Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: I Made a Mistake and This is a Correction

I used to be shy about admitting mistakes in learning for fear that people would think that I am not a reliable source.  Just because I made little mistakes, I thought, shouldn't stop people from listening in general.  After all, continued my yeitzer hara, better for them to at least listen the to things I am right about about and the other things aren't really so bad.  As I have learned more and begun to really appreciate the depth and breadth of my ignorance, however, I am thrilled to have concrete examples of why you need to be an skeptical consumer.  I have enough problems with my own deficiencies in avodas HaShem, thank you.

Case in point, I reported in Thought for the Day: Some Things That Trump T'filla b'Tzibur, that the psak of the Mishna Brura is that if a person consistently comes late for davening that he should just daven in order; skipping, I erroneously reported, is only for the occasionally tardy.  A good friend challenged on on that statement.  I looked and looked in siman 52 (the laws of one who is late to davening but still before yishtabach) and couldn't find that p'sak again.  What the Mishna Brura does say over there is that even if one does not regularly daven with a minyan because he gets up too late,  but once in a while happens to get there near the end of p'sukei d'zimar, then by all means he should skip to get t'fila b'tzibur at least this time (s.k. 1).  I was not ready to retract, however, because many are the p'sak of the Mishna Brura that show up in odd nooks and crannies.  Besides, which, I knew I had seen that wording about not working except on an occasional basis.  And even more besides which, I am stubborn.

I am happy to report that I was correct in remembering the wording.  It just happens to be in a different context.  Namely, how early can you say k'ri'as sh'ma.  In siman 59 (hilchos k'ri'as sh'ma), syef 4, the Shulchan Aruch says that one who recites k'ri'as sh'ma after alos hashachar has, after the fact, fulfilled his obligation.  On that the Mishna Brura (s.k 19) says this this is davka only occasionally, once a month or so, that one can be yotzei b'di'avad.  However, if a person regularly says k'ri'as sh'ma before the appropriate time, then even b'di'avad he has not fulfilled his obligation and must repeat.  Unless, the Mishna Brura, continues, it there is a constant pressing need ("sha'as d'chak" are the words he uses); in which case it is permissible, because what choice does he have?

I know I already sent out a TftD today, but I was uncertain if a thought for the day and a retraction for the day make for two thoughts or zero.  Surprisingly, I decided to be machmir.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…