Rabbi Daniel Feldman

Episode 6 April 16, 2024 00:37:52
Rabbi Daniel Feldman
The Koren Podcast
Rabbi Daniel Feldman

Apr 16 2024 | 00:37:52

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Show Notes

Have you ever wondered why sometimes halakha seems immovable but other times it seems flexible and full of workarounds? 

We can't own hametz on Pesah so we just sell it to a non-Jew. First borns must fast on erev-Pesah, just make a siyum!

Rabbi Daniel Feldman explores these topics and more in his new book Letter and Spirit: Evasions, Avoidance, and Workarounds in the Halakhic System. But these aren't just distinct mechanisms to make a halakhic lifestyle easier, they are part of a broader and beautiful framework for a Jew to connect with Hashem.

Listen now as Rabbi Feldman share his Torah al regel ahat!

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Useful Links:

Letter and Spirit: Evasions, Avoidance, and Workarounds in the Halakhic System

False Facts and True Rumors: Lashon HaRa in Contemporary Culture

 

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The Koren Podcast was written and hosted by Aryeh Grossman and Alex Drucker and was edited and produced by Alex Drucker. Artwork by Tani Bayer. Music by Music Unlimited via pixabay.com

The Koren Podcast is part of the Koren Podcast Network, a division of Koren Jerusalem.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:18] Speaker A: Welcome back to another episode of the Coroner podcast. We are very excited to be joined today by Rabbi Daniel Feldman, who is a Roshi Reit and the author of two fantastic books published by muggy books, false facts and true rumors, Lashon Hara in contemporary culture, as well as the brand new letter and spirit evasions, avoidance and workarounds in the halachic system. And we're very excited to talk to Rabbi Feldman to hear what he has to say when we ask him to teach the whole Torah al rec Alachat standing on one leg. So let's jump right in. We are terribly honoured to be joined by Rabbi Daniel Feldman, who is the author both of false facts and true rumours. But the new book, letter and spirit, evasions, avoidance and workarounds in the halachic system, as well as being a rosh hashiva at Reit yu. Thank you very much, Rabbi Falm, for joining us. [00:01:05] Speaker B: Thank you so much for having me. [00:01:08] Speaker A: To start, as we always do. Please, could you teach us the whole Torah standing on one leg? [00:01:12] Speaker B: I'll do my best. The whole Torah. About this book my goal was to try first and foremost to reduce cynicism. So often there's a cynical attitude towards some of what we see in halakha, both in terms of the perception that there's a effort and maybe even success at working around the halacha's intents, and then also together with that, that if it's possible in those cases, so then why isn't it possible in other cases which seem equally or more important? And a lot of what I was hoping to display here is how there is a system and how every instance of what seems like it's a workaround in halakha. And the truth is, have a hard time finding a good word for it. But anything that seems like it's in that category, each one has its own logic and its own history and its own motivations, and how to properly appreciate that, and then to make an informed decision about whether you want to participate or not, but certainly to not be cynical about it and to appreciate the history behind it, and especially the role of rabbinic leadership in trying to guide the population towards the maximal spiritual fulfillment, fulfillment within the context of all the challenges of society and history. [00:02:33] Speaker C: So you've written several books on halakha and many articles, many volumes of articles. Can you tell us a little bit about in terms of your approach to halakha, your experience with halakha? This is something you obviously put a lot of focus and attention to. What made you decide who are your influences, who you're obeying, that kind of put you on this course of. Of what you wanted to teach? [00:02:57] Speaker B: That's a great question. My father was the author of one of the first books of English, halacha. Using sources of halacha at an advanced level. He wrote about birth control and abortion ready in the 1960s, and he certainly was an influence in terms of the genre and in terms of the scholarship. And I've also been privileged to be a student at Yeshiva of Rabbi Hershel Schechter and Rabbi Mordechai Willig and Rabbi Aj, David Bleich and many others who have address these topics at this level. And that certainly played a large role in my development. [00:03:35] Speaker A: If we go back to your answer to what is the altar? This idea of avoiding cynicism, not being cynical about the halachic system or about our rabbinic leadership, what do you think are the major pitfalls of, first of all, being cynical or not being cautious of that cynicism? And then how do you think these ideas of workarounds and evasions of, or seemingly evasions of halachic principles, how do you think we have become? What's led us to become cynical about them? [00:04:08] Speaker B: Well, there seems to be a perception that anything you want to, you can work around, and that there isn't really any halachic guideline and there aren't really any parameters, and that whatever you want, you can find a way to accomplish if you're creative enough, and that there's enough of a loophole, which is a word I really don't like so much, because it seems to suggest that there's something missing or that there was a mistake or something that was overlooked in the system and we can exploit it. I don't like that word from either side, because it seems to suggest a mistake or a deficiency in the system and exploitation on the part of the users. And I don't think either part of that is really correct or accurate. So from that perspective, it creates cynicism and it makes it look both as if we're not really serious about our avodah, about our service of God, that we're just trying to find ways to do whatever we want and at least make it look like we're following the rules. And once that's possible also, then it makes it look like our priorities are not really in the right place. Because if we can accomplish whatever we want, then why don't we set our sights towards loftier goals? And that provokes other questions. [00:05:30] Speaker C: What do you think is the balance, the fine line between finding creative, halakhic solutions to problems versus, like you say, something which is coming from a more cynical place, let's say, trying to find a way out or a loophole. [00:05:48] Speaker B: A lot of it has to do with values. A lot of it has to do with what is it that we're trying to accomplish and why are we trying to do that? First, figuring out the values and figuring out the priorities and recognizing where they come from and how to align them. And everything should flow from there. [00:06:11] Speaker A: So I guess one of the most timely examples of a halachic workaround or a creative halachic solution, certainly for the period. Those listening as this comes out towards Pesach is, of course, Mekarat Chamet selling the chometz before Pesach. How is it possible to view that as something that is not a workaround or a loophole or something like this? Certainly on the surface it does feel like something that is, well, I can't own the chamit, so I'll just sell it to someone. But he's going to sell it back to me anyway. I know that he will. So how do we get over that very common perception that Mikhail Chametz selling the chamit is. It's a loophole. I mean, it definitely feels that way in the way that it seems set up, certainly to the layperson that we're selling it to the Schulz janitor or whoever it is, who's going to sell it back, that he doesn't really. I mean, so how do we move away from that cynical view? How do we move away from that common perception and start viewing it as like an actual halachic, I guess, even. Would you call it an ideal or not? But how do we. [00:07:17] Speaker B: Yeah, it's fascinating. There's so many different elements. Specifically to Mechireshameitz. It's actually one of the longest chapters in the book, and there's so much to consider about it because it has a history of controversy. Its current state is of somewhat mixed reception. Because there are those who take a very limited attitude towards mechiris chametz, and they don't sell actual chamets. They'll only sell chametz that's only rabbinically prohibited. They're those who are much more embracing of mechrist Hamaitz. So it's true that it has kind of a mixed reaction even now, and it has a history of some degree of controversy. So the perception of mechiros Hamitz is indeed complicated, and I think a lot of it is in the details, a lot of it is in how you relate to it. But we could start off with one question, and that what exactly do we think is the Torah's intent in telling us not to have Chametz on Pesach? And is it in any way contradicted by reuniting with our Khmetz after Pesach? Is the goal really to destroy the Khmer forever? And if we do come back to the Khmets afterwards, does that undermine the goal? Or is it about not having khmets during Pesach when there's a prohibition of eating chametz? And we have to worry about that? But perhaps after Pesach, the fact that the chamez comes back doesn't necessarily undermine that in any way. And if we are genuinely separated from our chametz, absolutely. During the course of Pesach, it is possible to perceive that as completely consistent with the goal of the law. And one of the themes that I try to develop is that some of the Rishonim, maybe all the Rishonim understands, really the ran who spells this out. But it could be the view of all the Rishonim that the Torah's intent in telling us not to own chametzan Pezach is to keep us away from eating Chametzan Pesach, that that's the actual intent of the Torah. So perhaps if we assign the ownership to someone else with full sincerity and meaning, that in every sense of the word, and we are completely respectful of property rights and the recognition of what that means, and we treat that with the full seriousness of everything that comes along with that, then that will indeed keep us away from eating chamitz on Pesach. And also, at the same time, reinforce the importance of honesty and integrity, which is a key aspect of kiddos hashem, and a part of what we look towards in terms of hoping to be redeemed fully in the future, so there are very positive messages that can be embraced there and don't necessarily have to contradict the theme of Pesach at all. If we see it with full seriousness. And