To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Rabbi Yaakov Spivak focused on halachas that apply to hurricanes and other hazards. He recalled that last year, during Hurricane Irene, a 50-year-old Monsey father of four saw a 6-year-old boy entangled in downed electrical wires. Without hesitation, he instantly attempted to save the child. The man was electrocuted and died immediately. The boy died eleven days later.
After Hurricane Irene, several organizations issued halachic hurricane manuals. A question in one was, “If someone sees a power line fall [on Shabbos] and it poses a danger, can one contact the authorities?” That particular guideline directs that “A person should never venture out during or right after a hurricane. Coming in contact with downed power lines could be fatal. Unless the power line could cause a serious danger to the people in the home, one should wait until after Shabbos to report it.”
Rabbi Spivak, however, responding to a question from the Conference chairman, stated that authorities must be contacted immediately, even on Shabbos.
Rabbi Spivak then raised the question of when one is permitted to risk his own life to save another. He quoted Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, zt”l (1914-2003), Kovna Rav who survived the Holocaust, became the rav of Beis Medrash Hagadol of the Lower East Side, and authored Mimamakim.
Rabbi Oshry (Mimamakim 2:1) discusses the case of Dovid Itzkowitz zt”l Hy”d, who was asked by Rabbi Avraham Grodzinski, zt”l Hy”d (1883-1944), mashgiach of Slabodka Yeshiva, to intercede with Lithuanian jailers on behalf of captured yeshiva students.
The jailers were his presumably friendly neighbors who were appointed by the Nazis to cruelly deal with Jews. That attempt at intercession could possibly be dangerous if the Lithuanians turned on him. The question comes down to possibly endangering one’s self on behalf of another Jew who is in definite danger.
After considerable deliberation, Rabbi Oshry indicated that no positive obligation exists. However, if one voluntarily feels he is beholden to a higher calling, he may endanger his own life. The petitioner did indeed intercede on behalf of the students of the yeshiva and he was successful. But, Rabbi Oshry noted, the petitioner was deported and ultimately murdered in the Holocaust.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”
Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]
The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.
Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.
The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.
It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…
“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”
So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.
It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.
Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.
There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.
The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-44/2012/11/21/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: