web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 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 XI)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Share Button

Last week we heard from a woman who related that she and her husband raised her younger siblings after their parents died. After lovingly incurring half the expenses for her youngest brother’s wedding to a girl whose father has also passed away, she and her husband were delighted when the young couple told them they were expecting and asked her husband to be sandak. Yet, at the brit, her brother asked his wife’s family rabbi to serve as sandak. The rabbi had told them that since neither parent has a father, it was only proper for him to serve as sandak. The reader was mystified how the rabbi could have so easily disregarded the love and dedication she and her husband extended to her brother.

* * * * *

The reader last week who told of the slight her husband suffered at her nephew’s brit is not the only one who e-mailed us about a perceived insult at a brit. One person wrote that his son rescinded an invitation to serve as sandak at his grandson’s brit. The son said his rabbi maintained that it would improper for him to accept this honor since he had already served as sandak many years before at the brit of one of the infant’s older brothers. Though he accepted his son’s explanation, it is obvious that he remains bothered by the matter and has not received closure.

First, I would like to address all the readers who e-mailed us about their hurtful experiences: You must find it in your heart to forgive and move on. There are so many wrongs that we do against our Creator, but we don’t hesitate to beseech Him for forgiveness, which He readily offers every year during the Holy Days of Awe.

I am reminded of an address that I heard many years ago at a convention of Agudath Israel of America, where Rav Avraham Pam zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Torah Vodaath, was the keynote speaker. Rav Pam argued that we must be good with others and careful not to be too quick to judge. Look at II Samuel 11-12, he said. In rebuking King David for marrying Batsheva, wife of Uriah, the prophet Natan told David a story about two individuals, one exceedingly wealthy with vast flocks and the other destitute with but one small sheep to his name. The wealthy person did not wish to slaughter any of his own sheep to serve a guest, so he seized his neighbor’s sole sheep instead. No sooner had the prophet related this story that King David, in fury, blurted out: “ben mavet ha’ish ha’oseh zot – deserving of death is one who does such a thing.” Natan replied: “ata ha’ish – you are that man.”

Rav Pam explained that in his rush to judge another, King David pronounced his own judgment. From this, we can learn that even rabbis can make mistakes. My rosh yeshiva at Mir, the late Rav Avraham Kalmanowitz, zt”l, was known to address students embarking on their first foray outside the beit midrash to a new shteller – a new position – with the following: “Do you remember the four chelkei [sections of the] Shulchan Aruch?” After an affirmative answer, he would ask: “And what about the fifth chelek?” When asked what that was, Rav Kalmanowitz would reply: “how to deal with people.”

A rabbi, or anyone in a community position, has to take care never to do anything to anyone that can be construed as unseemly. For to do so may not only cause a chillul Hashem but may be hurtful to that individual or a family member. Indeed, the rabbi or community leader may quickly move on, but the slighted individual will remember the hurt and, in many cases, relive it for years to come.

We cited from Rabbi Enkin’s sefer that there are many who maintain that one may serve as sandak more than once for the same family. We further noted that since the mitzvah of milah is one of those mitzvot incumbent upon the father, the honor of sandika’ot (as well as any other mitzvah related to the brit) is totally within the province of the father to offer to anyone he pleases and no one should make that decision for him – no less usurp the mitzvah for himself.

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 XI)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.
Arab Violence Closes Temple Mount to Visitors Again
Latest Judaism Stories

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 […]

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

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

Haggadah used at the Passover Seder

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

Rabbi Sacks

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.

Marror is the reliving of the bitter enslavement and matzah is the under-eighteen-minutes redemption.

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim argues it is time for Ashkenazim to abandon the prohibition against Kitnyot. What do you think?

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-xi/2013/01/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: