[Avodah] Halachic accidents?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Jan 8 04:12:48 PST 2020

On Tue, Jan 07, 2020 at 10:12:14PM +0000, Rich, Joel via Avodah wrote:
> "God's will, as defined by halakhah, should not be subject to historical
> accident." I tend to agree, yet we see it not infrequently (e.g. stories
> told about why no dairy bread allowed even with wrapper, why no duchening
> in ch"ul) So IMHO either you have to say it is hashgacha pratit or at
> least that those poskim saw it as such (rather than random fluctuation)?

Third possibility: They saw the two sides as supportably within eilu
va'eilu, and indeed let the challenges to halakhah of their times be a
factor in choosing which.

After all, we allow for G-d's Will including 49 ways letamei and 49 ways
letaheir, and letting humans decide which way of approaching the Truth
is necessary for the situation we're in.

What I am proposing is more limited than Historical School. With no
parallel to some travesty like assigning personal or political motives
to a ruling. I am saying that the strengths and weaknesses of how the
masses are relating to halakhah itself are historical realities halakhah
must account for.

Also, to be complete although the issue isn't pragmatic any more --
gezeiros. If you do not believe that Chazal saw where practice *happened
to* need shoring up at their moment in time, the decision to make a
gezeira to avoid one risk and not a different one seems kind of arbitary
at times. I have to believe they were responding to which mistakes were
actually being made, or at least mistaken attitudes gaining currnecy.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger                 We look forward to the time
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   when the power to love
Author: Widen Your Tent      will replace the love of power.
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF              - William Ewart Gladstone

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