A man may nullify or accept the [vows] of his wife or daughter in any language, even though she does not understand it, for the woman need not hear the nullification or the acceptance [of her vow].1


מֵפֵר אָדָם אוֹ מְקַיֵּם דִּבְרֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ בִּתּוֹ בִּכָל לָשׁוֹן וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ מַכֶּרֶת. שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה צְרִיכָה לִשְׁמֹעַ הַהֲפָרָה אוֹ הַקִּיּוּם:


How does he nullify [the vow]? He says: "It is nullified," "It is void," "This vow is of no consequence,"2 or uses other terms that imply that the vow is nullified from the outset, whether in the woman's presence or in her absence.

If, however, he tells her: "I cannot bear your taking a vow" or "This is not a vow," he did not nullify it.3 Similarly, if he tells his wife or his daughter: "[Your vow] is forgiven," "[It] is released," "[It] is absolved," or the like, his statements are of no consequence.4 For a father and a husband do not release a vow like a sage does, but instead, uproot the vow from the outset and nullify it.5


וְכֵיצַד מֵפֵר. אוֹמֵר מוּפָר אוֹ בָּטֵל אוֹ אֵין נֵדֶר זֶה כְּלוּם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁעִנְיָנָם עֲקִירַת הַנֵּדֶר מֵעִקָּרוֹ. בֵּין בְּפָנֶיהָ בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּפָנֶיהָ. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהּ אִי אֶפְשִׁי שֶׁתִּדֹּרִי אוֹ אֵין כָּאן נֵדֶר הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא הֵפֵר. וְכֵן הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ לְבִתּוֹ מָחוּל לִיךְ אוֹ מֻתָּר לִיךְ אוֹ שָׁרוּי לִיךְ וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּעִנְיָן זֶה לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם. שֶׁאֵין הָאָב וְהַבַּעַל מַתִּיר כְּמוֹ הֶחָכָם אֶלָּא עוֹקֵר הַנֵּדֶר מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ וּמְפֵרוֹ:


How does one express his acceptance of a vow? He says to her: "I uphold your vow," "It was good that you vowed," "There is no one like you," "Had you not taken the vow, I would have administered it to you," or any analogous statement that implies that he is happy with this vow.


וְכֵיצַד מְקַיֵּם. כְּגוֹן שֶׁיֹּאמַר לָהּ קַיָּם לֵיכִי אוֹ יָפֶה נָדַרְתְּ אוֹ אֵין כְּמוֹתֵךְ אוֹ אִלּוּ לֹא נָדַרְתְּ הָיִיתִי מַדִּירֵךְ וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁמַּשְׁמָעָן שֶׁרָצָה בְּנֵדֶר זֶה:


When a person voids the vows of his wife or daughter, it is not necessary for him to say anything6 and all of the vows are nullified.


הַמְבַטֵּל נִדְרֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ בִּתּוֹ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר כְּלוּם וְנִתְבַּטְּלוּ כָּל הַנְּדָרִים:


What is meant by voiding? That he forces her to do something that she forbade herself to do.7 Nullification, by contrast, does not involve forcing her. Instead, he nullifies the vow verbally and allows her [to do as she desires]. If she desires, she may act [in violation of the vow]. If she desires, she need not.8


וּמַהוּ הַבִּטּוּל שֶׁיָּכֹף אוֹתָהּ לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר שֶׁאָסְרָה אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל הַהֲפָרָה אֵינוֹ כּוֹפֶה אוֹתָהּ אֶלָּא מֵפֵר לָהּ וּמְנִיחָהּ אִם רָצְתָה עוֹשָׂה וְאִם רָצְתָה אֵינָהּ עוֹשָׂה:

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.


What is implied? She took a vow or an oath not to eat or not to drink and he told her: "It is nullified for you." It is nullified and she is permitted to eat and to drink. If he took it and gave it to her, saying: "Take this and eat it," "Take this and drink," she may eat and drink and the vow is automatically nullified.9


כֵּיצַד. נָדְרָה אוֹ נִשְׁבְּעָה שֶׁלֹּא תֹּאכַל אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁתֶּה וְאָמַר לָהּ מוּפָר לָךְ הֲרֵי זֶה הֵפֵר וּמֻתֶּרֶת לֶאֱכל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת. נָטַל וְנָתַן לָהּ וְאָמַר לָהּ טְלִי וְאִכְלִי טְלִי וּשְׁתִי הֲרֵי זוֹ אוֹכֶלֶת וְשׁוֹתָת וְהַנֵּדֶר בָּטֵל מֵאֵלָיו:


When a person nullifies the vows of his wife or daughter, he must make a verbal statement of nullification. If he nullifies it within his heart, [the vow] is not nullified. When, however, he voids [their vows], he does not have to make a verbal statement. Instead, he nullifies the vow in his heart and compels her to perform [the deed]. Whether she performs it or not, the vow is nullified.


הַמֵּפֵר נִדְרֵי בִּתּוֹ אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו. וְאִם הֵפֵר בְּלִבּוֹ אֵינוֹ מוּפָר. אֲבָל הַמְבַטֵּל אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְהוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו אֶלָּא מְבַטֵּל בְּלִבּוֹ בִּלְבַד וְכוֹפֶה אוֹתָהּ לַעֲשׂוֹת בֵּין עָשְׂתָה בֵּין לֹא עָשְׂתָה בָּטֵל הַנֵּדֶר:


We may nullify vows on the Sabbath, whether for the sake of the Sabbath10 or not.11 On the Sabbath, however, one should not, however, tell [his wife or daughter]: "[Your vow] is nullified," as one would say during the week.12 Instead, he should nullify [the vow] in his heart and tell her: "Take this and eat it," "Take this and drink," or the like.


מְפֵרִין נְדָרִים בְּשַׁבָּת בֵּין לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא לְצֹרֶךְ הַשַּׁבָּת. וְלֹא יֹאמַר לָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת מוּפָר לִיךְ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹמֵר בְּחל אֶלָּא מְבַטֵּל בְּלִבּוֹ וְאוֹמֵר לָהּ טְלִי אִכְלִי טְלִי וּשְׁתִי וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a person tells his wife or his daughter: "All the vows that you will take from now until I come from this and this place are upheld" or "...are nullified," his words are of no substance.13

If he appointed an agent to nullify her vows or to uphold them, his act is of no substance, as [implied by Numbers 30:14]: "Her husband will uphold them, her husband will nullify them." Similarly, her father must act on his own, not through an agent.


הָאוֹמֵר לְאִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ לְבִתּוֹ כָּל הַנְּדָרִים שֶׁתִּדֹּרִי מִכָּאן וְעַד שֶׁאָבוֹא מִמָּקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי הֲרֵי הֵן קַיָּמִין אוֹ הֲרֵי הֵן מוּפָרִין לֹא אָמַר כְּלוּם. עָשָׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְהָפֵר לָהּ אוֹ לְקַיֵּם לָהּ אֵינוֹ כְּלוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר ל יד) "אִישָׁהּ יְקִימֶנּוּ וְאִישָׁהּ יְפֵרֶנּוּ". וְכֵן הָאָב בְּעַצְמוֹ וְלֹא בִּשְׁלוּחוֹ:


[When a woman takes a vow,] forbidding herself to [partake of] figs and grapes, whether through a vow or through an oath, whether she forbade herself from [partaking of] all types of the species or she said: "These figs and these grapes," if [her husband] upheld [the vow] concerning figs and nullified that concerning grapes or upheld [the vow] concerning grapes and nullified that concerning figs, what he upheld is binding and what he nullified is nullified. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. With regard to the nullification of a vow, we do not say that when a portion of a vow has been nullified, the entire vow is nullified, as is said with regard to the absolution of vows.14


אָסְרָה עַצְמָהּ בִּתְאֵנִים וַעֲנָבִים בֵּין בְּנֵדֶר בֵּין בִּשְׁבוּעָה. בֵּין שֶׁאָסְרָה עַצְמָהּ בְּכָל הַמִּין. בֵּין שֶׁאָמְרָה תְּאֵנִים וַעֲנָבִים אֵלּוּ. וְקִיֵּם לִתְאֵנִים וְהֵפֵר לַעֲנָבִים. אוֹ שֶׁקִּיֵּם לַעֲנָבִים וְהֵפֵר לִתְאֵנִים. מַה שֶּׁקִּיֵּם קַיָּם וּמַה שֶּׁהֵפֵר מוּפָר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין בַּהֲפָרָה נֵדֶר שֶׁהוּפַר מִקְצָתוֹ הוּפַר כֻּלּוֹ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹמְרִין בְּהַתָּרָה:


When a man's wife takes a vow and he hears it and extends the vow to apply to him,15 he cannot nullify it. [The rationale is that] he [already] upheld it.16 If he took a vow and she extended it and applied it to herself, he may nullify her vow, but his vow is binding.


מִי שֶׁנָּדְרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ וְשָׁמַע וְהִתְפִּיס עַצְמוֹ בְּנִדְרָהּ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי קִיֵּם לָהּ. נָדַר הוּא וְהִתְפִּיסָה עַצְמָהּ בְּנִדְרוֹ מֵפֵר אֶת שֶׁלָּהּ וְשֶׁלּוֹ קַיָּם:


What is implied? He heard his wife or his daughter say: "I am a nazirite," and said: "And I am also," he cannot nullify [her vow]17 and they are both nazirites.18 If he said: "I am a nazirite," and she heard and said: "And so am I," he may nullify her vow and his vow is still binding.19 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


כֵּיצַד. שָׁמַע אִשְׁתּוֹ אוֹ בִּתּוֹ אוֹמְרִין הֲרֵינִי נְזִירָה וְאָמַר וַאֲנִי. אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר וּשְׁנֵיהֶם נְזִירִים. אָמַר הוּא הֲרֵינִי נָזִיר וְשָׁמְעָה הִיא וְאָמְרָה וַאֲנִי. מֵפֵר לָהּ וְשֶׁלּוֹ קַיָּם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a husband takes a vow and administers an identical vow to his wife, having made a certain decision to administer the vow to her, if she says Amen,20 he may not nullify it. If he took a vow and administered it to her as a question to see what she felt about it, e.g., he asked her "Do you desire to be like me [by taking] this vow or not?" If she says: Amen, he may nullify her vow.


נָדַר לְעַצְמוֹ וְהִדִּירָהּ כְּמוֹתוֹ וְגָמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לְהַדִּירָהּ וְאָמְרָה אָמֵן הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. וְאִם נָדַר וְהִדִּירָהּ דֶּרֶךְ שְׁאֵלָה לֵידַע מַה בְּלִבָּהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לָהּ הֲתִרְצִי בְּנֵדֶר זֶה לִהְיוֹת כְּמוֹתִי אוֹ לֹא וְאָמְרָה אָמֵן הֲרֵי זֶה מֵפֵר לָהּ:


What is implied? He said: "I am a nazirite and so are you," i.e., you are a nazirite just like me. If she says Amen, he may not nullify her vow.21

If he says: "I am a nazirite. What do you say? Will you be a nazirite like me?" If she says Amen, he may nullify her vow.22 If he nullifies her vow, his vow is also nullified. It is as if he made his vow dependent on her vow.23

If she told him: "I am a nazirite. What about you?", if he answered Amen, he cannot nullify [her vow].24 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


כֵּיצַד. אָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵינִי נָזִיר וְאַתְּ כְּלוֹמַר וְאַתְּ נְזִירָה כְּמוֹתִי וְאָמְרָה אָמֵן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. אָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵינִי נָזִיר וּמַה תֹּאמְרִי הַאַתְּ נְזִירָה כְּמוֹתִי וְאָמְרָה אָמֵן הֲרֵי זֶה יָפֵר. וְאִם הֵפֵר לָהּ שֶׁלּוֹ בָּטֵל שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁתָּלָה נִדְרוֹ בְּנִדְרָהּ. אָמְרָה לוֹ הֲרֵינִי נְזִירָה וְאַתָּה וְאָמַר אָמֵן אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


[The following rules apply when] a woman takes a vow and another person extends the scope of the vow to include himself, saying "And I [as well]." If her father or husband hears of the vow and nullifies it, her vow is nullified, but that of the person who extended the vow is not.25


