Friday, 31 May 2013

God Included Women at Sinai

Originally published 5/31/13, 11:20 AM, Eastern Daylight Time.
God included women at Sinai - The Jewish Standard

A Reader Responds:

Dear Editor:

The Author's logic escapes me, because the arguments appear to be inconsistent.

1. She invokes the Authority of Sinai
2. She Claims that Sinai empowered women with the right to the Torah...

So far - no problem

However addressing #1
As a professed JTS graduate, what kind of Authority from Sinai is there nowadays to confer such an absolute right?

#2. The Power conferred to women at Sinai WAS separate but equal! The paradigm for that was Moses and Miriam doing separate but equal Sheerot at the Yam Suf. To then revise that Power using Modern Sensibilities seems somehow eclectic or inconsistent.

To Summarize, if Sinai empowered women, it did so on its own terms. If you wish to invoke Modern Social Correctness, then please leave Sinai out of the discussion.

A Concerned Reader
Teaneck, NJ

Best Regards,

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Shach and Taz

Despite a physical and historical "Nim'nu v'Gamru"
Favoring the Taz over the Shach
Over Time, "Evolution" favored the Shach over the Taz
«Segal also authored responsa which, though sometimes quoted from the manuscripts, were never published. He and Shabbethai Kohen (the ShaK) are among the greatest halakhic authorities among the Acharonim. In 1683, the Council of Four Lands declared that the authority of the Taz should be considered greater than that of the ShaK, but later the ShaK gained more and more in authority.»
David HaLevi Segal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
David ben Shemu'el ha-Levi

Best Regards,

The Post-Yeshiva Synagogue

Originally published 5/30/13, 11:18 AM, Eastern Daylight Time.
«Guest post by R. Yonatan Kaganoff
Rabbi Yonatan Kaganoff served for many years as a Rabbinic Coordinator in the OU's Kashruth Division and was the founding Online Editor of the journal Tradition. He has semikhah from RIETS, studied Jewish philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and serves on the Board of Advisors of K'hal Adath Jeshurun in Washington Heights.

 The Post-Yeshiva Synagogue

While every synagogue has its own unique internal dynamic and features, I would like to propose four distinctive characteristics for the post-Yeshiva synagogue. I further suggest that these characteristics represent an attempt to redefine their synagogue as a Bais Ha-Medrash; a house of study, and its member and participants, therefore, as people who are associated with a Bais Ha-Medrash rather than a synagogue; a house of worship.

These four characteristics are:

The use of chairs and tables instead of benches or stadium seating.
The Rabbi's speech is moved from before Mussaf to before Kerias ha-Torah.
Kiddush is not recited on Friday night.
The elimination of Anim Zemiros from services on Shabbat morning.»

The Post-Yeshiva Synagogue - Torah Musings - Jewish Ideas Daily

Best Regards,

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Jewish Tribune - Women of the Wall: Reaching Beyond Disagreement

The present conflict involving the Women of the Wall goes beyond the specifics of this issue and raises concern about our nations ability to continue in unity. In regard to this, our first issue may be this recognition of this challenge of unity in itself. This is a matter I further pursue in my most recent Tribune article

Please see Women of the Wall: Reaching Beyond Disagreement

Rabbi Ben Hecht

The Twentieth of Sivan

«The Twentieth of Sivan was established in Ashkenazi communities as a day of fasting and teshuvah to remember two major tragedies of Jewish history. First, let us discuss the halachic basis for the observance of commemorative fasts.


The History of the 20th of Sivan

This date is associated with two major tragedies that befell European Jewry. The earlier catastrophe, which occurred in the 12th Century, was recorded in a contemporary chronicle entitled Emek Habacha, ...

One night in the city of Blois, which is in central France, a Jew watering his horse happened upon a murder scene in which a gentile adult had drowned a gentile child. The murderer, not wanting to be executed for his crime, fled to the local ruler, telling him that he had just caught a Jew murdering a child!...»

«The fast of the 20th of Sivan also memorializes an additional Jewish calamity. Almost five hundred years later, most of the Jewish communities of eastern Europe suffered the horrible massacres that are referred to as the Gezeiros Tach veTat, which refer to the years of 5408 (Tach) and 5409 (Tat), corresponding to the secular years 1648 and 1649. Although this title implies that these excesses lasted for a period of at most two years, the calamities of this period actually raged on sporadically for the next twelve years.

First, the historical background: Bogdan Chmielnitzky was a charismatic, capable, and nefariously anti-Semitic Cossack leader in the Ukraine, which at the time was part of the Kingdom of Poland. Chmielnitzky led a rebellion of the Ukrainian population against their Polish overlords. Aside from nationalistic and economic reasons for the Ukrainians revolting against Polish rule, there were also religious reasons,...» - The Twentieth of Sivan

Best Regards,

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

B'rachot in Dispute - Introduction

BE"H I am planning a series in 3 parts or more on various B'rachot that are debated or subject to Halachic controversy.

Part 1 - An outline List of Disputed B'rachot according to several categories. This list may grow due to feedback

Part 2 - Mar'eh M'komot in Halachic literature that discuss these cases. This may be the largest component

Part 3 - Analyzing the sources and categories, especially inductively, to find common underlying dynamics that trigger such disputes.

Best Regards,

Which Minhag?

Q: Which is the only Minhag that unites
• Followers Of the Gra
• Followers Of The Rema

A: Qitniyyot LOL

Best Regards,

Monday, 27 May 2013

Torat Hashem Temimah

How is the Torah "Temimah"?

Shloymie: If the Torah is "Temimah" how come certain things are omitted, for instance, the prohibition against Rape?

RRW: Good point. Maybe because given everything else in the Torah, we can figure that out ourselves!?

Shloymie: Fine, but surely there are many other things we "could have" figured out, EG Lo Tignov! So, is this consistent?

RRW: OK - maybe Temimah means "wholesome" not "comprehensive" - which might explain its context in the passuk preceding Mesheevat Nefesh?

Shloymie: So does that mean that Temimah implies that Torah is "Nutritious" for the soul?

RRW: Indeed! And perhaps that approach works better, both in context and in reality.

Best Regards,

Why Rabbi Dr. Alan J. Yuter Resigned from Conservative Judaism

«I believe that the modern Jew is given the choice to choose between two irreconcilable
orthodoxies. Given the vehemence, which has assumed eschatological proportions, in which the issues of women rabbis and cantors has been pushed--Dr. Schorsch pointed to a 9-3 decision of the CJLS in 1974 without telling anyone that the 9 votes opposed women cantors and he waves the so-called "Roth responsum" which was not even accepted by the CJLS or the faculty of JTS--it is clear that feminism is now a new fundamentalism.

I choose the orthodoxy of Jewish tradition over the orthodoxy of current secular taste.»

Why Rabbi Dr. Alan J. Yuter Resigned from the Rabbinical Assembly and Left Conservative Judaism | YUTOPIA

Best Regards,

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Who Hijacked Feminism

My Mom A"H was a self-described feminist. To her, this implied such things as
1. Equal Pay for Equal Work
2. Women's Suffrage
3. Men sharing in household chores, etc.

But she specifically rejected the trend of "Masculating Women." She never wore pants - except to clean around the house. She wanted to be FEMININE, and not become an ersatz man.

She headed the Women's Division of the Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford and sat on the board of directors of that institution. But she never needed to validate herself by
1. Leading Services in Shul
2. Taking an Aliyah
3. Reading the Torah

What changed? When did Feminism stop Honouring Feminity and start pushing for Me Too Masculinity, a la Anat Hoffman?

Best Regards,

Each River and its Channel: Halakhic Attitudes Toward Liturgy

«"Each River and its Channel": Halakhic Attitudes Toward Liturgy
A reply to Rabbi Aryeh Frimer, "The Wrong Changes in Jewish Liturgy"
Guest post by R. Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish
Rabbi Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish is a graduate and musmakh of Yeshiva University who received a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from the University of Haifa. He teaches adult Jewish education in a number of frameworks including soldiers in the IDF's "Nativ" course, the Hebrew University's Gandel Program, and the International School at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Kavvana: Directing the Heart in Jewish Prayer (1997) and The Book of Abraham: Rabbi Shimon ben Ẓemaḥ Duran and the School of Rabbenu Nissim Gerondi (currently being published online). This essay is available under the CC-BY-SA license; attribution should point to the post at the Hirhurim blog. A continually updated and corrected version is available 

Each River and its Channel: »
R. Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish
«C. A Spectrum of Opinion
Among the Sephardic rishonim there were also compromise positions. The Ra'ah leaned towards the idea that Ḥazal actually composed a text, but took that historical theory in a different practical direction by suggesting that Ḥazal had no problem with their text being changed, including major changes, as long as those changes didn't become permanent ones in every prayer. Adding piyyutim is permitted precisely because they are not added every day.[6] The Ritva cited the Ra'ah alongside the Rashba.
Far from being the view of "a few rishonim" who argued with the Rambam as Rabbi Frimer would have it,[7] the Rashba's flexible view of both history and halakhah was a popular Sephardic one, echoed by the Abudarham[8] and adopted with some modifications[9] by the Rashbaẓ (a Spanish exile who became the greatest posek of North Africa and an important authority for the author of the Shulḥan Arukh). Furthermore, if we take the compromise positions into account, then the Rashba's basic overall conclusion about the legitimacy of making major changes within the blessings was shared not only by the much earlier ge'onim, but also by the vast majority of rishonim in Spain, North Africa, Provence and Ashkenaz, including a great many that it is impossible to analyze here. In Spain: Abudarham, Rabbenu Yonah (on Alfasi Berakhot 5b), Rashba, Ritva, Ra'ah, Ran,[10] and Rashbaẓ. In North Africa: Rabbenu Hannanel and Rashbaẓ (as previously). In Provence: Ra'avad (quoted in the Tur and Shiltei Gibborim A on Alfasi Berakhot 5a) and Meiri.
In Ashkenaz the discussion began with Rashi's interpretation of Mishnah Berakhot 1:4 (11a), which was ambigious. It seemed to pose a theoretical problem for major additions like piyyutim (even though I am unaware of any explicit evidence that Rashi actually opposed them).[11] According to the Meiri's interpretation of Rashi, it is forbidden to add new topics to blessings, which would exclude major piyyutim but permit modest changes. Alternatively, the Ra'ah followed Rashi in his interpretation of the mishnah, explaining "long" and "short" in terms of the length of the text, but permitted any change that was not permanent (see above). Most influential, however, was Rabbenu's Tam's far more lenient interpretation (rejecting Rashi), which was cited widely and approvingly among the ba`alei ha-tosafot (Berakhot 11a), Hagahot Maimoniyyot (on Hilkhot Tefillah 6:3[3]), and many other Ḥakhmei Ashkenaz (and even elsewhere such as by Rabbenu Yonah and the Meiri).
An important exception was the Rosh, who is quoted by his son in the Tur (Oraḥ Ḥayyim 68) as having recommended the elimination of piyyutim in the blessings ("for it causes [people] to interrupt through useless talk about frivolities, and also Rabbenu Tam's explanation that he gave to justify the custom is not correct in my eyes"). But elsewhere (on Berakhot 34a and cited in Tur Oraḥ Ḥayyim 112) the Rosh explicitly accepted the practice based on standard justifications without a word of criticism.
Indeed, Tur Oraḥ Ḥayyim 68 is highly unusual in its emphasis. As such, it is probably the best possible example of the exact halakhic attitude that Rabbi Frimer emphasized in his article. It begins with a lengthy citation of the Ramah, who described his displeasure with piyyutim and his unfortunate inability to eliminate them, followed by the Rambam. The Tur then continued by pointing out the prevalence of the custom, Rabbenu Tam's "forced interpretation" (daḥak lefaresh) in order to uphold it, and concluded with his father's recommendation to abolish it.
However, Tur Oraḥ Ḥayyim 68 is not in any way representative of the general opinion in Ashkenaz or elsewhere, neither in its own time nor later. The Baḥ on the Tur responded passionately in favor of the traditional Ashkenazic opinion. The Levush is notable for his succinct summary of the halakhic situation in his time, both in terms of the principles and the practical reality; he remarked, "Nahara nahara u-fashteih [Each river and its channel]: Where the custom is [to say piyyutim] then that is the custom, and where the custom is not to say them then that is the custom, for each of the two opinions has authorities to rely upon."
D. Practical Halakhah and Halakhic Attitudes
Rabbi Frimer is quite right to say that it is wrong to tamper with the text of blessings according to the Rambam and that the Shulḥan Arukh accepted this position (Oraḥ Ḥayyim 68), apparently because it was shared by the Rambam and the Rosh.[12] However, it is equally correct that to make changes in blessings is fully permissible according to the Rashba and many others (actually the vast majority of rishonim), and that the Rashba's position was adopted by the Rema.[13] What I find lacking in the Ḥakirah article is that it heavily documents and emphasizes just one sliver out of a very wide spectrum[14] while largely ignoring the rest. It also errs by turning the Rambam's attitude into a prism through which alternative opinions are viewed, in the sense that they must be assumed to have allowed piyyutim only for exceptional reasons, or only allowed piyyutim and nothing else.
Rabbi Frimer argues with passion that the position of the Rashba and the Rema is utterly irrelevant to contemporary changes because it was an exception made by the rishonim for piyyutim alone, and only because their recitation was already such an entrenched and highly revered custom. If correct, that would seem to settle the issue once and for all.»

Each River and its Channel: Halakhic Attitudes Toward Liturgy | Hirhurim – Torah Musings

Best Regards,

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Mussar: Chevy Suburbans

I always wondered -

Why would Frum Jews or any other Jewish Lovers of Israel for that matter, buy "Gas Guzzling" transportation that supports Arab oil interests?

Are they unconscious of the consequences of their choices?

Best Regards,

Friday, 24 May 2013

Introducing world's longest Shabbat Table

«Introducing world's longest Shabbat table
Large families are common in Bnei Brak, but even largest family doesn't host 300 people on Friday evening. Ultra-Orthodox city attempts to set Guinness record with longest Shabbat table ever seen
Tali Farkash
Published: 05.17.13, 14:24 / Israel Jewish Scene

The world's longest Shabbat table was set up recently in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak. The table, which is 60 meters (197 feet) long, comfortably seats more than 300 people and includes all the classic Shabbat symbols: A table cloth, challah, goblets, candlesticks and more. ...»
Introducing world's longest Shabbat table - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews

Best Regards,

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hilchot K'ri'at Sh'ma SA O"Ch 73:3,4

SA O"Ch 73:3,4;
MB there, especially #9.

Would these rules regarding sleeping with children, or with another's children, still fly today?

Best Regards,

Tradition and Halachic Evolution, Can They Be Reconciled?

I really love the following Mashal. It came from a true story in the Home Section of a local Sunday Paper:
A couple owned a classic house designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright during the 1950's. By current standards, the Kitchen was "outmoded" and "fiftiesh".

They had 3 options -

1. Leave it as is, after all, one does not mess with the handiwork of a master!

2. Completely redo it, after all they OWN it. Who cares about its history? Comfort trumps "Class".

3. The option they actually chose - find expert architects who understand Wright's "sheetos" and apply them to a modern kitchen, without damaging the spirit of the original design. Win-Win.


A Master of Traditional Texts can wade Between Scylla and Charybdis, arriving home safely home without damaging his ship. He does so by avoiding having his ship list too far Port or Starboard.

Best Regards,

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Shuls on FB

Chevra Ahavas Yisroel, a Lubavitch synagogue in Crown Heights, paves the way for shuls "Doing Facebook"

Clips and Phrases

Best Regards,

Who Has the Final Word in Halachah?

I was once teaching a Mishnah B'rurah class to some beginners. I was asked:

"Isn't it true that S'phardim Always follow the m'chabbeir and that Ashk'nazim Always follow the Rema?"

I said, "While that is generally so, it is not absolutely so."

The same for prefering Bavli over Y'rushalmi, which is the default, but not absolute.

And so is often the case, rules have exceptions. I call them "defauts"

The Bet Yosef set up a Bet Din, to determine Halachah which he himself ignores in numerous cases.

And so does any one here know of anyone who follows a given "Poseik X" 100% of the time?

Best Regards,

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

JVO: Intermarriage 2

Jewish Values Online ( is a website that asks the Jewish view on a variety of issues, some specifically Jewish and some from the world around us -- and then presents answers from each of the dominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members of their Panel of Scholars.

This post continues this series on the Nishmablog that features responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. This week's presentation is to one of the questions to which Rabbi Hecht responded.

* * * * *
Question: My brother recently married a non-Jewish woman. I went to the wedding, not because I wanted to, but because my Mother insisted I go. My husband and I sat in a corner with our kosher store bought sandwiches (no kosher food in sight) and made a presence. It was a very uncomfortable evening, and has led to even more questions for me. I love my brother very much and want to be part of his life, but I truly do not want to be around his non-Jewish wife. We do not live in the same city, so its not like we run into each other frequently, but I am not sure what I am supposed to do for the occasions that we do meet. I would consider myself modern Orthodox and my brother has gone beyond non-observant; he now considers himself an atheist. What is the Jewish view on these situations? Does one just try to be polite to the non-Jewish spouse to maintain a relationship with the Jewish family member? My husband and I hope to have a family soon. How do you handle exposing your children to something you are teaching them is wrong? I know the fact that I do not want to be at a table (or in the same room) as his wife hurts my mother tremendously (she does not like what my brother has done either, but fears losing him). Is my difficulty with my brother and his wife a lack of respect for my mother as her children cannot spend quality time together? I know there are several questions listed here. I thank you in advance for your assistance with this.

