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1 Samuel:11 NASB

And she made a vow and said, “Lord of armies, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your bond-servant and remember me, and not forget Your bond-servant, but will give Your bond-servant a [d]son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

It is said Hannah vowed a vow to dedicate the child to the Lord though its not stated what kind of vow she took.The following characteristics are more or less similar to that of a Nazarite.

*She made a vow

*She dedicated the child to the Lord

*No razor shall come upon his head

But according to the Mishnah a woman was not allowed to take a vow rendering her son a Nazarite

Mishna

Sotah 3/8

What are the halakhic differences between a man and a woman? A man lets his hair grow and rends his garments when he is a leper, but a woman does not let her hair grow or rend her garments when she is a leper. A man can vow that his minor son shall be a nazirite, obligating the son to remain a nazirite even during his adulthood, but a woman cannot vow that her son shall be a nazirite.

How did Hannah dedicate Samuel?

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  • That's the sort of question the Nachalas Shimon would discuss at length. Unfortunately, I don't have that volume to look it up.
    – N.T.
    Mar 22 at 0:13

1 Answer 1

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Good question!

The Radak on the verse asks this same question but doesn't know how to explain this.

The Remez wrote (better quality text brought here but mistakenly cited as Nedarim 9:5 instead of Nazir 9:5) that he thinks that Channah didn't make the vow for her son. Rather, it was more wishful thinking and a vow to do everything in her power to help her son be a nazir, but ultimately it would be up to him to decide on the matter.

Perhaps this might explain why Rabbi Yossi seems to disagree with Rabbi Nehorai that Shmuel was a nazir (Mishna Nazir 9:5).

Rabbi Yisrael Lifschitz in his commentary Yachin on Nazir 9:5 wrote that Channah vowed that she would continue to persuade Elkanah to agree to make Shmuel a nazir, and it is not written anywhere that he didn't agree.

Rabbi Yehudah Lifschitz wrote in Dor Yesharim Vol. 2, ch. 21 that it is evident from the Tanach that Elkanah agreed with what Channah said, as it says: "Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do as you think best. Stay home until you have weaned him. May the LORD fulfill His word.”" (Shmuel 1:1:23)

Rabbi Yehudah Shapira in Imrei Da'at suggests that though the Talmud in Nazir 29a says that a woman can't make the vow for her son because she is not commanded to educate him, the Tosfot Yeshanim on Yoma 82a explain that in the case of educating for commandments, a woman is allowed to do things for her children, and so was the case with Channah.

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