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁנָּדְרָה וְשָׁמַע אַחֵר וְהִתְפִּיס עַצְמוֹ בְּנִדְרָהּ וְאָמַר וַאֲנִי. וְשָׁמַע אָבִיהָ אוֹ בַּעְלָהּ וְהֵפֵר לָהּ שֶׁלָּהּ מוּפָר וְזֶה שֶׁהִתְפִּיס עַצְמוֹ חַיָּב:


[The following rules apply concerning] a woman who is unmarried and not in her father's domain who says: "Meat will be forbidden to me after 30 days" and she marries within those 30 days. Even though she is in her husband's domain at the time the vow takes effect, he cannot nullify it. [The rationale is that] at the time the vow was taken she was not in his domain. Concerning such a situation, it was said [Numbers 30:10]: "The vow of a widow or a divorcee... shall remain standing." [This applies] even if she was consecrated to [her husband] at the time she took the vow, for a husband may not nullify26 [vows that were taken] before [the marriage is consummated], as we explained.27


הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ בַּעַל וְאֵינָהּ בִּרְשׁוּת אָב וְאָמְרָה הֲרֵי הַבָּשָׂר אָסוּר עָלַי לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם וְנִשֵּׂאת בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁחָל הַנֵּדֶר הֲרֵי הִיא בִּרְשׁוּת הַבַּעַל אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. שֶׁבִּשְׁעַת הַנֵּדֶר לֹא הָיְתָה בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר (במדבר ל י) "וְנֵדֶר אַלְמָנָה וּגְרוּשָׁה" וְגוֹ'. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה מְאֹרֶסֶת לוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הַנֵּדֶר. שֶׁאֵין הַבַּעַל מֵפֵר בְּקוֹדְמִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


[The following rules apply if a woman] took a vow while under her husband's domain that meat will become forbidden to her after 30 days or that she will become a nazirite after 30 days and her husband nullified her vow, but he died or divorced her within those 30 days. Although she will be a divorcee or a widow when the vow will take effect, she is not bound by it, because [her husband] already nullified this vow for her.28


נָדְרָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַבָּשָׂר אָסוּר עָלֶיהָ לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אוֹ שֶׁתִּהְיֶה נְזִירָה לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וְהֵפֵר לָהּ בַּעְלָהּ וּמֵת אוֹ גֵּרְשָׁהּ בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהָיָה לַנֵּדֶר לָחוּל הֲרֵי הִיא גְּרוּשָׁה אוֹ אַלְמָנָה הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת שֶׁכְּבָר הֵפֵר לָהּ נֵדֶר זֶה:


When a widow or a divorcee says: "Wine will be forbidden to me when I marry," [if] she marries, her husband cannot nullify the vow.29 [If a married woman says]: "I will be forbidden [to eat] meat when I am divorced," her husband may nullify the vow. When she is divorced, she is permitted [to eat meat].30


אַלְמָנָה אוֹ גְּרוּשָׁה שֶׁאָמְרָה הֲרֵינִי אֲסוּרָה בְּיַיִן כְּשֶׁאֶנָּשֵׂא וְנִשֵּׂאת אֵין הַבַּעַל יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. אָמְרָה וְהִיא תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ הֲרֵינִי אֲסוּרָה בְּבָשָׂר כְּשֶׁאֶתְגָּרֵשׁ הֲרֵי הַבַּעַל מֵפֵר וּכְשֶׁתִּתְגָּרֵשׁ תִּהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת:


When a husband upholds [his wife's vow] in his heart, it has been upheld.31 If he nullifies it in his heart, it is not nullified, as we explained.32 Therefore, if he nullifies it in his heart, he can still retract and uphold it. If, by contrast, he upheld it within his heart, he cannot retract and nullify unless he retracts immediately thereafter.33 [That leniency is granted] so that his thoughts within his heart should not have greater power than the statements he makes.34


הַמְקַיֵּם בְּלִבּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה קַיָּם. וְהַמֵּפֵר בְּלִבּוֹ אֵינוֹ מוּפָר כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הֵפֵר בְּלִבּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר וּלְקַיֵּם. וְאִם קִיֵּם בְּלִבּוֹ אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַחְזֹר וּלְהָפֵר אֶלָּא אִם חָזַר בְּתוֹךְ כְּדֵי דִּבּוּר. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה כֹּחַ דְּבָרִים שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ גָּדוֹל מִכֹּחַ הַמּוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו:


