Monday, January 03, 2005

Arguing for or against breaking the law by appealing to the law itself is a classic example of a category error. The argument in favor is incoherent and the argument against is circular. I mention this because this sort of category error seems to be in circulation.

Many opponents of the Azza withdrawal argue that it is legal to break the law to protest that withdrawal. That argument is incoherent. The only argument that can work is that the legal system has led to so great an injustice that the system itself is not worth upholding. That argument may very well be true but the burden of proof is a heavy one.

Similarly, when someone argues that acting heimish in shul is more important than following the strict letter of the law, it is circular to shoot him down by appealing to the strict letter of the law. I say this with emesdik love and esteem for MOChassid's Rebbe and (lehavdil bein chaim l'chaim) with fond memories of Rav Y. Piekarski zt"l, one of the great Poilish illuyim of the previous generation, who used to shmooze clear through laining.


Blogger MoChassid said...

Far be it for me to argue logic with a math wiz. But my Rebbe's argument was not limited to the law. Certainly the first two parts of his argument were halachic. (He did this presumably, to show the misnagdim that this wasn't all about voodoo). However, he then addressed the central theme of R. Moss's proposition by citing kabbalistic and Chassidic (including Chabad) sources that show that rather than being positive, talking in shul is messing big time with the oilamos.

Obviously Rav Piekarski didn't go to YU where my Rebbe must have learned all this anti-talking stuff.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but did R. Piekarski come late to shul?

10:08 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Your Rebbe's article was superb as usual. But let me remind you that I'm the guy who's in favor of hypocrisy. There needs to be a firm standard -- based on Shulchan Aruch, chassidishe seforim, or whatever -- and then there is another level on which the velt does what it does because "im ein nevi'im heim, bnei nevi'im heim". I hope your Rebbe keeps upholding the standards ad bias goiel and I hope the Chabadskers continue running a loose and heimish ship ad bias goiel emes.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does your argument mean that stealing is muttar because many frum jews also steal? at least now you can be "melamed zchus" on your clients....

you are trying to justify an abomination. its not even funny

lev bar nattan

5:21 PM  

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