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Have a question? Send it in! Questions are answered by Rabbi Bartfeld.

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# 2747 The Spreading Firestorm
Q. Some people connect the burning of the sefarim in Paris on 1242 to the fire on Notre Dame last year. Is there anything to that? (See questions 2730 and 2746)

A. Last year on Monday evening April 15 2019, the news broke of the massive fire that almost consumed Notre Dame, the large cathedral in Paris. The fire took place, very close to the Place de Grève, the site where 777 years ago, the burning of the Talmud occurred. It was last year during the week before Pesach, and on that Monday morning we read Parshas Acharei Mos. We mentioned then the death of Aharon's two sons, when they drew near before Hashem, and they died by fire because they offered a strange unordered fire on the mizbeach . Tragically as that was, it concurred during the inauguration of the redeeming and  life giving Mishkan, that gave us the presence of the Shechina. As mentioned above, the Torah will demand sacrifice, but at the same time it is Toras Chaim, or the giver of life.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld


Posted 7/9/2020 5:56 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2746 That Really Burn Us Up
Q. (See question 2730). Thank you for explaining that unusual fast of Erev Shabbos Chukas. Although I understand the remez (allusion) in the Targum, still what connection does the burning of the sefarim have with parshas Chukas itself?

A. Parshas Chukas refers to the mitzva of Parah Aduma. It represents the quintessential illogical mitzvah that contains and exposes no rational conception of why we do it. We perform the mitzvah simply because it is Hashem’s will. That is exactly its point, strength and the reason why it purifies.
In addition the parsha mentions " Zois Hatorah adam ki yomus b'ohel - This is the law: when a man dies in a tent." (Bamidbar 19: 14). Our Sages explain (Brochos 63b), that this posuk teaches a most important and fundamental principle about learning Torah, namely, that the Torah will not survive and be extant, unless one is ready to give his life for it. ("Meimis Atzmo Aleha"). Those two points definitely connect this parsha to the tragic future events.
There is no question that the burning of that collection of seforim in Paris, at a time when every book was painstakingly written by hand and when many were original and irreplaceable, was a most terrible tragedy. It represented the destruction of generations of Jewish learning and work. It’s estimated that the wagons held about 10,000 sefarim and manuscripts. For how many Sages and Baalei Tosafos, it represented the extinction of a life's work!
Yet as we commemorate that catastrophe, we realize that not only we have survived, the Torah itself has not only survived but multiplied exponentially. As the eternal words said by Rabi Chaninah ben Teradion, testify. He was one of the Ten Martyrs executed for having defied the Roman ban on teaching Torah. When burned alive at the stake together with the forbidden Torah scrolls, which he had been teaching, managed to proclaim with a smile to his many talmidim and followers, for all of history: "I see the scrolls burning but the letters survived, flying up in the air."
True the Torah will demand sacrifice, but at the same time it is Toras Chaim, or the giver of life.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld


Posted 7/9/2020 5:43 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2745 Casual Dress?
Q. The Gemara in Pesachim 112 says not to wear clothing for eight days after they were laundered. But there is a takana of Ezra Hasofer to launder on Thursday to have clean clothing for Shabbos (a day later). How are we to reconcile this? 

A. Indeed Talmud Pesachim 112b mentions in the name of Abaye that "one who washes his clothes and does not wait eight days before donning them again causes lice to rejuvenate and can cause tzoraas."
However, Ben Yehoyada maintains, as is obvious from the Gemara, that the above only applies to clothing that was infected with lice, but garments that was not infected or had the lice shaken off before washing, can be worn immediately after laundering. He adds that this is the reason we do not wait eight days in our times. However, Taama DeKra (1) mentions that the Chazon Ish was careful in this regard, and did wait.
The simple answer is is that one washes clothing on Thursday following the Takana of Ezra (Baba Kama 82a), but it is for honoring the next week's Shabbos. and one uses it the week after.
Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a added that there is an opinion that the eight days are counted from the day the clothing was last used.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/9/2020 5:20 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2744 A Halfway House?
Q. I am learning about money management from a secular book. It suggests leaving the house to your  children from the first  marriage. What does Jewish law say about this if you're in a second marriage? It doesn't seem right for your kids to kick him out, but what if they need the money?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that in principle in Halacha. there would not be any significant difference between the offspring of the first or second marriage. However, there are likely other significant issues involved, that can be decisive and may also be complicated, therefore all details should be carefully considered.
The Rov's usual opinion is that cases that involve monies or properties that different parties have a claim to, should be decided by a Beis Din or Rov that can hear properly and clearly the claims and details of each party.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/9/2020 4:08 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2743 Noach Would Be Proud
Q. My fourth question is: How far can this go? We know that when someone is going through the process of giyur, they are supposed to begin observing all hilchos Shabbos, but still have to do one melacha or shvus privately each week until they finish their giyur. Is it possible for Bnai Noach who are very serious about Hashem, Torah and following the Sheva Mitzvos to voluntarily accept upon themselves to abstain from a lot of melachos on Shabbos, as long as they don't fully stop doing melacha. Obviously, most of them will probably end up doing many melachos even if they don't intend to because of their lack of knowledge of the halachos. But this would be a step beyond my previous question where they would like to abstain from a number of activities beyond not using their phones/computers. Would that be OK?
Thank you, and with great appreciation.

A. See question above, and also questions 521 and 1626 regarding teaching Bnai Noach Torah. On question
1150 regarding if it is permissible for them to put up a Mezzuza on their front door, we wrote; "Although Rambam (Perush Hamishnayos – Terumos 3: 9, H. Melochim 10: 10) teaches that a Ben Noach is rewarded with some remuneration for observing the mitzvos he was not ordained to do, he should abstain from the ones that carry kedusha and tahara, such as tefilin, Sefer Torah and mezuzah. (Ridvaz ibid.)
Minchas Kino'os (9: 35) quotes Talmud Yerushalmi (Peah 1: 1) that Rebbi sent Artaban a mezuzah with the intention of providing some security and protection for him. (It is of interest that Yerushalmi Avoda Zarah 2: 1, says in the future Bnai Noach will accept all mitzvos including mezuzah).
Veshav Verofo (Y.D. 58) quotes Rav Ovadya Yosef zt'l as permitting placing a mezuzah in a Ben Noach's house, when one knows that he will honour it properly.
However, Yalkut Yosef (Kivud Av Va’em 6: 15) mentions that if an ill Gentile father asks his son to place a mezuzah on his door for protection, he should abstain.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if the Noahide is careful to honor the mezuzah properly, he may place it in the inner rooms, but not on the outside of the entrance door."

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/9/2020 3:50 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2742 The Best of All Fasts
Q. My third question is:(See questions 2740-41 above): If that is OK, could they then accept upon themselves some restrictions. For example, it is popular today for people to do a "media fast" where they don't use their phones or computers. Would undertaking that kind of voluntary abstinence from technology in addition to honoring the Shabbat be OK?

A. See answer above regarding the observance of Shabbos for a prospective ger.
Horav Shlomo Miller's usual opinion is that "media fasts" should be encouraged as much as possible for all and at all times.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/9/2020 3:48 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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2741 Shoimer Sabbath Koidesh
Q. (See question 2740 above). The second question is one that I am constantly being asked by Bnai Noach. It involves to what degree they may observe Shabbos.
Until now, I have been advising people that while they may not fully observe Shabbos as a Jew would in terms of avoiding melacha, it is probably OK for them to honor the Shabbos. This would mean that they could have special meals, dedicate more time for prayer and study, enjoying the company of friends, enjoying nature. etc.
So my first question is: Is that an acceptable m'halech (manner) for Bnai Noach?

A. On question 112 regarding someone in the conversion process that realizes that he cannot keep Shabbos completely, if he has have to perform an Av Melacha, or suffices violating something Rabbinical, we wrote: "Two reasons are mentioned for prohibiting a Gentile keeping Shabbos. Firstly, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 58b) quotes as a source the verse (Bereishis 8,22): “Day and night they shall not cease (work)”. A second reason is found in the Midrash (Devarim ch. 1,23) that cites the verse; “Between me and Bnai Isroel, (Shabbos) is a sign forever” (Shemos 31,17). See also Talmud Beitzah 16a.
There are Poiskim who maintain that once a Gentile has decided to convert to Judaism, has initiated the process by consulting a Bais Din, and was instructed to begin keeping Mitzvos including Shabbos, (so he will become accustomed to keeping them), he is permitted to observe Shabbos completely. (Toisfois Yshonim, Y'bomos 48b, Responsa Leib Aryeh 33, Ois Leisroel 34, Zahav Mordechai p.55). It is apparent from the Midrash (ibid.) that just deciding to circumcise, will permit him to keep Shabbos. Some Poiskim however, require the Bris to be already done (see Binyan Tzion 1,91).
To avoid desecrating Shabbos for someone in such a situation, a number of suggestions have been proposed; such as wearing a Taalis in a street that has no Eiruv on Shabbos, or to do work immediately after the end of Shabbos, (Since in the Gentile’s day, the night follows the day).

If we are to follow the reason for prohibiting a Gentile to keep Shabbos given by the Talmud (ibid.) that “they should not rest”, both the Rambam (Shabbos 21,1 ) and the Ramban (Beginning of p. Kedoishim) consider a Rabbinic infringement of Shabbos (a shvus), as a breach in the Biblically ordained rest of Shabbos.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit”a opinion is that it suffices to do a issur d’rabbonon."
The items you mentioned such as special meals, dedicating more time for prayer and study, enjoying the company of friends, should indeed be encouraged, as a preparation for conversion.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a is that the same would apply to Bnai Noach.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/9/2020 3:34 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2740 No Returns?
1) June 23 Chukas B. Q. My first (question) is regarding a situation I was asked about from a ger tzedek. He heard that there is talk about conversions being annulled. So, I wanted to ask for him:
Is it ever possible for a Beit Din to rescind someone's giyur, and more importantly, under what kind of circumstances? His concern is that he has an issue with a rabbi in the community, and is afraid to seek resolution or complain for fear that there may be retribution against him with the possible resultant loss of his status as a ger.

A. In principle once someone converted properly, namely by a recognized orthodox Beis Din, immersing properly in a kosher mikva, and accepting to comply with all the mitzvos of the Torah, the conversion cannot be annulled.
It happens from time to time that questions and doubts may surface regarding any of the factors mentioned above and a Posek or Beis Din may decide to repeat the gerus process. It is unlikely it would happen when the Beis Din who undertook and certified the conversion was an accepted and expert Beis Din dedicated to gerus.
The above usually applies, even when after a proper and recognized conversion, the ger does not comply in actual practice with all the mitzvos accepted. (Yebamos 47b. Rambam H. Gerus 13: 17, Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 117: 2).
There are some exceptions to the above, as in the case of a ger kotton or minor who was properly converted together with his parents or by being adopted by a Jewish family. In such case, the minor has the option to rescind the conversion when he or she reach the age of mitzvos compliance. If there is disapproval or rejection of mitzvos at that time, the conversion will become annulled.
There are other more singular situations such as the case mentioned in Igrois Moshe (Y.D. 2: 124), when it was obvious that a woman converted for the purpose of marriage and then the marital opportunity dissolved, questioning if it was a "mistaken gerus" or not. There are other similar cases to be found in the Teshuvos.
There is much debate in Halacha Teshuvos on conversions that were done, when it was obvious that the converts did not have the intention to comply with the mitzvos they openly accepted.
Likely, the best option for this particular ger tzedek is to approach the Rov or Beis Din that did his conversion and ask for their help. in his problem.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/8/2020 5:40 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2739 Goodbye Kiss?
Q. I'm always makpid (careful) to kiss my tzitzis during shema. Now I'm wearing a mask during davening as recommended for my age. How can I kiss the tzitzis when all I'll be doing is kissing the inside of the mask?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that you may still move slightly and momentarily your mask an kiss the tzitzis. Besides, even if this is not doable, the demonstration of appreciation and reverence for the mitzva , would remain even when the kiss is separated by the mask.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a



Posted 7/8/2020 1:07 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2738 Lean and Mean
Q. On question 2712 you wrote that on Shabbat one can lean on the tree slightly, when not moving it. but one can't place a siddur on a tree. Can one leave his chair leaning slightly on a tree on an angle, so it will not get wet it rains?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion, as explained by Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a is that one should not leave a chair even slightly leaning on a tree, since this would be considered "mishtamesh beilon" or using a tree. As opposed to one leaning a bit on a tree, that is permitted when the tree does not move or shake, since one has control of his body and can immediately stop inclining on it.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a




.


