September 9, 2022 7:51 am at 7:51 am #2122824
This was touched on a prior thread and I dont like to hijack a thread.
The Queens Funeral will be held in Westminster Abby and most likely the Chief Rabbi will be invited to represent the Jewish people, keeping in mind the Kovad Hamalchus beings this to a whole differnt level and there maybe a whole differnt angle on this.
Just wondering about attending a non jewish funeral service, I had two non jewish colleagues who I had a close working relationship with who had died, on one I went to the Church and stood outside and the second I went to the wake instead of going to the funeral.September 9, 2022 9:30 am at 9:30 am #2122877GadolhadorahParticipant
Do whatever you are comfortable with after consultation with your LRP. There are different types of memorial “services” held in “churches” or religiously focused facilities which may have dual usage, with different types of art and physical representation of goyishe deities. Each case may be different and there are exceptions to rules of general applicability.September 9, 2022 9:33 am at 9:33 am #2122887
Don’t get me to the church on time but show consideration some other way.September 9, 2022 9:33 am at 9:33 am #2122896yaakov doeParticipant
My Rav told me to go to the wake rather than the funeral when I asked the shilah. The deceased was in an open coffin wearing a suit which he never did in the 20 years I knew him. He looked great!
I assume there are hetarim for a Chief Rabbi to attend a state funeral.September 9, 2022 10:48 am at 10:48 am #2122921
It is prohibited to attend a church service. It is even prohibited to simply enter a church sanctuary.September 9, 2022 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #2122943
Zalman Margules AH was sitting shiva and he had a appointment with the Queen, he got a pasak that he was allowed to shower, shave and wear cleaning clothing and go to the meeting alts Kavod HamalcusSeptember 9, 2022 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm #2122957
At the wedding of William & Kate (also in Westminster Abbey), Rabbi Sacks ZT”L attended due to fear of Chillul Hashem if he didn’t.
Considering Rabbi Mirvis is representing the Jewish people at the funeral, as a rav in his own right, I don’t see him not going. משום איבה.September 9, 2022 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #2123014
Avodah zara and abuzrayhu are part of the 3 chamuros. They’re something we don’t do to save a life. We don’t find that you can violate the 3 chamuros meshum aivah, or supposed “chilul Hashem”September 9, 2022 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #2123020
chiefshmerel: If the King offers you chazir, will you eat it to “avoid chilul Hashem”?September 9, 2022 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #2123026
@ujm, eating chazir is an explicit prohibition in the Torah (must have split hooves and chew its cud). I’m not denying any source’s legitimacy when saying that entering a church is forbidden. However, please recognize the right to other opinions, especially when that opinion is from someone who is a greater talmid chacham than anyone on this site.September 9, 2022 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #2123031
chiefshmerel: Avoda Zora is worse that eating chazir.
If someone claimed an opinion that it’s okay to eat chazir to supposedly avoid chilul Hashem, he’d rightfully be called a reformer. And, yes, the Reform had what you’d refer to as a “greater talmid chacham than anyone on this site.”September 9, 2022 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm #2123033DaMosheParticipant
Typical Joseph, when confronted with things, he puts out outlandish scenarios and tries to make a comparison between them.
Joseph, we actually allow chillul Shabbos due to fear of how non-Jews may react, in cases of saving someone’s life. So yes, there may be times when eating pig is permissible to avoid future issues. Obviously it would take a big Rav to make such a psak, but it’s not so far-fetched.September 9, 2022 7:28 pm at 7:28 pm #2123034
@ chief who is the greater talmid chachem you are refering to?September 10, 2022 9:20 pm at 9:20 pm #2123125
@ujm, Have you ever learned מסכת עבודה זרה? Already in the beginning, there are opinions (פירושים) which, when discussing the relationship one can have with an ‘עובד ע”ז, תוס says it is permissible to do business with them even on their holidays, for the same reason. Despite the גמ’ saying otherwise, משום איבה. But I doubt you know that because you probably haven’t learned it. The basis for entering a church under some circumstances comes from the same general area.
@common saychel, I refer to Rabbi Sacks ZT”L and Rabbi Mirvis Shli”ta when I refer to people who are greater talmidei chachamim than anyone on this site.September 10, 2022 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #2123131
@chief, I am going put it as nicely as I can, I highly doubt any frum person would ask a halacha seilah to either of these two men the way they looked for guidance from Reb Moshe, Rav Wosner, Rav Chaim, Rav Shlomo Zalman ZTL etc. etc.September 10, 2022 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #2123136
@common saychel, did I ever say that was the case? None of the gedolim you just mentioned were on this site. I’m not comparing; merely pointing out the difference between people who post on here PRETENDING to know what they’re talking about and an actual rav.September 10, 2022 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2123153
I don’t know if I’m not a Talmid Chocom like Chief Shemerel (I guess that is why he is a Chief and I’m just Smerel) but he seems correct. As far as I know the policy of the Chief Rabbi and London Beth Din is to enter a church only if the Queen (now king) commands. Invitations to coronations, royal weddings and funerals have the status of such royal commands.
Rabbi Sacks was not the first British chief rabbi to attend such events. When asked why he did so he said:
“For at least 150 years, British chief rabbis have attended such functions. In America you don’t have something like this. In Britain – because we have a queen and an established church – when there is a state occasion, the Jewish community is represented by its religious head. That is a civic act, not a religious act. Every chief rabbi has always attended a national service, even if it was in a church, as a civic representative of the Jewish community loyal to the head of state. This falls under the halachic categories of mipnei darchei shalom and mipnei eivah. ”
Of course there are exceptions and rules Rabbi Saks himself did not attend Diana’s funeral because it was on Shabbos (not because it was in a church) and his predecessor did not attend the church part of the Charles-Diana wedding (it was enough of a ceremony for him to find other places and time to show up)
There are plenty of boich svoras I can say and “rayos” I can bring either way so I’ll stop here and say that it isn’t so simple. Different poskim will rule differently on what is Pikuach Nefesh for Yom Kipper and Shabbos. So too for this question. Those who believes that participation in government ceremonies when they are expecting you to is a form of communal life-saving activity have what to rely on . I was told by semi reliable sources that Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach told that to Israeli diplomats . I was also told by semi reliable sources that the mayors of Lakewood NJ got a hetter from the Lakewood poskim to attend the funerals of Lakewood policemen killed in the line of duty in Lakewood even thought those funeral took place in a church (don’t know if either of them are true)September 10, 2022 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2123154levi365248Participant
With due respect for their service to klal Yisroel the chief rabbis of the Commonwealth lehavdil bayn chaim lchaim did and do not look upon themselves as poskim.. They should be respected as figureheads for the Jewish communities and service to the communities, but they are not serious poskim from which we should learn halacha!September 10, 2022 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2123161KuvultParticipant
My Zaidy occasionally spoke in churches. He was the only Rabbi in a small town with a tiny Jewish population. In these rural type of places it’s very important to be part of the greater community. The Jews in town had a good thing going & my Zaidy wasn’t going to ruin it for them by separating from the Non-Jews.
From what I understand we generally don’t get involved with church but when there’s a pressing need (as determined by a competent Ruv) there’s ruin to be lenient.September 11, 2022 1:01 am at 1:01 am #2123176
I love how the terms darchei sholom and mipnei aivah are thrown around haphazardly.September 11, 2022 8:56 am at 8:56 am #2123203
>>>I love how the terms darchei sholom and mipnei aivah are thrown around haphazardly.
And what are you dong with this comment? Giving the gedorim on when darchei sholom and mipnei aivah do and don’t apply and expanding it the what you believe the halacha to be in this situation? Or just making a haphazard comment?
If you want to explain things like (1)the isser of going into a church (doyraysa, d’rabonon, by which religions, when there if ever there are hetterim, (2)darchei sholom and mipnei aivah etc. I’m all ears. But please give maarje mokomos and no boich svorasSeptember 11, 2022 9:28 am at 9:28 am #2123258
I don’t know if he actually said those things; he was a thinker and statesman, not a posek – neither were most of the chief rabbis. R. Hertz saved jews during the war, but it doesn’t make his use of bible critics “when they’re right” any less wrong. Same here.September 11, 2022 10:27 am at 10:27 am #2123264
Wow. All this discussion, and nobody has mentioned the clear and explicit halachic status of shtadlonim, which has been established for over 2500 years, and the wide range of heterim available for them. Someone asked whether there could be a heter to eat chazir to please a king; the answer is no, there is not, but there is a heter for a shtadlan to drink the king’s wine, and to wear shatnez, and to have a hair style that is normally forbidden as chukos hagoyim. The heter for drinking stam yeinam goes all the way back to Nechemiah! The gemara says that the reason he is sometimes called Hatirshoso is because the Sanhedrin gave him a heter to drink stam yeinam. And that’s a lot worse than simply setting foot in a church.September 11, 2022 10:29 am at 10:29 am #2123267
As for the various Chief Rabbis, they may none of them have been world-class poskim, but so what? It suffices that all of them have been far greater talmidei chachomim than anyone posting on this forum. More importantly, they have been the morei d’asra in the UK, and therefore they had the full halachic authority and responsibility to pasken on the matter, and their psak MUST be recognized as the authoritative one, even if you will find some greater talmid chochom who disagreed. That is how halacha works.September 11, 2022 10:29 am at 10:29 am #2123268
Kuvult, it depends very much on what kind of church it is. If your Zeide was in a small town in the USA, it is likely that the churches he spoke in were all Protestant, and some may have been very Protestant, where there is not really much of a problem entering. Catholic and Orthodox churches are much more of a problem, and so are High-Church Anglican churches such as Westminster Abbey.September 11, 2022 10:30 am at 10:30 am #2123270
Would Chief Rabbis have authority in their own right, without being poskim?! They may be right or wrong, they may or not consult poskim, but they have a position of authority to make these decisions and that should be respected, unless they are consistently out of line with halakha.
