Parsha Matot-Massei vs. Kol Nidre

Parsha Matot-Massei vs. Kol Nidre: by OneShul.org

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Premises: vows connect the desert (bamidbar) to the last words of Torah, dvarim (words). The world as we live in now is very different than the one that the persons in the Torah lived in.

Numbers 30:3-17 :When a man voweth a vow unto the LORD, or sweareth an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

If a man makes an oath, he has to live up to it. This is during a time when men could do anything they wanted with no punishment

Also when a woman voweth a vow unto the LORD, and bindeth herself by a bond, being in her father’s house, in her youth, and her father heareth her vow, or her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father holdeth his peace at her, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

“in her youth” comes from the root word “naar” which implies young woman, or an unmarried woman. This means the girl is unmarried and under age (around 13 years old)

But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth, none of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand; and the LORD will forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

Young girl, living with her father. If the father disavows what she said, then the vow does not count.

And if she be married to a husband, while her vows are upon her, or the clear utterance of her lips, wherewith she hath bound her soul; and her husband hear it, whatsoever day it be that he heareth it, and hold his peace at her; then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.  But if her husband disallow her in the day that he heareth it, then he shall make void her vow which is upon her, and the clear utterance of her lips, wherewith she hath bound her soul; and the LORD will forgive her.

Gives the status of the father to the husband

But the vow of a widow, or of her that is divorced, even every thing wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand against her. 

No male to intercede means that she is her own woman 

And if a woman vowed in her husband’s house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath, and her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not, then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

If the husband did not care, then her vows stand after he hears them. He cannot “take it back”.

Kol Nidre: All/Every Vow 

  • Not spiritual but legal
  • Unknown origin
  • Evolution: Rosh Hashanah legal statement moved to Yom Kippur (New Years Eve Syndrome), put into the “future tense” by Rashi’s son in law Meir ben Samuel, not everyone liked it

 “All vows, and prohibitions, and oaths, and consecrations, and konams and konasi and any synonymous terms, that we may vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves, from the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement and from this Day of Atonement until the Day of Atonement that will come for our benefit. Regarding all of them, we repudiate them. All of them are undone, abandoned, cancelled, null and void, not in force, and not in effect. Our vows are no longer vows, and our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths.” (Wikipedia)

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