How did Chana vow that her son (Shmuel hanavi) should be a Nazir, when the (Gemara Sotah 23a) says a woman can't impose Nezirut on her son?

  • 1
    I think the question is, how did he become a nozir just because she viewed
    – aBochur
    Apr 24, 2018 at 20:36
  • Ralba"g on Shmu'el 1:11 says that Channah only vowed regarding that her son will not shave his head, and did not specify nezirut. Then, he says that by merely mentioning an action of nezirut, all the other laws of nezirut apply. I'm not sure if Ralba"g implies that this is a work-around to the Gemarah Sotah's principle or not.
    – DanF
    Apr 24, 2018 at 21:34
  • Read ralbag to 1:11 who answers this, but many mefarshim say that it was not nezirus at all. Apr 24, 2018 at 21:53
  • @רבותמחשבות I think your comment overlapped mine. Do you infer what I did? It's hard to determine what his conclusion is in light of the Gemerah's statement.
    – DanF
    Apr 24, 2018 at 22:59
  • 1
    Isn't it a machlokes if he indeed was a nazir?
    – sam
    Apr 25, 2018 at 21:17

2 Answers 2


Numerous answers are suggested for this question discussed as early as the Rishonim (cf. Radak here).

R. Moshe Zacuto (notes to mishnah Naz. 9:5) understands that Chana didn’t impose a Nazir vow rather she intended to groom the boy as a parush (to abstain from wine etc.) and when the boy would become of age he’d hopefully accept Nazirut by himself.

Others suggest that Chana intended that shed implore her husband, Elkanah, to uphold/articulate the vow (don’t recall source at the moment - feel free to revise).

  • 1
    I looked at the times of the posts and since the other post gave the same answer as you, the day before you posted your answer, your answer could be a comment saying Rav Moshe zacuto says the same thing as the Beis Halevai just like Kouty commented that Rabbi Akiva Eiger wrote the same as the Beis Halevai that Shmuel accepted his own Nezirus when he was old enough
    – yosefkorn
    Jan 30, 2019 at 14:22
  • Regardless what I think about the substance of your reasoning [and mine, for posting as a separate answer,] I commend your candor in commenting why you evidently retracted your upvote.
    – Oliver
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:42

The Bais Halevi http://www.hebrewbooks.org/rambam.aspx?mfid=13316&rid=5763 * quotes the Radak asking this very question of how could Shmuel's mother make her son a Nazir:

הרד"ק הקשה דאיך חל עליו הנזירות דהא קיי"ל אין אשה מדרת בנה בנזיר

He answers that Shmuel Accepted the Nezirus on himself again when he was old enough (so when he killed Agag he was able to shoel Chacham on his own Nezirus inorder not to transgress becoming Tamei)

וראיתי מי שתירץ דאח"כ כשהגדיל קיבל עליו הנזירות בעצמו וכיון דהוי נזיר מפי עצמו שפיר מועיל שאלה

*Rav Yosher Ber Soloveitchik Rav of Brisk 19th century great grandfather of the "Rav" Yosher Ber Soloveitchik

  • Rabbi akiva Eiger quo
    – kouty
    Jan 19, 2019 at 23:11
  • refers to this radak in gilayon hashas
    – kouty
    Jan 19, 2019 at 23:11

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