Sunday, November 21, 2021

Rabbi Goren Says Halacha Behind Times -(or how not to be supported by Orthodoxy)

 Addressing members of the Guild for Religion and Spirit of B’nai B’rith, Rabbi Goren, who holds the rank of general, said that halacha in this generation had not advanced hand-in-hand with the times and technology nor did it incorporate any innovations. He said halacha was powerless to solve the intricate problems of the modern Israeli nation and expressed regret that the present generation found no courage to make innovations–in spite of technological possibilities–which would have made it easier to observe the injunctions of the Torah. including keeping the Sabbath.


  1. Rabbi Goren saw the State as being a turnaround in Jewish history, and the 6 day war miracle as sealing that. Hence he believed that we have entered the era which will lead to the temple and moshiach.
    Even some hareidi gedolim felt this way 1948. But 1967 seems to have caused a split. I was just a baby at the time, so I don't know what happened.
    Agudah felt closer to satmar than to RZ. The only one to perfectly be both close to satmar and rav kook, was rav Hutner - who was an incredible personality and not well understood.
    There is a story of rav Tzvi yehuda kook waiting outside rav hutners office, and seeing one of the leaders of neturei karta, also waiting.
    Perhaps more recently, the bostoner rebbe ztl. Was warm towards mercaz harav.
    Your title suggests, BTW, that none of the RZ world, including rav melamed, rav Nehemiah z. Goldberg. rav Elijahu etc were orthodox.

  2. The problem is that the "Gedolim" were stuck in their "We're still in golus, nothing has changed" approach to halakha. The idea that now we have a state and the halakha needs to know how to handle all these modern things that go with it was rejected by many of them.

  3. Except they did change - in the mamzerim case of the70s , they were super meikil on standards of giur. By the 80s and onwards, they decided to be super machmir, leading to the ejf and Sherman disasters.

  4. Oh, those pesky stubborn "Gedolim".
    They always refuse to change the Torah.
    Can't they be more "modern"?
    No. Religious Jews believe that Judaism is based on a God given Torah, which is timeless and eternal. As such, there is no room in Judaism for changes or revisions of the Torah's laws.

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  6. Yeah, yeah, no changes or revisions. Hillel must have been a Reformer since he brought in the prozbul. Bottom line: the way Chareidim practice Judaism would be unrecognizable to Chazal because halakha has slowly evolved, within defined limits, over time. Religious Jews believe that the Torah is divine and eternal but that the Oral Law does adjust over time to remain relevant.

  7. Prozbul is NOT a model for radical Halachic change, because Hillel did not change or revise Halacha.

    The prozbul enactment was a Halachic workaround , that operates within the framework of existing Halacha.

  8. And that's exactly what many of these Rabbonim that you accuse of "changing the halakha" are doing. They are looking at the rules, looking at the guidelines, coming up with acceptable innovations and being told "No! No innovations!"
    May I remind you that the Mishna and Gemara were innovations?

  9. If you think that the Mishna and Gemara were "innovations", than you deny the Divine origin of the Oral Law.

  10. It was new . Do you think they had or used prozbul in biblical era?

  11. No one claimed that Prozbul was used in the Biblical era.

  12. Writing them down was definitely an innovation considering that it was assur for the Torah SheBa'al Peh to be written down since Sinai. But the times demanded an emergency measure so now we have a written Oral Law.
    Frankly, Chareidism itself is an innovation, an invention of the Chasam Sofer, zt"l, again in reaction to the demands of the time. (Maybe that's why they're always so angry. Imagine having the justify an innovation than bans innovation!)

  13. if it wasn't used in the Biblical era, then that suggests it is an innovation. You are simply saying it was halachic and therefore not a change. But Garnel i s saying yes it was halachic, and also a change, i.e. it was an innovation to suit the times.


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