[Avodah] Chassidim on Horseback?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Jan 3 09:48:04 PST 2013

On Thu, Jan 03, 2013 at 11:04:07AM -0500, Prof. Levine wrote:
>>> First of all,  given that I have never heard of Jewish nobility in old
>>> Europe (certainly not within the past 500 years),  is this not the
>>> adoption of a gentile practice? ....

>> No more than ties are. Derekh emori is only if the practice is religiously
>> motivated or (non-Jewish?) superstition.
> You seem to be equating something that is non-Jewish with Darchei Emori.  

I repeat: No more than ties are.

I am saying that "derekh emori" are religious and superstitious practices
picked up from the non-Jews.

> From http://tinyurl.com/avmsbjq
> The Tosefta in Shabbos (Chapters 7 & 8) lists various practices which  
> are prohibited due to the fact that they are darchei haemori. For  
> example, putting thorns in a window to protect a pregnant woman or tying 
> an iron to one's bed. These things all have one basic common feature. 
> They are irrational - meaning they are not scientifically or observably 
> proven remedies.

There is a second common feature -- the local non-Jews did it. Which is
why the name of the issur invokes a local group of non-Jews, the Emori.
There is no indication that I know of that says that superstitions unique
to the Jewish community qualify.

> What I find ironic is that those doing this,  whom I am sure would speak 
> strongly against the adoption of any non-Jewish practice,  are indeed 
> involved in a non-Jewish practice!

Why? It's a practice being copied from from the same class of people
as those who originally wore fur hats and silk long frocks. (Albeit not
necessarily in black-and-white.)

I think their concern is assimilation of values that would come along
with assimilation of other cultural elements. Not an issue when imitating
a society long gone.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             For a mitzvah is a lamp,
micha at aishdas.org        And the Torah, its light.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - based on Mishlei 6:2
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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