July 30, 2012 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm #1087462
I once asked a well known and respected Rosh Yeshiva about R’ Falk’s sefer. I won’t say who the Rosh Yeshiva is, because if people knew he said it, the backlash against him would be terrible.
He said, “That sefer is only good if you want to scare people away from tznius! It contains every chumrah ever thought up and presents it as basic halachah that is required from everyone. I don’t recommend it to anyone!”July 30, 2012 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #1087463
I once asked several of the Gedolei Yisroel (in America) about HaRav Falk shlita’s sefer. They said the sefer is the only halachicly comprehensive sefer that is useful for women and girls on a real-life day-to-day basis. And that no Jewish home should be without that Sefer.July 30, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1087464
It is a Michshal, but don’t blame it solely on Rabbi Falk. He specificly says in one of his books that everyone must ask their own Rov, and not pasken from his books. In addition, in his actual Shailos U’Teshuvos, he is more reasonable (or meikel, pick your poison) than the books.
I blame the sems (and the high schools that felt the need to follow or be judged “not frum enough”), who decided that getting normal American girls to adapt minhagim of Yerushalmi yidden is a good thing. (decided the rest is too harsh, even for Sems.)July 30, 2012 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1087465
feif- i think thats the opinion of the majority of the normal frum, even yeshivish, world. i only know one of my wife’s friends who dresses to those standards, and she looks like she jumped out of the 1800s.July 30, 2012 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #1087466
Feif Un: Really? That’s nice compared to what a very Rosh Yeshivah I once asked about it said.July 30, 2012 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm #1087467
Feif Un and Toi: So we have a situation where Rav Falk Shlita has written a Sefer which is very Machmir and nobody wants to write a Sefer that is more Maikil as they are scared of the backlash? But people need guidance of the halacha!July 30, 2012 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #1087468
Gavra at work: Would you have referred to R’ Moshe or R’ Aaron only by their last name if the sentence structure required it?July 30, 2012 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #1087469
gavra: It wasn’t written for Yerushalmi Yidden. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been written in English. It was written for us here in chutz.July 30, 2012 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #1087471
Interjection: Who are you fooling by wanting to expose more if someone comes and gives you Mussar of any sort( For Tznius issues)? You may have struggles within your self ,but you are hurting no one more than yourself! I think you really NEED TO LOOK DEEP WITHIN YOURSELF TO SEE WHY YOU WOULD REACT THAT WAY.
You should try to get your self the proper guidance to see what exactly intimidates you so.July 30, 2012 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #1087472
Csar: It was written for women from Gateshead. Which, in all honestly, is not so different than Yerushalmi society.July 30, 2012 6:17 pm at 6:17 pm #1087473
I asked a Rabbi and was told a girls skirt must extend approx 4 inches past the knee when standing so that when she sits bends…no part of her knee will be showing. How many women may be covering when they stand but the second thsy sit down WHOOPS?July 30, 2012 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1087475
HaRav Falk shlit”a IS one of the Gedolim today.July 30, 2012 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #1087476
“HaRav Falk shlit”a IS one of the Gedolim today. “
You are entitled. That’s what makes the world go round. 🙂July 30, 2012 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #1087477
HaRav Falk shlit”a IS one of the Gedolim today.
Who decides who is a “gadol” or not?
The WolfJuly 30, 2012 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #1087478
I asked a Rabbi and was told a girls skirt must extend approx 4 inches past the knee when standing so that when she sits bends…no part of her knee will be showing. How many women may be covering when they stand but the second thsy sit down WHOOPS?
And what if even at 4 In. it still goes up? Does that make it Muttar? What if at 3.5 In. it still stays down? Is that Assur?
(One of my pet peeves) I don’t disagree with the Halacha, but putting an inch length on it is just silly, and also a Nichshal to those whom the length is too short.July 30, 2012 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #1087479
Gavra at work: “To compare Rabbi Falk to those Gedolim is disrespecting the Gedolim.”
I only meant to illustrate the point using universally known Rabbonim. If I’d chosen a less famous Rav, I would have run the risk of you not knowing him.
“He doesn’t come to the toenail of our current Gedolim….,”
Can I ask, Gavra, what qualifies you, someone whom I muse is 1 million miles away from being as proficient in 4 chelkei Shulchan Aruch as Rav Falk, to decide with your balabat kop how Rav Falk compares with any Godol Batorah?
“In all truth, he created a serious michshal in Klal Yisroel, and (in the view of many Rabbonim) does not deserve respect for it.”
Ditto on that plus I note a healthy dose of Bizui Talmidei Chachomim – for which Chazal reserve exceptionally harsh words – but, Gavra, it would seem you couldn’t care less. He is universally known as an Ish Emess who delves into the Sugyos on which he paskens with no motive other then L’Asukei Shmatsa Aliba D’Hilchasa- but just because you disagree with him in Halocha does not mean he created a Michshol. There are far more serious disputes in Halocha pertaining to Chiyuvei Misa and Krisus and I have yet to hear any Posek describe their halachic opponent as creating a serious michshol. If you would care to name these Rabbonim, I would be grateful but I bet you either can’t or do not have the guts – (or possibly these Rabbonim themselves (I say this with no knowledge who they are) are too chicken to try and challenge Rav Falk in a serious Halachic debate in a detailed fashion that consists of more than simply dismissing his book as too Machmir.)
“I do not give him the same respect as I would most other Rabbonim. I only do not hesitate to call him “Rabbi” because people much lesser than him are also called Rabbi (someone even tried to call me “Rabbi” once, believe it or not!). Certainly he knows Torah, but so did Rabbi Moses Mendelssohn & Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan (I’m not claiming R’ Falk is reform, but the concept is true).”
You may not be claiming that but to mention Rav Falk in conjunction with these two Reshaim the way you did is beyond the pale and I hereby make a Macho’oh. According to the Gemara in Nedarim, one deserves to be put in Cherem for that. I urge you to retract that statement for your own good if nothing else.
“That is all I have to say on the subject. Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s what makes the world go round.”
You should be ashamed. Please get hold of a Machze Eliyahu with Rav Falks Teshuvos on 4 Chelkei Shulchan Aruch, learn it for half an hour, and then tell me again that you stick with your abhorrent attitude towards one of this generation’s foremost, world-renowned and widely accepted Talmidei Chachomim. I do not believe for a single second that any serious Talmid Chochom in the world would have anything less than the utmost respect and awe for Rav Falk’s Torah knowledge.
And if you respond again simply ‘ you are entitled that makes the world go round’ then you don’t deserve the single iota of respect I have for you as a fellow Yid, that I am clinging on to in the hope that you will see how wrong you are.July 30, 2012 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #1087480
on the ball- im not a rabbi; i do not write seforim.July 30, 2012 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #1087481
Toi: – I don’t get your pointJuly 30, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #1087482
i was deflecting blame.July 31, 2012 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #1087483
That is all I have to say on the subject. Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s what makes the world go round. 🙂
If you want to start a new thread, I’ll agree to you regarding his Gadlus in Torah. The Satmer Rov also held of Rav Kook’s Gadlus in Torah.July 31, 2012 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #1087484
gavra: You are mistaken about the Satmar Rebbe’s opinion of R. Kook. I’ll start another thread with his writings on him, since its a bit lengthy.July 31, 2012 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #1087485
Simply agreeing to his Gadlus in Torah does not kasher the shameful bizayon you heaped on him as a Godol, Posek and Talmid Chochom. Again I implore you to at least take it back here on YWN, as I don’t suppose that you intend on going to his house, falling on your knees and begging for Mechila which I believe is what you actually ought to do.
It occurred to me to ask – why does Rav Falk recieve such flak – gavra you’re not the first ignorant balabat I’ve heard talking about him disparagingly.
I think maybe the answer is that he has written a Sefer on a subject that impacts on all our lives – women and their husbands, fathers and their daughters, day in day out from morning till night in full view of the public on the street. He was not scared to write his Halachic opinion on a subject that touches so close to people’s individuality and self-expression – and was extremely Machmir. If a Rav writes a Sefer on Hilchos Shabos whch is very Machmir, nobody really cares as much, the impact on life is much more limited. With Tznius, people feel more threatened and so they hit back and make it personal.
But it’s no excuse. You don’t agree with his Shitos? Fine, you have enough Poskim who are more lenient to rely on. But don’t dare be Mevazeh a Talmid Chochom in order to assuage any underlying guilt that may (for no good reason) linger.July 31, 2012 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #1087486
gavra: You are mistaken about the Satmar Rebbe’s opinion of R. Kook. I’ll start another thread with his writings on him, since its a bit lengthy.
I’m looking forward. I just wanted to use the example of an universally agreed “Frum” Rabbi, as my first choice of a talmudic scholar (Rabbi Saul Lieberman) would have been jumped on (again) by OTB.July 31, 2012 5:25 pm at 5:25 pm #1087487
That is all I have to say on the subject. Sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s what makes the world go round. 🙂
Feel free to vent.July 31, 2012 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #1087488
I think you said that already in your last post. Sad that it gives you such a kick to repeat it.July 31, 2012 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #1087489
Don’t get me wrong I CAN’T STAND THEM. However why do they maintain a standard and we can’t??? “
Because their women are so frightened of being beaten and or honor-killed for lack of their so-called tznius, that they will do whatever their bosses (fathers, husbands, and brothers) tell them to do. Or else. We however recognize that this is 5772, not 3772, and there are certain changes that have come with the times. As long as we conform to minimal halachically-required and acceptable standards of modesty (and apaprently there is some dispute among some rabbonim as to exactly what that constitutes), no one should be offended or offensive.
Yes, we need to be tzniusdig (both women AND men), but just because you might hold by a certain standard, does not automatically treif up someone else’s standard, as long as it is within clear halachic guidelines that are accepted by the Klal. And if not acceptable, it is still not the best thing for anyone to pass angry judgment, because gentle remonstrations and education do a far better job than harsh words and accusations, in helping someone to dress in a more modest manner.July 31, 2012 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #1087490
As a mother of daughters I find Rabbi Falk’s book offensive and deeply upsetting, merging halacha with chumra, mentioning amulets and superstitious behaviour which have no place in a jewish home and confusing personal opinion with Torah obligations.
However there is wit and humour too, his observations on air hostesses is quite comical and makes me wonder how on earth any Rabbi can honestly testify that ” flying waitresses” are good role models for our children. Also his personal ideas about how some sheitels are appropriate for certain types of faces, exactly who is to judge what is an appropriate face is not specified.
Rabbi Falk may be relevant for Gatehead, but for the rest of the world he is far from appropriate. If this is what is termed as a Gadol I am deeply offended as it belittles the important mentors and guardians of our Torah.
As for mothers and daugthers, tznius is a sensitive and very important subject to be handled in a delicate manner, the work of Rabbi Falk and his followers has probably led to a climate of over zealous bigotry which led to the grotesque debacle of Beit Shemesh earlier this year.July 31, 2012 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #1087491
I just wanted to add that you should feel free to vent, as I have nothing else to say.
I also wanted to thank you for calling me a Ba’al Ha’bos. Much better than some other names that have been thrown at me 🙂
However, I would need to learn much more to even be called ignorant. You can call me a Chiloni (as per Onkelus), Gavra, or a Bor Raikam (which assumes the Kli is there. Not a good assumption).July 31, 2012 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #1087492
Gavra: sorry to disappoint you, but I never meant balabat as an insult – just a statement of fact relevant to what I was saying.July 31, 2012 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #1087494
Tahini: Would you have found his Chumros ‘offensive’ if they were on Hilchos Brachos or Shabos? Or does Hilchos Tznius have a special place in your heart?
If you feel that his Sefer is not appropriate for you and your family – don’t worry neither is it for me, nor for many other very Frum and even Charedi families. There are enough Halachic authorities who are less strict. But I don’t feel threatened by Rabbi Falk to the point that I have to stoop to casting aspersions on his personal status as a Godol BaTorah.
And to say his Sefer contributed to the Bet Shemesh fiasco is so ridiculous – most of the idiots there on behaving so terribly have never heard of Rav Falk and would probably find his Sefer too MakilJuly 31, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm #1087495
On the ball: Once again, I won’t comment on particulars here. But if there were a Sefer on Shabbos or Kashrus or anything else that presented Chumros as Halachos and sometimes straight-up invented Halachos, I would have no qualms about very specifically and publicly decrying such a Sefer.August 1, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am #1087496
Hagaon Haposek Harav Pesach Eliyahu Falk shlit”a ‘s sefer Oz Vehadar Levusha is given to the girls in most Beis Yaakov’s in the New York area, per the decision of the gedolim, for good reason.August 1, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am #1087497
Everything in his sefer that is cited as halacha, is pure halacha, and they are sourced as well.August 1, 2012 1:12 am at 1:12 am #1087498
His book has Haskomos from such Rabbonim as Rav Pam, ZT”L,
Rav Scheinberg, ZT”L, and Rav Feinstein, ZT”L.
