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Pure Intent

By: Mrs. Lauren Goldshmidt

Rashi (30:6) brings down a sifri that says that if a husband annuls a wife's neder without her knowing, and she subsequently violates her neder, thinking that her neder is still in effect, the wife still needs a kaparah even though the neder was already annulled at the time of the violation. This is seemingly difficult to understand. If the neder was already annulled, and there was no prohibition in effect, then why is there a need for her to have a kaparah when there was nothing wrong done?

R' Elchonon Wasserman zt"l explains that there are two components to every sin. The actual spiritual blemish created as a result of the sin and the disregard of Hashem's commandment not to commit that sin. For example, if someone ate a cheeseburger and later found out that the cheese was made of soy, then there was no spiritual blemish created from the eating of the cheese burger, but there was an intentional transgression of Hashem's will and commandment not to eat meat and milk together.

So too it is with the annulled vow. Even though the vow was technically annulled and there was therefore no spiritual blemish created, nevertheless, since the wife did not know that her neder was annulled and she still willfully violated it, she rebelled against the Will of G-d, and therefore needs a kaparah. In a true loving relationship, the main focus of every spouse is not the potential personal benefits of a nurturing relationship or the harmful personal effects of being involved in a negative relationship, rather it is the pure desire to fulfill the other spouse's will, out of love and respect. The same is true with our relationship with Hashem. Indeed, there are tremendous spiritual effects that result from all of our actions; however, it is our sincere and pure intent to fulfill our King's will which is needed to cultivate our relationship with our Creator.

Shabbaat Shalom




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