[Avodah] partnership minyanim

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Thu Feb 28 03:06:04 PST 2013

On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 09:21:03PM -0500, Micha Berger wrote:
: I wonder, though, if the comparison is valid. Perhaps rather than there
: being no kavod hatzibur issue in giving a qatan the amud for Pesuqei
: deZimra, the conclusion was reached that chinukh was a higher priority
: than kavod. And then, a situation like nidon didan where the is no
: chinukh element, there would be no parallel matir.

I see RMJB makes this point in his latest installment

    That is also true for those who continue to raise the fact that
    in some communities young boys lead Kabbalat Shabbat and Pesukei
    De-Zimrah. First that fact alone does not mean that women can
    lead even if the practice is halakhically fine. One needs to
    do some work to make that connection and no one that I have seen
    has. Second, many of the commenters have it completely backwards. By
    all accounts that is a relatively recent (no more than a decade or
    two) innovation. What halakhic sources allow it? I have indicated
    that I was always uncomfortable with the practice precisely because
    it seemed to diminish the importance of significant parts of the
    service. New practices are almost always subject to challenges like
    this that must be met. Again, such is the way of Torah. As such the
    defenders of this practice have the burden of proof. If you change
    things you need to find support for the innovation.

    In my review of the literature I found only Rav Uziel's hesitant
    defense. Again, he bases the practice on the mitzvah of chinukh
    (which as I have shown is weak here), and which cannot be used to
    justify women leading that service.

Also, I had a chance to talk to R' Jack Love, my rebbe-chaver who is the
Chair of the Dept of Halakha at YCT. He said his recurring theme talking
to talmidim out in the field is that "halakhah has to be evolutionary, not
revolutionary." You need to have this back and forth, rather than charge
ahead with changes even ones you are convinced are correct ideologically,
or appropriate heterim because they are the only way to get most of the
people into the shul and davening, learning about Shabbos, etc... (He
said the latter is the more common motivation.)

I didn't think to ask him what he would have said to Rn Sarah Schenirer
(who was certainly revolutionary, not waiting for evolution) until after
I got out of his car. Sorry.


Micha Berger             "'When Adar enters, we increase our joy'
micha at aishdas.org         'Joy is nothing but Torah.'
http://www.aishdas.org    'And whoever does more, he is praiseworthy.'"
Fax: (270) 514-1507                     - Rav Dovid Lifshitz zt"l

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