If one said, for example, "I will not engage in unnecessary talk" with the intention of not excessively talking about unimportant things but not to completely forbid it, what has he forbidden himself from?

Can such a general statement go into effect? If so, what if the statement were even more general, that it would be almost impossible to avoid, such as "I will not smile?"

Is it possible that it does not go into effect because his intention does not match the implication of his words -- that he will not talk any words that are not absolutely necessary?

If it does go into effect, has he only forbidden himself from what he intended, or has he also forbidden himself from whatever was implied by his verbal statement?

  • I cannot remember where I read the source, but all sins are covered by a neder Am Yisrael took at Mount Sinai, and so any neder not to commit a sin is null and void since it was already taken. This does not mean one does not recieve punishment for committing that sin, just that such punishment corresponds to the sin itself and there is no broken neder involved
    – Josh K
    Oct 27 at 19:09
  • Thank you very much. I will edit my question to exclude the example of making a neder not to commit a sin.
    – treenuts15
    Oct 27 at 19:31
  • 1
    @Josh shvuot 19-25
    – kouty
    Oct 27 at 20:38
  • 2
    @JoshK I think you're mixing things up. What's invalid is a shevuah (not neder) to commit a sin (not to not commit a sin)
    – Heshy
    Oct 27 at 20:44
  • I think this question has to be asked to a Rav with the specific phrasing and intent used to get an actual psak. In general, it is a good idea to make all personal kabbalos (acceptances) bli neder to avoid these problems.
    – N.T.
    Oct 28 at 5:34

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