Thursday, December 29, 2005

How (not) to critique Rupture and Reconstruction

At Cross Currents R. Yitzchok Adlerstein posts regarding whether the widespread practice of writing בס"ד on letters, notes etc. constitutes yohora, religious showiness. (BS"D for be-siyatta de-shmayya, Aramaic for 'with Heaven's assistance')

After concluding that it does not (I agree) he writes:
Not everything that we do needs to march lockstep with the actions of those who preceded us. Klal Yisrael knows how to adjust to new times, how to react to new influences and trends. (Unfortunately, some of them also know how to overdo it, but we’ll save that for another occasion.) There is nothing wrong with a practice that does something for people, even if the Chasam Sofer didn’t need it in his day. (This is why I disagree so vociferously with Dr Haim Soloveitchk’s “Rupture and Reconstruction” article.) (emphasis mine)
Dr. Soloveitchik was documenting and analyzing something he has observed--the shift from mimeticism to textualism in Orthodoxy--not lamenting it (although it's a fair guess that he isn't privately thrilled with it).

Now, I'd like to see a critique of Rupture and Reconstruction rather than "this random statement of mine is why I "disagree so vociferously" with 70 pages of scholarly work by a sober Orthodox historian."

1 comment:

  1. Soloveitchik did not say that there is anything wrong with new practices, he just pointed out that they were new.



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