Qitzur Shulchan Arukh – 67:5

ה: מִי שֶׁנּוֹדֵר נְדָרִים כְּדֵי לְתַקֵּן מִדּוֹתָיו, הֲרֵי זֶה זָרִיז וּמְשֻׁבָּח. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה זוֹלֵל, וְנָדַר שֶׁלֹּא יֹאכַל בָּשָׂר אֵיזֶה זְמָן, אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה שׁוֹגֶה בְּיַיִן, וְאָסַר עָלָיו אֶת הַיַּיִן וּשְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין הַמְשַׁכְּרִין וְכֵן מִי שֶׁהָיָה מִתְגָּאֶה בְּיָפְיוֹ וְקִבֵּל עָלָיו נְזִירוּת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה, נְדָרִים כָּאֵלּוּ, הֵמָּה עֲבוֹדַת הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ שְׁמוֹ, וְעַל אֵלּוּ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה. נְדָרִים סְיָג לִפְרִישׁוּת. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם גַּם בִּנְדָרִים כָּאֵלּוּ אֵין לוֹ לָאָדָם לְהַרְגִּיל אֶת עַצְמוֹ, אֶלָּא יֵשׁ לוֹ לְהִתְגַבֵּר עַל יִצְרוֹ גַּם בְּלֹא נְדָרִים – ר”ג

Someone who makes nedarim in order to fix his middos, he is proactive and praised. How? If he was a glutton, and swore that he won’t eat meat for a certain time. Or if he was an alcoholic, and prohibits wine and other intoxicating drinks. And similarly someone who was prideful of his appearance and accepts upon himself nazarite laws. And the like. Nedarim like these are the service of Hashem, may His repuration be blessed, and about these our sages of blessed memory said, “nedarim are a fence around separation [from temptations one can not resist].”

And sin all cases even in nedarim like these, it is not for a person to habituate himself [in them]. Rather, he should overpower his [negative] inclination even without nedarim.

I invite people to comment on my translation of “perishus” as “separation [from temptations one can not resist].” It should really be something more like “doesn’t reliably resist”, but the entire line of thought isn’t a given. How would you define “perishus“?

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