Monday, 31 August 2009

Cognitive Dissonance Between Text and P'saq Pt. 8 - Kitzur SA

I often try to learn -Halachah P'suqqah only - before Minchah

Once upon a time, I was learning Qitzur SA before Minchah. One bystander remarked:

"Hassidim learn Kitzur"

I responded: "Do you mean to say they PASQEN like Kitzur?"

He replied: "No, they just learn Kitzur!"

IOW Kitzur was being used in some Hassidic circles as a textbook ON Halachah, not as the final word on Halachic legislation!

When I taught Kitzur SA in my shul, I would note some deviations that we do or points where I differed. My "Yekkes" had a hard time understanding how this written text could be "ignored" or "set aside". I told them: "That's why I get paid the big bucks!" :-)

IOW Kitzur is a good default, a primer. But few rabbis feel absolutely bound by its decisions. Same for Mishna Brura, et al.

AFAIK, there is no one Halachic text that is followed 100% w/o reservation, but many texts and codes are learned systematically.

For the average ba'al habbayit, Kitzur SA may be a better alternative than Mishnah Brurah! Especially when one uses the annotated versions that have been recently published.

Learn the Text, but take a grain of salt with it; and realize that the written word may not Always be the Last Word on a given subject.

Shana Tova!



njs said...

"AFAIK, there is no one Halachic text that is followed 100% w/o reservation"

aruch hashulchan ? can you find me more than two or three places is all 4 sections of AS that we don't follow?

Jeremy Simon said...

I clicked here to add a comment about the poll, and I see that it is even relevant to the above comment. Namely, I think one of the options for beki'ut should be learning aruch hashulchan.