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Q & A: The Sandak (Part II)


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“It is argued that if the intention is to draw a parallel between a sandak and a kohen who offers incense in the Beit Hamikdash, then a person should not be permitted to serve as a sandak more than once in his life, not merely once per family. There does not seem to be any basis for a restriction against serving as a sandak twice in the same family, allowing him to serve – and reap the supposed benefits – for a different family. According to this approach, therefore, if one can indeed serve as a sandak more than once, as is the custom, then it should be at any brit regardless of whether one previously served as a sandak for that particular family.”

What is meant by the wealth predicted for the sandak? Does it mean actual material riches? Rabbi Enkin writes:

“It is noted, though, that despite the segulah, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of anyone ever becoming rich from serving as a sandak. Indeed, a number of authorities suggest that the segulah of becoming wealthy from serving a sandak doesn’t refer to material wealth, but rather to spiritual wealth. Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, who served as a sandak hundreds of times, would quip that his ability to write Torah sefarim was the ‘wealth’ that he’d been blessed with. Alternatively, even if the benefit of serving as sandak truly is material wealth, it might just be that the sandak is guilty of some transgression that disqualifies him from receiving [the wealth]. Nevertheless, the Satmar Rebbe is reputed to have said that ‘wealth’ in this context refers to being blessed with children of good character.”

(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.


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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 – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – 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?

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(Via E-Mail)

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 – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – 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)

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 – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – 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)

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 – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – 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?

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