Using an Image of A Rabbi for Shmira

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  • #1576564

    1
    Participant

    Is this practice allowed? I came across a wikipedia page that quoted Jews using an image of a rabbi as an amulet to protect them from various things.

    #1576618

    laskern
    Participant

    People use an image of the Kerestirer Rav Sheile Steiner zt”l to protect themselves from mice.

    #1576632

    mentsch1
    Participant

    If the story of the mice in the kerestirer book is to be believed, the protection came from a bracha from the rebbe due to the eirlichkeit and tzedakah of the person seeking protection, not due to some protective charm of a picture.
    To quote a famous Brooklyn Rav it’s a bezyon to kavod hatorah
    But in this day and age am haratzus and seeking a quick fix seems to be common practice from the masses

    #1576635

    1
    Participant

    That doesn’t mean it’s allowed

    #1576713

    Avi K
    Participant

    Avoda zara. However, it works very well for those who sell it.

    #1576829

    laskern
    Participant

    Some people keep a picture of their rebbi based on the pasuk
    והיו עינך ראות את מראיך keep your teacher infront of you all the time. So if you care about your rebbi, he will protect you.

    #1576857

    Moshe1994
    Participant

    It is 100% Avodah Zarah.

    #1576907

    Joseph
    Participant

    Many rabbonim consider pictures to be close to avoda zora. Some rabbonim didn’t allow themselves to be photographed.

    #1576915

    icemelter
    Participant

    Laskern- yes but pictures are pretty modern and not everyone had paintings of everyone back in the day. Do you think that pasuk refers to pictures in modern times and skipped all other generations?

    #1576916

    Avi K
    Participant

    Laskern, if they draw inspiration from their rebbes that is one thing. However, the O.P. implied that the picture itself is believed to protect. The next step is to daven to it (as do a certain Chabad faction).

    #1576930

    laskern
    Participant

    My rebbi has a painting of his grandfather in his house. It also includes that by a shiur you should see your rebbi.

    #1576940

    laskern
    Participant

    Moshe1994, People don’t worship the pictures but seeing him encourages them to follow his ways and thereby be helped.

    #1576938

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    R’ Bender used to tell over a story about R’ Moshe Feinstein, relating to pictures.
    One time, R’ Moshe went to a bungalow colony in the summer to visit someone. A bunch of children began walking in front of him, taking pictures of the gadol. Someone asked R’ Moshe if he should stop them from taking the pictures. R’ Moshe replied, “I don’t know if I’m worthy of people taking my picture, but better they should have a picture of me on their wall than a picture of a baseball player!”

    #1576903

    yitzyk
    Participant

    Sure, keeping a picture of your Rebbe (not just any rabbi) might protect you – from sinning! And that’s only if you think of him looking at you, not some magical segulah.

    A few weeks ago someone sent around a video/photo story about a person who parked illegally near a shul, and the rabbi thought he was going to get a ticket, even though he had a picture of R’ Shayele Keresteirer on his dashboard. After davening, the Rabbi saw that the ticket the guy got was mistakenly written to a non-existing address, and was so impressed that the ‘segulah of R’ Shayele’ worked! And then someone sent around the ‘Moifes’ to hundreds of people, including pictures of the invalid ticket with the wrong address.

    Later, some smart person used the photo to look up the perpetrator’s license number on the NYC Parking Violations website, and discovered that the fool apparently parked illegally every day and got tickets. So he had 200 valid tickets, but the one time he got an invalid ticket, it was a miracle due to the picture on his dashboard? More like the inevitable occasional incompetence of the traffic cop.

    #1576953

    mentsch1
    Participant

    yitzyk
    “More like the inevitable occasional incompetence of the traffic cop.”
    or
    more like the yetzer hara setting it up to fool people into creating a further bizayon hatorah and being oved AZ

    #1577083

    ZionGate
    Participant

    The question of a photo as an amulet, begs the larger question of amulets and kemeiyos in general.
    Many kabbalists wrote kemeiyos as segulos which people wore, while other rabbonim were/are against them.
    On a lighter side, the famous badchan Yankel Miller answered this way:
    What’s the difference between a ke’meiya and a meiya ( a hundred dollar bill) ?
    A K”meiyah means it’s LIKE a meiya.. (K’ means like, or similar in Hebrew)
    It’s not an actual meiya…. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… A Meiya works all the time.

    #1576968

    Avi K
    Participant

    Rav Aryeh Levine tried to avoid being photographed while being interviewed. When the interviewer told him that the photographer was a new immigrant and it was his parnassa Rav Aryeh said “Take all the pictures you want”.

