May 24, 2011 2:54 am at 2:54 am #597051
Some people have a minhag that around Purim time they write “Haman” or “Amalek” on the bottom of their shoe. The reason for this is that they want to “wipe out” the name of Haman (or Amalek). It could be that they want to spiritually harm Amalek/Haman or else, at the very least, show disrespect and contempt by walking all over the name.
I was walking around my neighborhood tonight and I noticed that, on the ground, a child had written her name, Aliza, in chalk. Before I realized it, I had walked over the name she had written.
I don’t want to get into a discussion about whether or not she had a right to do so and whether or not I had a legal (halachic) right to traverse there even if her name was there. That’s not the point.
The point is that I did walk over her name, contributing to the eventual erasure of her name. While I certainly didn’t *intend* to show disrespect to Aliza or cause her any spiritual harm, I wonder if, nonetheless, I did so anyway. Is it possible that I’ve harmed a little child? And, if so, do I owe her an apology (I can probably assume that she lives in the house by her name and can issue an apology to her parents)?
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:00 am at 3:00 am #771558canineMember
Just give an apology to be on the safe side.May 24, 2011 3:05 am at 3:05 am #771559ItcheSrulikMember
You didn’t harm her. The practice of writing Haman’s name on our shoes shows our disdain for him and our wish that his name be erased. It’s not a magical charm or anything, so you don’t have to worry about causing her harm. If you’re worried about her feeling bad, I’d tell you not to because I’ve never yet seen a kid who minded what happened to the sidewalk chalk after she went inside.May 24, 2011 3:06 am at 3:06 am #771560ZeesKiteParticipant
No. You assisted in the erasure of one of her bad midos – destroying others’ property.May 24, 2011 3:09 am at 3:09 am #771561
Just give an apology to be on the safe side.
And what if the harm was more than a simple apology could solve?
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:10 am at 3:10 am #771562
shows our disdain for him
That was my point. Was it inadvertently showing my disdain for her?
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:11 am at 3:11 am #771563
No. You assisted in the erasure of one of her bad midos – destroying others’ property.
I highly doubt that drawing with colored chalk on the sidewalk is harming it in any way or form — and certainly not destroying it.
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:13 am at 3:13 am #771564canineMember
Then you’re up the creek. Maybe fast for 40 days, and have only a slice of bread with one cup of water at night.May 24, 2011 3:19 am at 3:19 am #771565hudiParticipant
Was her name written in Hebrew?May 24, 2011 3:21 am at 3:21 am #771566commonsenseParticipant
it is understood that by writing a name on the floor it will be stepped upon and erased. i don’t think it has any connection to the minhag of writing and erasing haman’s name. like itchesrulik i don’t think you have anything to worry about. you did not have any intention of erasing a name, the child happened to have written it in a bad spot. children do this all the time and this is the first time i have heard anyone worrying about it.May 24, 2011 3:23 am at 3:23 am #771567ItcheSrulikMember
Accidentally stepping on a sidewalk chalk drawing is not a show of disdain. I think you should stop beating up on yourself.May 24, 2011 3:31 am at 3:31 am #771568
Was her name written in Hebrew?
No, but why should it matter? If someone does not know Hebrew, is there anything wrong with writing “Haman” or “Amalek” in English on the bottom of your shoe?
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:31 am at 3:31 am #771569☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Was it inadvertently showing my disdain for her?
NoMay 24, 2011 3:32 am at 3:32 am #771570
Then you’re up the creek. Maybe fast for 40 days, and have only a slice of bread with one cup of water at night.
Thank you for the suggestion.
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:32 am at 3:32 am #771571observanteenMember
Chumros, chumros! Stop with those chumros already! This is why kids go OTD!;-)May 24, 2011 3:34 am at 3:34 am #771572
Chumros, chumros! Stop with those chumros already! This is why kids go OTD!;-)
I wasn’t imposing any chumra on anyone. I wasn’t even suggesting that anyone else feel about this the way that I might have felt.
