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Q & A: What Constitutes Shemot (Part II)


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My uncle concludes, “The Beth Yosef (commentary to Tur, Yoreh De’ah 276) quotes the Rashbatz to show that if one wrote the name of G-d without having the intention of holiness, then it isn’t holy and he may erase it. Also the Shach (Yoreh De’ah 179:11) permits this usage and erasure of His Name if it appears in a secular language. He feels the Name is only holy if it appears in Hebrew. (See also Gilyon Maharsha, Yoreh De’ah 276. Also Responsa of Tashbatz 1:2 and Rabbi Akiva Eger, responsum 25.)”

(To be continued)

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.

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.


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Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

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Question: I recently returned from a trip abroad and wanted to say HaGomel. When I mentioned this to the officers of my synagogue, however, they told me – as per the instructions of the synagogue’s rabbi – that I would have to wait until Shabbos to do so. I was not given any reason for this and did not wish to display my ignorance, so I quietly acquiesced. Can you please explain why I had to wait?

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