Wednesday, Sep 21, 2022

Moed Koton 25: A Good Sign

On this daf, we find some halachos of eulogies.

When Rav Meir Hakohein Rappaport of Krakow once eulogized an askan who helped many people during his long life, he explained a halacha in a very novel manner: “Our sages say that if the deceased is not nispod k’halacha, which literally means eulogized properly, this is a good sign for him, and the reverse is also true. Most people who pass away have not really fulfilled their potential in life. This makes the person who must eulogize him feel somewhat at a loss to know what to say. The best way around this is to begin the eulogy with some halacha and refer to the few positive attributes the deceased possessed. What else is he to do? Should he then spend an inordinate amount of time on the positive attributes of the deceased when there are sadly not that many? The main points of his drasha are generic, which could apply to almost anyone, peppered with the little that should be said. This is the meaning of the above statement that if one is eulogized using a halacha, it is a bad sign for him.

“But if the deceased lived a full life, one need not use drashos and pilpulim to fill the time for a respectable eulogy. We can just focus on his many, many good deeds and attributes, and we have much more than enough material to give a very inspiring hesped. This is the meaning of the statement that it is a good sign for the niftar if he is not eulogized k’halacha” (Otzar Sichos Tzaddikim)

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