(a) The RAN and other Rishonim learn from this Gemara that not only is the
husband's power of annulment limited to Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah and Inuy
Nefesh, but the father's power of annulment is also limited to these two
types of Nedarim. This is because the verse that says "Bein Ish l'Ishto" also
says "Bein Av l'Vito," implying that only Nedarim that are Beino l'Beinah may
the father annul.
The Rishonim bring further support for this from the Sifrei (Matos 155) and
the Yerushalmi 11:1, which derive from the verse that a father may annul only
Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah and Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh, since there is a
Hekesh between a father and a husband in this verse.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Nedarim 12:1), however, differentiates between the
father and the husband and rules that the father may annul *all* Nedarim of
his daughter. In a letter to the Chachmei Lunil who challenged his ruling,
the Rambam explains that his source is none other than the verse in the Torah
itself which teaches that a father may annul his daughter's Nedarim. When the
verse discusses Hafaras ha'Av, it says that the father may annul "*Kol*
Nedareha" (Bamidbar 30:6) -- *all* of her Nedarim. However, when the verse
discusses the Hafarah of the husband, it says that he may annul "all Nedarim
*that cause suffering*" (Bamidbar 30:14), limiting the husband's power to
Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh. Similarly, when the verse discusses the husband's
Hafarah of the Nedarim of a Na'arah Me'urasah, it says that he may annul "her
Nedarim" (30:9), leaving out the word, "all." This implies that the father's
ability to annul is not limited to Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh.
Second, the Rambam points out that Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah refers to
Nedarim through which a woman prohibits herself from marital relations with
her husband. In the case of a daughter who makes a Neder, there can be no
such Neder she'Beino l'Beinah with her father. Therefore, it is not logical
that the Torah would compare the father to the husband regarding Nedarim
she'Beino l'Beinah, and thus he must also differ with regard to Nedarim of
Inuy Nefesh, and he may annul *all* types of Nedarim that his daughter makes.
Third, in all of the Mishnayos and Gemaras that discuss Nedarim she'Beino
l'Beinah and Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh, never once is there mentioned an example
of Hafarah involving the father. The only example of Hafarah of such Nedarim
that is discussed is the Hafarah of the husband. This implies that there are
no limits to the Hafarah of the father.
Regarding the Sifri and Yerushalmi that say explicitly that the father and
husband have the same ability to annul Nedarim, the Rambam writes "that this
bothered me for many days," but he concludes that since this Derashah is not
mentioned anywhere in Talmud Bavli, it is most likely that our Gemara does
not accept it.
According to the Rambam, the Derashah of Rabah is only explaining the words
"Bein Ish l'Ishto" and not "Bein Av l'Vito." The words "Bein Av l'Vito" are
mentioned in this part of the verse only because the end of the verse must
mention "bi'Ne'ureha Beis Aviha."
The Rishonim reject the Rambam's proofs. The wording of the verse alone is
not sufficient proof to propose a Halachah which is not hinted to anywhere in
Shas or Midrashim. On the contrary, the Hekesh mentioned in the Sifri and the
Yerushalmi is coming to teach us not to understand the verse like that.
Regarding the Rambam's second proof, that it is not possible for a daughter
to make a Neder that is "Beino l'Beinah" with her father, the ME'IRI (67a)
says that an example of a Neder she'Beino l'Beinah, between a daughter and
her father, would be a Neder that the daughter makes not to serve her father.
Regarding the fact that the Gemara does not mention the Hekesh of the Sifri,
there are many Halachos that are mentioned in the Sifri but not in the
Gemara, and nevertheless the Gemara does not argue with them and they are
followed as the Halachah.
The ME'IRI (67a and 68a) suggests a way to understand the Sifri even
according to the Rambam's ruling. He asks what would be the Halachah,
according to the Rambam, if a Na'arah Me'urasah makes a Neder that is not
Beino l'Beinah or Inuy Nefesh? Do we say that since the Arus cannot annul
such a Neder, the father can annul the Neder by himself? Or do we say that
since the daughter is betrothed, Me'ureses, and the father's dominion over
her is therefore weakened, he cannot annul any Neder by himself, and thus no
one can annul this Neder while she is Me'ureses (see also Lechem Mishnah)?
The Me'iri favors the second approach, that no one can annul Nedarim that are
not Beino l'Beinah or Inuy Nefesh while she is Me'urasah. We may add logical
support for this as well. Logically, we find that although a husband can
annul the Nedarim of his wife even if she is a Bogeres (70a), nevertheless an
Arus cannot annul the Nedarim of his wife who is a Bogeres, since the father
cannot join him in the Hafarah because she left his domain already (by
becoming a Bogeres).
The Me'iri therefore suggests that perhaps the Hekesh of the Sifri compares
the husband to the father *only* with regard to the Nedarim of a *Na'arah
Me'urasah*. In such a case, the father's Hafarah is indeed limited to the
Nedarim that the Arus may annul!
(c) The TUR (YD 234) cites RABEINU YECHIEL who makes a compromise between the
different opinions. Rabeinu Yechiel rules that although the father may annul
*all* of the Nedarim of his daughter, that is only before she becomes an
Arusah. After she becomes an Arusah and the Arus dies and she returns to the
domain of her father, the father can annul only Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah
and Nedarim of Inuy Nefesh. The BEIS YOSEF points out that according to
Rabeinu Yechiel, the Hekesh of the Sifri does not necessarily contradict the
inference of the verse that says that the father may annul "*all*" of the
Nedarim. The Sifri only compares the father to the husband *after* the Arus
dies, while the verse is referring to a daughter who has not yet become
betrothed to an Arus!
The logic behind Rabeinu Yechiel's ruling is that when a woman becomes an
Arusah, she leaves the father's domain with regard to the Hafarah of her
Nedarim (Kidushin 4a). The father only receives the rights of Hafarah of her
Nedarim after the Arus dies through the Halachah of "Nisroknah," which
teaches that the father inherits the rights of Hafarah from the Arus. Since
he is getting his rights from the Arus, he gets whatever rights the Arus had.
Since the Arus could annul only Nedarim she'Beino l'Beinah and Nedarim of
Inuy Nefesh, the father's rights are also limited to those Nedarim. (Rabeinu
Yechiel must hold, like the Me'iri concludes, that during the daughter's
period of Erusin, the father does not have the right to annul other types of
Perhaps the Rambam also understood the Sifri like Rabeinu Yechiel understood
it, even though he did not reveal this to the Chachmei Lunil in his responsum
to them (see similar ways of understanding the Rambam's approach to the
Chachmei Lunil in our Insights to Eruvin 91, and in the writings of Rav