Your Feedback Matters


We hope you are enjoying The Foundation Stone™.
Please take a few moments to complete the survey
so that we can continue to improve our website.
Thank you for your time and support.

Take this survey



Your Feedback Matters


Please reconsider your decision.
A few minutes of your time will be
a great help and will allow us to make
The Foundation Stone™ even better.

Thank You!

Take this survey


Exclusively designed for The Foundation Stone Hand Crafted Metal Lace Thank You Machine


To order yours please contact

michal@thefoundationstone.org

Latest
prev
next
Beit Midrash: Rav Binyamin Levy of Smyrna: Adding Words to the Liturgy Print E-mail

ResponsaThe 10th of Tammuz is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Binyamin Levy of Smyrna (1721): Rav Yosef Ergas, author of Shomer Emunim on Kabbalah, consulted with Rav Binyamin Levy of Smyrna over an issue in Leghorn in 1742 (Divrei Yosef #1-5):

 

The custom in Leghorn on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was to add the phrase, “Keil Chai,” “Living Power,” after the words, “Elokim Chaim.” The ordinary people insisted on retaining the practice of reciting this extra phrase, which had been printed in their Machzorim, but the scholars of the community objected to it. Rav Ergas first addressed the question in 1715.

Eventually Rav Ergas considered that since the matter concerned the practice in Leghorn it might be argued that the sages of Leghorn, who did not add this phrase, were biased in their ruling. He decided to consult the rabbis of Smyrna, Aleppo, and Egypt.

Rav Binyamin Levy agreed with Rav Ergas’ reasoning that the practice should be stopped (Note: Rav Ergas’s arguments are a fascinating discussion). However, he quotes the Maharshdam (Shmuel da Modena, Orach Chaim #34) that a custom without a sound religious basis should not be followed. The custom of saying, “Keil Chai,” was introduced before the teachings of the Ari haKadosh had been revealed. “But now that we do have the Ari, who dares disagree with the Great Lion?” “True, the ruling is that where the Talmud differs from Kabbalah one must follow the Talmud, but here the Talmud is silent. Even if all the Halachah writings ruled one way, and the Ari, another, one should follow the Ari. The Ari should have the decisive voice, and the practice should continue.

Dear friends of the weekly yahrzeits and Jewish history email,

we have established a website, www.yahrzeits.net, where you can make donations to Kehillas Anshe Emes, the shul that has hosted and has served as Rabbinic oversite (Rav Yitzchok Summers) for what we put out. Your donations are tax-deductible, and will go 100% to pay for the creation and upkeep of the new server and web site.

Share/Save/Bookmark
 
Joomla 1.5 Templates by JoomlaShine.com