Friday, June 22, 2007

Halachic Measurements - The Conversation Continues

(Picture courtesy of jamb.ca)

A Simple Jew:

Whose shiurim should I hold by, Rav No'eh or the Chazon Ish?

Sudilkover Rebbe:

In the old days, most of Klal Yisroel basically held like the Rav Avraham Chaim No'eh shiur -- and in a few places even smaller shiurim. For example, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's kiddush cup holds the correct shiur of Rav Chaim No'eh.

But my answer would be to follow both shiurim. In the case where Rav No'eh is more stringent, follow him -- and in the case where the Chazon Ish is more stringent, follow him. In our generation, it's much easier to take the bigger shiur, as easy as pie – just a little more wine or matzah! But in regards to Halacha, the shiurim of Rav Chaim No'eh can be an even bigger chumra as they relate to an eiruv, eating on Yom Kippur, etc…

In conclusion:

As a general rule, I would obviously tell most people to hold by both shiurim especially in a Deoraise. However, for a specific and individual question, it depends on the issue.

Chabakuk Elisha:

As a chossid, I follow the shiurim of Rav No'eh. In fact, I find the tendency for people to adopt a "bigger is better" attitude a little troubling - could you please explain your position a little more, and how you see the differences between the measurements of Rav No'eh and the Chazon Ish?

Sudilkover Rebbe:

It is known that the accepted measurements in Yerushalayim were always smaller than those of Rav No'eh. His measurements were accepted there over those of the Chazon Ish simply because his were the smaller of the two. Furthermore, it is obvious that the Chazon Ish's measurements are indeed not his own, rather they are based on the Noda BeYehuda and other previous sages.

Parenthetically:

The Kiddush cup of Rebbe Avrohom Yaakov of Sadigur, the son of Rebbe Yisroel of Ruzhin, comfortably holds the Chazon Ish's prescribed shiur. So, I don't understand your statement that you subscribe strictly to the measurements of R' No'eh.

Chabakuk Elisha:

I wasn't aware that the Sadigurer's kos was the Chazon Ish shiur, but even so, I don't know if that proves that he held that was the shiur "lehalacha." Maybe he just wanted a bigger kos for his own reasons? Do we know if the shiur of the kos was even his choice? Maybe the craftsman who made the kos made it large on his own initiative?

Finally, I understand that the shiur is the shitas Noda BeYehuda, but we are chassidim of the Baal Shem Tov, so the Nodah BeYehudah's shiur is not ours...

Sudilkover Rebbe:

It is known that the Ruzhiner cup was exact and designed with great yichudim and it has been in continuous use by his descendents until this day.

The Nodah BeYehudah was a halachist that cannot be taken lightly. Although he criticized chassidim in the well known statement "Chassidim yekoshlu bam"' [regarding the custom of saying l'shem yichud], I have already remarked to you that that was in reference to the chassidim of the Shela"h who lived in Prague and not in reference to the chassidim of the Baal Shem Tov. Interestingly, in Vizhnitz today, they have the custom to say the L'shem Yichud silently because of this. In Belz they do this as well on the yahrzeit of the Noda BeYehuda (the same yahrzeit as the Degel Machaneh Ephraim).

We need to keep in mind that the measurements of R' Chaim No'eh – as I responded to A Simple Jew – can also be a chumra.

In the dynasties of Spinka and Ziditchov (long before the time of the Chazon Ish) they were known to use very large shiurim for all the mitzvos of the Seder night, and their kiddush cups were quite large as well. From the writing of their talmidim it is clear that they were makpid to use the largest shiur.

My grandfather, the Baal Shem Tov, brought to the world a path of particularness in halacha. One without nervousness, but with a love for mitzvos – and most certainly careful adherence of them!!! And not to look for in our generation of abundance, ways to seek the easiest way out.

PS – Most certainly those who follow R' No'eh have solid ground to stand on without a doubt; especially those who follow his psak in all cases –lechumra & lekula – for if not, they lose more then they gain….

Chabakuk Elisha:

Regarding the Ruzhiner cup: I understand, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he held that is the shiur "lehalacha."

As to the Noda BeYehuda: I understand what you're saying, but nevertheless, the Nodah BeYehuda isn't generally posek acharon in (almost?) anything, and certainly not for chassidim.

Regarding cases where it turns out that R' Chaim No'eh is machmir, you are absolutely correct.

As to derech haBaal Shem Tov and not seeking ways to do the minimum, I agree completely!

Sudilkover Rebbe:

Thank you, and yasher koach for accepting my words.

Without a doubt, anyone that follows Rav No'eh as his custom has no need to change his derech.

There is a known story with R' Avrohom of Chechenov:

A child once urinated in shul and they poured a revi'is of water on it (I don't know if it was a revi'is according to the Chazon Ish or Rav No'eh), while someone ran over with a bucket full of water to pour on it. R' Avrohom turned and yelled at the bucket bearer, "Apikores! If Chazal tell us that a revi'is is sufficient don't be overly-frum!"

My response and position that I gave to A Simple Jew was specifically for those who as of yet have no specific minhag, and as I said to A Simple Jew for a specific and individual question, it depends on the issue.

6 Comments:

At June 22, 2007 at 8:44:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Talmid said...

The Sudilkover Rebbe said about the Noda BeYehudah "Although he criticized chassidim in the well known statement "Chassidim yekoshlu bam"' [regarding the custom of saying l'shem yichud], I have already remarked to you that that was in reference to the chassidim of the Shela"h who lived in Prague and not ) in reference to the chassidim of the Baal Shem Tov."
Where can I find out more about this?

 
At June 22, 2007 at 10:57:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Simcha said...

There is much more about the Noda Beyehuda and his relationship to Hasidism at:

zchusavos.blogspot.com/2007/05/noda-beyehuda-most-important-tzadik-in.html

 
At June 22, 2007 at 1:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also like documentation/proof of the statement that "Although he criticized chassidim in the well known statement "Chassidim yekoshlu bam"' [regarding the custom of saying l'shem yichud], I have already remarked to you that that was in reference to the chassidim of the Shela"h who lived in Prague and not ) in reference to the chassidim of the Baal Shem Tov."

Also, the link above (comment # 2) doesn't seem to work.

 
At June 22, 2007 at 1:32:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, the link above (comment # 2) doesn't seem to work. this ones good

http://zchusavos.blogspot.com/2007/05/noda-beyehudah-most-important-tzadik-in.html

 
At June 24, 2007 at 7:44:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz.. said...

that is classic -- someone quoting Zchus Avos blog @ A Talmid :D

@ASJ

Did I read that right? The Sudilkover Rebbe referred to the Baal Shem Tov as his grandfather??? Please explain.

Also, the Sudilkover Rebbe converses via Email?

just curious...

 
At June 24, 2007 at 7:49:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz..: The Sudilkover Rebbe is a decendant of the Degel and thus also a decendant of the Baal Shem Tov.

I usually speak with the Sudilkover Rebbe via telephone.

 

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