רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר אוֹמֵר, פּוֹתְחִין לָאָדָם בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹסְרִין. אָמַר רַבִּי צָדוֹק, עַד שֶׁפּוֹתְחִין לוֹ בִכְבוֹד אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, יִפְתְּחוּ לוֹ בִכְבוֹד הַמָּקוֹם, אִם כֵּן אֵין נְדָרִים. וּמוֹדִים חֲכָמִים לְרַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר בְּדָבָר שֶׁבֵּינוֹ לְבֵין אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, שֶׁפּוֹתְחִין לוֹ בִּכְבוֹד אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ:
Rabbi Eliezer says: When halakhic authorities are approached with regard to the dissolution of a vow, they may broach dissolution with a person who took a vow by raising the issue of how taking the vow ultimately degraded the honor of his father and mother, asking him the following: Had you known that your parents would experience public shame due to your lax attitude toward your vow, would you still have taken the vow? But the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Eliezer and prohibit broaching dissolution of a vow with this particular question. To support the opinion of the Rabbis, Rabbi Tzadok said: Instead of broaching dissolution with him by raising the issue of the honor of his father and mother, let them broach dissolution with him by raising the issue of the honor of the Omnipresent. They should point out that a vow taken in the name of God lessens the honor of God, so they could ask him: If you had known that your vow would diminish the honor of God, would you have taken your vow? And if so, if this is a valid method of broaching dissolution, there are no vows. Nevertheless, the Rabbis concede to Rabbi Eliezer with regard to a vow concerning a matter that is between him and his father and mother, that they may broach dissolution with him by raising the issue of the honor of his father and mother, as in this case the extenuation is connected to this particular vow.
וְעוֹד אָמַר רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר, פּוֹתְחִין בְּנוֹלָד. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹסְרִין. כֵּיצַד. אָמַר, קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לְאִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי, וְנַעֲשָׂה סוֹפֵר, אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מַשִּׂיא אֶת בְּנוֹ בְקָרוֹב, וְאָמַר, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא נַעֲשֶׂה סוֹפֵר אוֹ שֶׁהוּא מַשִּׂיא אֶת בְּנוֹ בְקָרוֹב, לֹא הָיִיתִי נוֹדֵר. קוֹנָם לְבַיִת זֶה שֶׁאֵינִי נִכְנָס, וְנַעֲשָׂה בֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, וְאָמַר, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא נַעֲשֶׂה בֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת לֹא הָיִיתִי נוֹדֵר, רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר מַתִּיר, וַחֲכָמִים אוֹסְרִין:
And Rabbi Eliezer further said: They may broach dissolution by asking about a new situation, but the Rabbis prohibit it. How might they broach dissolution by asking about a new situation? If one said: It is forbidden to me like an offering [konam] that I will therefore not derive benefit from so-and-so, and that person later became a scribe [sofer], and the one who took the vow now requires his services, or if the one forbidden by the vow was marrying off his son and prepared a feast for all the residents of his town, and the one that had taken the vow said: Had I known that he would become a scribe, or that he would be marrying off his son in the near future, I would not have vowed. The mishna cites another example of a new situation. If one said: Entering this house is konam for me, and that house became a synagogue, and he said: Had I known that it would become a synagogue, I would not have vowed, in this and all such cases Rabbi Eliezer permits the halakhic authority to use this as a basis for the dissolution of the vow, and the Rabbis prohibit it.
רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר, יֵשׁ דְּבָרִים שֶׁהֵן כְּנוֹלָד וְאֵינָן כְּנוֹלָד, וְאֵין חֲכָמִים מוֹדִים לוֹ. כֵּיצַד. אָמַר, קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נוֹשֵׂא אֶת פְּלוֹנִית, שֶׁאָבִיהָ רָע. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, מֵת אוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה תְשׁוּבָה. קוֹנָם לְבַיִת זֶה שֶׁאֵינִי נִכְנָס, שֶׁהַכֶּלֶב רַע בְּתוֹכוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהַנָּחָשׁ בְּתוֹכוֹ. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, מֵת הַכֶּלֶב אוֹ שֶׁנֶּהֱרַג הַנָּחָשׁ, הֲרֵי הֵן כְּנוֹלָד וְאֵינָן כְּנוֹלָד, וְאֵין חֲכָמִים מוֹדִים לוֹ:
As a continuation of the opinion of the Rabbis in the previous mishna that they may not broach dissolution of a vow based on a new situation, Rabbi Meir says: There are matters that are, at first glance, like a new situation but are not in fact like a new situation, and the Rabbis do not concede to him. How so? For example, one said: Marrying so-and-so is konam for me, as her father is evil, and they told him that her father died, or that he repented. Or he said: Entering this house is konam for me, as there is a bad dog inside it, or a snake inside it, and they told him that the dog died, or that the snake was killed. This is at first glance perceived like a new situation, and yet it is not in fact like a new situation, and this claim may be used to broach dissolution. But the Rabbis do not concede to him.
וְעוֹד אָמַר רַבִּי מֵאִיר פּוֹתְחִין לוֹ מִן הַכָּתוּב שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה וְאוֹמְרִים לוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיִיתָ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁאַתָּה עוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תִקֹּם וְעַל לֹא תִטֹּר (ויקרא יט), וְעַל לֹא תִשְׂנָא אֶת אָחִיךָ בִּלְבָבֶךָ (שם), וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ (שם), וְחֵי אָחִיךָ עִמָּךְ (שם כה), שֶׁמָּא יֵעָנִי וְאֵין אַתָּה יָכוֹל לְפַרְנְסוֹ. אָמַר, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא כֵן, לֹא הָיִיתִי נוֹדֵר, הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר:
And Rabbi Meir further said: The halakhic authorities may broach dissolution with him from that which is written in the Torah, and they may say to him: Had you known that through your vow you are transgressing the prohibition “you shall not take vengeance” (Leviticus 19:18) and the prohibition “nor bear any grudge” (Leviticus 19:18), and the prohibition “you shall not hate your brother in your heart” (Leviticus 19:17), and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), as well as “and your brother should live with you” (Leviticus 25:36), as he, the one prohibited by the vow, is poor and now you are not able to provide him with a livelihood due to your vow, would you have vowed in that case? If he said in reply: Had I known that it is so, that my vow involved all these prohibitions, I would not have vowed; it is dissolved.
פּוֹתְחִין לָאָדָם בִּכְתֻבַּת אִשְׁתּוֹ. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְאֶחָד שֶׁנָּדַר מֵאִשְׁתּוֹ הֲנָאָה וְהָיְתָה כְתֻבָּתָהּ אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת דִּינָרִין, וּבָא לִפְנֵי רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וְחִיְּבוֹ לִתֵּן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. אָמַר לוֹ, רַבִּי, שְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת דִּינָרִין הִנִּיחַ אַבָּא, וְנָטַל אָחִי אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת וַאֲנִי אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת, לֹא דַיָּהּ שֶׁתִּטֹּל הִיא מָאתַיִם, וַאֲנִי מָאתָיִם. אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, אֲפִלּוּ אַתָּה מוֹכֵר שְׂעַר רֹאשְׁךָ, אַתָּה נוֹתֵן לָהּ כְּתֻבָּתָהּ. אָמַר לוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהוּא כֵן, לֹא הָיִיתִי נוֹדֵר, וְהִתִּירָהּ רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא:
The halakhic authorities may broach dissolution with a man by raising the issue of his wife’s marriage contract. If one takes a vow that would require him to divorce his wife, e.g., he prohibits her from deriving benefit from him, his vow may be dissolved by asking him whether he had considered how difficult it would be to pay her marriage contract. The mishna relates: And an incident occurred with regard to one who vowed against his wife deriving benefit from him, and her marriage contract was worth four hundred dinars. And he came before Rabbi Akiva, and he obligated him to give her the payment of her marriage contract. He said to Rabbi Akiva: My teacher, my father left eight hundred dinars as our inheritance, of which my brother took four hundred and I took four hundred. Isn’t it enough for my wife to take two hundred and I will have two hundred? Rabbi Akiva said to him: Your claim is not accepted, as even if you sell the hair on your head, you must give her the full payment of her marriage contract. He said to him: Had I known that it was so, that I would have to give her all my property, I would not have vowed. And Rabbi Akiva permitted her to derive benefit from him.
פּוֹתְחִין בְּיָמִים טוֹבִים וּבְשַׁבָּתוֹת. בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ אוֹמְרִים, אוֹתָן הַיָּמִים מֻתָּרִין וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַיָּמִים אֲסוּרִין, עַד שֶׁבָּא רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא וְלִמֵּד, שֶׁהַנֶּדֶר שֶׁהֻתַּר מִקְצָתוֹ, הֻתַּר כֻּלּוֹ:
If one vowed that certain food or drink or all food and drink be forbidden to him, the halakhic authorities may broach dissolution by raising the issue of Festivals and Shabbatot. They ask him whether he realized at the time he stated his vow that he would have to uphold it on these festive days as well. At first they said that on those days that he did not intend to include in his vow, that item is permitted, but on all the rest of the days, food and drink are still forbidden by his vow, until Rabbi Akiva came and taught that a vow that is partially dissolved is dissolved entirely.
כֵּיצַד. אָמַר, קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לְכֻלְּכֶם, הֻתַּר אֶחָד מֵהֶן, הֻתְּרוּ כֻלָּן. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָזֶה וְלָזֶה, הֻתַּר הָרִאשׁוֹן, הֻתְּרוּ כֻלָּן. הֻתַּר הָאַחֲרוֹן, הָאַחֲרוֹן מֻתָּר, וְכֻלָּן אֲסוּרִין. הֻתַּר הָאֶמְצָעִי, הֵימֶנּוּ וּלְמַטָּה מֻתָּר, הֵימֶנּוּ וּלְמַעְלָה אָסוּר. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָזֶה קָרְבָּן וְלָזֶה קָרְבָּן, צְרִיכִין פֶּתַח לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד:
How so? In the case of one who said to a group of people: I will not benefit from all of you as it is konam for me, if benefit from one of them was permitted for whatever reason, benefit from all of them is permitted. However, if one said: I will not benefit from this one and from that one as it is konam for me, then if benefit from the first one was permitted for whatever reason, benefit from all of them is permitted. But if benefit from the last one was permitted, benefit from the last one alone is permitted, but benefit from all the others is forbidden, as the benefit from each is considered to have been prohibited by a separate vow. If benefit from the middle one was permitted, then from him and below, i.e., all those enumerated after him, benefit is permitted; from him and above, i.e., those listed before him, benefit is forbidden. The mishna gives another example of interconnected vows: If one stated: I will not benefit from this one, as if he were an offering, and from that one, as if he were an offering, then an extenuation enabling the dissolution of a vow is required for each and every one, as they have the status of separate vows.
קוֹנָם יַיִן שֶׁאֵינִי טוֹעֵם, שֶׁהַיַּיִן רַע לַמֵּעָיִם, אָמְרוּ לוֹ, וַהֲלֹא הַמְיֻשָּׁן יָפֶה לַמֵּעָיִם, הֻתַּר בַּמְיֻשָּׁן. וְלֹא בַמְיֻשָּׁן בִּלְבַד הֻתַּר, אֶלָּא בְכָל הַיָּיִן. קוֹנָם בָּצָל שֶׁאֵינִי טוֹעֵם, שֶׁהַבָּצָל רַע לַלֵּב. אָמְרוּ לוֹ, הֲלֹא הַכֻּפְרִי יָפֶה לַלֵּב, הֻתַּר בַּכֻּפְרִי. וְלֹא בַכֻּפְרִי בִלְבַד הֻתַּר, אֶלָּא בְכָל הַבְּצָלִים. מַעֲשֶׂה הָיָה, וְהִתִּירוֹ רַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּכָל הַבְּצָלִים:
The mishna gives another example of a vow that was partially dissolved. If one stated in a vow: Wine is konam for me and I will not taste it, as wine is bad for the intestines, and they said to him: But aged wine is good for the intestines, then the vow is dissolved with regard to aged wine. And not only with regard to aged wine is it dissolved, but with regard to all types of wine, since a vow that has been partially dissolved is entirely dissolved. Likewise, if one stated in a vow: Onions are konam for me and I will not taste them, as onions are bad for the heart, and they said to him: But the kuferi onion is good for the heart, then, in this case too, it is dissolved with regard to kuferi onions, and not only with regard to kuferi onions is it dissolved, but with regard to all types of onions. The mishna relates that an incident of this kind occurred, and Rabbi Meir dissolved the vow with regard to all types of onions.
פּוֹתְחִין לָאָדָם בִּכְבוֹד עַצְמוֹ וּבִכְבוֹד בָּנָיו. אוֹמְרִים לוֹ, אִלּוּ הָיִיתָ יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁלְּמָחָר אוֹמְרִין עָלֶיךָ כָּךְ הִיא וִסְתּוֹ שֶׁל פְּלוֹנִי, מְגָרֵשׁ אֶת נָשָׁיו, וְעַל בְּנוֹתֶיךָ יִהְיוּ אוֹמְרִין בְּנוֹת גְּרוּשׁוֹת הֵן, מָה רָאֲתָה אִמָּן שֶׁל אֵלּוּ לְהִתְגָּרֵשׁ, וְאָמַר, אִלּוּ הָיִיתִי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכֵּן, לֹא הָיִיתִי נוֹדֵר, הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר:
The halakhic authorities may broach dissolution for a person by raising the issue of his own honor and the honor of his children. For example, if he took a vow that resulted in his needing to divorce his wife, they may say to him: Had you known that tomorrow people will say about you: This is the habit [veset] of so-and-so, that he divorces his wives due to vows, and they will say about your daughters: They are daughters of divorce, or they will ask: What did their mother see to divorce, thereby giving them a bad reputation. And if the man who vowed said: Had I known it was so, I would not have vowed, it is dissolved.
קוֹנָם שֶׁאֵינִי נוֹשֵׂא אֶת פְּלוֹנִית כְּעוּרָה, וַהֲרֵי הִיא נָאָה. שְׁחוֹרָה, וַהֲרֵי הִיא לְבָנָה. קְצָרָה, וַהֲרֵי הִיא אֲרֻכָּה, מֻתָּר בָּהּ. לֹא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא כְעוּרָה וְנַעֲשֵׂית נָאָה, שְׁחוֹרָה וְנַעֲשֵׂית לְבָנָה, קְצָרָה וְנַעֲשֵׂית אֲרֻכָּה, אֶלָּא שֶׁהַנֶּדֶר טָעוּת. וּמַעֲשֶׂה בְאֶחָד שֶׁנָּדַר מִבַּת אֲחוֹתוֹ הֲנָיָה, וְהִכְנִיסוּהָ לְבֵית רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל וְיִפּוּהָ. אָמַר לוֹ רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל, בְּנִי, לָזוֹ נָדָרְתָּ. אָמַר לוֹ, לָאו. וְהִתִּירוֹ רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל. בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה בָּכָה רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל וְאָמַר, בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל נָאוֹת הֵן, אֶלָּא שֶׁהָעֲנִיּוּת מְנַוַּלְתָּן. וּכְשֶׁמֵּת רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל, הָיוּ בְנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל נוֹשְׂאוֹת קִינָה וְאוֹמְרוֹת, בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל בְּכֶינָה. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר בְּשָׁאוּל (שמואל ב א) בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל שָׁאוּל בְּכֶינָה:
The mishna continues: If a man said: Marrying ugly so-and-so is konam for me, and she is in fact beautiful, or if, in vowing not to marry her, he called her black, and she is in fact white, or if, in vowing not to marry her, he called her short, and she is in fact tall, he is permitted to her. Not because she was ugly and became beautiful, black and became white, or short and became tall, but rather, because the vow was mistaken from the outset. The Gemara relates: And an incident occurred with regard to one who vowed against deriving benefit from the daughter of his sister, as he did not wish to marry her. And they brought her into the house of Rabbi Yishmael and he beautified her. When she was later brought before the one who took the vow, Rabbi Yishmael said to him: My son, did you vow that you would not derive benefit from this woman? He said to him: No, and Rabbi Yishmael permitted her to him, as he demonstrated that the vow had been made in error. At that time Rabbi Yishmael wept and said: The daughters of Israel are beautiful, but poverty makes them ugly. And when Rabbi Yishmael died, the daughters of Israel raised a lamentation, saying: Daughters of Israel, weep for Rabbi Yishmael. And it likewise states about Saul, who also concerned himself with the welfare of the daughters of Israel: “Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet with other delights, who put ornaments of gold upon your apparel” (II Samuel 1:24).