Arachin 5 -- Personal Valuation of an Infant and of an Idolater

When the Torah assigned symbolic values of people to be donated to the Temple , it started from one month old. What happens when one promises to donate the symbolic value of a child before one month? Rabbi Meir says that people never make vain statements in serious matters, therefore, since he knows that there is no value assigned to the baby, he means to donate its value in the slave market. The Sages say that people do make vain statements, and thus this person is treated as one who said nothing.

An idolater can make regular monetary vows and be a subject of the vows of others. Although idolater’s symbolic value for the Temple was not listed, Rabbi Meir says that he is nevertheless included, while Rabbi Yehudah says that he can donate other people’s symbolic value but not his own. The Torah uses both an inclusive "a man" and exclusive "Children of Israel," but Rabbi Meir says that it is more common to be a recipient of a symbolic valuation vow, while Rabbi Yehudah argues that it is more common to be a giver.

Pierre Auguste Renoir - Portrait Of An Infant