there are all kinds of points in between. And that's a part of what we see the evolution of mecha Chameitz addressing. And it's very fascinating to watch that. And a part of it is that indeed, there are times in history when the sustenance of the jewish people, the parnasseh, was much more involved, and the rabbinic leadership was particularly sensitive to that. And there are some fascinating things that you can find in the literature about just how concerned they were in terms of trying to preserve that possibility and the livelihood of the jewish people. There are things that I found that I didn't know about before that were positively fascinating and inspiring in terms of the efforts that rabbinic leadership made in order to protect the livelihood of the jewish people, and also to maintain the integrity towards the observance of Pesach and the sale and everything that it would involve. And at the same time, there were challenges and there were modifications and tweaks that have happened throughout history and that continue to happen. [00:10:49] Speaker A: Is there something you can share without giving too many spoilers away? Is there something you can share either related to like or Mehra Chamit, or just something that you found that surprised you as you were going through the Makara trying to build the book and write the book, where sort of like chazal or the rabbinic leadership throughout history have gone the extra step to both maintain the integrity of halakha, but also increase the observance or ease the observance of halakha. [00:11:21] Speaker B: Well, in general, focusing specifically on Melcher is hametes. So there has been a continuing evolution of the process from the time of the tosefta, when the possibility was still originally floated up until now. And the rishonim were discussing that, okay, this is something that can happen, that you can assign your chametes to a non jew and also arrange to have it back after Pesach. But they said it has to not be a harama, whatever that means. It has to not be. Translating that term is already challenging. It has to not be evasive or not be dishonest, not clear exactly how to translate that. And that already led the roots on to try to figure out what was the priority in terms of keeping it from being inappropriate somehow. And it's been a continuing evolution throughout the centuries, trying to perfect the process and make that balance to be everything it can be. But one thing that I particularly found very inspiring was in the 16 hundreds. The amass Benjamin was particularly concerned about the fact that in order for the sale to be completely honest and have the integrity it needed to, so you could not guarantee contractually that the non jewish purchaser would be forced to sell it back to the original jewish seller. But there was also the problem that there were unscrupulous jews who were swooping in right after Pesach and buying up the livelihood of other jews at a low price and making it impossible for them to recover their property that they need to make a living. And the mas struggled with, how can I allow them to maintain the property that they need to survive, and also maintain the integrity of this process. And he came up with an ingenious approach after writing this. He essentially couldn't sleep at night because he didn't know how to balance the two. And he worked to come up with an answer, which he did. And I found that to be tremendously inspiring. And there's other literature from around that time also, where the authors were struggling with, how could we make sure that this is as honest as possible, that this is as faithful to the norms of halacha and to what we're looking for, and at the same time, accomplishing everything it needs to. To be for the needs of the jewish people at the time. And then also within the broader category of mechrish Hamates, there's a whole other subject, and that is addressing the non observant population. And that comes from a completely different place, with its own set of priorities and its own set of considerations, and is very different in terms of how it's structured. But the literature about supermarkets that continue to be open over the course of Pesach, and that are selling chametz to Jews, and to non Jews over the course of Pesach, where the logic is completely different in terms of what's written about observant individuals who are selling their chamets. It's a whole different world, and the motivations are different, and the arguments are different, and the logic is different. And yet there's quite a fascinating literature, and there was quite an intense debate among Poskim as to how that should be best addressed. But some of what you find is incredibly illuminating and inspiring in terms of the motivation of the rabbinic leadership, to do what they can to maximize the observance of the jewish people, and to recognize where they're at and what can be done in order to address that with the greatest sensitivity and the greatest faithfulness to the values of the jewish system. [00:14:46] Speaker C: So we live in an age today from the khirchomets. Many people will literally just fill out maybe a Google form at best, or a form of, you know, maybe with an organization that isn't even in the same country as the country they live in, and then they feel like they're done. And I also wonder whether there's a need on the other side to balance that out. Like, should you talked about having sincerity and integrity when you make this transaction? Do you think we should be starting to encourage, say, the gentile that's buying the chometz, to start knocking on doors during Pesach? And claiming the chomets. I often wonder, when people are selling big whiskey collections, they surely have sincerity and integrity if they knew that there was a chance that at some point during Pesach, someone's going to come and take away their however many year old single mall. How do we balance those? On the one hand, trying to make the Gerech chametz as easy as possible, using technology, while also trying to make it feel real and something that's personal. [00:15:38] Speaker B: And sincere, well, it certainly doesn't hurt if they come over the course of Pesach and come to take it. I don't think it's necessary that they actually have to do that, but certainly to make it possible and to make it clear that that's the right and that that shouldn't be inhibited in any way, that's absolutely crucial. And you find that also in the earlier literature, intense discussion around the obligation to provide a key to make sure that access was there. And there's a ton of literature about that, which I tried to convey some sense of in the book about just how important the key was and what would be the implications of not providing a key. And that's an extensive discussion. And today we don't necessarily provide the key, although we provide cell phone numbers and access in other ways. So whether they have to actually be acted upon or just made clear that the possibility is always there, certainly one or the other is a crucial part of emphasizing the seriousness. And of course, you should understand that if the purchaser does take the single malt, he will have to pay for it. It's not that he's going to get it for nothing, but yes, he does have that right, and we should be prepared for that. And to understand that it is a genuine sale, and I think it's crucially important. This is something which there are details that are subject to dispute in terms of some halachic discussions. But I think in order for it to accomplish what it needs to accomplish, the seller, the jewish seller, has to have the mentality that the Chamez is really not his and shouldn't take any liberties over the course of Pesach with the chamez thinking, okay, the purchaser is okay with it, he's mohel. He has to really have the mentality that it's not his and that it's separated from him in the fullest sense of the word. [00:17:13] Speaker A: I think Arya also raised an interesting point in terms of how technology fits into this. As in one imagines this book would look very, very different if you were writing it 30, 40 years ago compared to today? Some of these mechanisms have existed for a couple of thousand years, whether it's Mihail chamit or przbl or whatever. How has technology impacted, whether it's Google forms or being able to sit in America and sell your Khmer through an organization here in Israel or whatever it is, what different challenges have arisen over the last couple of decades that have moved the goalposts a bit, that have potentially either opened up these mechanisms to be far more accessible than maybe they once were, or new mechanisms that didn't exist because the technology wasn't there? Is there anything that sort of has, has changed over the last 20 years, where the literature is much more modern than perhaps the Tasafta that was talking about Chametz? [00:18:14] Speaker B: Yeah, it's a good question. It's true that in terms of chametz, you can appoint the agent in a more efficient way, using technology, and that itself evolved separate from technology. And there's a tremendous literature about that. And that also was very controversial in its time, because originally the way Chametz was sold was on a one to one basis. Everyone sold their Khmer to their neighbor. And there were tremendous mistakes that came about that, because it's actually very complicated. And there are some ways, particularly in which it's possible to really make a mistake that would invalidate the whole process or make it retroactively ineffective. And therefore it eventually transitioned to the joint collective sale, which had its own controversy, and then it became necessary to first, 1st stage was selling all the jewish chamets to one jew, who would then sell to a non jew. And that was very controversial in its own sense, because how plausible was that, really, that that one jew was actually taking on all the Khmer of the entire community and then selling it to everyone. So that engendered tremendous controversy on its own. And then that evolved to what is much more common today, the idea of the rabbinic agent. So the rabbinic agent is appointed, and how that appointment happens is something that really could happen through the Internet, through faxing, and doesn't really require very much. But ideally, we would do it in person, because again, we're concerned about the cynicism, and we don't want anyone to think that it's something to be taken lightly. So we prefer, and this is something that the round bum already described in other contexts, just in terms of what's involved in appointing an agent, that we want the person to take it seriously, and to see this as something that is significant. So we'd rather it happens in person. With some kind of a Kenyon and a handshake and formal description of what's going on. So whatever we can do to give that more gravity and formality we prefer. While at the end of the day it is technically possible for it to happen in a much more minimal way with technology and distance. So there's a space there. [00:20:29] Speaker A: I mean, moving away from Pesach, I'm potentially moving away from Pesach. I don't know what your answer is going to be. [00:20:33] Speaker B: Well, it's also by Pesach. So one other way in which technology has become involved in a surprising way is there's also the custom of making a sim on Arif Pesach for the fast of the firstborn. And there, there's been a very interesting shift because I think today the idea of having a sim during the nine days to eat meat is considered much more controversial and much more a deviation from the spirit of the time than the fast on Arif Pesach being addressed with the sium, which is far more accepted and really taken as pretty much a completely given in just about every shul that I know of Arif Pesach. But if you go back not so long ago, go back to the time of the cham sofer and the no debi Huda, they were probably equally controversial, maybe even more controversial, the fastest on, er, Pesach, Siam, which is interesting. But what we've gotten to today is that there's even a significant literature about not only allowing one to go to a seem on Arab Pesach, and a part of the whole debate was, okay, so you can have a see, um and address the fast that way, but who can you invite? How many people can you bring in who didn't really have anything to do with the learning, so that a lot of the literature addressed that also. But the idea that not only can you attend a CM that you didn't actually learn for, but you can attend that CM electronically over the telephone or over the Internet, that is far harder to reconcile with the spirit of the CM and to say that that works in terms of the internal logic. And yet there are many postscom who allowed that too. And that really points to a certain evolution and the understanding of what's going on there and how exactly that unfolded is its own discussion. [00:22:17] Speaker A: So I think that leads very nicely to my next question of let's pretend you're not Pascal, you're not ruling for somebody, but just in the abstract, are there any of these workarounds of these evasions? Whatever you want to call them that you think perhaps go too far, or maybe are no longer relevant, or ones that weren't relevant 2300 years ago, but perhaps more relevant now. It seems to be that although these have an important place in the halachic system, they're not necessarily the. They're not necessarily the ideal. Are there any that you think perhaps maybe go too far, potentially don't go far enough? Where are the ones where you think there's more to be said, either pro or against? [00:23:09] Speaker B: I mentioned in the introduction that for the most part, this is not about advocacy, and I'm, for the most part, not trying to push one position or the other, but rather trying to explain why things developed the way they did, so that there should be an appreciation for the nuances and for the differences. It's true, for example, that regarding, let's say, the heta mechira for Shemitah. So there is a wide divergence of attitudes. And I certainly do not want to call into question the credentials of the tremendous, tremendous Gadolin who endorsed it both then and now at its inception and now, but certainly far more controversial than some of the others. And there, the time factor was very much a part of it, the presumption that it was meant for a limited period of time. So, for example, Ruv Cook, who initially opposed the hat to Megira, then became a strong advocate, but also said that he was going to be restrained in how much he displayed about his advocacy, because he was worried that it shouldn't become entrenched forever. And then there's a constant renewal of the debates, kind of a perpetual motion machine of machokis. Every seven years, there's a new level of assessing it, should it still be used or not? Which itself is a fascinating literature. So it's not my place to say one way or another, but it is something which has taken on a different tone and is very different than, say, Mechrist Chametz, in terms of the nuances of its debate and of its factors. So there you have its own, its own life to it, in terms of the assessment of whether it's still relevant, still necessary. There are those who can argue very passionately that it is, and those who argue very passionately that times have changed so significantly that the startup nation no longer needs the same kind of economic support that it did when it was in the pre state era, and every point in between. So there's been tremendous controversy in terms of how to apply that. Again, it's not my place to say. I would say for the most part, I'm not going for advocacy in this book. I do make one possible exception in that. The last chapter, close to the last chapter, I addressed the question of the halachic prenup and the question of the plight of the Agona. And there's no question that that is an issue that's on everyone's mind. And that often comes first and foremost when wondering if, together with the question of cynicism, that if it seems that the rabbis can address whatever they want, and that's the perception that's sometimes created so clearly, there's so much anguish and suffering that comes with the Akuna issue. So why can't we find a solution to that here? I come closer to advocacy because I am a student of the rabbis who crafted the Bezen of America prenup, and I'm affiliated with organizations that do promote its usage, and I do feel that there's a good case to be made for it that emerges from understanding the framework of everything else. So it's intentionally the last chapter, because I believe that having gone through all the other topics, you have a greater appreciation of what the challenges are in that area and why it's not so simple to assume, okay, you can have a prose bullet, you can have mechairs chametz, you can solve this, too. But at the same time, the halachic prenup does a tremendous amount to address this, but not only in terms of how effective it is, which it is very effective as far as how it's been displayed so far, but also the ways in which it's able to emphasize and enhance the spirit of the relevant laws. And that's something which I think can gain from more attention. And so to that extent, there's some degree of advocacy in trying to bring that to light and to address that specifically in the contemporary climate. [00:26:58] Speaker C: I feel like that the topic of aguna and halakha prenup is possibly, we can do another whole podcast on that topic. Not going to go into it now, but I think obviously we want to recognize the importance of that as a discussion before I ask my next question, which is dealing with things which are possibly potentially more trivial than that. So recognizing the validity of that and saying, maybe we'll park that for a future discussion. Interested to hear you before in terms of the comparison between, like you said, the seum on Araf Pestach and the nine days siyamim, and I think we've seen a growing culture. I definitely see, certainly, let's say, in the United States, maybe in England. I haven't really seen in Israel as well, almost flacic restaurants, basically advertising see him every night so they can keep open the whole way through the nine days. And maybe that's, I don't know if that's where some of the kind of negativity or cynicism around that comes from, versus kind of the, the seam of Arab Pesach. To what extent do you feel like cultural views or cultural responses do kind of shape attitudes and kind of impact on suck of rabbanim on certain things? [00:28:16] Speaker B: Well, so there, it's similar also to what we saw when it comes to hametes, that there's all kinds of different levels, that there's a way to address it when it's in its most idealized form, or when it's at least in a more generalized kind of usage. And then there are extremes. And the extremes certainly seem to be a deviation from what we could recommend. But at the same time, sometimes there's also surprising rationales for those situations also, and recognizing that there are all kinds of people in the population with all kinds of starting points, and that that also needs to. To be appreciated and addressed be. And the question of trying to find what will maximize their religious fulfillment, and how to balance presenting options that don't necessarily take away from what those who are striving in a more sincere way will be tempted to drift towards. And where exactly that balance is and how the rabbinic leadership struggles with that is a part of what I think emerges from the pages of this book. And you find it in that context. So you refer to the restaurants with Constance. Umm. It's a little bit similar to the question of the supermarkets with the khmets, a whole different level, but it's a little bit similar. And our initial instinct is, well, this is certainly not what we're looking for. And at the same time, who knows who sometimes may be affected by that in a way that we wouldn't expect. And so I try not to be judgmental throughout, and just to present what these elements are so that we can appreciate them and make our own decisions, whether they're for us or not, whether they're for our communities or not, but understand where they come from, what's behind them. [00:30:16] Speaker A: Moving away from specific examples within the book, then, or not, what would you say to somebody who is feeling particularly cynical? Either somebody who is on a journey towards more halachic observance, but is encountering these things and starting to feel cynical, or somebody who is perhaps being turned off a bit from Hachik observance, because of a cynicism towards these sorts of attitudes, because it's not just about these specific workarounds of these specific cases, but a more general, I think as you've touched upon a few times, there's a more general sense of cynicism towards a halachic system that is so heavily influenced by rabbinic literature and rabbinic decision making. What would you say to somebody to try and address that cynicism, even potentially, what would you say to a rabbi or a parent or a teacher who is facing people with this attitude? [00:31:18] Speaker B: Well, I guess there's two points of departure. So in terms of one's personal cynicism as far as their own individual religiosity. So one should not engage in any behavior that contributes to cynicism. So, for example, let's say, to go back to Mechrist Hamaitz, that if you don't believe that it's something that has actual sincerity to it, so then you absolutely shouldn't do it. And that's a serious point that I've seen people, certainly as a shul rabbi, you see people who come and say, okay, so I'm selling my chumeys now, right? Wink, wink. We all know what this is about. So if that's what you think you're doing, so then you shouldn't do it. If you don't believe that it has actual reality to it and that it's significant, so then it's not for you, and that's fine. And no one's asking you to, no one's insisting that you partake. But the question is, should you be able to respect others who have found genuine reality to this? So if those people themselves are cynical and are overtly cynical, so then that's something to stay away from. Here we are in other, and don't want to be too extreme in the comparison, but ghazal do seem to call Amalek with the word let's, which, as Rafutner addressed in Esicha, is actually the quality of cynicism. So just to highlight just how harmful that quality is. So if others are expressing cynicism, so then for sure, that's something you want to distance yourself from. But others who are engaged in practices that we don't fully understand, that seem to be hollow or a deviation from the spirit of the law, I hope that there can be a greater appreciation for the fact that there may be more here than you recognize, and that indeed, the giants of rabbinic leadership are deeply immersed in all of the different angles of the literature and of all of the different priorities and are carrying the responsibility of the entire jewish community on their shoulders. And that that should come out from seeing the back and forth. And perhaps I'm biased, but it's my belief that if you do see that, then you really shouldn't have a cynical reaction. That if you do get a accurate picture of just how much the genuine leadership of the jewish community, through its ravennate over the course of the centuries, is deeply concerned about the well being of the jewish people and deeply connected to the scholarship and all of its depth and to balancing the priorities in all of its breadth, and to have an appreciation for that, then one should not emerge from that with any cynicism. That may be my subjective opinion. [00:34:10] Speaker A: It's a great opinion you talked about. [00:34:14] Speaker C: Before in terms of how we see in halachic writing and taking into sort of particular, timely concerns, taking them into account when making PSAQ. We talked about the concerns of Chazan, 16th century financial livelihood concerns. What do you think are the unique concerns of, or what are you seeing, let's say, right now of 2024? What are the unique concerns that you think Poskim should be taking into account when they're thinking about halachic matters, whether it's in the specific area you write about in the book, areas you write about in the book, or just other things that we're seeing that we would not have expected even a year ago or a year and a half ago. What are the contemporary concerns of 2024? [00:34:58] Speaker B: The fracture of jewish community. The fact that we don't have any centralized authority. The fact that it's hard to identify what are the values clearly of the jewish people and that it's possible to get a misimpression about what we are really focused on and what we are really interested in. The centering of honesty and integrity and concern for the world as a whole and the community as a whole, and the well being of the jewish people as a unit and the possibility of losing sight of that. And that, especially in these recent months, with everything that's gone on, the need to emphasize and reemphasize the unity of the jewish people and the jewish people as moral beacons to the world and the need to make sure that that is constantly appreciated and seen for what it is and everything that can help to keep that message front and center, I think has to be our highest priority. [00:36:11] Speaker A: I think, on that note, is a great place to finish. I mean, thank you, Rabbi Feldman, for joining us. Certainly given a lot to think about, whether specifically related to Helcot Passach as we come up to this year but just generally avoiding cynicism, looking for trying to focus in on where halacha in a jewish life provides clarity and provides meaning and avoid Nazism. It's definitely something that I'll be thinking about going forward. So thank you very much for joining us on the current podcast and we hope to have you again soon. [00:36:49] Speaker B: Thank you so much. [00:36:50] Speaker C: That's all we have time for for this episode of the Corin podcast. Thank you again to Rabbi Daniel Feldman for joining us. You can of course find his new book let in spirit as well as his first book False Facts and true rumors available on our website corinpub.com and receive 10% off both of those as well as your full purchase using promo code podcast at checkout. If you'd like to get hold of us you can find us on all the regular socials or email [email protected] dot until next time, this has been the Corin podcast. Goodbye.

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