Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Shulchan-Aruch

Part II: Yoreh De'ah

Chapter 16b - VOWS AND OATHS cont'd

A vow may be binding even if its wording is incomplete or ambiguous; see 206:1-4;207:1;208:1-2;216:7. In doubtful cases release is required, and it is also required if a vow is made using the wording of an oath or vice versa; see 206:5 and 239:11. On the applicability of a vow after the thing that was made forbidden has changed its state or its ownership see 216:1-12 and 223:3-4.

The terms used in an oath or vow are interpreted in accordance with common usage; for examples see 215:6;217:1-48;239:1. The scope of the class of things (or persons) included in an oath or vow is defined in accordance with the swearer's intentions if they can be deduced; for examples see 218:1-6; 219:1-2;221:1-14;222:1;223:1-2;224:1;226:1;227:1-3;228:49;238:1-3,7-15,23.

An oath or vow may be made conditionally (see 213:3;220:15;232:19;239:1), but the condition must not conflict with the Halacha (see 222:1). A person who breaks an oath or vow should keep it for at least an equal period of time (but at most for 30 days) before being released from it, but if keeping it would be a hardship, release can be granted immediately; see 208:2-5.

An oath or vow is binding only if it is made verbally and intentionally (see 210:1;239:1); but a custom has the force of an oath or vow and requires release (214:1). An oath or vow made in a dream requires release; see 210:2. A person who makes an oath or vow may retract it provided he does so immediately and verbally (210:3). On advance stipulations that oaths or vows will not take effect see 211:1-4.

Vows can apply even to things that do not yet exist (204:4), but not to insubstantial things such as speech (though such vows require release) unless they involve observance of a commandment (213:1-2). Oaths can apply even to insubstantial things (239:3). Vows that interfere with the observance of a positive commandment or the fulfillment of an oath are usually valid (see 215:1-5;227:3). On vows that involve things that are already forbidden either by a commandment or because of an oath see 215:5-6;228:15;238:18-19. On contradictory or redundant oaths or vows see 238:16-17,21-22;239:12-15.

A person is punished for swearing to violate a commandment and such an oath must not be kept (see 236:5;238:5;239:4-8). If a person swears to perform a positive commandment the oath is ineffective (see 238:4), but if he swears not to violate a negative commandment and does violate it he is punished also for violation of the oath. If a person swears to perform actions which include violations of negative commandments he must not violate them, but if he swears not to perform actions which include positive commandments he need not perform them (see 236:5;238:6;239:4).

Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.

 






ARTICLES ON NOACH:

View Complete List

Raising Children: The Secret of Success
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Home Alone
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756

Hashem's Promise
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Second Chance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

The Miracle of Free Will
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5765

"G-d Watches Over Man"
Shlomo Katz - 5764

ArtScroll

The Path to Serving God
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Wine and Window Washers
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Faxs vs. Kidney Stones
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5759

> Immorality Around Us
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Unity With Caution
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

What a Deal!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Great Is Peace
- 5769

Priorities Define A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information