2,755. A Coerced Vow

Hilchos Nedarim 4:1

Vows taken under duress, unintentionally or employing exaggeration remain permitted, as we discussed regarding oaths. Let's say that men of force or (corrupt) tax collectors compelled someone to take a vow prohibiting meat if he’s holding out on them, and he took a vow prohibiting bread, meat and wine. He remains permitted to eat all of these things even though he added on to what they specified. Similarly, if they told him to take a vow prohibiting his wife to benefit from him and he took a vow prohibiting his wife, children and brothers to benefit from him, they all remain permitted. The same is true in all similar cases.

Hilchos Nedarim 4:2

In vows like this, one must have the intention for the thing to remain permitted. For example, he might have the intention that the thing be prohibited only for that day or that hour. He may rely on this intention since he’s being coerced to make the vow. The result is that when he makes the vow for them, his words and his intentions are not in agreement, which, as we have discussed, is necessary for a vow to be effective.