Donny asks:

Dear Kollel,

1) Concerning the mitzva of standing up for a person over 70, the shulchan aruch in yoreh deah 244:7 says regarding a non-jew: Aval Mehadrin Oso bi'Devarim v'Nosnim Lo YAd l'Somcho.

what exactly would constitute Mehadrin Oso bi'Devarim?

The shulchan aruch in yoreh deah 244:1 says:

v'Chen Mitzvah la'Kum bi'Fnei Seivah d'Haynu Ben Shiv'im Shanah, Afilu Hu Am ha'Aretz, u'Vilvad she'Lo Yihyeh Rasha.

How do we view a non-religious Jew today as far as this halacha? I mean a Jew who basically doesn't keep torah and mitzvos l'Tei'avon? How would the concept of Tinok she'Nishabah affect this?

3) Lo Sa'amod Al Dam Rei'echa

A similar question regarding this mitzva:

1) How does this apply to a Jew who is not shomer torah and mitzvos l'Tei'avon and would the concept of Tinok she'Nishabah affect this?

Does this mitzva apply to a non-jew?

Thank you,


The Kollel replies:

1) This means speaking to him in an honorable and respectful way and making him feel happy and important.

2) If a Jew received a religious upbringing and then l'Tei'avon abandoned the observance of Torah and Mitzvos, he certainly is considered a Rasha. Rav Wozner zt'l wrote in Teshuvos Shevet ha'Levi (9:198, DH Lachen) that if the old person is a Tinok she'Nishbeh, there is no obligation according to the basic Halachah to stand up for him, but, on the other hand it is likely that sometimes one should be respectful to such a person who behaves in an upright way and speak honorably to him. Sometimes this can be a Kidush Hash-m.

3) The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 158:1) writes that it is a Mitzvah to save a Jew who, l'Tei'avon, does not keep Torah and Mitzvos and it is forbidden to stand by when his blood is spilled.

The Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 1:6) writes that a Tinok she'Nishbeh is considered a Yisrael, and in 2:16 (end) he writes that we should "return them to the Torah with the threads of love." Therefore, we certainly have a Mitzvah to save his life if he is in danger.

Clearly, we also must save the non-Jew. The Gemara (Gitin 61a) states that we give them charity, so we certainly save them from danger.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom

Donny asks:

Dear Rav Dovid,

Thank you so much for your response. Just a few follow-up points to clarify:

1) As far as standing for a Jew over the age of 70, you mentioned Rav Vozner's opinion regarding a Tinok she'Nishbeh, that " there is no obligation according to the basic Halachah to stand up for him." I was trying to find some more information about this and found the following on a website. Do you know if this is accurate regarding the opinions of Rav Elayashiv and Rav Kerelitz?

על החיוב לקום בפני עם הארץ ראה תוס' ורא"ש קידושין לב ע"ב, והובאו דבריהם ברמ"א יו"ד סימן רמד סעיף א' והוסיף שאם הוא רשע אין חיוב לעמוד בפניו. על ההגדרה של רשע לענין זה, כתב הבן איש חי: אלו הבריונים שיודע בהם שאינם מתפללים ואינם מניחים תפילין אינו חייב לקום בפניהם כלל. אולם, דבריו אמורים לגבי אנשים בזמנו שכולם ידעו משמירת המצוות, ומי מהם שלא הקפיד על תפילה ותפילין עשה זאת בזדון ליבו ודינו כרשע לכל דבר, אולם לענין זמנינו נחלקו הפוסקים, דעת הגרי"ש אלישיב שמן הדין חייבים לכבדם, אלא שרגילים הם למחול, ואילו .הגר"נ קרליץ חושש שנתינת כבוד ליהודי מחלל שבת, מהווה זילזול בכבוד שמים

2) You quoted The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 158:1) that it is a Mitzvah to save a Jew who, l'Tei'avon, does not keep Torah and Mitzvos and it is forbidden to stand by when his blood is being spilled. When looking at the language of the shulchan aruch, it says:

....אבל ישראל בעל עבירות שאינו עומד ברשעו תמיד אלא עושה עבירות להנאת עצמו....מצוה להצילו

The shulchan aruch seems to be referring to a Jew who does sometimes try to keep mitzvos and when he does aveyros, it is only l'Tei'avon. But does a complete mumar l'Tei'avon, who doesn't keep anything, also fall into this category of מצוה להצילו ? I know that this is not neccessary למעשה, as we would always endeavor to save a person in danger, but I'm trying to understand who the mitzva in the Torah applies to.

3) Regarding saving a non-Jew, you mentioned the Gemara (Gitin 61a) that states that we give them charity and therefore we certainly save them from danger. But the shulchan aruch that you referenced previously (Yoreh Deah 158:1) seems to say explicitly שאסור להצילם!So when the Torah says לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל ?ַם רֵעֶךָ, this would be referring to a Jew only, unless we say that the concept of איבה that the shulchan aruch mentions further in that סעיף applies in all situations, but, nevertheless when the Torah says רֵעֶךָ it would be referring to a Jew only.

Thank you,


The Kollel replies:

1. To be honest I do not know what the stance of either Rav Elyashiv or Rav Kerelitz is on this particular question but even so I will try and use some guess work to explain how what you saw in their names might be accurate.

a. It is well-known that Rav Elyashiv zt'l put a great importance on the rulings of the Chazon Ish. I once asked Rav Elyashiv a question on a totally different area of Halacha and he immediately replied that there is a problem according to the Chazon Ish. I had gone into the topic a little in advance and remarked that according to 2 major Poskim no problem was involved. Rav Elyashiv replied "So what?! By us there is Chazon Ish!".

b. Now to operate my personal guesswork. Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 1:6 writes that a Tinok she-Nishbeh has a din of Yisrael and if he slaughters an animal properly it is kosher because we can assume that if people will try and teach him about Torah and Mitzvot in the proper way, he will become a Baal Teshuvah.

According to this one can understand how it is arguable that if the shechita of a Tinok sheNishbeh (assuming someone who is expert in shechitah is watching and testifies that all the technical details were performed correctly) is acceptable then one also should honor him.

On the other hand one can also appreciate what you saw in the name of Rav Kerelitz shlita, especially if observant Jews are looking on and may have the justifiable feeling that it is unfair that someone who in fact is not yet observant is receiving just as much, or possibly more, honor than the shomrei mitzvot.

2. It is unclear to me who is this mumar l'Tei'avon who doesn't keep anything? The literal definition of a mumar l'Tei'avon is someone who only eats treifa meat because it tastes better. If the kosher food is just as tasty he will happily eat the kosher. So how can it be that he keeps nothing, even Mitzvot which it is easy to observe?

3. I agree that the non-Jew is not considered "Reyecha" but as you say we always endeavor to save a person in danger

KOL TUV Dovid Bloom

The Kollel adds:

1. I have found, bs'd, the source for what you saw, Donny, in the name of Rav Elyashiv zt'l and Rav Karelitz shlit'a. It appears in the Sefer Kavod v'Hidur by Rav Yitzchak Eliyahu ha'Kohen Adler of Ofakim. He writes that he asked Gedolim whether one must stand up for a 70-year-old Tinok she'Nishbeh. On page 447 he reports that Rav Elyashiv replied that we assume that all people over 70 are "Mochel," they willingly forego the honor they are entitled to (of our standing up for them) and are satisfied with the fact that we do "Hidur" for them; we raise ourselves a little if we are sitting down when they pass by. Rav Elyashiv said that me'Ikar ha'Din, according to the basic Halachah, if not for the fact that the elderly are Mochel, we would have to stand up full-height also for a 70-year-old who is classified as a Tinok she'Nishbeh.

What is interesting is that it seems that Rav Elyashiv was concerned why the custom is only to do "Hidur," to stand up a little, in honor of the 70-year-olds, and not to stand up full-height? To answer this question he stated that they are Mochel. However, Rav Elyashiv did not seem to make any distinction on this point between 70-year-olds who are Shomrei Mitzvos and those who are Tinok she'Nishbeh. In the above Sefer (on the same page), the author also writes in the name of Rav Nissim Karelitz:

יש זלזול שמכבדים אחד שאינו מקיים מצות נוטה הסברא שלא צריך לכבדו אע"פ שאסור לביישו ולהכותו.

This appears to be consistent with what you saw reported in the name of Rav Karelitz.

2. I am now going to make one or two further comments to show more fully the source of the Psak of Rav Elyashiv, cited above, that me'Ikar ha'Din, one should stand up for a 70-year-old Tinok she'Nishbeh.

(a) We start with the dispute between Rashi and Tosfos on 32b about what a Zaken Ashma'i is. Rashi (DH Zaken) writes that this is a Rasha. Tosfos (DH Zaken) questions Rashi that, if so, how could Isi ben Yehudah say that one must stand up for a Zaken Ashma'i? If he is a Rasha there is a Mitzvah to hit, despise, and curse him!

(b) The Halachah follows Tosfos. We see this from the fact that the Rema in Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 244:1) rules that one does not stand up for a 70-year-old if he is a Rasha.

(c) However, we learn from Tosfos that one stands up for any 70-year-old for whom there is no Mitzvah to hit, despise, and curse. Now we got to the Chazon Ish, whom I cited earlier. The Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 2:28) cites the Chafetz Chayim (end of Sefer Ahavas Chesed), who quotes The Gr'i Mulin and Maharam mi'Lublin who say that it is a Mitzvah to love Resha'im nowadays because we do not know how to rebuke them. According to this, since it is a Mitzvah to love a Tinok she'Nishbeh, it certainly is not a Mitzvah to hit, despise, and curse him. I believe that this is the way Rav Elyashiv arrived at his Psak that me'Ikar ha'Din one should stand up for the Tinok she'Nishbeh. However, he said that the custom is not to stand up full-height for the elderly nowadays because we assume they are Mochel.

Kol Tuv,

Dovid Bloom