Machzor Rosh Hashanah Ashkenaz
Annullment of Vows התרת נדרים

The Talmud (Maseches Nedarim) says, “Whoever does not want his vows, made during the year, to remain in force, should declare: “Any vows that I make during the coming year are hereby nullified.” The Tur writes that it has become a widespread custom to recite the “Kol Nidrei” before Yom Kippur for the purpose of nullifying all such vows. He further writes that since זְרִיזִין מַקְדִימִין לְמִצְוֹת, the diligent come early to perform their religious duties. It is commendable to invalidate one’s vows before Rosh Hashana with the declaration contained in the “הַתָּרַת נְדָרִים,” the Annulment of Vows.

The Talmud and Halachic sources explain that the annulment of vows or oaths, applies only to those which one imposed on himself, such as, “I will eat” or “I will not eat”; “I will sleep” or “I will not sleep,” and other such vows or oaths. But for that which one vows or swears to his fellow, or if someone places him under oath, regardless of that person’s nationality or religion, no annulment, invalidation or absolvement is ever possible.

One should therefore stand before a minimum of three adult males and declare:

שִׁמְעוּ נָא רַבּוֹתַי, דַּיָּנִים מֻמְחִים, כָּל נֶדֶר, אוֹ שְׁבוּעָה, אוֹ אִסָּר, אוֹ קוֹנָם, אוֹ חֵרֶם, שֶׁנָּדַרְתִּי, אוֹ נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי בְּהָקִיץ, אוֹ בַחֲלוֹם, אוֹ נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי בְּשֵׁמוֹת הַקְּדוֹשִׁים שֶׁאֵינָם נִמְחָקִים, וּבְשֵׁם הוי"ה בּ"ה, וְכָל מִינֵי נְזִירוּת שֶׁקִּבַּלְתִּי עָלַי, (וַאֲפִלּוּ נְזִּירוּת שִׁמְשׁוֹן) וְכָל שׁוּם אִסּוּר, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִסּוּר הֲנָאָה שֶׁאָסַרְתִּי עָלַי אוֹ עַל אֲחֵֽרִים, בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן שֶׁל אִסּוּר, בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן אִסּוּר אוֹ חֵרֶם אוֹ קוֹנָם וְכָל שׁוּם קַבָּלָה אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל מִצְוָה שֶׁקִּבַּלְתִּי עָלַי, בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן נֶדֶר, בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן נְדָבָה, בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן שְׁבוּעָה בֵּין בִּלְשׁוֹן נְזִירוּת, בֵּין בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן, וְגַם הַנַּעֲשֶׂה בִּתְקִיעַת כָּף, בֵּין כָּל נֶדֶר וּבֵין כָּל נְדָבָה, וּבֵין שׁוּם מִנְהָג שֶׁל מִצְוָה שֶׁנָּהַגְתִּי אֶת עַצְמִי וְכָל מוֹצָא שְׂפָתַי שֶׁיָּצָא מִפִּי. אוֹ שֶׁנָּדַרְתִּי וְגָמַרְתִּי בְלִבִּי לַעֲשׂוֹת שׁוּם מִצְוָה מֵהַמִּצְוֹת, אוֹ אֵיזוֹ הַנְהָגָה טוֹבָה, אוֹ אֵיזֶה דָבָר טוֹב, שֶׁנָּהַגְתִּי שָׁלשׁ פְּעָמִים וְלֹא הִתְנֵיתִי שֶׁיְהֵא בְּלִי נֶדֶר. הֵן דָּבָר שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי הֵן עַל עַצְמִי הֵן עַל אֲחֵרִים, הֵן אוֹתָם הַיְדוּעִים לִי, הֵן אוֹתָם שֶׁכְּבָר נִשְׁכְּחוּ מִמֶּנִּי, בְּכֻלְּהוֹן אִתְחֲרַטְנָא בְהוֹן מֵעִקָּרָא, וְשׁוֹאֵל וּמְבַקֵּשׁ אֲנִי מִמַּעֲלַתְכֶם הַתָּרָה עֲלֵיהֶם כִּי יָרֵאתִי פֶּן אֶכָּשֵׁל וְנִלְכַּדְתִּי ח"ו בַּעֲו‍ֹן נְדָרִים וּשְׁבוּעוֹת וּנְזִירוּת וַחֲרָמוֹת וְאִסּוּרִין וְקוֹנָמוֹת וְהַסְכָּמוֹת. וְאֵין אֲנִי תוֹהֵא ח"ו עַל קִיּוּם הַמַּעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים הָהֵם שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי, רַק אֲנִי מִתְחָרֵט עַל קַבָּלַת הָעִנְיָנִים בִּלְשׁוֹן נֶדֶר, אוֹ שְׁבוּעָה, אוּ נְזִירוּת, אוֹ אִסּוּר, אוֹ חֵרֶם, אוֹ קוֹנָם, אוֹ הַסְכָּמָה, אוֹ קַבָּלָה בְּלֵב, וּמִתְחָרֵט אֲנִי עַל זֶה שֶׁלֹּא אָמַרְתִּי הִנְנִי עוֹשֶׂה דָבָר זֶה בְּלִי נֶדֶר וּשְׁבוּעָה וּנְזִירוּת וְחֵרֶם וְאִסּוּר וְקוֹנָם וְקַבָּלָה בְּלֵב. לָכֵן אֲנִי שׁוֹאֵל הַתָּרָה. בְכֻלְּהוֹן אֲנִי מִתְחָרֵט עַל כָּל הַנִּזְכָּר, בֵּין אִם הָיוּ הַמַּעֲשִׂים מִדְּבָרִים הַנּוֹגְעִים בְּמָמוֹן, בֵּין מֵהַדְּבָרִים הַנּוֹגְעִים בְּגוּף, בֵּין מֵהַדְּבָרִים הַנּוֹגְעִים אֶל הַנְּשָׁמָה. בְּכֻלְּהוֹן אֲנִי מִתְחָרֵט עַל לְשׁוֹן נֶדֶר וּשְׁבוּעָה וּנְזִירוּת וְאִסּוּר וְחֵרֶם וְקוֹנָם וְקַבָּלָה בְּלֵב. וְהִנֵּה מִצַּד הַדִּין, הַמִּתְחָרֵט הַמְּבַקֵּשׁ הַתָּרָה צָרִיךְ לִפְרוֹט הַנֶּדֶר, אַךְ דְּעוּ נָא רַבּוֹתַי כִּי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְפוֹרְטָם, כִּי רַבִּים הֵם. וְאֵין אֲנִי מְבַקֵּשׁ הַתָּרָה עַל אוֹתָם הַנְּדָרִים שֶׁאֵין לְהַתִּיר אוֹתָם, עַל כֵּן יִהְיוּ נָא בְעֵינֵיכֶם כְּאִלּוּ הָיִיתִי פוֹרְטָם:

