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Halakhic Harrasers

Ynet has a post (Hebrew) that criticizes the dependency of many people on rabbis to make the simplest of decisions, whether they be of a halakhic nature or not. The author, Racheli Malek Buda, used a great term, מטרידים הלכתיים, halakhic harassers, people who can’t do anything without sending their rabbi an email or an SMS with a question.

I have heard numerous statement brought in the name of Rabbi Yehuda Amital that criticize the dependency that people have on rabbis. IIRC, he felt that many issues in people’s lives just didn’t warrant a halakhic response. The number of questions that have been asked of rabbis on the Internet is in the hundreds of thousands, people have just got to calm down a bit and think for themselves. It seems as if some people need a twelve-step program for addiction to rabbis.

3 Responses to “Halakhic Harrasers”

  1. 1
    Harry Perkal:

    Well that is at least one problem Conservative or Reform Rabbis do not have.

  2. 2
    Mordechai Y. Scher:

    In his biography (and elsewhere) Rav Amital is indeed quoted as pointing out that these sorts of questions were never asked by the observant people with whom he lived in pre-war Europe. There was no need to ask, and the rav had no role in most such things, anyway. Rav Amital quite explicitly encouraged his students to be “normal” (‘normalim’ in Ivrit); and often left them to make up their own minds even on matters of theology and philosophy.

  3. 3
    Max Power:

    Kind of like Jewish versions of Ned Flanders.




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