Mishpatim: Chapter 10

A vow and an oath


Rabbi Shimon says that Hashem's oath is the Shechinah, the only daughter, and that three people are required to release one from an oath. A vow is superior to an oath because, while an oath can take effect only on something of substance, a vow can take effect even on something insignificant; a vow is considered as being made on the Life of the King. Moses reminds the Head Rabbis that from darkness emanates light, and that "Elohim has made the one as well as the other." He says that vows stemming from the World to Come, being Binah, surpass the oaths, which are considered only of this world. Anyone who swears by the Name of Hashem falsely is considered as though he is demolishing the construction of heaven and earth and restoring the world to void and formlessness. Moses says that falsehood abides in Samael's place, and that the false oath can be compared to building heaven and earth on a base of falsehood; falsehood cannot prevail, as it must become void, and therefore he has demolished the structure and caused the fall of heaven and earth. At the end the Yeshiva heads say that they will ask God to lower Elijah to Moses, laden with riches for him.