Israeli students study at a yeshiva

This Torah portion reminds us that we must be careful about making promises because God expects us to keep our word.  (Numbers 30:2)

The Bible insists that we keep our word even when it hurts (when it is no longer convenient or pleasant).  The person who does so is the one who may abide in God’s tabernacle and dwell in His holy hill!

“Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle?  Who may dwell in Your holy hill?  He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness…  He who swears [vows, promises] to his own hurt and does not change.”  (Psalm 15:4)

Because of the weight and sanctity of a vow, and the serious consequences for not keeping one, observant Jews can be heard saying bli neder (without a vow) to qualify a commitment, in the event that the speaker finds him or herself unable to fulfill it.


Israeli students study at a yeshiva, a Jewish institution of learning that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Torah and

In Judaism, words are considered extremely important.  After all, the whole world was created through words.

As Believers, we should have an impeccable reputation as people of integrity—as people who can be trusted to keep our word.  Yeshua said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”  (Matthew 5:37)

Of course, Yeshua was not disallowing vows.  Yeshua’s disciples and the apostles continued making various vows, even after He had ascended to Heaven; for instance, in Acts 18:18, Paul shaved his head in connection with a Nazirite vow he had taken.

Rather, Yeshua’s statement is meant to be a guide to holy speech.  We shouldn’t be led into making unnecessary vows for the sake of bringing a sense of importance or power to our words, or to reassure someone that we mean what we say.

the Talmud.

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