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I have a vague idea of what a Neder (an oath affecting an object's status) and a Shevuah (an oath affecting oneself) are based on cursory study of the Talmud, but what are the other 5 or so types of oath on the list?

  • The ArtScroll Machzor goes through each of the terms and defines them – ezra Sep 5 '18 at 3:34
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The terms used in Kol Nidrei are:

  1. Neder - a vow affecting an object (usually forbidding it in some way) or a vow to upkeep the Temple or gift to the altar.

  2. Issar - a vow that forbids or prohibits something. (Ex. "This loaf of bread is assur to me.") The Hebrew "Issar" means to bind or restrict. It can be a neder or shevuah etc. as long as it forbids.

  3. Shevuah - an oath declaring one will or will not perform an action.

  4. Cherem - a ban (usually against benefitting from a person or forbidding your own benefit to others) or a term used for a donation to the Temple.

  5. Konem - a Talmudic nickname for Korban (Temple offering upon the altar)

  6. Kones - another Talmudic nickname for Korban

  7. Kinui - "nickname" , meaning any substitute term for a vow or a comparative word linked to a vow (like the above konem and kones).

(See Talmud Tractate Nedarim 2a with the explanation of the Ran on the 1st Mishnah there; and the Mishnah on 10a.)

  • "It can be a neder or shevuah etc. as long as it forbids." How do you know there isn't a technical legal meaning to it besides the general Hebrew meaning of the word? Cherem also has a general Hebrew meaning but that's not what's intended here presumably. – Double AA Sep 4 '18 at 15:35
  • @DoubleAA afaik, when I learned Masechta Nedarim, there is no special category called "issar". Rather, its a generic term used in Chumash and Gemara to forbid. It has no special meaning like its own category, as say, Shevuah or Neder. This is something that does not have a source. You would need to learn enough Gemara and keep seeing it is not its own special case but rather an adjective for a forbidden thing. – David Kenner Sep 4 '18 at 21:03
  • "does not have a source" you mean you don't have a source for it. I'm skeptical of it, but who knows – Double AA Sep 4 '18 at 21:08
  • @DoubleAA No, I mean it lacks a source to tell us otherwise. Based upon knowledge of the Masechta and seeing that there is no "issar" special category listed in a Mishnah or Gemara that grants it parameters; plus the fact that the same body of Talmud uses it as a word simply to describe "forbidden", then its safe to assume it has no source otherwise. I do not worry about the absolute empirical. The burden of proof is upon the one claiming it is a special word. – David Kenner Sep 4 '18 at 21:24
  • No the burden of proof is upon he who posts an answer. If your source is your own knowledge of the tractate in question with the logic you suggested, so be it. Anyone who reads this will then at least know what they're getting and can assign it value as they please. As I said I'm skeptical of it, but who knows. – Double AA Sep 4 '18 at 21:26
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To add to David Kenner's answer, one of the fundamental principles in the laws of Nedarim (vows) is that any kinui of a neder is equivalent to the neder itself. That is, any shorthand or slang that people use in place of the word has equal force, following the principle that in vows we follow ordinary language, not any prescribed formulation (Nedarim 49a).

The words "konam" and "konas" are kinuis for "korban" - sacrifice. That is, saying "this apple is a korban to me" (or a "konam" or a "konas") is the equivalent of saying "this is as forbidden to me as the property of the Temple".

Thus the term "kinui" is the archetype of some of the others. It comes at the end to include any other kinui not covered in the text. On all of them, we repent and wish them to be void.

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