Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Before G-d, 354/24/7

There's a story about the Chossid Reb Shmuel Munkes where he approaches a man sitting in shul right before Kol Nidrei and wispers something very inappropriate in his ear. A vulgar word, perhaps. The man is shocked, and calls out "in ah shul, un nuch dertzu mamesh fahr Yom Kippur?!" Reb Shmuel obviously was waiting for that response, and tried to tell the man that agantz yohr tohr men oych nit... Not that there's anything wrong with going the extra mile during AYT, as is specifically mentioned in the Code of Jewish Law, but I guess the idea was no to leave it at that. Not to say that during the 9 days I won't speak Loshon HoRah between 2 and 3pm, and after that it's business as usual, but to internalize the teachings of the Chofetz Chaim and to refrain from speaking ill of any Jew. Ever. So too, when the RaMoh (IIRC) speaks about not eating pas palter during the AYT the point is that even those that are forced to eat it throughout the year, whether because they lived in small villages or for whatever other reason, should refrain from doing so until after Yom Kippur, not that it becomes muttar for the rest of the year. א דקות'דיגע חילוק. Which brings us to our next point:

There are those communities that have special rules for the High Holy Days, they disallow practices and customs that are allowed all year round, for reasons of extra purity, I assume. These laws and rules pertain particularly to women, and were instituted many years ago by the founders of those respective communities. One such rule is that no form of synthetic head covering is allowed; only kerchiefs/turbans are to cross the threshhold. In other words no sheitels, even if covered by a hat. The point is to appease G-d and to show him that not unlike the men, who may wear white - that's not to say that women don't, they surely do in those communities - so too, the women also need some special act to show the Holy One blessed be he that they too are serious about the whole Tshuveh thing - at least until YK passes, oand maybe Hoshanah Rabboh as well. In other words proper tshuveh in your heart is not enough, dressing differently for 3 days is, despite the fact that after that it's business as usual. There also is no rule pertaining to the men; men are not told they're not allowed to trim their beards, for example, from RH to YK, or that they must wear a Shtreimel for those days, to use a comparable rule that could be instituted. That's usually the case in those communities; it's never the mens' fault....

There's a story they tell about the Chuv, the Brisker Chuv, whose 50th Yohrtzeit is to be commemorated this Yom Kippur. The Rov went for this daily walk on EYK and on this walk began to "bash" (for lack of a better term) a certain Jewish politician/askan. His attendant was surprised to hear these words from the Chuv on such an auspicious day, and asked him if it wouldn't be better if they postpone this conversation until G-d has sealed the book of life. The Rov was quite surprised to hear this young man's question and had a very simple answer: I'm saying this because I believe that this man needs to be attacked verbally, and I believe so because I believe this is what Torah demands of me, so why should I not do what the Torah tells me to do davka on this day?! The comparison may seem far fetched, because in the BR's case he said he was doing what Hashem wanted, and in the women's case what they wear on their heads is not exactly a mitzvah, at least not a positive one. But still he saw no need to show Hashem that he was being extra careful, because G-d - in his opinion - didn't need this "good deed" from him, he was good without it, and the BR would have a good year without it. In the meantime I wish you all a Gmar Tov Chasimah Tovah and a Gut Gebentched Yohr. And may our women's tefillos be accepted, tichel, sheitel, or both.


yehupitz said...

I'm not bothered. The Ramoh seems to be inviting changes of hypocrisy. Personally, I always felt..uncomfortable with the hashkafic implications of the Ramoh's minhag. That's why the Machsom L'Fi program does not appeal to me.

But once you accept the Ramoh's premise in whatever form makes you comfortable, I don't think it's fair to blame others for applying the Ramoh's standard to other mitzvos or issues, even if those aren't my issues.

Anonymous said...

He died on Yom Kippur. Don't be moytey laaz- save that for after the ten days.

You got that story from Lorenciz book.

He has a similar story with the Chazon Ish speaking about someone at his actual funeral-cuz then he knew it was solely for the sake of heaven

Like the Foylah Kahn statement, just as lishem shomayimdike, right?

Brisk from born said...

how about the Briske Vieber, do they go bashitzelt in the high holiest?

refoel said...

I don't get your comment on the Ram"o.
Are you saying that his ruling sounds hypocritical and since you think the Ramo's ruling is hypocritical,therefore you don't hold of the Machsom Lepi's hour a day or whatever their exact program is?
If that is what you are indeed saying than you are coming across as someone who needs work on humility

dovid said...

The Shulchan Aruch rules, however, that during aseres yemei teshuvah everyone should be careful to eat only pas Yisrael. There are several reasons,- all inter-related - for this halachah: a) so that we conduct ourselves with an extra measure of purity during these Days of Awe; b) to serve as a reminder of the unique status of these days(; c) to beseech Hashem not to judge us stringently, just as we have adopted a practice which is not strictly required of us(.

Anonymous said...

