אַרְבָּעָה נְדָרִים הִתִּירוּ חֲכָמִים, נִדְרֵי זֵרוּזִין, וְנִדְרֵי הֲבַאי, וְנִדְרֵי שְׁגָגוֹת, וְנִדְרֵי אֳנָסִים. נִדְרֵי זֵרוּזִין, כֵּיצַד. הָיָה מוֹכֵר חֵפֶץ וְאָמַר, קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי פוֹחֵת לְךָ מִן הַסֶּלַע, וְהַלָּה אוֹמֵר, קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי מוֹסִיף לְךָ עַל הַשֶּׁקֶל, שְׁנֵיהֶן רוֹצִין בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דִינָרִין. רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן יַעֲקֹב אוֹמֵר, אַף הָרוֹצֶה לְהַדִּיר אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיֹּאכַל אֶצְלוֹ, אוֹמֵר, כָּל נֶדֶר שֶׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לִדֹּר הוּא בָטֵל, וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהֵא זָכוּר בִּשְׁעַת הַנֶּדֶר: The Sages dissolved four types of vows without the requirement of a request to a halakhic authority: Vows of exhortation, vows of exaggeration, vows that are unintentional, and vows whose fulfillment is impeded by circumstances beyond one’s control. The mishna explains: Vows of exhortation are those by which one encourages another using vow terminology that is exaggerated. How so? One was selling an item and said: I will not lower the price for you to less than a sela, as that is konam, forbidden as if it were an offering, for me. And the other one, the buyer, says: I will not raise my payment to you to more than a shekel, as that is konam for me. In this case, one may assume that both want to complete the deal at three dinars, and they did not intend to vow but only exaggerated for purposes of bargaining. Rabbi Eliezer ben Ya’akov says: Even one who wants to take a vow prohibiting another from benefiting from him, but only in order that he should eat with him, not intending to take an actual vow, should say to him at the outset: Any vow that I take in the future is void. And this statement is effective, provided that he remembers at the time of the vow that his intent at the beginning of the year was to render it void.
נִדְרֵי הֲבַאי, אָמַר, קוֹנָם אִם לֹא רָאִיתִי בַדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה כְיוֹצְאֵי מִצְרָיִם, אִם לֹא רָאִיתִי נָחָשׁ כְּקוֹרַת בֵּית הַבָּד. נִדְרֵי שְׁגָגוֹת, אִם אָכָלְתִּי וְאִם שָׁתִיתִי, וְנִזְכַּר שֶׁאָכַל וְשָׁתָה. שֶׁאֲנִי אוֹכֵל וְשֶׁאֲנִי שׁוֹתֶה, וְשָׁכַח וְאָכַל וְשָׁתָה. אָמַר, קוֹנָם אִשְׁתִּי נֶהֱנֵית לִי, שֶׁגָּנְבָה אֶת כִּיסִי וְשֶׁהִכְּתָה אֶת בְּנִי, וְנוֹדַע שֶׁלֹּא הִכַּתּוּ וְנוֹדַע שֶׁלֹּא גְנָבָתּוּ. רָאָה אוֹתָן אוֹכְלִים תְּאֵנִים וְאָמַר, הֲרֵי עֲלֵיכֶם קָרְבָּן, וְנִמְצְאוּ אָבִיו וְאֶחָיו, וְהָיוּ עִמָּהֶן אֲחֵרִים, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, הֵן מֻתָּרִין וּמַה שֶּׁעִמָּהֶן אֲסוּרִין. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִין: Vows of exaggeration that the Sages dissolved without a request to a halakhic authority, as described in the first mishna in the chapter, include the following examples. If one said concerning a certain item: It is konam for me if I did not see on this road as many people as those who ascended from Egypt, or if he said: It is konam for me if I did not see a snake as large as the beam of an olive press, in these cases the speaker did not intend to vow but used hyperbole to demonstrate a point, and it is understood by others that the expression is not to be taken literally. What are examples of vows that are unintentional that are dissolved, as taught at the beginning of the chapter? One who vows: This loaf is forbidden to me as if it were an offering [konam] if I ate or if I drank, and then he remembers that he ate or drank. Or, one who vows: This loaf is konam for me if I will eat or if I will drink, and he then forgets and eats or drinks. Also, one who said: Benefiting from me is konam for my wife because she stole my purse or she hit my son, and then it became known that she had not hit him or it became known that she had not stolen. The mishna lists another example of an unintentional vow: One who saw people entering his courtyard and eating figs, and because he did not want them to do so he said: The figs are forbidden to you like an offering. And then it was found that his father and brother were in the group, and there were others with them as well, and certainly he did not intend to take a vow prohibiting his father and brother from eating the figs. In such a case, Beit Shammai says: They, his father and brother, are permitted to eat the figs, and those others that were with them are prohibited from doing so. And Beit Hillel says: Both these and those are permitted to eat the figs, as will be clarified in the Gemara.