Posted 7/8/2020 12:56 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2737 The Bird that Flew Away
Q. When one wants to do the great mitzva of shiluach haken, does he actually have to take hold of the bird and then send it away? What happens if as he was approaching the nest, it just flew away, was he mekayem the mitzva?

A. On Talmud (Chulin 141b) there are different opinions on the proper way to comply with this mitzva, and Poskim also maintain different rulings whether one has to hold on to the bird by its wings or feet (they differ on two of Rashi's interpretations). Rambam (H. Shechita 13: 5) asserts that he has to hold on to its wings, so does the Ran and Chassam Soffer (O.H. 100) in his name.

However, Chazon Ish (Y.D. 175: 2) rules that in practice, there is no difference whether one took hold of the mother-bird and then send it away or just chased it. He also maintains that there is no prohibition to hold on to the bird, when his intention is to send it away.

Sefer Kan Tzipor relates that this was the way the Satemar Rebbeh zt'l complied with this mitzva. Similarly, Shaleach Teshalach (p. 47) quotes the testimony of many Gedolim including Horav Shach, RS'Z Auerbach, zt'l, that they complied by just chasing away the mother-bird without holding it first, as the Rambam maintains.

Poskim mention that one should be careful when approaching the nest, to have in mind to comply with the mitzva, if the mother bird just flies away by itself as often happens.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is similar.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a




Posted 7/8/2020 12:37 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2736 Cast a Spell
Q. Can you please tell me what the proper Hebrew spelling for Newmarket would be? And when writing it on a Kesubah, would it be proper to identify Newmarket (Ontario, Canada), as

הסמוכה לוואן or as הסמוכה לטאראנטא ?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that the spelling is נומארקעט (nun vov mem alef reish kuf ayin tes), without any Hasemucho.
Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a explained that his father maintains it is spelled without an alef after the vov as New Jersey would be, because it is one single word.
Horav Dovid Pam's Shlit'a opinion is similar. However, Horav Moshe M. Lowy's Shlit'a opinion is that yo do write, "Hasemucho LeToronto."

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/8/2020 12:26 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2735 A Pearl On Wisdom
Q. Why is the bracha on the amida of Atta Chonen, on which we pray for wisdom and understanding, be said before the bracha of Hashivenu Letoratecha or returning and keeping the Torah? Should not the observance of the Torah and mitzvos have priority?

A. Talmud (Megila 17b) explains the reason why the brocho on teshuva follows the one on wisdom, based on the posuk (Yeshayahu 6: 10) "And his heart will understand, and then he will repent and be healed." As Rashi explains "They will understand with their heart, and return to Me, and this will be their cure."
Wisdom will grant a person the will, humbleness and opportunity to do teshuva and also will direct him on the way to follow. (See Mishna Berura 115: 1).
It is also the power and holiness inherent in Torah learning that will prompt and bring a person to do teshuva.
Our sages teach in regard to why havdalah is recited on Shabbos end, in this particular brocho, because if "ein daas, havdoloh minain," without wisdom you cannot recognize and tell the difference between Shabbos and weekdays. The same principle is essential in performing teshuva.
It is interesting to note that of all the middle blessings, the only one that begins with a praise to Hashem first is "atta chonen." All others start with a supplication.
The reason may well be that in order to be successful when using our wisdom and understanding, is when we know and appreciate that it is a gift from Hashem, and only when it follows His will, it has meaning, future and opportunity.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld


Posted 7/3/2020 12:22 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2734 Forgive But Don't Forget
Q. In the Shemoneh Esrei, there is an optional prayer for forgiveness where you confess your willful  sins since childhood. I thought our slate was wiped clean every Yom Kippur and upon marriage, so why would we keep bringing them up, unless we keep doing them?

