Question:

B”H Thank you for your help. Is it ok to do vow annulment this year via zoom? Would there be any option to “postpone” doing a vow annulment for this year given the situation, and intend to annul the vows for this year (in person) in a few months…can a years vows be annulled retroactively? Can I say half way into 5781 that I annul my vows for 5781 and for 5780, or is that too late? Thank you. Shana tova.

Answer:

The idea of annulling vows is not because it is the years vows, but because we don’t want to come to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur with this sin on our hands. Therefore, the custom is to do it before Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur. If you can’t do it this year because of quarantine, or because the shuls are closed, then it can also be done later. It is important to note that even if you can’t do hataras nedarim privately, you can still do it in shul on Yom Kippur eve, and make sure to say Kol Nidrei together with the chazzan. Although the chazzan says it three times you only have to say it together with him once.

Regarding doing hataras nedarim via zoom, this would be similar to doing the hataras nedarim over the phone. The poskim say, that although this is not optimal, nevertheless when one is stuck, as many people this year cannot get to shul at all, it is permitted. It is however noteworthy, that this would only apply if the three Rabbis are sitting together, however if they are not sitting together, but via a conference, then it can not be done, because there is no bais din there, since they are not sitting together.

Sources:

Shevet Hakehosi 4- 239, Kol Nidrei 19 ftnt. 7, Moadei Hagrach 401, Tel Talpios 60 pg. 89, V’yitbor Yitzchok 60 in the name of R; Y. Zilberstein shlit”a, Poskim.

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