נִדְרֵי אֳנָסִים, הִדִּירוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיֹּאכַל אֶצְלוֹ, וְחָלָה הוּא אוֹ שֶׁחָלָה בְנוֹ אוֹ שֶׁעִכְּבוֹ נָהָר, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ נִדְרֵי אֳנָסִין: What are examples of vows impeded by circumstances beyond one’s control? If one’s friend took a vow with regard to him that he should eat with him, and he became sick, or his son became sick, or a river that he was unable to cross barred him from coming, these are examples of vows whose fulfillment are impeded by circumstances beyond one’s control. They are not binding and do not require dissolution.
נוֹדְרִין לָהֳרָגִין וְלָחֳרָמִין וְלַמּוֹכְסִין שֶׁהִיא תְרוּמָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ תְּרוּמָה, שֶׁהֵן שֶׁל בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן שֶׁל בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ. בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, בַּכֹּל נוֹדְרִין, חוּץ מִבִּשְׁבוּעָה. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אַף בִּשְׁבוּעָה. בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, לֹא יִפְתַּח לוֹ בְנֶדֶר. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אַף יִפְתַּח לוֹ. בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, בְּמַה שֶּׁהוּא מַדִּירוֹ. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אַף בְּמַה שֶּׁאֵינוֹ מַדִּירוֹ. כֵּיצַד, אָמְרוּ לוֹ, אֱמוֹר קוֹנָם אִשְׁתִּי נֶהֱנֵית לִי, וְאָמַר קוֹנָם אִשְׁתִּי וּבָנַי נֶהֱנִין לִי, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים, אִשְׁתּוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת וּבָנָיו אֲסוּרִין. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים, אֵלּוּ וָאֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִין: One may take a vow to murderers, i.e., people suspected of killing others over monetary matters; or to robbers [ḥaramin]; or to tax collectors who wish to collect tax, that the produce in his possession is teruma although it is not teruma. One may also take a vow to them that the produce in his possession belongs to the house of the king, although it does not belong to the house of the king. One may take a false vow to save himself or his possessions, as a statement of this sort does not have the status of a vow. Beit Shammai say: One may vow in such a case, although he has no intention that his words be true, using every means of taking a vow or making a prohibition in order to mislead those people, except for by taking of an oath, due to its more stringent nature. And Beit Hillel say: One may mislead them even by taking an oath. Beit Shammai say: When negotiating with a robber, one should not initiate by taking a vow for him unless the robber does not believe his claim, in which case he may take a vow to reinforce his words. And Beit Hillel say: He may even initiate by taking a vow to him. Beit Shammai say: One may take a vow only about that which the robber compels him to take a vow but may not add to it. And Beit Hillel say: One may take a vow even about that which he does not compel him to take a vow. The mishna explains the previous statement: How so? If the extortionist said to him that he should say: Benefiting from me is konam for my wife if the vow is not true, and he said: Benefiting from me is konam for my wife and my children, Beit Shammai say: His wife is permitted to benefit from him, since the extortionist demanded that he take that vow, but his children, whom he added of his own accord, are prohibited from benefiting from their father. And Beit Hillel say: Both these and those are permitted to benefit from him.