Listen my masters, expert judges! Any vow, oath, or prohibition, konom-vow,1According to the Talmud, a vow is when one says that such is forbidden to me as is—a קָרְבָּן, a sacrifice. In place of the word korban, the word konom was frequently used. There is a dispute in Maseches Nedarim as to the origin of the word. or consecration, that I have vowed or sworn, while awake or [even] in a dream, or which I swore [using] any of the hallowed Names [of God], [those] which are forbidden to be erased, or in the Ineffible Name of God, blessed is He; or any form of abstinence that I have accepted upon myself, even the nazirite abstinence of Shimshon, or any prohibition; even a prohibition to derive benefit, which I have imposed upon myself or upon others, by any expression of prohibition, whether as an expression of prohibition, consecration or konom-vow, or any type of commitment, even a commitment to perform a “mitzvah” whether in the form of a vow or as a free-will option, as an oath or abstinence, or in any other form; and also such commitments which were confirmed with a hand-shake; any vow or free-will option and any customs based on commandments which I have already practiced, and any expression I may have uttered, vowed or resolved in my heart, even to perform a certain commandment, or any good practice, or any worthwhile endeavor, which I performed three times but did not expressly state that I am doing so without the imposition of a vow, whether it is a commitment concerning myself, or concerning others, both those which are known to me or those which I have already forgotten— regarding all of these— I regret them in retrospect. And now I ask and request your excellencies for nullification for them, because I am afraid that I might stumble and become entangled God forbid, in the sin of [violating] vows, oaths, consecrations, prohibitions, konom-vows, or agreements. I do not regret, God forbid, the performance of good deeds which I have done, but I regret only my commitment to do these things in the form of a vow, oath, abstinence, prohibition, consecration; konom-vow, agreement, or resolutions. I regret therefore that I did not explicitly state, “I will do this thing without assuming the obligation of a vow, oath, abstinence, consecration, prohibition, konom-vow, or resolution. Therefore, I ask for annulment; I regret all of them, all that was previously enumerated— whether these were things that concerned financial matters, physical matters, or spiritual matters. Regarding all of them— I regret using the expression of a vow, of an oath, of abstinence, of prohibition, of consecration, of konom-vow, or resolution. Now, according to the law, one who regrets [his vows, oaths etc.] and seeks annulment, must state the particulars of the vow, however, please realize, my masters, that it is impossible to specify them for they are many— and I do not request annulment for those vows which cannot be annulled— therefore let them be considered, in your eyes, as though I had specified them.

