[Avodah] Mistaken Minhagim

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Sun Mar 1 13:31:37 PST 2020

On Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 02:58:18PM -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
> Which gets us back to "mistaken minhagim"... We use minhag to mean
>     a- pesaqim specific to a community
>     b- practices following knowing they're lifnim mishuras hadin
>     c- ... anything else?

RMPoppers mentioned the example of East Europeans not wearing a tallis
until marriage.

Which I think has the probable origin of sheer finances. Easier to make it
a gift from the in-laws when everyone is breaking the bank anyway. Yes,
it can be justified after the fact -- there is no hypocracy implied
when saying Shema without a tallis on in a community where everyone has
a tallis qatan. And even meaning can be assigned to the practice based
on a semichut between tzitzis and marriage in Devarim 22. But that's
all post facto.

And that in turn reminded me that Purim costumes, for all the post-facto
meaning assigned to them did just happen to start in Italy, a country
where the local Notzrim were just celebrating Carnivale. Or milchig
on Shavuos coming from Germany, a country where the locals celebrate
Wittesmontag (White Monday) the Monday before the Notzri Pentacost.

So there is a (c) for my list

c- Common practices picked up by the masses for which the rabbinate
   later found ways to assign meaning. These aren't lifnim mishuras
   hadin (category a), but are -- after the explanations -- meaningful
   experiences in a Torah sense other than the purely halachic.

Anyone have a suggestion for (d)?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 The mind is a wonderful organ
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   for justifying decisions
Author: Widen Your Tent      the heart already reached.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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