26 March 2008

Rabbi Love Speaking on Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein Around His 100th Yahrzeit

Rabbi Yaacov Love speaking about Rabbi EpsteinToday, Rabbi Yaacov Love spoke about Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein, on the occasion of his 100th yahrzeit. Rabbi Epstein, best known for his work, ערוך השלחן (Arukh haShulhan ("The Setting of the Table")), was born in 1829 and died in 100 years ago in 1908.
Rabbi Love describing a unique way of Rabbi Epstein in his Arukh haShulhan
First of all, let's understand that when we're dealing with the Arukh haShulhan, like when we dealt with Rav Moshe, זכרונו לברכה (may his memory be a blessing), we were dealing with a rav - somebody who was a rav ir. And that meant that when we talked about halakhah, it was not halakhah pesukah in the sense of what do the mekorot say. And if we wanted to compare, for instance, the Arukh haShulhan to other ספרי הלכה (halakhiv works), you'll find that, בדרך כלל (in a general fashion), the other seforim will bring the מקורות (sources) and, possibly their חוה דעת (suggestion), on where those mekorot lead me and they may do a head count and say "I've got x amount that's מתיר (permits) and x amount that's אסור (forbidding) and this is the מסקנה (conclusion), this is where it comes out. With the Arukh haShulhan, we don't find that. With the Arukh haShulhan, after going through the mekorot, we find that he adds one more element that very few do. And, even Rav Moshe, who was very cognizant about the realia and about what was going on in the world around him, did not want to pasken halakhah from anything else, except the mekorot, in the sense that he would make sure the mekorot took care of the realia. But the realia, alone, were not going to do it - the realia would influence it. ... The Arukh HaShulhan actually takes the מציאות (reality) as a good enough reason to pasken the halakhah. Meziut plays a very big part in the way he paskens the halakhah.
The file is available for downloading here.

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