A. A. The Rambam (H. Teshuva 1: 3, based on Talmud Shevuos 13a) and other Poskim rule that Yom Kippur does not absolve and forgive sins committed, unless one does proper teshuva and repents on them completely. Therefore one may still have to continue the teshuva efforts and praying for help and forgiveness, even after Yom Kippur.
Besides, there are many madregos and steps in the scale  of the teshuva process, including teshuva meahava, or repentance based on pure and sincere love to Hashem. If achieved, the sins once committed, actually turn now into mitzvos. That is a long and continuous process that likely involves a complete lifetime of worthwhile  effort and praying.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld


Posted 7/3/2020 12:13 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2733 The Making of a Name
Q. Teshuvos Betzel Hachachma (3:41) writes that one shouldn't name a shul or other holy place after a mechalel shabbos, for example, if a frum person wanted to donate a shul in memory of his parents who were mechalelei shabbos, they shouldn't mention the parents names. If I want to donate something liluy nishmas my grandparents who were not frum, what should I do? I am thinking along the lines of, sponsoring the printing of a sefer, donating sfarim to a shul, or contributing a significant amount to building a shul. Can it be written that these things were sponsored liluy nishmas my grandfather? Would it make a difference if nobody in the shul knows who they were and that they were mechalel shabbos? 

A) On question 2565 regarding shalach manos to a non-frum individual, we wrote: It may depend on the reason why he does not keep mitzvos yet, since he may have never been educated or informed on Torah values. Thus he may be regarded as a “tinok shenishba,” and only accidentally a non-believer. (See Piskei Teshuvos 695: 11).
See also similar question 647 and 1707 regarding mourning for non-frum relatives and question 254 concerning the appending of the term a”h to the name of the deceased, if the deceased was not observant.
As mentioned in the last answer, it also depends on the traditions of the shul.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/3/2020 12:01 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2732 Find Your Holy Tongue
Q. the Piskei Teshuvos siman 154 os 37 says that it is a problem to write names of donors inside a shul in any language other than lashon hakodesh - is this really a problem? Would it make a difference if it is written on the Aron Kodesh or Sefer Torah, as opposed to a less holy place?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's opinion is that certainly it is better to have everything written in lashon hakodesh, however if need be, names and similar could be also inscribed in  another understandable language, in honor of the givers and their families. It would also depend on the existing traditions of the shul.
See also Chashukei Chemed (Shabbos 115a) that permits placing a label on the atzei chaim of a Sefer Torah that certifies to the successful computer checking of the sefer and is not written in Hebrew. He proves his point from the fact that the containers of the shekalim collected and stored in the Beis hamikdash itself, were also labeled with the customary Greek numbers used in those days (Shekalim 3: 2).

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/3/2020 11:59 AM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2731 Stone Deaf and Mute?
Q. Do you need to eulogize the departed one at the time of the unveiling of the matzeva? How about if the deceased did not like at all speeches and eulogies?

A. Recent Poskim do mention the tradition to say hespeidim and eulogies at the time of the dedication of the matzeiva, in honor of the departed and his family. (Menuchas Moshe 104, Levushei Mordechai 2: 140, Minchas Yitzchok 3: 51, Kol Bo and others).
Due to the tradition that hespedim are usually said, Poskim place restrictions as to when the hakomas hamatzeiva ceremony can be done, thus avoiding it in days when thachanun is not recited etc.
As far as the deceased disliking eulogies, likely it would follow the same rules as the hespedim said at the time of the levaya.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/3/2020 11:41 AM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2730 More Fast Talk
Q. I heard in a shiur that some people fast on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas and unlike other ta'anesim that depend on the day of the month, this one does not have a specific date, but it has to do with this parsha. What exactly are we talking about?

