web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: Birkat HaGomel (Part I)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

 

Answer: Let us first discuss the requirement to have a minimum of 10 men for synagogue services and other mitzvot that are “davar shebi’kedushah – matters of sanctity.” This requirement is derived through a gezerah shavah – verbal analogy – one of the fixed principles of interpretation by which our Sages expound the Torah. If the same word or phrase appears in two separate verses in the Torah, and a certain halacha is explicitly stated regarding one of them, we may (under certain circumstances) infer on the basis of “verbal analogy” that the same halacha applies in the second instance as well.

In our case, the first verse of the gezerah shavah (based on the words “betoch” and “mitoch”) is found in Parshat Emor (Leviticus 22:32), which instructs us not to violate – with intent – any of G-d’s commands, resulting in a diminution of G-d’s honor: “Velo techallelu et shem kodshi venikdashti betoch Bnei Yisrael, ani Hashem mekaddish’chem – You shall not desecrate My holy Name, and I will thus be sanctified in the midst of the Children of Israel; I am Hashem Who sanctifies you.” We must zealously strive to sanctify G-d and, in so doing, we ourselves will be sanctified.

The second verse is in Parshat Korach (Numbers 16:21) and concerns G-d instructing Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the rebellious Korach and his followers: “Hibbadlu mitoch ha’edah hazot va’achaleh otam ke’raga – Separate yourselves from amid this congregation, and I shall destroy them in an instant.”

This second verse leads us to yet another gezerah shavah based on the word “edah” in this verse and the word “edah” in a verse in Parshat Shelach regarding the spies whom Moses had sent to investigate the land of Canaan. When they returned with a bad report about the promised land, G-d made His wrath known to Moses and Aaron (Numbers 14:27): “Ad matai la’edah hara’ah hazot asher hemah mallinim alai, et telunot Bnei Yisrael asher hemah mallinim alai shamati – How long [shall I bear] this evil congregation that complains against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Children of Israel against Me.”

This gezerah shavah comes up in a discussion between R. Huna and R. Yehoshua b. Levi in the Gemara (Berachot 21b) regarding a person who enters a synagogue and wishes to catch up with the congregation which is reciting Shemoneh Esreh. R. Huna allows him to start Shemoneh Esreh if he will catch up by the time the chazzan reaches Modim while R. Yehoshua maintains that he can only start if he will catch up by Kedushah. R. Huna rules as he does because he permits an individual to recite Kedushah by himself, but R. Yehoshua maintains that Kedushah can only be said with a quorum of 10 (and that is the halacha).

How does R. Yehoshua b. Levi come to his conclusion? R. Adda b. Abaha explains that he bases himself on the verse quoted earlier, “Venikdashti betoch Bnei Yisrael,” which implies that there has to be at least 10 people present for any manifestation of sanctification. Rabinai, the brother of R. Chiya b. Abba, explains that we draw a gezerah shavah between “betoch” in this verse and “mitoch” in “Hibbadlu mitoch ha’edah hazot.” And we know that “edah” implies at least 10 people because of the verse, “Ad matai la’edah hara’ah hazot,” which clearly refers to 10 spies (the original 12 minus Joshua and Caleb who brought back a favorable report on the land).

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: Birkat HaGomel (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Obama on Iran Deal
Is Obama a State Sponsor of Terrorism?
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

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.

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)

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

“When a king dies his power ends; when a prophet dies his influence begins” & their words echo today

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

The word “shavat” in the first kina of Tisha B’Av morning indicates a sudden suspension and cessation of time that accompanied the Temple’s destruction.

The two decided to approach Rabbi Dayan. “What is the halachic status of conquered territory?” asked Shalom.

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: 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)

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-birkat-hagomel-part-i/2014/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: