Monday, December 28, 2020

Did they use a hearse?


My father a”h told me, "In Pressburg, when they had a Levaya l”a  the חרדים used a horse and buggy to transport the Niftar. The more modern Yidden used a car".

R. Shlomo Kluger asked from the מהר"ץ חיות* to send him a copy of a Teshuva he wrote to R.Bezalel Ginzburg ( Dayan in Tarnopol), 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 מצרי or כנעני shall touch his body. If he objected for a מצרי or כנעני , for sure he would object a horse carrying his Aron.

R.B.G. claimed the Bnei Yisroel carried Yaakov's  body all the way to Chevron on their shoulders.

The מהר"ץ חיות argues on both points.

a)"You can’t compare touching the body to transporting without touching.

b) We don’t find anywhere that Yaakov was carried on the shoulders of Bnei Yisroel.

He continues on with his Teshuva and concludes, there is no איסור 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  אבות,נביאים,תנאים & אמוראים

Shlomo Hamelech warned us אל תטוש תורת אמך
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.

'שו"ת מהר"ץ חיות ו






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