(Nazirite), the fourth tractate in the order Nashim
, deals with the laws of the Nazirite – a man or woman who vows to abstain from partaking of all grape products (especially wine), cutting his/her hair, and defiling him/herself for the dead – in nine chapters. The treatise follows Nedarim
because a Nazirite assumes this special status through a vow, and it precedes Sotah
because “whosoever sees the degradation of an errant wife will foreswear wine” (on the assumption that it was drunkenness that caused the woman to put herself in a compromising situation). Nazir
discusses the formulas used in undertaking the vow, the procedure followed when the Naziriteship comes to an end, the annulment of a Naziriteship, and under what circumstances a Nazirite may defile him/herself for the dead, among other laws.
Nazir, like Nedarim, Temurah, Kereitot, Me‘ilah, and part of Tamid, is one of the “special tractates” written in a peculiar dialect of Aramaic that seems not to have benefited from final editorial polishing. In addition, the commentary to Nazir attributed to Rashi was apparently written by his son-in-law Rabbi Meir ben Samuel, while the Tosafot to Nazir were written by the disciples of Rabbi Perez of Corbeil.
A.M. Habermann, Ha-madpis daniyyel bombirgi u-reshimat sifrei beit defuso (Safed: The Museum of Printing Art, 1978), 35 (no. 52).
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