Nazir 4 - To be like Samson

If one accepts to be a nazir and to abstain only from grapes - he is a complete nazir, with all the prohibitions. Since the Torah forbade separately "... from new wine and aged wine ," we see that partial prohibition has the force to impose a complete nazir vow on him.

The above is the view of the Sages. Rabbi Shimon disagrees: since the Torah said, " From anything made of grapevine ," we see that only a complete declaration takes effect. Each of the disputants, the Sages and Rabbi Shimon, then explains away the other one's proof.

One can become a "nazir like Samson," or even just a "permanent nazir". The permanent nazir observes the laws of wine, ritual impurity and not cutting hair all his life. However, if his hair is too heavy, he can trim it - and bring sacrifices - then continue. Nazir like Samson cannot cut his hair at all, but on the other hand he is not bringing sacrifice even if he becomes impure - he just purifies himself and continues. Others say that "Nazir like Samson" does not exist - because Samson never became a nazir himself.

The categories of "Nazir like Samsom" and "permanent nazir" are nowhere mentioned in the Torah, but constitute part of "unwritten laws." These were initially taught only from teacher to student, and later recorded.

Art: The Wedding of Samson Rembrandt Van Rijn