web analytics
October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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

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)

Summary of our response up to this point: Last week, we inquired into the statement we say before Kol Nidrei: “We sanction prayer with the transgressors.” To which transgressors are we referring?

Rabbi Yosef Grossman suggests that “transgressors” refers to the Marranos in Spain who openly committed the sin of idolatry; this yearly dispensation was necessary to allow them to join in communal prayer. Others say we are referring to individuals who violated communal edicts that got them banished from the synagogue.

One amora in Kerisut 6b compares praying with transgressors to the fragrant frankincense spices in the beit hamikdash which contained among its ingredients chelbona, a foul-smelling spice.

We concluded by asking: What if there are no transgressors in a synagogue? Does their absence invalidate our Yom Kippur prayer service?

* * * * *

In resolving this dilemma, let us look at the mishnah (on Rosh Hashanah 33b): “Just as the chazzan is obligated [to pray], so is every individual [congregant] under the same obligation. Rabban Gamliel [disagrees and] says: The chazzan discharges the entire congregation of its obligation.”

The Gemara (34b-35a) discusses this dispute and cites a baraita: “The sages said to Rabban Gamliel, ‘If you are right, what need is there for the congregation to recite the amidah [before the chazzan]?’ He replied, ‘In order for the chazzan to have [sufficient] time to organize his prayers.’ He then questioned the sages, ‘According to your view, why does the chazzan go before the ark [to pray if he not discharging the congregation’s obligation]?’ They responded, ‘In order to discharge the obligation of one who is not well-versed [in the prayers].’ To this he answered, ‘Just as he discharges the obligation of one who is not well-versed, so too does he discharge the obligation of one who is well-versed.’”

Though the Gemara reports that the sages seemed to concede to Rabban Gamliel, it notes that some difficulty remained in this matter until R. Abba of Yami (Rashi alters the Gemara’s words and explains that “Yami” is in fact the sea and R. Abba was returning from a sea voyage) explained that the sages only agreed with Rabbi Gamliel regarding the blessings of (i.e., the extra text recited on) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are more complicated. Even those normally well-versed in prayer are not familiar with them.

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 591:1) rules as follows: “The congregation [on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur] should recite the silent Musaf [amidah] prayer of nine blessings and the chazzan should also pray silently along with it.” Further (592:1), he continues, “The chazzan then repeats the amidah and the shofar blasts are blown according to the order of the blessings….”

The Magen Avraham (591 sv. “af al pi”) cites the Mechaber 124:1, who notes that one who is not conversant with the amidah should be attentive from beginning to end during the chazzan’s repetition to discharge his obligation. Obviously, one who is conversant cannot be so discharged. Regarding Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, however, the chazzan discharges even the obligation of one who is well-versed. However, since not every person has the ability to listen intently to the chazzan’s repetition from beginning to end, each individual must pray as well.

Thus, what we have is that the chazzan does indeed discharge the obligation of everyone in the congregation, even those who are well-versed in prayer; however, every congregant must follow the chazzan’s prayer word for word. That is, indeed, a most difficult task.

(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 II)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colin H. Kahl, VP Joe Biden's new national security adviser.
Biden’s New NSA Chief Mocked Israeli Nuke Fears
Latest Judaism Stories
Duxvielfalt_2011

Contrary to popular belief, the Talmud never explicitly limits the ban on footwear to leather shoes.

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

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

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

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: 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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-they-live-in-the-land-part-ii/2013/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: