Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Nazir: Prakim Bet and Gimel

Perek Bet: הריני נזיר

“I’m a Nazir from figs that are dried.”
If the vower has thus specified
Does his nezirut take?
Hillel says, “Goodness sake,
No.” Says Shammai: “He meant what he cried.”

If a cow lies there sprawled in the sludge
And you shout “Get up!” but it won’t budge
You say, “I’m a Nazir
If you move from right here.”
Does that take, though you meant just to nudge?

A drunk woman looked at the wine
In her goblet. She shrieked, “I decline
To drink one more drop
I’m a Nazir. I stop
When it comes to all fruit of the vine.”

“When I vowed Nezirut, I was sure
That the rabbis would let me drink more
I would not make this slip
Had I known I can’t sip.”
Does it hold once he knows what’s in store?

“I’ll be a Nazir and I’ll shave
Off another who does thus behave.”
Says another, “Me too!”
Then what are they to do?
Shave each other! Much trouble they’ll save.

Says a man to his messenger, “Go
Find a wife for me. Whom? I don’t know.”
From that moment each dame
Is forbidden. That same
Woman could be his new wife – Oh no!

A woman is not like a chick.
No, a woman – her place is more fixed.
A chick may go roam
Far away from its home
But a woman to her home she sticks.

A messenger cannot revoke
Any vows that his master’s wife spoke.
Just the husband may say
To his wife, “Vow? No way!”
Only he can, and no other bloke.

“I’ll be a Nazir if a son
Will be born to my wife. Yes, just one.”
If the son is stillborn
Then the father, forlorn,
Can consider his vow as undone.

A Nazir who completes thirty days
Brings his sacrifice, then crosses ways
With a dead man. He’s thus
Impure. Although he must
Shave he cannot do so as it says.

A man who has had two emissions
On his seventh day has a remission
Once the pascal lamb’s brought.
Though he may feel distraught
He need not keep Pesach Two’s traditions.

Perek Gimel: מי שאמר

“Behold, folks, I am a Nazir”
Shave on day thirty-one. But come hear:
If you shaved on day thirty
To feel, say, less dirty
You get off OK, have no fear.

Say “Nazir, I” in a cemetery
Not a wise thing to do – no, not very.
Yochanan says: Nazir!
Lakish: Get out of here!
What you’ve done, all agree, is contrary.

To a graveyard one comes in a box
Or a closet or trunk shut with locks
Some friends take off the lid
From the place where he hid
He’s impure from his hat to his socks.

A Nazir who touched many dead
(He touched one, and then look where that led!)
He may bring just one lamb
(Er… or was it a ram?)
Just one sacrifice falls on his head.

A woman vows “I’m a Nazir”
Then her husband says, “Come again, dear?”
Does she still bring a bird
If he nixed what he heard?
Did he uproot, or chop with a spear?

Queen Heleni’s son went to war
She cried, “I cannot deal any more!
I’ll become a Nazir
If he comes back safe here
I vow seven years – no wine,” she swore.

“That man vowed Nezirut – he vowed twice.”
“He vowed five times, my words are precise.”
These two men disagree
Each says, “Listen to me”
Hillel rules, “Just two months should suffice.”

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