• Jodi Samuels

A Broken Promise



Last night I was standing with Gavin watching a concert in Tzefat. We are here for the Klezmer festival one of our favorite summer activities.


We were sitting on a low wall on the side when a group of religious guys came up to Gavin. The one guy started explaining something to Gavin and I could see gesturing and nodding and then they left and Gavin had a smile on his face. I asked Gavin what they wanted. Apparently one of the guys had made a promise that he could not keep.


According to Jewish law a promise is a type of vow and a vow that cannot be kept has to be annulled. The process of annulling needs 3 male witnesses so the person who made the vow can annul it. I was so moved by the idea. Imagine if we lived in a society where our word was our word and a promise a promise. There was an article in the main stream press a few years ago how over 90 percent of people make white lies and how people think it’s ok. The majority of the people did not see themselves as immoral even if they regularly lied. After all we all say things like “let’s definitely get together” when you have no intention, or we promise our kids we will play x game tomorrow etc…


While listening to the music I pondered a world where people actually mean everything they say and take responsibility when they cannot live up to the words they promised. Imagine the sensitivity in a marriage when words are measured and meaningful. Imagine how many parents could repair relations with their kids. Imagine how many sibling fractions could be resolved.


Perhaps as moms it’s our time to take a vow and promise to really value our words, to recognize the impact of everything we say and hopefully we too will one day have the sensitivity to know when we broke a promise.


Originally published: August 19, 2014

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