THE POWER OF SPEECH

August 4th, 2016

Matot begins with the laws of oaths and vows. Although the Torah seems to be saying that vows and oaths cannot be broken, the Talmudic sages inform us that the laws of nullifying vows are coded in the opening pesukim.

How does this make any sense? Even if it does make sense, why does the Torah not just say that vows and oaths can be nullified? And why does it sound as if Moshe is pronouncing these laws without any formal instruction from God to do so?

The commentators are fascinated by the laws of oaths and vows. It turns out that there is much more in these laws that meets the eye. Rabbi Dunner looks at a number of sources, and demonstrates that the power of speech and our ability to use that power is far more consequential than one would ever imagine, cutting to the very core of human spirituality and our relationship with God.

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