Life events generally do involve variant issues with a spectrum of ethical concerns and, as such, many questions should actually be expected. You are, as such, to actually be commended for voicing many of them. The first challenge that often exists, though, is the proper articulation of these concerns. This is not to say that you have presented your questions incorrectly. What is often overlooked, though, is a necessary investigation of the underlying ethical constructs upon which one may base one’s perspectives, conclusions and dilemmas/questions. We often assume certain ideas or viewpoints to be correct without a proper consideration of the true underlying values or motivations in the circumstances. In certain ways, this is also what we must first investigate in regard to your questions. (It is with this in mind, that I would also like to direct you to another question within this general topic of intermarriage that was previously addressed on Jewish Values Online. Please see As the development of my response in regard to this question may direct me in a different way, my thoughts there may also be of assistance.)
The essence of your inquiry is clearly the question of how you are to relate to your brother given that he is now part of an intermarriage. Perhaps the most poignant aspect of this question is how you are to proceed when, please God, you have children. Before you approach this issue, though, you must first consider why you are honestly against intermarriage. How you understand the problem will greatly affect how you will respond to it and there are certain implications in your description of this issue that leads me to believe that your perception of the issue is somewhat skewed, yielding the possibility of error in how you proceed. Don’t get me wrong. Intermarriage is a powerful challenge within the Jewish community and developing a proper response to it is a most difficult undertaking. This is especially so when we consider the message we wish to impart to our children in this regard. This, however, makes the correct definition of the issue even more important.
The first item that hit me was how you mentioned that you do not wish to be around your brother’s non-Jewish wife yet you do not mention anything about her. As a person, do you like her? Do you dislike her? What has she done to offend you? If anything, you should perhaps have great difficulty being around your brother who has forsaken his heritage and, it would seem, even his belief? I am, of course, not offering this as a suggestion or even an alternative. Your brother’s conclusions about God, religion and even his own Jewish identity are, most likely, the results of weaknesses in our Jewish educational structures. In so many ways, the reasons that are often presented for why someone should continue to identify as a Jew and not intermarry are so weak that it is actually amazing that even more individuals are not choosing to intermarry. I clearly do not believe that you should have negative feelings towards your brother because of his choice of a non-Jew as a wife. In the same vein, though, I would also question why you would or should have negative feelings towards his wife simply because she is not Jewish. That is a fact that bothers you because of your beliefs – a matter we shall discuss shortly – but it is not – and should not become – a statement about her. She is simply a person acting pursuant to her beliefs (with which you happen to disagree). Of course, there are times when another’s beliefs are so offensive that they are a reason, in themselves, for you to shun this person. But is that the case here? If the woman is actually a fine human being than the harbouring of negative feelings towards her simply because she is not Jewish – or, in more specific terms, is a non-Jewish woman who chose to marry a Jew – is a problem. From her perspective – and perhaps even more importantly, from the perspective a rational natural morality -- she has done nothing wrong. It is your belief in a Revelation at Sinai that declares her behaviour to be wrong – and it is within this perspective, and only within this perspective, that this dilemma must be approached.
This leads me to the second item that struck me and that is the role of your mother. While the Torah’s commands to honour parents are clearly of high value (see Sefer HaChinuch, Mitzvah 33), there is a clear limitation on them whenever they collide with any other Torah value. See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De’ah 240:15. (See, further, Biurei HaGra.) Concern for your mother is thus important but only subsequent to your own independent determination of what is proper. It is only within the spectrum of proper behaviour that one can consider the effect on parents in terms of narrowing down the permitted options. On the surface, this would seem to simply imply that concern for your mother’s familial feelings should not be allowed to interfere with any clear-cut directive to remain aloof from your brother’s wife. While this may be a proper conclusion as well, this recognition of the gap between your mother’s views and the Torah views also indicates that any deviation between your mother’s negative view of intermarriage and the Torah’s negative view must also be acknowledged and considered. In that, it would seem you and your husband ate your kosher food at this wedding alone, your mother does not share your views of Revelation and the binding nature of Jewish Law. If this is so, why then is your mother against intermarriage? Without a clear Revelational directive not to intermarry, human emotions against intermarriage raises many questions and issues. It is important as you proceed that, in both directions, you do not let your mother’s perspectives – and even natural value selections – deviate you improperly from the Torah path.
But what now is this Torah path? As we recite daily in the blessings we say in preparation of our study of Torah – asher bachar banu mikol ha’amim, Who has chosen us from amongst all the nations – it is important for us to understand that our root distinction as Jews is because God has chosen us from amongst the other nations. It is a Divine act that has distinguished us a Jews. If this is on our mind, we can also understand that with this great distinction come great responsibilities. If God has so honoured us by choosing us from amongst all the nations it must clearly have a great purpose – and it is of this purpose that we must continuously be conscious. What does this say in regard to intermarriage? On the simplest level, we could argue that this idea should tell us to have strong negative feelings towards a Jew who intermarries because this person is throwing off a yoke of responsibility. Yet, does the person truly see it this way? What about the Divine honour that this person is also ignoring for it is God Who has so chosen this person? The bottom line is that most people intermarry because they don’t view their Jewish identity in this manner. They do not see it as a responsible privilege that God has bestowed upon them. It may even be that the non-Jewish spouse sees the marrying of a Jew as more honourable than the Jew himself. The fact is that the challenge of intermarriage should actually bring us back to consider the very honour of being Jewish. If people are willing to challenge this identity, it may be because these people simply do not value this identity or do not value it enough. The proper response, thus, cannot be to shun the non-Jewish spouse but, rather, to promote the honour of this identity and to act in a manner, within the confines of Halacha, that meets its responsibilities and brings honour to the identity.
Bottom line, what I am advocating is that you focus on the positive. As the ancient fable goes, more can be accomplished by the sun shining brightly than by the wind blowing violently. Your responsibility is to act as a Jew and to make others look upon our status as Jews in a most positive light. Within my organization, Nishma ( our byline quotes from Devarim 4:6 which states that our goal should include the nations of the world seeing us a “a wise and understanding people.” That is clearly not always possible; our observance of Torah can also often lead to negative perceptions from others and this cannot stop us either (see Rashi, Bamidbar 19:2). Yet, for many reasons, attempting to be seen in a positive light must also be part of our interaction with the world. Our Jewish identity must be perceived as something honourable and of value in the world. It is in this regard, that we can truly further foster commitments to Jewish identity. In the case of intermarriage, one of the solutions is for the non-Jewish spouse to convert (of course, fully pursuant to Halacha) – and this does happen on occasion because this spouse’s new interaction with the Jewish world has actually instilled in him/her a value in being Jewish and thus a wish to become one (which then also affects the spouse born Jewish). With children also the method of dealing with such situations is by promoting the value of being Jewish, not through a motivation from a fear that they will see the other alternative as better. If your children say one day how unfortunate it was that your brother intermarried or that his wife did not convert because they have forsaken the honorable and responsible status of being Jewish, you know you will have been successful.  
So what am I saying? This is a time for you to respond with not simply a pride in being Jewish but with a recognition of the great honour and responsibility that God has bestowed upon you. Act in a manner that garnishes honour from God and your fellow human beings (Avot 2:1) – that is the challenge that is before you. In this manner you could even re-ignite positive feelings of Jewish identity in your brother and, perhaps, kindle them in your sister-in-law. In this manner, you also need not worry about your children coming in contact with this violation of Jewish Law or with any individual who offers a lifestyle choice contrary to Halacha. They will want the status of being one of those who positively maintains the status that God has bestowed on them. The answer lies simply in how you conduct yourself as a Jew.

The Media and Half-Truths

« But there was another story last Friday that the media either missed or botched entirely: the thousands of Jewish women and girls who filled the area directly in front of the Kotel and almost to the back wall of the Kotel plaza, completely dwarfing the group of one hundred or so women associated with WoW. (The figure of 400 to 500 WoW given by some media outlets is patent nonsense.)

When I arrived at the Kotel a little past 7:00 a.m., there were about 25 (not 2,000 as reported by Ha'aretz) young haredi men standing on the upper level at the far north of the Kotel Plaza shouting and ruining the prayers for all those on the men's side who had come to pray on Rosh Hodesh. ....

What surprised me, however, was that the most prominent video camera remained exclusively focused on this small group among the many thousands then at the Kotel.

The media showed absolutely no interest in the thousands upon thousands of seminary girls and older women praying on the women's side and not raising their voices above a quiet whisper. ...

And this group was special in another respect: It included women and girls across the national religious-haredi spectrum. »

The Feminist Story the Media Missed at the Kotel :: Jewish Media Resources

Best Regards,

Monday, 20 May 2013

Why do Aveilim Say Kaddish, etc. ... ?

Q. What is the common denominator for Aveilim, when they are leading or reciting -

1. Kaddish?
2. Bensching?
3. Davening?
4. Birkot HaTorah during an Alliayh?

A. The Key common denominator may be found in the responses elicited.

In cases 1 and 2
Y'hei Sh'meih Rabbah and Y'hee Sheim Hashem m'vorach are equivalent forms of "Kiddush Hashem Borabbim".

Similarly, while leading Davening and during an Aliyah, the Aveil's Bar'chu elicits "Baruch Hashem Hamvorach L'olam Vo'ed, which is along the lines of the above

Thus the common goal is for the Avel to have the responders Bless Hashem or Sheim Hashem forever.

Q: Why does the Aveil do this?

A: It's similar to Boruch Dayan Ho'emet and Tzidduk Haddin. The Aveil publicly shows no bitterness towards Hashem. Aderabba, he goes out of his way to praise Him.

Best Regards,

L'Affaire Broyde

Just a quick comment. I have met several so-called "Liberals" who, while espousing the most sensitive sentiments, surprisingly express themselves as quite condescending, insulting, and abusive in private. Some of them are actually quite authoritarian in person, despite their politics.

EG It's likely that the late Ted Kennedy said all the right things on women's "issues", but his abuses to actual, factual women tell a different story.

Goldin & RCA Uphold Broyde Halachic Decisions: Avatar Shock Forces His Leave

Best Regards,

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Leader of anti-Semitic party in Hungary discovers he is Jewish

Cosmic / Divine Irony
«Following weeks of Internet rumours, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother's side were Jews — making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn't practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labour camps.»
Leader of anti-Semitic party in Hungary discovers he is Jewish | Toronto Star

Best Regards,

On the Morning Brakhot

Excerpts from Rav Dov Fischer:
«Therefore, one initially is struck by the past tense structure of three morning brakhot:
1.  Who did not make me a non-Jew
2.  Who did not make me a slave
3.  Who did not make me a woman
Past tense.  Why are these brakhot not composed in the present tense as are the other Birkhot haShachar (Morning Blessings)?  Indeed, who composed them?
The Source of the Three "Who Did Not Make Me . . ." Brakhot. 

The Talmud in Menachot 43a discusses the mitzvah of wearing tzitzit.  In that discussion, R. Shimon states that women are exempt from the mitzvah because it is a positive commandment that is time-related.  He holds that tzitzit applies only during the day, not at night, because the Torah commands regarding the mitzvah that "you shall see it." (Bamidbar 15:39). ........
Against the backdrop of this discussion, the Talmud proceeds to observe that that G-d loves the Jews because He surrounded us with mitzvot: tefillin on head and arm, tzitzit fringes on the garment, and a mezuzah on each applicable doorpost.  After quoting King David the Psalmist's thanks for these mitzvot, the Talmud adds that, even when David entered a bathhouse – under halakha, mezuzot are not affixed to bathhouse doorposts – and thereupon undressed in the bathhouse, leaving him briefly without any of those mitzvot, he still contemplated his circumcision: there remained on his very person a unique mitzvah to remind him of the covenant with G-d.

... The Divrei Chamudot ad loc. proceeds to explain that variant manuscripts that couch the brakhah in the affirmative stem from publishing/printing errors, and he notes an aged manuscript that preserves the negative formulation: "Who did not make me a woman."

For the complete Article:

Best Regards,

Friday, 17 May 2013

Sefer HaHinuch, Hashkafah, Mysticism and Rationalism

The Sefer HaHinuch is imho one of the best works on Hashkafah for our day. His presentation of Torah uMitzvot balances the ideals of ritual, discipline, and symbolism, with the more Universal Ideals of Kindness and Compassion. And he seems to be one of the very few to take that approach.

Here is how he comes across:

1. His First and Foremost Taam Hammitzvah is the rational and the reasonable. This straightforward approach l'havdil, somewhat complies with Ochkham's Razor

2. However, he often expresses that Kabbalah or Sod has something to say, too.
This often comes in 2 flavours
A. The rational reason is weak and does not suffice.
B. The rational reason is "OK" but the Kabbalistic reason is more profound

Thus, he does not take the Rational at the Expense of the Mystical, nor vice versa. Both aspects are fundamental. R Bacheyei, a near contemporary of the Hinuch, is one of the few with that same approach towards Parshanut.

I would always recommend that a rabbi use this approach with Baalei Bayit; viz. Cherchez the reasonable approach, and Keep the "Sod" approach in reserve.

I do not recommended leading with the Mystical approach, because this imho tends to weaken one's Sichliyyut faculties with regard to understanding Torah.

