web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Q & A: The Sandak (Part IX)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

“The Gemara asks: What is the son doing there [in the public domain]? The Gemara answers that it refers to an instance where a mother gave birth in the field. In such a scenario, they bring the infant in [to the house] by passing him from one person to another – even if there are 100 [people standing in line to transfer the child] and doing so entails great discomfort for the infant. They do so because there is no other option due to Shabbat.”

(An obvious difficulty: A newborn’s fragile condition grants it the halachic status of a choleh – a sick person – and violating the Sabbath should be permissible. Indeed, Rabbi Aryeh Leib Yellin of Lisk, in his Novella Yefei Einayim to Eruvin 97b, states that this precisely what the mishnah teaches us here. Although carrying even less than four amos is usually prohibited, it is permitted in this case due to the unusual circumstances.)

The Aruch Hashulchan concludes: “Since it causes great discomfort for the infant, why do they [hand him from person to person at the brit]? Yet,” he writes, “it is very difficult to abolish a minhag whereby each [participant] wishes to gain merit through holding the object of the mitzvah [the infant].”

Now, two things are striking about this Aruch Hashulchan. First, if the kvater is compared to the koter who offers ketoret, then how come there is no rule against someone serving as a kvater twice (like the rule about someone serving as sandak twice)? If the infant is passed through so many hands on the way to the sandak, surely people will wind up serving as a kvater more than once, even for sons of the same family.

The second striking thing is the Aruch Hashulchan’s apparent distaste of this minhag of passing the baby from one person to another – multiple kvaterim, or what the chassidim refer to as chaikas. We actually don’t generally see this custom in the non-chassidic world.

Interestingly, the Rav of Navhardok cites the Gemara in Eruvin (97b to the mishnah, 95b) as the source for this practice. And even though the city of Navhardok was a “Litvisher shtut,” this practice was the minhag. The Rav of Navhardok actually wished to abolish the custom but did not do so. Thus, in effect, he actually codified it as halachah.

Though I am a litvak by way of my father’s family (e.g. Slutzk and Minsk), from my mother’s side we descend from “groiser Rebbes” such as Reb Meilech, the Koznitzer Magid, and Reb Mordche Dovid Unger, the Dombrover Rebbe. I’ve always tried to reconcile chassidic practice to halachah. In this matter of the chaikas, you have resolved it for me by pointing out this Aruch Hashulchan who reconciles himself to the custom because of the desire of so many to derive the merit that comes along with serving as a kvater.

(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: The Sandak (Part IX)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal in Gaza
Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel
Latest Judaism Stories
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

First, how could a beis din of 23 judges present a guilty verdict in a capital punishment case? After all, only a majority of the 23 judges ruled in favor of his verdict.

Of paramount importance is that both the king and his people realize that while he is the leader, he is still a subject of God.

Daf-Yomi-logo

Untimely News
‘A Mourner Is Forbidden To Wear Shoes…’
(Mo’ed Katan 20b)

Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

When a person feels he can control the destiny of other people, he runs the risk of feeling self-important, significant, and mighty.

Needless to say, it was done and they formed a great relationship as his friend and mentor. He started attending services and volunteered his time all along putting on tefillin.

He took me to a room filled with computer equipment and said, “You pray here for as long as you want.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

If there is a mitzvas minuy dayanim in the Diaspora, then why is there a difference between Israel and the Diaspora in the number of judges and their distribution?

Judaism is a religion of love but also a religion of justice, for without justice, love corrupts.

The time immediately preceding Mashiach’s arrival is likened to the birth pangs of a woman in labor.

Eisenhower understood that motivated men will fight much harder and longer than unmotivated men.

Who does not want to get close to Hashem? Yet, how do we do that?

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
Via Email

Question: The Gemara in Berachot states that the sages authored our prayers. Does that mean we didn’t pray beforehand?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-the-sandak-part-ix/2013/01/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: