web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

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

Hayim Grosz
(Via E-Mail)

Answers: Last week, we cited Exodus (31:16-17) as the source for our Sabbath observance. The verse explains that Shabbat serves as a sign between G-d and the Jewish people of our uniqueness before G-d. The Gemara (Shabbos 10b) describes Shabbat as a precious present from G-d to the Jewish people. In addition, in parshat Bereishit we see that Shabbat bears testimony to the creation since G-d abstained from creating the world on that day.

We discussed the self-sacrifice that many Jews throughout the generations have exhibited in regard to Sabbath observance. While today there are many laws to protect Sabbath observers, this was not the case generations ago. Many Jews faced a hard choice: “Observe the Sabbath or put bread on your table.”

Unfortunately, there were many who did not withstand the challenge. It therefore became de rigueur for Jews to refer to themselves with the appellation “shomer Shabbat” as opposed to, for example, “shomer Torah u’mitzvot.” Although the observance of Shabbat is just one aspect of Judaism, it is one that clearly identifies the Jew and is an unmistakable indicator of his or her level of commitment.

* * * * *

Our good friend, colleague, and Jewish Press columnist Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, shlita, rav of Congregation Agudas Yisrael of Staten Island, relates the following in his discussion on the essence and beauty of Shabbos (Passionate Judaism, Judaica Press, 1998):

“The importance of Shabbos, and the profound love and awe Jews committed to Shabbos feel, has been described many times. But few descriptions match the tragic but inspiring incidents common during the Holocaust – reports of Jews who were so bound to the mitzvah of Shabbos that they would rather lose their lives than violate this mitzvah.

“To further their hideous goals, the Nazis, yemach shemam v’zichram, desperately needed tin craftsmen. Finding skilled tin workers during the war was not easy and, as a result, they were severely shorthanded. Their needs were so acute that they even plucked a Chassidic Jew out of Auschwitz and put him to work laboring for their war effort. This Jewish man was removed from the concentration camp and given unheard of privileges. As a result he saved many Jews from the gas chamber.

“Despite all this he was plagued by a burning issue. One day he smuggled himself back into Auschwitz and into the barrack of the late Klausenburger Rebbe, zt”l. When he succeeded in meeting the Rebbe, he posed the following chilling query. As slave laborers, all Jews were forced to desecrate the Shabbos. According to halachah, to biblically desecrate Shabbos one must do a complete act. The Jews in the concentration camp were generally forced to work in the rock quarries where they rarely did a complete act. This chosid, however, was commanded to perform precision tin work. As a result he completed many acts on Shabbos. Therefore, he asked his Rebbe if halachically he would be permitted to purposely burn his hands to end his ability to do his work. In doing this, he exclaimed, he would be sent back to the camps where he wouldn’t have to desecrate the Shabbos as much.

“The Rebbe firmly answered that people were killed all the time in the camps. For this reason, he categorically rejected this chosid’s plan to mutilate his hands and thus be returned to the concentration camp where his life would be in danger. The chosid, however, persisted. How could his existence be considered ‘life’ if he had to continually desecrate the Shabbos? The Rebbe impressed upon him the fact that his unique status gave him the possibility to save other Jews and he had no right whatsoever to give that up. At that, the chosid was convinced and continued outside the camp with his forced labor.

“This true story demonstrates how profound the love and awe for Shabbos is in a Jewish soul [heard from Rav Gershon Weiss, shlit”a].”

No discussion of the present of Shabbat would be complete without mentioning a special hakarat hatov, an expression of gratitude, to an individual who fought a unique and valiant battle so that we would be allowed to keep our Sabbath on the seventh day of the week.

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 II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
New York City in  the much-ballyhooed 'Snowstorm Juno'.
NYC All Prepped Up But ‘No Snow Go, Mayor DeBlasio’
Latest Judaism Stories
Tissot_The_Waters_Are_Divided

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

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

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.

Parshat Bo

Before performing the 10th plague God makes a fundamental argument about the ultimate nature of justice.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Life Before The Printed Word
‘A Revi’is Of Blood’
(Yevamos 114a-b)

How is it possible that the clothing was more valuable to them than gold or silver?

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)

“It means that the disqualification of relatives as witnesses is a procedural issue, not a question of honesty,” explained Rabbi Dayan.

Property ownership is an extremely important and fundamental right and principle according to the Torah.

The tenderest description of the husband/wife relationship is “re’im v’ahuvim/loving, kind friends”

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Suddenly, she turns to me and says, “B’emet, I need to thank you, you made me excited to come back to Israel.”

Pesach is called “zikaron,” a Biblical term used describing an object eliciting a certain memory

Recouping $ and assets from Germans and Swiss for their Holocaust actions is rooted in the Exodus

Pharaoh perverted symbols of life (the Nile and midwives) into agents of death.

I think that we have to follow the approach of the Tannaim and Amoraim. They followed the latest scientific developments of their time.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

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)

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. 1                           5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME January 2, 2015 – 11 Teves 5775 4:22 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 5:27 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 5:54 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: VaYechi Weekly Haftara: VaYikrevu Yemei Dovid (I Kings 2:1-12) Daf Yomi: Yevamos 90 Mishna Yomit: Kelim […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-a-sabbath-desecrator-leading-services-part-ii/2013/01/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: