web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part III)

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: We inquired into the statement we say before Kol Nidrei: “We sanction prayer with the transgressors.” To which transgressors are we referring?

Some suggests that “transgressors” refers to the Marranos in Spain who openly committed the sin of idolatry. Others say we are referring to individuals who violated communal edicts that got them banished from the synagogue.

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

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

The Mishnah (Rosh Hashanah 33b) states that the obligation to pray falls on every individual congregant, while Rabban Gamliel disagrees and says that the chazzan discharges the congregation of its obligation. The Mechaber notes that someone who is not conversant in praying must pay attention to each word of the chazzan’s repetition to discharge his obligation. One who is conversant cannot be discharged and must say the prayer himself.

However, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper, the chazzan discharges the obligation of everyone, even those who are well versed. Each person must either recite the prayer by himself or follow the chazzan’s prayer word for word.

* * * * *

We find the following in the concluding Gemara to Rosh Hashanah (35a): “R. Acha b. Avira said in the name of R. Shimon Chasida: Rabban Gamliel would allow even those people who found themselves in the fields [engaged in agricultural activity] to be discharged of their [prayer] obligation [by the chazzan]; it is needless to say that those who are in town are also discharged.”

The Gemara questions this assumption: “Surely the opposite should be the case, for those in the fields are unable to come due to matters that are beyond their control – i.e., they are anusim – while those in town: what is there preventing their attendance?”

This is similar to what Abba the son of R. Binyamin b. Chiya stated: “The people who stand behind the kohanim [during Birkat Kohanim] are not included in the blessing.” Both laws exclude people. Those people in town who do not deem it important to come to synagogue for Birkat Kohanim do not benefit from that blessing.

The Mechaber (Orach Chayim 128:24) seeks to clarify what the words “the people who stand behind the kohanim” mean. The assumption is that people must stand facing the kohanim, but the Mechaber writes that those standing on the side of the kohanim “even should there be a wall of steel between them – it will not cause a separation.”

The Ba’er Heitev (ad. loc. sk 42) maintains that those standing to the side must at least be within the side periphery of the kohanim. Those standing behind the kohanim, though, are not included in the blessing. The Ba’er Heitev cites the Bach, who is lenient since people nowadays buy, and own, assigned seats. Those with seats along the eastern wall are thus considered anusim. They cannot move from their assigned place to another spot since they would displace fellow congregants. (In practice, though, we find that in most situations, people sitting in front row seats are able to move to the back and face the kohanim without disturbing their fellow congregants.)

We now return to the Gemara as it concludes: “However, when Rabin came [from the land of Israel], he reported that R. Yaakov b. Idi said in the name of R. Simon Chasida that Rabban Gamliel only allowed those engaged in work in the fields to be discharged of their obligation [by the chazzan]. Why? Because being engaged in their work is a matter beyond their control. However, those in town [who are not engaged in fieldwork] are not discharged. Rashi (sv “aval d’ir lo”) explains that since they are not engaged in work, they are able to pray on their own.

Thus, in my remarks to my congregation this Yom Kippur, based on this Gemara and Rabban Gamliel’s view, I sought to explain that the sinners – the chelbana – the galbanum that we include in our fast and prayer service are compared to those Jews who unfortunately are prevented from joining us because they are tinok she’nishba – that is, they are ignorant of our Torah.

Our situation is analogous to the following scenario: Two people are in a small watercraft and one of them starts drilling a hole under his seat. The other person screams at him, “What are you doing?” He responds, “None of your business. I am only drilling on my side!” His astonished fellow retorts, “Fool! Through your action you will cause us both to sink and drown.”

My friends, we are all in one boat, dependent on each other. No man or woman is an island unto him/herself.

(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 III)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.
Bibi on Iran Deal: ‘We Aren’t Partners at the Table, We Are a Meal on the Menu’ [VIDEO]
Latest Judaism Stories
Moses and the Ten Commandments,

The 10 Statements main point was not content but the encounter between G-d & His nation, Israel

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Before going in, I had told R’ Nachum all of the things we were doing in Philly, and how it was very important to receive a good bracha on behalf of our newest venture, a Russian Kollel.

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

(JNi.media) Tisha B’Av (Heb: 9th of the month of Av) is a fast day according to rabbinic law and tradition, commemorating the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE by the Roman army led […]

Devarim often parallels the stories in Bereishit but in reverse & can be considered as a corrective

‘Older’ By A Month
‘…Until The Beginning Of Adar’
(Nedarim 63a)

We realize how much we miss something only after it’s gone.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Super Bowl Sunday itself, life seems to stop. Over one hundred million people watch the game. About half of the households in the country show it in their living rooms and dens.

Moses begins Sefer Devarim reviewing much of the 40 years in the desert & why he can’t enter Israel

While they are definitely special occurrences, why are they cause for a new holiday?

Torah wasn’t given to be kept in Sinai; Brooklyn or Beverly Hills-It was meant to be kept in Israel!

“When a king dies his power ends; when a prophet dies his influence begins” & their words echo today

In addition to the restrictions of Tisha B’Av, there are several restrictions that one may not perform during the week that Tisha B’Av falls in.

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

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(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)

Vol. LXVI No. 29 5775 New York City CANDLE LIGHTING TIME July 17, 2015 – 1 Av 5775 8:06 p.m. NYC E.D.T.   Sabbath Ends: 9:12 p.m. NYC E.D.T. Sabbath Ends: Rabbenu Tam 9:36 p.m. NYC E.D.T. Weekly Reading: Mattos-Mass’ei Weekly Haftara: Shim’u Devar Hashem (Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4, 4:1-2) Daf Yomi: Nedarim 54 Mishna Yomit: […]

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-they-live-in-the-land-part-iii/2013/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: