[Avodah] A question for the chevre

Kenneth Miller kennethgmiller at juno.com
Thu Feb 7 14:11:57 PST 2013

R' Moshe Zeldman asked:

> .... He has no opportunity there to continue his growth there
> and will never go beyond just keeping this one mitzva. Do you
> teach him: a) to love Hashem, or b) not to take bones out of
> a fish on Shabbos?

I do not know the answer. But I heard a story once, and perhaps it is relevant. (Unfortunately, I have no idea where I heard the story, or if it is true.) ---

A Jew was drafted into the Russian army, and went to the Chofetz Chaim with the following shailah: They had given this Jew his choice of two units, one where he could eat kosher but would have to be mechalel Shabbos, and another where he could keep Shabbos, but would have to eat treif. Which should he choose?

As I heard it, to my great surprise the Chofetz Chaim answered that he should choose the unit where he could eat kosher: The Chofetz Chaim explained that he could always hope to be Shomer Shabbos again some day in the future, but once one eats the treif, it becomes part of him and it is impossible to *totally* cleanse oneself of it.

Akiva Miller
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