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  • Attitude Towards Other Nations

Toasting the Queen


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Adar II 8, 5774
Lichvoid HoRabonim Shlita I would like to ask what is the Hashkofas Hatora of standing up by a wedding and toasting the queen. Hevai Mispallel Al Sholem Hamalchus but is this maybe boarderlining Chukas Hagoim. Yasher Koach
Shalom, In answering your question, I can only speak from my understanding what is the Hashkofa of the torah and from what I have learned from my teachers. I consulted on this issue with a prominent Talmid Chacham who served as a Rav in England, and he said without reservation that toasting the queen is a standard practice. Nonetheless, your approach of questioning and probing into things we see on a daily basis is a healthy one. I also wish to clarify a bit what comes under the prohibition of Chukot Hagoyim. According to Tasafot (Avoda Zara 11a) , and as stipulated in the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh de'eah 178, we are not allowed to follow Chukot Hagoyim which are idolatrous acts or customs which have no explanation since they may stem from idol worship. However, practices which are carried out by gentiles which show respect do not come under that category. In England is one of the place in the world where there is still an actual queen and therefore showing her honor does not constitute Chukot Hagoyim. May you have a very happy Purim.
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