Are chumrosa good thing to practice? An acquaintance pointed out to me that because Adam Harishon made a chumra on the eitz hadaas (Hashem said not to eat, Adam told Chava not to touch) death came to this world, therefore chumros are not good. can you help me with this issue?
Thank you.

Answer:

A chumra that is not anchored in halachah is certainly a negative thing. In fact, it is one of the thing we say vidui about on erev yom kippur: “That which You were lenient for, I was stringent for.” This is perhaps the negative side of chumrosthat can be seen in the chumra of Adam Harishon.

Chumros that come into consideration are (in general) minority opinions that have not been accepted as halahically obligating, but which are still practiced by some. On many occasions the Mishnah Berurah writes that a baal nefesh, or a yareh shamayim, should uphold a certain practice, even though the practice is not obligatory (for instance, see 4:23 concerning sleeping during the day, a ruling in the laws of fasts concerning beginning all fasts from the previous evening, and several rulings in the laws of eiruvin). Precedents for this can be found in the Gemara (for instance, see Bava Metzia 83a).

For most people, however, keeping the strict halachah is challenge enough, and searching for extra chumros is not be recommended practice. Only those chumros that have become widely accepted (for instance, the opinion of Or Zarua in hilchos niddah, which is generally practiced in Eretz Yisrael) should  be adhered to universally; otherwise, there are not many who can profess to have reached the Mishnah Berurah’s level of a baal nefesh.

Yet, each person is different, and it is perfectly legitimate to be machmir for one chumra (which you feel a special closeness or identity with) and not with another. Chumros are generally subjective, and each person should act according to how he sees himself and how he feels.

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