web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Yizkor – Remember Your Pledge

    The shul was packed for Yizkor service. For Mr. Reuven Black this year was particularly poignant; it marked the tenth Yahrzeit of his father, who had passed away shortly after Pesach. He had decided to do something special in memory of his father.


   People began calling out their Yizkor pledges, which were being dedicated to the shul: “Twice chai! Five hundred dollars! Ten times chai!” Mr. Black straightened his tie and cleared his throat: “Ten thousand dollars to the shul in memory of the tenth yahrzeit of my father, z”l.” The astonished gabbai beamed with delight and wished him a hearty “Yashar koach.”


  Two weeks later, Mr. Black served as chazan on occasion of his father’s yahrzeit. Towards the end of leining, he prepared himself for Maftir. He expectantly listened to the gabbai, “Ya’amod Shimon ben Moshe – Maftir.” “Shimon ben Moshe?” Could he have heard wrong? Then he saw his neighbor, Shimon Katz, who also had yahrzeit that week, walking to the Torah


    Mr. Black was crestfallen; his face turned white. After such a donation to the shul, why had they not given him Maftir? What a disgrace to his father’s memory! Immediately after davening, he confronted the gabbai: “Don’t you remember my Yizkor pledge? Doesn’t my father’s memory deserve Maftir for that?”


   The gabbai stammered, “I apologize. You had Maftir last year, and I had written down that this year Shimon should get Maftir.” “Who cares!” protested Reuven. “I made a special donation to the shul this year on occasion of the tenth yahrzeit.” He raised his voice, “If the shul doesn’t properly appreciate the donation, I’m going to give the money to a different charity!” He turned around and left the shul.


   The gabbai tried to compose himself. Perhaps he should have given Mr. Black Maftir again, but he didn’t expect such a response. He waited a month, but no check was forthcoming…


   Gingerly, the gabbai approached Reuven: “I apologize if you feel slighted,” he said. “Nonetheless, you are required to honor your pledge to the shul.”


   Mr. Black paused for a moment. “I intend to honor the pledge in my father’s memory – but not to this shul!   It says in Gemara Arachin (6a) that if a person pledges money to charity – until it is handed over to the gabbai, it is permissible to change it.” The gabbai was baffled; he would have to leave this for the Rabbi to deal with.


   Later that evening, Rabbi Dayan invited Mr. Black to his office. “The Shulchan Aruch (C.M. 204:7) writes that it is proper for a person to honor his verbal commitments to another, even if not legally binding, and you pledged to our shul.” Reuven, however, wouldn’t hear. “I feel no moral obligation to the shul after the disgrace to my father’s memory by ‘cheating’ him of Maftir.”


    Rabbi Dayan calmly explained that Maftir is a merit to the deceased because the son leads the community in the blessing and reading of Maftir. “You served as chazan, and saying Kaddish additional times was also a tremendous merit.” Mr. Black, however, remained unimpressed: “I have already made up my mind. And since the money hasn’t been given to the gabbai yet, I am legally allowed to change it to another shul.”


   “Not so simple,” responded Rabbi Dayan. “Although Tosfos in Arachin first explains that before reaching the gabbai’s hand it is permissible to ‘change’ the pledge completely to a different purpose, they conclude that it is only permissible to ‘exchange’ the actual coins and use them until the charity is needed. The Shulchan Aruch (Y.D. 259:1) cites the second interpretation.”


   Mr. Black remained adamant. “But what’s the difference whether I give to this shul or another; either way I’m giving the same amount and kind of charity?”


  Rabbi Dayan smiled. “You’re raising a fascinating issue, one that poskim wrestled with through the generations. Machaneh Ephraim (Tzedakah #7) and Ketzos HaChoshen (212:4) suggest that it should be possible to give the charity to someone else. However, Radbaz (IV: 1204) and Shach (C.M. 87:51) insist that you are required to give it to the person or shul to which you pledged. This is based on the principle of Amiraso LaGavohah k’amsiraso l’hedyot – A pledge to the Almighty is tantamount to an act of transaction with a person, and is legally binding.”


   “Bottom line, can I still do what I want?” asked Mr. Black.


   “Well,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “the Chasam Sofer (Y.D. #237) and Beis Yitzchak (Y.D. 82:13) rule that the majority of poskim require you to fulfill your pledge to the designated recipient. Therefore, you should give the money to the shul.”


    Mr. Black remained silent. Rabbi Dayan escorted him to the door and added softly, “Reuven, consider also that one of the greatest merits you can give your father is to follow in the footsteps of Aharon and avoid dispute.” “I’ll think about it,” said Mr. Black.


  A week later, Mr. Black handed the gabbai a sealed envelope. Inside was a check for $10,000 and a note: “In true merit for my father, I am enclosing my pledge and also ask forgiveness for having gotten angry at you.”


 


   Rabbi Meir Orlian is a halachah writer for Machon L’Choshen Mishpat. The Machon, which is headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, is committed to providing awareness, education and services in all areas of monetary issues that arise in our daily lives. For general questions, comments, or additional information, please call (877) MISHPAT (647-4728) or email info@machonmishpat.com. For questions regarding a halachic monetary issue, please call (877) 845-8455 or email  halachahotline@machonmishpat.com

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.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 “Yizkor – Remember Your Pledge”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS in Quneitra
Updates from Kuneitra, Syria [video]
Latest Sections Stories
LBJ-082914

What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?

Katzman-082914

So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.

Astaire-082914

In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.

Kupfer-082914-Chuppah

She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

Stroll through formal gardens, ride mountain bikes, or go rock climbing.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

On Friday afternoon, Dov called Kalman. “Please make sure to return the keys for the car on Motzaei Shabbos,” he said. “We have a bris on Sunday morning and we’re all going. We also need the roof luggage bag.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“We’re leining now, and shouldn’t be talking,” Mr. Silver gently quieted his son. “At the Shabbos table we can discuss it at length.”

“Guess what?” Benzion exclaimed when he returned home. “I just won an identical Mishnah Berurah in the avos u’banim raffle.”

“Do I have to repay the loan?” he asked. “Does Yosef have to reimburse me? What if doesn’t have that sum, does he owe me in the future?”

When Yoram got home that evening, he went over to Effy: “My day camp is looking for extra supervision for an overnight trip,” he said. “Would you like to come? They’re paying $250 for the trip.”

“I’ll make you a deal,” he said. “If you pay monthly – it’s $4,500; if you pay six months up front – I’ll give it to you for $4,200.”

“Sound fine,” said Mrs. Schwartz. “In the middle, paint their names, Shoshana and Yehonasan. He spells his name Yehonasan with a hei and is very particular about it!”

“It is sometimes possible through hataras nedarim, nullification of vows,” replied Rabbi Dayan, “but it’s not simple for charity pledges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/yizkor-remember-your-pledge/2009/04/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: