web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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


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)

Answer: Exodus 31:16-17 is 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. Therefore, It 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.

We relayed the story told by Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, shlita, about a chassidic Jew in Auschwitz who was so dedicated to Hashem that he was ready to give up a job outside the concentration camp because it required him to desecrate Shabbat. The late Klausenburger Rebbe, zt”l, had to reassure him that since the job gave him the possibility to save other Jews, he was required to keep it.

In 1956, Dr. Isaac Lewin, professor at Yeshiva University, fought against a UN resolution to designate a “World’s Day” to the calendar, which would have created one eight-day week per year and resulted in Shabbat falling out on a day other than Saturday. Dr. Lewin enlisted the world’s religious leaders, among others, to defeat this threat to our observance of Shabbat.

* * * * *

The key to Shabbat and its proper observance is the requirement to refrain from work on that day. As the Torah tells us (Exodus 20:8-12): “Zachor et yom haShabbat leka’desho, sheshet yamim ta’avod ve’asita kol melachtecha; veyom hashevi’i Shabbat laShem Elokecha, lo ta’aseh chol melacha ata u’vincha u’vitecha avdecha va’amat’cha u’vehemtecha vegercha asher bishe’arecha; ki sheshet yamim asah Hashem et hashamayim ve’et ha’aretz et hayam ve’et kol asher bam, vayanach bayom hashevi’i; al ken berach Hashem et yom haShabbat va’yekadshehu – Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. Six days shall you work and accomplish all your work but the seventh day is a sabbath to Hashem your G-d; [on it] you shall not do any work – you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your cattle, and your convert within your gates. For in six daysHashem made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, Hashem blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.”

The above verses from Parshat Yitro are repeated in Parshat VaEt’chanan (Deuteronomy 5:12-15) with some changes in wording (see Rashi on Exodus 20:8, “zachor veshamor bedibbur echad”). These verses constitute the fourth of the Ten Commandments given to Israel at Sinai.

The Rambam, in his Sefer Hamitzvot, has two separate entries related to Shabbat. The first entry is Mitzvah 155 inthe positive commandments section, specifying the command to sanctify Shabbat and to grace its arrival and departure verbally. When Shabbat arrives we should mention our deliverance from Egypt (yetziat Mitzrayim) andthe sanctification of the day (Kiddush Hayom) with a blessing said over wine. When Shabbat departs we recite Havdalah, again saying a blessing over wine.

The second mention of Shabbat in the Rambam’s Sefer Hamitzvot is Mitzvah 320 in the negative commandments section – a warning not to do any labor on Shabbat. As the verse states, “Lo ta’aseh kol melacha… – You shall not do any labor…”

How should someone who never experienced Shabbat or became estranged from its observance long ago bring him or herself to observe it? Surely, the famous saying “ignorance is bliss” will not create a shomer Shabbat individual! The answer is that one must immerse oneself in the study of the forbidden Shabbat labors – the “39 melachot.” We find a listing of these 39 melachot presented in a clear and concise manner in the wonderful work of Rabbi Dovid Ribiat, The 39 Melachos (Feldheim Publishers).

Below are Rabbi Ribiat’s four orders of melachot:

1) The Order of Bread: choresh (plowing), zore’a (sowing), kotzer (reaping), me’ammer (gathering), dash (threshing), zoreh (winnowing), borer (sorting), tochen (grinding), meraked (sifting), lash (kneading), and ofeh/bishul (baking/cooking).

2) The Order of Garments: gozez (shearing), melabben (scouring), menappetz (combing), tzove’a (dyeing), toveh (spinning), mesech (warping), oseh shtei batei nirin (constructing two heddles), oreg (weaving), potze’a (removing), ko’sher (tying), mattir (untying), tofer (sewing), and kore’a (tearing).

3) The Order of Hides: tzad (trapping), shochet (slaughtering), mafshit (skinning), me’abbed (tanning), memmachek (smoothing), mesartet (scoring), and mechatech (measured cutting).

4) The Order of Construction: kotev (writing), mochek (erasing), boneh (building), so’ter (demolishing), makkeh bepatish (final hammer blow), mechabbeh (extinguishing a flame), mav’ir (kindling), and hotza’a (transferring).

In four volumes, Rabbi Ribiat presents the forbidden labors in an easy-to-understand yet comprehensive manner with modern-day, up-to-date applications.

An additional excellent resource for the study of the 39 forbidden melachot, based on the Shulchan Aruch and Talmud, is the classic Chayyei Adam by Rabbi Avraham Danzig of Vilna (Hilchot Shabbat, topics 9-47). I believe this is available in an English translation.

Studying these laws and committing to their observance is not only a sign of one’s Sabbath observance, but serves as a key identifier of one’s entire Torah observance.

(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 III)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rosalind Jordan, Washington, D.C. reporter for Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera Reporter: ‘Bibi Said ISIL and Iran Working Together’
Latest Judaism Stories
Daf-Yomi-logo

An Auto Accident
‘All Agree That They Are Exempt’
(Kesubbos 35a)

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)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why would the exemption of women from donating the half shekel exempt them from davening Musaf?

This concept should be very relevant to us as we, too, should be happy beyond description.

The Holocaust was the latest attempt of Amalek to destroy the special bond that we enjoy with God.

One can drink up to the Talmud’s criterion to confuse Mordechai and Haman-but not beyond.

“The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Esav” gives great insight to Purim

Purim is the battleground of extremes, Amalek and Yisrael, with Zoroastrian Persia in between.

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

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.

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

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.

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)

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)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-a-sabbath-desecrator-leading-services-part-iii/2013/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: