Mar 15, 2007

and I thought I had heard some unusual frumkeit!

bluke at The Jewish Worker scanned in an advertisement from today's Yated Ne'eman.

You can see it here:

The ad basically announces for all daf yomi learners with the start of learning masechet Moed Katan, which much of the masechet deals with the laws and mourning, the Hatam Sofer supposedly said (the ad says "it was said in the name of the Hatam Sofer") that one learnign moed katan should be concerned because of the topic of mourning he is studying and therefore should protect himself by giving tzedaka.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky is then quoted as saying that the tzedaka you give should be to a specific organization called Kupat Ha'ir of Bnei Brak and it posts the contact info. Obviously this organization has sponsored the advertisement.

So, does somebody learning masechet gittin have to be concerned he will be divorced in short order? Is there some precaution to take against the vibes of that masechet?

What about someone learning masechet makkot which deals with the laws of the lashes beis din would meet out to those deserving of them? Would someone learnign Makkot be under increased threat of being beaten in an alley? Is there some sort of protection one can take against the threat?

What about learning masechet avodah zara? will one be taken in by the occult and end up receiving the punishment of kares?

And how does one protect himself from drought when learning masechet taanis? Do his chances of death increase when learning Yevamot, requiring his wife to fall to yibum? I do not even want to think about what a person should be worried about when learning masechet kritot!

Conversely, if a single person learns masechets ketubot or kiddushin, does that increase the chances of his getting married? would learning the various masechets of kodshim dealing with the sacrifices increase a persons chances of enjoying a good bbq dinner?

Why would the ammoraim compiling the gemara have written down a masechet that threatens the well-being of anybody who learns it.

And as bluke says from his rebbeim, Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are just as much Torah as Bava Kama, Zevachim, etc. You are מקים the same mitzva of talmud torah. There is a chiyuv to know all of Torah and Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are part of that. Therefore, it is inconceivable that a person would come to harm by learning Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus when by doing so he is fulfilling his chiyuv to learn Torah.

What a ridiculous manipulation for money!


  1. It was yesterday's (Wednesday's) Yated not todays.

  2. I'm sorry, you seem to have missed the entire point of the Chassam Sofer, whose point (attributed to him) was that since Availeem learn Mo'aid Kotton, one should give Tzeddakkah (first) lest he himself Become an Avail for his own Parent or family member.

    This is a concept which nobody would want to play around with or make fun of.

    Even though some of the Litvisher Gidolim of yesteryear and today may have disagreed with this point attributed to Chassam Sofer, it still feels improper to mock those who give Tzeddakah first in order to protect their Parents
    (or even an organization sponsoring this ad).

  3. I have no problem with anybody giving tzedaka. v'kol hamarbe harei zeh mishubah.

    However telling me that because I am learning moed katan I am at risk of becoming an aveil is ridiculous. what about all the other torah topics?

  4. Moed Katan and Hilchos Aveilus are part of Torah, how can we imagine that because we learn Torah we will become Aveilim? Are we not supposed to learn these?

  5. The previous anon wasn't necessarily disagreeing with those who don't give Tzeddakah for this; only with those who mock its important concept - and Emunas Chachomeem as well.

  6. I have emunas chachomim that learning torah is knegged kulam and will not put me in danger.

  7. I have no idea what the chassam sofer really said. maybe his words are being taken out of context or misquoted or whatever. I highly doubt he really said anyone who learns moed katan is at risk of becoming an aveil.

  8. Anonymous,

    What is the important concept that is being "mocked"?

    Last I checked כי נר מצוה ותורה אור, Torah learning is greater then doing mitzvos and ותלמוד תורה כנגד כולם. In Volohzin they learned all of Shas including Moed Katan.

  9. but bluke, they might have learned moed katan but maybe they all gave tzedaka first to kupat hair of bnei brak!

  10. RAFI - every time you type kupat "hair" instead of "ha'ir", I get a completely different [picture in my head of what this tzedakah could be! lol.

    1. anon is quick to defend what is probably a misquote from the CS, yet jumps on a fellow yid very quick. Obviously you were not attacking the CS, you addressed the obvious plea for a certain tzedaka to benefit from a questionable "eiyin hora" threat. But, anon is prowling the web, just looking for anyone who "attacks our heiliga gedolim". If he only knew the person you are, he'd realize that's not what you're about. me- maybe....

  11. I'm the Anon.
    The Chofetz Chaim is reputed to be among those Litvisher Gidolim who disagreed with the Chassam Sofer about this, so I (as a "Litvak") have only some small disagreements with you:
    1. The large number of Chassidic Gidolim in previous generations who atribute this quote to the Chassam Sofer have rendered it relatively indisputable that he said it - and if not - at least the Chassidic Gidolim of past generations have said it.
    2. Even when Gidolim disagree about something, it is improper for one side's followers to label the other side as ridiculous.
    (Although this was my entire intention about not "mocking"
    I am sorry that I have (apparently) offended you in the process. I am sorry.

