Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 67:4-6
The Laws Governing Vows and Oaths

4. Should a person desire to establish a fixed period for the study of Torah or desire to perform a particular mitzvoh, and fear that he will alter fail to do so out of laziness; alternatively, should he fear that the evil inclination will tempt him to transgress a prohibition or prevent him from doing a mitzvoh, he is permitted to spur his determination by making a vow or oath. [Nedorim 8a] quotes Rav as saying:

What is the source which teaches that one may make an oath to fulfill a mitzvoh to spur his determination, even though he is bound by the oath made at Mount Sinai? [Psalms 119:106 states]: "I have sworn and I will fulfill [my oath] to observe your righteous commandments."

Even if one did not make such a statement in the form of an oath or vow, but merely made a promise, it is considered to be a vow and he is obligated to carry it out. Therefore, whenever a person makes a commitment to fulfill a mitzvoh, he should always say "Bli neder" (without obligating myself through a vow). It is proper for a person to train himself to add that phrase even when promising to do matters of a secular nature, so that, Heaven forbid, he will not err and transgress the prohibitions concerning vows.

5. A person who makes vows in order to rectify his character traits is considered meticulous and praiseworthy; e.g., a glutton who took an oath not to eat meat for a specific period, a drunkard who forbade for himself the drinking of wine or other alcoholic beverages, a vain person - preoccupied with his appearance - who vowed to be a Nazirite. Vows of this nature are aspects of the service of G-d, blessed be His name, and concerning such oaths, [Ovos 3:13] teaches: " Vows are a curb for abstinence." Nevertheless, a person should not become accustomed to making even such vows. Rather, he should attempt to control his desires without vows.

6. A vow does not take effect unless one's statements reflect the intentions of one's heart. However, if one erred when making a vow and intended to make a different statement from what he actually said - or thought about making a vow, but did not make a statement to that effect - it is not considered a vow.

BackVows and Oaths
Paragraphs 1-3
   Vows and Oaths
Paragraphs 7-9
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.



View Complete List

When the Illegitimate Becomes Legitimate
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Not Better or Worse, Just Different
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Compliments -- In The Presence And Outside The Presence Of A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Investing in the Land
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Worlds Apart
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5764

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

> Making Something of Nothing
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

New Beginnings
Shlomo Katz - 5762

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761


People In Stone Houses Should not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Language Barrier
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5760

Building Towers - For What?
- 5774

Tire of Babel
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information