Those who participate in the annulment respond with the following declaration which they repeat three times:

הַכֹּל יִהְיוּ מֻתָּרִים לָךְ. הַכֹּל מְחוּלִים לָךְ. הַכֹּל שְׁרוּיִם לָךְ. אֵין כַּאן לֹא נֶדֶר וְלֹא שְׁבוּעָה, וְלֹא נְזִירוּת וְלֹא חֵרֶם וְלֹא אִסּוּר וְלֹא קוֹנָם וְלֹא נִדּוּי וְלֹא שַׁמְתָּא וְלֹא אָרוּר, אֲבָל יֶשׁ כַּאן מְחִילָה וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁמַּתִּירִים הַבֵּית דִּין שֶׁל מַטָּה, כַּךְ יִהְיוּ מֻתָּרִים מִבֵּית דִּין שֶׁל מַעְלָה:

They shall all be annulled for you, they shall all be absolved for you, they shall all be permitted to you. There is no vow, no oath, no abstinence, no consecration, no prohibition, no konom-vow, no excommunication, no banishment, and no damnation; but there is forgiveness, pardon, and atonement. Just as annulment is granted by [us] the court here on earth, so shall annulment be granted by the Heavenly Court.

He who has asked for annulment then makes this public declaration:

הֲרֵי אֲנִי מוֹסֵר מוֹדָעָה לִפְנֵיכֶם וַאֲנִי מְבַטֵּל מִכַּאן וּלְהַבָּא, כָּל הַנְּדָּרִים וְכָל שְׁבוּעוֹת וּנְזִירוֹת וְאִסּוּרִין וְקוֹנָמוֹת וַחֲרָמוֹת וְהַסְכָּמוֹת וְקַבָּלָה בְּלֵב שֶׁאֲקַבֵּל עָלַי בְּעַצְמִי, הֵן בְּהָקִיץ, הֵן בַּחֲלוֹם, חוּץ מִנִּדְרֵי תַּעֲנִית בִּשְׁעַת מִנְחָה, וּבְאִם שֶׁאֶשְׁכַּח לִתְנַאי מוֹדָעָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶדּוֹר מֵהַיּוֹם עוֹד, מֵעַתָּה אֲנִי מִתְחָרֵט עֲלֵיהֶם וּמַתְנֶה עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁיִּהְיוּ כֻּלָּן בְּטֵלִין וּמְבֻטָּלִין, לָא שְׁרִירִין וְלָא קַיָּמִין, וְלָא יְהוֹן חָלִין כְּלָל וּכְלָל. בְּכֻלָּן אִתְחֲרַטְנָא בְהוֹן מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם:

I hereby declare before you, that I nullify from now on all vows, all oaths, abstinences, prohibitions, konom-vows, consecrations, agreements and resolutions that I might accept upon myself, while awake or [even] in a dream; except the vows to fast which are made at the Mincha prayer.2The vow to fast is made at the Mincha service of the day preceding the fast day. And should I forget the stipulations of this declaration and make any vow from this day on, from this moment I regret them, and stipulate that they are all null and void; they are not binding or lasting, and they have no effect whatsoever; regarding all of them—I regret them, from now, forever.