The current Amshinover Rebbe in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem is known in the Jewish world as a man of great piety and for his great knowledge in Torah. He is also known to keep very different "Zmanim"- halachic times, he makes havdala during the week (the Halacha is to say it Motzei Shabbos), he davens Shacharis during the later parts of the day (permitted untill Chatzos-midday) , says Kiddush Levana during the day (it is said at night, when the moon is visable).

Undoubtedly, The Rebbe is a pious and saintly man who does not do these things wantonly, and he must have a Halachic justification. Is anyone familiar with any resource or arguments which may help to better understand The Rebbes practices?

Please make use of halachic sources and please refrain from making disparaging comments about the Rebbe

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    – msh210
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 18:23
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    I'm not going to try to answer the question. I can't even begin to fathom the reasoning behind his derech. He is on a much higher level than me. I just want to share a personal ancedote I witnessed. It was Chanuka and The Rebbe was in middle of saying torah. Suddenly he excused himself and left the room to go lein Kriyas Shma. It had turned morning already and the Rebbe wanted to lein Kriyas Shma bzmano.
    – user218076
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 14:05
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    Maamar from baar HaTanya which seems to be related chabadlibrary.org/books/adhaz/lkutey/6/18a.htm ... הענין כי יש ב' מיני צדיקים. הא' אותן שהם בסתר שעבודתם ברוחניות פי' בכוונת הלב לייחד יחודים עליונים ובבחינת עליות. וכגון רשב"י כשהיה במערה י"ג שנה שבודאי לא היה יכול לקיים במעשה כמה מצות מעשיות שהרי לא היו ניזונים רק מחרובא ועינא דמיא דאיברי להו א"כ לא קיים אכילת מצה בפסח וקדוש על היין ואתרוג וסוכה כו'. וכן האריז"ל היה ג"כ גם בבחינה זו... והב' הם אותן צדיקים שהן בגילוי שעבודתם בגשמיות בקיום המצות מעשיות...
    – hazoriz
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 19:28
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    @chortkov2 קובץ אגרות חזו"א (ב, ס' קלג): כי ראוי להמחזיקים בתורת ה', ,לדעת את גדוליה באופיים האמיתי, ואם הותר לדבר לשון הרע על אומן באומנותו להאיש הדורש עליו לצורך, על מי שתורתו אומנותו, לא כל שכן שמותר להודיע להמחזיקים בתורה וצריכים לדעת, כי הידיעה של חכמי הדור, לבם ומידתם, הן הן גופי תורה. מכל מקום, צריך לזה זהירות יתירה, ופן ,משנה הדבר בקוצו של יוד ונמצא מוציא שם רע על תלמיד חכם" hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=46852&st=&pgnum=122 Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 22:29
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    @chortkov2 this is not even remotely avak LH. I literally go out of my way to 1. Assume that the Rebbe has a good reason to do it. 2. Explicitly state that disparaging comments are unwelcome. Your ideal vision will basically lead to never being able to have a constructive conversation about anything of import. Thus the need (like the CH points out) is needed all the more so Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 10:15

4 Answers 4

  1. Regarding Havdalah during the week, I believe the reason why you find the Rebbe doing is so is because he actually keeps Shabbas until Tuesday. I heard this from a well-known story that the Gedolim weren't sure of this minhag and sent Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky to speak to the Rebbe. Although he didn't know the source for the Rebbe's custom, after the conversation he knew it couldn't haven't been a sin as there is a general rule that mitzvah gorreres mitzvah and eveirah gorreres eveirah (Avos 4:2) and since there weren't any other eveirahs (chas veshalom) by the Rebbe, this couldn't have been one either. I am not even going to try to out due, Saar HaTorah, Rabbi Kanievsky's Chochma in Torah. Still, after delving deeply into Arvei Pesachim almost the entire year (the last and tenth Perek of Meseches Pesachim) whose first half deals extensively with the Halachos of Shabbas mainly regarding Kiddush, Havdalah, and the like I have some ideas that we can put together and create a simple, simple understanding. One of the large concepts discussed there is the mitzvah of Tosefes Shabbas (adding to Shabbas). The extent of this mitzvah's significance alters the Halacha quite a bit regarding how we approach zmanim compared to how we would treat them during the week. One example, we do not wait until Shkiah to daven Maariv even though the kehilla would usually daven Mincha at this time during the week (see Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 76:1.) Tosefes Shabbas is also a consideration for the end of Shabbas. It can even be seen through the Halacha intentionally davening Maariv later and in a more prolonged way with song at the outset of Shabbas (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 96:1.) Now, according to Kittzur Shulchan Aruch 96:15 one can make Havdalah until Tuesday, even if he intentionally didn't say it right after Shabbas (as we would know it Sat. night) and the reason is that "the three days after Shabbas are included in the general term of Motzei Shabbas." Now, combining this idea of Tosefes Shabbas, our understanding that Motzei Shabbas includes Tuesday and allows one to say Havdalah until then even if didn't say intentionally and with the understanding that the Gemara calls a Chassid one who goes beyond the letter of the law (like Menachos 41; in this case, extending and adding to Shabbas as late as possible), then really it seems like the Amnishover is doing the right thing for his level of Avodas H-shem. It's a beautiful role for a man of that level to anchor Am Yisroel as a Talmud Chacham always holding by Shabbas (for 4 days quite literally so). That fits very well with the Gemorah's and Zohar's saying "Talmud Chacham (is) Shabbas," (Zohar Chelek 3, Daf 144b. Daf 29b. See Brachot end of 47b, Shabbat 119a) what's not appropriate for a Rebbe, a Chassidic (implying beyond the letter of the law) Talmud Chacham (implying an inherent spiritual association to Shabbas in general) to keep Shabbas as late as possible?

  2. Regarding Tefillah after zman, there is a Rambam mefurash (Hil' Tefillah and Birkas Kohanim 4:1) that 5 things prevent one from davening even though the time has passed. The 5th one is proper kavannah. Proper kavannah isn't even the right term for the Rebbe. Have you seen his mesader kedushin videos and the intense focus and time he puts into a bracha? Please see it for yourself here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr_zyzAafnc), it helps one realize the power and weight of a bracha and davening, both powerful forms of talking to H-shem. For all we know, he could have started davening from Alos HaShachar but had such kavannah that shemoneh esreh is after chatzos (I don't know that for sure other than the length it takes him to say a bracha in this video, please correct me if I'm wrong) which brings me to:

  3. Kiddush levana, was surprising but sure enough, there was a picture online of such an event (http://lifeinisrael.blogspot.com/2011/08/amshinover-rebbe-says-kiddush-levana.html). We should be dan l'caf zchus (Avot 1:6) based on one of the comments claiming that the individual was there from the beginning and that the Rebbe was there and started at night time but had so much kavannah it became daytime. In that case, the yikar of kiddush levana, just like kiddush on Shabbos is mainly by the bracha and not the Tehillim, Parshas, and/or pesukim before (depending on the nusach), you could bavern the same thing regarding all of the additional pesukim, Gemara passage, and Aleinu after the bracha of kiddush levana. In that case, the Rebbe fulfilled the yikar mitzvah at its time and was mamshich into the daytime.

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    Thank you for 1 and 2. Number 3 is a bit too sabbeatean for my taste. Great answer! Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 9:54
  • Thank you. Regarding #3 I think we're supposed to stick to sources, if you want Chassidic and Kabbalistic sources, would be happy to search more but overall when you're asking about a Chassidic Rebbe, it's hard to exclude such hashkafa regardless of your own personal one, with all due respect to the 70 panim of Torah and different approaches. And again, it's not totally appropriate for me to answer on behalf of someone much wiser and older than me, just giving a potential Chassidic outlook.
    – DoreshEmet
    Commented Aug 7, 2017 at 12:07
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    Shoel U'Meishiv, please see my edited answer to question #3 regarding the kiddush levanah with inyan L'Halacha without focusing on Chassidic/Kabbalistic reasoning.
    – DoreshEmet
    Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 5:52
  • I highly doubt Rav Chaim Kanievsky actually said that. People have made things up in his name before.
    – N.T.
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 6:17

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There is a statement from the Ruzhiner on the justification for this practice by tzaddikim in spiritual terms here.

  • Excuse me for being a misnaged, but אין צדיק בארץ אשר יעשה טוב ולא יחטא. Also, not a halachic source.
    – Mordechai
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 9:52
  • Worse: O.C. 89:1 עבר והתפלל אחר ארבע שעות. This itself is a חטא!
    – Mordechai
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 10:01
  • A similar justification is quoted here
    – b a
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 11:53
  • @Mordechai You can make an okimta that the Shulchan Aruch is talking about normal people who are bound by time (not that it would convince anyone who doesn't accept the premise given)
    – b a
    Commented Feb 18, 2021 at 11:56
  • First Tosofos in Shabbos 55b ארבעה מתו בעטיו של נחש. והא דכתיב (קהלת ז) כי אדם אין צדיק בארץ וגו' ברוב בני אדם קאמר:
    – Eliyahu770
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 10:56

he makes havdala during the week (the Halacha is to say it Motzei Shabbos) -one may make havdallah until the tuesday. the problem with delaying havdallah for most people is that one may not eat until after making havdallah. delaying havdallah would then require one to fast. something most would not do but perhaps he does.

