[Avodah] Showering during the 9 Days
akivagmiller at gmail.com
Thu Aug 15 03:20:56 PDT 2019
>From R' Joseph Kaplan:
> 2. R’ Micha repeats the story told in the Frimer’s’ article about
> the Rav and the woman who wanted to wear a tallit. ...
> Second, I was not a talmid of the Rav but I did discuss the story
> with several people who were his talmidim or who knew him well. A
> number told me that while the Rav would, of course, not see any
> value in wearing a tallit without tzitzit, the fact that he would
> put a women from his Boston community through such a test rather
> than handle it in a much more gentle and sensitive manner (can you
> imagine how she felt at the end if the story is accurate) is
> difficult to accept...
People are entitled to their feelings, and if "several people who were his
talmidim or who knew him well" feel that way about this story, I cannot
argue with that fact.
I simply want to add *my* feeling, which is that the Rav DID handle it in a
very gentle and sensitive manner. In fact, every time I've read the story,
I've been impressed with this approach, the mark of a master educator.
The woman approached him, and he suggested a practical experiment. Based on
the woman's own report of the experiment's results, he was able to offer
his own interpretation of those results. Though not explicit in the
published story, I would imagine that the Rav allowed her to continue
wearing the tzitzis-less tallis if she had wanted to, thus continuing the
"magnificent nature of her religious experience in wearing the tallit". He
simply forbade her from adding tzitzis to that tallis.
We don't know her reaction to that final step. But even if her reaction was
negative, I can't imagine how the Rav could have handled this more gently
than he did.
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