In the recent discussion of divorce and whether it is permitted or even desirable to force a man to give a get when the Torah doesn't require it - the question is whether the social and psychological consequences should be considered. In particular if adhering to the Torah laws causes a woman to give up yiddishkeit or to engage in immoral behavior or it increases mamzerim - should we be concerned enough to force the husband to give up on his Torah rights in marriage?
Similarly my recent post about establishing who is the boss in marriage from the Chesed l'Avraham - elicited some strong responses - that this material was not only irrelevant but was highly embarrassing to us modern enlightened folk. In other words it is far from being politically and socially correct. One anonymous commenter even criticized me for publicizing this material since he said it was a chillul haShem [I didn't publish his comment solely because he didn't bother giving himself a name]. I was also asked rhetorically if I would publish the comments of the Pele Yoetz regarding wife beating? In fact I am finishing up the translation of that section and will soon post it. It is a good example of social reality altering halachic practice. In reality the issue is whether we should be learning from the Torah what to do - and do it without concern for consequences or whether there are specific goals we want to accomplish and therefore we need to modify the halacha - even nullify Torah laws - in order to achieve the metagoals - is a very important issue. In other words does Torah have an agenda - or is simply to observe the mitzvos. A related question is whether there is in fact a Torah true marriage or Torah true chinuch or Torah true mental health or psychotherapy? Or are all these institutions determined by the time and age a person lives in?
[From Daas Torah 2nd edition page 49]
Rav Dov Katz(Pulmos HaMusar page 337): There are two views concerning the purpose of observing mitzvos. 1) It is an end in itself which is to fulfill the will of G‑d. 2) It is a means to educate and develop man to spiritual perfection - which he is obligated to achieve. Many of the opponents of Mussar hold the first view that man’s primary obligation in the world is simply to fulfill G‑d’s will and to keep His commandments. Their focus is to clarify the commandants so that they are done as precisely as possible. They are not concerned with investigating and clarifying the hidden aspects of man. They don’t value being involved in clarification of hashkofa issues. They are not curious about the psychological forces and the depths of the heart. They don’t examine their personality traits and their manifestations. They have no interest in seclusion and mediation. They serve G‑d purely and simply. On the other hand, they are fully aware that the Torah requires spiritual development and personality development. However, they view these as commandments that are no different than the other commandments of the Torah. While some of them accept that they require preparation and others see these commandments as an end in themselves - none of this group require a special program to achieve this personal perfection. Instead they assert that one should be totally devoted to an in depth study of Torah - which is superior to all else - and are very concerned with exacting observance of mitzvos. They are concerned with extra stringencies according to their clarification of the nature of the Halacha and view this approach as the way to achieve personal perfection and the perfection of the world. In contrast to this group, those who require Mussar belong to the second group that the prime focus of man is his obligation for spiritual perfection. This second group asserts that G‑d’s will is not fulfilled simply by keeping His commandments as expressions of G‑d’s authority. They require that the focus be on the commandments as the means to achieve spiritual and personal perfection. The consequence of this perspective is that commandments are seen, as means - not ends in themselves. Therefore, it is not sufficient to simply physically perform the mitzva. They seek means and strategies to involve the inner person, as well as his thoughts and his emotions. They view that the primary impact of the mitzva does not come from a mechanical performance - though they don’t denigrate that is produced by it - but only that which penetrates and influences the inner being.