Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Dec 6 12:06:08 PST 2017

On Thu, Nov 02, 2017 at 12:12:05PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
: http://etzion.org.il/en/siman-114-prayers-wind-rain-and-dew
:> In his introduction to the Beit Yosef...

I think there are two things we need to keep in mind, that R' Asher Meir
does not touch upon:

1- The question isn't whether the BY or some other poseiq does or doesn't
consider the extent to which a particular pesaq was nispasheit. But rather
something less boolean: how much weight does any given poseiq give mimeticism,
and in comparison to which other factors.

A number of years ago I proposed a model (then modified it in a later
iteration) of 4 classes of factors a poseiq needs to weigh. And that one
of the leading reasons why pesaq is an art rather than an algorithm is
that their can't be formal rules for comparing the magnitudes of apples
and oranges -- and bananas and parsimons?

Here's what I came up with:
- textual logic: which sevara do you find most compelling? Litvaks
  typically put most of the emphasis

- textual authority: rules like azlinan basar ruba, or giving more
  weight to the Rambam's or Rosh's pinion than to some Baal Tosafos we
  rarely hear of. This seems to be ROY's favorite territory.

- minhag avos / mimeticism

- hashkafic concerns (including philosophy, qaballah): like when chassidim
  and talmidei haGra stopped putting on tefillin on ch"m because it is
  qotzeitz binti'os.
  No one would place hashkafic concerns high on the list. Ein dorshin
  taamei hamizvos. A poseiq only leaves formal halachic analysis when
  multiple opinions are defensible, which "right answer" does one choose?
  But different posqim still give it different weight; requiring more
  or less equity between the halachic analysis of the different possible
  pesaqim before being willing to let the hashkafah tip the scales.

2- The BY is a text. To really talk about mimeticism, we're talking
about what people do naturally. A poseiq may need to factor in which
pesaq was nispasheit, but by doing so he is not being a mimetic. The AhS
is more likely to find justifications for mimetic practice while the MB
is more likely to recommend changing practice. But deciding to follow
either is choosing textuallism over mimeticism. Mimeticism is following
the same pesaq the AhS just defended because that's what everone does,
it's the example your parents and/or your peers set, not because it's
a pesaq with a sevara and sources.

Still, it's interesting to find an example of the BY overriding his
triumverate and clearly stating a reason that is at odds with his

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Take time,
micha at aishdas.org        be exact,
http://www.aishdas.org   unclutter the mind.
Fax: (270) 514-1507            - Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, Alter of Kelm

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