Also, where do Anglicans stand on the spectrum towards A’Z? I presume way below Roman temples, Catholics and Orthodox. So, the issurim of visiting those places may not be at the most severe level.September 11, 2022 11:09 am at 11:09 am #2123297
>>>Would Chief Rabbis have authority in their own right, without being poskim?!
No. A government appointed official is no more of an authority on Halacha than any yungerman who went through the sugyos. If even that. Unless of course he is independently a Talmid Chochom
It is very rare however that a government appointed rabbi is also a respected Talmid Chochom in areas of halacha. When was the last time you heard anyone mention a psak halacha from the chief rabbis of France, South Africa, England, Iran or Morocco?
On the other hand not dealing with their situations there is no way you are in the position to mach avek their behavior in a situation where there is definitely room for them to do so.
(Rabbi Herz mentioning bible critics is completely independent of his being chief rabbi of England. I was also told that he himself told people not to learn his commentary on chumash. He just felt that a time when bible critics held so much sway and influence a commentary on chumash written for a secular audience can’t ignore them. I disagree but that is not a England specific question like this is)September 11, 2022 11:36 am at 11:36 am #2123314
The Chasam Sofer was asked, is it permitted for women to sing in a shul to honor the King? He said, no and the respect is not to do it thereby showing that the king is merciful and does ‘not’ require us to do anything against halacha.September 11, 2022 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #2123339
” A government appointed official is no more of an authority on Halacha than any yungerman who went through the sugyos. If even that. Unless of course he is independently a Talmid Chochom”
the fact of the matter is that a CR is appointed because political considerations not because he knows how to learn, in fact there has been some major am haritzim in those posts.
To the best of knowlege the last major talmud chocom in goverment service was Rav Meir Shapiro and he was in the Semp, not CRSeptember 11, 2022 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #2123345
smerel > government appointed official is no more of an authority on Halacha
indeed, this was the case in Lita under Russia. R Salanter was offered a position leading a Russian school system. He seriously considered accepting it so that he could have some influence, but decided to go other way around so that there will be no confusion between government and real Rabbis. I don’t think, though, that this is a situation in England and the Queen did not select who the Rabbi is. Rather than speculating, I am sure we have some chaps here who can clarify.September 11, 2022 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #2123346
RebE > Chasam Sofer was asked, is it permitted for women to sing in a shul to honor the King
I just read a story in a kosher source about, I think, Austro-Hungarian Queen not King (was there such a thing?) being honored by Jewish girl dancing and a discussion between a general and a Rav who were present. Maybe Chasam Sofer was not the only posek.September 11, 2022 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #2123370
>>>R. Hertz saved jews during the war, but it doesn’t make his use of bible critics “when they’re right” any less wrong
It does however make people like Rabbi Sacks have a much stronger argument that they are allowed to enter a church for a civic function when invited by the king or queen.
Do you think that had Rabbi Hertz (who was also criticized in the 1920s for attending such a event) snubbed those invitations and expectations he would been in as much of a position to save Jews during WWII?September 11, 2022 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #2123383
There was an argument whether the religious Jews should join the knesses. They brought proof to join from a Chasam Sofer as explained by the Maharam Shik. Why did Amrom divorce his wife Yocheved?
He figured that if he has no children, the guf (container of the nesshumas) will be exhausted and Meshiach will come and no more boys will be thrown into the Nile. So Miriam told him that the reshaim will not follow you, the guf will not be used up and we end up giving birth to reshaim. Similarly if the religious don’t join the knesses, the chilonim will do what they want without the religious having any say in government affairs, so it is better for them to join.September 11, 2022 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #2123413
Smerel, are you engaging in “the ends justifies the means”?
He was able to save jews; even if that was due to his entering churches, and if he didn’t he wouldn’t be in that position(unlikely, because fulfilling the Torah raises our esteem among the nations) Hashem would have found a different shliach.
Chazal allowed emissaries to do many things. I don’t know why referring to entering a church is being reduced to “they allowed stam yainom, kal vechomer churches” – who told you entering a church is a small thing? Stam yainom is derabonon. I’m not sure what particular issur entering a church is, but i believe it’s abuzrayhu AZ, which is deoraysoh.
Re, protestants/Catholics. The only issue that’s “less” AZ is the lack of statues. The theology is more or less the same; they both believe in the trinity, pray to yushke(Catholics allow praying to mary, protestants don’t) and believe in yushke as godly r”l. That makes their worship 100% AZ for jews, and shituf for goyim, which according to a minority opinion might not be in the 7 mitzvos.
That’s if a religious service is being held in the church, including any prayer service. Even the British national anthem includes an element of prayer, as it says “g-d save the queen/king” – who, in a church, are they referring to when they ask their god to save the queen/king? That’s a serious issueSeptember 11, 2022 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #2123419
>>>Smerel, are you engaging in “the ends justifies the means”?
No but for Pikuach nefesh purposes one can certainly enter a church. Believing that a breakdown in diplomacy can cause Pikuach Nefesh that allows one to enter a church is not so outrageous of a svorah. As above I don’t know if it is true but I heard from semi reliable sources that Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach told Israeli diplomats that if there is no other time they can work on Shabbos preparing statements for MAJOR diplomatic events (unrelated to clear and present danger) due to the danger in them failing to do so. One thing is certain in the case of Rabbi Hertz the svora absolutely proved itself given his ability to save Jews during WWII.September 11, 2022 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm #2123435
>>>To the best of knowlege the last major talmud chocom in goverment service was Rav Meir Shapiro and he was in the Semp, not CR
The Reise Rav (Rabbi Aharon Lewin) and Rav Alexander Zusia Friedman (author of the Meyaneh Shel Torah) Hashem Yinkom Domom were among the Agudah elected members of the Sejm after him
The Ponivitcher Rov was also a member of the Lithuanian parliament after that.
As far as chief rabbis go: Rabbi Yehuda Levin, chief rabbi of Moscow (died 1970) was also a major a Talmid Chochom, a close chaver of Rav Yaakov Kamenstsky from when they learned together in Slobadka.
Given his position he also did controversial things. His life and success as chief rabbi depended his acting like a Soviet Union propagandist and claiming that the Jews are NOT being persecuted there.
When he came to the US in 1968 secular Jewish groups hounded and heckled him . It was the lhavdil elef havdolas Gedoley Torah like Rav Moshe and Rav Yaakov who stood by him and apparently agreed with him that it is worth saying Soviet propaganda in exchange for maintaining some semblance of Jewish life in Russia such as shul activities and matzoh-baking etc.
When he spoke at secular venues there was open jeering at him because of the Soviet propaganda about the treatment of Jews there that he had to say . When he spoke at the Sefardsher shul in Boro Park Rav Yaakov Kamenstsky introduced him with the highest amount of respect talking about how we are about hear from the most chosuv alumni of Slabodka etc.(although he did hint that you have to understand that Rabbi Levin is speaking in code) The crowd which included many Talemdey Chachomim listened to him and accorded the highest respect .Even the streets around the shul were packed with police and police barricades to prevent the mob of people who wanted to meet him and hear from him.September 11, 2022 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #2123487
R Meir Shapiro and others were elected members in Sejm, not government officials, like CR. In addition to mentioned, R Mordechai Dubin was elected in Latvia. Current chief Rabbis in Russia shows us that decisions are not always easy to make: one abandoned his post and fled, another one still there (I am not sure if these are the only two, maybe there are more). Presumably, each of them have some sevoros to support their opposite course of action. So, if you bump at a Chief Rabbi at Queen’s funeral, please don’t make scene.September 12, 2022 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #2123774modernParticipant
Rabbi Dr. Yosef Burg z’tz’l was a big Talmid Chacham. He founded the National Religious Party and served in the Cabinet and the Knesset for years.
Rabbi Yehuda Amital z’tz’l was a big Talmid Chacham who served briefly in the Cabinet.
Some of the past Chief Rabbis of Israel have been among the gedolim of the generation. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z’tz’l was one of the gedolim of all generations; Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog z’tz’l was Chief Rabbi of two different countries.
There is a lot of hakachic literature about Karov HaMelech. There are things that people close to the rulers must do that would not be permitted for the rest of us.September 12, 2022 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #2123793
@AAQ, other than Israel and the UK, the CR are not appointed by the goverment, Rabbi Goldshmidt is not a govermental appointee and hold no offical positionSeptember 12, 2022 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #2123804
In 1939, he immigrated to Mandate Palestine. When World War II begun, Burg was stuck in Geneva. He returned thanks to the help of Polish diplomat of Ładoś Group who provided him with a Polish passport. He worked as teacher at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium – where he taught religion wearing a kippa, which he would remove when teaching history,
yup a true sign of big talmud chochom a yiras shomayim. lolSeptember 12, 2022 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #2123815
Smerel, don’t believe everything you hear. I don’t think for a minute that rav shlomo zalman allowed writing on shabbos to protect the diplomatic interests of a shmad state. No Jews would be in danger if Israel snubbed Jordan a drop.
Abuzrayhu is yehereg velo yaavor. Do you have a source that this isn’t abuzrayhu?September 12, 2022 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #2123844
> Rabbi Goldshmidt is not a govermental appointee and hold no offical position
So he does not have to go back and attend Putin’s funeral? And the other chief rabbis also? Some good news.September 12, 2022 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #2123847
common, as the next generation says: LOL. You are quoting Haaretz to characterize R Burg. Do you have better sources? Who knows what was the story in that gymnasium.
Other quotes about him:
He arranged Jewish prayer services in private homes after German synagogues were burned, and worked underground to help Jews escape to Britain and the Netherlands. His mother and grandmother died in Nazi concentration camps. 
Also, Lados group included both Polish diplomats and Agudah people.September 16, 2022 7:57 am at 7:57 am #2125294
Smerel, the chief rabbi is NOT appointed by the government! He is appointed by the United Synagogue, which is the organization he is chief rabbi of. He is not chief rabbi of those Jews not affiliated with the US, such as the Chareidim, the Sefardim, and the various heretical sects. So the whole question of government appointment is irrelevant.
AAQ, the Anglican church is theologically very diverse. Within the Anglican church you have a split between “High Church” which is closer to Catholicism and “Low Church” which is far away from it. Historically there were bitter struggles between these factions. But in general, and especially at a “High Church” church such as Westminster Abbey, there’s much more of an avoda zara problem than, for instance, at a Reformed Church, or the Puritan churches of the 18th century.
And no, the difference goes well beyond statues. In fact statues are not really that much of a problem. Kosher they’re not, but comparatively speaking they’re small change. The one thing in a Catholic church that is absolutely 100% unmistakable avoda zara is the “consecrated Host”. Almost all protestants, including even most High Church Anglicans, reject the doctrine of transsubstantiation, and therefore the problem is smaller. And most protestants don’t even have the whole concept.
All other issues with Xianity are less important. It’s questionable whether worshiping J. is avoda zara at all. They mistakenly believe that he is HKBH, so when they worship him their intent is to worship HKBH, rather than a rival god. (The same is true with the Host, but that is a physical object. When you believe that a physical object is HKBH, and you bow down to it, I don’t see how that can be anything but classic avoda zara.)September 16, 2022 7:59 am at 7:59 am #2125295
Re: Dr Burg not covering his head when teaching secular subjects, remember he was German, and that was the tradition in Germany. In R Shamshon Refael Hirsch’s school all secular subjects were taught and studied bareheaded. When the Melamed Leho’il visited him at school and did not remove his yarmulke Rav Hirsch told him off and demanded he do so. So it’s no surprise that Dr Burg followed that tradition.September 16, 2022 9:14 am at 9:14 am #2125318
@ Millhouse, sorry I dont buy that, I see frum Lawyers, Doctors, Judges even cops who wear a yalmulka, if he felt that insecure about his yiras shomayim that in EY he felt the need to be bareheaded, this man should not used as a example of a yiray chet in goverment service.September 16, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2125333
common > I see frum Lawyers, Doctors, Judges even cops who wear a yalmulka,
Did you einekle steal your account?! Lots and lots of lawyers and doctors in previous generations walked barehead, while being fully observant and learned. Also lots of Sephardim did, depending on location. You should remember that. Not sure it is still not happening. In fact, once my chasidishe kollel hevrusa was genuinely surprised when I told him a story that implied that I wear kippah in public work meetings. His presumptions were from other professionals he learns with.September 16, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2125338
I, in 1968 worked at Chemical Bank wearing a yarmulka.September 16, 2022 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2125350
>>>I see frum Lawyers, Doctors, Judges even cops who wear a yalmulka
Depends on the point in time. Fifty years you would not have seen thatSeptember 16, 2022 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #2125398
Boruch Hashem we are past such things.
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