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New Book by Rabbi David Stav-Bein ha-Zemanim

Bein hazemanim

Rabbi David Stav, one of the leaders of Tzohar, has published a new book, בין הזמנים-תרבות, בילוי ופנאי בהלכה ובמחשבה. On Ynet Yitzhak Tesler writes that it is a good book, but he feels that the boat has already left the port and that rabbis must be more courageous in their halakhic thinking than is currently practiced.

My problem with this clearly written and very good book is, to use the foreign phrase, this ship has already left port. The majority of the national-religious public is not searching for decisions that permit one to see movies or hear a woman singing [on the radio], and in the ultra-Orthodox community, at least towards the general public, they don’t admit that they are also consumers of Wester culture, whether it is permitted or forbidden.

Specifically because of the desire to preserve the halakhah among young people, national-religious rabbis need to unite in order to collectively make very courageous halakhic decisions such as permitting kitniyot on Passover. Yes, these rabbis can expect to take hell from within the knitted [i.e. national-religious] sector and from outside of it. The alternative is the loss of the younger generation that already understands that sometimes rabbis have the obligation to change the halakhah, but since they aren’t doing it, feel no need to wait for them.

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