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Daily Mitzvah

Day 111: Negative Commandment 157

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Negative Commandment 157 (Digest)
Reneging on Verbal Obligations

"He shall not profane his word; he shall do according to all that issues from his mouth"—Numbers 30:3.

It is forbidden to violate one's verbal pledge, whether that pledge was worded as an oath or not.

Examples of such pledges:

  • "If so-and-so occurs, or if I do this-and-this, all fruit – or fruit from this city – will become forbidden for me."
  • "Wine/milk/fish are forbidden for me."
  • The pleasure of my wife's [intimate company] is forbidden for me."
  • Any pledge to bring a sacrifice or give an amount of money to charity or to a synagogue.

Translation of (the unabridged text of) Sefer Hamitzvot by Rabbi Berel Bell, member of the Rabbinical Court of Montreal and director of Teacher Training for the Jewish Learning Institute.

From "Sefer Hamitzvot in English," published by Sichos in English.
Daily Quote
A person's emissary is as the person himself
  –Talmud, Berachot 34b
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