Sunday, November 30, 2008

On shaking hands with women among the German-Orthodox

And see here


Anyone know who this - גאון מפורסם מאלט שטאט was?
[The source is from a letter in HaDarom 64 by J. Appel of Leeds containing various comments on different articles.]

8 comments:

ADDeRabbi said...

Hard to know. "Altstadt" means old city, and there were numerous European cities which had an old district.
It would be helpful if you gave us some more context here. The conversation seems to have taken place at a resort in the Polish Carpathians during the interwar period; who is the writer, though? What book is this from?

Wolf2191 said...

Thanks! I added in the info but I'm afraid its not very helpful.

Anonymous said...

He is referring to the Gaon R. Hayyim Yitzhak Yeruham, author of responsa Birkat Hayyim.

Marc Shapiro

Wolf2191 said...

Thanks! He was a Hungarian Chassidic Rov so this p'sak is somewhat surprising. I checked ShuT Nirkas Yitzchok and Birkas Chaim but I couldn't find anything relating to this subject.

I wonder if this heter would only apply to the higly formalized atmosphere of pre-war Germany.

Fotheringay-Phipps said...

I don't think it means anything. The context was not a psak halacha but rather whether some of the leading rabbis in Germany were disqualified for having done it.

This type of thing is very common, even where the posek wouldn't actually pasken that way.

[It's not hard to imagine why shaking hands should be permitted, and it's not a radical psak on halachic grounds. But it does seem that most poskim forbid it.]

Wolf2191 said...

The fact that leading Rabbis in Germany did it is itself of note. R Yerucham wasn't saying it in the context of a limud zchus either - the chassidim were quoting him a s aimud zchus. See my earlier post on R Sternbuch and the series at Hirhurim

Fotheringay-Phipps said...

Wolf: "The fact that leading Rabbis in Germany did it is itself of note."

Quite possible. But I was not commenting on your blog post, but rather on your subsequent comment that "He was a Hungarian Chassidic Rov so this p'sak is somewhat surprising", and my response was that it was neither a psak nor surprising.

"R Yerucham wasn't saying it in the context of a limud zchus either - the chassidim were quoting him a s aimud zchus."

You seem to have misread your source. The chassidim did not quote the Gaon Mefursam. The Gaon Mefursam was himself among the group of chassidim discussing the matter with J. Appel of Leeds, and he (the GM) offered this observation in response to the criticism.

Wolf2191 said...

Your right. Thanks for commenting.

 
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