[Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos

Micha Berger via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Aug 12 13:03:46 PDT 2015

On Sun, Aug 02, 2015 at 11:25:27AM +0300, Marty Bluke via Avodah wrote:
: R' Lichtenstein was bothered by this point and answered that we need to
: rely on our teachers and Gedolim.

: "Probably most significant, however, is our reliance upon our own mentors.
: Sensing that modern gedolim, "the judge of your era" -- for our purposes, most
: notably, the Rav, but not he alone -- have examined the issue and the evidence
: and adopted a positive stance, we, ordinary students of Torah, follow in
: their footsteps as we identify with their position...

: I understand that for many of us that is not a very satisfying answer and
: leads to many questions about why specifically here we follow minority
: opinions as opposed to other places (e.g. wombs issues, etc.) but I don't
: think there is a better answer. This is the way the halachic system works.

To some extent, yes. However, I do not know what halachiccategory is
"gedolim". My job is to have my own poseiq, someone ho cnot only knows
the halakhah, but knows me and my situation. Or to get as close to that
as possible.

My rav's job is to have experts to inform him, and to know when a
question is either too complicated for his skills, or the stakes to high
(eg mamzeirus, potential intercommunal fallout, or....) to not consult
others, starting with his own rav. Yes, you will eventually reach the few
at the head of the pyramid, so I guess we can call them "the gedolim",
and their opinions will end up shaping policy on big or broad issues.

But I do not think RYBS would be happy learning that he had a talmid in
the job of mara de'asra who had so little confidence in his own ability
to map theory to realia of the actual situation and the middos, qishronos
and desires of the people in it that he hands the job off to people who
know less of that reality.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             A wise man is careful during the Purim banquet
micha at aishdas.org        about things most people don't watch even on
http://www.aishdas.org   Yom Kippur.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                       - Rav Yisrael Salanter

More information about the Avodah mailing list