of the last day as a full day with "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo." Hence, when the person himself specifies an amount, then the Halachah of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply.

That is why the Rambam holds that when a person accepts Nezirus for 100 days, "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply and he must bring the Korbanos on the day (day 101) after the Nezirus ends.

This answers how Rav Masna will explain Rebbi Eliezer's statement. When the Gemara says that Rebbi Eliezer holds that we do not apply "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" to the case of a Nazir who accepted a 100-day Nezirus, its intention is not only to answer the question according to Bar Pada, but also to answer the question according to Rav Masna. It is answering that since the person specified a duration for his Nezirus, the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply.


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