Best Regards,

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Grief, Stress, Bingeing on pie

«It is a peculiar and reductive logic about the nature of being human, this idea that grief – or stress, or binging on pie – merits medical intervention. And it is a logic that pervades the DSM revisions, which is why the manual is proving wildly controversial on the eve of its unveiling.»

When did life itself become a treatable mental disorder? - The Globe and Mail

Best Regards,

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Shavuot Humour

Q: Why do we eat Dairy on Shavuot?

A: So that we can have cream in our coffee when we stay up all night!

Best Regards,

Was David Hammelech Infallible

Sanhedrin 93b

דף צג,ב גמרא
אלא רמז [רמז] לה שעתידין ששה בנים לצאת ממנה שמתברכין בשש [שש] ברכות ואלו הן דוד ומשיח דניאל חנניה מישאל ועזריה דוד דכתיב (שמואל א טז) ויען אחד מהנערים ויאמר הנה ראיתי בן לישי בית הלחמי יודע נגן וגבור חיל ואיש מלחמה ונבון דבר ואיש תואר וה' עמו וגו' ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל הפסוק הזה לא אמרו דואג אלא בלשון הרע יודע נגן שיודע לישאל גבור שיודע להשיב איש מלחמה שיודע לישא וליתן במלחמתה של תורה <איש תואר שמראה פנים בהלכה ונבון דבר שמבין דבר מתוך דבר> [ונבון דבר שמבין דבר מתוך דבר איש תואר שמראה פנים בהלכה] וה' עמו
שהלכה כמותו בכל מקום < ==

Best Regards,

Uniqueness of Birkot HaTorah

Guest Blogger:Rav J. Simchah Cohen
- - - - -
In preparation for Sh'vuot, the following in fundamental.
Why is it that once a person recited the blessings for Torah (Birkot HaTorah) in the morning, and subsequently went about his daily pursuits or business concerns throughout the day that should he at some later period seek to learn Torah, he is not required to say once again a Berachah prior to learning Torah. Why are the Birkot HaTorah different from other Berachot? In other matters should a person interrupt his performance of a Mitzvah to become involved in mundane matters and then seek to once again to perform the Mitzvah he is required to again recite Berachot.

Tosafot in Berachot (11b)poses this question. They suggest that the distinctive nature of Torah is that since Jews are required to learn Torah by day as well as by night, Jews never totally remove their attention and thoughts away from Torah.(They are not "Maisi'ach Daat" from Torah.)

This concept requires analysis for it seems to go against the grain of common day pursuits. Assume a person is an accountant, lawyer or businessman. From early morning till late at night the person is actively engaged in his profession. He does not open up a sacred text throughout the day. He has no time to learn Torah throughout the working day. In fact, he rarely even contemplates studying Torah. Torah is realistically not on his mind or thoughts. Accordingly, the position that Jews never remove their attention and thoughts from Torah seems contrary to reality.

The following responseI is recited in the name of HaGoan HaRav Yoshe Ber Soloveichik (ZL), Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva University. The Berachah of Torah contains the phrase "la"asok b'divrai sora", namely, to be involved with the words of Torah. To be involved with Torah is quite different from simply studying a holy text. A Jew, for example, finds a wallet full of money. He looks around and notes that no one is watching his actions. Instead of taking the money for himself, he returns the wallet to the owner. Why does he not keep the money for himself? The answer is that he is a Torah Jew. The Torah mandates Jews to return lost items to their owners. Assume again a person is quite hungry and the only place available to eat is a non kosher establishment. He looks about and notes that there is no one about who will see his actions. Yet, he does not enter the non Kosher place. Why? He is a religious Jew. A torah Jew does not eat non Kosher food. It matters not whether people see him or not. A Torah Jew has standards that must be upheld. A Torah Jew has a moral backbone.This is what is meant by the phrase "to be involved with the words of Torah". It is not limited to learning sacred texts. It deals with a Torah lifestyle. A Torah lifestyle is being practiced whether or not one actually engages in studying a Torah text. This is the main rationale as to once the Berachah for Torah is recited in the morning it is viable throughout the day even should one be involved in mundane pursuits.
Best Regards,

Monday, 13 May 2013

Are you Seeking a Short Version of the Sefer Hammitzvot?

Shavuot is a time for reviewing "Minyan HaMmitzvot" ...

The Rambam authored a classic with his "so-called" Sefer HaMitzvot, [not its original title]. Along with various commentaries, it has become a classic in its field. It has influenced almost every subsequent sefer on Mitzvot since.

The Chofetz Chaim did author Sefer HaMitzvot HaKatzar, which focused upon those Mitzvot still applicable bizman hazzeh. But what I have in mind would contain all Taryag Mitzvot in the mix.

While the Rambam La'Am has a separate commentary on the Classic Sefer HaMmitzvot, they also created a de facto "Reader's Digest" version of ShM.

The Rambam lists his Taryag at the end of his Haqdamah to his Mishneh Torah. However, the Rambam La'Am altered this and instead took the Rambam's List of Mitzvot from each of the Koteret in front of each sefer in the Yad, and in the Koteret of each set of Halachot contained therein.
"Hishmatnu kan minyan hammitzvos harogil, v'anu nos'nim Minyan HaMmitzvot al Seder Hillchot HaRambam Z"L."

EG Sefer Hammada Hillchoyav Hamesh..

Then HIlchos Y'dosei HaTtorah 10 Mitzvot, 1. to Know that there is a G-d....

There are several factors making this more than a mere Minyan HaMitzvot, Namely

1. They are categorized by subject
2. The Passuk is cited [which is sometimes also found in some Minyan Hamitzvot]
3. The Rambam La'Am's commentary adds a dimension beyond a mere enumeration.

Consider this useful in at least 3 ways.

1. As a stand-alone "short version"
2. As an introduction to the Sefer HaMmitzvot
3. Or as a review book.

Hag Samei'ach.

Best Regards,

In Sincere Praise of R’ Aharon Feldman

«Initially, I was hurt and saddened when I read R' Feldman's original remarks. While I can't say I am thrilled with his position on this issue, there is something positive that I can say. R' Aharon Feldman showed the charedi world what it means to be an honest eved Hashem. It takes guts to apologize. It always takes guts. But it takes ten times more guts when you are the Rosh Yeshiva of a prominent Torah institution and the subject of your apology is persona non grata in the charedi world. It could not have been easy to apologize but it was the right thing to do and for that I admire R' Feldman.»
In Sincere Praise of R' Aharon Feldman | Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

Best Regards,

Sunday, 12 May 2013

What would Jewish law have to say about alleged Boston Marathon bomber's burial?

«Even Criminals Rest in Peace - What would Jewish law have to say about alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev's burial?

But it was a long and uncertain journey to the grave: For weeks, news stories noted that no one wanted to bury him. His widow, according to media reports, declined to claim the bullet-ridden body, while the Muslim community wanted to distance itself from him entirely. Local funeral homes feared protests if he got buried in their grounds, while politicians clamored around microphones to exclaim that he did not deserve to be buried in Massachusetts. The exasperated funeral home owner responsible for his corpse pursued the remote possibility of burying him in Russia—or at sea, like Osama Bin Laden. The only person who seemed willing to claim responsibility for the corpse was an estranged uncle, who told reporters: "A dead person needs to be buried."»

Where Should an Alleged Terrorist Be Buried? Jewish Law Provides an Answer. – Tablet Magazine

Best Regards,

The Black Shabbat

Thinking Torah
By Rabbi Yehiel E. Poupko

«For German Jews, the Shabbat before Shavuot is called "The Black Shabbat."  On this day, there is a practice amongst German Jews to recite Av Harachamim (Merciful Father). This prayer was composed by the Jews of Ashkenaz in the wake of the first Crusade in 1096, which devastated the magisterial communities of Mainz, Speyer, and Worms.

In this prayer Jewish communities ask God to hold the nations of the world accountable for the violent shedding of Jewish blood. Among its closing lines is the verse: "For the One who pursues the reckoning of violently shed blood will remember them. He has not forgotten the tortured cry of the innocent." This "Black Shabbat" always precedes Shavuot.»

JUF News : The Black Shabbat

Best Regards,

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Mussar: Elu vo'Elu

Those who claim that every word from the Talmud is Holy and Min Hashamayim, would seem to accept a very aggressive form of Elu vo'Elu. Since everything in the Talmud matters, each and every opinion is valid and Holy. It follows that they all must be treated with reverence - even though practically speaking we may need to select just one opinion as normative.

How about amongst current Rabbis? Are they expected to view all their colleagues and B'nei Plugta as teaching valid Torah - even when they disagree? Does this imply a need to be m'chabbeid ze et zeh?

Or do we allow Rabbis to define arguments as "wrong" and their proponents as harboring illegitimate sheetot, etc.?

How does the Torah view Elu vo'Elu amongst contemporary Poskim?

How does the secular Meedah of Win-Win play out in a Torah Society?

Best Regards,

Friday, 10 May 2013

Could Gandhi Have Done it any Better?

«... the rabbonim "call upon all women who value the Temple as a sacred site, and Jewish tradition as has been our practice for thousands of years, to come to the Kosel at 6:30 am on Rosh Chodesh, to daven and say Tehillim for Klall Yisrael and the great dangers to Torah and Judaism posed by these groups. In so doing, these Bnos Yisrael will arrive before the Women of the Wall, and show the Israeli government and world media that the vast majority of women who wish to pray at the Kosel oppose any changes."»

| Bnos Yisrael to Daven at Kosel on Rosh Chodesh Sivan | Yeshiva World News

Best Regards,

Beis Midrash Govoha in the News

«When the final list was released last week, one of the biggest — and perhaps most surprising — winners was Beth Medrash Govoha, a 70-year-old, all-male, orthodox Jewish rabbinical school in Lakewood. It was awarded $10.6 million in taxpayer funds for a new library and academic center, among the highest designated for a private institution.»
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish college wins $10.6 million in public funds |

Best Regards,

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Open Orthodoxy's Fallout!

As I saw it then:

"Open Orthodox" was supposed to be about open inquiry into Torah with the kind of Academic Freedom not usually found in Yeshivot. IOW it was based upon the kind of Hakira found in places like Bar-Ilan and Pioneered by R. Ezriel Hidesheimer, R. Dovid Zvi Hoffman et al.

