web analytics
August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part IX)

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon disputing whether this list is exclusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passengers will almost certainly die.

We cited HaRav Yaakov Simcha Cohen who compares HaGomel to Dayan Ha’Emet. Just like we don’t say Amen in response to Dayan Ha’Emet (since we don’t wish to hear more bad news, explains HaRav Henkin), we don’t say Amen to HaGomel. Rather, we say “Mi shegemalcha…” Last week we noted Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s view that when reciting this blessing a person should not say “kol tuv – every good,” implying that he has received all his benefit.

* * * * *

In Pitkei Rabeinu Ha’Ktav Sofer (authored by Rabbi Avraham Yechiel Segal Deutsch, Berachot, ot 21, p.32), we find the view of Rabbi Avraham Binyamin Shmuel Sofer, zt”l, rav of Pressburg, Hungary: “Not only should a person have in mind when reciting HaGomel that he has been bestowed a kindness in having been delivered from danger; he should also bear in mind that the actual pain and suffering he experienced is also reason to say this blessing because suffering in this world is in itself a good.”

Upon seeing the words of this gaon, I immediately thought of two selections in the Talmud, one in Berachot (5a) and the other in Sanhedrin (101a). Baruch Shekivanti, – blessed is He who directed my thoughts to those of this great gaon. We find the following in the responsa of the Ktav Sofer (Orach Chayyim 27):

Let me share with you what I said to the congregation on Shabbat when Hashem granted me the merit to say Birkat HaGomel b’rov am hadrat melech (in the presence of the multitude is the majesty of the King). I brought my offering of thanks as I explained the following Gemara (Sanhedrin 101a):

When the sage R’ Eliezer took sick [before his death], his disciples entered to visit him. Referring to his personal suffering, he said to them: “There is fierce wrath in the world.” They all broke into tears, save for Rabbi Akiva, who was laughing. They asked him, “Why do you laugh?” He retorted, “Why do you weep?” Referring to their great teacher, they responded, “Shall the great Torah scroll lie in pain and we not weep?’”

Rabbi Akiva replied: “It is for this very reason that I rejoice. As long as I saw that my master’s wine had not turned, his flax had not been smitten, his oil had not putrefied, and his honey had not become rancid, I thought, Heaven forbid, that my master received all his reward in this world [with nothing left for the world to come], but now that I see him in pain, I rejoice [knowing that reward awaits him in the next world].

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part VIII)

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon disputing whether this list is exclusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passengers will almost certainly die.

Last week we cited HaRav Yaakov Simcha Cohen who, in “Prayer The Right Way,” compares HaGomel to Dayan Ha’Emet. Just like we don’t say Amen in response to Dayan Ha’Emet (since we don’t wish to hear more bad news, explains HaRav Henkin), we don’t say Amen to HaGomel. Rather, we say “Mi shegemalcha…”

* * * * *

The text of the berachah of HaGomel is: “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu melech ha’olam hagomel l’chayavim tovot she’gmalani kol tov – Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, king of the universe, who bestows kindness upon the culpable, for He has bestowed good to me.” The literal translation of the last words is “for He has bestowed every good to me.” I replaced “ever good” with “good” because of V’aleihu Lo Yibol, a sefer by HaRav Nachum Stepansky on the halachot and minhagim of his revered teacher, HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt”l.

In Halacha 151, corresponding to Orach Chayyim 219:2, he writes as follows: “It was Shabbos Parshat Yitro 5751 [1991] when after suffering a fall that left a gash in his head that required stitches, [Rav Auerbach] said HaGomel with the following altered the text of this blessing: ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu melech ha’olam hagomel l’chayavim tovot she’gmalani tov – Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, king of the universe, who bestows kindness upon the culpable, for He has bestowed good to me.” Noticing this, I asked him: Did you deliberately say ‘she’gmalani tov – for He has bestowed good to me’ as opposed to what the Mechaber’s version of ‘she’gmalani kol tov – for He has bestowed every good to me’?”

He answered: “The text in the Mechaber is ‘she’gmalani kol tov – for He has bestowed every good to me.’ However, it does not make sense – for can it be that for this one kindness that Hashem has bestowed to a person, He has already bestowed every good to that person? Nonetheless, I always recited the Mechaber’s text until I found in the siddur of Chabad and the Ari, z”l, the text ‘she’gmalani tov – for He has bestowed good to me,’ to which the congregation responds ‘Mi she’g’malcha kol tov Hu yigmolcha kol tuv selah – May He who has bestowed every beneficence upon you always bestow every beneficence upon you.’ So now I use this text for perhaps some sort of error crept into the Mechaber’s text.”

HaRav Nachum Stepansky commented to HaRav Auerbach: “I have somewhat of a support for the Rav’s custom of following the custom of Chabad to say ‘she’gmalani tov’ from the words of Levush (to Orach Chayim 219:2) who uses the text of “she’gmalani kol tov” in the blessing but changes the congregation’s response to “Mi she’g’malcha tov Hu yigmolcha kol tuv selah – May He who has bestowed beneficence upon you always bestow every beneficence upon you.” (They thus are acknowledging that he has not received all benefit, but wish that he does receive it.)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part VII)

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon disputing whether this list is exclusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passengers will almost certainly die. Last week we focused on the text of the blessing of HaGomel and the congregation’s unusual response to it.

* * * * *

The question arises: Why don’t we just say Amen after HaGomel as we do after every other berachah? (The response of “Mi shegemalcha…” is not found in the Talmud. It is first noted by the Rambam [Hilchot Berachot 10:8] and codified by the Shulchan Aruch [Orach Chayim 219:2].) My late dear friend and colleague, HaRav Yaakov Simcha Cohen zt”l, discusses this question in his Prayer the Right Way (Urim Press).

He writes that a halachic decision from HaGaon HaRav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, zt”l (Teshuvot Ivra, siman 5), on saying amen after the berachah of Dayan HaEmet sheds light on the matter. Rav Henkin contends that we don’t say Amen after hearing this berachah because it is not advisable to say Amen in response to something bad. Although the Talmud obligates us to bless G-d for both the good and the bad (Megillah 25a), this does not mean, says Rabbi Henkin, that we should respond to hearing bad news by saying Amen.

What does Amen actually mean? Rabbi Henkin contends that when a person says Amen, he is essentially saying: “So shall it be in the future.” Since no one desires or wishes a mournful or tragic experience to occur in the future, we do not say Amen in response to Dayan HaEmet.

This line of argument may also explain why we say “Mi shegemalcha” in response to the berachah of HaGomel. This berachah is recited to express appreciation and thanksgiving to Hashem for delivering one from danger. Since no one desires to live through more dangerous experiences, it perhaps is inappropriate to say Amen. We therefore say “Mi shegemalcha” instead.

In addition, the Gemara states (Berachot 53b), “Gadol ha’oneh amen yoter min hamevarech – Greater is the reward for the person who says Amen than for the person who says the berachah.” If people said Amen after HaGomel, they would, in a sense, be saying that they have more gratitude to Hashem than the person who survived the dangerous experience. Since this sentiment would be a strange one to express, our sages decided that we should say “Mi shegemalcha” instead.

It’s true that some people say Amen before saying Mi shegemalcha,” but the Piskei She’arim (siman 24), commentary of the Sh’ar Efraim (sha’ar 4, halacha 30), notes that the Shulchan Aruch and the overwhelming majority of rabbanim do not obligate one to say Amen prior to saying “Mi shegemalcha.” Apparently “Mi shegemalcha” should be said in lieu of Amen, not in addition to it.

(To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part VI)

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

Summary of our response up to this point: The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon disputing whether this list is exclusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Indeed, the Talmud (Shabbos 32a) prohibits a person from putting himself in a dangerous situation. The fact that all frum Jews regularly fly is proof, therefore, that flying is not dangerous.

Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passengers will almost certainly die. If flying is dangerous, though, why doesn’t Rav Feinstein prohibit people from engaging in this activity? Perhaps he maintains (like the Noda BiYehuda who discusses the permissibility of hunting) that a person may put his life in danger if his livelihood depends on it and flying nowadays is essential for many people’s jobs.

* * * * *

Let us now turn to the text of the blessing of HaGomel: “Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu melech ha’olam hagomel l’chayyavim tovot she’gmalani kol tov – Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who bestows kindness upon the culpable, for He has bestowed goodness to me.” Everyone hearing this blessing responds, “Mi she’gmalcha kol tov Hu yigmolcha kol tuv selah – May He who has bestowed beneficence upon you always bestow every beneficence upon you.”

Generally, we respond Amen to a blessing. The source for this practice is found in the Mechaber (Orach Chayim 215:2) based on the Gemara (Yoma 37a). The Gemara cites Deuteronomy 32:3, “Ki Sheim Hashem ekra havu godel lei’Lokeynu – When I call out the Name of G-d, ascribe greatness to our G-d,” and explains that Moses said to the Children of Israel, “When I call out the Name of G-d, you are to ascribe greatness to our G-d.” The Chafetz Chaim (Mishnah Berurah op. cit. sk8) understands this to mean saying Amen.

Why, then, do people offer a special response to the blessing of HaGomel? Why not just respond by saying Amen? Indeed, some people even skip saying Amen and go straight to “Mi she’g’malcha kol tov…” The Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, zt”l) was very critical of those who do this. He writes (Igrot Kodesh vol. 4, page 260), “I have previously protested and continue to protest this strange custom – that those who hear the ha’gomel blessing do not answer Amen but go straight to the above response.” In its siddur ArtScroll adds the word Amen before “Mi she’g’malcha kol tov…,” but I’ve noticed that many people do not say Amen first.

Now, in truth, it is the Mishnah Berurah who adds the word “Amen” to the Gemara passage quoted above. The Gemara itself doesn’t mention it in its explanation of the exchange between Moses and the children of Israel. Perhaps, then, this passage in the Gemara merely teaches us is that every blessing requires a response from those who hear it. Usually, Amen is the proper response. For HaGomel, however, perhaps a different response is appropriate.

Interestingly, the actual text of HaGomel can change if one says it on behalf of someone else (Mishnah Berurah, infra 219:17). One may say: “she’gamal l’ishtishe’gamal l’avishe’gamal l’rabi – who has bestowed upon my wife… my father… my teacher…”

    (To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part V)

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

    Summary of our response up to this point: Summary of our response up to this point: The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon dispurting whether this list is exclusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Indeed, the Talmud (Shabbos 32a) prohibits a person from putting himself in a dangerous situation. The fact that all frum Jews regularly fly is proof, therefore, that flying is not dangerous.

Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passengers will almost certainly die. If flying is dangerous, though, why doesn’t Rav Feinstein prohibit people from flying?

* * * * *

In his notes, Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein cites the Gaon Rabbi Yechezkel Landau (Responsa Noda Bi’Yehuda, Vol. II:10) who was asked about a rich man who owned vast estates – including forests inhabited by many different wild beasts – and wished to hunt in his property.

After much discussion Rabbi Landau writes: “And now I say that there is even a prohibition to hunt because all who engage in this activity are required to enter forests, thus exposing themselves to all sorts of danger in a place inhabited by many wild beasts. The Torah (Deuteronomy 4:15) states, ‘V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoteichem – You shall greatly beware of your souls’ [i.e., a person is not allowed to endanger himself]. And do we find a person more skilled and expert at the craft of hunting than Esau as Scripture (Genesis 25:27) testifies: ‘vayehi Esav ish yode’a tzayid – and Esau became a cunning hunter’? Now let us see what he declares about himself (infra 25:32): ‘Vayomer Esav, hineh anochi holech lamut – Esau said: Behold I am going to die.’ A verse does not depart from its simple explanation; the Ramban explains that Esau felt his death was inevitable due to the dangers he encountered on a daily basis while engaged in hunting in a place swarming with wild beasts.”

Rabbi Landau continues: “Now how can he, a Jew, place himself in a place swarming with untamed beasts of wild disposition? Nonetheless, there is an exception if one is poor and hunts for his sustenance and livelihood. An example is someone engaged in overseas commerce who must travel the seas; he may do so because it is for the purpose of sustenance and livelihood and there is no other choice. The Torah (Deuteronomy 24:15) states: ‘v’eilav hu noseh et nafsho – and his life depends on it’ Our sages (Bava Metzia 111a) said in this regard: ‘Why did this one [the laborer] risk going up the ladder and risk death if not that you should pay his wages?’”

He continues: “However, a person who engages in such activity without the intention of earning his livelihood, but rather out of desire [to engage in sport]…is in violation of the Torah’s prohibition ‘V’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoteichem – You shall greatly beware of your souls.’”

