U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Judaism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-02-2014, 04:06 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,739 times
Reputation: 1246

Advertisements

Every Friday night in shul, my Rav gives a 10-15 interactive halacha shiur (class) between Kabbalah Shabbos and Maariv. He generally ties it into the weekly parsha, but this class is built around real shailos (halachic questions) that were posed, answered and recorded - in most cases during our lifetimes.

Here was this past week's:

A non religious Jewish man is sitting with his father on his father's death bed. His father's dying request of his son is that he say Kaddish every day for a year, in shul in a minyan, when he passes away. The father then passes away.

So the son finds an Orthodox shul, meets the rabbi and then begins attending minyan, morning and night. A few weeks into this journey of saying Kaddish for his father, the Rav notices that each day, the man is only showing up to shul for the final 5 minutes of davening, saying Kaddish for his father, and then heading out to work. So the Rav very nicely confronts the man and asks what gives.

The man responds that he only obligated himself to say Kaddish for his father, and not to lay tefillin. The Rabbi politely reminds him that he has a Torah obligation to put on his tefillin each morning and to say Shema. The man replies to the Rav, that "I only have 5-10 minutes to devote to minyan. I can either fulfill my pledge to my father, or lay tefillin, but not both. What would you have me do?"

So what do you think the answer to the shaila was? What should it have been?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-02-2014, 04:13 PM
 
864 posts, read 734,405 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
So what do you think the answer to the shaila was? What should it have been?
Tefillin and Shema, as it's a D'eoraisah. Also, the will of Hashem triumphs over his father's will. Then, his father in shamayim, who now experiences the truth, realizes that Tefillin is more valuable than Kaddish.

Last edited by iwishiwerethin; 02-02-2014 at 05:06 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 04:27 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,739 times
Reputation: 1246
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwishiwerethin View Post
Tefillin and Shema, as it's a D'eoraisah. Also, the will of Hashem triumphs over his father's will. Then, his father in shamayim, who now experiences the truth, realizes that Tefillin is more valuable than Kaddish.
Good answer. And all correct. But could there be more to it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 05:10 PM
 
864 posts, read 734,405 times
Reputation: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
Good answer. And all correct. But could there be more to it?
More, in what sense?

Tefillin-D'eoraisah
Shema-D'eoraisah
Kibbud Av V'eim-D'eoraisah (father's wish)
Kaddish-D'rabonon

Tefillin and Shema trump the will of the father who is asking his son for a D'rabonon. If the father were alive, he must choose Tefillin and Shema over Kaddish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 05:29 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,739 times
Reputation: 1246
You're totally correct, Iwish. At least if you asked a Rosh Yeshiva the question, that's surely the answer you'd get. But the question was asked of a posek, not a Rosh Yeshiva. A posek generally will be a shul rabbi who deals with Jews of all levels of observance. Perhaps that's a clue?

BTW, where are all our illustrious Jewish companions tonight. Surely they are not watching the Super Bowl? Let's learn.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 05:37 PM
 
864 posts, read 734,405 times
Reputation: 251
A
Quote:
posek generally will be a shul rabbi who deals with Jews of all levels of observance. Perhaps that's a clue?
I fail to see how a posek would answer differently.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,118,471 times
Reputation: 1399
I think the Rabbi should have said:

The pledge you made to your father was made under duress and, in my opinion, is not binding.

The question is, how do you want to live the rest of your life? You are a Jew, and I hope you want to practice your faith in the manner that is suitable for you.

If you want to be an Orthodox Jew, I can help you learn what you need to do. If not, you may want to join one of the other branches of Judaism.

All branches of our faith teach us to be good people and to do good deeds. If you follow those teachings and pass them along to your children, then you will be the kind of man any father would be proud of.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
939 posts, read 1,263,221 times
Reputation: 760
hiker45,

Mainstream Orthodox rabbis do not view the other branches of Judaism as valid forms of Judaism. To Orthodox Jews, Reform and Conservative Judaism might as well be Islam or Zoroastrianism. Orthodox Judaism believes that all Jews (i.e. those born to a Jewish mother or who had an Orthodox conversion) are obligated to follow the 613 mitzvot (commandments) as understood by Orthodox Jewish tradition, whether or not they personally believe in Orthodox Judaism or not. An Orthodox rabbi would never tell a secular or atheist Jew to do something against the Orthodox understanding of halacha, therefore it makes sense that the Orthodox rabbi would tell the Jewish man that if he had to choose, it is better to put on the tefillin and say the shema than to honor his father by saying the kaddish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 09:16 PM
 
864 posts, read 734,405 times
Reputation: 251
TFF

Okay. The posek would advise the son to put on tefillin and say Shema, and he would recite the Kaddish (or get someebody else to) instead of the son who had no time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-02-2014, 10:32 PM
 
3,964 posts, read 3,348,739 times
Reputation: 1246
This is not the final answer. I'll give that tomorrow. But the posek maybe should have refused to answer the shaila. It is not a posek's obligation to take on gehinnom for the Jew who says he only has five minutes a day for shul. Did that Jew really mean to say he only has five minutes a day for Hashem, and that his work, his morning coffee, his "fill in the blank" is really more important than his relationship with Hashem?

There's a kiruv element that the posek considered here when he gave his psak.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Judaism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top