[This is the law] when a man or woman expresses a nazirite vow to God.
Daber el-beney Yisra'el ve'amarta alehem ish o-ishah ki yafli lindor neder nazir lehazir l'Adonay.
nazirite This is unlike ordinary vows, since it involves a special protocol and ordinarily is for thirty days (Sifri; Yad, Nazir 3:1). The word nazir denotes that which is set apart and consecrated (Rashi; see notes on Genesis 49:26, Leviticus 25:5). It can also denote the 'crown' of hair that the nazirite wears (Ibn Ezra on Numbers 6:7; Ramban). According to Talmudic tradition, the main purpose of the nazirite vow is to be a discipline against sexual temptation (Sotah 2a; Rashi) and to avoid pride (Sotah 4b). However, it is also seen as a means of attaining spiritual gifts (cf. Judges 13:3; 1 Samuel 1:11), and possibly as an initiation to prophecy (cf. Amos 2:11). By taking a nazirite vow, a layperson also to some degree attains the status of a priest (Philo 1, Legum Allegoriae 249). Some say that it is an offering where one presents his hair to God (Josephus, Antiquities 4:4:4).
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