הֲרֵי נְטִיעוֹת הָאֵלּוּ קָרְבָּן אִם אֵינָן נִקְצָצוֹת, טַלִּית זוֹ קָרְבָּן אִם אֵינָהּ נִשְׂרֶפֶת, יֵשׁ לָהֶן פִּדְיוֹן. הֲרֵי נְטִיעוֹת הָאֵלּוּ קָרְבָּן עַד שֶׁיִּקָּצְצוּ, טַלִּית זוֹ קָרְבָּן עַד שֶׁתִּשָּׂרֵף, אֵין לָהֶם פִּדְיוֹן: If one sees his property in danger of being destroyed, and takes a vow stating, for example: These saplings are like an offering if they are not cut down, or: This garment is like an offering if it is not burned, these items are consecrated if the saplings remain standing or if the garment is not burned. In addition, they are subject to the possibility of redemption just as other items consecrated for maintenance of the Temple may be redeemed. But if one said: These saplings are like an offering until they are cut down, or: This garment is like an offering until it is burned, then they are not subject to the possibility of redemption.
הַנּוֹדֵר מִיּוֹרְדֵי הַיָּם, מֻתָּר בְּיוֹשְׁבֵי הַיַּבָּשָׁה. מִיּוֹשְׁבֵי הַיַּבָּשָׁה, אָסוּר בְּיוֹרְדֵי הַיָּם, שֶׁיּוֹרְדֵי הַיָּם בִּכְלָל יוֹשְׁבֵי הַיַּבָּשָׁה. לֹא כָאֵלּוּ שֶׁהוֹלְכִין מֵעַכּוֹ לְיָפוֹ, אֶלָּא בְמִי שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לְפָרֵשׁ: In the case of one who takes a vow that he will not derive benefit from seafarers, he is permitted to benefit from those who live on dry land. But if he takes a vow not to derive benefit from those who live on dry land, he is also prohibited from deriving benefit from seafarers, because seafarers are included within the category of those who live on dry land. The mishna now defines seafarers: Not like those that travel by ship from Akko to Jaffa, which is a short trip, but rather one who customarily departs [lefaresh] to distant locations, e.g., foreign countries.
הַנּוֹדֵר מֵרוֹאֵי הַחַמָּה, אָסוּר אַף בַּסּוּמִין, שֶׁלֹּא נִתְכַּוֵּן זֶה אֶלָּא לְמִי שֶׁהַחַמָּה רוֹאָה אוֹתוֹ: One who takes a vow not to derive benefit from those who see the sun is prohibited from deriving benefit even from the blind, although they see nothing. This is because he meant only to include all those that the sun sees, i.e., shines upon with light.
הַנּוֹדֵר מִשְּׁחוֹרֵי הָרֹאשׁ, אָסוּר בַּקֵּרְחִין וּבְבַעֲלֵי שֵׂיבוֹת, וּמֻתָּר בַּנָּשִׁים וּבַקְּטַנִּים, שֶׁאֵין נִקְרָאִין שְׁחוֹרֵי הָרֹאשׁ אֶלָּא אֲנָשִׁים: One who takes a vow not to derive benefit from those that have dark heads [sheḥorei harosh] is prohibited from deriving benefit from those that are bald, although they have no hair at all, and from the elderly who have white hair. This is because the term is not to be understood in its simple meaning but rather in a broader manner. But he is permitted to derive benefit from women and from children, because only men are called: Those with dark heads.
הַנּוֹדֵר מִן הַיִּלּוֹדִים, מֻתָּר בַּנּוֹלָדִים. מִן הַנּוֹלָדִים, אָסוּר בַּיִּלּוֹדִים. רַבִּי מֵאִיר מַתִּיר אַף בַּיִּלּוֹדִים. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, לֹא נִתְכַּוֵּן זֶה אֶלָּא בְמִי שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לְהוֹלִיד: One who takes a vow not to derive benefit from those that are born [yeludim] is permitted to derive benefit from those who will be born [noladim] after the time of the vow. But if one takes a vow not to derive benefit from those who will be born, he is also prohibited from deriving benefit from those that are already born at the time of the vow. Rabbi Meir permits deriving benefit even from those that are already born at the time of the vow because he holds that the one taking the vow was precise in prohibiting only those that will be born. And the Rabbis say: He intended to include with this expression only one whose nature is to be born. Therefore, both those who will be born and those who were already born are included in the vow.
