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Jul 14, 2022

Interesting Psak: crying out "father" at funeral

Kikar is reporting on an interesting psak given by Rav Bentzion Mutzafi.

Rav Mutzafi, one of the leading Sefardi poskim, was asked if it is ok for children to eulogize a parent, a father specifically, at the father's funeral, and also to call out "Abba" - Father!, at the funeral, as some do in grief.

Rav Mutzafi responded that the minhag in Sefardi communities everywhere is that a son does not eulogize his father. Only at the conclusion of the shloshim period, the first 30 days of mourning, does the son eulogize. Rav Mutzafi says this has been the minhag from early generations, and he heard so as well from Rav Bentzion Aba Shaul zt"l.

Rav Mutzafi added that the fact that we commonly see son's eulogizing the father today is a mistake and was adopted form the Ashkenazim. Many do so not knowing it should not be done. In the days of Rav Yosef SHalush, in Jerusalem, nobody would dare eulogize his father at the funeral as Rav Shalush would tell him off and not allow it.

In the sefer Sdei Chemed it explains that children should not follow the body in the funeral procession, nor call out "father" in grief, as it arouses the mazikin, the dangerous demons and forces...

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  1. I was told that the prohibition lies in kabbalistic sources and has to do with masturbation of the son during the father's lifetime. Either way doesn't seem too sensitive to the human psychology of the bereaved or respect for the deceased.

    1. Correction to that, I think it's the masturbation of the father. Meaning that the souls of the potential children that would've come and never were, are aggrieved at the children who were born, as they cry out "father".

    2. I stand corrected. It's still mind boggling.

    3. what LES says is what I have heard (more common here in Israel than abroad)


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