When a person upholds the vows of his daughter or his wife and then changes his mind, he may appeal to a sage to absolve him of his acceptance [of the vow].35 He may then recant and nullify it for her that day.36 If, by contrast, he nullifies it for her and then changes his mind, he cannot appeal to a sage to absolve it so that he can retract and maintain it.37


הַמְקַיֵּם נִדְרֵי בִּתּוֹ אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ וְנִחַם הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁאָל לְחָכָם וּמַתִּיר לוֹ הֲקָמָתוֹ וְחוֹזֵר וּמֵפֵר לָהּ בּוֹ בַּיּוֹם. אֲבָל אִם הֵפֵר לָהּ וְנִחַם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהִשָּׁאֵל לְחָכָם כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּחֲזֹר וִיקַיֵּם:


When a consecrated maiden takes a vow and only one of her father or husband upholds her vow, while the other nullifies, even if the one who upheld the vow approaches a sage and has his acceptance absolved, he cannot recant and nullify the vow38 together with the one who has already nullified it. [The rationale is that] the two may only nullify [the vow] together.39


נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָסָה שֶׁנָּדְרָה וְקִיֵּם לָהּ אָבִיהָ לְבַדּוֹ אוֹ בַּעְלָהּ לְבַדּוֹ וְהֵפֵר לָהּ הָאַחֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁאַל לְחָכָם וְהִתִּיר לוֹ הֲקָמָתוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וּמֵפֵר לָהּ עִם הָאַחֵר שֶׁכְּבָר הֵפֵר לָהּ. שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם לְהָפֵר אֶלָּא שְׁנֵיהֶם כְּאֶחָד:


If a man tells his daughter or his wife: "It is upheld for you. It is upheld for you," [even] if he asks to have the first acceptance absolved, the second one takes effect.40

If he tells her: "It is upheld for you. It is nullified for you, but the acceptance will not take effect until after the nullification does," [the vow] is nullified, because the acceptance does not take effect after the nullification.41

If, however, he tells her: "It is upheld for you and nullified for you at the same time,"42 it is upheld.43 If he tells her: "It is upheld for you today," it is upheld forever.44 If he tells her: "It is nullified for you tomorrow," it is not nullified, for he upheld it today and he cannot nullify it on the following day.45 If he tells her: "It is upheld for you for one hour," and the day passed without him nullifying it, he has upheld it. We do not say that this is like one who said: "It is nullified for you after an hour," because he never verbally expressed its nullification.46

If he told her: "It is upheld for you for one hour," and after an hour, he told her: "It is nullified for you," there is an unresolved question [as to the ruling].47 Therefore she is forbidden in [the matters] her vow [concerned].48 If, however, she violated her vow, she is not punished by lashes.49


אָמַר לְבִתּוֹ אוֹ לְאִשְׁתּוֹ קַיָּם לִיךְ קַיָּם לִיךְ וְנִשְׁאַל עַל הֲקָמָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה הֲרֵי הַשְּׁנִיָּה חָלָה עָלָיו. אָמַר לָהּ קַיָּם לִיךְ וּמוּפָר לִיךְ וְלֹא תָּחוּל הֲקָמָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן חָלָה הֲפָרָה הֲרֵי זֶה מוּפָר שֶׁאֵין הַהֲקָמָה מוֹעִיל אַחַר הַהֲפָרָה. אָמַר לָהּ קַיָּם וּמוּפָר לִיךְ בְּבַת אַחַת הֲרֵי זֶה קַיָּם. אָמַר לָהּ קַיָּם לִיךְ הַיּוֹם הֲרֵי זֶה קַיָּם לְעוֹלָם. אָמַר לָהּ מוּפָר לִיךְ לְמָחָר אֵינוֹ מוּפָר שֶׁהֲרֵי קִיְּמוֹ הַיּוֹם וּלְמָחָר אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהָפֵר. אָמַר לָהּ קַיָּם לִיךְ שָׁעָה אַחַת וְעָבַר הַיּוֹם וְלֹא הֵפֵר הֲרֵי זֶה קַיָּם. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁאָמַר לָהּ הֲרֵי מוּפָר לִיךְ לְאַחַר שָׁעָה שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הוֹצִיא הֲפָרָה מִפִּיו. אָמַר לָהּ קַיָּם לֵיכִי שָׁעָה אַחַת וּכְשֶׁעָבְרָה הַשָּׁעָה אָמַר לָהּ מוּפָר לִיךְ הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק וּלְפִיכָךְ אֲסוּרָה בְּנִדְרָהּ. וְאִם עָבְרָה עַל נִדְרָהּ אֵינָהּ לוֹקָה:


