Hello; What is the motivation for someone to pledge their value to the temple treasury? What does it accomplish? Is the money they give included in their obligation to give charity? Is anyone obligated to make this pledge? Thank you very much in advance for your answer.
Chaim Aaron Levin, Simcha Monica, CA USA
See the commentary of the Ibn Ezra (Vayikra, 27:2) who suggests that typically a person would pledge his Erech if Hash-m would heed some request that he would make of Him. The Klei Yakar (ibid) goes further and says that this type of Neder was made by people in times of distress, similar to the Neder that Yaakov Avinu made to Hash-m to tithe all of his belongings if he were saved from Lavan and Eisav.
It is hard to say what this Neder of Erchin accomplishes. Presumably, according to the Ibn Ezra and the Klei Yakar, it adds strength to a person's requests that he would make to Hash-m. What did Yaakov Avinu's Neder accomplish?
The money that a person would pledge for Erchin would be separate from their obligation to give charity. There is a general positive Mitzvah to take care of the poor and a general prohibition to ignore the poor's needs (see Rambam, Hilchos Matanos Ani'im 7:1). Not only is there no obligation to make such pledges of Erchin, but one is discouraged from making them even for a noble cause (see Rambam, Hilchos Erchin ve'Charamim). This is part of the general guideline of not making lots of Nedarim.
This is not a Psak Halachah