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Human Emotion as a Factor in Halakhah

Often opponents of halakhic innovation or change claim that their opposition is based upon the legal sources and that external factors such as human emotion are irrelevant to halakhic decision making. Last week Musaf Shabbat of Makor Rishon published an article (Hebrew) on the tenth yarzheit of Rabbi Shalom Messas, the former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. The article brought a number of examples from Rabbi Messas’s responsa when he used human emotions and desires as factors in halakhic decision making.

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