Forgetting The Torah (Part 4)- Reading Tombstones and Placing Two Articles Of Clothing On At One Time

(This should not be relied upon for practical halacha. When a question arises a Rabbi should be consulted.)

Please Read Forgetting The Torah (Part 1) before reading this post.


Reading Tombstones-

1. The Gemara in Horayos 13b state that reading the text of a tombstone causes one to forget his learning. This ruling is cited by the Mishnah Berurah (2:2).

2. Harav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a (Sefer Hazikaron 2:26) maintains that it is preferable not to read the tombstone in one’s mind, even without verbalizing the words.

3. The authorities cite the Arizal who explained that it is only a concern if the words are protruding from the stone. If, however, the words are engraved one may read them (Nagid U’Mitzvah, Shaar Hamitzvos Veschanan, Mishnas Chassidim day 3, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:13, Kaf Hachaim 2:3).

4. Many have the custom to place stones on graves that they visit. The Beer Heitiv (124:8) explains that the custom of placing stones or tufts of grass on the grave is for the honor of the deceased person by marking the fact that his grave has been visited. The Sefer Yosef Ometz (page 273) cites those that say that placing a stone on a grave removes its ability to cause forgetfulness and that once one places a stone there one may read the tombstone. He is unsure, however, whether there is legitimate sources for this.

Placing Two Articles Of Clothing On At One Time-

1. The Magen Avraham (2:3) writes that one of the activities that causes forgetfulness is placing two articles of clothing on at the same time.

2. Many poskim maintain that one may don two shoes at the same time. Accordingly, one may don shoes with galoshes. (see Kaf Hachaim 2:6, Rivevos Efraim 2:4, 3:6. Aruch Hashulchan 2:6, Shulchan Melachim 3:17, Tzitz Eliezer 7:2. See however Maasef Lchol Machanos 12 for a dissenting view.)

3. According to Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l one may remove two articles of clothing at the same time. The prohibition only extended to donning clothing, not removing them (Halichos Shlomo vol. 1 page 22). However, Harav Yitzchak Eisik Yehuda Yechiel Safrin zt”l of Komarno, known as the Komarno Rebbe, writes that removing two articles of clothing at the same time is also detrimental to one’s memory (Shulchan Hatahor O.C. 2).

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