Sunday, 26 July 2015

Nedarim 64: Extenuations

Perek IX begins with a new Mishna regarding extenuations.  The rabbis debate about whether or not a person can avoid having his/her vow dissolved by a halachic authority by stating that the vow dishonours one's parents or G-d.  Certainly, the rabbis argue, one would not say such a thing after the fact.  They also discuss one who tries to dissolve a vow by saying, "had I known that all of my windows would be broken, i would not have vowed not to benefit from the glazier.  

The Gemara looks at proof texts regarding extenuations, including situations where Moses's word carried more weight than usual.  Out of this discussion have come interesting quotations regarding new situations including death.  We learn about texts claiming that having no children leaves one as if s/he is dead.  It will be interesting to see where the Gemara goes with this particular.

Again, the rabbis are helping us to dissolve our vows.

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