web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 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
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Editorial Board

“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.

The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

He went on to say that the United States would defend Israel if it were “attacked by any state.”

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: