web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian MIG-21 After Infiltrating Israeli Airspace
Latest Indepth Stories
George Bush and Barack Obama

The big service ISIS is doing the West right now is checking Iranian power, just as the Sunni rebels inside Syria are keeping the Iranian agent Hezbollah in check, and just as the PLO is keeping Hamas in check, at least to some degree.

Cannabis Greenhouse

Research shows that high doses of marijuana can produce acute psychotic reactions, lower IQ in teens

donny pic

The current missionary problem in Samaria is still relatively unknown throughout Israel&to most Jews

Jewish Holidays' Guide for the Perplexed

Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal and hopeful holiday,

No mutual clash between parties, it was Jews repeatedly attacked by Arabs, not the other way around.

Israel would love to be in the coalition,but it’s never going to happen, because, in the end, most of America’s allies would walk away if Israel were on board officially.

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

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: