Halakha 109 (Clip 1) – Shabbat – My Father’s Gold Watch (With Transcript) – Speaker: Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld z”l with questions from students.
Rabbi Rosenfeld: …[It’s a beautiful story but it’s too long. Let’s finish our seder first, then we’ll come back to our story. Remind me.
Student: Meantime, you’re walking in the street, you can push it out of your pocket [referring to finding an object in one’s pocket in an area where it’s forbidden to carry on Shabbat].
Rabbi Rosenfeld: While you are walking, without stopping. Should you have stopped, then you can take it out of your pocket and put it on the floor, but the crime has been committed already. The minute you stop walking, you have made a hanacha. You have stopped. You have deposited this item. Even though you didn’t touch it at all. So therefore under no condition should you stop.
The biggest mistake is a person who says “Ooh, I have something in my pocket,” and he stops. That stopping is the same as a person putting on a light and saying “Ooh, I put it on.” And he puts it off right away. On Shabbat. [Laughter.]
Student: So the question is, what do you do?
Rabbi Rosenfeld: Once he stopped, the thing is done. And now he can’t start walking again with it because he would break another law. So he’s got to drop it out of his pocket when he stopped. He did a wrong thing, naturally.
Student: How about a person who’s going to shul…
Rabbi Rosenfeld: … telling stories!
Student: No, but you feel it [the object being accidentally carried], and there’s a red light. And you’re stopping for the red light and you keep on walking and you’re hit by the car?
Another Student: You walk in a circle!
Rabbi Rosenfeld: I once told you a story. You forgot it. I was about four, five years old at the time. It was Friday night. I don’t recall the story exactly. The three of us were walking. Walking with our father, alav hashalom. And as he walked, he suddenly felt in his pocket and his watch was there.
Now this was a watch he got in Europe. A gold watch. And everything he had in the world was in that gold watch. In other words, this was the only money he had to his name.
And he just looked at it, “Ooh!”
And I remember seeing the gold [watch] and I thought to myself, ‘Shabbat? The gold watch? How do you give up everything you own?’
He didn’t think for a second. He kept walking for a few steps and went over to the gutter and just dropped it in the gutter.
Now, there were a lot of things he could have done. But the thing was: this showed the yirat shemayim. [End of original recording.]
To listen to the entire shiur, click HERE.
Podcast (shiurim): Download (Duration: 2:27 — 2.3MB)