• November 15, 2019
  • 17 5780, Cheshvan
  • פרשת וארא

Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur

Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur

Join Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman as he explores the laws of fasting as well as the prayers of Yom Kippur.

September 5, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur: Lesson 1
Class description

Hello Everyone,

In this session we discussed the obligation to seek forgiveness from those whom we hurt. Every sin against a person is also a sin against Hashem and Yom Kippur is the day when we ask Hashem to forgive us. But we cannot approach Hashem if we haven’t approached the victims of our actions.

The obligation to seek forgiveness is spelled out in שלחן ערוך סימן תרו in detail. There is however a question that is not raised by the Shulchan Aruch and we discussed it yesterday. How should a person act if by seeking forgiveness he will cause pain to the victim?  If a person spoke לשון הרע about someone, but the victim of the לשון הרע is not aware of it, should the speaker seek forgiveness from his victim?

On the one hand, לשון הרע is definitely a sin, and the speaker harmed the victim, so it would seem clear that the speaker must ask his victim to forgive him before Yom Kippur. On the other hand, when seeking forgiveness, the one who sinned must explain why he is seeking forgiveness. In some cases this is rather simple. If, for example, I damaged someone’s car and did not leave a note with my contact information on the windshield, I sinned. I must pay for the damage that I caused and I must ask forgiveness for breaking the window and for not leaving a note behind. This might be awkward for me, but that is what I must do in order to obtain Hashem’s forgiveness.

The question involving לשון הרע  is more delicate. If I tell people that Fred is ignorant, my asking Fred to forgive me may cause real pain to Fred. Fred is probably sensitive about his ignorance and does want to hear it brought up. However, I sinned and I must ask Fred’s forgiveness. Should I seek Fred’s forgiveness and risk causing him pain?

The Chafetz Chaim zt”l, citing the Sha’arei Teshuvah of Rabbeinu Yonah, ruled that I must seek out the forgiveness of the people about whom I spoke lashon hara, even if they don’t know about the lashon hara.[1]

Rav Moshe Shternbuch shlita’h quotes Rav Yisroel Salanter zt”l[2] as not agreeing with this ruling of the Chafetz Chaim.  The person who spoke lashon hara seeks forgiveness for his own gain; he wishes (understandably) to escape punishment for his sin. How can I justify the pursuit of personal gain if it comes at the expense of another person’s feelings? Rav Salanter said that the person who spoke lashon hara should ask to be forgiven without specifying why he is seeking forgiveness.[3]

Rav Shternbuch does not think that seeking a vague, non-specific forgiveness suffices. He cites a story from the Gemarah wherein the Amorah רב was insulted by a butcher. The butcher never asked Rav to forgive him, so Rav went to the butcher’s shop in order to make it easier for the butcher to approach him. When the butcher saw Rav he told him to go away. The butcher then started to chop meat. As he was chopping the meat a bone fragment flew up and killed him.

When Rav left to visit the butcher, he was approached by his student Rav Hunah who asked Rav where he was going. Rav explained to Rav Hunah the purpose of his trip and Rav Hunah replied:

אזיל אבא למיקטל נפשא

It was apparently very unlikely that the butcher would agree to seek Rav”s forgiveness. Rav Shternbuch asks, if a non-specific forgiveness is sufficient, then why didn’t Rav simply forgive the butcher without being asked? It would seem, concluded Rav Shternbuch, that to be forgiven a person must humble himself and ask for forgiveness. Rav Shternbuch explains further, that forgiveness does not merely erase a spiritual debt, it also purifies the sinner from the taint of the sin. To achieve this purification the sinner must be humble and seek forgiveness.

Nevertheless, Rav Salanter’s point is valid. There is no justification for causing someone pain. To go back to the example of Fred, I cannot go to Fred and say that I called him an ignoramus. Therefore Rav Shternbuch says that I should go to Fred and say, “ I may[4] have harmed you when speaking about you. Please forgive me.” Rav Shternbuch says that it is forbidden “to be machamir” and specify the lashon hara since that would be a violation of the prohibition of אונאת דברים.

We next saw a ruling of Rav Zilbershtein shlitah in his work חשוקי חמד.

A woman whose daughter was newly married asked her new son-in-law for a loan of 100 shekels. The son-in-law readily agreed. He gave the 100 shekels to his mother-in-law, and then said to his wife, “When will see when we this money again?”

The mother-in-law was shocked by the callousness of this remark. She was even more greatly shocked by the fact that her daughter merely smiled at this remark. The mother-in-law was always very careful about her finances and her daughter knew that her mother always paid her debts in a timely fashion.

The mother-in-law grew more and more resentful towards the newlyweds. She began to think all sorts of nasty thoughts about her new son-in-law. Finally she decided to confront her daughter. At first her daughter said she has no idea what her mother is talking about. The mother-in-law got even angrier. How could her daughter pretend not to know about this insult? The mother-in-law then repeated the entire conversation to her daughter. Then her daughter’s face lit up. She explained to her mother-in-law that her husband has as interesting habit. He marks his paper money before giving it out in order to see if the same bill will return to him and how long it takes. He never meant to say that his mother-in-law would be tardy in repaying the loan, he was referring to the banknote itself.

The mother-in-law felt awful. She wrongly suspected that the son-in-law was mean and thoughtless. This could be a violation of the mitzvah of הוה דן את כל אדם לכף זכות. Her question was should she seek her son-in-law’s forgiveness.

Rav Zilbershtein explains the principles of הוה דן את כל אדם לכף זכות. In this case the mother-in-law should not have suspected her son-in-law of thoughtlessness. However, Rav Zilbershtein concluded that since the son-in-law was unaware of this transgression, there is no need to cause him pain by asking his forgiveness.

This is a summary of the class. I hope you all found it enjoyable. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Stuart Fischman

[1] The Chafetz Chaim adds that if  a person is aware of the difficulty of seeking forgiveness for speaking lashon hara, then this knowledge should serve as a deterrent to speaking lashon hara.

[2] Rav Yisroel Salanter zt”l was the founder of what is now referred to as the “Mussar Movement.” Rav Salanter felt that what was needed in 19th century Jewish society was a renewed focus on ethical behavior. Ethical behavior  is based on knowledge of what is expected of us, so it is incumbent upon everyone to study the great works of Mussar. Certain Roshei Yeshivah opposed the Mussar Movement for various reasons.

[3] I would add that this seems to be the advice of the Magen Avraham at the beginning of his commentary to אורח חיים סימן תרו :

“…ונ”ל דאם חבירו מתבייש בזה לא יפרוט אותו.”

[4] Rav Shternbuch writes in Hebrew “אפשר שפגעתי..” I do not know why he uses the word אפשר  unless it is to convey that the idea that perhaps no harm was done by the lashon hara.

September 12, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur: Lesson 2
Class description

In this session on Yom Kippur we spoke about teshuva. More specifically, we spoke about two perspectives on teshuva. These are the perspective of the Rambam on the one hand and the perspective of the Chasidei Ashkenaz  on the other hand.

The Rambam describes teshuvah as a process in which ideally a person recreates herself.  Teshuvah itself has four components according to the Rambam:

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ב

הלכה ב

ומה היא התשובה הוא שיעזוב החוטא חטאו ויסירו ממחשבתו ויגמור בלבו שלא יעשהו עוד שנאמר יעזוב רשע דרכו וגו’, וכן יתנחם על שעבר שנאמר כי אחרי שובי נחמתי, ויעיד עליו יודע תעלומות שלא ישוב לזה החטא לעולם שנאמר ולא נאמר עוד אלהינו למעשה ידינו וגו’, וצריך להתודות בשפתיו ולומר עניינות אלו שגמר בלבו.

Teshuvah involves:

  1. a)  Abandoning the sin
  2. b)  Regret over having sinned
  3. c)  A resolution to no longer sin
  4. d)  Confession to Hashem.

Teshuvah is a process. A בעל תשובה must live a life of prayer and charity. He must take care to avoid the things that led him to sin. Ultimately, the change in the sinner’s personality must be so complete that she can honestly say that she is not the person who sinned:

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ב

הלכה ד

מדרכי התשובה להיות השב צועק תמיד לפני השם בבכי ובתחנונים ועושה צדקה כפי כחו ומתרחק הרבה מן הדבר שחטא בו ומשנה שמו כלומר אני אחר ואיני אותו האיש שעשה אותן המעשים ומשנה מעשיו כולן לטובה ולדרך ישרה וגולה ממקומו, שגלות מכפרת עון מפני שגורמת לו להכנע ולהיות עניו ושפל רוח.

Rav Soloveitchik zt”l discusses the transformational aspect of teshuvah in על התשובה (pages 172, 254-6). He points out that the Rambam’s view of this transformation is almost incredibly optimistic:

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ז

הלכה ד

ואל ידמה אדם בעל תשובה שהוא מרוחק ממעלת הצדיקים מפני העונות והחטאות שעשה, אין הדבר כן אלא אהוב ונחמד הוא לפני הבורא כאילו לא חטא מעולם, ולא עוד אלא ששכרו הרבה שהרי טעם טעם החטא ופירש ממנו וכבש יצרו, אמרו חכמים מקום שבעלי תשובה עומדין אין צדיקים גמורין יכולין לעמוד בו, כלומר מעלתן גדולה ממעלת אלו שלא חטאו מעולם מפני שהן כובשים יצרם יותר מהם.

The בעל תשובה is a new being.

There is apparently a second way to view teshuvah and that is the way of the חסידי אשכנז .[1] The חסידי אשכנז  viewed sins as having an almost

tangible ( albeit in the spiritual world) existence. The חסידי אשכנז of course believed that teshuvah is real and is valid. Hashem forgives sinners who repent. But despite Hashem’s acceptance of the penitent there remains fact that the sinner experienced forbidden pleasures in this world and this creates a debt that must be repaid.[2] This is how חסידי אשכנז describe the process of  תשובה:

ספר הרוקח הלכות ראש השנה סימן רו

וד’ עניני תשובה אלו הן תשובות הבאה, תשובת הגדר, תשובת המשקל, תשובת הכתוב.

פי’ תשובת הבאה אם חטא באשה ובאת לידו והיה יכול לחטוא כמו בראשונה ומונע מן העבירה. או גנב ובא לידו ממון חבירו והיה יכול לגנוב ומונע…. זו היא תשובת הבאה אבל יש לו לעשות דין כנגד הנאות העבירה.

תשובת הגדר מן האשה שלא יראה פני אשה ולא בבגדיה כי אם באשתו. מגנבה שלא ילך אצל שום ממון כי אם בשלו. …..

תשובת המשקל יש לו לשקול שיסבול צער כנגד הנאה שבאה לו.

תשובת הכתוב אם מחוייב מיתה באותה עבירה יש לו לישב בקרח או לפני כורת דבורים או לפני נמלים או בהכאות או בענויין.

The first two categories of teshuvah of the ספר הרוקח can be found in the Rambam . Teshuvah involves not sinning when the possibility presents itself, and the penitent must take care to avoid those things which tempt him. It is the next category which has no parallel in the Rambam. תשובת המשקל- the obligation to “cancel out” the illicit pleasure which accompanied the sin by suffering just does not exist in the Rambam’s concept of teshuvah.[3]

Various historians of Jewish thought have proposed theories as to the source of the idea of  תשובת המשקל .[4] These theories do not interest me as much as the comparison of the two views on teshuvah.

The Rambam sees teshuvah as the process in which a person repairs the rupture in her relationship with Hashem. As Rav Soloveitchik zt”l  emphasized, teshuvah is about the change from yesterday to today:

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ז

הלכה ו

גדולה תשובה שמקרבת את האדם לשכינה שנאמר שובה ישראל עד ה’ אלהיך, ונאמר ולא שבתם עדי נאם ה’, ונאמר אם תשוב ישראל נאם ה’ אלי תשוב, כלומר אם תחזור בתשובה בי תדבק, התשובה מקרבת את הרחוקים, אמש היה זה שנאוי לפני המקום משוקץ ומרוחק ותועבה, והיום הוא אהוב ונחמד קרוב וידיד…..

When a person does teshuvah she is again viewed by Hashem as a cherished friend. There are no debts to be repaid.

The בעל הרוקח sees things differently. He may share the Rambam’s view that teshuvah repairs a broken relationship. However, when friendships break up and then reform, this does not excuse the friends from repaying their debts. If I stole from a friend, and then sought and obtained my friend’s forgiveness, wouldn’t I wish to repay the money that I stole? Even if my friend is willing to ignore the crime, I still have money to which I am not entitled. This may be a way to understand the view of the חסידי אשכנז regarding the reality of sin.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the class.

Stuart Fischman

[1] חסידי אשכנז were a small group of mystics who lived in Germany during the 12th -13th centuries.

[2] I admit that I am interpreting the idea of the חסידי אשכנז in accordance with what seems to me to be the similar theory of sin of the תומר דבורה who lived in 16th century צפת.

[3] I believe that the same can be said for the fourth category as well, תשובת הכתוב.

[4] They can be found in the Wikipedia article on תורת התשובה בחסידות אשכנז

September 19, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur: Lesson 3
Class description

In this session we discussed an interesting aspect of the mitzvah of וידוי.

וידוי is essential to the teshuva process of Yom Kippur. As the Rambam says:

רמב”ם הלכות תשובה פרק ב הלכה ז

יום הכפורים הוא זמן תשובה לכל ליחיד ולרבים והוא קץ מחילה וסליחה לישראל, לפיכך חייבים הכל לעשות תשובה ולהתודות ביום הכפורים….

וידוי is integral to the process of seeking forgiveness. The question which we dealt with on Tuesday is whether a person needs to say וידוי year after on every Yom Kippur for a sin which she only committed once, many years ago.[1] We believe that Hashem forgives us when we sincerely repent. Is there a need for repeated confession of the same sin?

This question is debated in the Gemarah:

תלמוד בבלי מסכת יומא דף פו עמוד ב

תנו רבנן עבירות שהתודה עליהן יום הכפורים זה לא יתודה עליהן יום הכפורים אחר ואם שנה בהן צריך להתודות יום הכפורים אחר ואם לא שנה בהן וחזר והתודה עליהן עליו הכתוב אומר ככלב שב על קאו כסיל שונה באולתו רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר כל שכן שהוא משובח שנאמר כי פשעי אני אדע וחטאתי נגדי תמיד

The first opinion ( the תנא קמא) says that it is wrong to say וידוי once a the person had already said the וידוי and repented. The תנא קמא  makes the rather harsh analogy comparing this act to that of a dog returning to look at its vomit. The תנא קמא apparently sees sin as something totally abhorrent and reprehensible. A person who has been forgiven ( and we believe that Hashem accepts our teshuvah ) should not think about her past sins at all.

Rabbeinu Yonah, the author of the שערי תשובה rules like the תנא קמא:

ספר שערי תשובה לרבינו יונה שער ד

 

כא ואמרו רבותינו זכרונם לברכה (יומא פו, ב): עבירות שהתודה עליהן ביום הכפורים זה חוזר ומתודה עליהן ביום הכפורים אחר, שנאמר (תהלים נא, ה): “וחטאתי נגדי תמיד”. רבי אליעזר בן יעקב אומר: אינו חוזר ומתודה עליהן ביום הכפורים אחר. ובמדרשים הזהירו מאד שלא יחזור ויתודה עליהן ביום הכפורים אחר (מדרש תהלים לב), והזהירו על זה משני פנים: האחד – כי הוא מראה עצמו מקטני הבטחון וכאילו איננו בוטח על גדולת סליחת השם יתברך שהוא נושא עון ועובר על פשע, והזכירו על זה (תהלים לא, יט): “תאלמנה שפתי שקר וגו'”, והשני – כי אם אינו מזכיר זולתי העונות הקודמים, ידמה כי אין דאגתו זולתי על הראשונות וכי לא חטא מאחרי כן, ואם כן ידמה כי איננו חופש וחוקר דרכיו וזה חלי רע הוא, כי המשגיחים על נפשם רואים בה תמיד דברי עונות או במדותיה, וכאשר מקצרת מהשגת מדרגות היראה או כאשר מקצרת מן העבודה ועסק התורה, כי העונשים גדולים על אלה, גם כי פשיעות הלשון מצויות…..

Rabbeinu Yonah says there are two reasons for not repeating the וידוי for sins which we have not committed over the past year. First of all, by

repeating a past sin the person displays a lack of faith in Hashem’s forgiveness. Second of all, if a person repeats the וידוי  of a sin from past years, he probably is not thinking about his present behavior.

The position of the Rambam is challenging. The Rambam emphatically states that teshuvah is a process in which a person can recreate himself:

רמבם הלכות תשובה פרק ב

הלכה ד

מדרכי התשובה להיות השב צועק תמיד לפני השם בבכי ובתחנונים ועושה צדקה כפי כחו ומתרחק הרבה מן הדבר שחטא בו ומשנה שמו כלומר אני אחר ואיני אותו האיש שעשה אותן המעשים ….

The Rambam does not write “figures of speech.” The Rambam writes that the בעל תשובה can say about himself “ואיני אותו האיש שעשה אותן מעשים.” It would seem to follow from this idea that a person should definitely not repeat the וידוי for sins committed in the past since he is not that person. Therefore is it is surprising to see what the Rambam says about וידוי:

רמבם הלכות תשובה פרק ב

הלכה ח

הוידוי שנהגו בו כל ישראל אבל אנחנו חטאנו (כולנו) והוא עיקר הוידוי, עבירות שהתודה עליהם ביום הכפורים זה חוזר ומתודה עליהן ביום הכפורים אחר אף על פי שהוא עומד בתשובתו שנאמר כי פשעי אני אדע וחטאתי נגדי תמיד.

Why does the Rambam say that וידוי  should be repeated? This repetition seems to imply that teshuvah does not bring about the change and forgiveness that the Rambam seems to believe in.

Rav Soloveitchik zt”l addresses this issue in the collection of his shiurim  “.על התשובה” Rav Soloveitchik says that וידוי serves two purposes. וידוי is the final stage of the process of repentance. A person regrets the sin, resolves not to repeat the sinful behavior and finally confesses his sins to Hashem. This is one type of וידוי  and if this would be the only role of the וידוי there would be no need to repeat it.

But there is another aspect to וידוי. Rav Soloveitchik says that וידוי  is necessary for ריצוי.[2] Rav Soloveitchik points out that on Yom Kippur the High Priest confesses his sins more than once. Moreover he confesses the sins of the Jewish people. How can someone confess someone else’s sins, if וידוי is the completion of the individual’s teshuvah? So we see that וידוי as part of ריצוי . When we encounter Hashem on Yom Kippur we do not approach Him with words of praise, we approach Him with our וידוי . This is not a וידוי for purposes of forgiveness because the sins have been forgiven earlier.

 

גמר חתימה טובה

Stuart Fischman

[1] I want to explain what I mean by וידוי in this context. We pray from machazorim which have “standard” וידויים. We first say a “generic” וידוי with the words ” אשמנו, בגדנו גזלנו…”  and then we say a וידוי which lists various sins in greater detail. This is the וידוי which starts על חטא שחטאנו לפני….” .” The Poskim agree that if a person has committed a sin which does not appear in either וידוי then he should add it to the וידוי  which appears in the מחזור. For example, if a person wore שעטנז which is not mentioned in either of the “standard” וידויים the person should say “לבשתי שעטנז” in the וידוי. The question then is if a person wore שעטנז two years ago and did teshuva, should he repeat לבשתי שעטנז this Yom Kippur?

[2] ריצוי is a difficult word for me to translate into English. I will say that it means “to find favor.”

September 26, 2017 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Getting it Right: The Halachot of Yom Kippur: Lesson 4
Class description

In this session (which was the last in this series of shiurim) we discussed the custom of כפרות.[1]

The custom of כפרות has existed since the time of the Gaonim and has provoked intense debate. The Ashkenazic communities embraced the practice and a liturgy and series of rulings from the great Ashkenazi authorities strengthened the practice. On the other hand the early Sephardic authorities did not approve of the custom and the Rashba banned it in his community. The argument over the custom of כפרות is reflected in the rulings in the Shulchan Aruch:

שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות יום הכפורים סימן תרה

מנהג כפרות בערב יום כפור, ובו סעיף אחד.

סעיף א

מה שנוהגים לעשות כפרה בערב יום כיפורים לשחוט תרנגול על כל בן זכר ולומר עליו פסוקים, יש למנוע המנהג. הגה: ויש מהגאונים שכתבו מנהג זה, וכן כתבו אותו רבים מן האחרונים, וכן נוהגין בכל מדינות אלו ואין לשנות, כי הוא מנהג ותיקין.

The Mechaber wished to see the see כפרות done away with while the Rema ruled that the minhag must continue to be practiced.

Why does  כפרות arouse such strong feelings? The authorities who objected to the custom said it was just nonsense. There is no basis in the Talmud for idea that killing a chicken can be a source of atonement. Furthermore, thinking that in some way the killing of the chicken parallels the sin-offerings brought in בית המקדש brings the custom dangerously close to the prohibition of שחוטי חוץ. Finally there were objections to the custom because it looks like some sort of pagan practice.

However [2] the custom of כפרות gained widespread acceptance. Even Rav Ovadiah Yosef zt”l whose goal in פסק was to promote the rulings of the Mechaber endorsed כפרות.[3]

What is the idea behind כפרות? Why did it attract such a following?

In the liturgy of כפרות the person with the chicken says:

זה חליפתי, זה תמורתי, זה כפרתי. זה התרנגול ילך למיתה ואני אלך ואכנס לחיים טובים ארוכים ולשלום.

This prayer said while holding the chicken conveys the most fervent wish of a person approaching יום כיפור. The chicken will die for me and I will live. This chicken shall take my place. This  כפרות prayer articulates the connection of this custom to the sacrifices brought in the Temple. The Sefer HaChinuch (פרשת תרומה מצוה צה) explains why the Torah commands that a sinner bring a sacrifice for atonement. The Chinuch writes that the drama of seeing the animal killed compels the sinner to realize that it is only because of Hashem’s mercy that he did not die because of his sin. The penitent needs to imagine himself being burned on the altar.

It does not seem unlikely to me that after the destruction of the Temple and the loss of the sacrifices of Yom Kippur people felt a void. They felt that something was missing from Yom Kippur. Rabbi Akiva addressed this feeling with an idea recorded in the Mishnah of masechet Yoma:

משנה מסכת יומא פרק ח

אמר רבי עקיבא אשריכם ישראל לפני מי אתם מיטהרין מי מטהר אתכם אביכם שבשמים שנאמר (יחזקאל ל”ו) וזרקתי עליכם מים טהורים וטהרתם ואומר (ירמיה י”ז) מקוה ישראל ה’ מה מקוה מטהר את הטמאים אף הקדוש ברוך הוא מטהר את ישראל:

With the loss of the בית המקדש and the atonement provided by the שעיר לעזאזל the Jews were in a state of anguish on Yom Kippur. How would they achieve forgiveness? Rabbi Akiva consoled them. When there is no Temple and there are no sacrifices Hashem Himself deals with the atonement of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Akiva’s words contain a very powerful truth. It is correct that the Temple and the sacrifices were tremendously significant. The עבודה was one of three things upon which the world stands. But their significance was in their being a means for approaching Hashem. Their loss did not mean , חלילה, that Hashem abandoned us. When there is no beautiful Temple and there is no שעיר לעזאזל we can still be purified of our sins by Hashem.

It seems that Rabbi Akiva’s teaching did not completely cure the people of their feeling of loss. There was a need for something tangible upon which a person could shed his or her sins and say:

זה חליפתי, זה תמורתי, זה כפרתי. זה התרנגול ילך למיתה ואני אלך ואכנס לחיים טובים ארוכים ולשלום.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in the shiur.

גמר חתימה טובה

Stuart Fischman

 

 

[1] Here is a Youtube link to כפרות: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJseJHvl5S4

[2] In our time the practice has lost some adherents because of the צער בעלי חיים issue. It may be that when Jews lived in more rural environments people were less squeamish about holding a chicken and then killing it. The question deserves serious research and analysis.

[3] שו”ת יחוה דעת חלק ב סימן עא

Rabbi Dr. Stuart Fischman graduated from Yeshiva University in 1980 and the dental school of Columbia University in 1985. In 1989 he began studying and teaching at Yeshivat Hamivtar and now studies and teaches at Yeshivat Machanaim in Efrat. He has rabbinic ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg.