Wednesday, Jan 25, 2023

Megillah 27: A Proper Teshuvah

The Gemara continues discussing halachos regarding the prohibition to use something sanctified for a less holy purpose.

A tearful woman walked into a local shul, obviously overwrought. “I want so much to do teshuvah, but don’t know how. Please, please help me!”

She turned to the gabbai of the shul, a very well-liked person. He reasoned that since she was married and didn’t cover her hair, this was a perfect opportunity to help her change this error. Yet, he realized that she needed a visual aid to help her internalize that this oversight is a serious sin.

His shul was Sephardic and the Sefer Torah was easily accessible. He quickly took the special cloth kerchief which hung from the Sefer Torah and put it on her head. “Now that you will start covering your hair, your teshuvah will surely be accepted,” he said.

When the woman saw how seriously he took her uncovered hair, she immediately accepted to cover her hair from then on.

After she left, the gabbai had serious second thoughts. “Maybe I shamed the Sefer Torah by taking off the kerchief from its side and putting it on the woman,” he worried.

When this question was presented to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, he ruled that it was not problematic. “You did a great mitzvah and will receive much reward for this,” said Rav Chaim (Chashukei Chemed).

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