Vows taken because of coercion,1 vows taken unintentionally,2 and vows involving exaggerations are permitted,3 as we explained with regard to oaths.4

If men of coercion or customs collectors made him take a vow, saying: "Take a vow to us that meat is forbidden to you if you possess something on which customs duty is due," should he take a vow and say: "Bread, meat, and wine are forbidden to me...", he is permitted [to partake of] all of them5 even though he added to what they asked him [to say].6 Similarly, if they asked him to take a vow [on the condition] that his wife not benefit and he took a vow [on the condition] that his wife, his children, and his brothers not benefit from him, they are all permitted. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


נִּדְרֵי אֳנָסִין וְנִדְרֵי שְׁגָגוֹת וְנִדְרֵי הֲבַאי הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִים כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּשְׁבוּעוֹת. הֲרֵי שֶׁהִדִּירוּהוּ הָאַנָּסִין וְהַמּוֹכְסִין וְאָמְרוּ לוֹ נְדֹר לָנוּ שֶׁהַבָּשָׂר אָסוּר עָלֶיךָ אִם יֵשׁ עִמְּךָ דָּבָר שֶׁחַיָּב בְּמֶכֶס. וְנָדַר וְאָמַר הֲרֵי הַפַּת וְהַבָּשָׂר וְהַיַּיִן אֲסוּרִין עָלַי הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בַּכּל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹסִיף עַל מַה שֶּׁבִּקְּשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ. וְכֵן אִם בִּקְּשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ שֶׁיִּדֹּר שֶׁלֹּא תֵּהָנֶה אִשְׁתּוֹ לוֹ וְנָדַר שֶׁלֹּא תֵּהָנֶה לוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָנָיו וְאֶחָיו כֻּלָּן מֻתָּרִין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


In all vows of this type, he must have the intent at heart for something that is permitted,7 for example, that they be forbidden for him for that day alone or for that hour alone or the like. He may rely on the intent in his heart, since he is being compelled by forces beyond his control.8 Thus at the time he is taking the vow for them, his mouth and his heart are not in concord. [This is required,] as we explained with regard to vows.9


וּבְכָל הַנְּדָרִים הָאֵלּוּ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּתְכַּוֵּן בְּלִבּוֹ לְדָבָר הַמֻּתָּר. כְּגוֹן שֶׁיָּשִׂים בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אֲסוּרִין עָלָיו אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם בִּלְבַד אוֹ אוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה וְכֵן כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה וְסוֹמֵךְ עַל דְּבָרִים שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהוּא אָנוּס וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו וְנִמְצָא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁיִּדֹּר לָהֶן אֵין פִּיו וְלִבּוֹ שָׁוִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּשְׁבוּעוֹת:


Similarly, vows of encouragement are permitted.10 What does this imply? One administered a vow to a colleague to eat at his [home] and that colleague took a vow not to eat there, because he did not want to trouble him. Whether he ate or did not eat, they are both exempt.

Similarly, if a merchant took a vow that he would not sell an article for less than a sela and a purchaser took a vow that he would not buy it for more than a shekel,11 if they agree on three dinarim,12 they are both exempt.13 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. [The rationale is that] neither of them made a definite conclusion in his heart. He took the vow only to encourage his colleague without making a definite conclusion in his heart.14


וְכֵן נִדְרֵי זֵרוּזִין מֻתָּרִין. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִדִּיר חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיֹּאכַל אֶצְלוֹ וְנָדַר זֶה שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְהַטְרִיחַ עָלָיו. בֵּין אָכַל בֵּין לֹא אָכַל שְׁנֵיהֶן פְּטוּרִין. וְכֵן הַמּוֹכֵר שֶׁנָּדַר שֶׁלֹּא יִמְכֹּר חֵפֶץ זֶה אֶלָּא בְּסֶלַע וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ נָדַר שֶׁלֹּא יִקָּחֶנּוּ אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁקֶל וְרָצוּ בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה דִּינָרִין שְׁנֵיהֶן פְּטוּרִין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. לְפִי שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶם לֹא גָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ וְלֹא נָדַר אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְזָרֵז אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וְלֹא גָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ:


What is the source which teaches that it is forbidden for a person to take even these four types of vows which are permitted with the intent of nullifying them? It is written [Numbers 30:3): "He shall not desecrate his word," i.e., he should not make his word an inconsequential matter.


וּמִנַּיִן שֶׁאֲפִילוּ אַרְבָּעָה מִינֵי נְדָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁהֵן מֻתָּרִים שֶׁאָסוּר לוֹ לְאָדָם לִהְיוֹת נוֹדֵר בָּהֶן עַל מְנָת לְבַטְּלָן. תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר (במדבר ל ג) "לֹא יַחֵל דְּבָרוֹ" לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה דְּבָרָיו חֻלִּין:


When a person took a vow and then [changed his mind and] regretted his vow, he may approach a sage and ask for its release. The laws pertaining to the release of vows are the same as those applying to the release of oaths.15 A vow can be released only by a distinguished sage or by three ordinary men in a place where there are no sages.16 The same wording is used to release a vow as is used to release an oath.17 Similarly, all of the other concepts that we explained with regard to oaths apply to vows in the same way as they apply to oaths.


מִי שֶׁנָּדַר וְנִחַם עַל נִדְרוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁאָל לְחָכָם וּמַתִּירוֹ. וְדִין הֶתֵּר נְדָרִים כְּדִין הֶתֵּר שְׁבוּעוֹת שֶׁאֵין מַתִּיר אֶלָּא חָכָם מֻבְהָק אוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה הֶדְיוֹטוֹת בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין חָכָם. וּבְלָשׁוֹן שֶׁמַּתִּירִין הַשְּׁבוּעָה מַתִּירִין הַנֵּדֶר. וְכֵן שְׁאָר הָעִנְיָנוֹת שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁנוּ בִּשְׁבוּעוֹת כֻּלָּן בִּנְדָרִים כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהֵן בִּשְׁבוּעוֹת:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


We do not release a vow until it takes effect, as is the law pertaining to an oath.18


וְאֵין מַתִּירִין הַנֵּדֶר עַד שֶׁיָּחוּל כִּשְׁבוּעָה:


Just as we may ask for the release of vows involving prohibitions and they are repealed, so, too, may we ask for the release of vows involving consecrated property and they are repealed.19 This applies both to [articles] consecrated for the upkeep of the Temple and [animals] consecrated to [be sacrificed] on the altar. When the holiness of a sacrifice is transferred from one animal to another, that holiness cannot be released.20


וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁנִּשְׁאָלִים עַל נִדְרֵי הָאִסָּר וּמַתִּירִין אוֹתוֹ. כָּךְ נִשְׁאָלִים עַל נִדְרֵי הֶקְדֵּשׁ וּמַתִּירִין אוֹתוֹ. בֵּין נִדְרֵי קָדְשֵׁי בֶּדֶק הַבַּיִת בֵּין קָדְשֵׁי מִזְבֵּחַ. וְאֵין נִשְׁאָלִין עַל הַתְּמוּרָה:


Just as a father or a husband can nullify [a woman's] vows involving prohibitions,21 so, too, they can nullify vows of consecration that resemble vows involving prohibitions.


וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהָאָב אוֹ הַבַּעַל מֵפֵר נִדְרֵי אִסָּר כָּךְ מֵפֵר נִדְרֵי הֶקְדֵּשׁוֹת הַדּוֹמִין לְנִדְרֵי הָאִסָּר:


When a person takes a vow, a colleague hears and says, "And also me," a third person hears and says, "And also me,"22 if the first asks for the release of his vow and it is released, all the others are also released.23

If [the one who agreed to the vow] last asks for a release and it was granted, he alone is released and the others are still bound by the vow.24 If the second person asks for a release and it was granted, he and all those after him are released,25 but the first is still bound by the prohibition.


מִי שֶׁנָּדַר וְשָׁמַע חֲבֵרוֹ וְאָמַר וַאֲנִי וְשָׁמַע שְׁלִישִׁי וְאָמַר וַאֲנִי וְנִשְׁאַל הָרִאשׁוֹן עַל נִדְרוֹ וְהֻתַּר הֻתְּרוּ כֻּלָּן. נִשְׁאַל הָאַחֲרוֹן וְהֻתַּר הָאַחֲרוֹן מֻתָּר וְכֻלָּן אֲסוּרִין. נִשְׁאַל הַשֵּׁנִי וְהֻתַּר הַשֵּׁנִי וְשֶׁל אַחֲרָיו מֻתָּרִין וְהָרִאשׁוֹן אָסוּר:


Similar principles apply when one has attached many entities to a single vow, e.g., he took a vow [forbidding] bread and extended it to meat,26 if he asks for release of [the prohibition against] bread and it is granted, the [prohibition against] meat is also released.27 If he asks for release of [the prohibition against] meat and it is granted, the [prohibition against] bread is not released.28


וְכֵן הַמַּתְפִּיס דְּבָרִים הַרְבֵּה בְּנֵדֶר כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּדַר עַל הַפַּת וְהִתְפִּיס הַבָּשָׂר וְנִשְׁאַל עַל הַפַּת וְהֻתַּר בָּהּ הֻתַּר הַבָּשָׂר. נִשְׁאַל עַל הַבָּשָׂר וְהֻתַּר בּוֹ לֹא הֻתַּר הַפַּת:


When a person takes an oath or a vow saying: "I will not benefit from any one of you," if he asks for the release of his vow or oath concerning one of them and the release was granted, they are all released. [The rationale is that] when a vow is released in part, all of its [particulars] are also released.29

When a person says: "I will not benefit from this person, and from this person, and from this person," if [the prohibition against] the first is released, [the prohibitions against] all of them are released.30 If the prohibition against the last is released, that prohibition is released, but the others remain binding. If he said: "I will not benefit from this one; nor from this one; nor from this one," he must ask for a release for each one indidivually.31 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.32


