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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Answer Yes’

A Silver Atarah On A Talit

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Question: I have heard that some halachic authorities disapprove of placing a silver atarah on a talit. Is this true?

Answer: Yes. The Aruch HaShulchan (Orach Chayim 8:10) writes that wearing a silver atarah gives the impression that atifat harosh is more important than atifat haguf. But this is not so. It is atifat haguf that is essential, not atifat harosh. To offset this concern, some people place a strip of silver in the middle of their talit to signify the vital role of atifat haguf. Yet, this is not really sufficient.

The Ari Hakadosh did not have an atarah on his talit (nor do modern-day litvishe roshei yeshiva). Indeed, he didn’t have any marker on his talit whatsoever indicating which part of the talit was to be used for his head.

Many people do not buy a talit with a silver atarah, and I believe this is the proper practice. A talit should wholly be made of wool; there is no reason for silver or gold to adorn it.

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of several books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and Judaica stores.

The Limits Of Chinuch (Part I)

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Question: Are there limits to the mitzvah of chinuch?

Answer: Yes. The Talmud (Sukkah 42a) states that we give a lulav to a child only after he knows to shake it properly. Rav Naftali Tzvi Hersh Berlin (the Netziv) questioned why this is so. We know that simply picking up a lulav and etrog correctly is good enough to fulfill the mitzvah (which is why we are specifically instructed not to hold the etrog rightside up until after making the berachah). Why, then, should we wait until a child knows how to properly shake the lulav if he can already fulfill the mitzvah simply by picking it up?

The Netziv answered that, as a general principle, one does not teach children to practice mitzvot in a way that they will abandon when they grow older. In other words, we teach children practices that they will observe as adults. Since adults shake the lulav in a prescribed fashion when doing the mitzvah, so must children. If they are not old enough to know how to, we wait until they mature.

(To be continued)

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of several books on Jewish Law. His latest, “Shabbat The Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas” (Urim Publications), is available at Judaica stores and at Amazon.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-limits-of-chinuch-part-i/2012/01/04/

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