Instead, OO has pursued a revisionist agenda that has recently grown more aggressive. It has played too fast and loose for Mainstream Orthodoxy.

Two upshots:

1. This attitude is about to precipitate a schism within Orthodoxy

2. Orthodox Hakirah has been set back for centuries because it's becoming "radio-active" and that in turn causes fallout.

Best Regards,

RCA Statement Regarding Recent Developments at Yeshivat Maharat

«May 7, 2013 -- In light of the recent announcement that Yeshivat Maharat will celebrate the "ordination as clergy" of its first three graduates,..

The Rabbinical Council of America reasserts its position as articulated in its resolution of April 27, 2010, that:

"In light of the opportunity created by advanced women's learning, the Rabbinical Council of America encourages a diversity of halachically and communally appropriate professional opportunities for learned, committed women...

however, we cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title."

The RCA views this event as a violation of our mesorah (tradition) and regrets that the leadership of the school has chosen a path that contradicts the norms of our community.»

Best Regards,

A Rose by Any other Name...

«Yeshivat Maharat is the first institution to train Orthodox women as spiritual leaders and halakhic authorities. While there are institutions that provide a place for women to engage in serious Torah study, Yeshivat Maharat has taken an important step further. Through a rigorous curriculum of Talmud, halakhic decision-making (psak), pastoral counseling, leadership development, and internship experiences, our graduates will be prepared to assume the responsibility and authority to be poskot (legal arbiters) for the community. Maharat is a Hebrew acronym for Manhiga Hilkhatit Rukhanit Toranit, one who is teacher of Jewish law and spirituality.»
Yeshivat Maharat » Program

Best Regards,

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Yom Yerushalayim

«Dear Rabbi Wolpoe

Israel rightfully celebrates the liberation of the Old City on the 28th of Iyyar..

But, isn't this also the day we lost a shot at building Bayit Sh'leeshee by giving away the Keys to the Har Habbayit?

"Yitzie" »

Dear Yitzie

Many momentous events contain contrasting and conflicting aspects. I suspect that we are grateful to Hashem even when the cup is but half-full.

Have a "Hag Samei'ach"

B'shoovi Leerushalyim

The year is 165 BCE
The Syrian Greeks have been utterly routed.

Yerushalayim is under Jewish hegemony.

Then the Maccabees decide to leave the contaminated Beit Hamikdash alone. The idols remain. Yes they have liberated it but not rededicated it. They even allow alien service to continue status quo ante at the Temple Mount.

What celebration would we have then?




Best Regards,

Dayan, the Temple Mount and the Waqf

«Dayan combined a kibbutznik's secular identity and pragmatism with a deep love and appreciation for the Jewish people and the land of Israel—but not a religious identification. In one recollection, having seen rabbis flocking on the Temple Mount shortly after Jerusalem was captured in 1967, he asked, "What is this? Vatican?"
Dayan later ordered the Israeli flag removed from the Dome of the Rock, and gave administrative control of the Temple Mount over to the Waqf, a Muslim council. Dayan believed that the Temple Mount was more important to Judaism as a historical rather than holy site.»
Moshe Dayan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

«Since 1967, the Waqf has not reciprocated to Dayan's peaceful gesture. Instead, Jews, Christians and other faiths have been persecuted and humiliated with dogged arrogance and intimidation unabashedly. After nearly 40 years of brutal disrespect for other faiths, the Waqf has clearly squandered any legitimate claim to unconditional authority on the Temple Mount. Their claim is revoked by the Waqf's blatant and flagrant intolerance of other faiths and its reckless desecration of the World's most Holy Mountain.»
my islam is peace: Joint Council of faith must govern the Temple Mount

Best Regards,

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Bet Hammikdash Question

We have 4 Fasts days in conjunction with the destruction of the Bet Hammikdash

How many days of "Simchah" can we associate with the building and/or restoration of the Bh"M?

Best Regards,

Hirhurim - Torah : A Rare Book

Guest post and Review by R. Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb on Hirhurim -
«Rare indeed is a book in which the author confesses that he made a great mistake. Rarer still is the author who is willing to retract his whole Weltanschauung, his entire worldview or hashkafa.

I have researched this matter and have found hardly any examples of an entire book written as a confession of a major error in our Jewish literature, or, for that matter, in the literature of the world at large.

Yet there is one book, and it is among my very favorite ones, in which the author admits that he and his mentors and teachers were wrong, and tragically so. That book is entitled Eim Ha-Banim Semeicha and was written by Rav Issachar Teichtal, zt"l, May God avenge his blood.»

Hirhurim - Torah Musings » A Rare Book

Best Regards,

Monday, 6 May 2013

High Anxiety at Age 13

«And finally—and here's my make-good to my friends who tutor bar mitzvah boys—why isn't leining offered as an obligatory class in high school, where, as the young man matures, he can truly appreciate the incredible nuances of the Holy Language: the oohs and ahs of the trup, the hard and soft shvahs, the open and closed consonants? Wouldn't they have a better grasp at age 16 in high school if taught by one of these experienced tutors?»

Best Regards,

You Just Can't Make This Up!

Orthodox Jewish woman sues Lancome over 24-hour makeup | JTA - Jewish & Israel News

Best Regards,

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Jackie Robinson’s Fight against Anti-Semitism

«Less well known is Robinson's role in a controversy that erupted just a few blocks away, at Harlem's most famous theater, and underscored his commitment to fighting all bigotry, including prejudice emanating from his own community.

It was 1962, a decade-and-a-half after Robinson first took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and just a few years after he retired. Day after day, an angry crowd marched outside Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater protesting against its Jewish owner, Frank Schiffman, and his plan to open a low-cost restaurant»

Remembering Jackie Robinson's fight with black nationalists over anti-Semitism | JTA - Jewish & Israel News

When Jackie came up in 1947, Hank Greenberg went out of his way to encourage him.

Best Regards,

Misas Tzaddikim Mechaperes

The following is published with the permission of 
 the Machon Shmuel Research Institute, 
All rights reserved by the Machon Shmuel Research Institute.


Misas Tzaddikim Mechaperes

How does the death of a Tzaddik atone for the sins of the generation? Does this operate based on the His'orerus caused as a result or based on a "Tikkun" which is performed (in which case the death would only atone if one is aware that it occurred)? Or are the sins of the generation forgiven as a gesture of kindness from above (in which case the Kaparah would be effective regardless of one's knowledge of the death)? Is there perhaps other explanations as to how the atonement is achieved?

The Death of a Tzaddik as an Atonement

 The concept of atonement through the death of a Tzaddik is mentioned many times in the Gemara and Midrash.[1]  There are a number of ways how this idea has been derived from verses in the Tanach. They include the following:

·         When detailing the laws pertaining to Yom Kippur, the Torah states that these laws were told to Moshe "following the death of the two sons of Aharon."[2]  The death of Aharon's sons took place on the first day of Nissan, much before Yom Kippur. Why, then, is their death mentioned in relation to this day? From this is derived that just as Yom Kippur offers atonement for the sins of the Jewish people, so too is with regards to the death of Tzaddikim (in this case, Nadav and Avihu).[3] 

·         The laws of the Parah Adumah were given to Moshe on the first day of Nissan.[4]  However, they are written in Parshas Chukas (nearly forty years later), adjacent to the description of the death of Miriam. [5] From this is derived that just as the Parah Adumah atoned for the Chet Ha'egel, so too does the death of Tzaddikim atone for the sins of their people.[6]

·         Directly before the death of Aharon, his priestly garments were removed and transferred to his son and successor, El'azar.[7] From this we can also learn that the death of a Tzaddik effects atonement similar to the atonement achieved by the priestly garments.[8]

·         In Sefer Shmuel it is related that during the reign of Dovid Hamelech, a three-year famine beset the land. Upon the reburial and eulogy of Shaul, Hashem rescinded the decree and rain fell once more.[9]  From this we can see that the death (and consequent eulogy) of a Tzaddik has the power to revoke negative decrees caused by the sins of the nation.[10]

Atonement Through Teshuvah

The atonement brought about by the death of a Tzaddik has been connected in many sources to the Teshuvah which is aroused as a result.[11] When a Tzaddik passes on, one contemplates on the fact that if the righteous has been punished, all the more so should be for those that are on a much lower spiritual level.[12] Furthermore, until his passing one might have been able to rely on the Tzaddik's prayer and merits to protect the generation from harm, but now it is up to the people themselves.[13] These thoughts arouse feelings of Teshuvah, which are further deepened by the realization that at times the Tzaddik's death is a cause of the sins of the generation.[14]

The Kapparah is even more effective when a Hesped--eulogy--of the Tzaddik takes place. The good deeds of the Tzaddik are recounted, motivating those present to emulate his ways.[15] Moreover, the actual Hesped is a great Mitzvah, a reason to merit a Kapparah in its own right.[16]

A Tzaddik's death evokes much pain and yearning, particularly in the Tzaddik's followers, as they reflect on the great loss they have suffered. This pain itself brings about an atonement for their sins.[17]

According to this approach, it would be necessary to be aware of the Tzaddik's death for atonement to be achieved, for only then can the proper effect take place.

A Tzaddik's Death: An Auspicious Time

From other sources, however, it is implied that the atonement is attained through the Tzaddik's death itself, even if Teshuvah had not been accomplished as a result.[18] The day of a Tzaddik's death is an Eis Ratzon, an auspicious time above, for Hashem is joyful that the Tzaddik has been brought close to him. As a result of this joy, Hashem forgives the sins of the generation.[19]

Chassidic sources state that the Tzaddik's life-long service of Hashem culminates on the day of his death, arousing an Eis Ratzon above. This evokes the revelation of the attribute of "Notzer Chesed" ("He Who Preserves Kindness," the eighth of Hashem's thirteen attributes of mercy), effecting atonement even for Aveiros committed intentionally.[20]

This does not mean that the Tzaddik's death does not cause an arousal for Teshuvah. To the contrary: When one realizes that his sins have been forgiven, this motivates him to change his ways and fulfill of Hashem's commandments.[21]

Some maintain that a condition applies. The Tzaddik's death can only atone for those who have faith in the Tzaddik. One who does not respect the Tzaddik cannot expect to gain from his death.[22] However, those who do hold highly of the Taddik receive atonement, without a need for them to do Teshuvah. It follows that even if they are unaware of the Tzaddik's death, atonement can be achieved. 

An Alternative Method of Atonement

Alternatively, the method in which the Tzaddik's death atones can be explained as follows: The status of a person's righteousness can be measured in comparison to the other members of the generation. When the rest of the generation is wicked, even one who is slightly better can be considered righteous. Conversely, when there is a Tzaddik in the generation, one can be deemed unworthy when compared to him.

Hence, when Hashem sees that the members of a certain generation are unworthy, one method of acquitting their misdeeds is by removing the Tzaddik. In comparison to the other nations of the world, the Jews are considered righteous, and their sins can be pardoned.[23]

It should be noted that the dictum "Misas Tzaddikim Mechaperes" can be understood to be referring to the Tzaddik himself. The sin of the Chet Ha'daas took effect on every human, even the most righteous, instilling a certain impurity. The death of the Tzaddik cleanses him from this impurity, allowing him to remain totally pure.[24]  

Some say that if the Tzaddik himself has sinned, his death atones for his own sins and not for those of the generation. But if he is clean from sin, his death can serve as an atonement for others.[25]


In conclusion it can be said that a Tzaddik's death atones both as a result of the His'orerus to Teshuvah it causes and due to the Eis Ratzon aroused above. Perhaps it can be said that although the Kapparah takes place in any case, it is internalized in the person when accompanied by Teshuvah.[26] 

[1]  ראה הערות הבאות.

ונוסף ע"ז--ראה יומא (מב, א): וההוא יומא נח נפשיה דרביא בר קיסי, ואנחו בה סימנא: רביא [בר] קיסי מכפר כשעיר המשתלח. וברש"י שם: נח רביא בר קיסי - שם חכם. מכפר - מיתת צדיקים מכפרת, כדאמר בעלמא (מועד קטן כח, א): למה נסמכה מיתת אהרן לבגדי כהונה - לומר לך: מה בגדי כהונה מכפרין אף מיתת צדיקים מכפרת.
בראשית רבה (מד, ה): ולא עוד אלא בשעה שיהיו בניך באים לידי עבירות ומעשים רעים אני רואה צדיק אחד שבהם ומכריעו עליהם שהוא יכול לומר למדת הדין די אני נוטלו ומכפר עליהם.

שמות רבה (לה, ד): אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אני נוטל מהם צדיק אחד וממשכנו בעדם ומכפר אני עליהם על כל עונותיהם, וכה"א (איכה ב) ויהרוג כל מחמדי עין.

וראה בפנים יפות (במדבר כ): דמיתת צדיקים . . . מכפרת על הדור וע"י מיתתו מציל הרבה רשעים שנתחייבו מיתה, כמבואר בזוהר. ומציינים שם המו"ל לזהר (ח"ב י, ב): דתנינן על תרין מלין צדיקיא מסתלקי מעלמא עד לא ימטי זמנייהו, חד על חובי דרא דכד אסגיאו חייביא בעלמא אינון זכאין דמשתכחי בינייהו אתפסון בחוביהון.
[2]  ויקרא (טז, א ואילך): וַיְדַבֵּר יְדוָד, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, אַחֲרֵי מוֹת, שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן--בְּקָרְבָתָם לִפְנֵי-יְדוָד, וַיָּמֻתוּ. .וַיֹּאמֶר יְדוָד אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, דַּבֵּר אֶל-אַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ, וְאַל-יָבֹא בְכָל-עֵת אֶל-הַקֹּדֶשׁ וגו'.

[3]  ירושלמי יומא (א, א): א״ר חייה בר בא, בני אהרן באחד בניסן מתו, ולמה הוא מזכיר מיתתן ביום הכיפורים? ללמדך שכשם שיום הכיפורים מכפר על ישראל כך מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת על ישראל.
ויקרא רבה (כ, יב): א"ר חייא בר אבא, בא' בניסן מתו בניו של אהרן, ולמה מזכיר מיתתן ביום הכפורים? אלא מלמד שכשם שיום הכפורים מכפר כך מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת. ומנין שיום הכפורים מכפר? שנאמר (ויקרא טז) כי ביום הזה יכפר עליכם לטהר אתכם.

[4]  גיטין (ס, א-ב): דאמר רבי לוי: שמנה פרשיות נאמרו ביום שהוקם בו המשכן, אלו הן: פרשת כהנים, ופרשת לוים, ופרשת טמאים, ופרשת שילוח טמאים, ופרשת אחרי מות, ופרשת שתויי יין, ופרשת נרות, ופרשת פרה אדומה.

[5]  במדבר (יט, א ואילך): וַיְדַבֵּר יְדוָד, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר.  ב זֹאת חֻקַּת הַתּוֹרָה, אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה יְדוָד לֵאמֹר:  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ אֵלֶיךָ פָרָה אֲדֻמָּה תְּמִימָה וגו'. ושם (כ, א): וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל-הָעֵדָה מִדְבַּר-צִן, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן, וַיֵּשֶׁב הָעָם, בְּקָדֵשׁ; וַתָּמָת שָׁם מִרְיָם, וַתִּקָּבֵר שָׁם.

[6]  מועד קטן (כח, א): אמר רבי אמי: למה נסמכה מיתת מרים לפרשת פרה אדומה - לומר לך: מה פרה אדומה מכפרת - אף מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת.

ירושלמי יומא (א, א): א״ר בא בר בינה, למה סמך הכתוב מיתת מרים לפרשת פרה? ללמדך שכשם שאפר פרה מכפרת על ישראל כך מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת על ישראל.

ויקרא רבה (כ, יב): א"ר אבא בר אבינא, מפני מה נסמכה פרשת מיתת מרים לאפר פרה? אלא מלמד שכשם שאפר הפרה מכפר כך מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת.

הא דפרה אדומה מכפרת, נאמרו בזה כמה פירושים:

·         מכפרת על חטא העגל--תוספות (מועד קטן שם ד"ה מה פרה אדומה מכפרת): פירוש על מעשה העגל וכדאמרינן במדרש משל לבן השפחה שטינף פלטירין של מלך אומר המלך תבא אמו וכו'.

קרבן העדה (ירושלמי שם ד"ה שכשם שאפר פרה מכפרת על ישראל): על מעשה עגל כדאיתא במדרש.

·         הקרבנות מכפרים, ופרה אדומה נקראת חטאת--רבינו חננאל (מועד קטן שם): א"ר אמי, למה נסמכה מיתת מרים לפרשת פרה אדומה? מה פרה זו מטהרת חטאים, ונקראת חטאת וכל חטאת מכפרת עון, כך מיתתן של נשים צדקניות מטהרת ומכפרת עונותיהן של ישראל, וכ"ש מיתתן של צדיקים שמכפרת.

ראה רש"י (במדבר כ, א ד"ה ותמת שם מרים): למה נסמכה פרשת מיתת מרים לפרשת פרה אדומה, לומר לך מה קרבנות מכפרין אף מיתת צדיקים מכפרת.

·         מטהרת על טומאת מת--אלשיך (ויקרא טז): והנה ראוי לשים לב . . אומרו שאפר פרה מכפר, כי הלא אינו אלא מטהר . . . והן אמת כי הוא מעין שאלה זו נשאל בגמרא (עי' ע"ז כג ב) ותרצו חטאת קרייה רחמנא. עוד יתכן כי הוא ענין כתוב אצלנו על מאמרם ז"ל (במדבר רבה יט ח) על הפרה אדומה, משל לבן שפחה שטינף פלטין של מלך אמר המלך תבא אמו ותקנח וכו'. והענין בשום לב איך תסיר הפרה טומאת הנטמא במת. אך הוא, כי זוהמת נחש אשר נדבקה באדם וזרעו שהיתה כרוכה בהם מביאה את המיתה כנודע. שעל כן כאשר פסקה זוהמתנו במתן תורה יאמר חרות על הלוחות חירות ממלאך המות (שיר השירים רבה ח ו א), ובשוב הזוהמא על ידי העגל שבה המיתה למקומה. ועל כן כאשר יגע איש במת תדבק בו חלאת הזוהמת ההיא הכרוכה במת והיא תטמאנו. ומי מקנח הזוהמא שנדבקה בנוגע, הלא הוא אפר הפרה וישאר האיש טהור כשהיה. והן זאת ענין כפרת כל עון אשר חטא. כי הטומאה שנדבקה בחוטא בהעוותו מקנחה הוא יתברך ממנו על ידי התשובה. ועל כן נקראת כפרה כמה דאת אמר (בראשית לב כ) אכפרה פניו במנחה, ובלשון הגמרא (גיטין נו א) בעי לכפורי ידיה בההוא גברא. והוא ממש ענין הפרה שמקנחת הטומאה שדבקה בנוגע במת, והיינו כפרה כמדובר.

[7]  במדבר (כ, כו):  וְהַפְשֵׁט אֶת-אַהֲרֹן אֶת-בְּגָדָיו, וְהִלְבַּשְׁתָּם אֶת-אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ; וְאַהֲרֹן יֵאָסֵף, וּמֵת שָׁם.

[8]  מועד קטן (כח, א): אמר רבי אלעזר: למה נסמכה מיתת אהרן לבגדי כהונה? - מה בגדי כהונה מכפרין - אף מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת.
תוספות (שם ד"ה מיתת אהרן לבגדי כהונה): דכתיב (במדבר כ) והפשט את אהרן את בגדיו ואהרן יאסף ומת שם וכן פי' בקונטרס. ואין לפרש מיתת בני אהרן לבגדי קדש ילבש לפי שאינו סמוך כ"כ.
הא דבגדי כהונה מכפרין--בזבחים (פח, ב): ואמר רבי עיניני בר ששון: למה נסמכה פרשת קרבנות לפרשת בגדי כהונה? לומר לך: מה קרבנות מכפרין, אף בגדי כהונה מכפרין, ע"ש.
[9]  שמואל ב' (כא, א): וַיְהִי רָעָב בִּימֵי דָוִד שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים, שָׁנָה אַחֲרֵי שָׁנָה, וגו'. ושם (כא, יד): וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֶת-עַצְמוֹת-שָׁאוּל וִיהוֹנָתָן-בְּנוֹ בְּאֶרֶץ בִּנְיָמִן בְּצֵלָע, בְּקֶבֶר קִישׁ אָבִיו, וַיַּעֲשׂוּ, כֹּל אֲשֶׁר-צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ; וַיֵּעָתֵר אֱלֹקים לָאָרֶץ, אַחֲרֵי-כֵן וברש"י (שם כא, יד ד"ה כל אשר צוה המלך): להספיד עליהם בכל ערי ישראל.

[10]  ויקרא רבה (כ, יב): ומנין שמיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת? דכתיב (שמואל ב כא) ויקברו את עצמות שאול, וכתיב ויעתר אלקים לארץ אחרי כן.

 וראה אלשיך (ויקרא טז): והראיה היא מאומרו (שמואל ב כא יד) ויקברו את עצמות שאול, וכתיב (שם) ויעתר אלקים לארץ אחרי כן. והוא כי אומרו אחרי כן הוא מיותר, אך הוא לומר על שלא קברו את שאול מאז כי אם עתה. על כן מה שויעתר אלקים לארץ היה אחרי כן ולא מתחלה, לומר שאם לא כן גם מקודם היה ה' מעתיר לארץ מאז. אלא שמה שאיחרו קבורתם גרם שמה שויעתר אלקים לארץ היה אחרי כן.

[11]  ראה הערות הבאות.

ונוסף ע"ז ראה בית הבחירה להמאירי (מו"ק כח, א): לעולם יהרהר אדם בעצמו יום המיתה וענינו כדי שידאג ויפשפש במעשיו ויבין לאחריתו . . . ויותר במיתת החכמים שדי במיתתם תוכחת לעם והערה למתעוררים והוא שאמרו עליה שמכפרת כקרבנות או כיום הכפורים.
של"ה (מסכת תענית פרק תורה אור אות קס): ובזה מתורצים שני מאמרים דסתרי אהדדי. רבותינו ז"ל אמרו (מועד קטן כח א) מיתת צדיקים מכפרת. ובפרק חלק (סנהדרין קיג ב) אמרו, צדיק אבד מהעולם רעה באה לעולם, שנאמר (ישעיה נז, א) 'מפני הרעה נאסף הצדיק. אלא, לא קשיא, כשאין מתעוררים לתשובה רעה באה לעולם, וכשמתעוררים לתשובה אזי מיתתו מכפרת.

ושם (אות קסט): ואז יתבאר המאמר (ויקרא רבה פ"כ סי"ב), דלעיל (אות קנח). אמר, כשם שיום הכפורים מכפר כך מיתת צדיקים מכפרת. כלומר, כמו שיום הכפורים אינו מכפר אלא לשבים (שבועות יג א), כמו שכתוב (ויקרא כג, כז) 'אך בעשור לחדש', מכפר הוא לשבים ואינו מכפר לשאינם שבים, כך מיתת צדיקים אינה מכפרת אלא לשבים.

ערבי נחל (ויחי דרוש ג'): משא"כ ביאשיהו שעליו נאמר והבאתי את השמש בצהרים, שמת בלא עתו, דאז אינו מכפר, לכן אמר הנביא שפיר הצדיק אבד, שאבידה גמורה היא שנאבד אותה כלי חמדה ואין בו שום תמורה והנאה כי אינו מכפר, והטעם משום ואין איש שם על לב לעשות תשובה על ידי פטירתו, ואז אינו מכפר.

[12]  של"ה (שם אות קסא): ומה שאמרו, מיתת צדיקים מכפרת, נראה לי לפרש בתרין אנפין, ושניהם מעוררים לתשובה, וענין מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת נובע ממה שאמרו (שבת לג ב), צדיק נתפס בעון הדור, ואני מפרש בזה שני פירושים. האחד, בשביל הדור, והשני בשביל הצדיק. בשביל הדור, רצוני לומר, שילמדו הדור קל וחומר בעצמם ויבינו, אם בארזים נפלה שלהבת מה יעשו אזובי הקיר (מועד קטן כה ב), וכמו שכתב רש"י על 'ונקדש בכבודי' . . . וזוהי סיבה שהצדיק נתפס כשהדור חוטאים (שבת לג ב), (הוא) בשביל הדור שיתעוררו לתשובה מטעם הנזכר לעיל.
משך חכמה (ויקרא טז): ואח"כ אמר דוגמת פרה אדומה, שהיא גורמת טהרה, כן על ידי מיתת צדיק נתעורר האדם לעשות תשובה ולטהר מחטאיו, שמתבונן אם בארזים נפלה שלהבת וכו' וכיוצא בזה. או על דרך הני בריוני דרבי זירא, דאמרו עד השתא הוי לן גברא דבעי רחמי עלן וכו'. וזהו ענין טהרה כפרה אדומה.
[13]  של"ה (שם): ומה שאמרו, מיתת צדיקים מכפרת, נראה לי לפרש בתרין אנפין, ושניהם מעוררים לתשובה, וענין מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת נובע ממה שאמרו (שבת לג ב), צדיק נתפס בעון הדור, ואני מפרש בזה שני פירושים. האחד, בשביל הדור, והשני בשביל הצדיק . . . ועוד נותן התעוררות, שכשהצדיק חי, אז הדור חוטאים, וסומכים על זכות הצדיק שיגין עליהם ויתפלל עבורם, אבל כשהצדיק נעדר 'ואפס עצור ועזוב' (דברים לב, לו), אזי חושב כל אחד, אם אין אני לי מי לי (אבות פ"א מי"ד), נמצא בהכרח 'יעזב רשע דרכו' וגו' (ישעיה נה, ז). וזהו שכתוב (איכה ה, טז) 'נפלה עטרת ראשנו', דהיינו התלמיד חכם, אזי אוי ואבוי לנו כי חטאנו, ואז 'נחפשה דרכינו ונחקרה ונשובה (אל) [עד] ה'' (שם ג, מ).
משך חכמה (שם): ואח"כ אמר דוגמת פרה אדומה, שהיא גורמת טהרה, כן על ידי מיתת צדיק נתעורר האדם לעשות תשובה ולטהר מחטאיו, שמתבונן אם בארזים נפלה שלהבת וכו' וכיוצא בזה. או על דרך הני בריוני דרבי זירא, דאמרו עד השתא הוי לן גברא דבעי רחמי עלן וכו'. וזהו ענין טהרה כפרה אדומה.

הסיפור דרבי זירא הוא בסנהדרין (לז, א): הנהו בריוני דהוה בשיבבותיה דרבי זירא, דהוה מקרב להו כי היכי דניהדרו להו בתיובתא. והוו קפדי רבנן. כי נח נפשיה דרבי זירא אמרי: עד האידנא הוה חריכא קטין שקיה דהוה בעי עלן רחמי, השתא מאן בעי עלן רחמי? הרהרו בלבייהו, ועבדו תשובה.
[14]  של"ה (שם אות קסב): השני, בעבור הצדיק, ודבר זה יתבאר על פי מה שפירש קדוש ה' כבוד אבא מורי זלה"ה . . . כי מי שהוא בדור חוטא, ומעורב ביניהם, אף שהוא צדיק גמור, מכל מקום לפעמים לומד מהם איזה מדה מגונה. וזה היה ענין נח 'את האלהים התהלך' (בראשית ו, ט), במקום שאין שם אלא השם יתברך לבדו, דהיינו שהיה תמיד בהתבודדות, שהיה ירא שמא ילמד ממעשיהם. אבל אברהם כחו היה גדול כו' (רש"י בראשית ו, ט) . . . וכן היא לפעמים גם כן מיתת הצדיק, אמת שמת מחמת חטאו, אבל גרם זה שחטא, הוא מהדור שהוא מעורב ביניהם, ואילו היה בדור אחר לא היה חוטא. זהו ענין צדיק נתפס בעון הדור. וגם זה הדבר מביא את הדור לתשובה, ושיתקנו קלקולם, כי לא זו [בלבד] שהם חוטאים, אלא אף זו שטמאו את הקדש, וגרמו איזה חטא להצדיק שהיה נתפס.
[15]  מלבי"ם (בראשית לה): שמיתת צדיקים מכפרת ע"י ההספד שמספידים עליהם ומזכירים זכיותיהם ושבים בתשובה.
[16]  קרבן העדה (יומא א, א ד"ה כך מיתתן של צדיקים מכפרת על כל ישראל): אם נספדים כהלכה, לכך נאמרו כאן [מיתת בני אהרן אצל יוה"כ] שיבכו עליהן ביה"כ.

פירוש מהרז"ו (ויק"ר כ, יב): שעיקר הטעם שמיתת צדיקים מכפרת הוא בעבור ההספד והכבוד שנוהגים בקבורתו, שאם לא יעשו כן, לא די שאינו מכפר אבל עוד נענשים כו' ע"ש.

תורה תמימה (במדבר פרק כ הערה ב): והנה בכלל לא נתבאר [הערת המלקט: צ"ע] ערך הענין שמיתת צדיקים מכפרת ומה טעם בדבר, וי"ל כונת הענין ע"פ מ"ש בפדר"א פרק י"ז בענין מיתת שאול דכתיב ביה (ש"ב כ"א) ויקברו את עצמות שאול ויעתר אלהים לארץ אחרי כן, וז"ל, כיון שראה הקדוש ברוך הוא שגמלו לו חסד [שצמו ובכו וספדו לו, כמבואר שם] מיד נתמלא רחמים, שנאמר ויעתר אלהים לארץ אחרי כן וכו', ע"כ. מבואר מזה שלא המיתה עצמה מכפרת אלא האבל והכבוד שנוהגין במיתת צדיקים, כי כבוד זה הוא כבוד ה'.
[17]  תולדות יצחק (לזקנו של הב"י--במדבר כ): ומה שסמכו חז"ל מיתת מרים לפרה לומר מה קרבנות מכפרים אף מיתת צדיקים מכפרת, יש לשאול אם כן היה ראוי שיסמכו לקרבנות של חטאת ועולה, שהפרה אינה קרבן גמור, ואף על פי שאמר בה שריפת החטאת. ונראה שכוונת חז"ל, שמי שאינו עושה הרגש בנפשו במיתת הצדיקים אינו מכפר לו, אבל צריך שיתאבל בלבו ויחשוב שמיתת צדיקים רעה גדולה לישראל, ויכנע וישפיל גאותו ויהיה נחשב לעצמו כעפרא דארעא, ולכן סמך מיתת מרים לפרה אדומה שצותה התורה ושרף את הפרה לעיניו, את עורה ואת בשרה ואת דמה על פרשה ישרוף, ואיש אשר כזה יכפר לו מיתת הצדיקים, וכן כתב במדרש הזוהר דהא דקרינן ביומא דכפוריא אחרי מות שני בני אהרן, דמאן דמצטער על מיתת הצדיקים מעברין ליה חוביה.