הַנּוֹדֵר מִשּׁוֹבְתֵי שַׁבָּת, אָסוּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָסוּר בַּכּוּתִים. מֵאוֹכְלֵי שׁוּם, אָסוּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָסוּר בַּכּוּתִים. מֵעוֹלֵי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, אָסוּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֻתָּר בַּכּוּתִים: One who takes a vow that deriving benefit from those who rest on Shabbat is forbidden to him is prohibited from deriving benefit from a Jew, and he is also prohibited from deriving benefit from Samaritans [Kutim] because they are also Shabbat observers. One who takes a vow that deriving benefit from those who eat garlic on Shabbat night is forbidden to him is prohibited from deriving benefit from a Jew, and he is also prohibited from benefiting from Samaritans. However, if one takes a vow that deriving benefit from those who ascend to Jerusalem is forbidden to him, he is prohibited from deriving benefit from a Jew, but he is permitted to benefit from Samaritans because they do not ascend to Jerusalem, but rather, to Mount Gerizim.
קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לִבְנֵי נֹחַ, מֻתָּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָסוּר בְּאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לְזֶרַע אַבְרָהָם, אָסוּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֻתָּר בְּאֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, לוֹקֵחַ בְּיוֹתֵר וּמוֹכֵר בְּפָחוֹת. שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל נֶהֱנִין לִי, לוֹקֵחַ בְּפָחוֹת וּמוֹכֵר בְּיוֹתֵר, אִם שׁוֹמְעִין לוֹ. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָהֶן וְהֵן לִי, יְהַנֶּה לַנָּכְרִים. קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָעֲרֵלִים, מֻתָּר בְּעַרְלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָסוּר בְּמוּלֵי הַגּוֹיִם. קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לַמּוּלִים, אָסוּר בְּעַרְלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֻתָּר בְּמוּלֵי הַגּוֹיִם, שֶׁאֵין הָעָרְלָה קְרוּיָה אֶלָּא לְשֵׁם הַגּוֹיִם, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה ט) כִּי כָל הַגּוֹיִם עֲרֵלִים וְכָל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל עַרְלֵי לֵב, וְאוֹמֵר (שמואל א יז) וְהָיָה הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי הֶעָרֵל הַזֶּה, וְאוֹמֵר (שמואל ב א) פֶּן תִּשְׂמַחְנָה בְּנוֹת פְּלִשְׁתִּים, פֶּן תַּעֲלֹזְנָה בְּנוֹת הָעֲרֵלִים. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה אוֹמֵר, מְאוּסָה עָרְלָה שֶׁנִּתְגַּנּוּ בָהּ הָרְשָׁעִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, כִּי כָל הַגּוֹיִם עֲרֵלִים. רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה שֶׁנִּכְרְתוּ עָלֶיהָ שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה בְרִיתוֹת. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה, שֶׁדּוֹחָה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת הַחֲמוּרָה. רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן קָרְחָה אוֹמֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה, שֶׁלֹּא נִתְלָה לוֹ לְמֹשֶׁה הַצַדִּיק עָלֶיהָ מְלֹא שָׁעָה. רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה אוֹמֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה, שֶׁדּוֹחָה אֶת הַנְּגָעִים. רַבִּי אוֹמֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה, שֶׁכָּל הַמִּצְוֹת שֶׁעָשָׂה אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ לֹא נִקְרָא שָׁלֵם, עַד שֶׁמָּל, שֶׁנֱּאֶמַר (בראשית יז), הִתְהַלֵּךְ לְפָנַי וֶהְיֵה תָמִים. דָּבָר אַחֵר, גְּדוֹלָה מִילָה, שֶׁאִלְמָלֵא הִיא, לֹא בָרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה לג), כֹּה אָמַר ה' אִם לֹא בְרִיתִי יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה, חֻקּוֹת שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ לֹא שָׂמְתִּי: If one says: The property of the descendants of Noah is konam for me, and for that reason I will not benefit from it, he is permitted to derive benefit from a Jew but prohibited from deriving benefit from the nations of the world. If one says: The property of the offspring of Abraham is forbidden to me, and for that reason I will not benefit from it, he is prohibited from deriving benefit from a Jew but permitted to derive benefit from the nations of the world. If one says: The property of a Jew is forbidden to me, and for that reason I will not benefit from it, he may purchase items from a Jew for more