The Red Bendel (thread). Is it a Jewish custom?

Mori V’Rabbi R’ Hershel Schachter שליט’’א forbids the red bendel (unless I misheard him on several occasions). As I recall he said it was an open Tosefta in Shabbos 7:1

Yet, many of our Boobas and Elter Boobas tied this on a little child’s wrist, not to mention the “pooi pooi” sound that is common when a kid cries. If the first is Darkei Emori should it not be forbidden?

There is apparently another Girsa of that Tosefta that says it is NOT Darkei Emori. I’m not sure if Rav Shaul Liberman has something to say about this issue.

Until I heard R’ Hershel forbid it a few years ago, I always thought it was permitted based on mimetic tradition. It seems R’ Hershel isn’t interested in mimeticism in this arena if there is a Tosefta and considers it an Issur D’Orayso!

What does your Rav say? Does he pasken like the Tosefta, or does he just cast a blind eye, as this is something that was done for centuries. I have a feeling that Sefardim do this as well, as Ayin Hora seems to feature more regularly in their Kabalistically inspired practices.

Of course, if you pay for these at the Kotel etc you are being ripped off if it is claimed they are “special”.

PS. We know that there is an idea of והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך but for how long has there been a practice of placing a picture of a great Rav in a perambulator (let alone a Hamsa)

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

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