Monday, July 15, 2013

Halacha Digests and Snippets Rejected

The literature of Halacha decisors, those who review all previous writings from the Talmud on through the Geonim, Rishonim and Achronim, in its classic sense has all but withered.

Except for a very few, when you buy a "book" of halacha, you are most usually purchasing a digest collection.

Halachic literature of late has been characterised by a sort of unoriginal form of simply collecting, digesting and presenting a "how-to-do" manual, which has its purposes but is still shy of what the responsa literature was intended to be.

Now, an anti-digest pronouncement has been published in the Litvak HaMevaser, signed by leading Halachic authorities of the Haredi camp including Rabbis Shteinman, Karlitz and Kanyevsky, protesting decisions based on snippets, rumours and digests:

I am not sure exactly what issue set them off.  They are especially concerned about the relaying of "what I heard" and "what was told to me" and "what i saw in a letter" but what is missing is perhaps the question or answer was misunderstood by the third (to fifth) party or that a question was not asked properly.


1 comment:

Gil Student said...

Very interesting. I disagree that original Torah contributions are fewer than in the past. They are just drowned out by the lower quality works made possible by low-cost publishing.