(ראה מגן אברהם (ריש סימן תרכא): בזוהר כל מי שמצטער על מיתת בני אהרן או מוריד דמעות עליהם מוחלין לו עונותיו ובניו אין מתים בחייו, וכ"כ בשם האר"י.)

ערבי נחל (ויחי דרוש ג'): והנה ענין מה שמיתת צדיקים מכפר, הענין הוא, כשהצדיק נפטר אזי כל קרוביו ואוהביו ויודעיו יש להם להצטער הרבה מסתמא עליו, וע"י הצער והגעגועין האלה יש להם כפרת עון.

[18]  אמרי יושר (ויק"ר שם): וכשם שיו"כ מכפר עונות כן מיתת צדיקים, ומנין שיוה"כ מכפר עונות, שנאמר כי ביום הזה, עיצומו של יום מכפר אף בלי תשובה, ונאמר במיתת צדיקים ויעתר ה' לארץ אחרי כן בלי דבר תשובה.

[19]  של"ה (שם אות קעא): כשם שיום כפורים מכפר כו'. שמעתי מפרשים, נודע כי עצם היום של יום כפור הוא יום רצון, כי כן קבע הקדוש ברוך הוא 'אחת בשנה' (ויקרא טז, לד), ועל כן, עצומו של יום מכפר (יומא פה ב). כן יום מיתת הצדיק הוא יום רצון, אף שהוא יום אבל למטה, מכל מקום בישיבה של מעלה הוא יום הילולא, כמבואר בזהר (ח"ג דף רצ"א ע"א) בהילולא דפלוני כו'. ומאחר שהוא גם כן יום רצון, על כן מכפר גם כן.

משך חכמה (שם): דיום הכיפורים מכפר מצד שהוא עת רצון, והוא ענין סגולי למקום ברוך הוא אשר בו יכפר עון עמו בני ישראל. כן במיתת צדיקים הוא עת רצון, ורוכב ערבות שש ושמח בבוא אליו נקי וצדיק ומכפר, והוא מצד הסגולה.
[20]  אגרת הקדש (לאדה"ז סי' כח): והנה מודעת זאת דאבא יונק ממזל השמיני כו' והוא תיקון ונוצר אותיות רצון והיא ג״כ עת רצון [בלוח התיקון מתקן דצ"ל: דאבא יונק ממזל השמיני הוא תיקון נוצר חסד נוצר אותיות רצון והיא עת רצון] המתגלה ומאיר בבחי' גילוי מלמעלה למטה בעת פטירת צדיקי עליון עובדי ה׳ באהבה במסירת נפשם לה׳ בחייהם ערבית ושחרית בק״ש שעי״ז היו מעלים מ״נ לאו״א בק״ש כידוע. (וכן בת״ת דמחכמה נפקא) ועי״ז היו נמשכים ויורדים בחי' מ״ד מתיקון ונוצר חסד והם הם המאירים בבחי' גילוי בפטירתם כנודע שכל עמל האדם שעמלה נפשו בחייו למעלה בבחי' העלם והסתר מתגלה ומאיר בבחי' גילוי מלמעלה למטה בעת פטירתו. והנה ע״י גילוי הארת תיקון ונוצר חסד בפטירתן מאיר חסד ה׳ מעולם עד עולם על יראיו ופועל ישועות בקרב הארץ לכפר על עון הדור אף גם על הזדונות שהן מג׳ קליפות הטמאות שלמטה מנוגה.

[21]  שיחות קודש (תשל"ז ח"ב ע' 380): דער ענין פון כפרה איז דאך פארבונדן מיט דעם ענין התשובה, ווארום עיקר הכפרה איז דאך פארבונדן דערמיט וואס מ'טוט תשובה, "שב בידיעתו" (חולין ה, ב), און ערשט דעמולט איז דער קרבן מכפר, ד.ה. אז דער ענין התשובה איז א תנאי עיקרי אין דעם ענין הקרבן, וואס דוקא דעמולט איז דעד קרבן פועל פעולתו.
 וואס דערפון איז אויך פארשטאנדיק בנוגע צו דעם ענין הכפרה פון "פרה אדומה", ועד"ז בנוגע צו דעם ענין הכפרה וואס טוט זין אויף דורך "מיתת צדיקים" - אז דאס איז פארבונדן דערמיט וואס ס'איז דא דער ענין התשובה, חרטה גמורה על העבר וקבלה טובה על להבא, בנוגע צו די ענינים אויף וועלכע מ'דארף האבן דעם ענין הכפרה.
. . . ד.ה. אז דער ענין פון "מיתת צדיקים" איז מעורר און דערמאנט אז מ'האט די כפרה פון דעם אויבערשטן על כל הענינים בלתי רצויים, וואס דאס גיט די שטארקייט און די התעוררות און נתינת כח, אז מכאן ולהבא זאל מען טאן ביתר שאת וביתר עוז אין אלע ענינים, סיי בנוגע צו די ענינים פון "סור מרע" - אין אן אופן פון "סור", און סיי בנוגע צו די ענינים פון "עשה טוב" - אין אן אופן של עשי' ופעולה.
(וע"ש שזה נאמר בהמשך להבאת דברי אדה"ז הנ"ל באגה"ק.)
[22]  משך חכמה (שם): אך בתנאי שיהיה כמו ביום הכיפורים, דאימת יום הכיפורים מכפר? דוקא כשקראוהו מקרא קודש. הא במבעט ביום הכיפורים, שמבזהו ואינו מחשיבו בלבו, רק כמו כל הימים - אינו מכפר. כן בצדיק, אם מחשיבו ומרוממו - אז מיתתו מכפרת. אבל במבעט בלבו את הצדיק - אז אינו מכפר עליו.

[23]  משך חכמה (שם): וכשבירת הלוחות, הפירוש, שיש צדק המוחלט, וצדק המצטרף, כמו בדורותיו היה צדיק - הא בדורו של (אברהם, משה שמואל) לא היה צדיק (סנהדרין קח, א), וזה צדק המצטרף. וכמו (כן) יש רע המוחלט, ורע המצטרף, וכמו (מלכים - א, יז, יח) "באת להזכיר עוני" - שעד עכשיו הייתי צדיק ועכשיו נגדך אני רשע (ילקוט שם). וזה שאמרו (יומא לה, ב): הלל מחייב עניים. ואם יש צדיק אשר הוא מורה ומדריך הדור, ובני דורו אינם נושאים לו פנים, ואינם שמים לב לדבריו, והיה להם ללמוד ולא למדו, אז השם יתברך הרוצה בהיצדקם לוקח הצדיק, ואז נגד שאר האומות המה צדיקים. שכשהיה צדיק בחיים היו נגדו רשעים . . . וזה ממש כשבירת הלוחות ששיבר אותם כדי שידונו כפנויה ולא כאשת איש, שאם ידון אותם בעשית העגל בעת קבלת הלוחות בידם - מה גדולה עונם! לכן שבר אותם. וזה דומה ממש לשבירת הלוחות, והבן.

[24]  של"ה (שם אות קע): שמעתי מפרשים (תורת משה להאלשיך ויקרא טז, ג) 'כשם שאפר פרה מכפר', 'מכפר' רצה לומר: 'מקנח' רוח הטומאה הבא מכח סמאל שהוא מלאך המות, 'כך מיתת צדיקים מכפרת', כלומר, 'יקר בעיני ה' המותה לחסידיו' (תהלים קטז, טו). כי המיתה היא לטובתו, מקנח ממנו זוהמת החומר, שבא מסמאל שרכב על הנחש והסית, ועטיו של נחש גרם החומר העכור, ומיתת הצדיק מקנחת, ונשאר זך וטהור למעלה.

[25]  אלשיך (ויקרא טז): ונבא אל ביאור ענין כוונת המאמר (ויקרא רבה כ יב). ואומרה כי הנה מחלוקת השלמים האלה תסוב לדעת, אם מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת דוקא אם מיתתו בלא חטא מצד עצמו, אך אשר בחטאו ימות די לו יכפר על עצמו אך לא יכפר גם על אחרים. או נאמר כי רב כח הצדיק כי גם במותו בחטאו עצמות מיתתו מכפרת גם על הדור. והנה דעת רבי אבא בר אבינא כי דוקא הוא בהיות מיתתו בלתי צריכה לכפר על עצמו. וזה אומרו מפני מה נסמכה פרשת מיתת מרים לאפר פרה . . . לומר שבאופן ובחינת מה שאפר פרה מכפר, בבחינה ההיא מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת. והוא, כי כשם שאפר פרה אינה מכפרת אם לא כאשר נשמרה מכל טומאה כנודע מדרכי שמירותיה, כך מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת כשאין במיתה ההיא חלאת טומאת עון אשר ימות בו הצדיק ההוא. ולכן היה הסמיכות במרים כי טהורה היתה ולא מתה בחטאה. ומזה יצא לו לימוד אל כל מיתת הצדיקים כי מכפרת היא. אך כשם שאפר פרה מכפר שהוא בלי טומאת עון מצד עצמו, כך מיתת הצדיקים מכפרת שהוא כשאין מתים על עונם: אך רבי חייא בר אבא חולק על רבי אבא, שדעתו שאף גם במות צדיק בחטאו מיתתו מכפרת . . . וזה מאמר רבי חייא באחד בניסן מתו בניו של אהרן ולמה מזכיר ביום הכפורים אלא מלמד שכשם וכו'. לומר שכשם שיום הכפורים מכפר שהוא עצומו של יום עם שיחסר ממנו כל מכשיריו, כך מיתתן של צדיקים כבני אהרן שמהם ילמוד לכל שאר צדיקים וידוע כי בחטאם מתו (ע"ש בארוכה).
[26]  וע"ד המבואר בשיטת הרמב"ם דעצמו של יוה"כ מכפר לשבים--ראה לקו"ש חכ"ז אחרי ב' ועוד.