Tag Archives: Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Daas Torah – Modern Discussions

In our exploration of the role of the laity in psak, and that the balance of authority and autonomy in the Halachic system, I spent a shiur (here) exploring modern positions on Daas Torah.

In many ways, the different positions that are offered as to what Daas Torah is and to what extent it exists and is binding map onto the positions presented with regards to Lo Tasur. Of course, as we noted, the very notion that Lo Tasur/Rabbinic power extends to mundane or political matters is not obvious. Thus, it is important to keep in mind the topic of Lo Tasur generally as we attempt to map out the positions about Daas Torah. Continue reading Daas Torah – Modern Discussions

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What is the Role of “Baal Habatim” in Psak?

Last year I devoted my series on the methodology of psak to the issues that poskim deal with when making decisions. This year, I want to explore the role of the “baal habatim” in psak – the balance between authority and autonomy, how one picks poskim, why one is bound to psak, when one can poskan for himself, and other related issues. Anyone who has ideas, please leave them in the comments.

To begin with (here), I outlined five models of psak which highlight the balance of power between poskim and the laity, using mostly teshuvot that I have dealt with in previous shiurim: Continue reading What is the Role of “Baal Habatim” in Psak?

Policy and Psak – The Rav on Women’s Learning (Halachic Methodology 7)

This shiur is a case study in how a psak acts to set communal policy, focusing on the issue of women’s learning.  The shiur and sources are available: here.

The Rav wrote two letters when asked whether girls should be taught Gemara.  The second, which is much more famous, affirms that we should open the halls of תורה שבעל פה  to women.  However, in the first letter, which I think is critical to understanding the letter, first requests assurance that his answer will be accepted as binding.  Continue reading Policy and Psak – The Rav on Women’s Learning (Halachic Methodology 7)