Monday, July 25, 2022

Extra-legal Factors in R. Weinberg's Pesak

R. Weinberg’s halakhic responsa frequently bring meta-halakhic factors to bear, a trend noticed and discussed by Marc Shapiro. This is not surprising, since Jewish law reflects ideals and values and not just formal rules. But while similar sentiments appear in the writings of other poskim, R. Weinberg introduces such factors on a more consistent basis and in an admirably forthright manner. Sometimes communal needs or ethical concerns motivate him to rely upon a leniency he would not otherwise have allowed. In other scenarios, meta-halakhic factors motivate stringency, even if the practice in question does not entail any legal violation.

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