he davens Shacharis during the later parts of the day (permitted untill Chatzos-midday) - the halacha is to daven within the first 4 hours of the day. there is also a halacha that one must daven with kavana. many are linient in regards to the shemona essray until chatzos since there is also an opinion that says this is ok b/c they are also taking extra time to prepare. Additionally there is an idea of schar zman and schar tefilla. even if one missed the time to pray it is important to pray and one may then still daven shachris as long as it is light out

says Kiddush Levana during the day (it is said at night, when the moon is visible). -no idea why one would say kiddush lavana during the day. I have not seen this done before. sometimes the moon is visible during the day but not often. perhaps you know of some of his talmidim you can ask?

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    So is the rebbe's davening shacharis late bedieved?
    – Daniel
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 14:19
  • There are two halacha to follow. The time and the preparation. Many place more emphasis on the preperation. Not only this but the preperation to daven is considered davening so even while taking the lenient side for time. When one starts their preperation to pray during the time to pray the time of pray extends the entire time one prepare and prays.
    – Dude
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 18:02
  • To say you can't daven with kavana until around noon doesn't make sense to me. If you need a lot of prep time, get up early. I'm wondering if maybe he needs a lot of prep time and CAN'T get up early, simply because he goes to sleep late. About 20 years ago, my sister wanted to go to him for a bracha. She needed me to come because he didn't accept women visitors without a male escort. I didn't oblige her request because the appt. was at 2:00 am or 3:00 am. In avodas Hashem there are a lot of things you can get done in the wee hours of the night. Rav Eliashiv zt"l also made use of that fact. Commented Dec 4, 2015 at 9:24
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    @BenofBen'sTallitShop the beginning of your response makes sense for most people as we need a good nights rest to function properly. I do not know anything about the Amshinover Rebbe being spoken of here but there have been great Rebbeim of the past who didn't need to sleep very much and in fact only slept a few hours a night and so being tired and sleeping late had nothing to do with the time in which they davened.
    – Dude
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 14:01
  • @Dude It seems the Brisker Rov also kept shabbos till Tuesday
    – SAH
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 13:00

This is not per se answer to the specific problems and Tzadik mentioned, but an explanation to a general rule "צדיק גוזר הקב"ה מקיים" (BAash"T):

"הבעש"ט הקדוש אמר פירוש הפסוק (תהלים קכ"א) ה' צלך, שהשם יתברך מתנהג אחר מעשיך כביכול כמו הצל שלך, שמה שאתה עושה גם הצל עושה, כן השם יתברך כביכול, צדיק גוזר והקדוש ברוך הוא מקיים:"

I think for a Litvak (as you present yourself) it is difficult to understand the legitimacy of the other Halachic approaches, thinking that the MB or the whole Shu"A is THE ONLY obligating Halachah. This is not true, at least in the Chassidisher approach.

As we've seen from the Torah, overriding the commonly accepted Halacha is crucial to the world's Geulah, and our forefathers did it many times (though the interpreters try hard to reconcile it with the Halachah).

Baash'T, based on Ariz"L's tradition of personal destiny and "assignment", developed the personal approach, where each Jew (OK, each Chassid) gets a "personified" Halachah with his personal prioritization and limitations. Most people ARE limited by the Shu"A and only have its sections prioritized, like Work vs Torah study or Shlom Bayt vs Charity etc.

But some Tzadikim have goals that transcend the existing Halachah and require conducts that seemingly contradict the accepted practice. And Amshinover is one of them.

In other words, the common Halachah is our השגחה כללית (general providence) while those Tzadikim live by השגחה פרטית (personal providence).

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    Your quote only states that HKB"H fulfils the will of Tzaddikim, not that CH"V every person has their own Torah. One of the 13 Ikkrim is that זאת התורה לא תהא מוחלפת ולא תהא תורה אחרת... The Gemara says משפט אחד יהיה לכולכם...
    – chortkov2
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 12:14
  • Do you have ANY SOURCE that (aside from Hora'as Shaah), different people have different Torah??
    – chortkov2
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 12:15
  • I said Baash'T and Ariz"al, this is not the mainstream Judaism, if you'd like to discuss that, I'd like to continue in a chat.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 12:26
  • @chortkov2 You clearly twist my words. Where did I say "every person has their own Torah"? I said "a "personified" Halachah with his personal prioritization and limitations." How did you jump to this conclusion?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 12:28
  • 'As we've seen from the Torah, overriding the commonly accepted Halacha is crucial to the world's Geulah, and our forefathers did it many times'?!"! Did you see that in the chassidishe Torah (I assume you think that exists, too).
    – Kovy Jacob
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 5:12

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