Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Stopping Work To Go To A Levaya?


rav-moshe-shternbuchThe Halacha is that a person is Mivatel his Torah to go to a Levaya or a Chasuna. We are not noheg like that today and Rav Moshe Shternbuch (4:213) brings down a number of reasons why. But what about those of us who are not in Kollel or Yeshiva. Shouldn’t we need to stop our work to go to a levaya in the city or a chasuna?Rav Shternbuch says that he is MiSupak if a working person needs to stop work, even though halachicly even someone learning must attend. The reason why someone learning Torah must stop his learning is because while learning Torah is a mitzva so is Levayas HaMeis. In that case the halacha is that the mitzva of levaya takes precedence. The Gemara (Minachos 99b) says “Bitula Zehu Yesoda” sometimes being Mivatel Torah is its further establishment and Hashem approves of the Bitul.

However when it comes to losing money, who said it is an obligation to attend. The gemara (Kidushin 33b) says that Kavod Talmid Chochom does not require losing money. If the whole city is at a standstill and you have no business anyway during that time then you are obligated to go but otherwise you may continue with your job.

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