Mindfully Jewish, episode #9. Living truthfully: a word is a word
a podcast by Janne L. Punski-Hoogervorst, MD
Today we elaborate on a very important topic that we have previously discussed: vows and oaths, and their importance for living truthfully: a topic which has previously been discussed in episode 4 on parshios matos and masei.
Our sages teach us that the word נדבה refers to a free-willed ‘gift’, something that we are fully willfully taking upon ourselves. The Rashbam therefore also comments that it refers back to hishava sh’vu’ah which is the taking of an oath, not necessarily to yidor neder taking an oath. As Shlomo haMelech wrote in Koheles: ט֖וֹב אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־תִדֹּ֑ר מִשֶׁתִּדּ֖וֹר וְלֹ֥א תְשַׁלֵּֽם׃
It is better not to vow at all than to vow and not fulfill.
But what is the point of making a vow? And why is it so important to be mindful with the words we utter?