web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: A Sabbath Desecrator Leading Services (Part I)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: May someone who desecrates the Sabbath lead the services if he has yahrzeit? If yes, can he replace someone else who has yahrzeit?

Hayim Grosz
(Via E-Mail)

Answer: We have received many inquiries on this subject and, in fact, we discussed this many years ago. Therefore, we will adapt somewhat from that earlier discussion.

Most authorities disapprove of a Sabbath desecrator serving as a shliach tzibbur. Though this matter seems quite elementary, in today’s day and age it appears to be of great relevance in many locales. It is important, therefore, that we first highlight the source for Sabbath observance and its relative gravity to all Jewish practice.

The Torah (Exodus 31:16-17) states: “Veshamru Bnei Yisrael et haShabbat la’asot et haShabbat ledorotam brit olam. Beini u’vein Bnei Yisrael ot hee le’olam ki sheshet yamim asah Hashem et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz u’vayom hashevi’i shavat va’yinafash – The Children of Israel shall observe the Sabbath to make the Sabbath an eternal covenant for their generations. Between Me and the Children of Israel, it is a sign forever that in a six-day period G-d made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day He relaxed and He rested.”

The uniqueness of Shabbat is that it serves as a sign between G-d and the Jewish people of our uniqueness before G-d.

We find “signs” elsewhere in the Torah, such as when G-d instructs Noah to leave the ark: “Vayomer Elokim zot ot habrit asher ani notein beini u’veineichem u’vein kol nefesh chaya asher it’chem ledorot olam – G-d said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between Me and you, and every living being that is with you, for all future generations.’ ” The next verse continues, “Et kashti natati be’anan ve’hayta le’ot brit beini u’vein ha’aretz – I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth” (Genesis 9:12-13).

We also find a sign mentioned in G-d’s command to Abraham in Parshat Lech Lecha (Genesis 17:11) concerning circumcision: “U’nemaltem et besar orlat’chem ve’haya le’ot brit beini u’veineichem – You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin and that shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.”

Finally, we find in Parshat VaEt’chanan (Deuteronomy 6:8) regarding the mitzvah of tefillin: “U’keshartam le’ot al yadecha vehayu letotafot bein eineicha – You shall bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.”

The above references, however, are different from the verses regarding Shabbat, to which the Torah explicitly refers as a sign between G-d and the Jewish people.

The Gemara (Shabbos 10b) cites a baraita based on a verse in Parshat Ki Tissa (Exodus 31:13): “Ve’ata dabber el Bnei Yisrael lemor, ach et shabtotai tishmoru ki ot hee beini u’veineichem ledoroteichem lada’at ki ani Hashem mekaddish’chem – And you, speak to the Children of Israel saying, ‘Just observe My Sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, to know that I am G-d who sanctifies you.’ ” The Gemara continues, “Hashem said to Moses, ‘I possess a valued present that is stored in My treasury, and Shabbat is its name, and I wish to give it to Israel; go and tell them….’ ”

This precious present is also unique in that its observance bears testimony to ma’aseh bereishit, as the Torah states (Genesis 2:1-3): “Va’yechulu hashamayim veha’aretz vechol tzeva’am. Va’yechal Elokim bayom hashevi’i melachto asher asa vayishbot bayom hashevi’i mikol melachto asher asa. Va’yevarech Elokim et yom hashevi’i va’yekaddesh oto ki vo shavat mikol melachto asher bara Elokim la’asot – Thus the heaven and the earth were completed, and all their array. G-d completed on the seventh day His work which He had done, and He abstained on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because on it He abstained from all His work which G-d created to do.”

This might partially explain the mesirut nefesh that some have exhibited in regard to this unique mitzvah throughout the generations. Stories abound of the difficulties in keeping Shabbat for Jews who immigrated to America at the turn of the 20th century. Not only was the general population unsympathetic to the plight of the Sabbath observer, but so were many Jewish employers who came with an earlier wave of immigration and had unfortunately assimilated. Thus, a Jew who wished to practice his religion was given a hard choice: “Observe the Sabbath or put bread on your table.” Unfortunately, many did not withstand the challenge.

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: A Sabbath Desecrator Leading Services (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Judaism Stories
Staum-013015

People often think that all they are missing is “just a little more” and then they can be truly happy.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The Midrash is teaching a fundamental message of what it means to be a religious person.

Rabbi Sacks

Torah opposes slavery; G-d desires the free worship of free human beings, yet slavery’s permitted-?!

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

France allowed Islamists to flourish despite their loyalty to Islamic sharia law not French values

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

“Where is God?” asked the Kotzker Rebbe “God is not everywhere but only where you let Him enter”

An Explosion In The Trench
‘With A Glowing Hot Knife’
(Yevamos 120b)

Her first tactic was tefillah; she immediately began to recite one perek after another of Tehillim.

When a miracle occurs that transcends nature, Hashem has broken the laws of nature to create the miracle.

“How could you have expected my glasses to be there?” argued Mr. Weiss. “You shouldn’t have to pay.”

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

How can the Da’as Zekeinim say this was Hashem’s plan to allow them to become the Torah Nation? We know it was actually a punishment.

A strange midrash of fruit trees surrounding the Nation of Israel as they walked to freedom

Leading by example must be visible, regarding where, when and how-like Nachshon entering the Red Sea

Rabbi Yaakov Nagen, a Ram at Yeshivat Otniel, notes that the verse is suggesting that retelling the story of the Exodus is so important that Hashem is performing ever-greater miracles specifically so that parents can tell their stories to future generations.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Approximately 18 years ago, my uncle called me into his office saying he had an urgent matter to discuss. I didn’t know what he had in mind.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 3                           5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 16, 2015–25 Teves 5775 4:36 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 5:40 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:08 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Va’era Weekly Haftara: Koh Amar Hashem (Ezekiel 28:25-29:21) Daf Yomi: Yevamos 104 Mishna Yomit: Kelim 17:2-3 Halacha Yomit: […]

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-a-sabbath-desecrator-leading-services-part-i/2013/01/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: