web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Q & A: The Sandak (Part IX)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Share Button

“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)

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Q & A: The Sandak (Part IX)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Judaism Stories
Reiss-041814-King

Amazingly, each and every blade was green and moist as if it was just freshly cut.

PTI-041814

All the commentaries ask why Hashem focuses on the Exodus as opposed to saying, “I am Hashem who created the entire world.”

Leff-041814

Someone who focuses only on the bones of the Torah makes his bones dry and passionless.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

The tendency to rely on human beings rather than G-d has been our curse throughout the centuries.

“Who is wise? One who learns from each person” (Pirkei Avot 4:1)

In Judaism, to be without questions is a sign not of faith, but of lack of depth.

“I’ll try to help as we can,” said Mr. Goodman, “but we already made a special appeal this year. Let me see what other funds we have. I’ll be in touch with you in a day or two.”

Rashi is bothered by the expression Hashem used: “the Jews need only travel.”

Reckoning Time
‘Three Festivals, Even Out Of Order’
(Beizah 19b)

Two husbands were there to instruct us in Texas hold ‘em – and we needed them.

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

A few background principles regarding the prohibitions of chametz mixtures on Pesach may provide some shopping guidance.

According to the Rambam, the k’nas applies to any chametz on Pesach with which one could, in theory, transgress the aveirah – even if no transgression actually occurred.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Why do we start counting sefirat ha’omer in chutz la’aretz on the second night of Pesach when the omer in the times of the Beit Hamikdash was cut on Chol HaMoed?

M. Goldman
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

Why does the Jewish leap year always consist of two Adars? Why specifically Adar?

Menachem
(Via E-Mail)

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    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: