"Lisa, can you post a letter for me?" Lisa's mother came into the living room where Lisa lay sprawled on the couch, reading a book.

Lisa looked up from her book, stretched and replied, "Yes, sure Mom, I will go and post it in a minute."

Her mother looked relieved, "Thank you, darling, I'll leave the letter here." She placed it on the coffee table. "It is a very important letter so please don't forget — it needs to be in the post before 5:00 this afternoon."

"Okay," said Lisa, looking at her watch. It read 4 pm. "I've still got time," she thought to herself, and she turned back to her book.

A few hours later, at the supper table:

"Lisa, did you post that letter?" her mother asked, as Lisa ate a delicious piece of roast chicken.

"Oh no!" said Lisa. "I meant to post it after reading the book, but I became so engrossed that I forgot all about it!"

"But Lisa, I told you it was important, how could you forget?"

Lisa looked upset, and stopped eating. "What should I do?" she asked.

"The best thing you can do now is go and post the letter at the main Post Office on Carfax Street. I know it's much further away, but they have an evening collection there. Do that as soon as you've finished eating," replied her mother. "You should learn to be more responsible in keeping your word," she added.

Lisa looked down at the table. "I'm sorry," she mumbled.

"I should have learned from this week's Torah reading," she said, speaking up.

"You should have?" asked her mother.

"She's right," said her father, "it talks all about promises."

"Yes," said Lisa, "If a person makes a promise to G‑d, a vow, like to give 20 cents to charity every day, and they feel it is too difficult, like because their pocket money was cut down, they have to go to a rabbi to get it annulled — it's not a simple matter."

"You are right, it is not simple," agreed her father. "This is why we are very careful about making promises. And if we do make a promise — we make sure that we keep it!"

"That's exactly what I heard, Dad," said Lisa. "Anyway," she said, "I've finished eating now. I will quickly go and post the letter. See you later!"

"Thank you," her mother said as she left the room. Then her mother murmured under her breath: "Responsible words."

Her husband heard. "Yes," he said. "That's what it's all about. Responsible words. Like the Torah."