Thursday, 2 June 2011

naomi's question of the day - #17

"naomi's question of the day" is a new feature of the Nishmablog featuring a question for you to ponder, extend and/or respond to through your comments.

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June 2, 2011

I knew of a Torah-observant boy at the university who once ate 5 minutes before a (minor) fast was over. He told me he had a class in ten minutes, a lab -- that he wouldn't be able to eat for 2 hours if he didn't eat then. I asked a Rabbi I respected about this -- he said: if the astronauts are off the entry course by 5 inches, they will be lost. He said that Halacha is a precise science as well.

When I told my friend this, he angrily said: The details don't matter. I might have become ill and I couldn't be late for class. I made a decision. Certainly, I don't wish to be righteous fool.

Is Halacha an exact science? How can we know what it is to be a righteous fool?

2 comments:

MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

> Is Halacha an exact science?

Depends who you ask. If you ask an Orthodox rabbi, he'll say yes. if you ask a Reform rabbi he'll say "huh?"

> How can we know what it is to be a righteous fool?

Go to 770 and watch the guys singing the moshiach songs.

Nishma said...

Is Halacha an exact science? How can we know what it is to be a righteous fool?»

It might be an exact science but humans cannot be so exact

The only potential error I see is that the student did not consult a Rav before making his decision.

I'm also not sure why the student couldn't have gone to class and excused himself to eat a light bite [EG a protein drink or coffee and a granola bar or orange juice]

I'm also confident that the time given was tzeit and that some poskim are meikel on that.

Perhaps it was as I said above - that he took the law into his own hands that was the issue.

Shalom,
RRW