Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rabbi Jeremy Rosen
I can't agree with everything he has to say, but definitely an independent thinker. There is something to the formulation, "what Halakha permits is permitted - what it forbids is forbidden". But I'd kinda feel a little weird not giving some credence to millennia of organic growth and Halakha without the "intelligent design" of muddling just to see what we can get away with. Ironically, many who articulate the formula will add that history should have a say in whats done today - that contexts change, etc. For example, pilegshim. We are at the 50th Gate of teumah; to allow for pilegshim in this generation (here R. Rosen defends recent discussion) would lead to many broken homes, bitter and jaded newlyweds with a tad too much 'firsthand experience' and far more soap opera caliber drama to the Upper West Side and D.C. In a similar vein, I would suggest we also consider the formulation "transgression is transgression" - where hypocrisy can potentially be a virtue (regretably, a significant portion of affiliating Modern Orthodoxy), if the options include a systematized lowering of standards (as occurs with new movements), to what we know we can meet without having to elevate ourselves or take ourselves from 'places' we know sin will only fractal, levels we can 'attain' without wrestling with our baser instincts (to which I would point to a great C.S. Lewis bit); we may still hold as binding systematically something we transgress occasionally. But to try to defend as halakhic an idea that could only be grasped from within the whole system as deeply unwise, or simply an averah?....in this there is no virtuous "expanding" of Torah. I do however think single women attending mikveh is distinct from situating it in the context of the institution of pilegshim, countenancing it within the system. There are worse things that could happen than some things that go on among those who use the Jewish System generally but err at times - like not going to mikveh and being chayiv karet.

2 Comments:

At 11/15/2007 10:48 AM, Blogger Leah Kleim Has Fake Tits said...

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At 12/04/2007 9:56 PM, Blogger ... said...

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