They all call him “HaRav HaGaon” in their Haskomos.August 1, 2012 1:28 am at 1:28 am #1087499
Choppy: I don’t want to discuss details and I haven’t thoroughly studied the Sefer so I can’t comment on everything, but your last comment is (at the very least) not 100% true.August 1, 2012 1:29 am at 1:29 am #1087500
Anonym613: Who is Rav Pam, Rav Scheinberg, and Rav Moshe compared to Sam2, gavra_at_work, tahini and the coffee room critics?August 1, 2012 1:40 am at 1:40 am #1087501
Choppy: That was uncalled for. I had not yet said anything even mildly critical of R’ Falk at the time you had written that post.August 1, 2012 7:29 am at 7:29 am #1087503
It is the ” attitudes concerning tznius of dress and conduct ” that Rabbi Falk writes of that cause me both equal degrees of discomfort and mirth. Chapters entitled “biographies with pictures harmful to tznius” which try to explain the danger of
” non-kosher” photographs of chosheve women in biographies of the Gedolim speaks volumes about censorship and lack of tolerance. He actually advises publishing houses to ” doctor” the pictures beforehand.
We have communities that use sheitels and head scarves, smart fitted suits and floaty long skirts, some of us even wear denim !!! And the diversity we have whilst keeping a degree of tzniut should be cherished,the nuturing words of oomis1105 do a sterling job of promoting both tzniut and ahavat yisrael.
Perhaps we as a community should understand the difference between unity and uniformity.August 1, 2012 2:19 pm at 2:19 pm #1087504
Tahini: Diversity, including your list of examples, is fine when it does not go against Halachah. Amd again, if the Sefer causes you discomfort and mirth, that’s also fine as a natural reaction.
What’s not fine is the the following excerpts from your original post:
“…merging halacha with chumra….and confusing personal opinion with Torah obligations”
– Tahini, are you qualified to make a judgement on this? Have you studied the Torah to even a 1/1000th of the degree that Rav Falk has?
“….mentioning amulets and superstitious behaviour..”
– Amulets and so called ‘superstitious behaviour’ are widely found in the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch and other Seforim – some contemporary. It may be an area that you (and I) have little or no knowledge or experience and may find very strange but there are great people out there for whom this is not so and to dismiss it the way you did smacks of either arrogance or ignorance.
“…If this is what is termed as a Gadol I am deeply offended as it belittles the important mentors and guardians of our Torah” –
Tahini, as I did when writing to Gavra, I urge you to retract this statement. Rav Falk is a man who has dedicated his entire life to Torah and to clarifying the Halachah in all areas of the Torah. He is a widely recognised Godol, Posek and Talmid Chchom for whom other contemporary Gedolim have nothing but the utmost respect and awe, while at the same time disagreeing with him in various subjects including Tznius.
To speak of him in a derogatory way as you have done is severely prohibited by the Torah. Our Sages say that one who denigrates a Talmid Chochom is considered a heretic and has no portion in the World to Come. These words are not thrown around lightly in the Talmud. That is the severity which the Sages attach to actions that challenge our Mesorah passed on from one generation of Talmidei Chachomim to the next, on which our religion has stood firm for the last 3000 years since Sinai.
If you light candles every Shabbos as decreed by Chazal and make Brachos on food as instituted by Chazal, then you must also accept their take on this issue.
There is no need to belittle Rav Falk – you do not have to follow everything in his Sefer. But please, please, take back the disrespectful words you wrote concerning his personal status.August 1, 2012 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #1087505
There is a big difference between saying R’ Falk is a talmud chacham and saying he’s a gadol.
His sefer on tznius has been widely criticized by many Rabbonim as being extremely (and unnecessarily) machmir. Does this mean he’s not a talmud chacham? Of course not! But it may mean he’s not a gadol. R’ Moshe Feinstein was asked what made him a gadol. He replied that people asked him questions, he answered them, and they kept coming back. When a Rav is labeled as too machmir and people don’t ask him any more questions because of it, then yes, it may mean he’s not a gadol. It’s nothing against him personally, it just means he doesn’t have that status.
