Why would a person desire to take on the restrictions and the obligation of a נזיר(nazirite)? There are probably many reasons, but I would like to focus on what I believe may be the primary one or two reasons. So what was a nazirite?
A nazirite was a man or a woman who made a vow to HaShem and place themself under an obligation for a duration of time, usually thirty days. Their status as a person somehow, changed. In addition to the obligation that they placed upon their self, there were three things that they had to avoid. They were not allow to drink wine or anything made from grapes. They also were not allowed to eat grapes or food made from grapes. They could not cut their hair and they could not come near a dead body. Some of these restrictions were similar to what a cohen had to follow. However, the nazirite did not become a cohen. He could not officiate as a cohen, even though the Torah uses the phrase holy to HaShem.
Perhaps they felt this period of self denial or abstinence would create a closer relationship with HaShem. I believe a person took the vow of a nazirite for some type of self improvement, perhaps through self discipline in a spiritual way. I think that he or she was trying to change something in their life and the best way to accomplish that was by taking the vow of a nazirite. Perhaps, this person felt that by being a nazirite, she or he could develop the self discipline needed to become a better person.
Usually the person obligated herself with a vow of nazirite for thirty days. This was enough time to form a habit. By accomplishing the obligation of her nazirite vow, she could use this discipline and determination to accomplish any goal that she really desired.
There are many books, audio books, podcasts, and other sources about self help and self discipline. In fact, the self help industry is very large. Is it possible that a nazirite vow was a precursor to the self help industry?
Thank you for reading. Comments are welcome.