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May 22, 2017 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm in reply to: how to deal with a guest who brings up Yom Haatzmaut 🇮🇱 #1282630
It is known that the Zionist flag is flown by Rav Schach’s yeshiva on a certain day of the year. However, like they say, not everything that happens in Bnei Brak has the haskama of the Chazon Ish, and the same would apply here.
Any insinuation that Rav Schach was Zionist in any way is a distortion of the truth. Rav Schach said, “When I get to the Olam Haemes and they ask me why I wasn’t Zionist, I will point to the Chofetz Chaim and say that I followed in his derech.” Maran HaRav Schach is not in need of anyone’s haskama. (So said the Chazon Ish.)
Let us look at the words of the great Gaon and Tzaddik, Rabbi Zilberstein shlita, and the great Gaon and Tzaddik, one of the poskei hador, the Shevet Halevi: http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/headlines-breaking-stories/398088/rav-yitzchak-zilberstein-says-women-should-not-drive-as-it-compromises-tzniyus.html
Another situation: I am sitting in an office with a lady. I want to leave the door open to avoid all shailas of yichud. The lady goes and closes it because it is “cold.” (I am forced to rely on the fact that I am sitting by the window and people can see in from the street. But I would prefer for the door to be open, as well, as not all parts of the room are necessarily visible from the street.)
One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation? Should I claim to be lactose intolerant? But on a different day they will see me eating my cholov Yisroel yogurt!
Another time – at a different job – they offered me something with a hechsher that I was not familiar with, supposedly from a Jewish bakery, but I had no idea if it was pas yisroel and yoshon. How does one explain such things?
If one just said the words Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam (e.g., of asher yatzar) and there is a goy who asks you a question, what should you do? (It happened to me one time but I had only said Baruch ata Hashem so I quickly ended off with lamdeini chukecha.)
I know of people who pick up the phone and pretend to be talking into it when they bentch at work (the same would apply by asher yatzar, but this bracha is shorter and can be said quickly, unlike bentching which is longer). I know of a rav who put his arm in a cast to avoid shaking a lady’s hand during a job interview.
Even people who wear tzitzis out in the workplace do not “hang ’em low.” Do Chassidic people who work among goyim wear their tallis katan over their shirts at work? Do they wear their Hasidic levush at work? Would they bring a shtreimel at work if they had to go to work on Chol Hamoed or some day that they consider to be a holiday (e.g., Lag Ba’omer or Pesach Sheini or some other day that Hasidim, and to a lesser extent, other Yidden, treat like a holiday)? Do Litvishe people walk around at work wearing a black hat? Does that mean that people are embarrassed to be Jewish when in public?
I once saw a Hasidic guy eating an apple on the train and it was obvious that he put his mouth into his sleeve when he whispered the bracha.
When I am at home or among frum Yidden, I usually make brachos loudly and with great dveikus. (By the way, there are some entertaining videos on youtube of Chassidic rabbis making the bracha on sefiras haomer. Quite amusing.) Are you, Joseph, suggesting that I should do the same when in public (for example, at a public library)?April 30, 2017 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266336
The wife of the Chazon Ish wore a wig.
For Sephardim – it is controversial if they can wear a wig. The opinion of Chacham Ovadia is well-known, but not everyone holds like him.April 30, 2017 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266332
Ashkenazim have each guy in the family light his own menorah; by Sephardim only the baal habayis lights. Ashkenazim are really following the Sephardic opinion. Am I right, Joseph?April 30, 2017 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266320
Avoiding fish and milk is also a Chabad custom.
Anything by the saintly tzaddik, HaRav Shimshon Pincus, the Nefesh Shimshon (for example, The Gates of Emuna)
Anything by the saintly tzaddik, HaRav A. Miller zatzal (for example, The Universe Testifies)April 30, 2017 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266268
Sephardim are required to keep yoshon (and generally have more stringent traditions in kashrus). While by Ashkenazim, some people are meikel to eat chodosh (although, having learned the sugya, I know that the heterim to eat chodosh are weak).April 30, 2017 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm in reply to: Comparing Sephardic and Ashkenazic Chumras and Kulot #1266267
joseph – Does it have to do with Chanukah?
Sephardic ladies are required to recite 100 benedictions every day, in the opinion of Chacham Ovadia.
Ashkenazic ladies don’t have to.
Selichos is a big one!
Sephardim are into kabbalah more than (non-Hasidic) Ashkenazim. Ex: Sephardim put on RT’s tefillin. In terms of nusach, there are differences.
Sephardim have to wait an extra day to cut their hair during sefira.
Sephardim are required from the letter of the law to wait 6 hours after meat. Whereas, for Ashkenazim, it is only a minhag (and some Ashkenazim have a minhag to wait 1 hour, etc.)
Some Poskim (including Harav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal in Igros Moshe ibid.) maintain that in certain instances and with the guidance of a Rav, one may switch his/her “33 days” from year to year if necessary (hataras nedarim may be necessary in order to do this), while others are stringent and maintain that one must continually follow the same minhag each year. (See Michtavim U’ma’amarim from the Gaon Harav Elazar Menachem Mann Shach Zatzal vol. 6 page 71 for the reasoning why changing would not be permitted.)
The sefer Vayoel Moshe will answer all the above questions.
Just because something is not mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch doesn’t mean that it’s not a real Halacha. The laws of lashon hara are not enumerated in the Shulchan Aruch. So lashon hara isn’t a real sin?
Even if it is only a “medrash” and not a real “Halacha,” it still reflects the ratzon Hashem – and the ratzon Hashem is that we should not have a Zionist state while we are in golus.
The vast majority of gedolim were either anti-Zionist or non-Zionist (Chofetz Chaim, Brisker Rav, Satmar Rebbe, Chazon Ish,….)
Chabad Chassidim do NOT take haircuts on any day of sefira, except erev Shavuos (and erev Shabbos which erev Shavuous is a Shabbos). This is based on the Arizal, since based on kabbalah, the days of sefiras haomer are likened to Chol Hamoed and are days of din. [Don’t ask; it’s a kabbalistic thing.] There are different customs regarding which days are the correct days, so if you want to act in a way that will satisfy all opinions, then you keep the whole sefira.
You may listen to music Chol Hamoed Pesach.
Women technically don’t have to count but many do (according to Sephardic and kabbalistic custom, women should not count).
Switching sefiras is a complicated question and should only be done in a case of dire need.
If one wanted to observe Yom HaShoah in a spiritual/ Torah way, like other days of tragedy are observed according to Jewish law and tradition, he would do so by fasting on this day. But in Nissan we are not supposed to be fasting. That already shows you how the invention of Yom HaShaoh is contrary to the spirit of the Torah, as we are unable to observe this day in the way that the Torah tells us to observe days of tragedy (erev Shabbos Chukas, Tisha Bav, etc.)
The original proposal was to have Yom Hashoah on the day of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which was erev Pesach. However, this “uprising” was against the Torah, as explained at length by the Gaon Rav Miller. (Look it up.)
I personally heard from the mouth of the Gaon HaRav Leizer Ginsburg shlita (and I am paraphrasing here, but this was the gist of it) that the way to determine if someone is a ben torah (for real) is his attitude towards bein hazmanim. Is it with a sigh(Unfortunately, it will soon be bein hazmanim, and of course I have to help my family prepare for Pesach, and so on) or is it more like, “Thank G-d, it’s almost bein hazmanim. I look forward to it all year long.”
If someone needs to be mafsik his learning to save a drowning person, he must do so – and if he doesn’t, he is a murderer without question, but the guy who did not have to be mafsik did a bigger mitzvah! It’s the same idea here.
If you have bad mazel, you might open a window and a crumb of chametz will fly in and land in your food.
That’s why I don’t want to rely on your mazel and I don’t want to eat by you on Pesach.
If you have bad mazel, then maybe the matzos that you baked are for some reason not 100% kosher. That’s why I don’t want to rely on your matzos and I will bake my own, and rely on my own mazel.
(I am just saying this as an example to explain those who are machmir not to mish; I personally am not machmir at all.)
At one point, the Gaon Rav Scheinberg made a Kiddush to celebrate the fact that he no longer felt any emotion at all when hearing the fact that the Yankees won. But it took him a while to get to that point.
About the dirty car – It’s in the book that I mentioned.
The definition of mishing (as I understand it) is that you don’t eat stuff that was produced outside of your home/ without your supervision. So whether you’re eating someone else’s food or food from the store, it’s the same thing.
The idea is that when it comes to Pesach, where the ingestion of the slightest crumb of chametz involves an automatic issur d’oraysa, you don’t want to rely on anyone else. (Even though “one person is believed regarding an issur” … but Rav Pam (or it may have been a different gadol) said that to refrain from chametz on Pesach is something that is dependent on mazel (whatever that means*). When it comes to your own mazel, you have no choice but to rely on it. But why should you rely on somebody else’s mazel?
Obviously, every person has free will, but there are times when a person could eat chametz through no fault of his own. Example: There is a worker in the factory who didn’t wash his hands after lunch, and a crumb of bread fell into the food. And you had the bad fortune to buy that food and eat it during Pesach. Or let’s say you opened the window on Pesach and some crumb of chametz flew in and landed in the food. It’s not your fault; you just happened to have bad mazel.
If one goes to a chasuna, you can see right away who is makpid not to eat other people’s meat.
I hear. But when you write (let’s say) to a newspaper, they edit it (sometimes) and they obviously don’t write “Edited,” although there is a general note that the editor reserves the right to edit all letters for space/ content.
True, however we aren’t a newspaper so the expectation of readers is not the same.
Rav Scheinberg was asked what one should do if he is davening SE on a plane in such a way that he is blocking something that the flight attendant needs access to, and the Rav recommended that one should point to the siddur that he is holding in his hand and she will chop that he is davening and will wait for him to finish.
The minhag of some is to buy wine and matzah, due to an inability to self-produce. Although technically you could bake your own matzah, etc.
Even if there is a mashgiach etc., nevertheless in every food factory there are workers, and these workers bring in chametz for lunch, and who knows if every single one of them washes his hands before returning to work, and if the mashgiach supervises this etc.?April 23, 2017 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm in reply to: Question for those who favor vanilla over chocolate #1259816
What is the naf kamina?
Joseph – So these folks would never eat (anything?) by a chasuna, or by a Kiddush, and they are never guests by anybody for Shabbos and Yom Tov? And they never eat anyone else’s mishloach manos? But they do buy processed food from stores, right?
I know people who don’t eat meat outside of their home (Rav Miller zatzal, whose yartzeit is today, was such a person). But not to eat anything?
MODS: I figured you might take out that part, but it is the emes. But OK.
I do not doubt the emes and it is only due to our own levels that some information is deemed not necessary to share
The following hanhagos and customs of the Rosh Yeshiva were collected mainly from the seder A Gadol in Our Midst.
The great gaon and tzaddik Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg zatzal was makpid to daven for the amud 3 times a day every day. He would cry by every tefilla (in certain parts, like when he reached the bracha of bonei Yerushalayim).
He wore (at one point) 300 pairs of tzitzis. This required tremendous mesiras nefesh and causes him yissurim (skin problems), as there was a time when his apartment had no AC and he had rashes from wearing so many layers of clothing. The number of tzitzis he wore went down due to medical reasons. At one point, a person brought him a pair of tzitzis, which (if I understand correctly) Rav Scheinberg did not have the koach to put on by himself. He literally BEGGED the person to put it on him, and said, “I will give you anything you want.” (The person was reluctant to put the tzitzis on the Rosh Yeshiva, as for medical reasons he was not supposed to be wearing so many tzitzis.)
He discouraged others from copying his minhag of wearing many pairs of tzitzis.
All of his tzitzis were the same. (The reason he wore so many tzitzis was NOT because he wanted to be mekayem the mitzvah according to all views, but because every beged is a separate mitzvah and because there are people who don’t wear them at all.)
He made a tnai that if any of his tzitzis should become possul, they should automatically become hefker. He was not concerned about them becoming possul on Shabbos, as there was an eruv where he lived. He did not check his tzitzis every day, but held that nowadays one should check tzitzis once a month.
He wore tefillin the entire day, in accordance with the opinion of the Vilna Gaon. He continued to wear his tefillin long after shkia, in accordance with the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch. On Friday, he would remove his tefillin 10 minutes before shkia.
He did not eat bread and/or meat (I believe it was both) unless it was served at a seudas mitzvah. (Even if he himself was not by the seuda, but the bread/meat was served there, then he would eat it when it was brought to him.)
He forbade smoking and told people that it causes lung cancer.
In terms of psak, he was extremely makpid that Mincha should be davened before shkia. If one could not daven Mincha before shkia on Friday, he advised such a person to be mekabel Shabbos and daven Maariv twice. He also advised to daven sitting down before shkia as opposed to standing up after shkia.
He was extremely makpid that no one should collect in his yeshiva during seder, and no one should give those who collected then (although he himself would give such a person so that he wouldn’t feel bad about not being able to collect then).
He treated goyim (who worked in his yeshiva) with respect. He rebuked (if I remember correctly, even expelled) a bachur who got into a fist-fight with a goy in the yeshiva.
He repeated the word “nihiye” when making a shehakol, as there are different opinions as to how it should be said.
When counting sefira, he said both “laomer” and “baomer,” as there are different opinions as to which is correct, and he wanted to be yotzi according to all views. [However, this word is not me’akev, and even if omitted, one is yotzi, so it is not clear to me why the Rosh Yeshiva was makpid about this.)
He permitted drinking cholov stam in America (like Rav Moshe).
He held that it was a Chillul Hashem to drive a dirty car.
He was makpid to daven vasikin (every day?)
He wore Rabbeinu Tam’s tefillin.
He would observe a taanis dibbur every Shabbos, speaking only divrei Torah, etc. but no mundane words. If he wanted to say something, he would quote a possuk from Tanach to convey what he wanted to say. [This practice the Rosh Yeshiva took on as a zechus for his sick daughter.]
He permitted folding a tallis on its creases on Shabbos. [This was a chiddush to me, as the long-standing custom of all bnei Torah is not to fold a tallis on Shabbos.]
There are people who, on Pesach, don’t eat anything that was produced outside of their home (with certain limited exceptions, like some people will buy wine or matzah from the store, while others will make their own; obviously, fruits and vegetables are not a processed food, but many people are makpid to peel them prior to eating). This minhag includes both processed foods and mishing, which are the same thing – as one is eating something that was not produced under his supervision.
If you eat processed foods, then you are by defintion mishing. It is the same thing.
The chassidim of the Tzaddik of Sanz were in Pressburg on Passover, guests at the Chasam Sofer’s table.
When the chassidim were served kneidlach, they were in a quandary, because they had never eaten gebrokts. One chassid did not eat the kneidlach. The other reasoned, “I’m sitting at the table of the gadol hador. Who am I to be more strict than he is?” and he ate the kneidlach.
When they reported their visit to the Tzaddik of Sanz, the latter said to the Chassid who ate the kneidlach, “You have earned Olam Haba.” To the chassid who had refused to eat them, the Tzaddik said, “You had better stand near me on Yom Kippur, and I will try to elicit forgiveness for you for trying to be frummer than the gadol hador.”
Rav Y. Kamenetsky felt that halachically there is no prohibition at all with eating gebrots, and he said what he said for a different reason.
For obvious reasons, I will not answer the question of whether the Chofetz Chaim was frummer than the Vilna Gaon.
Shoprite is owned by Yidden? Who are not frum? Really? Is there chametz for sale in Shoprite right now?
To say Veshomru is a question of making a hefsek in tefilla according to both the Gra and the Baal HaTanya.
To say the Harachamnos on Shabbos – the Gaon did not say them b/c he felt that it was in the category of making personal requests. However, here the minhag is not like the Gra (unless you are a Chaim Berliner).
It should be noted that with all due respect to the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Moshe felt that if there is a machlokes between the MB and the Aruch HaShulchan, we should go like the Aruch HaShulchan because he was a rav and the Chofetz Chaim was not a rav. However, the yeshivishe velt is noheg that the MB is the posek acharon.
Again, the Chofetz Chaim permitted his family to eat gebrots. His own decision not to was a personal stringency, not meant to be copied by others.
Much more important than the so-called “prohibition” of not eating gebrots is, for example, to keep yoshon and to be makpid about zmanim (for Mincha and krias Shema). A person has to know what is the ikar and what is tofel. People who are careful with gebrots are not necessarily careful about other things that are real halachos (e.g., lashon hara). We have to get our priorities straight.
The Steipler and the Chofetz Chaim were two gedolim who did not eat gebrots (the Steipler was later mattir neder) but permitted their families to eat them. The Pri Chadash and the Vilna Gaon made fun of this chumra.
[For the record, Reb Aryeh Leib Kagan writes about the Chofetz Chaim that the latter adopted and kept every good practice/ custom that he ever heard of.]
If someone has a mesora not to eat gebrots, that is one thing. But in the absence of such a mesora, there is no advantage (halachically) to refrain from eating them, and his loss is bigger than his gain.
Sometimes people have minhagim that are contrary to halacha. Example: The minhag of nittel nacht is contrary to halacha. The minhag of the Liska Rebbe not to eat matzah was vehemently opposed by some rabbis, including Rabbi E. Waldenberg, as being contrary to halacha.
