A little while ago I went to hear a shiur on the topic of the Halachos of “Little Things”. He started it off with a little story of one time when he was on the plane and a woman sitting next to him asked him if he was Jewish. He told her yes, and she then asked him to summarize Judiasm in one or two lines. So he told her that everything Jews do are governed by Godly laws. There’s even laws on how to button a shirt, how to tie shoes and how to go to sleep.
Previously I wondered about why boys and girls shirt buttons are different. So then he spoke about that and said that we are supposed to do everything right first. So same with buttons, it’s supposed to be right over left. I think that’s the way girls shirts are. So The Chazon Ish and Steipler would do over the buttons of their shirt so that it should be right over left. The reason why is because right stands for chesed and left for Din, so this way it’s asking for Hashem’s Chesed to come before His Din. Another Halacha he said about right over left that I didn’t know, is that we are supposed to wash our right body parts before our left.
Next Halacha that people forget about is that you can’t talk in the bathroom. Even though the bathrooms of today are different from back then the Halacha still applies. There are two exceptions though, one is if your just going in the bathroom to use the mirror or wash your hands then you can talk in there. The second way to be lenient is if the person didn’t relieve themselves yet and it’s a Tzaroch Gadol to talk, then he may talk.
The age of Chinuch starts at six, so for most Halachos you don’t try to teach your children it until six, no matter how smart and capable they are at a younger age. An exception to this is with Netilas Yadayim, that you are supposed to start with by young age children even under the age of 6. Some may even start with babies, just to wash their hands to get them used to it.
I forgot where this came in, but I remember he mentioned that if he were to try to write a chumra sefer it wouldn’t sell. It was a funny thing to hear, since I’m always hearing about people complaining about Chumras. So here you can be comforted that the Rabbi’s know people don’t like Chumras, so they won’t try to force it on you.
While I was by the shiur I noticed a few things. One is I saw some ladies doing needle pointing while they were recording the shiur with a tape recorder. It seemed as though they were relaxing to a shiur, an interesting idea. Next thing I noticed is that a lot of girls/woman there were wearing nebby clothes. I wondered why that was, is it because going to a shiur is considered a nebby thing? Why is it that the “good” people who want to improve their Yiddishkeit are looked down on as nebs, while the rule breakers are considered the “cool” ones?
Now the next topic was very new to me, it was about Atifas yeshmailim which I’ve never heard about before. It was on how to put on a Talis the right way. I’ve never seen the men davening Shachris, so I never got to see it. The shiur was set up so that the woman were up stairs and the men down stairs, so I still didn’t get to see how it’s done. But he explained it in a way that you just had to see it to understand. Although one part I remember is that the whole face is supposed to be covered except the slit of the eyes, and then it’s thrown over. This makes sense now, cause I remember seeing in a Pruz video, that a man was throwing his talis back and forth.
Another thing he demonstrated which I didn’t get to see was how to hold your hands by Davening. He said your never allowed to cross your hands a certain way, I asked my father afterwards to show me, and it’s like this:
Now, Shorty, this one is for you. Previously Shorty asked about how loud your supposed to Daven. So he spoke about that, and he said that the Zohar says you actually can’t hear yourself when you daven, that it has to be annunciated, that you said it, but it’s not allowed to be heard.
This next thing he said I was very impressed with and liked very much. He said one time there was a man mumbling in his daveneing, that you couldn’t understand what he was saying. So then it was told to R’ Levi Yitzchak who tried to make a Limud Zechus for him. He said that the man mumbling sounds like baby talk which we can’t understand. But Just like a parent understands their child’s baby talk. Hashem is our father, he understands the man’s “baby talk”. I thought that was beautiful.
He spoke about Modim, how you are supposed to bend down. He said he noticed that by girls they tend to do it wrong, that they bend their knees first, that really your supposed to just bend straight down.