ASK THE POSEK

RECHABITES RECEIVING MERIT?

Question – Answers are in italics.

"There is no merit / blessing  in carrying out  "commandments not meant for you"  or not Hashem's command for you."

1.  Whats the rational or explanation for Rechabites receiving merit / blessing from Hashem for observing the commandments given by Jonadab son of Rechab ? See above

2.    Understand that Rechabites are Kenites  and converts. How is it alright  ( condone ) for them to have extra commandments to live by ?  Is this not adding or substracting from the Torah?

As above.

3.    Understand that drinking wine is mandated for Jews during observance of festivals or rituals in Torah? I am not familiar here with the actual laws on this. However if its a whole life time in not drinking wine, it would seem that Rechabites can't observe the festival fully like  Pesach or Shabbat or wine libation ?

This is discussed in a Tosafos to Talmud Nazir 4a, d.h. Mai hi.  If the drinking of the wine itself is a  biblically mandated mitzvah, then the Nazir was already obligated in that mitzvah before he took his voluntary vow of Nazirus.  His voluntary vow cannot absolve him of a preexisting torah obligation.  As for kiddush, the recitation of kiddush is biblically mandated, but not the actual drinking of the wine.  In that case, he would not be allowed to do so.  

Indeed, I have seen propositions that a Nazir may not drink the four cups on Passover.  According to those, the Nazir would rely on the Rema to Orach Chaim 483:1 (from the Shulchan Aruch, code of Torah Law) who permits one that cannot consume wine to fulfill the mitzvah with beer or meat.  4.   Hence my curiosity as to the unconditional blessing they receive from Hashem for their zealous observance of Jonadab son of  Rechab instructions? Understand that they sit in the Sanhedrin too. Their blessings was that they not only kept the torah at a time when torah observance. Was impoverished, but that they also kept the additional vows of Nazirites, and that they did so because of an ancestral promise that they desired to uphold.  In a generations of poor spiritual accomplishments, they went above and beyond.  That is exactly the praise given to them by the prophet in Yerimiyah 35.  He uses their example as rebuke to the rest of Israel.

Thank you Rabbi Bloomenstiel for your time.

Basil

For a far more in-depth and advanced study of all the Seven Noahide Laws consider taking the Noahide Laws Yeshiva Course.

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