When a person takes vows in order to establish his character traits and correct his conduct, he is considered eager and praiseworthy. What is implied? If a person was a glutton and he [took a vow] forbidding meat for a year or two, a person was obsessed with wine and he [took a vow] forbidding himself from drinking wine for a prolonged period or he forbade himself from ever becoming intoxicated, a person would continually pursue illicit gain and was overexcited about wealth [took a vow] forbidding [accepting] presents or benefit from people in a particular country, similarly, a person who would be proud of his comely appearance and took a nazirite vow,50 or the like - all of these are paths in the service of God and concerning such vows and the like our Sages said:51 "Vows are a safeguard for restraint."52


מִי שֶׁנָּדַר נְדָרִים כְּדֵי לְכוֹנֵן דֵּעוֹתָיו וּלְתַקֵּן מַעֲשָׂיו הֲרֵי זֶה זָרִיז וּמְשֻׁבָּח. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן מִי שֶׁהָיָה זוֹלֵל וְאָסַר עָלָיו הַבָּשָׂר שָׁנָה אוֹ שְׁתַּיִם. אוֹ מִי שֶׁהָיָה שׁוֹגֶה בַּיַּיִן וְאָסַר הַיַּיִן עַל עַצְמוֹ זְמַן מְרֻבֶּה. אוֹ אָסַר הַשִּׁכְרוּת לְעוֹלָם. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁהָיָה רוֹדֵף שַׁלְמוֹנִים וְנִבְהָל לְהוֹן וְאָסַר עַל עַצְמוֹ הַמַּתָּנוֹת אוֹ הֲנָיַת אַנְשֵׁי מְדִינָה זוֹ. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁהָיָה מִתְגָּאֶה בְּיָפְיוֹ וְנָדַר בְּנָזִיר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּנְדָרִים אֵלּוּ. כֻּלָּן דֶּרֶךְ עֲבוֹדָה לַשֵּׁם הֵם. וּבִנְדָרִים אֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים נְדָרִים סְיָג לִפְרִישׁוּת:


Although [taking vows] is an element of the service of God, a person should not take many vows involving prohibitions and should not habituate himself to taking them.53 Instead, he should abstain from those things from which one should abstain without taking a vow.


וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן עֲבוֹדָה (לַשֵּׁם) לֹא יַרְבֶּה אָדָם בְּנִדְרֵי אִסּוּר וְלֹא יַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ בָּהֶם. אֶלָּא יִפְרשׁ מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁרָאוּי לִפְרשׁ מֵהֶן בְּלֹא נֵדֶר:


Our Sages stated:54 "Anyone who takes a vow is considered as having built a private altar."55 If he transgressed and took a vow, it is a mitzvah to ask [a sage] to absolve it,56 so that he will not have an obstacle before him.

When does the above apply? With regard to vows involving prohibitions. With regard to vows involving the consecration of articles, it is a mitzvah to uphold them and not to ask for their absolution unless one is [financially] pressed, as [Psalms 116:14] states: "I will fulfill my vows to God."


אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים (גמרא נדרים נט א) "כָּל הַנּוֹדֵר כְּאִלּוּ בָּנָה בָּמָה". וְאִם עָבַר וְנָדַר מִצְוָה לְהִשָּׁאֵל עַל נִדְרוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא מִכְשׁוֹל לְפָנָיו. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּנִדְרֵי אִסָּר. אֲבָל נִדְרֵי הֶקְדֵּשׁ מִצְוָה לְקַיְּמָן וְלֹא יִשָּׁאֵל עֲלֵיהֶן אֶלָּא מִדֹּחַק שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים קטז יד) (תהילים קטז יח) "נְדָרַי לַה' אֲשַׁלֵּם":

Blessed be God who grants assistance.

בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָא דְּסַיְּעָן