As Susannah Heschel once said, “words create worlds”. Nowhere is this more beautifully and poignantly apparent than in the act of articulating a vow.
With such words, in whatever form they may take, we promise that no matter what external realities bring, our internal intentions will stand. Vows hold our assurance that some things in life may indeed be forever, in a culture that would constantly have us discard, dispose of, and reinvent.The opening verses of Matot, this week’s portion, are all about the articulation of vows, and remind us that words indeed create worlds. Baruch she-amar v’hayah haolam—“Blessed is God who spoke and the world came to be.”