web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Q & A: They Live In the Land (Part I)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: I was recently discussing the sorry state of religion in Eretz Yisrael with some friends, noting that unfortunately a majority of the population consists of non-observant Jews. I expressed my view that this fact explains why Moshiach has not yet come. I avidly read your column and am anxious to learn your view of this matter.

No Name Please
(Via E-Mail)

Answer: When your query arrived, I was in midst of preparing the Yom Tov d’rashot (holiday sermons) that I delivered in my congregation, Kahal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn. In these sermons, I sought to address numerous practices surrounding our holiday prayers. One matter concerned Kol Nidrei and its placement at the very beginning of the Yom Kippur prayer service.

Kol Nidrei, as its name implies, is a public annulment of any vow one might have made in the course of the year. Before we begin, however, we say, “Al Da’at Ha’Makom ve’al da’at ha’kahal u’biyeshiva shel maala u’biyeshiva shel mata anu matirin l’hitpallel im ha’avrayanim – With the approval of the Omnipresent and with the approval of the congregation, in the convocation of the court above and in the convocation of the court below, we sanction prayer with the transgressors.”

To which transgressors are we referring? There are numerous answers. One of them is cited by Rabbi Yosef Grossman (Otzar Erchei Hayahadut): that “transgressors” refers to the Marranos in Spain. Since they openly transgressed by committing the sin of idolatry, they needed this yearly dispensation to allow them to join in communal prayer.

However, we no longer live in the age of the Marranos. To whom do we refer when we say this prefatory statement about transgressors today? Some say we are referring to anyone who violated communal edicts and was banished from the synagogue. Through this special preface, they are allowed to join in the communal prayer.

One might question, however, what need there is for them to join the service. The answer is based on the Gemara (Kerisut 6b), where R. Chana b. Bizna said the following in the name of R. Shimon Chasida: “Any fast that does not include the transgressors is not a fast, for behold the unpleasant odor of the chelbona [galbanum, the one foul-smelling spice that was included in the pleasant fragrant spices in the Temple frankincense]. Yet, the Torah (Exodus 30:7-8, 34-36) included it in the daily frankincense offering.”

Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhansk (the Noam Elimelech) seems to amend the Gemara’s text as he states: “Any prayer [service] that does not include sinners is not considered a prayer.” This would explain the need to include transgressors in saying Kol Nidrei.

As I searched the souls seated before me in my congregation this past Yom Kippur, however, I could find no such transgressors. Did their absence invalidate our entire Yom Kippur prayer service? Did we fast in vain?

(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: They Live In the Land (Part I)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
Questions-Answers-logo

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

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

Menachem
Via Email

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-they-live-in-the-land-part-i/2013/10/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: