[Avodah] Praying for one to die

Ben Bradley bdbradley70 at hotmail.com
Thu Oct 21 15:30:45 PDT 2021

'More recently, I started wondering:

Why would the IM (and others) assume we hold like the maid and not the
chakhamim? If you're going to say that the fact that R Yehudah haNasi
did indeed die shows the pesaq of beis din shel ma'alah, what does that
say about "lo baShamayim hi"?

RMF invokes the concept of LbSH in the haqdamah (vol 1), and OC 1:14, 15.'

Very tentatively, perhaps this is not a situation of a machlokes in halacha where we pasken like one or the other. It is rather a question of the right thing to do right now in a very specific set of circumstances. It was not a question of sevaras, or masorah, it was a complex value judgement which may not have been raised before in this way. The maid intuited correctly and the lack of criticism of her actions in the gemara is the basis for ruling like her in the poskim. LbSH doesn't even get started in this scenario.
We know she was right because of chazal's implied approval, not because Rebbi died.
In fact you could say that the BD shel maala was indeed forced to hold like the chachamim, which is why he stayed alive due to their prayers. Only when they stopped could the BD shel maala have its way and take Rebbi back. Perhaps a gezeira  of BD shel mata and LbSH are not the same thing. Temporary koach of gezeira vs permanent pask din.
I might even be so bold to say that this analysis makes it a Da'as Torah issue, not a plain halachic issue. The maid intuited right, the rabanan didn't. Once we know this via the gemara's implicit approval we can apply it ad netzach.

Of course this precise issue of removing the moneia for a patient with only chayei shaah and who is suffering has just been raised in the UK, and the Jewish world's response by and large has been to ride roughshod over the nuances of the medical situation, the resultant halachic issues, and the complex, competing values involved.
Daas Torah, where art thou.


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