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Vows and Oaths
Director Michael Wrote:Regarding the promises you already made which you might have become obligated to keep as formal vows:
You should consult personally with a reliable Orthodox Rabbi about your questions on the specific promises you made, and which ones you held to for a period of time, and about which ones, if any, might need formal nullification - using as a reference the section on those topics in our book "Sheva Mitzvot HaShem," by Rabbi Moshe Weiner.

Perhaps Rabbi Yitz will have something to add regarding your general questions.

There are several Talmudic Tractates which deal with the Laws of Oaths and Vows. One of the principles of these laws is that there are vows or oaths which never went into effect as they were made improperly and there are vows and oaths which can be annulled for various reasons. If a person was not fully aware of the ramifications of the vow or oath when he/she made it, or if they had know certain facts before they made the vow or oath which would have caused them not to make the oath or vow or makes them regret making the vow, it can be nulified. A classic example is the story in Tanach of Yiftach the Giladite. He vowed that if Hashem granted him victory in the war then when he returned home he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his door to Hashem. He won the war and came home and the first thing that came out of his door was his daughter. Obviously he could not sacrifice her to Hashem, but yet he made the vow. He should have gone to the High Priest of his time who happened to be Pinchos the son of Elazar the son of Aharon (Moses's brother) to get the vow annulled, but he felt it was beneath his dignity and that Pinchos should come to him, Pinchos felt that since it was Yiftach's problem he should come to him. The end of the story is that Yiftach's daughter went to live as a hermit and never got married, and both Pinchos and Yiftach were punished by the heavenly court. The grounds to annul the vow were very simple, had Yiftach known that his daughter would be the first to walk out the door, he never would have made the vow, and also had Yiftach realized that such a vow was frivolous because perhaps an animal which was unfit for sacrifice might walk out of his door and he could not keep such a vow and thus would never make such a vow.
Rabbi Yitz

Messages In This Thread
Vows and Oaths - by bdschuh - 05-15-2008, 02:52 AM
RE: Vows and Oaths - by Director Michael - 07-29-2009, 02:59 PM
RE: Vows and Oaths - by Director Michael - 02-17-2010, 02:10 AM
RE: Vows and Oaths - by Director Michael - 08-29-2015, 09:08 AM
RE: Vows - by Director Michael - 05-20-2008, 09:44 PM
RE: Vows - by rabbiyitz - 05-21-2008, 05:08 AM
Making an Oath - by Finch - 02-16-2010, 02:29 AM
RE: Vows and Oaths - by Director Michael - 08-27-2015, 01:45 PM

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