Aruch Hashulchan

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    A few thoughts on this very geshmak thread!

    May I say that a thread like this that “hondles” an issue that is relatively recent, and one that people can bring direct sources is the ideal thread – as opposed to other topics.

    1- Anyone who has learned both knows that both are amazing. The Mishnah Berurah is far easier to read, especially if you are learning Tur/Beis Yosef, then the Shulchan Aruch as the MB is right off the Shulchan Aruch. The Aruch Hashulchan is nice because of its background to the sugya, for example it often gives not just explanations of halacha but of the pshat in the Tur, Bais Yosef, Rambam etc. And it quotes common practice, which is l’halacha significant and interesting. Assuming you want to learn the basic of halacha, the M’B is for sure the first stop. Again, one cannot posken everything from any sefer, but to get a background and the different opinions in a brief way than the M’B is more well suited (for example for bar mitzvah age children).

    2- I am not disagreeing with importance of minhagim. A chassidish Rav I know (and love) often would lament that the Yeshivish world stopped certain minhagim (or at least does not allow for different minhagim) within its current system [and at time makes those minhagim to be shvach or bdeived]. Similarly, I think this what Rav Schacter is in a way saying that M’B ignores comon practice when formulating his p’sak; rather basing it on a halachic analysis solely (or mostly.

    However let me say (I am not disagreeing, just pointing out something) that if one studies halacha like Tur/Bais Yosef, we see countless and countless times that there are opinions (often the accepted practiced of that Rishon/Achron and his community) that are not followed and highly questioned by practically “everyone on the page” and “all the poskim” (of course this phrase is rarely used literally). This is often with an opinion based on a unique/self-created idea or to back a practice by backing into a sevara (ie now that I know what the practice is, let me relearn the gemara). This happens for example with the Rema multiples times. NOW there are always those that find backing to the Rema for example, and I am not of course disagreeing (CHAS V’SHALOM)- but it’s just a fact that we see classical commentaries more than not disagree with unique p’sak that at least outwardly go against the gemara and its accepted interpretations. For example, the Taz says something based on his own intuition everyone jumps it. There is a sefer from the classical Minhagei Ashkenaz, and countless rishonim line up to bring proof that it is wrong (there are of course those like the Bach or Taz who will often counter). The main point of this paragraph is as follows: In hundred years, Mashgiach should be here, but assuming Eliyahu Hanavi is not paskening yet (G-d forbid) – the sefer that is more “halachic based” with fewer chiddushim will be the more accepted sefer in general. The Shach is a great example vs the Taz. The Mechaber vs. Rema (again not always or even most for Ashenazim but the amount of times most Ashkenazim do not follow the Rema I believe (please note this is not scientific) is much more than Sefardim not following the mechaber).

    3- Finally, the Posek I am close to had a yesodisdik line when he gave a kitzur shulchan aruch shiur. He said over a kitzur, noted that mishnah berurah disagreed. And commented that l’masseh (not to say he was going like one opinion or the other) when you get to shmayim and you say you did so and so because the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch said so – you don’t have to worry. That is if one is basing themselves on an accepted sefer (MB ArHs Kitzur etc – it takes a long time to learn all the seferim cover to cover) that is not what we need to be worrying about in our din v’cheshbon. There are many more significant things that (at least myself) regarding middos etc. that we do not have what to be somech.

    Frliechen Chanukah.


    To PAA: I’m not sure how many more achronimrishonim the MB ‘invented’ to count much more than the Shach or Pri Megadim or the Graz in the Kuntres Acharon. Also being that they were not Rabonim (the PRi Megadim and Shach) I’m sure we should not follow them for their Hachra (I don’t think I have ever seen ???? on them). As per the MB not being popular in Europe if you go through the Kol Kisvey of the CC you will see that he was asked for thousands of copies for in Europe America and England (they printed the receipts and if you look in the Meir Einey Yisrael 6th vol they have other unprinted letters to the same extent). While in the Kol Kisvey of the OH there are two letters asking for his sefarim both from Russia.

    As for the GR”As popularity it probably was his own, but if you look at the Hakdama to the Chayay Adom you will see it was him or previously. I think most of this is a review from before.

    To Daniel: Its all very nice what you wrote except that for a Bar Mitzva Bochur I think the MB is the worst sefer to learn better go with a Kitzur or Chayey Adom. Maybe this can be a new thread on how to learn the MB; difference between the MB BH and the SHar Hatzhion and which Simanim did he not write.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I’m not claiming that the Mishnah Berurah is the only sefer ever to use such a methodology. My point is that some poskim didn’t like that methodology, especially because it often changed the established halacha.

    The fact that people wanted copies of the Mishnah Berurah does not indicate that it was accepted l’halacha. I own a lot of seforim which I don’t pasken in accordance with.

    I quoted the sefer Minhagei Lita back on page 3, about how the Mishnah Berurah was not accepted. So I’ll quote two specific examples that he gives:

    1) “The Magen Avraham takes issue with the Ari’s decision and concludes that even the Ari agrees to expose the actual fringes. Although the Mishnah Berurah with the Magen Avraham, he does not mention the prevailing custom does not follow the Magen Avraham. No one in Lithuania wore his tzitzis hanging out as people do today, not even the Rabbonim, not even in Radin” [emphasis added]

    2) “Despite the suggestion of the Mishnah Berurah to repeat the word zeicher to acomodate the opinion that the reading is zecher, in the Telshe Yeshiva and most other places in Lithuania they did not repeat it. In fact, according to former talmidim, they did not observe this custom even in Radin, where the Chafetz Chaim had his Yeshivah.” [emphasis added]

    If you have any counter-evidence regarding these two examples or about other cases, I would be interested in hearing it.

    Also, I’m not claiming that the Gra’s popularity is entirely due to the Mishnah Berurah. All I’m saying is that it definitely contributed. My point was that like the Mishnah Berurah, in his time the Gra was not generally followed.


    “The Aruch Hashulchan paskens that you can turn on a light on Yom Tov. Nobody agrees to that”

    Where is this Aruch Hashulchan?


    Ilovvetohock: That AH can be found in the KOl Kisvey AH Simin 7, he also has a Kula regarding what is Reshus Harabim that no one goes like, also by deserts when making a Bracha the Minhag in most places was not like him.


    PAA: You misunderstood me I was just trying to answer who was more popular in Europe. It would be impossible for the AH to be because it wasn’t printed, besides the fact that the MB was popular all over as I previously wrote (see also in Meir Eyney Yisrael vol 6 page #87 and 112 how they were begging for more copies in America which is also in the Kol Kisvey). Also if you could please tell me which poskim you are referring to when you talk about this new methodology and I would prefer if you know of anyone ????. Thank you


    shulchanhashalem: Actually, many held like that by lights on Yom Tov before they were completely Mevarer the Metzius. And what is your point? I could find you 100 places where no one holds like the Mechaber or the Rama or the Mishnah Berurah. What does that prove?

    Patur Aval Assur


    I pointed out that popularity of a sefer is not indicative of what the accepted psak was.

    Regarding the methodology, I have heard R’ Herschel Schachter say it multiple times.


    I was just responding to Ilovetohack I was not making a point about that. But I was saying that just like Minhag Lita was not like the MB in many things so to it was not like the AH in many things and that is because each place had there old minhagem. What is relevant is when you did not have a Minhag or a Minhag did not apply who did you look at; and it is crystal clear that it was the MB for the reasons stated above.


    See the past Yeshurun that just came out (elul ????) a 100 page article on this topic. He concludes that the MB was the go to sefer in Europe when there was no Minhag. He theorizes that this is true because he did a much more thorough job. See there for many many sources.

    To PAA again if you know of any sources about this methodology please write them (you realize that with such a claim you are taking on many accepted ??????? as stated previously, therefore it would be helpful to have a source) . In the article he also discuss Rav Henkin and the Teshuva you quoted previously Beny Bonim without quoting it by name just the author.

    Patur Aval Assur


    I understand why you would not accept my anonymous report about R’ Herschel Schachter. Though he has said it in shiurim which are available on yutorah. I will try to locate one of them.

    It happens to be that I just remembered that I have a copy of an interview of R’ Schachter which was printed in Kol Hamevaser in 2010, in which he says this idea. Here are two quotes from it, about the Mishnah Berurah:

    The Mishnah Berurah then picked up on that idea and took it further. The truth is that the Mishnah Berurah is really more appropriate for benei ha-yeshivah and not for balabatim, since yeshivah bachurim usually have the luxury of being machamir, whereas balabatim generally do not. They used to quote in the name of Rav Henkin that the Mishnah Berurah is meant for yeshivah bachurim while the Aruch ha-Shulchan is more for balabatim, because the Aruch ha-Shulchan is often noteh le-hakel (tends more to be lenient).


    [emphasis added]

    Patur Aval Assur

    Ok, I went through my files and I found a shiur in which R’ Schacter said it. It’s entitled “Q and A – Tanach, Textual Differences in the Torah, Deciding Halacha, Choosing a Profession” and is available on yutorah.

    If the moderators want to allow the link, it’s:,_Textual_Differences_in_the_Torah,_Deciding_Halacha,_Choosing_a_Profession#

    He discusses it at approximately 58:18.

    Coincidentally, in the same shiur, at approximately 49:49, he says the story I quoted earlier demonstrating why you have to know all of Shas. It’s actually two separate stories which he says one after the other.


    Thank you so much for that, I am really impressed with your quickness.

    If you look in the Yeshurun that I quoted you will see he dedicated about 20 pages analyzing the difference between the Chazon Ish and the MB (citing many contradictions and explanations).

    Do you understand what it means when he writes ‘Pesak Hamekubal’? The MB is about 95 percent direct quotes from the nosey Kelim and the two he quotes the most is the Chayay Adom and the Pri Megadim (Artzos Hachaim in vol 1 or Tosfos Shabbos in 3). It also was their derech to do this also as was the Shach and many others.

    You agree though that in Europe he was the de facto, go to sefer.

    Patur Aval Assur

    Sorry, I don’t have Yeshurun.

    When he says “pesak hamekubal” I assume he means the accepted halachic practice, and that the Mishnah Berurah didn’t care as much about it.

    In a somewhat similar vein, R’ Michael Broyde wrote:

    As to whether the Mishnah Berurah was the de facto, go to sefer in Europe, having not lived then, I don’t know. All I can say is that I have never heard anyone who had lived then, say that the Mishnah Berurah was accepted, while I have heard people who had lived then, say that it was not accepted. Additionally, I pointed out earlier that the popularity of a sefer does not necessarily reflect on its halachic acceptance.

    Patur Aval Assur

    By the way, I think that part of R’ Schachter’s point in that shiur was that the Mishnah Berurah didn’t have a mesorah for how to pasken. Which might be related to the other point about him not being a practicing Rabbi.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    The Chazon Ish wrote that the rulings of the Mishnah Berurah are like rulings by the Sanhedrin in the Lishkas Hagazis (Igros Chazon Ish 41). I don’t see how Rav Schachter can make his claim.

    Also, the M”B has been accepted, in fact, as, in most cases, halachah l’maaseh, whatever the reason, so trying to change that by arguing that he changed the halachah doesn’t seem to make sense.

    Patur Aval Assur


    That’s not what the Chazon Ish wrote. What he wrote was:

    ??? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ??”? ??”? ???”? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ?”? ??? ????? ?????? ??? ???

    ??????? ????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???

    To quote R’ Y. H. Henkin again:

    “The CI says only that a ruling of the Bet Yosef and MA and MB all together– and that no one disagrees with– is like a ruling of the Sanhedrin, ayen sham.”

    And he further points out that “The CI could hardly have thought that MB alone is like the Sanhedrin, as he disagrees with him in practice dozens of times.”

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I disagree with your reading, although it’s obviously not 100% literal.

    Either way, he would not have put the M”B in that category, even in conjunction, had he held his entire methodology wrong.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Again, not indicative of an incorrect methodology.

    In fact, the Chazon Ish’s nephew writes:

    ???? ??? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ?????

    ???? ????? ?????? ?????? ???? ????

    Patur Aval Assur

    Pashut pshat is definitely how R’ Henkin explained it, and in fact that’s how R’ Chaim Kanievski explains it in the Shoneh Halachos which you linked. But even if you somehow say that the Chazon Ish was referring to the Mishnah Berurah even individually, then nolens volens he is also referring to the Beit Yosef and the Magen Avraham individually. Aside from the impossibility of this (since the Magen Avraham often disagrees with the Beit Yosef, and the Mishnah Berurah often disagrees with the Magen Avraham and often disagrees with the Beit Yosef), it would come out then that every ruling of the Beit Yosef is like a Sanhedrin, yet Ashkenazim rarely follow him when he is opposed by the Rema and/or the great Ashkenazi Acharonim.

    Patur Aval Assur

    Excerpt from a tribute written about R’ Yosef Eliyahu Henkin by a talmid, printed by R’ Henkin’s grandson in B’nei Banim:

    ????? ???? ????? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ?????

    ???? ????? ?? ????”? ???? ??????? ????”? ??? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ????? ??? ??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???????? ????????


    I was taught that the Chazon Ish was citing the BY MA and M`B to the effect that we must recognize a Rabeinu Tam as being as chashuv as the words of sanhedrin. He was never saying that those three are like the Sanhedrin.While this may be news to you, please read the full words of the Chazon Ish! In fact, in that Yeshurin- on a note on the bottom-they point out the mistake that people make thinking that the Chazon Ish was saying……. the M.B. is like sanhedrin. that was really referring to the psakim of rabeinu tam

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