In a message dated 5/11/2006 11:40:33 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
< We have a case of a thirteen year old boy who travelled to the US with
his father in 1900, but to save money he was listed as eleven years old.
< My first thought was "What about his tefillin?" Would it have caused a
problem is he had been "caught" doing what an eleven year old shouldn't be
doing, thus giving away the cheating on price? Would anyone have cared?
Would he have been able to do so off in a corner where no one would notice?
Or did he perhaps learn a lesson about saving money even at the cost of
religious obsevrance? >
1. He made sure to travel on the intermediate days of Passover or Sukkot. In
the Diaspora, Sfardim and Hasidim (nusach Sfard) do not don tefillin during
the intermediate days of the festivals while Mitnaggedim do; in Israel it is
the universal custom not to wear them on the intermediate days.
2. If there was an area set aside for Jewish prayer, I am sure the ship's
crew did not intrude during services.
3. When traveling by train or channel ferry in England and Europe I was
always able to find a place to put on tfeilin out of sight of the public.
4. I am not a posek but I believe that in the case of emergency there is a
specific procedure where one can recite the blessing and put on the tefilin
for just a moment and still fulfill the Mitzvah.
5. One can hide the head tefilin under the brim of a hat and the hand one
under a shirt or jacket.
6. There are many miraculous tales in Medrash and Talmud where someone put
on tefilin under dangerous circumstances without suffering, usually as the
result of a miraculous intervention (e.g. they tefilin turned into a pair of
pigeons and flew away).
7. The other Jews formed a tight wall around him so that no one could see.
8. He fibbed and said it was the custom in his community to start wearing
them at 11.
9. He fibbed and said he had made a vow to his grandfather to wear them
daily, even though he was too young.
10 The ship's purser didn't have a copy of the ArtScroll Siddur and didn't
give a damn for how the Jews prayed, even if they cheated a little on the
Michael Bernet, New York