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November 27, 1987 - Image 57

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PLAZA HOTEL PALM BEACH

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ecute the legal details of the
get to nevertheless play a
vital, rabbinical role in deal-
ing with the passage of disso-
lution. Coincidental to its
therapeutic role, the opening
of the horizons of halachah
may provide a way for the
establishment of an
ecumenical Bet Din.
In by private conversa-
tions, I have found that such
enlargement of the halachic
process is greeted en-
thusiastically by Reform col-
leagues who see the Jewish
chidush or creativity, in such
a procedure. There are
creative ways to alleviate the
moral scandal of manzerut
without deligitimizing the
Reform, Conservative and

We have conceded
too much to the
secular world and
narrowed too
much of the
halachic arena.

Reconstructionist rabbinate
by nullifying the validity of
their marriage officiation.
The Conservative move-
ment has a particular con-
tribution to make in forming
a halachic community, but
only if it persuades the com-
munity of the wisdom and
ethics of religious law and
enlarges the horizons of the
four cubits of law. This is a
plea for more, not less
halachah. Halachah has to do
more, not less. "Halachah"
and "halichah" (the mode) are
not moniletic puns. Halachah
must be exercised to meet the
needs of our lay constituency
rib those who wonder if
such rabbinic involvement in
these so-called secular areas
are the proper function of the
rabbinate, I would refer to a
classic exchange of the
Amoraim. When Rabbi Huna
asked his son Rabbah why he
did not attend the lectures of
Rabbi Hisda, Rabbah ex-
plained that Rabbi Hisda
treated only of secular mat-
ters such as hygiene. Rabbi
Huna responded "he deals
with matters of health and
you call them secular
discourses. All the more
reason for going to him."
(Shab. 82a). I think Rabbi
Huna's response was right
and relevant.
We have conceded too
much to the secular world
and narrowed too much of the
halachic arena. The halachic
process must regain its
holistic approach to the
guidance of a Jew. The rites
of passage that punctuate the
critical stages of our lives beg
for halachic wisdom and
morality.
Precisely the types of O

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