The WolfMay 24, 2011 5:04 am at 5:04 am #771573oomisParticipant
You did not write her name on your SHOES, did you? Then how could you show deliberate disdain. Next thing, people will be afraid to erase their names on paper, even if misspelled.May 24, 2011 5:25 am at 5:25 am #771574observanteenMember
Wolf: I’m afraid there are far more sophistecated ways to spiritually harm a child.May 24, 2011 5:40 am at 5:40 am #771575basket of radishesParticipant
The only way you are going to hurt this child is to show her how silly you are about not walking on a marking on the sidewalk. Personally I would be concerned about your affluence and your influence. To think that there is any spirituality associated with a written word on the ground that is to be silly beyond beleif. If it was Our Creators name I would hope that you were not so foolish to write that on a sidewalk and if the child did, perhaps you could give him or her a lecture on how we treat Gods name.May 24, 2011 6:09 am at 6:09 am #771576YW Moderator-42Moderator
I’m surprised nobody took this approach yet: Having a girl’s name written in public is a huge lack of tznius. You therefore did a big mitzvah by contributing towards its erasure. May you go machayel lechayel in Torah umaasim tovim.May 24, 2011 9:08 am at 9:08 am #771577HaLeiViParticipant
It’s Mashma that it only has meaning when you mean it. I’m not that well versed in Voo Doo, but you can travel to Haiti and check it out with the real guys.May 24, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #771578sof davarMember
Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but after reading your posts for some time, I believe that it I am safe in assuming that Wolf’s original post was written tongue (or typing fingers) in cheek as a social experiment to see how many people would take this seriously.
Thank you for a good laugh.May 24, 2011 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #771579
tongue (or typing fingers) in cheek as a social experiment to see how many people would take this seriously.
Look, there are people here who make the point that there is spiritual significance to everything we do. “There is no reshus,” these people will say, “there is only required and forbidden.”
If that’s the case, and there is spiritual significance to even our smallest actions, then perhaps there was significance to this action of mine. And if there was, perhaps there is some atonement that needs to be done for it.
The WolfMay 24, 2011 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #771580ursula momishMember
If you are seriously seeking advice on spiritual atonement, shouldn’t you be discussing this with your spiritual advisor?May 24, 2011 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #771581TheGoqParticipant
Be careful Wolf, step on a crack break your mother’s back!May 24, 2011 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #771582mewhoParticipant
iamgine if we could cause harm by writing someones name and then stepping on it.
think of how easily we could have been rid of the terrorists and other evils.
somehow, i dont think it works that way.May 24, 2011 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #771583
Be careful Wolf, step on a crack break your mother’s back!
Sadly, I’ve done that. To date my mother has had over a dozen back surgeries. 🙁
The WolfMay 24, 2011 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #771584veteranMember
During WWII, children played the game differently. It went “step on a crack and you break Hitler’s back”. So the object was to step on cracks with every step. Sadly, after the war many of the children got confused when the rules of the game went back to the original, sending a lot of mothers into traction.May 25, 2011 1:03 am at 1:03 am #771585BSDMember
Wolf-on the off chance that you are not talking tongue in cheek, why not dispel your doubts and trace over the faded letters-you can make it darker then before thereby possibly helping the kid. Just make sure that Aliza’s parents don’t see, they may get a tad suspicious. 🙂May 25, 2011 4:32 am at 4:32 am #771586sof davarMember
Although I am still not convinced that this whole thread was ever anything more than satire, I will nevertheless lament the fact that for a significant portion of our society, torah has become confused with witchcraft. We have a torah which tells us what we may and may not believe. To believe that walking on someone’s name would cause them harm would seemingly be a violation of the issur of lo senachashu – do not be superstitious.
Tamim t’hye im Hashem elokechaMay 25, 2011 6:52 am at 6:52 am #771587amichaiParticipant
wolf, no apology needed. not at all like purim and amalek.May 27, 2011 4:27 am at 4:27 am #771588morahParticipant
you have got to be kidding.
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