[Avodah] Kitniyot

Meir Shinnar chidekel at gmail.com
Fri Mar 29 04:45:17 PDT 2013

Sent from my iPad

>>> I disagree. See my most recent blog post
>>> <http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2013/03/tzav.shtml>.
>>> The topic is the implications of the difference between a legislative
>>> process and a fact-finding one, including the need to think in terms
>>> of what gives a ruling authority, not what makes the most sense from
>>> a historical or scientific perspective.
Wadr, while the Sanhedrin, & probably tannaim & amoraim, are viewed as having real legislative powers, the legislative authority of I rishonim & achronim is in general viewed as quite limited to communal takkanot - & is normally NOT applied to the general halachic process.

The question of trying to understand what the Gemara & poskim meant - especially in terms of realia - has a long history - & I doubt you will find anyone prior to, say, 1800, who will so readily disassociate Halacha from objective truth or discounted attempts at discovering past practices - whether search for artifacts or manuscripts. Indeed, I suspect most would have viewed that as tantamount to kfira.  The focus was not on the emotional & redemptive meanings as granting truth - important as they were - but that those emotional & redemptive aspects derived from actually doing the true ratzon Hashem.  (Rmb's position, wadr, seems closer to Renewal theology than to traditional thought...)

The real issue with changing minhag comes from several related concerns,
1) epistemological - concern about the reliability of the data & our ability to adequately 
2) humility - recognition of our limitations & therefore reluctance to declare the recent past wrong
3) the challenge for change is coming at a time where Halacha is perceived under attack - and much (not all) of the data challenging traditional norms comes from circles opposed to halacha, leading

All of those may be overcome in theory - albeit it is more difficult in practice..

The closest to rmb's position comes from the chazon ish's position that the fate of certain manuscripts, texts,& practices reflect divine  hashgacha - which is thematically related to
the idea of continuous revelation..

The idea of the community being able to determine its own norms to achieve meaning & redemption is appealing, but has a history.  I doubt RMB is truly willing to endorse it..

Meir Shinnar

More information about the Avodah mailing list