Nedarim, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Two



This mishnah is the continuation of Rabbi Yose’s opinion, begun in yesterday’s mishnah.  Yesterday Rabbi Yose said that if the wife vows not to adorn herself or not to bathe the husband cannot annul because these are not considered vows of self-denial.  In our mishnah Rabbi Yose provides his definition of vows of self-denial.


Mishnah Two    

But these are vows of self-denial:

1)                     If she says, “Konam be the produce of the [whole] world to me”, he can annul.

2)                     “Konam be the produce of this region to me,” he should bring her that of a different region. 

3)                     “[Konam be] the produce of this shopkeeper to me”, he cannot annul.

a)                                           But if he can obtain his sustenance only from him, he can annul, the words of Rabbi Yose.



Section one:  If the woman forbids upon herself all produce everywhere the husband may annul the vow because this is certainly considered a vow of self-denial.

Section two:  In this case he cannot annul the vow because he may bring her produce from another region.

Section three:  Similarly, if she vows not to eat the produce of a certain shopkeeper, he may not break the vow because he may bring her produce from other shopkeepers. 

However, if the husband has a deal with the shopkeeper from whom she swore not to receive benefit, whereby the shopkeeper provides him with food on credit, then he may annul the vow.  Since the husband will not be able to bring his wife food from the other shopkeepers who do not give to him on credit, he will not be able to provide her with food, and therefore her vow will be one of self-denial. 

The Sages disagree with Rabbi Yose and hold that even though she has sworn not to receive benefit only from one specific person and she could receive from others, this is still considered a vow of self-denial and the husband may annul it.