Friday, February 22, 2008

Nedarim 64a - Nolad: Story of R' Akiva

The rishonim all ask why the neder made by R' akiva's father in law was able to be removed using a pe'sach that he became a "adam gadol", it should be a problem of Nolad. There are many nuances in the Rishonim in how they answer this question, so i thought it was worthwhile pointing them out.
1. Tosafos kesubos 63a - It is not considered nolad since he went to learn in yeshiva and the derech of one who goes to learn in yeshiva is that he will be a talmid chacham (that was apparently true in the time of R' akiva!). This Tosafos needs some explanation because our mishna indicates that becoming a talmid chacham is unexpected and therefore nolad. Perhaps tosafos means that for something to happen in an unexpected way i.e. becoming a talmid chacham without going to yeshiva then it would be nolad. But, since actually going to yeshiva is still within the expected norm, and becoming a talmid chacham is a normal result of going to yeshiva therefore it is not nolad.
2. Tosafos kesubos 63a (2nd answer) - His father in law stated explicitly at the time of the neder that it was made with the assumption that he will not become a talmid chacham, and since it was stated explicitly it does not qualify as nolad.
3. Ran nedarim 50b - R' akiva married her with the condition to become a talmid chacham so in that case it was at least expected that he would learn a little bit and therefore it was not nolad.
4. Ritva Nedarim 64a - Although becoming a talmid chacham is nolad and cannot be used as a way out of the neder, since he revealed that he would not have made the neder even if r' akiva would learn a little, that is expected and therefore not nolad.
5. Nimukei Yosef Nedarim 64a (in the name of the ritvah??) - It is only considered nolad if at the time of the neder the person was not involved in Torah study at all, but R' Akiva had already begun to study torah at the time of the neder היה משתדל בדבר כבר הרי אמרו יגעתי ולא מצאתי אל תאמין, ור"ע באותה שעה צנוע ומעלי ומשתדל בתורה הוה. Nolad only applies if the even had not yet happened at the time of the neder, but since R' akiva began learning which will definitely turn him into a talmid chacham, it is not considered nolad. We find a similar point in Rashi on dassan and aviram becoming poor was not considered nolad (to answer the shita of chachamim who argue on r' elazar), that even though poverty IS nolad (not like the Ran and Rosh), since it had already happened at the time that moshe made the neder, it is not nolad.
6. Perhaps the entire question only begins based on the assumption that the term "sofer" means talmid chacham, but according to Tosafos in Nedarim 64a that becoming a sofer refers to the city scribe who writes contracts, that is considerd nolad, but becoming a talmid chacham is not nolad at all.

No comments: