web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: The Sandak (Part XI)


QuestionsandAnswers-logo

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 One person wrote that his son rescinded an invitation to serve as sandak at his grandson’s brit.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.

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 XI)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Judaism Stories
Rabbi Avi Weiss

With Ruth, The Torah seems to be stating that children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of parents

Neihaus-070315

Without a foundation, one cannot hope to build a structure.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Why do we have a parsha in Sefer Shemos named after Yisro who was not only a former idolater, but actually served as a priest for Avodah Zarah!

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

This Land Is ‘My’ Land
‘[If The Vow Was Imposed] In The Seventh Year…’
(Nedarim 42b)

The Shulchan Aruch in the very first siman states that one should rise in the morning like a lion, implying that simply rising form bed requires strength of a lion, in line with the Midrash.

Attempts to interpret the message of Hashem in the absence of divine prophecy ultimately may twist that message in unintended ways that can lead to calamitous events.

Suddenly, the pilot’s voice could be heard. He explained that this was a special day for those passengers on board who lived in Israel.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

All agree that Jews ARE different. How? Why? The Bible’s answer is surprising and profound.

What’s the nation of Israel’s purpose in the world? How we can bring God’s blessings into the world?

“Is there a difference between rescuing and other services?” asked Ploni.

To my dismay, I’ve seen that shidduch candidates with money become ALL desirable traits for marriage

Bil’am’s character is complex and nuanced; neither purely good nor purely evil.

Amalek, our ultimate foe, understood that when unified, we are invincible and indestructible.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if no vessel is available? Additionally, may we dry our hands via an electric dryer?

Harry Koenigsberg
(Via E-Mail)

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: