web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Uncategorized
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » Uncategorized

‘Things Once Taken For Granted Are Now Considered Unacceptable’


Share Button

Why did your book The Limits of Orthodox Theology (which demonstrates that great rabbis throughout the ages often disagreed with some of Rambam’s thirteen principles of faith) raise the ire of some in the Orthodox community?

Because they’ve developed a conception that certain views are to be adopted, and you can’t depart from them. And this applies to views regarding secular studies, Zionism, all sorts of issues, and certainly with regard to what’s come to be regarded as ikkarei emunah [principles of faith]. Therefore, anything that shows that matters have not always been so clear, and that there were disputes about these things, is controversial.

In your writings and speeches, you reveal many little known facts such as: 1) Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch asked Rabbi Dovid Tzvi Hoffman to remove his hat (thus leaving him bareheaded) when visiting him at his school so that the non-Jewish teachers shouldn’t think him disrespectful; 2) The Akeidas Yitzchak (15th century Spanish scholar) maintained that non-Jews need not observe the seven Noachide laws; 3) Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook called Tolstoy a “great man who is full of holiness”; and 4) Rabbi Israel Moshe Hazzan (Sephardi sage, 1808-1862) wrote that one should incorporate church tunes into the davening since they lead to love of God. Why are things like these so unknown? Because yeshivas today don’t teach Jewish philosophy or theology. They teach hashkafa and emunah, which is fine, but that’s more like indoctrination. And whereas people are very sophisticated when it comes to Talmud study and they’ll look at all the different shittos, when it comes to philosophical study of Judaism – its history, its ideas – they’re not sophisticated and they’re not interested.

This prevents us from being able to respond to ideological challenges. Just as we assume that someone who approaches halachic issues without having a firm grasp of responsa literature, Shas and poskim is not doing his job, the problem here is that many people who approach the non-halachic matters don’t really have any background. It’s a serious discipline, Jewish philosophy and theology – just as serious as halacha, but not taken so.

In one of your recent works you mention that you are writing an article discussing many laws found in the Shulchan Aruch that were not or are not kept by Jews. Can you elaborate? It’s just another misconception people have that the Shulchan Aruch is always the last word in halacha, when there’s plenty of things we do which are not in accordance with it.

According to the Shulchan Aruch, when you lend money to someone, you need to do it in front of witnesses. Despite that ruling, however, nowadays if you lend your friend 50 dollars, you don’t do it in front of witnesses. Already the acharonim want to know why we don’t follow the Shulchan Aruch.

There are loads of examples. Some halachos in the Shulchan Aruch didn’t become accepted because other poskim argued or there was a tradition predating the Shulchan Aruch; others, because they were too difficult to keep, and then later poskim came and found justifications.

I think this sounds more explosive than it is. Everyone who knows halacha knows that there’s plenty of stuff we don’t do according to the Shulchan Aruch; this is not controversial.

Going back to Rabbi Weinberg, you write that he initially supported Hitler when he came to power. Well, it’s a real mussar haskel [lesson] for today – how to relate to Arab leaders who say one thing to diplomats and another to their own people – because Hitler was stating his views on the Jews and there were Jews, Rabbi Weinberg among them, who thought that this was just for the masses, that it wasn’t to be taken seriously. They didn’t think anti-Semitism was central to Nazism. They thought the real threat was communism, and they figured that once Hitler came into power, he’d just be another right-wing dictator like Mussolini. Mussolini was not anti-Semitic. Rabbi Weinberg wrote that “perhaps we [the Jewish people] also bear some guilt” for anti-Semitism. What did he mean by that? Rabbi Weinberg raised the possibility that perhaps the way Jews treat non-Jews contributes to anti-Semitism. He no doubt had in mind things such as how the Jew treated the Polish peasant and wondered if this didn’t have some impact on how the Poles viewed the Jews. Many Orthodox Jews thought it was okay to be less than honest in their business dealing with non-Jews.

Share Button
print

About the Author: Marc Gottlieb is the webmaster for JewishPress.com. Marc has been crafting end-to-end online solutions for all sizes and types of businesses since 1995. You can see more samples of his work at http://www.marcgottlieb.com.   He made aliyah in 2006 with his wife and four children. They live in Gush Etzion with two cats and a hamster.   Marc's political comments are entirely his own and do not reflect the opinions of JewishPress.com.  


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.

No Responses to “‘Things Once Taken For Granted Are Now Considered Unacceptable’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers closed off the area near where a terror attack occurred  near Hevron on Passover eve, in search of the terrorists.
Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack
Latest Uncategorized Stories
Steve Tisch to head Israeli film festival.

Steve Tisch, one of the most successful producers in the motion picture industry, will chair the 16th Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival at Tel Aviv University May 31-June 7, 2014. Tisch is a partner at Escape Artists Productions and chairman of the New York Giants is the only person with both an Academy Award […]

Twenties-032814

Should I make conversation with her? How should I start? A million questions zoomed through Leah’s mind until she finally said, “Shalom, do you speak English?” Leah questioned.

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett started threatened Monday to pull his party out of the government coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepts an American  “framework” that is inconsistent with the party’s principles. He also made it clear at the annual Jerusalem Conference that he will back the Prime Minister if there is no […]

Ariel Sharon saved the life of Yaakov “Katzelah” Katz in the Yom Kippur War but destroyed the lives of thousands of Jews in Gush Katif

A real boat that will try to leave Gaza in March and fight “against the Israeli blockade.”

Tzirel Rus Berger is a woman who is in love with her Judaism. But she wasn’t always Tzirel Rus Berger and she wasn’t always a Jew. In fact she began life as Sheryl Youngs, the daughter of a devout Christian pastor in Southern California, before marrying John Massey and following him to the Appalachian backwoods. There she raised their ten children, living a life so impoverished that she didn’t even have indoor plumbing.

On February 4, 1939, Rabbi Naphtali boarded the RMS Queen Mary from Southampton, England, and arrived in New York on February 9. Shortly thereafter, the rest of the Carlebach family set sail on the Queen Mary on March 18 and arrived in New York on March 23, 1939.

Sigd means “prostration” or “bowing down” in Ge’ez, the ancient Ethiopian liturgical language.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office denies an incredulous Wall Street Journal report Monday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to talk to Russia about a deal to destroy Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. The Journal is a very credible source, and governments often deny the truth, but this time […]

Outraged by Iranian officials threats that any western acts of war against Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel,” on Thursday, August 29, the leadership of the Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the Obama Administration “to declare that an attack on Israel will be treated as an attack against […]

What is in Eretz Israel that draws so much attention? Water? Mineral deposits? Open spaces? Oil? Gold? Diamonds?

At least four terrorists were killed and seven others injured on Saturday in an air strike of the Egyptian army in north Sinai, on Israel’s border, a local security source told Xinhua. “The air strike targeted a house, a hut and a car in the village of al-Toma near Sheikh Zewaid city in North Sinai […]

An intercepted al Qaeda Threat, prison breaks in three Muslim countries, and the end of Ramadan/Eid combined to convince U.S. authorities to extend the embassy closures

More Articles from Marc Gottlieb
hitchhiking haredim

If you look like someone they wouldn’t invite into their home, they won’t invite you into their car.

net_works

In the online world of split-second decision making, having the right theme for your website may mean the difference between engaging a customer or losing the sale.

Make your website festive for the holidays with some simple graphic enhancements.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/uncategorized/things-once-taken-for-granted-are-now-considered-unacceptable/2007/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: