Sunday, 21 June 2015

Nedarim 29: Inherent Sanctity and Sanctity Inherent in its Value

The rabbis dive into the tension between inherent sanctity and the power of a vow.  Can a man say to a woman, "Today you are my wife and tomorrow you are not my wife" and expect her to leave the marriage without a ketubah?  Sanctity that is inherent in its value will disappear if nothing is done.  Inherent sanctity relates to something that is consecrated, like a betrothed woman.  An action must be done to remove that inherent sanctity.

But is that actually the case?  Apparently a baraita teaches that one can make a vow that states that  an ox can be brought as a burnt offering and then changed to a peace offering after thirty days without any 'action'.  The Gemara counters that this is a case where one is consecrating the ox for its monetary value which will be used toward a peace offering.  Thus the sanctity changes via an action.

The rabbis use the example of a woman who is betrothed when a man gives her a peruta and says, we will be betrothed after thirty days.  Even if she spends or loses that money, they are betrothed after thirty days unless one of them retracts.  The rabbis go on to consider what happens if one of them does retract and the peruta is gone.   One of their considerations is a vow made to G-d in comparison with a vow made to a common person.  Vows made to G-d are not dependent on place, as G-d is everywhere, and thus those vows are enacted immediately.  

The daf ends with a story about Rabbi Yirmeya dozing, menamnem, while they discuss this case.  We'll learn where it goes through tomorrow's daf.  

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