I’m not belittling him, I’m just saying that most Rabbonim disagree with him. While he’s not a daas yachid, he certainly is in the minority. I’m sure the Rebbes from many chassidic groups approve of his standards, but most others don’t.August 1, 2012 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1087506
Rav Falk is considered a godol by the other gedolim. Frankly, no one has ever cited here any, not a single one, specific Rov who disagrees with Rav Falk on even a single issue he discusses in his Sefer. I challanger anyone: name a specific rov who disagrees on a specific issue. Name the posek and the issue he disagrees with HaRav Falk shlita on. Although I’m sure there is some rov somewhere who disagrees with him on something somewhere, by and large everything he writes in his tznius sefer is agreed to by the poskim across the board. Hence the popularity of his sefer. (Otherwise everyone wouldn’t always be constantly discussing Rav Falk’s sefer over and over again. Check the old discussions.)
I’m waiting for specifics. I highly doubt they’ll be forthcoming, though I’m sure we’ll hear a litany of excuses why they don’t want to “mention” which rabbi.August 1, 2012 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #1087507
Ohr Chodesh: You’re correct, I don’t want to name the Rosh Yeshiva who told me that it scares people away. It will only lead to him being attacking by fanatics like you.
He told me that the book is full of chumros presented as halachah, and he doesn’t recommend it to anyone.August 1, 2012 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1087508
on the ball, I must say you have expressed yourself most eloquently and I do indeed apologise if I caused offence, I do indeed recognise Rabbi Falk is a respected and world renowned scholar.
I also realise that for me his book is not appropriate nor the references to personal opinion, chumra and practices which I consider at odds with my understanding of Yiddishkeit, eg., amulets or references to ayin hora, sure these ideas exist in my world too, but not as part of Torah Judaism, but rather more to do with a socio cultural legacy we have inherited from our forebearers, I understand their relevance for some. For me the Rambam and his followers are the school of thought most informative to my own Jewish ideals and beliefs. I am a Jew and a rationalist, I do believe the two go together.
Many thanks for explaining your opinion on the ball and ohr chodesh, it has served to make me more aware of how varied the Jewish world is and to understand how many different commentators and rabbonim influence the world we live in.
IAugust 1, 2012 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #1087509
ON THE BALL: You deserve a standing ovation for your beautifully well written posts!! I commend you for standing up to these people who are in total denial of halacha and think that is only a minhag Chassidus.I once heard Rebbetzin Zehava Braunstein a.h. speak, she said people are misinformed. They think that only Chassidim have to dress tzniusdik.Tznius is a halacha for all Klal Yisroel!August 1, 2012 6:16 pm at 6:16 pm #1087510
“Tznius is a halacha for all Klal Yisroel! “
Agreed. As I posted earlier:
There are THREE (really four) different aspects of what is known as “Tznius” (which is like calling lighting a fire on shabbos “Mukzta”). They are:
2: Das Moshe/Yehudis
1: Ervah is a din in Kriyas Shema (which is why the halchos are in Keriyas Shema). Many Rishonim hold it applies to other brachos as well. The idea is that a Davar Sheb’kedusha may not be done/said before any Ervah. That includes for a man (as per the Gemorah Brachos) a woman’s hair, shok, etc. This has NOTHING to do with the general idea of a man looking at a lady. See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75 for more details.
2: Das Moshe/Yehudis is what the Torah (add: or Chazal) perscribes that a female should not have uncovered when she goes out in public. This includes hair of anyone who is not a Besulah (as per Even HaEzer 21:2). The Mishna in Kesubos (72B) differentiates between the two. Ayin Shom. (Rav Moshe IIRC also has some teshuvos on the matter).
3: Tznius: There is a general concept of Hatznya Leches. This applies to both males & females, both in manner of dress and action, to be “low-key”. (There are also halachos of Tnzius in OC 240, which I will ignore for this discussion). An example is a woman covering her hair in her own yard (a private domain), where there is no Chiyuv (seemingly even if others will see her), but there is a concept of “Tznius”. (Offen a Bais Shemuel in Even HaEzer). In general, Chassidim are more Machmir in this.
4: Histaklus: A man may not stare at a woman. Period. If he does, he is Over “Lo Tasuru”. It certainly is a good thing for women to make sure that men have no reason to stare at them, but unless it is “Trai Ivri Nahara”, then it is not “Lifnei Iver”.
(I’m not saying anything new)August 1, 2012 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #1087511
OTB, I am not going to get in to the discussion of Rabbi Falk’s gadlus or status. Clearly he is a talmid chochom, and just as clearly he is controversial enough to engender a wide variance of opinion. He is not someone who I hold by, but to each his or her own. (except of course, that those who described their “duty” above to give tznius tochechoh appreciate the to each his own when it applies to their chumrahs, but not when it applies to someone else’s interpretation or actions).
As for amulets, since the time of R Yonasan Eybeschutz and R Yaakov Emden there has been pretty uniform rejection of amulets and such things for Ashkenazi Jews. It is entirely valid to take the approach of the Vilna Gaon, The Noda BeYehuda and others that reject their use, So the rejection expressed in this regard is supported by the weight of normative ashkenazic halachic practice for the last 200 years.
Finally, yesh din v’yesh dayon. Who is to measure the denigration of a gadol? By the standard you mentioned, choppy is as deserving of a macho’oh from you as anyone else for his denigration of R’Kook, no matter who else he cites. (He cited the Satmer Rebbe in another thread) But truly, it is a slippery slope – essentially you are sayig that no one has any right to question a posek, talmid chochom, or godol, and no one has any right to call out an egregious or uncomfortable fact about their works.
(I personally don’t feel a need to denigrate anyone even if, as in the case of Reb Yoel, the Satmer Rebbe, I utterly and completely reject his svara. What’s the point?)
Yours is a pretty stifling standard, one that would silence all debate within frum communities. You may think that is healthy. I don’t. And again, if these who are being “insulting” are truly in the wrong, they will be accountable to the aibishter at the end of their days, not to you.August 1, 2012 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1087512
The primary issue to me seems to be that many of us have melted into the culturally frum designation (was it Rabbi Berel Wein who said that the pickpockets in Warsaw were all Shomer Shabbos?…) and have forgotten that we are ALL bnei and bnos Melech.
That a culturally frum woman today can appear inappropriately and people cannot even fathom having this travesty pointed out to them, is so sad.
@GAW – the look that the OP was decrying sounds like a problem at least according to your explanation of hatznea leches.
I don’t know what the solution is but prayer might be one, and strengthening ourselves and our families in the knowledge of Hashem and appreciation of what it means to be mamleches kohanim v’goy kadosh, another.
editedAugust 1, 2012 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1087513
@GAW – the look that the OP was decrying sounds like a problem at least according to your explanation of hatznea leches.
I don’t disagree. It might also come under ????? ????, which is Das Yehudis (Ask your LOR for practical Halacha). It is important to know what the Halacha is, so that when asked, you can actually trace sources. Otherwise, people become Tzeddukim C”V.August 1, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #1087514
I think that denigrating anyone, Gadol or not, especially in a public forum, is probably a major no-no. Disagreeing with someone’s ideas however, feeling that those thoughts may go too far or are machmir beyond that which Hashem wants of us, is NOT the same as making light of the PERSON. IMO, it is not insulting to a Gadol or even to a “mere” Talmid Chochom (nothing mere about Rav Falk at all), to say that one is not mekabeil his particular mehalach – UNLESS that mehalach is unquestionably 1000% the correct one.
Not all RABBONIM agree with and accept as Torah m’Sinai some of the ideas expressed in Rav Falk’s Sefer. It is therefore not surprising that many people here likewise find some of his words to be hard to hear. Separate the kovod we surely owe him for his extensive Limud Torah, from your feelings (and those of some Choshuveh Rabbonim)that many of the things he wrote are chumros and not halacha l’maiseh.
One may not necessarily agree that everything a great Rov says or writes is always applicable to all of klal Yisroel, but we still must respect the Torah mind that believes enough in these ideals, to want to teach them to us. The only way we can dialogue about these things, is if we retain mutual respect.August 2, 2012 2:45 am at 2:45 am #1087515
Ohr Chodesh: I will not go through the Mekoros point-by-point from his Sefer, but I will point out one thing. In the Sefer (or possibly his second one), he discusses the concept of a “Treif Begged”. He states that any clothing which began at a certain level of inherent untznius cannot be worn, even if it is made Tznius. For example, a sleeveless dress cannot be worn with a shirt underneath. That is fine. The problem is that such a concept has no source whatsoever in Halachah. No one before this Sefer even mentions such a concept, anywhere (if someone can find me an earlier source in Halachah for this I will retract my statement, but I searched strenuously and did not find anything). And I do not want to discuss further any more similar cases in his Sefarim (which do exist) because I do not want to C”V say anything that I will later regret against someone who without a doubt is a tremendous Talmid Chacham. But it is concepts like this (and others) that allow me to say with confidence that R’ Falk’s Sefarim need not be followed.
(This is not to say that nothing in there is correct. Obviously much of the Sefarim are true Halachah L’ma’aseh. But there are definitely parts that there is much to ask upon.)
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