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November 24, 2014 / 2 Kislev, 5775
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Q & A: Shemini Atzeret


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In truth, according to either minhag, one is acknowledging that there is a safek and treating the mitzvah with respect. Then we are left with the question, which way to go? That answer is rather simple – we always are instructed to follow our own family minhag (cf. Beza 45b).

My uncle, Horav Sholom Klass, zt”l, always used to relate that his grandfather [my great grandfather], Horav Yaakov Epstein, zt”l, would be meticulous in the observance of the mitzvah of sukkah and would remark, “If one builds a beautiful sukkah [and dwells therein], he will merit to have a beautiful [year round] home as well.”

May we all be blessed with such recompense for our meticulous observance of the mitzvah of sukkah, as we eagerly await Melech Ha’Moshiach, speedily in our days.

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.

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.


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Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

Question: My young daughter was recently diagnosed with autism. She does not function well socially and is extremely introverted, but we have noticed that she reacts very well to small animals. We reported this to her therapist who suggested that we get a dog or cat as a pet. We know that most religious people frown upon having pets, but we hate to see our daughter suffer and want to do anything that would make her happy. Would it be okay to own a pet in the circumstances we described?

Her Loving Parents
(Via E-Mail)

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