A. On question 2247 regarding the source for some fasting on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas and why would there be a fasting day on Erev Shabbos when we usually avoid it, we wrote: "Magen Avrohom (580: 9) and Mishna Berura (580: 16) quote the Tanya, that on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas, yechidim or some individuals accustom to fast. (Oz VeHadar Mishna Berura explains that it refers to the Arizal’s teachings (Shaar HaKavannos of Rav Chaim Vital, Drushei Tikkun Chatzos 1 and Pri Eitz Chaim, Shaar Tikkun Chatzo 3).
The reason given, is that on that day (in the year 1242), twenty (or twenty four) wagons replete of Sefarim Gemaros. Talmudic literature including many works of the Baalei Tosafos and other priceless and irreplaceable manuscripts, (it predated the printing age), were burned in Paris by agents of the Church and King Louis IX.
Magen Avrohom adds that it is “worthwhile for every Jew to cry for the burning of the Torah.” He then proceeds to tell of a customary annual fast specifically for this purpose, on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas.
Additionally on year 5408 (Tach) – 1648, two great European communities were destroyed.
The cause that it was instituted on the day of the week (Erev Shabbos) rather than on the day of the month, as all other days of fasting are, is because it was spiritually revealed to them that they should fast then, by using the Targum translation on “Zos Chukas Hatorah”
Moed Lekol Chai (quoted by Nitei Gavriel – Bein Hamtzarim 1: 1: 3) mentions that on that Friday, as he remembers from his younger years in Izmir, people would refrain from leaving home and would try to arrange all that was needed for Shabbos on the prior Thursday. Even in his present day, he adds. people avoid traveling from city to city. He further quotes from Kisvei Hakodesh, the tradition to awake early and recite the Kina or lamentation of “Shaali Serufa Baesh.”
We may add to the above that the Targum on "Zos Chukas Hatorah" is "Do gezeras ora’yso" meaning, this is the gezera (decree) to the Torah. There seems to be a different version on the Targum adding a vav or "VeDo" on day "Vav" or the sixth day, Friday, became gezeras ora’yso (Shibolei Haleket 263).The Torah is foretelling the future tragedies that will occur, and we now mourn the great loss to the Torah that happened on that day.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/3/2020 11:27 AM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2729 Blessings Without Disguise
Q. If one eats a meal in a public park with his children, when benching what harachaman should one say?

A. On question 2548 regarding someone staying in a Jewish hotel or traveling El Al, whether one should say the blessing for the host after eating and reciting Birchat Hamazon, we wrote: "Mishna Berura (193: 27) rules that one who recites birchas hamazon at a Gentiles house should say; Horachamon – The Merciful should send us many brochos in our ways and our stays forever. He may also say; Horachamon – should bless the baal habais – referring to the provider of the meal.
Chashukei Chemed (Brochos 46a) rules that the same applies to one traveling by plane. He quotes Horav Eliashiv Zt”l, that even one paying for his meal, should bless the provider, since without their help to provide a kosher meal, they would go hungry.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that it is proper to say the Horachamon. However, when only the food providers or caterers are Jewish, (as is common in Pesach Hotels), one should mention in the blessing instead of “baal habbais” or the owner of the facility, the term “baal hamazom” or the food provider."
The Rov's opinion is that when eating one's own food at a park or any other public facility, one should only bless his family and children. If there is a separate food provider, he should also be included.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/1/2020 4:03 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2728 A Monumental Cover Up?
Q. What is the source for the ceremony of placing and dedicating a matzeva, is it an obligation? If the ceremony was postponed (see question above), does the monument have to stay covered until the ceremony?

A. An early source for hakomas hamatzeiva is Yaakov Avinu erecting a monument on Rochel's grave (Bereishis 35: 20). Mishna (Shekalim 2: 5) establishes that obligation and payment dues, to erect a tombstone as asserted by the Tur, Shulchan Aruch (Y. D. 348: 2) and Teshubas Horashbo (56). The Zohar, the Arizal and Sefer Chassidim (738) also place great importance and significance on the monument named nefesh or soul.(See Gesher Hachaim, Kol Bo and others).
Nitei Gavriel (Avelus 2: 67: 3) writes that "after researching all sforim dealing with the traditions of communities, chevros kadishos, avelus and related topics, he could not find a source for the order of the ceremony of hakomas hamatzeiva." He mentions, what is actually said and recited, depends on each community and the sidurim and similar texts they use.
Horav Shlomo Miller's opinion is that the custom that some have to cover the matzeiva with a cloth or similar before the dedication ceremony when it is unveiled, has no basis on Halacha or our traditions.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/1/2020 3:56 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)

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