Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Nazarite Vow

The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

The Nazarite Vow
Is it right for you?

Ben Ruach HaKodesh (John of AllFaith) 11.29.2002 -- updated 6.27.10

Please Note: All biblical citations are from The Complete Jewish Bible

This study is also posted here:

The name of our "Noahide Nazarene Way" refers to our being the spiritual as well as physical descendants of Noach (Noah) and our acceptance of the universal Rainbow (or Noahide) Covenant made through him to all who embrace it. This name also reflects our acceptance of Adon Y'shua HaNatzrati (Master Y'shua of Nazareth) as our Cohen Gadol (High Priest/Mediator with God), teacher and coming Moshiach (Messiah). As Noahide Nazarenes we seek to walk the Way our Master taught rather than according to the subsequent teachings of human reformers. More information about the Noahide Nazarene Way is available elsewhere on this domain.

The Tanakh (or Hebrew Bible) describes a certain vow with a similar name: The Nazarite Vow. It is not necessary for one to undertake this vow in order to consider oneself a Noahide Nazarene or talmidim (follower) of Y'shua. The two terms are not directly related. Nazarites (or Nazirites) are people who choose to place themselves under the Nazarite Vow. For those seeking to glorify HaShem this is an effective way to pursue this goal, but its not for everyone.

The Nazarite Vow is authorized by HaShem in the Torah:

Numbers 6:1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'When either a man or a woman makes a special kind of vow, the vow of a nazir, consecrating himself to ADONAI...

From this verse we understand that the Nazarite Vow is a specific authorized undertaking that can be voluntarily embraced by either males or females of the people of Israel.

There may be an assumed prohibition here that Noahide Nazarenes are not eligible to take part in this vow as we are not Jews. One reason for this assumption is found here:

Numbers 6:13 "'This is the law for the nazir when his period of consecration is over: he is to be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 14 where he will present his offering to ADONAI - one male lamb in its first year without defect as a burnt offering, one female lamb in its first year without defect as a sin offering, one ram without defect as peace offerings...

Due to the sacrificial requirements involved some people teach that non-Jews are not able to take part in this vow. Consider however that there are biblical sacrifices rightly performed by the ger toshav or "resident alien" non-Jews.

Leviticus 22:18 "Speak to Aharon and his sons and to the entire people of Isra'el; tell them: 'When anyone, whether a member of the house of Isra'el or a foreigner living in Isra'el, brings his offering, either in connection with a vow or as a voluntary offering, and brings it to ADONAI as a burnt offering...

Noahide Nazarenes (Gentile followers of Y'shua of Nazareth) certainly qualify biblically as ger tzadikim ("righteous gentiles") and so considering that the ger toshav or "resident aliens" are allowed to sacrifice to HaShem and to make vows, how much more so are we who have been "grafted in" among them (Romans 11)? Besides, while it is true that we are not "Jews," we have been grafted in as Israelites by Y'shua as citizens of the Kingdom of HaShem.

Romans 11:15 For if their casting Yeshua aside means reconciliation for the world, what will their accepting him mean? It will be life from the dead! 16 Now if the hallah [Sabbath bread] offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole loaf. And if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you - a wild olive - were grafted in among them and have become equal sharers in the rich root of the olive tree, 18 then don't boast as if you were better than the branches! However, if you do boast, remember that you are not supporting the root, the root is supporting you.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgment and thus continues toward deliverance. 11 For the passage quoted says that everyone who rests his trust on him will not be humiliated. 12 That means that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - ADONAI is the same for everyone, rich toward everyone who calls on him, 13 since everyone who calls on the name of ADONAI will be delivered.

Therefore scripturally nothing about the Nazarite Vow would disqualify Noahides or Noahide Nazarenes from participating in its blessings and responsibilities.

Another common objection to the entering into this vow today is the absence of the Beit HaMikdash (or Holy Temple). The Second Temple of course was destroyed in 70 CE and the third has yet to be built. Without the Beit HaMikdash of Yerushalayim the requisite sacrifices can not be performed by Jews nor the ger tzaddikim as required.

Remember however that a central focus of Adon Y'shua's reforms is the assurance that HaShem is more concerned about the spirit behind our obedience than that we fulfill "the letter of the law" legalistically. As he taught, Shabbat is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

The spirit behind the Nazarite Vow is clear: Separation and consecration of oneself to HaShem. Consider the following Holy Writ:

Jeremiah 6:16 Here is what ADONAI says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask about the ancient paths, 'Which one is the good way?' Take it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not take it.' 17 I appointed sentinels to direct them: 'Listen for the sound of the shofar.' But they said, 'We will not listen.' 18 So hear, you nations; know, you assembly, what there is against them. 19 Hear, oh earth! I am going to bring disaster on this people; it is the consequence of their own way of thinking; for they pay no attention to my words; and as for my Torah, they reject it. 20 What do I care about incense from Sh'va or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are unacceptable, your sacrifices don't please me."

As important as the Beit HaMikdash was (and will be in the future) it is not required to serve nor please HaShem (John 4:22-24). As we see from verses like this even when sacrifices are technically correctly offered HaShem still may refuse them if the essential key ingredient is missing:

Micah 6:6 "With what can I come before ADONAI to bow down before God on high? Should I come before him with burnt offerings? with calves in their first year? 7 Would ADONAI take delight in thousands of rams with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Could I give my firstborn to pay for my crimes, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" 8 Human being, you have already been told what is good, what ADONAI demands of you - no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God.

There are things all Noahides are commanded to do as required by the Rainbow Covenant, however Adon Y'shua stressed this essential element of divine service time and time again. HaShem looks at our hearts, our intentions, at not only what we do but why we do them. Whether we are Jews or Noahides what does HaShem require of us? Only to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God in the light we have been given thus far. When we do this our lives will naturally be harmonious with the Seven Noahide Laws and those of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) that apply to us.

As Noahide Nazarenes then we study the Torah and learn from its wisdom and apply its lessons to our lives (Galatians 3:24). Those wishing to press on into deeper spiritual life may choose to embrace the Nazarite Vow.

Under the Vow one is consecrated to HaShem by meeting specific conditions. These rules are not intended to limit ones freedom nor to be observed legalistically as would a mindless slave, but rather they expand ones consciousness by acts of voluntary holiness and heightened awareness of Ruach HaKodesh (God's presence).

Be aware that Adon Y'shua was very clear that Adonai (the Lord) rejects the haughty and the religiously hypocritical (comp. Revelation 3:14-19). One should therefore never undertake this or any other sacred vow for the wrong reasons!

The Nazarite Vow

Nazir: Uncut Hair

The root word nazir denotes something that has been "set apart" or "separated" unto HaShem. It is sanctified and holy unto Adonai. The hair of the Nazarite holds this special consecration. The sanctified uncut hair of the Nazarite is called "nazir" in the sense of a spiritual "crown" worn by those under the Vow. The hair is considered a living, growing sacrifice to HaShem and should be respected as such.


According to the wisdom of the Talmud, one of the reasons a person becomes a Nazarite is to abstain from sexual temptation and to develop self-control in order to more completely serve HaShem. Hence among the vows of a Nazarite is celibacy. Many ancient sources maintain that celibacy promotes spiritual realization and improves focus during prayer, religious studies and states of spiritual ecstasy.

As a means of dedicating ones future family to HaShem an engaged couple might undergo the Vow for the thirty days leading up to their wedding. Rav Paul gives the following insightful comment to married couples in the B'rit Hadashah (books of the New Covenant):

I Corinthians 7:1 Now to deal with the questions you wrote about: "Is it good for a man to keep away from women?" 2 Well, because of the danger of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give his wife what she is entitled to in the marriage relationship, and the wife should do the same for her husband. 4 The wife is not in charge of her own body, but her husband is; likewise, the husband is not in charge of his own body, but his wife is. 5 Do not deprive each other, except for a limited time, by mutual agreement, and then only so as to have extra time for prayer; but afterward, come together again. Otherwise, because of your lack of self-control, you may succumb to the Adversary's temptation.

It is permissible for married couples -- upon mutual agreement -- to undertake the Nazarite vow for a set duration in order to give themselves over to prayer and fasting. Those engaging in such vows, following the spirit of the Vow rather than the letter, usually do not feel the need to shave their heads and so on but will unusually observe the dietary restrictions. Hence the Vow gives direction even when not fully implemented. Such short term Nazarites are not entering into the Nazarite priesthood. They are using a modified vow to help them determine how to advance their lives, strengthen their families and their relationships with Adonai. During the execution of such modified vows couples usually live as renounced as possible but typically go to their jobs, raise their children and met their other obligations without interruption. There are many possible applications of this Vow. At the heart of the Vow is ones desire to develop a new/deeper intimacy with HaShem, to more fully determine His Will or to seek His direction. Typically each session of the Vow is for 30 days as described above. Paul warns couples not to exceed realistic durations of prayer, fasting, celibacy and renunciation lest it endanger the marriage and lead them into undue temptation.

Undertaking the Nazarite Vow as a way of Seeking HaShem's blessings is surely an honorable motive for any Noahide Nazarene.


Another function of the Nazarite Vow is the promotion of humility and the appreciation of the goodness of God. As the Nazarite humbles him/herself spiritual favors are sometimes granted. One may therefore undertake the Vow as an avenue to spiritual purity, realization or spiritual development. One who feels his/her spiritual life is stalled or who desires a greater spiritual reality and connection with the All Mighty may opt to undertake the Nazarite Vow as a centering process.

The Nazarite Priesthood

According to Philo (Philo 1, Legum Allegoriae 249) a layperson who undertakes the Nazarite Vow for purely spiritual reasons automatically becomes as a cohen (priest) of HaShem for the duration of the Vow.

The Cohen Gadol ("High Priest") of all Nazarites is Melchizedek. Adon Y'shua HaNatzrati is the ultimate Cohen Gadol after the Order of Melchizedek) and so clearly this Vow is for Y'shua's talmidim as well.

Special Blessings

In the Tanakh Samson was given the boon of phenomenal strength during the period of his Nazarite Separation. When his nazir (sanctified hair) was removed however so was his added strength:

Judges 16:16 Every day she kept nagging at him and pressing at him, till it bothered him to death, 17 so that he finally told her everything. He said to her, "No razor has ever touched my head, because I have been a nazir of God since I was born. If someone shaves me, then my strength will leave me; and I will be like any other man."

The diverse gifts of HaShem are His to bestow as He sees fit. One who is specifically consecrated to God's service may receive special graces due to undergoing the Nazarite Vow. These graces are always to be used in His service for the betterment of others as one is led by Ruach HaKodesh.

Abstinence from Alcohol and Other Distractions

As Nazarites devote themselves strictly to the service of Adonai they shun all forms of personal enjoyment that might distract their consciousness. Things like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs are therefore avoided by Nazarites. Television, computers, movies and such are likewise avoided unless they are directly related to ones service. The point or spirit behind such restrictions is the need for the Nazarite to remain as focused on his/her service to HaShem as possible. Anything that distracts from the Vow is to be avoided.


While under the Nazarite Vow one must carefully avoid all contact with corpses and death. This includes eating animal corpses or foods that contain their byproducts. Hence serious Nazarites maintain a vegan diet for the duration of the Vow.

Entering into the Nazarite Vow

Just prior to making ones Nazarite Vow one should clarify the reasons for undertaking the Period of Separation as well as the duration of the Vow if applicable. If there is not an established time frame one does well to specify that the Vow is to remain in effect until HaShem calls for its conclusion. This is better than making the Vow "perpetual" or "for the rest of my life" as breaking a Vow to HaShem is a dreadful thing. We see from the case of Samson that a vow made to HaShem is not wisely broken!

For this reason it is usually recommended that one vow as a Nazarite for a period of one month at a time. For instance the first Shabbat of the month may be set aside as a time to either end or extend ones Vow for another month. Such an intention should be clearly stated in the Vow.

Numbers 6:1 ADONAI said to Moshe, 2 "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'When either a man or a woman makes a special kind of vow, the vow of a nazir, consecrating himself to ADONAI...

The beginning of the Nazarite Vow requires the candidate to make a clear verbal Vow unto HaShem. Verbally stating ones intention both clarifies the intent and begins the Vow. Remember, in all things it is the intent of the heart that is most important. Read over the requirements that follow and then make your vow to HaShem, specifying what you intend to do in detail as you feel led by Ruach HaKodesh.

Renunciation of Society

The Way of the Nazarite is typically a solitary path, although one need not be a hermit to fulfill it. The root word nazir refers to something that has been set apart or separated, consecrated unto HaShem and His service. So whether alone or with others, the Nazarite must always remain renounced to worldly affairs, focused on HaShem. The Nazarite accepts no secular responsibilities and places no demands on others. Nazarites are given to spiritual contemplation, study and reflection. For this reason it is more difficult to properly practice the Vow while maintaining secular employment and satisfying other worldly affairs. Indeed such would seem to be nearly impossible. As our Master warned, either one will cling to the one and despise the other, or else despise the one and hold to the other (Matthew 6:24). Other than the sort of limited vows discussed above, Nazarites do well to get their affairs in order before beginning the Vow and then maintaining mental if not physical distance from the world.

It is preferable but not required to undertake the Nazarite Vow in the presence of others at a Noahide Nazarene shul or meeting place under the direction of knowledgeable elders and before a congregation would be ideal -- or at least in the presence of spiritually supportive friends if this is not available. One can however take the Vow before HaShem alone. Ultimately the Vow is a private matter between the candidate and HaShem.

Following are specific requirements on Nazarites:

Fruit of the Vine and Intoxicants

Numbers 6:3 he is to abstain from wine and other intoxicating liquor, he is not to drink vinegar from either source, he is not to drink grape juice, and he is not to eat grapes or raisins. 4 As long as he remains a nazir he is to eat nothing derived from the grapevine, not even the grape-skins or the seeds.

Thus, any products containing grapes or grape extracts are specifically forbidden to the Nazarite. In the case of Samson's Nazarite vow all "strong drink" was prohibited as well (Judges 13:7). One will therefore wish to add abstention from all intoxicants to embrace the spirit of this command rather than cling to the letter of the observance only. This will include intoxicants such as caffeine, tobacco, illegal drugs and so on. When making ones vow to HaShem one does well to specify which areas of abstention one will observe. The greater the degree of abstinence one observes the more potent the Vow. In the same spirit one can include other areas of abstention not specifically required. In addition to grape products all intended abstentions should be stated when making ones vow. There's no point mentioning unrelated categories. For instance one who smokes cigarettes would mention his/her abstention from them while a non-smoker would not. One does not abstain from something not partaken.


The Nazarite Vow as presented in the Tanakh is directed to Torah observant Jews so it is naturally understood that the complete body of Halakha (Jewish law) -- including Kashrut (the kosher dietary requirements) -- apply for the duration of the Vow even though Noahide Nazarenes are not generally required to observe all the requirements of Halakha. Samson's mother was specifically told to eat no unclean thing while the child, a Nazarite from her womb, was still within her body. Before beginning the Vow therefore one should understand the various requirements and determine to observe them.


Numbers 6:5 "'Throughout the period of his vow as a nazir, he is not to shave his head. Until the end of the time for which he has consecrated himself to ADONAI he is to be holy: he is to let the hair on his head grow long.

Just prior to making the vow the Nazarite's head is shaved completely and anointed with holy oil. It is essential that no hair remain on the head that might contaminate the sanctity of the nazir as it grows. As a sign of ones righteous intentions it is preferable that this shaving be performed by the candidate or by a Noahide elder, brother or sister, but again, this is not required if it poses undue complications. One may even go to a commercial barbershop to be shaved if other options are not available, being carefully to collect all the shorn hair and keeping it for proper disposal. The anointing/oiling of the head should be done elsewhere just prior to making the vow. The shorn pre-vow hair should be saved and disposed of thusly:

Numbers6:18 "The nazir will shave his consecrated head at the entrance to the tent of meeting, take the hair removed from his consecrated head and put it on the fire under the sacrifice of peace offerings."

As burnt sacrifices are no longer possible it is acceptable to make a fire and toss the hair into it in a respectful manner, giving praise to the name of HaShem.

It is good to make ones Nazarite Vow as soon after being shaved as possible, again in the presence of the Noahide Nazarene community is best if possible. Both male and female Nazarites are required to shave the head completely as a sign of their acceptance of the Holy Vow. As for the beard, there are no specific commands concerning it for Nazarites. However most Noahides will probably honor the Tanakh's injunction against shaving the face in general and leave it uncut during the duration of the vow. There is no need to shave the beard before taking the Vow if one is bearded:

Leviticus 19:27 Don't round your hair at the temples or mar the edges of your beard.

During the duration of the Vow shaving the face or other body parts is obviously prohibited.

Numbers 6:6 "'Throughout the period for which he has consecrated himself to ADONAI, he is not to approach a corpse. 7 He is not to make himself unclean for his father, mother, brother or sister when they die, since his consecration to God is on his head. 8 Throughout the time of his being a nazir he is holy for ADONAI. 9 "'If someone next to him dies very suddenly, so that he defiles his consecrated head, then he is to shave his head on the day of his purification; he is to shave it on the seventh day.

Regarding the Dead and the Need for Humility

Two points here: Avoiding contact with the dead is clearly stated in the text and so does not require comment.

Verse eight reminds us that during the days of ones Vow the Nazarite is to be regarded as being in a special relationship with HaShem and treated accordingly. But as stated above, the Nazarite must carefully maintain humility and not allow this position to lead him astray. The mitzvot or good works of a Nazarite bring multiplied blessings. Likewise the prayers of a Nazarite are more readily answered. The same is true of the negatives that may be done. In every day life one may make certain allowances, however during the term of the Vow purity of thought and deed are especially important. Nazarites need to be conscious of their positions at all times lest the good they intend produces an evil they do not.

Prayers, Blessings and Alms

Due to their special relationship with HaShem people may request beneficial prayers or blessings from Nazarites on their behalf. This is good both for the people and for the Nazarite who should be careful to pray with wisdom.

While the Nazarite requires nothing from anyone, those who contribute funds, food, clothing, etc. to a Nazarite receive blessings from HaShem. As Adon Y'shua HaNatzrati explained:

Matthew 25:40 The King will say to them, `Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!'

Conclusion of the Separation

Numbers 6:10 On the eighth day he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the cohen at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 11 The cohen is to prepare one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering and thus make atonement for him, inasmuch as he sinned because of the dead person. That same day he is to re-consecrate his head; 12 he is to consecrate to ADONAI the full period of his being a nazir by bringing a male lamb in its first year as a guilt offering. The previous days will not be counted, because his consecration became defiled.

Here we face the consequences of the absence of the Beit HaMikdash (may HaShem establish His Third Temple soon!). As it is not possible to meet these requirements today it is suggested that if ones time of consecration is violated as described above, one should donate to the poor as one is able. One should undertake a full fast to begin immediately upon realizing ones contamination. This fast may last from one to seven days -- the longer the better up to the eighth day. On the eighth lunar day after the defilement ones head should be shaven as before, the hair disposed of as described above, and the same vow for the original period of time should be taken up and properly executed. As the sun sets at the beginning the eighth day after defilement the Nazarite is considered clean as though the interruption had never happened.

Numbers 6:13 "'This is the law for the nazir when his period of consecration is over: he is to be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 14 where he will present his offering to ADONAI - one male lamb in its first year without defect as a burnt offering, one female lamb in its first year without defect as a sin offering, one ram without defect as peace offerings, 15 a basket of matzah, loaves made of fine flour mixed with olive oil, unleavened wafers spread with olive oil, their grain offering and their drink offerings. 16 The cohen is to bring them before ADONAI, offer his sin offering, his burnt offering, 17 and his ram as a sacrifice of peace offerings to ADONAI, with the basket of matzah. The cohen will also offer the grain offering and drink offering that go with the peace offering.

Upon the successful completion of the Vow it is right to honor the goodness of HaShem in empowering the person for the completion with a celebration. Such a celebration can include Noahide brothers and sisters, family and friends. As this is a holy thanksgiving one should make sure that HaShem is the Guest of Honor! The details of the celebration can be left to those involved. It can be a formal affair or a friendly potluck. There are other options for those who don't have a spiritual community and in this Dark Age we must often serve Adonai alone. The important thing is to honor HaShem for the completion of the Vow.

Numbers 6:18 The nazir will shave his consecrated head at the entrance to the tent of meeting, take the hair removed from his consecrated head and put it on the fire under the sacrifice of peace offerings. 19 When the ram has been boiled, the cohen is to take its shoulder, one loaf of matzah from the basket and one unleavened wafer, and place them in the hands of the nazir, after he has shaved his consecrated head. 20 The cohen is to wave them as a wave offering before ADONAI; this is set aside for the cohen, along with the breast for waving and the raised-up thigh. Following that, the nazir may drink wine.

At the end of this celebration the Nazarite's head is again shaved. This time however the nazir is holy and consecrated to HaShem and so it must be handled with great care and respect. As it is cut the hair should be carefully kept together and placed in a container. As before no hair should remain on the head.

Since the Nazarite is not currently able to offer Temple sacrifices to HaShem there is some question about what should be done with the nazir. Some feel that a fire should be built and the hair should be sprinkled into the flames as before. Another option is to make a large round piece of unleavened bread (matzo) into which the hair can be folded and then placed in the fire. Others believe that the hair should be buried, other say it should saved by the Nazarite in a special container as a remembrance of the Vow. I think it would be unwise to save the hair because undue attention may be placed on maintaining it and memorializing the completion of the Vow. In a sense the nazir could become an inadvertent idol. Also because the nazir now belongs to HaShem rather than to the Nazarite from whom it was removed, it should not remain in his/her keeping. To keep it under any circumstances therefore does not seem appropriate to me. Whatever is done, its important to understand that the fire is not intended to be an alter and the rite, however it is played out, is merely symbolic.

Another view that I personally prefer is that the Vow has now been completed and so the Nazarite need not be shaved at all. In any case, the individual Nazarite - in consult with his/her spiritual elders -- should decide the course to take and follow that with due faith.

Numbers 6:21 "'This is the law for the nazir who makes a vow and for his offering to ADONAI for his being a nazir - in addition to anything more for which he has sufficient means. In keeping with whatever vow he makes, he must do it according to the law for the nazir.'"

Another activity that the post-Nazarite might consider is the giving of gifts in thanksgiving. According to ones means donating to Israel, to ones shul or meeting place, to ones rabbi or elders, or to the poor is an appropriate way to show thanksgiving to Adonai. Such mitzvot are optional, but surely pleasing to our God.

Numbers 6:22 ADONAI said to Moshe, 23 "Speak to Aharon and his sons, and tell them that this is how you are to bless the people of Isra'el: you are to say to them, 24 'Y'varekh'kha ADONAI v'yishmerekha. [May ADONAI bless you and keep you.] 25 Ya'er ADONAI panav eleikha vichunekka. [May ADONAI make his face shine on you and show you his favor.] 26 Yissa ADONAI panav eleikha v'yasem l'kha shalom. [May ADONAI lift up his face toward you and give you peace.]' 27 "In this way they are to put my name on the people of Isra'el, so that I will bless them."

There is no set formula to be observed. Following is an example only: If one is a member of a supportive shul or similar group the elders or other Noahides may pronounce these blessings on the Nazarite. In the absence of this one may proclaim them aloud before HaShem and His holy angels asking that His blessings be bestowed upon you. This is part of the celebration described above. The bestowal of these blessings can be part of a great worship time exalting the glory and mercy of HaShem.

