web analytics
July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Today, we are fortunate that many states and localities have passed laws to protect Sabbath observers. These laws prevent employers from discriminating against current or prospective employees who wish to leave a little early on Friday to prepare for Shabbat while making up the time on other days of the week. But even as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, no such protections existed at all, let alone at the turn of the twentieth century when Jewish immigration to the United States exploded.

My own grandfather, Reb Simcha Kirschner z”l, a scholarly Jew, was one of those people faced with the economic challenge of keeping Shabbat. It goes without saying that he made the proper choice, and Shabbat reigned supreme in his home. Thus it was many a Sunday that found him in search of a job. Indeed, for many years there was no milk in the house and fruit was very rare and looked upon as a delicacy.

There are two stories that stand out in particular among the many that I remember my mother, a”h, telling me regarding her parents. My grandfather wanted the younger children to have some fresh air, so on a Sunday he would often take them to Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. As a special treat he would bring along a single apple and cut it equally in four parts for his children (my mother being the youngest). Indeed, my mother suffered from anemia her entire life due to her early childhood diet.

Another story was about my aunt Tzivia who had a very close friend, Sura. My aunt would go to Sura’s house very often and at times would be there at dinnertime. She would come back home and regale the family with all the details of the wonderful food served at Sura’s house. Her father was able to provide a lavish table as he worked on Shabbat. My mother related that at least one time, when her sister came home with her dinner food tales, my grandmother asked her, “Un zei hut dir eppes gegeben – And did they give you anything?” It was obvious that my grandmother wished not only to expose a lack of generosity in that home, but to protect her own family’s Sabbath observance.

These two stories are not unique to my grandparents’ household. Rather, they were repeated many times over as Jews sought to follow the path of their parents and all the generations before them in a strange new land. In fact, due to this stark choice with which they were confronted, this land was referred to as both the “goldeneh medina – the golden land” and the “treifene medina – the unholy [unkosher] land.”

It therefore became de rigueur for fully observant Jews to style themselves with the appellation “shomer Shabbat.” Note that the term by which they referred to themselves and which would appear on most retail food signage was one that that proclaimed Sabbath observance (as opposed to other, or all, mitzvot). Why not use a term like “shomer Torah u’mitzvot”? The answer is simple. Though the observance of Shabbat is just one aspect of Judaism, it is one that clearly identifies a Jew and is an unmistakable indicator of his or her level of commitment.

(To be continued)

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.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Amongst the greatest disagreements in Judaism is the understanding of the 1st of the 10 Commandments

Daf-Yomi-logo

The Day He Heard
‘One May Seek Revocation Of A Confimation’
(Nedarim 69a)

Business-Halacha-NEW

The director picked up the phone to Rabbi Dayan. “One of our counselors lost his check,” he said. “Do we have to issue a new one or is it his loss?”

Ahava=Love; Happy Tu B'Av!

Six events occurred on Tu B’Av, the 15th of Av, making it a festive day in the Jewish calendar.

Why would Moshe Rabbeinu have thought that the vow that disallowed him to enter Eretz Yisrael was annulled simply because he was allowed to conquer and enter the land of Sichon and Og?

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Snow in Jerusalem! For many New Englanders like me, snow pulls at our nostalgic heartstrings like nothing else can.

Man has conflicting wishes and desires. Man has forces pulling him in competing directions.

Perhaps the admonition here is that we should not trivialize the events of the past by saying that they are irrelevant to the modern Jew.

One must view the settlement of Israel in a positive light. Thinking otherwise is a grievous sin.

Reaching a stronger understanding of what Moses actually did to prevent him from entering the land

Anti-Zionism, today’s anti-Semitism, has gone viral, tragically supported globally & by many Jews

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Vol. LXVI No. 29 5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME July 17, 2015 – 1 Av 5775 8:06 p.m. NYC E.D.T.   Sabbath Ends: 9:12 p.m. NYC E.D.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 9:36 p.m. NYC E.D.T. Weekly Reading: Mattos-Mass’ei Weekly Haftara: Shim’u Devar Hashem (Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1-2) Daf Yomi: Nedarim 54 Mishna Yomit: […]

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(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: