Thursday, July 22, 2004

Theories of Halakha

Some time back R. Dov Linzer was scholar-in-residencing about how Halakha works.  I believe at the time he proposed a triangular relationship between the text, the Posek, & the community.  At the time, I discussed the matter with a budding intellectual & we agreed that we didn't like his model.  I wanted to add a fourth element, the textual tradition.  So instead of the three-part relationship, there would be a four-part-system (text, tradition of interpretation of the text, posek, & community).  However, lately, I have come to realize that my model was flawed.  I think the term, "text" is incorrect.  A would replace "text" & "tradition of interpretation" with "texts" & "Derekh ha-Psak", which incorporates everything that I mentioned yesterday (e.g. what are called meta-halakhic principles, which texts are used, how aggditah, popular practice, minhag, the practice of other communities, sociology, kabbalah, etc.).  Every Posek has his own Derekh ha-Psak, which is not the same as hermeneutic. 

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