Tuesday, November 02, 2004

mimetic tradition

What happens when the way your parents practiced orthodoxy, or the way you feel it ought to be practiced does not jive with the orthodoxy around you? Psychotoddler notes the conflict when his daughter has a vocal recital, but his community holds that the strictures of kol isha do not allow her singing in public. Obviously, there are those that hold it is not allowed. Is there halachic room to allow it? and if there is, should those who are against it be allowed to set the level of observance? A friend of mine who lived in New York at the appropriate time tells me that The Rav(RYBS) used to attend the opera. I have no first hand knowledge of this, and I am not meaning to spread lashon hara(not that I think saying someone attends the opera is lashon hara, now, if you were going to a country music concert, that would be another issue). However, if he did, that would be part of our mimetic tradition. Is it any less worthy than any of his written works? From the same source, I understand that the Rav's wife did not always cover her hair in public. Am I just totally misinformed? Don't these actions say something about his view on the halacha ? R. Rakeffet-Rothkoff notes in an lecture that 40-50 years ago there was rarely seperate seating at weddings, even of those on the right. Why, and how, are we ignoring actions that speak to a halachic understanding, and veering off in another direction? Obviously this topic has been well covered by R. Haym Soloveichik in his article in tradition in 1994. But nothing much seems to have changed. If anything, the practice seems to be veering even further and further away from what it used to be.

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