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Author:  Gershon
E-mail:  Beercon2@aol.com
Date:  4/9/2004 2:42:00 PM
Subject:  Meat and Fish
Message:  1. Thank you for your reply. I want to clarify -- I do not really care about the practical issue of meat and fish. If it is prohibited, then it does not interfere with my life. I am concerned with the ideas or concepts of the halacha.
2. As far as dogma is concerned, I was referring to the first definition -- "A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church." In yahadut we do not have anything like this. Halacha and philosophy demand reason and intelligence -- nothing else. Certainly there are certain principles which must be set down. But as far as analysis of halacha and psak are concerned, the attitude that something is so just because someone (even of high moral and intellectual character) said it, is not valid. Every true chacham has to analyze the halachah and come to a rational and reasonable conclusion based upon the gemara and rishonim.
3. As far as the meat and fish issue, please keep me updated when your father is able to go through the sugya more carefully and reach a final conclusion. But to my mind, when chazal instituted something because of danger, if that danger no longer exists, then the takanah should be void.

There are present-day poskim who permit fish and meat without any restrictions.

Thanks again for your honest discussion. You have proved once again that you are clear minded and on the right derech.

Good Shabbos and Chag Sameach
Reply:  We do have incorporated in our religion doctrines that we do not necessarily need to understand, but must follow anyway.
All Gezerot (Rabbinical Decrees AKA Fatwah) were presented first without a clear reason. The reason was presented once the decree was accepted across the Jewish world.
Tumaah & Taharah.
We are entitled to analyze, but must live within the doctrines that exist, with or without a clear understanding of the reason. Can you really tell me that you understand fully why we must wear Tefillen? I say it is because the Torah says to wear Tefillen. Yes, there are certain reasons that I can present to you. But they may not be the full reasons and certainly even without any reasons I am required to follow the laws.

I know that you know this, so I must be missing something here.

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