Who is Obligated in Hatarat Nedarim?

According to the Torah, one who makes a vow is obligated to fulfil it. Nevertheless, there exists a mechanism by which a vow may be nullified before a panel of rabbis, and this is called Hatarat Nedarim. Nowadays, one can perform Hatarat Nedarim with one’s fellows and a special nullification declaration is recited. Some communities perform this on the eve of Rosh Hashana so that one may enter the new year free of any unfulfilled vows. Other communites do this before Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, while others do it every Friday before Shabbat as an extra measure of piety. The Moroccan custom is to do Hatarat Nedarim, customarily at the synagogue, on the eve of Rosh Hashana only.

Men and women above the ages of 13 and 12, respectively, are obligated in Hatarat Nedarim. Regarding females, the Torah explains that a married woman’s nullification is covered by that of her husband and she may appoint him her agent for this matter. An unmarried woman may come to the synagogue and perform Hatarat Nedarim while in the ladies’ section and this was the practice in Morocco.

Summary:   The Moroccan custom is for both men and women to do Hatarat Nedarimon the eve of Rosh Hashana. 


      Hatarat Nedarim