As we approach the end of the Book of Numbers, Parashat Mattot-Massai opens up by emphasizing the importance of the vows and promises that we make. We learn that the power of the word is “All Powerful”, and we must think carefully about how we use those words. In the first verses of the Parashat, we read that any pledge that a man makes in the presence of God can be fulfilled. However, a pledge or oath made by a woman can be overruled by her father if she lives in his house, or by her husband if she is married. Why is it that a husband or father be allowed to actually cancel a woman’s vow? While a young woman still lived at home, her father was responsible for her. If she failed to keep her vow, her father was punished. When a woman married, her husband became responsible. He was punished if she failed to keep her vow. For that reason, a husband or father had the right to cancel a woman’s vow as soon as he heard it. On the other hand, if he heard the vow and did not cancel it, the vow stood, and had to be kept by the woman.