My father a”h told me, "In Pressburg, when they had a Levaya l”a
The frum people used a horse and buggy to transport the Niftar. The
more modern ones, used a car".
R. Shlomo Kluger asked from the Maharatz Chiyos* to send him a copy
of a Teshuva he wrote to R.Bezalel Ginzburg ( Dayan in Tarnipol), who
asked if one may use a horse and buggy to transport a Niftar.
R.B.G. held that it was wrong to use a horse to transport a Niftar.
He claimed we find in Midrash, Yaakov commanded his children that
after his death no Mitzri or Kenani shall touch his body. If he objected
for a Mitzri or Kenani , for sure he would object a horse carrying his Aron.
R.B.G. also claimed the Bnei Yisroel carried Yackov Avinus body all the
way to Chevron on their shoulders.
The M.Ch. argues on both points. "You can’t compare touching the
body to transporting without touching. We don’t find anywhere
that Yackov was carried on the shoulders of Bnei Yisroel.
He continues on with his Teshuva and concludes, there is no Issur to
transport a Niftar on a horse and buggy. However, the Minhag (in his region)
is to carry the Niftar on the shoulder and no one uses horse & buggy.
You should not change a Minhag that goes back to the times of the Avos,Neviiem,Tanaim and Amoraim.
Shlomo Hamelech warned us Al Titosh Toras Imecha.
ועושה חדשות בעל מלחמות "
250 years ago the discussion was if horse & buggy was OK.
80 years ago the discussion was if an automobile was OK.
Today few know, there ever was such a discussion.
*Shu”t Maharatz Chiyos 6
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