Rosh Hashanah 5 - Fulfill the promise, do not delay
We saw that one who promises a sacrifice to the Temple should not delay it. We also mentioned that many more promises should not be delayed, not just sacrifices. However, how do we know that - the Torah mentioned the "do not delay" only in connection with sacrifices, not with anything else?
The Torah said, " When you make a pledge to God your Lord, do not be late in paying it, since God will then demand it, and you will have committed a sin ." Every additional word teaches an additional thought.
"To God your Lord" teaches that not delaying promises applies also to any donation to the Temple treasury. The words "since God will then demand it" refer to those offerings that are not volunteered but are required, such as sin offering for Shabbat violation and Passover sacrifices. Also, the words "God your Lord" themselves are not needed, since later on it anyway says, "God will demand it." Therefore, these words apply to regular charity and to tithes. Finally, "you will have committed a sin" is actually positive: only you are to blame, but not your animal - it does not becomes an invalid sacrifice just because you did not offer it on time.
Art: Charity By François Bonvin