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There are many cases in halakha where one is discouraged from adopting a stringency because it appears to be an expression of 'religious haughtiness' (יוהרא).

When should someone be concerned about this? I assume that it matters how obvious the stringency would be to others, as well as how much, halakhically, one would gain by adhering to a higher standard. For example, what if everyone in your community does something in a way that is b'dieved permissible, but no posek believes it to be lechatchilah? What if it is to offset a personal issue (such as standing during the haftorah, which nobody does, in order to prevent oneself from falling asleep)?

Basically, does anyone know of a comprehensive discussion of the applicability of doing things that appear as yuhara?

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The sefer Chayei Moshe, by R' Moshe Mendel Shklarsh, in his section on Klalei Psak V'Halacha, discusses yuhara. He writes that it only applies to be stringent in public on something that, min hadin (according to the basic law) is permitted. (At the end of the discussion he mentions that some say it can even apply to private practices.)

There is a special concern with being stringent in the presence of one's rebbe who is not, as well as being stringent in a situation that implicitly denigrates the local rabbis.

I suspect that if the communal practice is actually only permissible b'dieved, i.e. after the fact, then it would not be yuhara to be stringent. On the contrary, it is basic halacha. However, people often use b'di'eved to simply mean that it is not the "best" or ideal, in which case it may be a problem. In general, such a determination needs to be made by a competent rabbi on a case by case basis.

As for offsetting a personal issue, in general this would not be an issue at all.

  • When I eat by my rav, he will tell me to go wash mayim acharonim. He doesn't. – Adám Jul 9 '14 at 18:11
  • Nu? I don't know why he doesn't wash himself, but if he tells you to do so it certainly isn't yuhara. (Which may be why he tells you to do so.) – LazerA Jul 9 '14 at 19:19
  • Interestingly, I've found that many Balei / at Teshuva might be doing certain restriction sout of yuhara. In many cases, when I've asked them why they follow a "chumra" and I heard their reason, it was based upon an incorrect assumption o interpretation of the halachot involved. I don't believe then, that's called yuhara. I think it's called "foolishness". – DanF Aug 9 '18 at 16:15

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