We had all of the fireworks right here at the Yarchei Kallah: An intense, age-old controversy involving the some of the greatest figures in our history. A topic that involves the very foundations of Jewish belief and practice. And the stakes are high for anyone who is looking for the right place to turn for salvation for their troubles.
Rabbi Yakov Skolnick guided a packed Bais Medrash through the sources and halachic opinions around which the debate stirs: When we pray, what is the permissibility of invoking either the angels, or great people who have left this world, to intercede on our behalf before the King of Kings? Is it an idolatrous practice of ascribing the power of salvation to those entities, or are we simply asking them to assist us as we approach Hashem in our time of need? This question becomes especially pertinent to the widespread practice of praying at the gravesites of righteous people. How best do we go about effectively accessing the great merit of the tzaddik?
For all this and more, listen to the shiur by Rabbi Skolnick, along with the sources.