The Person Behind The Posts

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ikkar and Taful

Some years ago, my husband and I spent a Shabbat in Elazar with a Tehilla Pilot Trip . Since we were nearby in one of the Gush Etzion yeshuvim , the trip organizers were able to convince Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat to come and speak to our small group after Shabbat.

Over the years, Rabbi Riskin has spoken some memorable sound bites. This talk was no exception. One of the things he spoke about was how the Orthodox community in America was so focused on taful (the details) that we completely missed the ikkar (the essence). We’re obsessing about the wrong stuff!

There is so much concern over the minutiae of Halacha in so many behaviors. A Google search on how to open a potato chip bag for Shabbat yields at least half-a-dozen solutions. There is a raging debate in Halacha about whether electric shavers are permitted or forbidden.

We are drowning in taful.

At the same time, while all these halachic discussions are going on in the Orthodox communities in America, the voices of the halachic community, urging people to live in the one place in the world where the Torah was meant to be kept, are utterly silent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As usual, dear one, you say what I want to say... but more succinctly. Kol hakavod!

(Besides... it sounds less whiney, coming out of a rebbetzin.)