Misreading situations and Halacha

I don’t speak for the Yeshivah Shule. I was there on Shabbos and noticed that Zephania Waks got an Aliya. I innocently asked if he had a Simcha, and he replied that the Shule (one assumes the main shabbos minyan) doesn’t give him Aliyas for Simchos. He then proffered that he had Yohr Tzeit that evening. I asked for whom, and he responded for his father. I wished him long life and reminded him that my father’s matzeva was being consecrated tomorrow as per an email I had sent him. Zephania claimed he gets lots of email and probably missed it. Ironically, he liked my father very much and used to come up especially and say how much my father reminded him of his own father.

Zephania then grumbled that an Aliya wasn’t enough and that he should have received Maftir. Well, according to the Ramo I was also entitled to Maftir (each week) as an Avel, but I never seek it out. Furthermore I wouldn’t dream of imposing this on any Minyan. That’s not my brand of frumkeit.

Ironically, the Shule was rather barren. There were chiyuvim everywhere and I counted three separate layings apart from the kollel minyan, mesivta minyan, and Sefardi minyan.

Any Shule has to make difficult decisions in such circumstances, and are entitled to. In this instance, I fully understand why the person who got Maftir in the MAIN Shule did so.

  1. His father also had Yohr Tzeit and his father had a closer connection with the institution as one of their klei kodesh
  2. He was ALSO in the middle of shloshim after his mother, and
  3. It could be argued that this chiyuv and their ย amily were more closely aligned with the Shule than Zephania.

Now, Zephania is clearly under some strain, but he COULD have attempted to get Maftir elsewhere. I would have lained it for him upon request (although I think breaking up minyanim like this is contraindicated). I even remember Rabbi Groner being unwilling to disturb a Simcha with his chiyuvim my organizing layning in a side room.

Maybe it’s time to take stock and stop throwing stones when there are perfectly acceptable approaches which will bring Nachas Ruach to the Niftar.

Certainly Zephania has managed to make enemies for himself. Sometimes it is unfair, other times its just poor judgement and akshonus which is his downfall.

I know of some critically good things that Zephania does; I just wish he’d choose his fights with more acumen. Sometimes he unnecessarily becomes his own worst enemy.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

2 thoughts on “Misreading situations and Halacha”

    1. Sorry this comment ended up in Spam for some reason ๐Ÿ™‚
      I haven’t read Galus. I’m really not interested in someone who is Poretz Geder to this extent when it’s an important community issue.


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