    As for having pictures on the wall, a man once went into a restaurant and asked to see the kashrut certificate. The owner pointed to a picture of a distinguished rabbi on the wall and said “He was my grandfather. Do you have any more questions?” The potential customer said “If he were in the chair and you were on the wall I would have no questions. However, you are in the chair and he is on the wall so I have questions”.

    #1576975

    icemelter
    Participant

    Wow Avi K I’m surprised your comment went through. I don’t even get close to that and my comments get deleted lol.

    Besides yitzyk brings up a good point regarding if it keeps you from sinning. When Yosef hatzaddik was in the midst of a great nisayon, it says he saw an image of his father which stopped him from proceeding. So obviously these things have an affect on us. The only thing is by Yosef it was an image that he saw probably ruach hakodesh or even if it is an image in the mind which is more likely for regular people. But again how can והיו עיניך only apply suddenly to a generation that has pictures, how would it apply to the past thousands of generations that didn’t? Maybe עיניך isn’t literal and can mean the image in your mind? I mean if it’s a Rabbi that you never seen and there are no pictures of them, you would have to imagine how he looked like anyway right? Rashi, Moshe Rabbeinu etc. Maybe it doesn’t even mean how they physically looked but of their essence?

    Also when it comes to pictures it’s one thing to have a picture on the wall to remind you but to start carrying around and take it out every time you are in a situation that you need to daven for, it can become a little tricky.

    #1577901

    ZionGate
    Participant

    Re: Avi K
    Rav Aryeh Levine…
    Oy, where can we find one like him today??
    I recommend the book , A Tzaddik in Our Time, about him, which apparently you’ve also read..
    Zechuso Yagein Aleinu

    #1578043

    jew boy2
    Participant

    Who are the mod???

    #1578064

    jew boy2
    Participant

    Is there a ‘board’ of ywn?

    #1578067

    Avi K
    Participant

    ZG, kameiot work as placebos. The Noda b’Yehuda once tied up some rag , gave it to a woman who requested a kameia for her illness and told her that she should open in in one week and if it was blank it meant that she was cured.

    #1578199

    midwesterner
    Participant

    Interesting proof. One gadol (allegedly) used a kameia once as a placebo. Ergo, kameios are (all of them throughout history?) placebos.

    #1578211

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    I dont quite understand why people have to go overboard when it comes to shmira.
    Every building, home or structure requires a kosher mezuza.
    A kosher mezuza is shmira for your home and place of work. What can possibly be a better shmira then a mezuza?
    You want protection in your car or while your walking? Fine , I hear that but at home?

    #1578324

    Avi K
    Participant

    Takes, the din is the same. If what is written in it inspires you to do mitzvot and not do aveirot it works. If not, not. Here is what Rambam has to say about those who think that it is an amulet (Hilchot Mezuzza 5:4):

    מנהג פשוט שכותבים על המזוזה מבחוץ כנגד הריוח שבין פרשה לפרשה שדי ואין בזה הפסד לפי שהוא מבחוץ אבל אלו שכותבין מבפנים שמות המלאכים או שמות קדושים או פסוק או חותמות הרי הן בכלל מי שאין להם חלק לעולם הבא שאלו הטפשים לא די להם שבטלו המצוה אלא שעשו מצוה גדולה שהיא יחוד השם של הקדוש ברוך הוא ואהבתו ועבודתו כאילו הוא קמיע של הניית עצמן כמו שעלה על לבם הסכל שזהו דבר המהנה בהבלי העולם.

    Regarding amulets he says (Guide 1:61):

    ולא יעלה במחשבתך שגעון כותבי ה’קמיאות’ ומה שתשמעהו מהם או תמצאהו בספריהם המשונים משמות חברום לא יורו על ענין בשום פנים ויקראו אותם ‘שמות’ ויחשבו שהם צריכים ‘קדושה וטהרה’ ושהם יעשה נפלאות – כל אלה דברים לא יאות לאדם שלם לשמעם כל שכן שיאמינם:

    #1578397

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Avi k says:
    Takes, the din is the same. If what is written in it inspires you to do mitzvot and not do aveirot it works. If not, not. Here is what Rambam has to say about those who think that it is an amulet (Hilchot Mezuzza 5:4)
    —————————–
    “The din is the same”
    Avi k,Can u explain yourself if u are responding to me. I can’t make out what your saying if you are responding to me.

    #1578456

    yitzyk
    Participant

    Regarding icemelter’s questioning why we need pictures to ‘see’ our chachomim in front of our ‘eyes’, when past generations never did –

    The Chofetz Chaim writes in one of his kuntreisim (I forgot which one because I have been learning them all from my ‘Kol Kisvei Chofetz Chaim’, but I could find it if anyone doubts me,) about the invention of the camera and voice recorder in his times. He says in past generations, when people learned the mishnah that says ‘Ayin Ro’eh, V’Ozen Shomaas, V’Chol Maasecha Nichtavim’ (An Eye sees, an Ear Hears, and all of your actions are being written down, for playback on the Yom Hadin) they used to believe it completely. Due to the degradation of our spiritual level, we no longer believe it so easily. So Hashem caused the inventions to happen so that we can now realize – if even a human can use a machine to record verbatim a voice conversation or a picture, surely in Shomayim they are recording every word. How much more so that should apply to today’s real-time video and audio recordings that are everywhere, on dash-cams and security cameras. Hashem has at least HD cameras!

    We can extrapolate that the same might apply to our fear of sin. Whereas for Yosef Hatzaddik in Mizrayim the mere thought of his father’s face (whom he hadn’t seen in a year) was enough to stop him from sinning, today we need an actual photograph to make a difference. Someday, to stop us from sinning, we might need 3-D life-like android robots that look like our Rebbeim following us around giving us mussar all day long!

    If the Yetzer Horah can use the latest updated technology to entrap us, we need to fight back with better equipment.

    #1578535

    laskern
    Participant

    yitzyk, they play a DVD above which is being recorded with our actions below.

    #1578564

    jew boy2
    Participant

    meiheicha teisi its not a VHS

    #1578579

    Avi K
    Participant

    Takes, you were referring to the shmira a mezuzah gives.

    #1578661

    laskern
    Participant

    They upgrade technology above as we upgrade technology below, VHS is old technology.

    #1578801

    Milhouse
    Participant

    Avi K, despite what you may see in the Rambam, and certainly despite what you may see in the Moreh, it is clear that the mitzvah of mezuzah itself protects, regardless of what thoughts it does or doesn’t inspire. Having kosher mezuzos on every door that needs one protects the owner both when he is home and when he is out. This is clear in the Torah, the gemara, and the shuchan aruch. Further, it’s apparent from the gemara that a mezuzah can protect even someone who is not commanded to keep it, and that there is even a reason for travelers to carry one with them.

    #1579043

    Avi K
    Participant

    Milhouse, that is if he internalizes what is written. The Mishna Berura says something similar about saying Parashat haMan. Someone who thinks that a mezuzah is a magic wand is over on several extremely serious aveirot.

    #1579160

    knaidlach
    Participant

    AVI K
    I am a few generations chabad. i dont know anyone davening to the rebbe chas vesholom. people ask the rebbe to daven for you to hashem. as kolev did visiting chevron etc. etc. the opening words in ones kvitel to the rebbe is אנא לעורר רחמים רבים ………anyone davening to the rebbe is not chabad.

    #1579205

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    “anyone davening to the rebbe is not Chabad”

    Personally,I appreciate you saying that. I must tell you tho, that those who do do that would be very angry at you for saying they are not Chabad and they would call you all sorts of names. Even tho you are correct. You would be called anti Chabad and accused of having an anti Chabad agenda. Unfortunately, it seems that defending the Torah as your Rabbeim taught it to you is not an excuse if someone thinks you are insulting their derech, regardless of how halachically questionable that derech is!

    #1579301

    Avi K
    Participant

    Knaidlach, ashreicha. However, there is a group in Tzefat that does that. As for asking the dead (I assume that you agree that he is dead) to intercede is a safek d’Oraita as I posted above.

    #1579740

    knaidlach
    Participant

    WOW! we are talking about a מנהג practiced by thousands and thousands of yidden for generations, many who are rebbes, rabonim, roshei yeshivos, talmidei chachomim muflagim, shomrei torah umitzvah who are medakdek bekala uvachamura, mekayemei mitzvos behidur, 2 pairs of tefilin, big tefilin to be yotze the opinion that אצבעיים על אצבעיים is the בית itself not including the תיתורא, wearing only wool talis katan evem in the summer, big talis katan and making sure the beged is spread out all day as the opinion that the shiur has to be spread out, not shaving as most פוסקים hold, not drinking even water out of the sukka, wearing a gartel during davening as it says in shulchan aruch and not looking for קולות, etc. etc. etc. and not being satisfied with keeping all this themselfs but going with מסירת נפש to all corners of the glob to bring yidden closer to yiddishkeit, are you saying that these yidden are being oiver a safek d’oraita??? and how didnt it enter your mind that maybe maybe maybe these yidden have a מקור for this practice, and maybe some of the yidden know how to learn just abit better then you?
    The truth is i wasnt sure if i should reply to you. it seems to me that you are not interested in finding out the source to this practice. you are interested in just attacking heiligge yidden that may have diferent costoms then yourself. and whatever source i will bring you will knock it and twisted to your agenda. but i did decide to reply, because you are a yid and your essence is good, and maybe you will change your attitude. plus maybe some readers realy want to have some clarification on this matter.
    so lets start with 2 sources (one i mentioned above but for some reason you ignored it). מסכת סוטה דף לד ע”ב ויעלו בנגב ויבא עד חברון ויבאו מיבעי לי’ אמר רבא מלמד שפירש כלב מעצת מרגלים והלך ונשתטח על קברי אבות אמר להן אבותי בקשו עלי רחמים שאנצל מעצת מרגלים.
    תוספות there brings 2 more sources. this גמ,is brought down in רש”י פ’ שלח.
    קיצור שולחן ערוך סימן קכח סעיף יג נוהגין לילך בערב ר”ה אחר תפלת שחרית לבית הקברות להשתטח על קברי הצדיקים ונותנים שם צדקה לעניים ומרבים תחנונים לעורר את הצדיקים הקדושים אשר בארץ המה שימליצו טוב בעדנו ביום הדין.
    avi k i wanto wish you a כתיבה וחתימה טובה לשנה טובה ומתוקה.
    i strongly suggest you visit the rebbe’s ohel before rosh hashana. (no one will know :))

    #1579762

    laskern
    Participant

    We also find that Rachel died on the way that when Nevizradon will exile the Jews they will go to her grave and pray. Rachel will pray for them and she will be answered that you will be rewarded for your actions and your children will be returned to their borders.

    #1579792

    Avi K
    Participant

    Knaidlach,
    1. Is it is a chiddush to you that people who keep all kinds of chumrot in some areas fall in others? Rav Kook, in fact, said that if a person keeps a chumra that is not appropriate for him he will cause a spiritual imbalance which will in turn cause him to fall elsewhere.
    2. I wrote that it is a safek. That means that there are different opinions. Did you look up my source? I posted a link to Hebrewbooks.
    3 The statement about Calev is aggadata and we do not leanrn halacha from aggadata. In fact, Rambam says in his intro to Perek Chelek that all aggadatot are metaphoric.
    4. The Kitzor does not say that one asks the dead just that they do it – on their own accord (@Laskern, ditto Rachel).

    #1579851

    laskern
    Participant

    Avi K, see SA O’CH 581:4 RMA in the name of the Mahril and MB 27.

    #1579891

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Wait. So taking a picture of a Gadol is Avoda Zara, but an immigrant may worship this Avoda Zara?

    #1579928

    Avi K
    Participant

    Laskern,

    1. All the Rema says is that people plead at the graves. He does not say that they plead to the dead. The Mishna Berura (BTW, it’s s”k 28) says to speak directly to Hashem in the merit of the dead.

    2. The Gra wrote to his wife and children when he was making his abortive trip to EY to his wife and children: “Be very careful not to go to the cemetery at all, for there the evil spirits attach themselves unto you, especially women. All the troubles and the sins stem from this.” This was affirmed by the Leshem and the Brisker minhag is not to go ever except at the funeral of one of the six closerelatives. See also Aruch HaShulchan YD 559:7 in the name of the Arizal (Shaar Ruach HaKodesh the block letter edition, p. 49) and Responsa Chatam Sofer YD 338, who also oppose cemetery visits in general and even calls them darchei Emori (superstitions rooted in a”z).

    #1580018

    laskern
    Participant

    The Torah starts with a beis. Some say in the Midrash to recognize there are two worlds. For this reason we say lechaim in plural. Maybe this minhag came about צדיקים אפילו במתתן קרואים חיים the pious even when they are dead are still alive, so seeing them in their grave keeps them alive.

    #1580180

    knaidlach
    Participant

    AVI K
    תוספות in סוטה refers to the גמ’ about בלב כפשוטו. us connects it to another gemara in taanis dealing with הנהגה למעשה.
    תענית דף טז ע”א למה יוצאין לבית הקברות פליגי בה ……וחד אמר כדי שיבקשו עלינו מתים רחמים. not the gemara or rashi or tosfos in both places have a problem with this.
    plus: rashi in shlach brings this gemara about kalev. rashi explains peshat. rashi says many times אני לא באתי לפרש אלא פשוטו של מקרא.
    plus: the רשב”ם in שלח also brings the gemara about kalev and says: הגדה נראית פשט.
    ספר חסידים סימן תנ. you speak to the dead.
    מהרי”ל הלכות תענית אות יח אל ישים מגמתו כנגד המתים השוכבים שם . the פרי מגדים brings the maharil and says ובסידור מענה לשון יש תפלות מה שאומרים על הקברים משמע קצת שמבקשים מאת הנפש שיליץ טוב בעדנו.
    מנחת אלעזר חלק א’ סימן סח ודאי כוונת המהרי”ל דלא ישים מגמתו שהמת יושיעו באיזה כח דזהו בודאי עוון פלילי אך כשמבקש מהמת שימליץ טוב בעדו להשי”ת בשמי מעלה בודאי גם המהרי”ל מודה דאין חשש וזהו כוונתו שלא ישים מגמתו נגד המתים בעצמם אבל לבקש להמליץ בעדו אין חשש.
    בספר ‘הערות’ למסכת סוטה דף לד ע”ב מובאת הכרעת הגרי”ש אלישיב זצ”ל דמזה שאנו אומרים תפלת ‘מכניסי רחמים’ שכביכול אנו מתפללים למלאכים, משמע שאנו נוקטים כדעה שניתן לפנות בבקשה אל המתים, אלא שצריך להזהר בזה שהבקשה היא שימליצו טוב בעדנו ולא שנחשוב שזה בכוחם להרע או להיטיב. וכן הובאה דעת בעל הקהילות יעקב בספר ‘אורחות רבנו’ חלק א עמוד שה ‘ אמר לי מו”ר שתפלתנו על קברי צדיקים היא שאנו מבקשים מהם שיתפללו עבורנו’.
    about what harav kook said. thats for one to decide about himself if he is on the level for this chumra, not that one should judge someone else if the the other one who does keep the chumra is on that level. plus: i can understand if an individual taks on a chumra which is not commom practis, but i am talking about minhagim and hidur mitzvos practiced by thousands of yidden for generations, and they are doing it by instructions of their rebbes, roshei yeshivos, gdolei hador or at least with full knoledge of their rebbes , roshei yeshivos and gedolim.
    what kind of a derech is it to be mekatreg on thousands of yidden that maybe they are doing somthing wrong? why not use the time and brains and energy to be melamed zchus on thousands of yidden and find mekoros to their minhagim and hidurim?
    כתיבה וחתימה טובה לשנה טובה ומתוקה בגשמיות וברוחניות

    #1580336

    Avi K
    Participant

    Knaidlach, please format your comment properly so that it is readable. This writing sample would not even get you into Lower Slobbovia law school.

    #1580344

    Milhouse
    Participant

    No, Avi K, it makes no difference whether he internalizes what is written, or even whether he *knows* what is written. There is no mention of such a requirement in the chumash, the gemara, the shulchon oruch, or anywhere else. The mitzvah itself protects, and mitzvos don’t need intent. A day-old baby is protected because it lives in a home with kosher mezuzos on those doors that need one. And there’s evidence in the gemara that even when the mitzvah is not being fulfilled, merely having a mezuzah with one offers some protection, regardless of ones intent or knowledge.

    #1580448

    laskern
    Participant

    The Chasam Sofer did not say Shalom Aleichem friday night. He would extend the time of saying slichos in order not to say machnisei rachamim.
    This was based on a Mahral in order not to give the impression we are davening to malochim. Malachei rachamim should be said to Hashem that He should command his malochim.

    #1580654

    Avi K
    Participant

    Milhouse, moreover, you are repeating the mistake Elisha ben Abuya made when he saw the boy fall off the tree.

    #1580653

    Avi K
    Participant

    Milhouse,
    1. That is darchei Emori (a superstition rooted in a”z).
    2. Compare the Mishna Berura on Parashat HaMan (1:13).
    3. The baby is protected by his parents’ merit.
    4. You prove my point. If the mezuzah is not a mitzva it is its message.
    6 Please cite the place in the Gemara. I cited Rambam to the contrary. Of course, if someone thinks it protects it might have a placebo effect.
    7. What about people who have kosher mezuzot who suffered? What about those Jews who were dragged out of their homes by the Nazis ym”s?

    Laskern, actually it was the Gra who did not sing Shalom Aleichem.

    #1584527

    mentsch1
    Participant

    I just looked up the kitzur on hilchos erev Rosh Hashanah.
    He says very clearly the reasons for going to a cemetery
    1) the area around the tzadik is kodesh so tefilla is more accepted
    2) it awakens the tzadik to daven for you
    3) Hashem is more likely to answer bzchus the tzadik
    BUT
    He says very clearly don’t address the tzadik as it is close to violating the issur of “lo doresh el hamaisim “

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