Saturday, September 24, 2022

Annulling Vows on Erev Rosh HaShanah

Since women cannot be part of the beis din for hataras nedarim, should they do hataras nedarim for themselves altogether? Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would not require women to do hataras nedarim on erev Rosh HaShanah, but would rather have them rely on the annulment that is done during Kol Nidrei, at the beginning of the Yom Kippur services (Halichos Shlomo 1: 10).

In order for the hataras nedarim of Kol Nidrei to be effective, a person must be present in shul and say the words together with the chazan (Mishnah Berurah 619: 2). If a woman’s hectic routine does not allow her to be in shul, her husband can act as an agent to terminate her vows (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 234: 56). Even though one normally cannot appoint a shaliach to cancel a neder, based on the principle “ishto kegufo” (a man’s wife is like himself), a special exception is made (Shach, ibid., 70).

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