than the market price and may sell items to a Jew for less than the market price, so that he does not derive benefit from the transactions. If one says: Benefit from me is forbidden to a Jew, he may purchase items from a Jew for less than the market price and may sell items to a Jew for more than the market price, so that he does not derive benefit from the transactions. But although this would be permitted, they do not listen to him, i.e., people will generally not agree to deal with him in a manner that causes them a loss in every transaction. If one says: The property of a Jew is forbidden to me, and for that reason I will not benefit from them, and my property is forbidden to a Jew and they will not benefit from me, in this case he may benefit from the nations of the world but not from a Jew, and a Jew may not benefit from him. If one says: Benefiting from those who are uncircumcised is konam for me, he is permitted to derive benefit from uncircumcised Jews because they are not regarded as uncircumcised, but he is prohibited from deriving benefit from the circumcised of the nations of the world. Conversely, if he said: Benefiting from those who are circumcised is konam for me, he is prohibited from deriving benefit even from uncircumcised Jews and he is permitted to derive benefit from the circumcised of the nations of the world, as the term uncircumcised is used only to name the nations of the world, as it is stated: “For all the nations are uncircumcised, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart” (Jeremiah 9:25), and it says: “And this uncircumcised Philistine shall be” (I Samuel 17:36), and it says: “Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph” (II Samuel 1:20). These verses indicate that ordinary gentiles are referred to as uncircumcised, regardless of whether they are actually circumcised. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: The foreskin is repulsive, as is evident from the fact that the wicked are disgraced through it, as it is stated: “Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will punish all them that are circumcised in their uncircumcision: Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that have the corners of their hair polled, that dwell in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, but all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart” (Jeremiah 9:25), which indicates that there is an element of disgrace associated with the foreskin. Rabbi Yishmael says: So great is the mitzva of circumcision that thirteen covenants were sealed with regard to it, for the word covenant appears thirteen times in the biblical passage that discusses circumcision (Genesis, chapter 17). Rabbi Yosei says: So great is the mitzva of circumcision that it overrides the strict halakhot of Shabbat, as circumcision is performed even if the eighth day following the birth of a son occurs on Shabbat, despite the fact that circumcision violates the prohibition of labor on Shabbat. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korḥa says: Great is the mitzva of circumcision, as is evident from the fact that the punishment of Moses the righteous for not circumcising his son when he was capable of doing so was not postponed for even a full hour (see Exodus 4:24–26). Rabbi Neḥemya says: So great is the mitzva of circumcision that it overrides the prohibitions associated with leprosy. If leprosy is found on the foreskin of an infant, although it is generally prohibited to cut the afflicted area, it is permitted to do so to perform the mitzva of circumcision. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: So great is the mitzva of circumcision that despite all the mitzvot that Abraham our Patriarch did, he was not called wholehearted until he circumcised himself, as it is stated at the time that the mitzva was given to him: “Walk before Me and you should be wholehearted” (Genesis 17:1). Alternatively, so great is the mitzva of circumcision that if not for it the Holy One, Blessed be He, would not have created His world, as it is stated: “Thus says the Lord: If My covenant be not with day and night, I would not have appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 33:25), and the covenant that exists day and night is the covenant of circumcision, as it is always found on the person’s body.