web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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
PM Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu Warns Israel ‘Will Not Allow’ PA’s UN Resolution to Endanger Israelis
Latest Judaism Stories
Miketzi_lecture

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

The-Shmuz

Our right to exist and our form of self-government were decided by the ruling parties.

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

It is clear that Tosafos maintains that only someone who lives in a house must light Chanukah candles.

Rapps-Rabbi-Joshua-logo

If Chanukah was simply a commemoration of the miracle of the oil and Menorah, we would be hard pressed to see the connection between the reading from Parshas Nesiim and Chanukah.

“Can you hear what the dead are whispering? Leave Galut, escape to Eretz Israel-Lech lecha!”

The ‘homely’ ancient rock, discovered in 1993, adds evidence of King David’s existence.

Chanukah is the holiday of liberty, combining The Book (faith and dedication to God) and the sword

Yehuda knew if the moment isn’t right or men are unwilling to listen a skilled leader bides his time

This is a recurring theme in this week’s parsha, in which there are many mistakes made based on perception.

“A person should sell even the beams of his own house in order to buy shoes.”

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

If Hashem is watching tzaddikim, why couldn’t He just save Yosef from all the suffering he was about to endure?

Jacob was well aware that the brothers hated Joseph, yet he sent him to them anyway.

No Fault Lines
‘…His Father And Mother Were In Prison…’
(Yevamos 71b)

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(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)

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: