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Parashat MATOT & MASEY
Harnessing the Sacred Force of Speech

Parshiyot Matots and Masai reveal new dimensions of the Torah that we would not have thought of—the affair of the vows.

Vows are unique because they show a person can renew a commandment [Mitzvot] that he was not obligated to. 

After all, the moment a person vows that he commits to a particular behavior or he commits to bring a sacrifice, or he commits to refrain from a specific behavior, at that moment, his words will become part of the words of the Torah.

The same goes for oath laws. Suppose a person vows not to eat bananas. So he must not eat bananas. But the Torah did not forbid eating bananas. 

Indeed, but the Torah requires a person to keep his word. 

And here, we see two unique tracks for treating the person's speech:

  1. There are what we call 'Canceling vows.'
  2. And there are 'Breaking vows.' 

The 'Canceling vows' is when a person makes a vow and then sees that he cannot fulfill his commitment. So he should go to the sages and say - here it is true that I was absent like this, and this is how I ask that you find a way for me to get out of this. 

Then they find what is called an opening for him. 

They tell him maybe you didn't think about such and such a situation. You didn't think about how this would hurt your friends and parents, and then if he says I didn't think - the sages say it's good, so since it wasn't included in your intention, we cancel it - it's allowed vows.

There is also the possibility of 'Breaking vows,' which happens within the family. For example, a woman swears, and this causes a breakdown in the peace of the home. So the Torah gave special authority to her husband to break the vow to keep peace and harmony in this home.

We see how seriously the Torah takes a person's speech. 

So much so that when he has an obligation that is difficult for him to fulfill, then he has to turn to some other authority, not only to himself, to be able to violate his words.

How great and holy a person's speech is, how significant it is according to the Torah that a person can create a special holiness of special mitzvot Just by the power of his speech. 

The Path to Spiritual Intimacy: Nurturing Your Relationship with GoD - With The Power of your words!


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