The Aaronic Prayer

Following is a possible prayer one might make to HaShem when beginning ones period of separation:

"HaShem my Elohiym, this day I undertake the vow of a Nazarite to the best of my ability for Your pleasure and I ask that You would bless my intention, empower my faithful observance and receive my Vow unto Yourself.
I make this vow for Your pleasure, always dependent on Your mercy to fulfill it. I am led to undertake this vow because of my desire to draw ever closer to You [or, "in hopes that You will bless my upcoming marriage" or so on].
In the presence of my brothers and sisters [if present], my ancestors and the assembled angles I vow the following pledge to You:
From this moment until [state the duration of the Vow] I will abstain from all grape products. I will observe the principles of celibacy. I will abstain from all intoxicants including [list them: caffeine, tobacco, marijuana etc.]. I will shun all contact with the dead and my life will be as a living sacrifice unto You. As a living sacrifice unto You, I am now under this vow. I will neither cut nor trim the hair of my body. The hair of my head will be a nazir or crown for Your holiness. Neither will I cut nor trim my beard, for the duration of my separation unto You as a Nazarite. When my time of separation is completed, I will surrender my consecrated nazir unto You, most Holy HaShem."

If one is assisted in this celebration such may anoint the head of the Nazarite with holy oil, laying hands upon the person and pronounce the Aaronic Benediction:

"May HaShem bless you, and keep you;
May HaShem make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you;
May HaShem lift up His countenance upon you; and give you peace."

If one is alone with HaShem one may pronounce:

"As Your Holy Torah says: "And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying:
'Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, In this manner, you will bless the descendants of Israel; you will say to them:
May haShem bless you, and keep you;
May HaShem make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you;
May HaShem lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
So shall they put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.'
Please bless Your servant now I pray.

After such a pronouncement when everything else is completed, the nazir is shaved completely (if this is to done) and offered to HaShem. The beard is not included and is not shaved at this time, if at all.

Once the offering of the nazir is made, the post-Nazarite takes a glass of wine, raises it toward the heavens (facing the East) and loudly and joyously proclaims "L'Chayim!" -- "To Life!" and drinks the wine.

Thus ends the person's obligations under the holy Nazarite Vow of Nazarite Separation.

Ben Ruach HaKodesh
John of AllFaith


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Bamidbar 5 in the 1917 JPS

1: And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying:
2: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When either man or woman shall clearly utter a vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to consecrate himself unto HaShem,
3: he shall abstain from wine and strong drink: he shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried.
4: All the days of his Naziriteship shall he eat nothing that is made of the grape-vine, from the pressed grapes even to the grapestone.
5: All the days of his vow of Naziriteship there shall no razor come upon his head; until the days be fulfilled, in which he consecrateth himself unto HaShem, he shall be holy, he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.
6: All the days that he consecrateth himself unto HaShem he shall not come near to a dead body.
7: He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because his consecration unto G-d is upon his head.
8: All the days of his Naziriteship he is holy unto HaShem.
9: And if any man die very suddenly beside him, and he defile his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.
10: And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tent of meeting.
11: And the priest shall prepare one for a sin-offering, and the other for a burnt-offering, and make atonement for him, for that he sinned by reason of the dead; and he shall hallow his head that same day.
12: And he shall consecrate unto HaShem the days of his Naziriteship, and shall bring a he-lamb of the first year for a guilt-offering; but the former days shall be void, because his consecration was defiled.
13: And this is the law of the Nazirite, when the days of his consecration are fulfilled: he shall bring it unto the door of the tent of meeting;
14: and he shall present his offering unto HaShem, one he-lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt-offering, and one ewe-lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin-offering, and one ram without blemish for peace-offerings,
15: and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and their meal-offering, and their drink-offerings.
16: And the priest shall bring them before HaShem, and shall offer his sin-offering, and his burnt-offering.
17: And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto HaShem, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall offer also the meal-offering thereof, and the drink-offering thereof.
18: And the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tent of meeting, and shall take the hair of his consecrated head, and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace-offerings.
19: And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram when it is sodden, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazirite, after he hath shaven his consecrated head.
20: And the priest shall wave them for a wave-offering before HaShem; this is holy for the priest, together with the breast of waving and the thigh of heaving; and after that the Nazirite may drink wine.
21: This is the law of the Nazirite who voweth, and of his offering unto HaShem for his Naziriteship, beside that for which his means suffice; according to his vow which he voweth, so he must do after the law of his Naziriteship.
22: And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying:
23: 'Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying: On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel; ye shall say unto them:
24: HaShem bless thee, and keep thee;
25: HaShem make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;
26: HaShem lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27: So shall they put My name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.'

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