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Author:  AR
E-mail:  not available
Date:  7/23/2004 4:16:00 PM
Subject:  closing windows
Message:  Unfortunately, Bemechilas K'vod Harav, there have been numerous deaths and illnesses, due to the disregarding of these cutoms from R Yehudah Hachasid's will. Another one that has a chilling repurcussion has been the disregard and the encouragement of such by some rabbi's of the "removal of gutters" from ones home.
This phenomenom happens when you extend houses. As I have been told,and know the people well, two very prominent community leaders have been warning people to please listen to these laws, as unfortunately they were told to disregard them, or were not eeven advised of them, and they lost their wifes shortly after the construction(Lo Aleynu).They have been shouting very loudly- so that others will not fall into thisdangerous albeit mystical trap.
Please consult with your father before brushing off this issue, which might fall into the category(however esoterically) of Chamurah Skanta Me'esurah.
I would be interested in your fathers reaction and would be surprised if others don't have similar stories , unfortunately.
Reply:  Rabbeinu Yehuda HaChasid has very many rules that we do not follow. It is very hard for us to see something bad happen and be able to determine the exact cause. Certainly the main thing we should be looking at is doing good verses doing bad. If a person gets sick, he/she should look at his/her actions, not some superstitious causes. These things are just smokescreens by the Yetzer Harah to distract us from the real things. He says, "don't worry about keeping the laws, the real reason why this happened is because a black cat crossed your path. Just avoid black cats in the future and you'll be fine."

The Halachah is clear in Shulchan Aruch. At times we follow certain of these type rules and often we do not. We can't follow all or we'll go crazy. We shave on Rosh Chodesh even though it says not to in Rabbeinu Yehuda Hachasid. There are no risks involved. If we follow God's laws, nothing can hurt us.

There is a wonderful story in the Talmud about an "Arod," some vicious creature. The town was being attacked by this Arod and people were going crazy. They called Rabbi Chanina Ben Dosa to save them. He went to the Arod, put out his foot, and the Arod bit him. Subsequently the Arod died. He carried the Arod through the town on his shoulders teaching his community a lesson that "Ain Ha'Arod Memit, Ela HaChett Memit." Meaning, The Arod does not kill, but rather our sins kill.

Years ago, when we had prophets, the people who had problems would go to the prophet. The Prophet would tell them what sins they did and how to atone for them to remove those problems. Now people go to so-called Mekubalim, who are usually total fakers. They tell them to do this and that, and everything will be OK, and then they take them for whatever money they can squeeze out of them. This is our stupidity at work again. We try to get a quick fix rather than make a Cheshbon HaNefesh (look into our actions for flaws).

You say, "Chamurah Skanta Me'esurah" a danger is stricter than a law. I say Chamurah Aveira Me'Sakanta" a sin is stricter than a danger. Because when in danger, God can help you out, but when it happens because of a sin, if you don't get involved, nobody else will.

As for closing up a window, CYA, who is in the construction business, says that as long as you have one opening, window or door, on that entire wall of the house, you are allowed to close up any other windows or doors.

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