A man or woman who sets himself apart by making a nazirite vow to abstain for the sake of the Lord.  He shall abstain from new wine and aged wine…  For the entire duration of his abstinence, he shall not eat any product of the grape vine, from seeds to skins. All the days of his vow of abstinence, no razor shall pass over his head… All the days that he abstains for The Lord, he shall not come into contact with the dead.”

These verses are hard to understand. The prohibition regarding wine is repeated and it appears to be separate from the other prohibitions like shaving and becoming impure. The prohibition of wine stems directly from a vow but it is not clear how he becomes limited in the other areas.

How does nazirus work? Is it a vow which prohibits wine like a regular vow? Or he is swearing to abstain from wine which is a personal prohibition on his activity? Some would like to prove that it is a personal prohibition because a nazir is prohibited in more than just wine. If it was just a vow how could he be limited in hair cuts and tumah?

However, others are not satisfied with this approach. Nazirus is expressed as a vow, and a vow only prohibits objects not actions. If so, the whole prohibition should not become effective because a vow which is pronounced with the language of an oath—i.e. to prohibit actions—does not work.

Therefore, some suggest that the nazir proclaims a vow and brings upon himself the status of nazirus, and this status obligates him in all the halachos of the nazir. But even so, they concede that the prohibition of wine is a regular vow.

Therefore the verses can be understood as follows: He shall abstain from new wine and aged wine because of his vow. Once he has established this prohibition upon himself the prohibitions of nazirus then apply All the days of his vow of abstinence, no razor shall pass over his head… All the days that he abstains for The Lord, he shall not come into contact with the dead. These are not associated with the language of a vow for they are unique prohibitions which stem from acceptance of nazirus.         (based on Chavatzeles Hasharon)


The princes offered their karbanos everyday for twelve days. Why does the Torah have to  detail each offering if they were exactly the same? From here we see the importance of each individuals avodah. Even if it appears as if they are doing the same thing, in truth, each avodah is different. The Midrashim go to great lengths to explain the symbolism of each prince’s offering.

The Netziv suggests another angle to these offerings. It is true that each Nasi brought up his own offering on behalf of his tribe. But he was also bringing it on behalf of his fellow Nasi.  At the end of all the offerings the Torah tallies the amounts of all the offerings. All the Nasiim together brought all that amount of gold and silver, in an individual way, but with a collective intent.