Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autonomy - brief response

My earlier post was discussed in Avodah and received the following (rather hard to follow) response. In truth, I had forgotten to cite the very important Pischei Teshuva Choshen Mishpat 25:2 quoting Chavas Yair who discusses which Posekim are considered so important that forgetting them is considered טועה בדבר משנה. It is important to note however that this point (and the whole seif really) is only really relevant to judicial law - not to ritual law which is to a large extent what my post refers to.

Is it possible as a result of one's own research to overturn "accepted practice"? I think that this depends on the nature of this practice. I mentioned specifically the Aruch HaShulchan's overtuurning of the Beis Yosef's rule that one must repeat Pesukei D'Zimra after Davening if one comes late. The Aruch HaShulchan proves that the Beis Yosef did not understand the words of the Gaonim on which the pesak was based and since according to Kabbalah one should not repeat PD it is better to do nothing.

I always found this example particularly fascinating since it does open the door to a certain amount of halachich revisionism if the text of the posek is proven to be corrupt, etc. (the Seridei Eish was particularly upset that the Shulchan Aruch had at his disposal so many corrupt texts - obviously he held that the Halacha remains unchanged regardless.) Further, the AS was not justifying any accepted practice but ruling based on his own understanding of the issue. But note that this was a "Shev V'Al Taaseh", and nothing that could be referred to as "accepted practice" . An accepted practice, of "Kum V' Aseh" would of course not be so easily overturned.

Incidentally, I recall hearing from R' Bentzion Wosner (I don't recall who he was quoting, it was in a Shiur on the "Indian Wigs" - which he permitted) that if the majority of Rishonim argue against the Shulkhan Arukh then we follow them against the SA. I assume this is because the SA himself based his arguments on the majority between Rif, Rambam and Rosh. I intend to discuss this at some future time but see for the moment Encyclopedia Talmudit sv. Halacha and particularly see Sinai V. 37 pg. 164 referred to there.

Kitniyos is an immensely difficult issue. There are two main reasons cited by the Posekim, neither of which are really relevant today but the first (beans stored together with grain) may have been relevant in the time of the Gra(?). I do not desire to go into this here at all. (see also -

In relation to the Gra's attutude towards Minhagim, I saw an interesting discussion in The Making of a Gadol (my thanks to all who responded to my request):

We will discuss some other points (Sephardi Pesak which is not monolithic) some other time.


Anonymous said...

There is as teshuva in Binyan Tsion where he dismisses the Ra'avad's understanding of a gaonic opinion based on recently published gaonic works. It is cited in YS SPiegel's AMudim betoldot hasefer haivri (the green volume)

Lion of Zion said...

what about the SA on milk and fish?

Anonymous said...

see kitzur tokfu cohen, where he says that we do not follow rishonim against the SA

Anonymous said...

that I referred to here - See link that this is the subject of the famous disagreement between the MY and SE on Eiruvin.

Ari - What about the SA on Meat and Milk - (YD 87)

Creative Commons License
Ishim V' Shittos by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at