Parshat Matos/Masei – The importance and dangers of vows and oaths

Mindfully Jewish, episode #4. The importance and dangers of vows and oaths
a podcast by Janne L. Punski-Hoogervorst, MD

In this week’s Parshat, we are told by Moshe:
讗执讬砖讈蜘 讻旨执纸讬志讬执讚旨止吱专 谞侄譁讚侄专 诇址纸讬讛止讜指謼讛 讗纸讜止志讛执砖旨讈指证讘址注 砖讈职讘只注指讛謾 诇侄讗职住证止专 讗执住旨指专謾 注址诇志谞址驻职砖讈謹讜止 诇止芝讗 讬址讞值謻诇 讚旨职讘指专謶讜止 讻旨职讻指诇志讛址讬旨止爪值芝讗 诪执驻旨执謻讬讜 讬址纸注植砖讉侄纸讛:
Or in translation: If a man makes a vow to the Lord or makes an oath to prohibit himself, he shall not violate his word; according to whatever came out of his mouth, he shall do.

But what does it mean to make a vow or oath? Why are they so important? And why does the Rambam teach us that to vows (nedarim) are a sign of undermining Hashems mitzvot? In this weeks episode, we discuss these questions and relate them to what we know about the meaning of oaths in our societies.

As Nietzsche said:
”Man himself will really have to become reliable, regular, necessary, even in his own self-image, so that he, as someone making a promise, is answerable to his own future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *