Monday, 26 July 2010

Results of Poll on Tisha B'Av b'zman hazeh

In our last poll, we inquired:

POLL: Tisha B'Av b'zman hazeh

The gemara in Rosh Hashanah already introduces a distinction, in regard to the halachic force of fast days, between periods of exile that are accompanied by persecution and such periods that are not accompanied by persecution. Nevertheless, the minhag Yisrael and thus the normative halacha is to fast on these days.

Within our age, though, a new situation has emerged. While also not being, in general, a period of persecution, the establishment of the State of Israel, while still clearly not marking the end of our Exile, does practically introduce within our consciousness a certain expression of Jewish dominion. How does this affect the halacha?

In regard to the observance of the Three Weeks within our present age, should we see the halacha -- as codified in the Books - the minimum or the ideal? Should we see our mission to fulfill the "letter of the law" or go beyond it?

Please select the best response to the following:

A. This is still a time of sadness and national catastrophe. We should set aside the minimum and feel as much pain and sorrow as we can for the Loss of our Beit HaMiqdash.

B. The Halachot in Shulchan Aruch have always sufficed for me. I have never seen a reason not to go to the shore or an amusement park when permitted.

C. Same as B but Only due to the current restoration of the state.

D. I have always seen the Halachot in Shulchan Aruch as a guideline. Those who feel motivated to mourn more should do so. Those who are not so motivated, should simply do what is meaningful for them as individuals - since this is mostly "Minhag" anyway.

E. Same as D but only due to the current restoration of the state.

F We don't pasqen by the Shulchan Aruch. We need to live up to the standards set down by one's Moreh d'atra. Any desired deviation should be based upon consultation with one's personal Poseiq.

G. One may be as strict or as lenient as one wants, today, because now that we have a restored State of Israel, all bets are off.

H. Same as G, but one should not be "poreitz geder" in public.

Your Responses (total 2)

Option A - 00% (0)
Option B - 00% (0) Option C - 00% (0) Option D - 00% (0) Option E - 00% (0)
Option F - 00% (0)
Option G - 50% (1)
Option H - 50% (1)

Rabbi Hecht
Obviously, given the low number of responses, this poll cannot have scientific significance yet there may be some assumptions that we could draw even from this low number of responses. Some people may have just simply found the question of the poll itself problematic. It is so obvious that the halacha regarding Tisha B'Av is not affected by the existence of the State of Israel that even a question of this nature some may find offensive. There is clear halachic validity to that position. Still, of those who responded, the existence of the State is clearly deemed to have made a distinction. This cannot be ignored. It may be that halachic practice itself cannot change but our motivations and thoughts when following these laws do have to change. It may be that our observance of these laws must continue to be similar to the observance 500 years ago or 200 years ago. Our thoughts that accompany this observance nevertheless must be different given our present circumstances.

1 comment:

Garnel Ironheart said...

I have never understood how the State of Israel changes anything on a basic halachic level.
The State is a secular democracy in which all citizens have equal rights irregardless of origin, gender or personal, ahem, preferences. The basis of the legal system is the old Ottaman civil and criminal system with British modifications from the mandatory period. Yes, the State recognizes Jewish holidays and Shabbos as state holidays but only in as far as regulating what businesses can stay open on them and which must close. Many of our holy sites remain in the hands of our enemies, including the most important one that we supposedly have sovereignty over.
So why the controversy on Tisha B'Av?