Halachic Hazards Encyclopedia Letter Y

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Letter Y

Yizkor:[1] [Achronim]

Those of whom both of their parents are alive, are to leave the Shul for Yizkor due to Ayin Hara.


What is one to do if there is a child sleeping in Shul?[2]

He does not need to be awakened and one may simply cover his face with a Tallis.


Yoga/Meditations/Therapies:[3] [Rebbe]

Rabbinical supervision: Yoga[4] and many eastern meditations, contain aspects of idolatry that are forbidden for a Jew, of which one is required to give up his life rather than perform. Nonetheless, the aspect of seclusion and meditation in it of itself does not contain idolatry and is not Halachically forbidden, and on the contrary can be found rooted in Torah. Likewise, much of the physical exercise of Yoga is not idolatry related. One who desires to perform any of the above types of therapies is to beware to do so in a Kosher manner, making sure that it is removed from any idolatry tainted practices. The same way a food requires Rabbinical supervision, so it does not contain any non-Kosher ingredients, so too eastern meditations and Yoga style practices require Rabbinical approbation to verify that they have been ridden of their prohibited aspects of idolatry. The Rebbe encouraged Rabbanim to seek G-d fearing psychologists and mental health experts to study the field of meditation and make Kosher forms of meditations available for the public in need of these therapies. In addition, the Rebbe proposed that the meditations include a Jewish spiritual content, such as the concept of Shema Yisrael, G-d’s oneness. 

Who should use this therapy? The Rebbe’s position even regarding Kosher meditations was that it is not meant for the healthy minded and should only be used as proscribed by a medical or mental health professional. The same way a healthy person does not take medicines for ailments he does not have, and if he does so it will damage his body, so too taking part in these therapies when not needed can prove detrimental to one’s mental health. Furthermore, even one who needs these therapies, it should be used like a medicine, only on occasion and according to need. Just as one can overdose on medicine, and become addicted, similarly one can become indoctrinated and infatuated with the therapy given to the point that what was once a healer of mental health becomes its destroyer. Kosher meditations must be regulated. Once one becomes stable and healthy, he is to leave this therapy all together and continue to lead a normal and healthy life without external dependencies.   


Shemira for a Yoledes:[5] [Talmud/Achronim]

A Yoledes needs to be guarded from Mazikin [and hence is not to be left alone or go outside alone in the marketplace[6]].

Yom Kippur:

See Volume 1 Chapter 12


[1] Shaareiy Efraim 10:32; Kitzur SHU”A 133:21; Nitei Gavriel 79:1; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 82 footnote 1 for other reasons

[2] Nitei Gavriel 79:2

[3] See Sichos Kodesh 5739 3/314; Likkutei Sichos 36/335-336; Heichal Menachem 1/48, two letters of Rebbe to Rav Yaakov Landa, Chief Rabbi of Bnei Brak; Healthy in Body Mind and Spirit chapter 9

[4] Yoga is a group of physicalmental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals in HinduismBuddhism, and Jainism. Many of the positions and mantras in Yoga contain pure idolatry, summoning deities and spiritual forces and showing one’s subservience towards them.

[5] M”A 239:7; M”B 239:9; Brachos 54b; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 180

[6] Haghos Yaavetz; Aruch Hashulchan E.H. 64:3

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