Tosafos in Avoda Zara 35b discusses the fact that the Rabbinic decree against Pas Akum did not enjoy overwhelming acceptance. This was because in many areas this decree caused undue hardship for the general populace (there was not necessarily Pas Yisroel (bread baked by a Jew) available). The Gemara states that any Rabbinic decree that a sizable amount of the population cannot abide by, is not as binding as a typical Rabbinic decree. In Yoreh Deah 112:2 there is a dispute between the Mechaber and Rama when it comes to bread that is baked by a gentile baker (Pas Palter or Pas Nachtum). The Mechaber says you can eat this bread when there is not a Jewish baker to buy from in town. The logic is that since the gezeyra (Rabbinic decree) was not universally accepted we can be lenient in this case of a gentile baker because the major fear of intermarriage, which was the catalyst for this decree, does not exist, i.e. the baker is not baking the bread for me, he is baking it for his business. This will not engender those feelings of friendship that the Rabbis were worried about. However, the Rabbis only allowed it if there is not a Jewish baker. The Rama permits this Pas Palter even if there is a Jewish baker in town. His logic is that the Rabbis never included this type of bread in their decree and therefore it is one hundred percent permitted even if there are numerous Jewish bakeries in town.

Eli Duker said...

Isn't the פת פלטר הנהגה a psak from the mechaber?
שולחן ערוך או"ח סימן תרג: אף מי שאינו נזהר מפת של כותים, בעשרת ימי תשובה צריך ליזהר

Anonymous said...

What is the source of this Shmuel Munkes story?

Anonymous said...

u finaly got ur groove back with this and the above posts!


Anonymous said...

But isn't this thee whole reason for example simanim....lets eat honey now and not vinegar...why not for the whole year? why not eat matzah the whole year and be humbly batul instead of bread otherwise!?
It matters ore how you are the day after but why dress up in the white the day before...
Fancy suit and tie to the interview but if you are never going to where one to work, why do bother!

yehupitz said...


I did not mean what you fear I meant. I am mekabeil the Ramoh and his gadlus and his etc etc etc. and I don't reach his toenails etc etc. Chalila for me to accuse him of ...!

I was first speaking about myself, that I have never comfortably reconciled the implications of the Ramoh's shitta on this issue with the kashas that come up in my head. I have heard several maggidim and darshonim question this Ramoh in their Teshuva droshos B'tmiah and always identify with the wonderment. rabbi Frand asked it one year. I never find the answers memorable. (Eliezer Brodt's approach from the Yerushalmi sounds convincing, but I haven't reaed it in full.)

My point was that a person such as Tzig who surely DOES feel comfortable with this particular hagoh of the Ramoh should have no difficulties accepting its applications in the other areas Hirshel was citing.

refoel said...

Thanks for clarifying.

מענדל said...

מלך בשדה געדיינקסטו? אין דעם רבי'נס מאמרים איז ער מוסיף אז די אנשי השדה גייען צוריק מיטן מלך אין היכל מלכותו. כמובן אז אין היכל המלך איז די הנהגה גאר אן אנדערע.
אשר על כן איז ניט שווער דער מוסיף זיין הידורים אין עשרת ימי תשובה.
כמובן מעצמו דאס וואס איז אסור אגאנץ יאר איז ניט שייך צו דעם ענין און איז גאנץ היפאקריטיש.

גמר חתימה טובה

Hirshel Tzig - הירשל ציג said...

ר' מענדל
דאכט זיך מיר אז דארט זאגט ער אז אין היכל קאנען שוין נישט אלע אריינגיין, ניט אזוי? נו, בכל אופן, אין די קרייזן איז ניט דאס דער ווארט, דהיינו ס'איז מער אז דער קל קנא ונוקם זאל אויף אונז רחמנות האבען

בכל אופן

א גמח"ט אייך און אייער משפחה און אלע אידן דארט

Anonymous said...

Anon: Don't mis "seemana milsa hee" with Mitzvos.
[Derech agav the Rebbe has a moiredigeh biyur on why theres no "Ma'os chittim" for RH - due to simana milsa hee]

Hershel: Kivan de'asinan lehachi: Chasima ugmar chasima toiva!

Y"T Sheini

Anonymous said...

The story reminds me of a "similar" story. Some "shin" [a bit of shmiras halashon in AYT;)] was carrying on and a chassid finally told him: "Kush in T-----"! He remarked: "Duh in shul??!!? [i.e. such nivel peh in a shul] to which the chassid replied: "Nein, in T-----!". Veda"l!

מענדל said...

איך האב נאר געוואלט באווייזן ווי דער מאור שבתורה באלייכט און מאכט פארשטאנדיק נגלה דתורה.
ולעצם הענין דורך די עבודה פון אלול ווערן אלע מובחרים וואס קענען אריין גיין.

גמח"ט לכת"ר ולמשפחתו בתוך אנ"ש וכלל ישראל בגאולה האמיתית והשלימה תיכף ומי"ד ממש.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:02 -- a good one. I could have used that chossid at shacharis this morning.

Not Brisk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebbetzin said...

Mendel, good answer.