web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Stop Citing Halachah

Using the term "Halacha" for policies which are not in fact Halacha, delegitimizes those who differ and causes ill-will towards Jewish law.

what me worry

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

But finally, if a legitimate point of view, amongst many, is branded as Halacha, we will, G-d forbid, see many Jews begin to despise Jewish law. Like the example quoted above, when a personal agenda of pre-Pesach cleanliness [not Chametz-free, per-se] is sounded as a dictate of Halacha, the enmity towards the beauty of Jewish law will grow in a disastrous way. In place of a Jew priding his or herself in being part of a religion “who’s ways are pleasant and all it’s paths are peaceful,” [Mishlei 3/17,] they will begin to see Jewish law as a bitter pill that they must swallow, and worse yet, one that they will not want to be part of!

Let’s try to promote a community where, many who keep the dictates of “Halacha,” have different, and sometimes opposing views, as to how to lead the community beyond its dictates. And when we argue as to which way is the correct one, let’s not use a non-Kosher tool of demagogy in the process.

About the Author: Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein is Director of training and placement at The Straus-Amiel Institute at Ohr Torah Stone.


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.

4 Responses to “Stop Citing Halachah”

  1. Tim Upham says:

    We should cite the Halachah, because it says someone is Jewish, when their mother is. I have Jewish extremists tell me all of the time, that there is nothing Jewish about me. Because I do not support the killing of all Palestinians and Muslims. When I cite to them the Halachah, they have never even heard of it before.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tim, if your mother is halachically Jewish, your are, too. Your opinions have nothing to do with your being Jewish or not.

    If you are halachically Jewish, you are also obligated halachically to observe the commandments. It's kind of funny to depend on halacha for your status, but not even try to live by it. It's either relevant or not relevant.

    I have never met or heard of a single Jew (and I lived in America for over 30 years, and now have now lived in the disputed 'West Bank', — Judea and Samaria — among other settlers for 15 years) who supports the killing of all 'Palestinians' and/or Muslims. Please don't bring your straw men to the discussion.

    I think that you've probably been arguing things like, Hey, I'm a Jew, and I support the Palestinians. So people get upset, and say you're not really a Jew, because your statement feels traitorous to them. Or they get really upset and exaggerate how they regard the Muslims in general — whose leaders actively preach murder of ALL Jews.

    Death to all Jews, that would include you, by the way, if your mother really is halachically Jewish. The Muslims preaching death to all Jews (and there are many of them, and very, very few Muslims speak out against this incitement to murder), don't care if your opinions are with them. If you were in their power nothing less than your conversion to Islam would prevent your death at their hands.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tim, if your mother is halachically Jewish, your are, too. Your opinions have nothing to do with your being Jewish or not.

    If you are halachically Jewish, you are also obligated halachically to observe the commandments. It's kind of funny to depend on halacha for your status, but not even try to live by it. It's either relevant or not relevant.

    I have never met or heard of a single Jew (and I lived in America for over 30 years, and now have now lived in the disputed 'West Bank', — Judea and Samaria — among other settlers for 15 years) who supports the killing of all 'Palestinians' and/or Muslims. Please don't bring your straw men to the discussion.

    I think that you've probably been arguing things like, Hey, I'm a Jew, and I support the Palestinians. So people get upset, and say you're not really a Jew, because your statement feels traitorous to them. Or they get really upset and exaggerate how they regard the Muslims in general — whose leaders actively preach murder of ALL Jews.

    Death to all Jews, that would include you, by the way, if your mother really is halachically Jewish. The Muslims preaching death to all Jews (and there are many of them, and very, very few Muslims speak out against this incitement to murder), don't care if your opinions are with them. If you were in their power nothing less than your conversion to Islam would prevent your death at their hands.

  4. Tim Upham says:

    I have been with numerous Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and they never wished for or advocated my death. I have been to joint Muslim-Jewish picnics, and had a wonderful time at them. I have been to 9 predominately Muslim nations, and lived in 2 of them. Nobody tried to kill me while I was there. In the Siddur, it says "You will love your fellow man, as though as will love yourself." I take that to heart, and I am glad I do. Because just filling myself with hate, is bad and extremely unnecessary.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Colleagues of the hanged Arab bus driver whose death continues to be referred to as murder despite autopsy finding of suicide. These are Arab drivers of Egged buses, claiming they suffer discrimination by Israelis.
Arab Pathologist Singing New Tune: Murder (By Jews) Not Suicide
Latest Indepth Stories
Dalia Lemkos, HY"D Is this the image you think of when you hear the word "settler?"

The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Temple_Mount_aerial_from_south_tb_q010703bsr-300x225

Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165

voting

Having a strong community presence at the polls shows our elected officials we care about the issues

Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.

Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.

The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.

Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.

Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.

In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

There was much to learn from Judge Kramer and the examples he set remains a source of inspiration and a resource from which to learn. He was and remains a great role model.

More Articles from Rabbi Yehoshua Grunstein
what me worry

Using the term “Halacha” for policies which are not in fact Halacha, delegitimizes those who differ and causes ill-will towards Jewish law.

Israelis wave flags and signs saying "Together We'll Win" during a demonstration supporting an Israeli ground operation in Gaza.

This past week should teach us one thing; in the eyes of the enemy, Israel is one Israel.

As the worse in now behind us, and yet with restorations efforts still ahead of us, I believe that the terms utilized so widely this week to describe a terrible predicament should force us to reconsider their use when, thankfully, tragedy doesn’t strike. Though my heart and soul are with those hurt by the storm, I am disturbed that so many of these very adjectives are commonly used to describe common occurrences, a far cry from the critical situation that so many Americans on the East Coast are facing.

A leisurely Shabbat stroll around town recently turned a calming experience into a rather upsetting one, as graffiti sprayed on quite a few buildings in my neighborhood defaced the beautiful Jerusalem stone with the words; “Dabru Ivrit/Speak Hebrew”!

“It is a Sabbath of Sabbaths for you, and you shall afflict yourselves, It is an eternal statute” (Vayikra 16:31). This is how our Torah sums up the upcoming experience of Yom Kippur: a Sabbath of all Sabbaths. Rather than use the more colloquially known “Yom HaKippurim,” The Day of Atonement, the Torah reading of Yom Kippur morning uses the above term to summarize the twenty-five hour experience we are about to step into.

You’ve seen the scene before – the congregants are silent, the tension can be cut with a butter knife, all eyes are peeled on the bimah in the center, two blessings are uttered, and the silence is pierced….by the most primitive horn one could find!

As the year is coming to an end, with endless days filled with doing the very same commandments, we besiege G-d on each remaining day, asking for one vital ingredient for the one yet to come: May we never get used to our routine.

I’d like to submit that anything Frequent in our life tends be Forgotten! Something we see every day does not rank high on our list of concerns, and therefore, we just naturally forget about it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/stop-citing-halachah/2012/12/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: