Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Eruv Stories: An Issue of Respect?

In Halichos Shlomo (Hilchos Tefillin, siman 31:95), Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l is cited as stating that if, after learning a topic well, an individual still feels there is reason to be stringent, at that point he has a right to be stringent. However, if someone has a propensity to be stringent without understanding the reasoning behind the issue, he will end up being stringent in trivial issues and lenient in important ones. This is illustrated by the following story. One Shabbos, Rav Shlomo Zalman saw a father and son in the street. The father was carrying a chair but the son was empty-handed. This bothered Rav Shlomo Zalman a great deal and he commented on how someone who was obviously being stringent in hilchos eruvin by not carrying was at the same time diminishing the mitzvah of kibbud av.