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.”

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Nazir Perek Aleph (כל כינויי נזירות)

A person may say many words:
“Behold they’re upon me, the birds”
“Nazik” and “Naziach”
“Eheh” and “Paziach”
He is thus a Nazir (it’s absurd!).

The tractate “Nazir” – this we find
Close to “Sotah,” that is, right behind:
Why? If one sees a dame
Who has been through that shame
He will swear he will drink no more wine.

If he says “Eheh” he’s a Nazir
Maybe he means to fast? Swear off beer?
If that’s all that he mentioned
We guess his intention
Because when he vowed one passed near.

“I will be like that man whose own eyes
Have been gouged by those Philistine guys”
With these words he alludes
(Though his language his crude)
To the famed Samson, so we surmise.

A “Samson Nazir” never shaves
(Don’t get busted by Philistine knaves!).
He does not break his vow
And need not bring a cow
If he steps by mistake on some graves.

As a “lifetime Nazir” you may cut
Off your hair every thirty days. But
If you come near the dead
It’s not “off with his head”
Still, he’s stuck in the sacrifice rut.

If one vows, “Nezirut! Nezirut!”
He becomes a Nazir twice, to boot.
He shaves on day thirty
And then brings a birdie
At day sixty, so we compute.

“I’m a Nazir to Kalamazoo”
Vows a man. But how can that be true?
Count the days that it takes
To walk there (feet will ache!)
Nezirut lasts that long, we construe.

Says a man “All my house now I sell
Top to bottom.” But he does not spell
Out which parts are included;
The buyer concluded
He’d also acquired the well.

If he vows, “A nazir! I am one!
For the number of days of the sun!”
That is three sixty five
Months; Alas, to survive
That has to this date never been done.

“I’m a Nazir Pentagon!”
That is Greek for “five.” He takes upon
Himself 150 days
Or so Sumachus says:
Vow in Greek, Nezirut is still on.