Sunday, September 12, 2010

Follow Up Talk With The Argument Rabbi

After reading all of the comments on the previous post I decided to approach the Rabbi and actually ask him why he said it was assur to do hataras nedarim on the night before Rosh Hashana. I know, this is a very novel idea and most people just like to assume what people think, me being one of those people.

Unfortunately for this Rabbi, his logic was EXACTLY what I thought it was. He told me that you can not make a Bais Din at night. This got me all excited because I had printed out copies of the Shulchan Orech, Tur, Rambam and the Gemora in Nida (Thank You Josh Waxman). I then responded to him that he should take a look at these Maarei Makomos and left. Obviously, all of this was done with the utmost respect and I did not really get outwardly excited.

The next time I saw this Rabbi he returned the Maarei Makomos, but he was not done, he still needed to defend his position. I mean, if you had told a room full of people that it was assur to do something and your psak was contradicted by the Gemara, Rambam, Tur and the Shulchan Orech with no support in sight what would you do? Just correct your opinion?

He responded to me that the Maarei Makomos do seem to say like me. However, it could be that erev Rosh Hashana is different and the Bais din is like a real bais din. He did not say what Rabbi Josh Waxman thought he would say, which was: "Here is the however, however: my guess is that it is not motivated *entirely* by thinking that the night is invalid for hataras nedarim. This source is that night *in general* is valid for hatarat nedarim. Rather, some part of the motivation might be thinking that the night is not *really* considered erev rosh hashanah. Just as a bechor fasts on erev Pesach, but not during the night preceding. This is then no different than saying it, day or night, one week before. That would work, but would not be in accordance with the minhag to do it particularly on erev rosh hashanah." This would have been a valid argument (even though I argue against it in the comments on the previous post). However, he said something that seems, to me, to be ridiculous. Why on earth would someone think that ANY hataras nedarim would be a real bais din? Maybe you could argue that the minhag is not like that, but to say that hataras nedarim for erev Rosh Hashana is supposed to be a real bais din is far out there.

I responded to him that his idea is nice and good (because I was being respectful, in truth the idea made no sense to me), but I have never seen it in any minhag book or halachic sefer. He told me he would look it up and get back to me. If that ever happens I will let you know, but I don't think this Rabbi is going to admit this, or any mistake any time soon.

I hope everyone had a meaningful Rosh Hashana and has a great year because of their meaningful davening.


Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Baruch shekivanti!

This year I said we could do hatarat nedarim on motzaei Shabbat (for convenience), but backed down when a young visiting rabbi pointed out we ought not to because it is like maaseh beit din. I said I didn't think so, but I would defer.

Good job here!

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

I wonder if it was the same rabbi? ;-)

E-Man said...

Thanks Mordechai. However, it can't be the same Rabbi, this Rabbi was old.

I hope you get a chance to correct this Rabbi.

Truth is, I think it is a Syrian custom to say Hataras Nedarim the Sat night before Rosh Hashana.