The minhag is to bow when saying Baruch ata Hashem in me’ein sheva Friday night. However, technically you are not supposed to bow in any place where Chazal did not institute to bow, and here we don’t find (in the Shulchan Aruch) that there is any takana to bow. Nevertheless, one should bow because that is the minhag. (Rav Elyashiv talks about it.)
The minhag is to eat before shofar. However, according to Rav Henkin, this minhag is shelo k’din. (Rav Henkin literally begged the rosh yeshiva of BMG to abolish this minhag).
Let’s say it is ShopRite (owned by goyim) or any other store that is owned by goyim but sells a lot of heimeshe products.
A minhag cannot overrirde a chiyuv d’oraysa. The Gra felt that being strict about gebrots comes at the expense of simchas yom tov.
Chacham Ovadia was fond of saying, ‘He who adds, subtracts.’ With every chumra, you have a loss [from another angle]. Such as those people who follow the shiur of the Chazon Ish for reviis for arba kosos (5.3 oz) but they are unable to drink the whole cup, and really the halacha is that l’chatchila you should drink the whole cup. So their chumra (of using a bigger shiur) results in a kula (they end up being yotzi only b’dieved because l’chatchila you have to drink the whole cup).
Or people who drink to excess on Purim (to be yotzi) and perhaps as a result they miss Maariv and Krias Shema and they are mevatel a mitzvas aseh d’oraysa of krias Shema.
Or people who have a “minhag” not to learn on nittel nacht and it comes at the expense of the chiyuv d’oraysa of talmud torah.
Let’s put it this way: If the Vilna Gaon ate gebrots (and laughed about the custom not to), and the Chasam Sofer ate them, and the Chazon Ish ate them, and Rav Moshe ate them, and Rav Belsky ate them, and Rav Shmuel Berenbaum ate them, what is the point for me not to eat them? I should be a bigger tzaddik than the Chazon Ish?
[For the record, the Steipler, whose rebbe muvkah was the Chazon Ish, did not eat gebrots until it became impossible for him to eat regular matzah due to health reasons, but that is because the Steipler’s father was Chassidic. Another issue where the Steipler did not hold like the Chazon Ish is in the matter of krias Shema. The Chazon Ish holds you can rely on the Gra’s zman without a problem, whereas the Steipler was extraordinarily careful about following the zman of the MA and was even concerned about clocks being off in shul.]
I ate machine matzah as well as hand matzah by the seder.
I do not follow the opinion of the Liska Rebbe, but it does make sense to minimize the amount of matzah that one eats (like the Briskers are noheg) since the most dangerous food to eat on Pesach is matzah (especially hand matza), where if it wasn’t baked properly, it would be chametz gomur.
No, I don’t wear tefillin on Chol Hamoed.
If you are looking for a Shabbos goy (in those cases where amira l’akum is permissible), do you need to be certain beyond all doubt that the person you want to use is, in fact, a goy, or do you go by roiv? (E.g., Roiv people in BP who are walking on Shabbos with a cell phone in their hand and with their heads uncovered are goyim.)
Rav Belsky said that you have to be certain beyond all doubt that he is really a goy.
If the food has a reliable kosher certification for Pesach, for example OU, then certainly it is kosher bli safek.
If it’s in Shoprite in Boro Park, roiv people in BP are Yidden.
The chametz is sealed in the bag, so I would not be handling the actual chametz.
If you accidentally knocked over some chametz onto the floor in a store, would you leave it lying on the floor and make a Chillul Hashem?
If you accidentally knocked over a bottle of scotch in a store on Pesach, and the contents spilled, are you allowed to pay for it?
Why not? Why would any G-d fearing Jew enter himself into a situation where he is possibly transgressing an issur d’oraysa?
In this case I am obviously not going to eat it, because it’s in the store and I didn’t pay for it, so obviously I cannot eat it because then I would be a thief.
Plus, the lady is standing there with her hand outstretched to take the bagels from me, so how I am going to eat it instead of handing it to her? That is extremely unlikely.
And there are also other Gedolim (besides HaGaon HaRav Kanievsky) who assur smoking. Those rabbis who allowed smoking (e.g., Rav Moshe has a teshuva about this) did so because in their days, it was not yet known just how dangerous smoking was, and if they would have known, they would have assured it as well.
In any event, it is a machlokes haposkim involving a possible issur d’oraysa (on Yom Tov as well as any other day of the year). And safek d’oraysa lechumra.April 13, 2017 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm in reply to: How many times did you say Sh’monah Esreh tonight? #1253975
BH I got it right the first time.