Nedarim on Shabbat

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Types of Nedarim

  1. One may annul a Neder (Hatarat Nedarim) on Shabbat, if it's preventing him from performing something he'd like to do on Shabbat,[1] regardless of whether or not he had time to annul it before Shabbat. Such actions include drinking or eating in general, drinking wine and eating meat and bread in particular, and sleeping on Shabbat. Even to allow oneself to wear his Shabbat finest is permissible.[2] However, if the item is not necessary for Shabbat, one may not annul the Neder. At the same time, a husband or father[3] may revoke his wife's or daughter's Nedarim (Hafarat Nedarim) without restriction, because he only has until sunset of the day he hears of them.[4]
  2. Even a Neder LeTzorech Mitzvah, unrelated to Shabbat, may be annulled on Shabbat.[5]

Hafarat Nedarim

  1. The husband should not use the standard language of "Muffar Lichi," but, rather, should nullify the Neder in his heart and tell his wife to partake in what she had prohibited herself from doing.[6] If that's not possible or ineffective, he can tell her directly, also.[7]
  2. If the father and/or husband hears the Neder during Bein HaShemashot on Monday, he/they may not revoke it at a later point of Bein HaShemashot on Tuesday, as it's a different day. Although, if the Neder was heard during the day, revoking it during Bein HaShemashot would result in a Safek Hafara. From then on, if she violates the Neder, she will not be punishible by Malkot.[8]
  3. If the husband accepted Shabbat early and hears of his wife's Nedarim, he may still revoke them, and he definitely may do so if he prayed Arvit early on a weekday also.[9]
  4. A husband can be shoel on his upholding of a Neder on Shabbat, according to the Rama who says that he would only be allowed to revoke her Neder on that day.[10]
  5. Obviously, if the husband is unaware of the Neder and it isn't relevant to Shabbat, it's advisable to not inform him of it until afterwards, so that he shouldn't have to revoke it on Shabbat. Of course, it can at times be a Mitzvah to inform him right away, such as if she's a Na'arah HaMeorasah and her father already heard of the Neder, in which case, they both have to revoke it on the same day.[11]
  6. If her Neder was limited to a period of time ending with Shabbat, one may not revoke it for no reason, as it will go away on its own.[12]

Hatarat Nedarim

  1. One should only say Muttar Lach three times and not the standard long Nusach when annulling a Neder on Shabbat.[13]
  2. Bediavad, if one annulled a Neder on Shabbat unjustifiably, the Hatarah is valid.[14]
  3. It's best, of course, to be proactive and annul any obstructive Nedarim to Shabbat.[15]
  4. If a Taarovet of Challah and other foods is dicovered on Shabbat, one should annul the Hafrashah, even if it's Min beShe'eino Mino with Shishim, because a Neder is a Davar SheYesh Lo Mattirim.[16]

Shevuot and Cherem HaKehillah

  1. The Rashba advises one who took an vow (Shevua) to do a certain action by a certain day, which turns out to be Shabbat, and the action is not permitted on Shabbat, to use whatever Petachim are available to annul the vow.[17] He argues it's better to violate the Issur Shevut of Hatarat Nedarim than the Issur DeOraita of violating a Shevua.[18] Of course, if he remembers before Shabbat, he should be sure to take care of it in advance.[19]
  2. Similarly, if one swore to repay a loan by a certain day, which turns out to be Shabbat, some say it's better for him to pay off the loan to avoid violating his Shevua, but the lender, if he's Jewish, cannot accept the payment, as for him there is no dispensation to violate the rabbinic prohibition of commerce on Shabbat. As such, he should give a collateral as repayment for now.[20]
  3. The Minhag has developed to annul on Shabbat any community Cherem placed on an individual, according to the Rashba, since that is the only time the community will gather together.[21]


  1. Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 228:3
  2. Magen Avraham 341:1, Pri Megadim Eshel Avraham ad loc, Mishnah Berurah 341:2, Kaf HaChaim 341:5, Yalkut Yosef 341:2
  3. Pri Megadim Eshel Avraham 341:1, Mishnah Berruah 341:3, Kaf HaChaim 341:8, Yalkut Yosef 341 fn. 4
  4. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 341:1 and Yoreh Deah 234:24, Yalkut Yosef 341:4. The Pri Megadim Mishbetzot Zahav 341:1 questions the license to revoke one's wife's Nedarim on Shabbat if she can just go to a Chacham the next day and get it annulled. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilcheta (Perek 29 fn. 168) cites the Ran (Nedarim 76) who says that no man wants his wife to stand embarrassed in front of a Chacham.
  5. See Pri Megadim Mishbetzot Zahav 341:1 who attempts to identity the exact Issur DeRabbanan at hand from two different statements of the Levush: either just a matter of why do it today when you can do it tomorrow or Mimtzo Cheftzecha. Other Acharonim add in that it could also be because of Tircha. Practically, a Neder against a Mitzvah unrelated to Shabbat would be permissible if it was the latter. He concludes stringently because it looks like judgement, but the Mishnah Berurah 341:1 and Kaf HaChaim 341:3 cite the Chayei Adam who is lenient regardless of reasoning. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilcheta (Perek 29 Seif 60) is lenient, as well, and this also seems to be the thrust of Yalkut Yosef 341 fn. 1. Similarly, the Rama (Orach Chaim 619:1) recommends reciting Kol Nidrei before Yom Kippur begins, as the Mishnah Berurah (419:5) elucidates, because it's similar to Hatarat Nedarim. The Chida (Tov Ayin 18:71) points out that this is different from Cherem HaKehillot mentioned in Orach Chaim 341:3 because people will actually come early on Erev Yom Kippur, but the Kaf HaChaim 341:17 writes that some disagree. See Kaf HaChaim 619:25. Rav Ovadia (Yechaveh Da'at 1:59) discusses if there's what to rely on therefore to auction of the Mitzvot of Leil Yom Kippur if it means that Kol Nidrei will be delayed until it's already nighttime. He writes how the Chida himself relates how they therefore did the auction on Shabbat Shuvah to avoid this issue. Rav Ovadia is lenient, because nowadays people don't necessarily arrive on time on Erev Yom Kippur either. See Chazon Ovadyah (Yamim Noraim p. 263), and Dirshu 341 fn. 2.
  6. Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 234:24, Mishnah Berurah 341:3, Kaf HaChaim 341:8, Yalkut Yosef 341 fn. 1
  7. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilcheta Perek 29 fn. 214
  8. Pri Megadim Eshel Avraham 341:1, Kaf HaChaim 342:7
  9. Yalkut Yosef 341:5
  10. Kaf HaChaim 341:10
  11. Mishnah Berurah 341:3, Kaf HaChaim 341:11, Shemirat Shabbat KeHilcheta (Perek 29 fn. 167)
  12. Mishnah Berurah 341:3
  13. Kaf HaChaim 341:2
  14. Shuchan Aruch Orach Chaim 339:4, Kaf HaChaim 341:4, Yalkut Yosef 341:3
  15. Kaf HaChaim 341:7
  16. Shaarei Teshuvah 341:1, Kaf HaChaim 341:6
  17. The Charatah itself can be a Petach here. Mishnah Berurah 341:6
  18. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 341:2
  19. Biur Halacha 341 s.v. Af, Kaf HaChaim 341:, Yalkut Yosef 341:7
  20. Yalkut Yosef 341:6
  21. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 341:2, Yoreh Deah 228:3. See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 305:12 about making a Cherem in general on Shabbat and Maamar Mordechai ad loc. regarding the subjectivity or lack thereof of this Halacha.