30:2ל׳:ב׳
1 א
וידבר משה אל ראשי המטות - נשאלתי ביוניוב [=שם עיר] בכרך לושרון [=שם מחוז בצרפת]. לפי הפשט היכן מצינו שום פרשה שמתחלת כן? שלא נאמר למעלה וידבר ה' אל משה לאמר איש כי ידור וגו'. והיאך מתחלת הפרשה בדיבורו של משה שאין מפורש לו מפי הגבורה? וזה תשובתי: למעלה כתיב: אלה תעשו לה' במועדיכם לבד מנדריכם ונדבותיכם - שאתם צריכין להביא באחד משלש רגלים משום בל תאחר כמפורש במסכת ר"ה, הלך משה ודבר אל ראשי המטות שהם שופטים להורות לישראל הלכות נדרים ואמר להם הקב"ה צוה לי שיקרבו נדריהם ונדבותם ברגל פן יאחרו נדריהם. לפיכך - וידבר משה אל ראשי המטות, I was asked by people in some town in France, Anyon, where else we find a portion commencing with the words וידבר משה, without being told first that G’d had told Moses to deliver the message or legislation in question to the people. My answer to the question was that we had read in Numbers 29,39 אלה תעשו לה' במועדיכם לבד מנדריכם ומנדבותיכם, “These you are to present to the Lord,” i.e. sacrifices which you have to present on one of the three pilgrimage festivals, seeing that everyone who is tardy is guilty of a serious misdemeanour, as we know from Rosh Hashanah 4. It was no more than natural that after he heard this Moses went and told the heads of the tribes, the judges all the details pertaining to all kinds of vows, including those between husband and wife, etc.
2 ב
איש כי ידור נדר לה' - קרבן. או השבע שבועה - לענות נפשו. The words איש כי ידור נדר, refer to a person vowing to bring a voluntary sacrifice, just as the words או השבע שבועה mean that he phrases this vow in a negative manner. When the Torah adds that such a person must not יחל his word, the meaning is that he must not be late in fulfilling his vow else he is considered as having broken his promise, i.e. delay carrying out his word, his promise. He has only until (according to one view) the next pilgrimage festival to come to Jerusalem and make good on his vow. Seeing that at that time he must come to Jerusalem at any event, this does not impose any kind of hardship on him. The expression יחל in the sense of delaying, procrastinating, occurs several times in Scripture, for instance in Judges 3,25 ויחל עד בוש, “he waited an embarrassingly long time.” Or, in Genesis 8,10 ויחל עוד שבעת ימים, we read that Noach waited another seven days before sending out the dove again. In Psalms 130,7 David speaks of יחל ישראל אל ה', meaning that Israel is to continue to wait for G’d hopefully. Anyone translating the words לא יחל דברו as “he must not profane, dishonour his word,” as the plain meaning of the verse is in error.