In the Mishna, (Menachot 12:3) it says that if one makes a neder (vow) to offer a Korban Mincha with barley, he offers with wheat. Kehati explains, if he didn't know that Menachot are only wheat, but he's willing to offer it with wheat, he uses wheat, and if he didn't know, and won't use wheat, he doesn't bring the korban.

My question is, what if he does know the halacha in the first place, and still makes the neder to bring it with barley. Should he bring it with wheat or not at all?


1 Answer 1


By making the neder to bring a mincha with barley when he knows it is not possible, this person is making a neder in vain – a neder shov.

From INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF Nedarim 15 I see that

The RAN (end of Nedarim 14b) writes that there is no Isur of "Neder Shav," a Neder made in vain, as there is an Isur of Shevu'as Shav, a Shevu'ah made in vain.... (it means that) there is no Neder altogether.

So he does not have to bring anything.

TOSFOS in Gitin (35a, as cited by the GILYON HA'SHAS) and the ROSH here rule that although Malkus is not administered for making a Neder Shav, one still is not allowed to make a Neder which he cannot fulfill. The verse says, "Lo Yachel Devaro" -- "he shall not profane his word" (Bamidbar 30:3). One who makes a Neder that he cannot fulfill transgresses the prohibition against profaning his word.

(He is not punished with Malkus because his transgression is a "Lav she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh" (it involves no physical action). Although a Shevu'as Shav is also a "Lav she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh" and yet one is punished with Malkus for transgressing that Lav, this is because a special verse in the Torah teaches that Malkus is given for the "Lav she'Ein Bo Ma'aseh" of Shevu'as Shav.)

At all events he does not need to bring a mincha.

  • 3
    Seems plausible, but editing in evidence that this counts as a neder shav would improve your answer considerably.
    – msh210
    Nov 23, 2014 at 3:58

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