Audio Roundup Special: Rabbi Wiederblank

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by Joel Rich


Rabbi Netanel Wiederblank-Hilchot Aveilut

The Halachos of Bikur Cholim

Is the main element of bikur cholim that of prayer, practical assistance or friendship? Which prayers are appropriate, by whom, and when?,-malpractice,-and-extortion/

The Halachos of Refua: Practicing medicine, malpractice, and extortion

Hashkafically how much hishtadlut is required in seeking medical care? Perhaps it depends on your level of connection with HKBH. How much compensation are doctors allowed to demand? Considering your mortality and doing tshuva is always a good idea! (My observation is most people avoid this like the plague.)

Siman 339: End of Life Issues Part 1

We are mchallel shabbat in order to save a goses (TBD – perhaps die within 3 days) but there are situations where we don’t actively intervene (eg great pain/no chance of survival). What is considered a passive v active intervention needs to be defined.

Siman 339: End of Life Issues Part 2

One can’t withhold basic human needs (TBD) in EOL situations (source = logic). Don’t make any obvious preparations for burial. Can you assume a goses died three days after the original determination? Delivering the news of death may be subject to limitations.

Siman 340: Introduction to Kriya

Introduction to kria (ripping) – what is the purpose?

Siman 340: Kriya b’shaash yitziyas nishama

Topics include: how much to rip, why don’t we rip anymore on someone who a kin rips on? (or when in the presence of the death), ripping on shabbat, and ripping for a rasha.

Siman 340: Kriya on non-observant

What aveilut is there for a rasha/tinok shenishba? How do we define poreish min hatzibur, especially today? Why don’t we rip for an adam kasher today?

Siman 340: Kriya on a chacham

Ripping for a gadol, talmid chacham and/or rebbi muvhak (all TBD) –  what is the current practice and why does it seem inconsistent with the S”A? Which clothes do we rip, (based on what was worn), and when? How do local wearing practices impact which clothes to rip?

Siman 340: Kriya for a woman

Should women’s ripping be any different than men’s due to tzniut considerations? (safety pins are helpful.) Discussion of ripping on upper v lower garments, parents v others and ripping changed clothing. Does a katan rip? Can a father stop a child from mourning observance for mom?

Siman 341: Aninus part 1

Why can’t an onein eat meat/drink wine? One shouldn’t eat in front of the meit nor do anything that is loeg larash. (maybe saying tehillim is OK because of kavod hameit) Is not doing mitzvot due to tirda or kavod hameit? (hutra v dchuya or patur v mufka?) Implications discussed.,-making-brachos-and-tashlumin/

Siman 341: Aninus part 2, making brachos and tashlumin

What is the impact of aninus (and coming out of it) on birchat hatov vhameitiv, ntilat yadaim, birchat hamazon, asher yatzar, bdikat chametz, sfira, havdala, kriat shma and tashlumin. Key issue – is an onein mufka mmitzvot or just patur? (hutra v dchuya?)

Siman 341: Aninus part 3 chevra Kadisha

More on tashlumim for an onein. If he can’t do anything for the burial (eg on a desert island with no cell phone), or doesn’t need to (gave the meit over to the chevra kadisha), what is his status?

Siman 341/388: Aninus D’orisa and Haschalas Aveilus

Does aveilut duraita and/or drabanan start at death or burial? Rambam has a different view than others and various implications flow from this distinction. Is shmira still needed today? Also includes hashkafic thoughts on how much mourning is appropriate.

Siman 375: The Onset of Aveilus

Generally, aveilut starts at stimat hagolel/(TBD) but what if the initial internment was to be temporary? What do we do in case we are unable to bury in a timely fashion (ie kidnappers keep the body)?

Siman 375 part 3: The Onset of Aveilus when not traveling to the burial

What does aninus end and when does aveilut begin for both those who go to the burial and those who don’t? What if one isn’t going but will deliver a hesped via Zoom?

Siman 375 part 4: Gadol HaBayis

How is gadol habayit defined and what are the implications for shiva starting and ending purposes? (for all mourners)

If one davened maariv early and then heard of the death, which days counts as the first day of shiva?

Siman 376: Nichum Aveilim and Kaddish

Nichum aveilim issues including: who for (living, dead), when (three 1st days?), and when and what to say (menachem and the avel). Are the requirements connected to the avel or the bayit? (eg hallel saying). 

Kaddish issues including: who says (women, minors?), how many say it (one or multiple), and why it is said.