  12. It is written in Sefer Chassidim to daven extra before learning Meseches Moed Katan. He says not to learn it in public places. It is said that the malach hamoves is close by when someone is learning Moed Katan and therefore he should learn it without any kalus rosh at all. In Shiyorei Knesses Hagedola it is said not to learn this Mesechta in Yeshivos but rather by yourself. Sefer Naharei Afarsemon says that we should not be concerned for the Sefer Chassidim because the Torah will protect. Kaf Hachaim brings from the Shalah that it should be learned during Chol Hamoed (not sure if he means only then). Look here what I brought from the Chafetz Chaim.

    One final note; As quoted above and there are others like the Chasam Sofer (possibly)who did say not to learn Moed Katan. You have some valid questions; why not gittin or avoda zora? However, I don't think it gives us the right to say that their opinion is ridiculous. (Perhaps the connection to an individual tzedoka is not the correct method) In the comments, you do say, like anyone who reads your blog knows full well, that you have a strong emunas chachamim, but it is not up to us to choose which of the great Chachamim of previous generations to listen to. Yes, our Gedolim seem to say that we should learn Moed Katan, but that doesn't mean we should mock the other side. Let us all be mechazek in limud HaTorah of kol hatorah kulah and may we be all zoche to arichus yamim v'shanim.

    Fondly, Avrohom

  13. Here is the link in linkable form. Daf Notes

  14. I can accept that. I guess "ridiculous" should not have been used... maybe "unusual"...

  15. Yasherkoach and have a good shabbos.

  16. A major, major yasher ko'ach for this post.

    Does Rav Chaim realize what kind of clown these goons are making him look like?

  17. I commented last night and it didn't come out. Anyway I wanted to say I have seen this sign areound my town and it says all your tefillos will be answered just give money to kupas hair, I think it is terrible I never liked it one bit.

  18. >It is written in Sefer Chassidim to daven extra before learning Meseches Moed Katan. He says not to learn it in public places.

    Right, and the Sefer Chassidim also says "When burying a woman, who in her lifetime ate children, and you see her mouth open, it is a known fact that she will continue eating them for a year after her death. Therefore, you should fill her mouth with dust so that she will be prevented from causing further harm."

  19. that's a great one anonymous. are you familiar with all the "crazy" statements from sefer chassidim or just that one? give us some more examples!!

  20. I don't think there's any point in making fun of Sefer Chassidim, the doctrines of a pietistic sect in medieval Germany.

    But the point is, that is what they were. Tzadikkim? Sure! Superstitious? Sure!

    And that is the point. You want to avoid Moed Katan then be sure when burying dead witches who eat babies to fill their mouths with dirt too.

  21. Sefer Chasidim is quoted by many litveshe gedolim and poskim including the Mishna Berura. There are others besides the sefer chasidim cited above. Everyone should have their posek and act accordingly, but I don't think it's proper to mock at the other ones. There are many things that Chasidim, Sefardim and other sects do and we can all sit down and have a real good laugh at their expense. I don't believe that is what is wanted or warranted for us to do. Yes, they were more makpid on ayin hora in certain circles - we seem to hold that MOed Katan should be learned. We should respect that there is another opinion out there.

  22. it's interesting how everyone is walking on eggshells regarding the "strange" things in sefer chasidim and certain minhagim, yet on the other end of the spectrum, frum jews have no qualms about attacking less observant people and things they do. Not directed at anyone specific. Just an observation about the extent people will go to "promote" achdus and whatnot for one end of "strangeness" and not the other.

    How about achdus for all and we don't make fun of anyone, regardless of religious level!

  23. Poo, poo, poo, kineyan hara, your parents look great and your mom's going to start reading you more often, shamed her into it, your welcome, and this was a GREAT post! I know you weren't mocking, btw.

  24. thank therapydoc...

    Avromi is right. we should not mock others and their styles, and that was not my intention. The method that kupat ha-ir abused the "minhag" of some to give tzedaka before learning moed katan is what needs to be mocked. It is a blatant attempt at manipulation of people.

    Give tzedaka as much as you can and to whatever organization you want, and this as should not stop you from giving tzedaka.

    But it is also natural to see some of these crazy ideas whether from sefer chassidim or other sources and chuckle. I would not call that mocking. I once had access to a book called segulos u'tefillos. This was an old sefardi book. This book was full of segulos such as drying out the dung of a dog and pounding it to powder and mixing it with rabbits blood and putting it in your food. And lots of other crazy stuff similar. I see nothing abnormal about chuckling when reading such things, even though it is someone else's style to be worried about these things.


Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...