Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  gershon
E-mail:  beercon2@aol.com
Date:  4/20/2004 5:55:00 PM
Subject:  Re: Dogma
Message:  A recent post by George says:

"Your correspondant is asserting something that must be proven. So let me ask, why does he beleive that halacha is reasonable and objective? Perhaps it isn't. We'd still be obligated to follow it, wouldn't we?"

The point is, though, that is not what halacha is. Every day all of us (we should, at least) learn gemara, halachos, etc. We subject all of the statements of the gemara and rishonim to the most precise and rational criteria. I think that people confuse one thing. (I think I submitted a post on this before that was not posted yet). That is, there is a difference between the rationale behind the laws and the structure of the laws themselves. In regards to the rationale behind the laws, we know that there is a rationale, as we know that Shlomo was able to uncover the rationale for the overwhelming majority. However, we do not know if the rationale that we propose is the correct one. However, stating that we do not know the rationale and that there is no rationale or that it is irrational, are two very different things. God would never ask of us to do something that is irrational. He could and does ask us to do things that we do not know the rationale for. This is an important point, and is something that differentiates us from other religions. I can elaborate more on that, but I will leave it for now.
As far as the structure of the halacha and psak are concerned, however, we do not accept one iota of irrationality. If someone were to state a halachic opinion and we were to bring him absolute evidence that it was the opposite, he coud not say that it does not matter, it is irrational. We would send him away and tell him he does not understand how halacha works at all.

The above is an important distinction and is one that is often confused.

I hope to hear from you soon.
Reply:  You are right.

Back to the Q & A Board