Siman 378-9: Seudas Havra’ah and Birkas HaMazon at a Beis Avel

Is the seudat havraa a din in the avel’s aveilut (can’t supply himself) or the comforters? Why does the avel have basar vyayin? Why don’t we use a modified birchat hamazon as called for by the gemara? Why do we learn in a bet avel, if the avel is forbidden to learn? (eg mishnayot)

Siman 340: Issur Melacha

The issur mlacha during aveilut is more stringent than that of chol hamoed (which has an exception for davar haavud). Why? How do we define davar haavud?

Siman 398: Aninus D’orisa

Aninut/aveilut duraita or drabanan? Applications discussed. For whom does one mourn?

Siman 342: Leather shoes

When does an aveil stop wearing shoes? What qualifies as shoes and is there a difference wearing them inside or outside?

Siman 341: Issur Rechitza part 1

Mikar hadin is rechitza(washing)allowed except when it’s for taanug or it only allowed if one is mitztaer harbeh? How do we understand listening, zuhama and how do we differentiate between kol gufo v panav vraglav and chamim vs tzonen applications?

Siman 341: Issur Rechitza part 2

Is the prohibition to shower during shloshim in order that you don’t come to shave or some other reason (is it lo plug?). When is the prohibition of sicha (anointing) applicable (deodorant)? Is jewelry permitted? How about any grooming/beautification process?

Siman 342: Leather shoes

How are shoes defined? When might an avel be permitted to wear them? (outside? with dirt in them?),-yom-kippur-and-tisha-b-av/

Siman 383: Tashmish Ha-Mita and Harchakos during aveilus, yom kippur and tisha b-av

Which “services” may a wife provide for a husband during shiva? (do we look to yom kippur, tisha bav paradigms?)

Siman 384: Talmud Torah

What is the nature and scope of the aveil’s   not learning torah (haamek dom?) and is it based on denying simcha or is it a type of avodat hayom? What can or can’t be learned and at what depth? (tisha bav as well).

Also covered – shiva and shloshim rules for the aveil as: shatz (on rosh chodesh), duchener, and oleh

Siman 385: She’eilas Shalom part 1

What counts as a forbidden sheilat shalom at different points of aveilut?

Siman 385: She’eilas Shalom part 2

Is sheilat shalom an issue of using HKBH’s name (shalom) or kiruv hadaat (relationships?) We tend to be lenient (not  clear why). How does the prohibition extend to gifts and invitations?

Siman 386-7: Atifas HaRosh and Kfiyas ha-Mita part 1

The requirement of atifat harosh may have disappeared due to concerns of what it looks like to outsiders.

Is kfiat hamita (turning over beds) related to the requirement to sit on the ground?

Siman 387: Kfiyas ha-Mita part 2 When must an avel sit on the floor

Is sitting on the floor a din in the avel or in nichum? Applications discussed. Why do we cover mirrors?

Siman 388: Tefillin During Aveilus

The gemara discussed not putting on tfillin the second day – why is this? Why do panim chadashot impact putting on tfillin and how do miktzat hayom kkulo and hesech hadaat play a role in this 2nd day question?

Siman 389: Laundry During Aveilus, New Clothing, Changing clothing

Are there two separate prohibitions, laundering and wearing clean clothes? How do we define kibus (washing?) and giyhutz (ironing)? And when are they prohibited (shiva, shloshim)? What can one wear on shabbat and how do the rules apply to an istinis (finicky one?)?  How long must someone else wear clothes for them not to be considered new/fresh?

Siman 390: hair and nails

Review of haircutting rules during shiva, shloshim and 12 months including: mustaches, beards, men v women (married/single), role of regel and does goer (friend saying you look bad) require an actual statement or is it just a condition description?

Also covered, nail cutting over the same time periods (biting v cutting, mikvah et al)

Siman 391: simcha and parties part 1

Is the prohibitions of simcha based on how it looks to others or not to be bsimcha (heemek dom)? How does shiva differ from shloshim in this regard? Is it primarily for simchat rshut or broader? What are the exceptions?

Siman 391: simcha and parties part 2

More on attending smachot of various types including: chupa, sheva brachot, chatan’s tish, aufruf, bar mitzvah.. ..

One needs to know exactly what is going on and where but even then there are many disputes.

Siman 392: Hakafos and Marriage

Why does an avel not participate in hakafot? Is it a din in hakafot or simcha?

Does the prohibition on marriage include erusin? shidduchim? Are there exceptions to the three regalim rule for remarriage?

Siman 393-4: Leaving the Beis Avel

What is the nature of the “prohibition” of a mourner’s leaving the home? Are there exceptions to the rule for mitzvot? Is a shomer needed?

When and where (eg one’s house) must one switch their normal makom why is it required?

R Wiederblank provides a limud zchut for saying hamakom when an aveil comes into shul Friday night after shkia.

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.

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