I think there are things I’ve done three times and no longer do, or things I’ve committed to doing verbally, and I suspect they may have the status of a vow. How do I go about doing hataras nedarim on these actions? Do I need to gather three men and say something? English, Hebrew?? Do I need to specify each and every thing I’ve possibly vowed?

  • That is what we do every erev yom kippur Sep 5, 2022 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


The Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh De'ah 228:1) writes:

One who took a neder [sic: vow] and regrets it, can rectify the acceptance of the neder by having remorse. Even if one took a neder with the name of G-D. What should that person do? They should go to a wise [Torah Scholar] who is an expert, who [is well versed in] learns logical inferences and deductive (talmudic) reasoning. If there is no expert, one should go to three average people. These should be people who study with logical inferences and deductive reasoning, and who also know how to find loopholes; and they will release the vow. Nowadays there is no one considered to be an expert who is able to release a vow solely by themselves.

A bit further, the SA asks "How can you nullify a never?", on which it explains:

You say three times "mutar lach" or "mochal lach" (you can say this in any language)

The Rambam in Mishneh Torah writes:

How are oaths absolved? The person who took the oath should present himself to the distinguished scholar, or to three laymen if no expert is available, and say: "I took an oath concerning this and that, and now I am sorry. Had I known that I might be distressed because of it to such a degree, or that such a thing might happen to me, I would not have taken the oath. Had I known at the time of the oath what I know now, I would not have sworn." Thereupon the scholar, or the eldest of the three laymen, should say to him: "Have you regretted it indeed?" And he should reply: "Yes." Then he should say to him: "You are set free, you are pardoned," or anything similar in meaning in any language. If, however, he said to him: "Your oath is void," or "Your oath is eradicated," or something similar in meaning, what he said is of no avail, because none except a husband or a father can revoke an oath. A scholar may use only terms of absolution and pardon.

See also: Hatarat Nedarim (Annulment of Vows) and the Taz on doing it in your own language (בכל לשון שיאמר)

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