Saturday, January 17, 2009

Misguided Commitment - Frumkeit versus Being Frum

If someone has the Minhag not to eat Gebrokts on Pesach should he violate it so as not to embarrass a fellow human being? This and other interesting Bein Adam L’Chavero issues were discussed in a comment by Zevi Ashkanazy in an unrelated thread. It was made deep into comments section so I am posting it here as a guest post. It is too important to be glossed over.

Guest Post by Zevi Ashkanazy

This was taken from The Chicago Center for Torah and Chessed Achdus bulletin and is a synopsis of a shiur given by Rabbi Yakov Zev Smith.Rabbi Yaakov Zev Smith, presented Frumkeit versus Being Frum-What Are YOUR Priorities at the Simcha Davis Legal Holiday Program on Jan 1st.

Rav Smith discussed the great dangers sometimes posed by Chumros and Hidurim for Mitzvos Bain Adam L'Chavero and gave numerous examples of Gedolim who would forego precious Minhagim and Hiddurim for the Kavod and well-being of another Yid.

♦ Rav Yisroel Salanter said the most important Hiddur when baking matzos for Pesach is not to scream at the Almanos who are doing the baking.

♦ The Chofetz Chaim paskened that if you have guests the first night of Sukkos, don't wait until Chatzos to eat indoors if it’s raining.

♦The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva admonished a young man not to leave his negel vasser by his bed but outside the room, to avoid waking his wife.

♦The Belzer Rebbe ate soup on Pesach into which his mother had inexplicably put matzo, making it Gebrokst, because Mitzvas Kibud Av V'Em supersedes Minhag.

Rav Smith discussed how Rachmana Letzlan, machlokes often erupts as a result of overzealous and totally misguided commitment, and how in every situation we must ask: Is this Retzon Hashem? Am I causing distress to another Yid? What does Mishkal HaChassidus say about this?