web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 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.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Reducing Iran’s Number of Centrifuges Makes a Bomb More Likely
Latest Judaism Stories
Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Winiarz-022715-Kids

Does Hashem ever go away and not pay attention to us?

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

In other words, the Torah is an expression of the Way that we must follow in order to live a divine-like life and to bond in the highest way possible with God or Being Itself.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The avodah (service) of the kohen gadol is vital and highly sensitive; the world’s very existence depends on it.

Moreover, even if the perpetrator of the capital offense is never actually executed, such as when the fatal act was unintentional, Kam Lei applies and the judge cannot award damages.

Forever After?
‘Obligated for Challahh and Not Terumah’
(Kesubos 25a)

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)

“We really appreciate your efforts in straightening the shul,” said Mr. Reiss. “How is it going?”

This was a spontaneous act of rest after the miracle of vanquishing their respective foes. The following year they celebrated on the same days as a minhag.

The way we must to relate to our young adult children is to communicate with genuine loving-kindness

Jewish prayer is a convergence of 2 modes of biblical spirituality, exemplified by Moses and Aaron

In holy places it’s important to maintain a level of silence permitting people to dialogue with God

Eventually, after some trial and error, including an experience with a prima donna and one with a thief, I baruch Hashem ultimately found a fine, honest and reliable household helper.

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

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. 6 5775   NYC Candle Lighting Time February 6, 2015 – 17 Shevat 5775 5:01 p.m. NYC E.S.T.   Sabbath Ends: 6:04 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 6:33 p.m. NYC E.S.T. Weekly Reading: Yisro Weekly Haftara: Bi’shenas Mos HaMelech (Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6 Ashkenazim; Isaiah 6:1-13 Sephardim) Daf Yomi: Kesuvos 4 […]

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: