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HASHKOFO-----"halachik judaism"


Someone who tries to live Halachicly without proper Hashkofos will not succeed. At best, he will be living a schizophrenic, self-contradictory Jewish life, and he will be in a constant state of spiritual disarray trying to reconcile his Halachic lifestyle with his Hashkafic deficiencies. Jewish Halachah and Secular Hashkofos are contradictory.

Rav Yitzchok Hutner Z”TL once described the incongruous “Halachic Judaism” syndrome as comparable to someone who puts on his shirt in the morning and accidentally buttons the lowest button in the wrong hole. Instead of undoing it, he decides to solve the problem by putting the next button in the wrong hole as well, and he keeps buttoning up his shirt like that, always one hole off, thinking everything is OK.

Until he gets to the top of the shirt. Now he has to either undo the entire shirt, or wear it lopsided.

So, too, Rav Hutner said, are those who want to “reconcile” Halachah with the values and way of life of society. It is lopsided. You can maneuver around the Halachic pitfalls again and again, but eventually you will see that it doesn’t work, you paint yourself into a corner, and there will be no choice except to either undo your entire philosophy or live with a self-contradictory Judaism.


Treating a rebbi like a “Professor of Talmud” is a Hashkafic atrocity and a slap in the face to Torah. Torah is not secular studies. Learning Torah is not merely “studying”. It is a religious experience, transporting the highest level of G-d’s influence from the heavens down to earth.

In Chassidishe yeshivos they learn torah with their hats and jackets, like davening. Not everyone does that, but to put Torah in the same category as secular studies, by making “Talmud” a course like anthropology, where each is an elective used for a certain amounts of credits, where the rebbi is called “Professor of Talmud”, is a repulsive secularization of Hashem’s Torah in the worst way.

If someone would sit your wife at a wedding together with a bunch of low and grubby characters, you would feel insulted for her, and angry with the host.
When someone places the Torah of our Creator in the same category as physical, materialistic, non-holy studies, we should feel that same type of irritation. That’s hashkafa.

But that’s just the first button – it doesn’t end there. Once you blur the Hashkafic line between Torah and secular studies, you develop additional problems. Women learn secular studies, but they don’t learn Gemora. What happens, then, when a woman goes through college just like a man, and is permitted to score honors in Medical School just like a man, but the room down the hall, the one where they give the “Talmud” college courses . . . those courses she is not good enough for???

The next step, of course, is to say, “It’s ridiculous that nowadays women can go to medical school but they can’t go to gemora class.” This justification has actually been used by rabbis for violating the clear Halachah in Shulchan Aruch against teaching gemora to women.

Sure it’s ridiculous to teach women nuclear physics and not talmud. IF you set yourself up a situation where Gemora and physics are both “studies”, taught by Professors, albeit with different training, then the inconsistency of your messed up Hashkafa versus the Halachah against teaching girls Gemora is very much in your face.

If Torah and secular studies are both intellectual pursuits then it is “ridiculous” to bar women from one and not the other, but if one is a religious service and the other is merely the acquisition of knowledge, then Torah and secular studies are apples and oranges.

But now you’ve reached the top button. You either undo your entire hashkafic monster, or you are forced, in the interest of making sense out of your behaviors, to violate Halachah. The shirt, at this point, is revealed to be as unfitting as can be.

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