Audio Roundup 2020:1

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by Joel Rich

From a post:
On the one hand, a frustrating element of arbitrariness surrounds umbrella use on Shabbos. Why do we act strictly on this issue, which is hotly debated among authorities, while acting leniently on other disputed issues? God’s will, as defined by halakhah, should not be subject to historical accident. On the other hand, like an individual, a community is defined in part by its past. We cannot change how we got to where we are, our communal evolution through history. As halakhah evolves–within boundaries, of course–we cannot turn back the clock without destabilizing the system.

Me: “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) thoughts?


From a post:
We must become Haredim ourselves and learn how to “tremble” (חרד) before the words of God inside and outside of the bet midrash. As comfortable as we are within contemporary culture, we must remember not to get too comfortable, for we will always be strangers in a strange land.

You may call yourself Modern Orthodoxy, and you may unapologetically believe in and fight for a Torah UMadda hashkafa, but must that prevent you from also being Haredi?

My response:Actually חרד in Tanach more means to rush quickly -see Shmuel alef 16:4 for example. I agree with your general sense of what MO should be but the labeling being more Haredi, (which as a movement imho encompasses much more than the portion you refer to here) may not be helpful. It reminds me of those who won’t refer to tikkun olam or Tanach study because other streams of Judaism like those ideals.


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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.

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