Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #266

Burial in Socks

Q: I heard about someone who asked to be buried in socks.  Is there such a custom?

A: No.  There is a story about a wealthy man who left two wills, one to be read upon his death and one to be read 30 days later.  In the first will, he asked to be buried in socks.  The Chevra Kadisha refused to do so.  The second will said that he knows that they will not bury him with his socks, but he made this request to prove that a person does not take any of his wealth to the World to Come.  He only has his Mitzvot.  But I don't know if this story is true.


Selling Food to a Jew who will Not Recite a Blessing

Q: Is it permissible in a store to sell food to a Jew if he will not recite a blessing before eating it?  Is there a prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block before the blind" (Vayikra 19:14)?

A: It is permissible.  1. Perhaps he will recite a blessing.  Regarding "Do not place a stumbling block", if one is uncertain if the person will transgress the halachah, we are "Tolim" (literally "hanging" on the assumption) that he will not violate it (Mishnah Gittin 5:9).  2. Some authorities hold that there is no prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block" in business dealings (Shut Meishiv Dvar 2:32).  3. Some authorities hold that when the prohibition will be encountered later on and not at that exact moment, "Do not place a stumbling block" does not apply (Be'er Heitev 169:4 in the name of the Bach).  4. When one has the ability to obtain the item elsewhere, there is no prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block".

Q: I asked a different Rabbi about the fourth reason Ha-Rav gave and he told me that even when one has the ability to obtain the item elsewhere and that store is owned by a Jew, there is no still the prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block"?

A: This is the opinion of the Mishneh Le-Melech (Hilchot Malveh Ve-Loveh 4:4) but the Ketav Sofer disagree (Shut Ketav Sofer Yoreh Deah #83.  And in Shut Torat Chesed Orach Chaim #5, Ha-Gaon Mi-Lublin also permits it.  And in Shut Divrei Chachamim p. 281, it is asked regarding "Do not place a stumbling block", if one owns a restaurant, may he sell food to a non-observant Jew?  Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and the Steipler Gaon answer that the world relies on Ha-Gaon Mi-Lublin in this case.  So too Piskei Teshuvot 169:4).


Kiddush for the Birth of a Daughter

Q: If parents did not have a Kiddush to express gratitude for the birth of a daughter will it impede her ability to get married?  Is there a Segulah for her to have a Kiddush later in life?

A: Nonsense (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski was once asked: I was in Los Angeles, and there was a Kiddush for a 25-year-old woman whose parents had not made a Kiddush for her when she was born.  They said in the name of Ha-Rav's father – the Steipler – it was for this reason that she was having difficulty finding a match.  Ha-Rav Kanievski said: "Who made this up?  Wouldn't I have heard about this in my home?  He never said to make a Kiddush in our family!  Derech Sichah Vol. 1, p. 33.  And Ha-Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi similarly writes in Shut Doresh Tzion: This is a complete lie, and our mothers did not have a Kiddush made for them and they are happily married).


Singing Between the Blessings Under the Chupah

Q: Is it permissible to sing between the blessings under the Chupah?

A: No.  It is considered an interruption between the blessings.  When people would start to sing under the Chuppah, Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira would instruct them to cease doing so by raising his hand since this was not done throughout the generations (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 62:2.  Sefer Ha-Nisuim Ke-Hilchatam p. 266).


Honoring One's Father

Q: Which is preferable - going to a Torah class or driving my father somewhere so he doesn't have to travel on the bus?

A: Your father.  It is a Mitzvah which cannot be preformed by another person.  Moed Katan 9a-b.


Non-Kosher Cooking Program

Q: Is it permissible to watch a TV program in which they cook non-Kosher food?

A: No.  It is a desecration of Hashem's Name (Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei Ha-Torah, Chapter 5).


Donation to Shul or Yeshiva

Q: Is it preferable to donate towards building a Shul or towards Torah learning in a Yeshiva?

A: Certainly a Yeshiva - it is preferable to build souls than to build buildings.  Yerushalami, Shekalim End of Chapter 5.  And Pele Yoetz Erech "Sefer".