web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


More On The Tefillin Controversy


In our Jan. 31 editorial “Who Speaks for Modern Orthodoxy?” we addressed the announcement by two prominent Modern Orthodox yeshivas that female students can don tefillin if they wish to. We said we saw this as the latest indication of a widening schism among Modern Orthodox Jews led by “[t]he movement’s outliers, apparently intent on defying consensus and going where none have gone before.”

We also stated that “Halachic decisions affecting the community are not properly made by self-appointed agents of a popular movement. That is a function of those with the greatest erudition in the Talmud and halachic sources…”

This week Rabbi Hershel Schachter, one of the most prominent roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, not only issued a stinging rebuke of the practice of women wearing tefillin but also the process by which such decisions are made.

Rabbi Schachter’s responsum is a broadside against the growing practice of many in Modern Orthodox rabbinic or educational positions who arrogate to themselves the right to determine profound and far-reaching halachic decisions without support or even input from the great Torah scholars of the day.

Referring to a decision of the Ramah in the Shulchan Aruch that frowns on the notion of women putting on tefillin, and whether that ruling could be ignored, Rabbi Schachter said:

It is not within the purview of every musmach or local rabbi, even those with good intentions, to offer his private opinion on a question of such magnitude as this, and certainly not take to the media or Internet to publicize it. Such a profound question applies to all of Klal Yisrael that believes in the mesorah and only the greatest among our Torah leaders can properly address it. [Our translation from the Hebrew]

Hopefully Rav Schachter’s responsum will prove to be the first many authoritative responses to the growing leftward lurch in parts of the Modern Orthodox movement.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “More On The Tefillin Controversy”

  1. I think the topic of Tefilin is out of focus. If the girls want to put on Tefilin – are the first committed to learning the laws of Tefilin and their spiritual implications? Are they ready to take on the responsibility for their thoughts and speech while wearing Tefilin? If so… its not a bad idea. But to use them as a toy, fad or show off… then its wrong.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Members of Hamas rally on the Temple Mount - July 3, 2015.
Rioting Arabs Again Keep Visitors Off Temple Mount
Latest Indepth Stories
U.S. postage stamp honoring Haym Solomon.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

More Articles from Editorial Board

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/more-on-the-tefillin-controversy/2014/02/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: