In our last poll, we inquired
What is Your View?Your Responses (total 10)
Choice A - 30% (3)
Choice B - 00% (0)
Choice C - 20% (2)
Choice D - 30% (3)
Choice E - 20% (2)
The first thing that hits me about this overall response is that Choice B did not receive any votes. When I was in yeshiva, the generally accepted view was that the Mishneh Brurah was the poseik acharon and was the definitive view that had to be followed. With these responses, we seem to have moved to the right and to the left. With Choice A, by saying that one is bound to the psak of a rebbi or even a community, one's personal view -- even one's personal reading of a statement in the Mishneh Brura -- is overridden. In contrast, with Choices C and D, one is extending one's realm of personal decision making, with E obviously more extensive that C.
E is actually an interesting choice that could be challenged, by many, as even a legitimate choice. While there may be some debate and disagreement over choices A, B, and C, I don't think many would contend that any of these three choices are outside the pale. In the case of Choice E, I think many would say that it is. It may be interesting to run the same poll in the future but, rather than asking which view you prefer, asking which views you believe to be outside the parameters of Orthodoxy.
One may have noticed that I haven't commented on Choice D. I find the results regarding this choice to be most interesting. What does it mean? Of course, Teimanim would clearly make this choice but I doubt that all the respondents who chose Choice D were Teimanim. One could contend that many Sefardim could also have made such a choice and that is a possibility, but only because they would find this choice to be the closest to their real choice, that is that they follow the Beit Yosef. In that Choice C includess references to the Rema and the nosei keilim of the Shulchan Aruch, they may have not liked that choice and concluded that they would rather choose D over C. In the end, though, this choice may just simply show the extent of the influence of the Rambam in our learning world, either because of the influence of Brisk or perhaps the influence of the academic world. I find it interesting, though, that whatever the influence, it has affected the world of psak to the extent that there are some who would even place the Rambam ahead of the Shulchan Aruch.