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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim
Now, where are abbreviations written? — When either a man or a woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow [lindor neder] of a nazirite [nazir le-hazzir];7 and it has been taught: Nazir le-hazzir is to render substitutes and abbreviations of neziroth as neziroth.8 From this I may infer only the law of neziroth; whence do we know that it applies to other vows too? This is taught by the verse: When either a man or a woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a nazirite to the Lord:9 here ordinary vows are compared to neziroth and vice versa.10 Just as in neziroth abbreviations are equally binding, so in the case of other vows; and just as in other vows, he who does not fulfil them violates the injunctions: He shall not break his word,11 and Thou shalt not delay to pay it,12 so in neziroth. And just as in other vows, the father can annul those of his daughter and the husband those of his wife, so with neziroth.
Wherein does neziroth differ? Because it is written nazir lehazzir! But [in the case of] vows too it is written, lindor neder;13 then what need is there of analogy? — If the text were neder lindor just as 'nazir le-hazzir', it would be as you say, and the analogy would be unnecessary,' since however, 'lindor neder' is written, the Torah spoke in the language of men.14 This agrees with the view that the Torah spoke in the language of men; but he who maintains that the Torah did not speak in the language of men,15 to what purpose does he put this 'lindor neder'? — He interprets it to deduce that abbreviations of vows are as VOWS, and then neziroth is compared to vows; and as to 'nazir le-hazzir' he interprets it as teaching
Nedarim 3bthat one nazirite vow falls upon another.1 Then he who maintains that the Torah spoke in the language of men, and interprets 'nazir le-hazzir' as teaching the validity of abbreviations of neziroth, whence does he learn that a nazirite vow can fall upon another? If he agrees with the view that a nazirite vow does not fall upon another, it is well; but if he agrees with the view that it does, whence does he know it? — Let Scripture say, li-zor [the kal form]; why 'le-hazzir' [the causative]? That you may infer both from it.2 In the West3 it was said: One Tanna deduces [the validity of] abbreviations from 'lindor neder'; whilst another deduces it from [the 'phrase], he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.4
The Master said: 'And just as in other vows, he who does not fulfil them violates the injunctions, he shall not break his wad, and thou shalt not delay to pay it, so in neziroth.' Now, as for 'he shall not break his word' as applying to [ordinary] vows, it is well: it is possible e.g., if one says, 'I vow to eat this loaf', and does not eat it; he violates the injunction, 'he shall not break his word'. But how is, 'he shall not break [his word],' possible in the case of neziroth.? For, as soon as one says, 'Behold, I am a nazir' he is one; if he eats [grapes], he is liable for, nor eat moist drapes or dried;5 if he drinks [wine], he violates, he … shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes.6 — Raba answered: It is to transgress two [injunctions].7 How is 'thou shalt not delay to pay it,' referring to neziroth, conceivable? [For] as soon as one says 'Behold, I am a nazir', he is one; if he eats [grapes], he transgresses, 'neither' shall he … eat moist grapes or dried?' — When one says: 'when I wish, I will be a nazir'.8 But if he says, 'when I wish', the injunction 'thou shalt not delay' does not apply?9 — Said Raba: E.g., if he says, 'I must not depart this world before having been a nazir,' for he becomes a nazir from that moment.10 For this is similar to one who says to his wife: 'Here is your divorce, [to take effect] one hour before my death,' where she is immediately forbidden to eat terumah.11 Thus we see that we fear12 that he may die at any moment: so here13 too, he becomes a nazir immediately, for we say, Perchance he will die now.
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