Re: Levi & Marriage Rules #general

Avrohom Krauss <avkrauss@...>

Vivian Kahn Wrote:
My great-grandparents lived in Ujvaros in Szatmar megye, Hungary
(now Orasu Nou, Rom.). According to my mother's first cousin who
lived in Ujvaros until the 1920's, after my great-grandfather Moshe
Gershon died in about 1895, my great-grandmother Shprinze GROSZ
BERKOVITS married her brother-in-law Velvel BERKOVITS. >>

Michael Bernet Wrote:
Szatmar Jews have long had a reputation for their own interpretation
of Halakha; and of making a total about face on an issue, often when that
became of personal significance for a community leader. You may have
heard of the tragedy of the young Woman in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) who
was killed with her infant daughter in a housefire on the morning of the
first day of the Shavuot festival this month. Reverting to a practice
that died out 100 or 200 years ago, their bodies were prepared for
burial that same day (by Jews) and were transported in a van 60 miles
away (by a non-Jew) to be interred in a Szatmar cemtery on the same
afternoon (police serving as communication between the two communities,
and the grave opened by non-Jews).

So, yes. Practices do vary.

In any event, I am not at all convinced that modern halakha forbids
marriage between a widow and her brother in law; it may even be a
common practice. >>

*Indeed if there were children it is unequivocally forbidden as stated in
the Torah, Talmud, and Codes of Law. No observant Jew would ever think of
such a marriage, let alone find an Orthodox Rabbi to preform such a thing!
In terms of Szatmar supposed "turn-about" in Halacha, you should be aware
that burial was and is traditionaly done on the second day of Yom Tov-by
Non-Jews. The reason it is not usually done is because those who are not
fully observant may, as a result, of this work (although preformed by Non
Jews), treat Yom Tov with less respect. Therefore, communities that are
totally observant, such as Szatmar and non-Chassidic groups, such as the
German kehilla of Washington Heights, NY, do, even today, perform burial
on the second day of Yom Tov by Non Jewish workers. *

Avrohom Krauss
Telz-Stone Israel

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