Friday, June 1, 2012

Keeping Your Word

The Chazon Ish, zt”l, was exceedingly careful to always fulfill everything that came out of his mouth. When someone asked if he must keep an agreement when the man had explicitly said 'בלי נדר', the Chazon Ish explained that this stratagem didn’t help much. “Although saying 'בלי נדר' ensures that the statement was not a vow, one is still obligated to fulfill what he agreed to do! Better to say that you hope to do it or the like which is clearly not a commitment.” As is well known, the Chazon Ish tried to form a minyan to daven Minchah Gedolah in his beis midrash. Once there were only nine people and after fifteen minutes’ effort, they located a man willing to serve as the tenth. But he insisted that in order to stay he required a psak halachah that he was permitted. “I invited someone to my house for an appointment in very few minutes. I can either daven and be late, or go and disband the minyan…” The Chazon Ish did not hesitate, “This is no question at all. It is better for you to keep your word even if as a direct result of this there is no minayn today.” And that is exactly what happened. The man hurried home and there was no minyan that day.

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