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A Shocking Revelation With Surprising Ramifications

Avromi was a young man who was pious and devout. What they call today Charedi or Ultra Orthodox [how come irreligious people are not called "Ultra Secular"?]. One Chol Hamoed Succos Avromi found out that his mother [the daughter of holocaust survivors] was not Jewish! Making Avromi a ..... Goy. With a capital G.

Uh oh.

So of course Avromi wanted to convert, but the question was, is there any reason for him to sit in a succah in the meantime.

Answer: YES! The Rambam [Melachim 10/10] says that a gentile who wants to keep a given commandment [besides shabbos] in order to receive reward should not be prevented from doing so. We learn from this Rambam that a goy may fulfill mitzvos and will be rewarded for his efforts.

So sit in the succah Avromi, sit. And if you wish you may also have a juicy cheeseburger. Wow! A mitva to sit in the succah while eating a cheeseburger ["simchas yom tov"]. Isn't Torah interesting?!

See Kovetz Shiurim Simman 54 and Chashukei Chemed page 212 for a discussion of how the Rambam's law squares with the talmudic principle that anyone who is exempt and nevertheless fulfills the mitzva is acting silly [kol hapatur min hamitzva viosehu nikra hedyot].

hale'vay that this should be the problem i face. I think I face the opposite - approximately 1500-2000 students on WashU's campus are Jewish. and our minyan has only about 12 people each morning, afternoon and night. IS it ok that everyone else is davening b'yechidus? Kol tuv Rav - Yosef Gillers

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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