Watch What You Say

In Parshat Matot, we learn about the making of vows and their possible nullification. A husband is allowed to nullify his wife’s vows on the day he hears them.

Personal vows in the form of a נדר, are more problematic. The only way such vows can be released, is by way of a בית דין in the form of התרת נדרים.

The key question the individual is asked by this בית דין is, “Had you known what the effects of this vow were, would you have made the vow?” That individual is expected to show sincere remorse for not guarding his tongue, and putting himself in a regrettable situation.

The book of קהלת says it best. טוב שלא תדור משתדור ולא תשלם. It is better not to make a vow rather than make one that you are not able to fulfill.

We must think carefully before we speak. Words are powerful and it is difficult to take them back.