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Vows and Oaths
(08-22-2015, 06:30 AM)cnk15 Wrote: My post is about vows. I think I read somewhere that if someone does something three times in a row that thing becomes a vow or like a vow, and the person is now obligated to do it. Is this true for Noahides?

For Noahides / Gentiles, that does not establish an obligation with the force of vow. Vows are established verbally and with intention as such.

But if one makes a strong commitment to do a good practice in the service of G-d, and then makes that part of his established long-term lifestyle, it's not proper to drop it without an overriding good reason. If a person who has taken on something like that thinks there is a overriding reason to drop it, it is advisable for him to first consult about it with a Torah scholar who will give him an objective opinion about whether it's justifiable for him to drop it.

(08-22-2015, 06:30 AM)cnk15 Wrote: For example, if I repent three days in a row have I now made a vow and am obligated to repent everyday?

You're not obligated on account of that. For Noahides / Gentiles,  a real obligation for repentance is not established by a vow. Rather, if a person commits a sin, he has an obligation to repent to G-d and resolve not to repeat the sin.

(08-22-2015, 06:30 AM)cnk15 Wrote: Another example, when I was a child I decided to become a vegetarian. I have now eaten many vegetarian meals in a row. Can I now never change my mind and eat meat? Could I have made a vow just by stating that I was a vegetarian? I never had in mind the possibility that I could be making a vow when I did these things.

I assume that you took on a vegetarian diet based on your own ideas for moral standards. Now you have learned from the Torah that eating meat is permitted, and it's not immoral, but there are prohibitions against inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering on living creatures, and against eating meat that was removed from an animal while it was still alive.

It seems to me that in this case, in which you've privately and publicly kept to a commitment for many years to observe a vegetarian diet as a matter of (misplaced) conviction, it will be a good idea for you to meet together with 3, 2, or 1 of your friends and explain that you have been learning about the true moral permissibility of eating meat, and if you would have known that originally, you would not have made any commitment to a vegetarian diet. So you are now dropping the practice of vegetarianism.

(08-22-2015, 06:30 AM)cnk15 Wrote: I am also worried about having possibly made vows/promises in the past before I began studying Noahidism and was less conscientious about certain things, by saying I would or wouldn't do something. Sometimes using the word "promise" and sometimes not. I don't think I ever used the word "vow." In some instances I carried the things out; in others I didn't.

I can't remember all the incidents, as this is talking about basically my whole life. What can I do? I know you should always do as you say, but is that the same thing as a vow? Before studying Noahidism I was more careless about things and am now worried. Thank you in advance for any and all help.

Simple promises made to other people are important to keep, but they do not have the same force as a vow. A vow (or oath) means that the person is declaring upon himself an obligation to G-d that he is going to do or not to such and such, or that his words are completely true, etc.

Noahides are strongly encouraged to study the chapters on "Laws of Vows and Promises," and "Annulment of Vows and Promises," in "The Divine Code" by Rabbi Moshe Weiner, Part III:

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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