web analytics
May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


The Uniqueness Of Modern Orthodoxy (Part II)

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: What is unique about Modern Orthodoxy?

Answer: Last week we established that Torah is the distinctive characteristic of the Jewish people. Not, prayer, not chessed, but Torah. This suggests that the uniqueness of Modern Orthodoxy must lie in the character of its Torah. Somehow it is different from the Torah of the yeshiva or chassidic world. How so?

* * * * *

Several years ago, Rabbi Shalom Klass, z”l, publisher of The Jewish Press, sent me a copy of a ruling of Rav Henkin, z”l, a major posek for American Jewry. Rav Henkin ruled that whenever the Mishnah Berurah and Aruch HaShulchan differ with one another, one should follow the Aruch HaShulchan. Why? Because the Mishnah Berurah, better known as the Chofetz Chaim, was the tzaddik of his generation and the tzaddik of a generation should not be the decider of halacha since such a person will have a proclivity to be stringent.

So true! In Europe, the rav who decided halacha for the community at large was generally lenient while people in chassidic and yeshiva spheres were generally stringent.

Anyone learning the Mishnah Berurah will note how he generally suggests a compromise solution that favors stringency. His argument generally is: Why involve oneself in a doubtful situation? Be stringent and act in accordance with all (the major) halachic opinions.

The Aruch HaShulchan, in contrast, deals with questions on the basis of what is realistic. He generally does not suggest compromises just to be safe.

Being lenient does not mean violating halachic standards. It’s rather a matter of orientation when dealing with the community at large. Halachic decision-making should not entail a Pavlovian urge to be strict.

(To be continued)

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, has authored eight books on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer The Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and Judaica stores.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


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.

No Responses to “The Uniqueness Of Modern Orthodoxy (Part II)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Seder at the White House. The one without the kippa is President Obama.
Obama Reaching Out to (Liberal) Jews in Sermon at Synagogue
Latest Judaism Stories
Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

Winiarz-Shaya-logo

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

“You do know that nothing occurs without reason. Can you think of something you might have done to bring on your malaise?”

What does the omer & agricultural laws pe’ah & leket teach about the Biblical approach to holidays?

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Once this took place, no Beit Din could annul its practice but for an entirely different reason. A minhag accepted by klal Yisrael becomes an obligation that must be practiced.

Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/the-uniqueness-of-modern-orthodoxy-part-ii/2012/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: