Halacha for Wednesday 18 Elul 5778 August 29 2018

Peace in the Home

One of the sins we must repent for is hurting others. One must be especially careful not to hurt the members of one’s household; indeed, all family members must take care not to hurt one another. The Ritba famously explained that the Torah’s command “Do not harm one another” primarily refers to a husband not hurting his wife.

Once, the saintly Rav Yechiel Michel of Zlatchov inherited a very valuable and expensive pair of Tefillin from his father (the Maggid, Rav Yitzchak of Darhovitz). Wealthy Chassidim wanted to purchase these Tefillin for a handsome sum, however, Rav Yechiel Michel did not agree to sell his heirloom, despite his difficult financial situation. His wife tried to convince him to sell the Tefillin in order to help support their family since he had another pair with which he would pray, however, Rav Yechiel Michel adamantly refused to sell the precious Tefillin.

One year, Etrogim for the Sukkot holiday could not be procured. On Erev Sukkot, a man appeared in town holding a truly magnificent Etrog for sale and he wanted a large sum for it. Rav Yechiel Michel felt he had no choice but to sell his father’s prized Tefillin for which he received a handsome sum in return. He then used this money and purchased the Etrog with great joy.

When his wife found out about this, she became very angry at him and told him “Your children are hungry for bread and you still did not sell the Tefillin but for an Etrog, now you sold it?!” In her rage, she grabbed the Etrog and bit the Pitom off, thus invalidating it.

Rav Yechiel Michel did not utter a word and did not even show any sign of anger or resentment. Rather, he quietly whispered to Hashem: “Master of the Universe! I no longer have the beautiful pair of Tefillin nor do I even have a valid Etrog anymore. Nevertheless, I accept your decree with love! I shall not get angry and I shall not disturb the peace in my home!

On the night of the Sukkot holiday, his saintly father appeared to him in a dream and revealed to him that his last action of overcoming his anger and resentment made a tremendous impression in Heaven and from now on, Hashem would shower him with an abundant livelihood and he would lack nothing. (Anaf Etz Avot, page 62)

Ask the Rabbi

8 Halachot Most Popular

Praying Arvit on a Voluntary Basis

We have mentioned in the previous Halacha that if one was in the midst of reciting the Amida prayer and then suddenly remembers that he has already prayed this prayer, one must stop praying immediately, for all of one’s blessings are considered blessings in vain. One may not intend for the rem......

Read Halacha

One Who Begins the Amida Prayer and Then Remembers That He Has Already Prayed

Question: What is the appropriate procedure for one has begun to recite the Amida prayer and then suddenly remembers that he has already prayed that specific prayer? Answer: We have already explained that one may pray a voluntary prayer which one is not obligated to as a voluntary prayer and is t......

Read Halacha

The Holiday of Shavuot

Regarding the giving of the Torah, the Torah states (Shemot 19): “And they travelled from Refidim and they arrived at the Sinai Desert and they camped in the desert; and Israel camped there opposite the mountain.” Rabbeinu Chaim ben Atar, the saintly “Or Ha’Chaim,” ......

Read Halacha

Laws of the Compensatory Prayer-Continued

In the previous Halachot we have explained that if one forgets to pray a certain prayer, the individual must compensate for the missed prayer by reciting the Amida of the next prayer twice, once for the current obligatory prayer and the second as a compensatory prayer for the prayer one missed. T......

Read Halacha

Some Laws Regarding the Compensatory Prayer and the Laws of Women Regarding the Compensatory Prayer

In the Halachot sent out before Shavuot, we have discussed the general laws of the compensatory prayer which is that if one forgets to pray a certain prayer, one must compensate for this prayer immediately at the end of the following prayer one prays. For instance, if one has forgotten to pray Shach......

Read Halacha

Blessings of Enjoyment and Keri’at Shema on the Night of Shavuot

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed the order of learning for the night of Shavuot during which it is customary to remain awake all night and study Torah. Reading the Order of the “Keri’eh Mo’ed” Let us first discuss that which we have mentioned that it is proper t......

Read Halacha

The Customary Order of the Night of Shavuot

The Source for the Order of the Night of Shavuot The widespread custom among the entire Jewish nation is to stay awake the entire night of Shavuot and immerse one’s self in Torah study until dawn. Indeed, the holy Zohar states: “The earlier righteous individuals would not sleep on this ......

Read Halacha

Sweet Pastries and Dairy Chocolate

In the previous Halachot, we have explained that our Sages prohibited baking bread with milk (or animal fat) mixed in the dough lest others come and eat this bread with meat (or dairy). We have mentioned that if the bread or baked good is baked in a distinct shape which everyone recognizes to be ......

Read Halacha