Question:

I thought in my head to control my anger by saying hello to my husband nicely when I come home as well as to not show my annoyance with a certain person. I decided not to verbalize it because I either felt consciously or unconsciously that I am aware I have an anger issue and I was not sure I was really ready for a real full commitment. I thought to control my anger slowly in small steps but today I came home upset and did not say hello nicely. Would just thinking about controlling anger count as a committed vow like apparently thinking about donating to tzeddaka? I am an anxious person so my thoughts can get scrambled so I am not sure of how I thought fully about controlling my anger if I thought like “I will work on controlling my anger by saying hello nicely when I get home” or did I think “I will make sure to say hello nicely to my husband when I come home”. I am so worried I broke a vow. I thought these thoughts because I wanted to earn merit for something I want to happen in the future and now I fear I really messed that up.

Answer:

It is highly commendable that you work on your middos (character traits). The Vilner Gaon said that the main purpose of a person in this world is to improve his middos. Reb Yisroel Salanter said it is easier to finish the entire Shas (Talmud) than to uproot a bad midah! There is no problem of a committed vow.

Sources:

Hagro quoted in Even Shlemo

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