Nedarim 2 - What is a vow?

A man can vow against eating meat, for example, and then he will become liable for eating it, as if it were non-kosher. He can use the words, "I am making a vow (neder)," but he can also say "This is prohibited to me as a sacrifice ("korban"). He can use a synonym, such as "konam" instead of a "korban." Finally, he can say an incomplete vow, such as "I am separated from you" or "I am distanced from you," and as a results he will not be able to derive any benefit from his fellow who was the subject of his vow.

The same rule applies for oaths as well. But how is an oath different from a vow? - Vow is usually directed at an object (bread), but oath talks about the person's action (eating this bread).

For the next ten pages we will discuss incomplete vows, and now the Talmud discusses why the teacher chose to discuss incomplete vows, which were mentioned last, and not synonyms, which were mentioned first. The example of different word sequences are brought from all areas of law, such as adornments which woman can wear on Shabbat, flour sacrifices in the Temple, and the laws of inheritance.

Art: Making bread by Frank Bramley