If she attached her vow to her obligation, she must provide five more birds, if the four birds she originally gave were of one species.
Case of the Mishna
A woman made a neder to bring “a large korbon” when she gives birth. The Torah obligates her to bring only a single Olah, but she vowed to bring a large korbon consisting of two Olos neder brought at the same time as her Olas chov. She stated that the two extra Olos should be a certain species, but then forgot the species. She gave four birds of the same species, let us say torim, to the Kohain, three to be brought as Olos and one as her Chatos. The Kohain mistakenly brought them as two Chato’os and two Olos, as if they were two pair of chovos.
The first Chatos and Olah brought fulfilled her chov. But she did not successfully bring three Olos at the same time, as she vowed, since one of the prospective Olos was brought as a Chatos.
The woman must bring five more Olos. One must be a tor to match the Chatos that was properly brought. Along with this Olah, she must bring two torim and two bnai yonah as Olos.
She failed to bring three Olos together. Therefore, she must now repeat the Olah she brought for her chov, together with two birds of the species that she specified for her neder. Since she does not remember which species she specified, she must bring two of each species. She must bring all five birds as Olos at the same time. [Diagram 43]
If the four birds she originally gave were of two species, she must now provide six.
Case of the Mishna
As above, a woman made a neder to bring her Olas chov as a large korbon, with two extra Olos, when she gives birth. That is, she stated that the Olas chov should be brought simultaneously with two Olos nedova of a certain species. She then forgot the species. She gave two torim and two bnai yonah to the Kohain. The Kohain mistakenly brought each species as a Chatos and an Olah, as if they were two pair of chovos.
The first Chatos and Olah brought fulfilled her chov but she does not know its species. She did not successfully bring three Olos at the same time, as she vowed, since one of the three prospective Olos was brought as a Chatos.
She must bring the two Olos of her neder together with an Olah that would qualify as her Olas chov. To do this she brings six birds as Olos, three torim and three bnai yonah.
She vowed to bring a korbon of three simultaneous Olos, one of which would be the Olas chov. Therefore, she must repeat her Olas chov with the two Olos neder. The repeated Olas chov must match the Chatos as did the original Olas chov. However, she does not know if the Chatos was a tor or a ben yonah. Therefore, she must bring one tor and one ben yonah. In addition, she does not recall which species she specified for her neder, so she must bring two torim and two bnai yonah to fulfill her neder, all six birds at the same time.
She gave the four birds to the Kohain but it is not known what species she gave. The Kohain brought them, but it is not known what korbonos he brought them as. She must provide another four birds for her neder, two torim and two bnai yonah, and two for her Olas chov, one tor and one ben yonah, and one bird of any species for her Chatos.
Ben Azai says she must provide two birds as Chato’os, one tor and one ben yonah.
Case of the Mishna
As above, a woman made a neder to bring her Olas chov as a large korbon, with two extra Olos, when she gives birth. Instead of one obligatory Olah, she would bring three Olos. She stated that the two extra Olos should be a certain species, but forgot which species. She gave four birds to the Kohain, but does not recall which species they were. The Kohain does not remember how he brought them. He might have brought all as Chato’os or all as Olos, or some as each.
Result and Din in the Two Worst Cases of the Mishna
In one “worst case” the Kohain brought all four birds as Chato’os. The woman has thus successfully brought a Chatos of an unknown species and no Olos. She must bring new Olos neder. Since she does not remember the species named in her neder she must bring two Olos neder of each species. She must also bring an Olas chov of each species to match the Chatos which she has already brought, but whose species she does not know. This is a total requirement of six new Olos.
In the other worst case, all four birds were brought as Olos. She must therefore bring a new Chatos. (She must also bring new Olos because, among other reasons, the Olos she brought might not have been the species of her neder. However, we need not analyze the need for these new Olos, since the first “worst case” already obligates her to bring six new Olos.)
We do not know which, if either, of these two “worst cases” actually occurred. She must, therefore, bring the six Olos as well as the Chatos.
Result and Din in the Two Worst Cases According to Ben Azai
In one “worst case” the Kohain brought all four birds as Chato’os. Ben Azai agrees with the din of the chachomim as presented above in this “worst case.” The woman must bring six new Olos.
In the other “worst case” all four birds were brought as Olos. Ben Azai holds (in the second Perek, fifth Mishna) that the first Olah she brought counts as her Olas chov and that her Chatos chov must match it. Since she does not know the species of the Olos that were brought, she must bring a Chatos of each species. (The chachomim hold that she may bring one Chatos of either species with another Olah to match.)
Thus, she must bring six Olos on the possibility that the first “worst case” occurred plus two Chato’os on the possibility that the second “worst case” occurred.
What if the woman forgot the species of her neder, but, unlike the above case, had not yet given any birds to the Kohain? Then she would need two Olos neder of each species, plus a Chatos chov and an Olas chov of whichever species she chose.
This presents us with the paradox that if she brought no korbonos yet she must bring six korbonos, but if she already brought korbonos, she must bring more than six (seven according to the chachomim and eight according to Ben Azai).
The Mishna compares this paradox with that of an animal that makes more kinds of sounds when it is dead than when it is alive.
Rabbi Yehoshua says, that is what they said: “When it is alive its sound is one and when it is dead its sound is seven.” How does it have seven sounds? Its two horns are made into two trumpets, its two upper hind legs are hollowed into two flutes, its skin is used for a drum, its large intestines are for the strings of lyres, its small intestines are for harps, and some say also its wool is used as purple wool balls on the robe of the Kohain Godol. The balls rattled the bells next to which they were hanging.
Rabbi Shimon ben Akashya concludes with another paradox. As a talmid chochom ages, although his body grows weaker, his mind improves.
Rabbi Shimon ben Akashya says that as the aged among the ignorant grow older their minds become more confused, as the possuk says: “He removes sensible speech from those who in their youth were articulate, and he withdraws the reasoning of the old ones.” But this is not so of the elders of Torah. Rather, as they grow older their minds become more settled, as it says “Amongst the old there is wisdom, and in long life there is understanding.”
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