Rav Landau also cites the Rambam (Hilchot Rotze’ach u’Shmirat Nefesh 12:6): “It is also forbidden for a person to pass under a leaning wall, a shaky bridge, or a ruins and all similar dangerous situations.”

Based on the above, a person may engage in a dangerous activity for the purpose of his livelihood. In today’s world, where our communities are spread far and wide, how would one travel any distance without resorting to flying? Rabbi Feinstein might therefore be of the view that although air travel is dangerous one may fly because one doesn’t really have much of a choice.

The only question left to address is why people only say HaGomel after flying overseas if Rav Feinsein rules that one should say HaGomel after every flight, even one that only goes over land.

(To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

How To Travel With Children

Friday, July 15th, 2016

During the darkest, coldest days of winter, nothing seems to warm one’s heart and mind more than discussions of what vacations we should take. As travel forums and cheap deal sites abound, opportunities are virtually endless. As parents, our first responsibility is to our little ones, of course. Should we take them with us as we jet around the world for less than a bus trip to Grandma?

There are many who would say that a vacation with children is not a vacation, that you will be so busy doing child-friendly activities, you won’t have any time for yourself, the children will be cranky without their normal sleep and eating schedules, that you will be squished into a hotel room and trapped there after 8 pm while being woken up at 6 am…. the list goes on.Baim-071516-Hubby

The reason why I know this list so well is because I used to think that way. Any money spent on vacation with children was wasted because nobody enjoyed the time anyway. However, we recently took our three children (ages 4-8) to California for 48 hours and they managed so well, I was forced to rethink my entire conviction that nobody under 18 needs a vacation.

Here are some benefits children receive from family travel:

Increased quality family time. All too often, parents are rushing through the evening routine so that they can get back to their chores and/or work. On vacation, when work is a distant thought (unless you brought work with you; we will deal with that in a future article), and there aren’t any chores to do, parents can focus on their children without any distractions. This increased family time helps families develop more love and affection that stays around even when vacation is over.

Memory creator. Many studies show that people are happier with good memories then with more stuff. Very often, we are tempted to “buy” off our children with prizes for their charts, good marks in school or birthdays. But saving up that money and spending it on vacation can create fabulous memories that will generate good feelings for a lifetime, especially if you ever print out those pictures.

Get to know each other better. Studies by Disney Time Survey (and they would know) say that a vacation is a great opportunity for parents and children to get to know each other as individuals, thanks to all the great quality time we spend talking with each other. Now your children can find out exactly what you do at work, and you can find out how they are really doing in school.

Widen their perspective. Taking children out of their typical setting and immersing them in a different environment where they can see how others live, work, and play enables them to be able to appreciate different perspectives and realize the world does not, in fact, revolve around them. In addition, viewing other cultures gives children a richer and deeper appreciation for our colorful and diverse world.

If that all sounds lovely and beautiful, but you are unsure how to take your children on vacation and actually enjoy any part of it, try these helpful tips.

  1. Always fly at night. This way, children can sleep at least for part of the flight, a multi-step process.

Pack healthy food for the plane. This is a good way to begin your trip in general, when thoughts of “we are on vacation, let’s party” can derail any healthy eating the family usually does. Eating junk food the entire time will make anyone cranky, and won’t help the children settle down. Eating a healthy dinner on the plane, such as whole wheat bread with avocado, cream cheese or peanut butter, along with plenty of water, fruit, sliced veggies, and some whole-grain pretzels, raisins, or whole-grain crackers later for snack, allows your child to feel full and satiated and makes it easier for him or her to fall asleep.

Baim-071516-AirportTell your children ahead of time how much screen time they are allowed and then enforce it. Don’t give in to “let them watch as long as they are quiet” because they won’t be able to fall asleep while they are watching, even if they insist they can. The screen is two inches from their face; they can barely manage to blink.

Once dinner and screen time is over, the children should change into pajamas if they haven’t already. As much as possible, do their bed time routine of songs, Shema, and a bed time story; although you are on a plane, the children will still respond to the familiar routine.

Either bring blankets from home or get from the flight attendants. Bring sweatshirts for added coziness as the blankets are sure to fall off. A hood on a sweatshirt also blocks out a little of the airplane noise. I like to give my children sleep masks to make it as dark as possible. Then, I sit with them one at a time and insist they keep their eyes closed and not talk. It doesn’t take too long before they are sleeping as if they are tucked into their beds at home.

 

  1. Once you land, keeping a healthy routine is essential for everybody to have a good time. Avoid falling into the trap of going out to eat three times a day. Prepare ahead with healthy snacks and water bottles to keep everyone satiated and sane. When going out to eat, stick with healthy choices and smart portion sizes. Your body will thank you and your children will feel balanced.

 

  1. As much as possible, stick to their typical morning and evening routines. This means if your children usually go to bed between 7 and 8, have them do that while you are on vacation as well. If the thought of being stuck in your hotel room at 8 makes you antsy, remember how much better everyone will feel after a good night’s sleep. If you are in a Jewish neighborhood and your husband is catching the local minyan, ask if anyone has teenagers who could babysit so you and your spouse can have some adult time.

 

  1. Don’t stress the details. Obviously, you and your children will not have the same interests, and possibly neither will you and your spouse. The main thing to remember is that you are out of the house and enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes a leisurely breakfast and stroll around the neighborhood is enough to satisfy everyone while creating life-long memories.
Pnina Baim

Q & A: HaGomel And Air Travel (Part IV)

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Question: I am very appreciative and, if I might add, flattered that you answer and publish many of my questions. Due to your superior knowledge, I am always confident when I send in a question that I will receive a proper response. I wonder if you could address whether one should say Birkat HaGomel after flying even though flying is statistically safer than driving. Also, do women say HaGomel as well or only men?

Menachem

 

Summary of our response up to this point: The Talmud (Berachot 54b) states that there are four people who must say HaGomel, with the Rivash and Rav Gershon dispurting whether this list is exlcusive or not. Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein maintains that modern-day air travel cannot be compared to the types of danger listed in the Gemara, and thus one need not say HaGomel after flying. Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, argues that flying is inherently dangerous since only the airplane separates the passengers from death. If the airplane suddenly stops functioning, the passenegrs will almost certainly die.

* * * * *

I recently received the following e-mail:

 

Dear Rabbi Klass,

As I see that you are about to embark on a discussion on saying HaGomel after air travel, I thought I would share with you something that was said by Rav Y. Ruderman zt”l.

I returned to Ner Yisroel in Baltimore one August after a year in Eretz Yisroel. My first Thursday back I had an aliya and bentched Gomel. After my aliya the rosh yeshiva called me over and asked me why I had benched Gomel. When I told him the reason, he rebuked me and said that one does not bench Gomel for air travel even if one crosses an ocean.

I don’t think it is well known that Rav Ruderman held this opinion.

Sincerely,
Michael Katz
Miami

 

Evidently, then, HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Yitzchok HaLevi Ruderman, zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Ner Israel in Baltimore, was also of the opinion that one does not recite Ha’Gomel after flying.

Rabbi Goldstein writes: “And as to the halacha in this matter, one can follow the opinion of Rabbi Feinstein and say HaGomel if his reasoning is clear to him. Yet, his reasoning is not compelling [enough] for me; therefore…if a person says HaGomel after air travel, he has not absolved himself of the problem of reciting a safek beracha. As such, he should not say it.”

And yet, common practice is to follow Rav Feinstein’s view (at least when it comes to travelling over an ocean).

Let us try to understand the reasoning behind the two views. The Gemara (Shabbos 32a) quotes R. Yannai as stating: “One should not stand in a place of danger and say that a miracle will be wrought for him.” Indeed, both the Rambam (Hilchot Rotze’ach u’Shmirat Nefesh 12:6) and the Rema (Yoreh Deah 116:5) rule that it is prohibited for a person to place himself in any situation that may lead to to danger. The Rema goes even further, ruling “chamira sakanta m’issura” – that we are more strict regarding dangerous situations than we are regarding possible (rabbinical) violations.

Now, if air travel were dangerous, clearly we wouldn’t be allowed to fly. The fact that halachic authorities allow us to fly is evidence that flying is not really dangerous. Those who maintain that we don’t say HaGomel after flying clearly believe this to be the case. How do we explain Rabbi Feinstein’s view, though?

(To be continued)

Rabbi Yaakov Klass

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-hagomel-and-air-travel-part-iv/2016/07/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: