Thursday, March 27, 2008


It's been a while since I've posted any Daf Yomi reports. (This thread began, and is explained, here).

Over the weekend we finished the Nedarim tractate, which deals with vows, and moved on to the Nazir tractate, that deals with... a specific type of vows. The vow to be a Nazirite. We even asked ourselves how to say Nazir in English, and it turns out there is no such word. Apparently, all translations since King James simply spell the Hebrew word Nazir in English letters, thus Nazirite. The idea is laid out in the 6th chapter of Numbers; if you don't have a bible near you (alas, I expect many people don't), you can look over here, or do some googling to find a better source if you wish. In a nutshell, the Nazirite is a person (man?) who has vowed to stay off anything that comes from grapes, alcoholic or otherwise, and to refrain from cutting his hair.

The first few pages of the tractate establish that the basic unit of time to be a nazir is a month. There's s quible what that means: 30 days? 29 and a hour of the 30th? 31 days? Eventually the decision is for 30 days. At which point today's page, in typical talmudic form, took the quibble further. What happens when a man takes upon himself to be a nazir plus an hour? (Answer: two months, because being a nazir means a month, and he added to it so it's another full unit). However, if he said "I'll be a nazir for 30 days and an hour", he's obligated only for 31 days, because he specified that it's all one period.

Gotta be precise.

Nazir 7a.

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