Ethics

For the week ending 10 January 2009 / 14 Tevet 5769

A Time for Protest?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: The irreligious son of observant parents was determined to have prayers and kaddish said in honor of his deceased mother, and hired a minyan of Jews to perform this service in his home. When the leader of the group noticed that the mourning son was not putting on tefillin like everyone else, he politely invited him to borrow his tefillin and join the service. The son adamantly refused to do so and the entire minyan left the house in protest. Was this the right thing to do?

Answer: There is a case to be made that they should have stayed despite the son's refusal because it was in honor of his observant mother that they had consented to come. On the other hand, the son's flagrant demonstration of contempt for religion did warrant a protest.

Without revealing the position taken by a prominent halachic authority in this matter, it would be interesting to hear what our public has to say about this matter.

Let us know what you think was the right thing to do : ohr@ohr.edu

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