Audio Roundup 2017:7

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by Joel Rich

A recent article in the New Jersey Jewish News had a call out box stating that orthodoxy and feminism were not mutually exclusive. I agree, but that doesn’t address the real issue—what do you do in specific cases where they are mutually exclusive and perhaps more importantly, what do you do in specific cases where their priorities differ?

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At a shiur I recently gave on Prayer and OCD, a question was raised as to how one should relate to a poseik who one perceived as being on the OCD spectrum. This led to a discussion of personalities and what draws one into certain professions (e.g., extroverts becoming actuaries). Any thoughts on this topic,would be appreciate especially on how this impacts psak.(e.g. if a poseik was always stringent due to a desire to limit uncertainty (which is what ocd really is about)might later poskim take this into account when weighing his opinion)

Please direct any informal comments to audioroundup613@comcast.net.

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent local lecturer on various Torah topics in West Orange, NJ and supports his Torah listening habits by working as a consulting actuary.

3 comments

  1. “A recent article in the New Jersey Jewish News had a call out box stating that orthodoxy and feminism were not mutually exclusive. I agree, but that doesn’t address the real issue—what do you do in specific cases where they are mutually exclusive and perhaps more importantly, what do you do in specific cases where their priorities differ?”

    The fact that they are at times mutually exclusively and have different priorities, there is a sense in which they are mutually exclusive. The Torah clearly does not pay any attention to egalitarianism and makes full egalitarian impossible. It would seem that there are some aspects of feminism that are values in conflict with those of the Torah. Simply accepting those particular aspects but stopping short as halakhah demands… is that truly being Orthodox?

    A major element of the split MO is currently experiencing is about whether the modernity that MO embraces includes values, in contrast to limiting it to the realia about which we are to apply Torah.

  2. Interesting point – I guess it depends on whether one believes that within certain ranges Halacha allows for a “Dvar reshut” choice based on conscious/unconscious biases.
    kol tuv

    • <plug>In my book</plug>, I make the argument that the reason for “lo bashamayim hee”, that the Torah was given to humans to decide, is because decisionmaking cannot be performed by beings (or G-d) who lack the Natural Moral calling G-d planted within us. Just as Hillel tells the convert that all of Torah is a more elaborate means of answering that Natural Moral call, where he sums up Natural Morality with “that which you loathe, don’t do to your peer”. Torah may give us different decisions than a naive application of “that which you loathe…” but the goal is actually the same. And so, “It is not in heaven… rather, it is in your mouth and heart to do it.”

      לֹ֥א בַשָּׁמַ֖יִם הִ֑וא לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲלֶה־לָּ֤נוּ הַשָּׁמַ֙יְמָה֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה׃ וְלֹא־מֵעֵ֥בֶר לַיָּ֖ם הִ֑וא לֵאמֹ֗ר מִ֣י יַעֲבׇר־לָ֜נוּ אֶל־עֵ֤בֶר הַיָּם֙ וְיִקָּחֶ֣הָ לָּ֔נוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵ֥נוּ אֹתָ֖הּ וְנַעֲשֶֽׂנָּה׃ כִּֽי־קָר֥וֹב אֵלֶ֛יךָ הַדָּבָ֖ר מְאֹ֑ד בְּפִ֥יךָ וּבִֽלְבָבְךָ֖ לַעֲשֹׂתֽוֹ׃
      – דברים ל:יב-יד

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