הַנִּשְׁבָּע אוֹ הַנּוֹדֵר שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לְכֻלְּכֶם וְנִשְׁאַל עַל נִדְרוֹ אוֹ עַל שְׁבוּעָתוֹ עַל אֶחָד מֵהֶם וְהִתִּירוֹ הֻתְּרוּ כֻּלָּם. שֶׁהַנֵּדֶר שֶׁהֻתַּר מִכְּלָלוֹ הֻתַּר כֻּלּוֹ. אָמַר שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָזֶה וְלָזֶה וְלָזֶה הֻתַּר הָרִאשׁוֹן הֻתְּרוּ כֻּלָּן. הֻתַּר אַחֲרוֹן הָאַחֲרוֹן מֻתָּר וְכֻלָּן אֲסוּרִין. שֶׁאֵינִי נֶהֱנֶה לָזֶה לָזֶה לָזֶה צְרִיכִין פֶּתַח לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person took a nazirite vow, a vow to bring a sacrifice, and an oath [forbidding himself from partaking of something], or he took a vow, but does not know concerning which of these he took the vow, one request for release [can release] all of them.33


נָדַר בְּנָזִיר וּבְקָרְבָּן וּבִשְׁבוּעָה אוֹ שֶׁנָּדַר וְאֵין יָדוּעַ בְּאֵי זֶה מֵהֶן נָדַר פֶּתַח אֶחָד לְכֻלָּן:


When a person takes a vow [not to benefit] from the people of a city and he asks for the release of that vow from the sage of that city34 or he took a vow [not to benefit] from the Jewish people and asks for the release of the vow from a Jewish sage,35 the vow is released.


הַנּוֹדֵר מֵאַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר וְנִשְׁאַל לֶחָכָם שֶׁבָּעִיר. אוֹ שֶׁנָּדַר מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וַהֲרֵי הוּא נִשְׁאַל לְחָכָם שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי נִדְרוֹ מֻתָּר:


If one says: "This produce is forbidden to me today if I go to this-and-this place tomorrow," he is forbidden to partake of them that day. [This is a] decree lest he go to that place tomorrow.36 If he transgressed and partook of it that day and then undertook the journey on the morrow, he is liable for lashes.37 If he did not go, he is not liable for lashes.38


הָאוֹמֵר פֵּרוֹת אֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִין עָלַי הַיּוֹם אִם אֵלֵךְ לְמָחָר לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי. הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר לְאָכְלָם הַיּוֹם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יֵלֵךְ לְמָחָר לְאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם. וְאִם עָבַר וַאֲכָלָן הַיּוֹם וְהָלַךְ לְמָחָר לוֹקֶה וְאִם לֹא הָלַךְ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה:


If one says: "This produce will be forbidden to me tomorrow if I go to this-and-this place today," he is permitted to go that place today and the produce will be forbidden for him tomorrow. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. [The rationale is that] a person is careful about not violating a prohibition,39 but he is not careful in keeping a condition that will cause a permitted entity to become forbidden.40


אָמַר הֲרֵי הֵן אֲסוּרִין לְמָחָר אִם אֵלֶךְ הַיּוֹם לְמָקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לֵילֵךְ הַיּוֹם לְאוֹתוֹ הַמָּקוֹם וְיֵאָסְרוּ עָלָיו אוֹתָן הַפֵּרוֹת לְמָחָר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָדָם זָהִיר בְּדָבָר הָאָסוּר שֶׁלֹּא לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ וְאֵינוֹ זָהִיר בִּתְנַאי שֶׁגּוֹרֵם לֶאֱסֹר דָּבָר הַמֻּתָּר:


When a person takes a vow to fast for ten days,41 whenever he desires and he was fasting one day and had [to interrupt the fast] for the sake of a mitzvah42 or to honor a person of stature, he may eat and repay [the fast] on another day. [The rationale is that] he did not specify the days [he would fast] when he took the vow initially.43

If he took a vow that he would fast today, but forgot and ate, he must continue to refrain from eating.44 If he took a vow to fast for a day or two and when he began to fast, forgot and ate, he forfeits his fast and is obligated to fast again.45


הַנּוֹדֵר לָצוּם עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים בְּאֵי זֶה יוֹם שֶׁיִּרְצֶה וְהָיָה מִתְעַנֶּה בְּיוֹם אֶחָד מֵהֶם וְהֻצְרַךְ לִדְבַר מִצְוָה אוֹ מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹד אָדָם גָּדוֹל הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל וּפוֹרֵעַ יוֹם אַחֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא קָבַע הַיָּמִים בִּתְחִלַּת הַנֵּדֶר. נָדַר שֶׁיָּצוּם הַיּוֹם וְשָׁכַח וְאָכַל מַשְׁלִים לָצוּם. נָדַר שֶׁיָּצוּם יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁנַיִם וּכְשֶׁהִתְחִיל לָצוּם שָׁכַח וְאָכַל אִבֵּד תַּעֲנִיתוֹ וְחַיָּב לָצוּם יוֹם אַחֵר: