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HASHKOFO-----paskening hashkofo 2

If you don't have to follow a single posek in halacha (and you don't), then you surely don't have to follow a single person's in hashkafa/da'as torah, when there is disagreement

This kal vachomer - this "surely" - is wrong, and represents a commonly held view in many Modern Orthodox circles, that when it comes to "halacha" you have to listen you a rabbi, but "hashkafas" are "opinions" that are more subject to individual preference.

This is plain Kefira. Just as there are correct Halachos, there are also correct Hashkofos, and it is mandated by the Torah that you have to have them - lo sasuru acharei levavchem - "This means heresy", says the Gemora. "Any idea that disagrees with the opinion of the Torah - the "daas Torah" - is included." Says the chinuch, and the Mishna Brurah after him. Please see the "halachah vs. hashkafa" section.

This foreign concept originated with that enemy of Torah, Moses Mendelsohn, who said that in Judaism it doesn’t matter much what you believe, but rather what you do and how you behave.
The idea that Hashkafa is a free for all is a modern day strain of that piece of Mendelson's Apikorsus, which was a battle cry of the Maskilim.

The truth is, that Torah Hashkafas and Torah Halachos are both the possession of those who have Torah knowledge and those who have Torah knowledge only.

A violation of Torah Hashkafa, even if it does not violate any specific Halachah, is a sin and punishable in the same way. This is because the Torah demands - al pi halachah, if you will, that you have the Torah's hashkafas.

What I understand Benzee to mean when he says that there are more options in Halachah, is not that Halachah per se has a less authoritative role c"v, but rather, new Halachic questions arise almost every day, and therefore you will have contemporary Torah authorities debating and disagreeing over them. These new Halachic questions have not been discussed by our predecessors, and are first being dealt with today. Therefore, there is no explicit precedent or prior authoritative decision.

Torah Hashkafa is different - although there are sometimes questions of how to apply established Torah Hashkafa to individual situations, the core Hashkafas do not necessitate from-scratch analysis; what the Rambam and the Rashba believed, Hashkafaically, applies to us today. The Mesorah is much more clear when it comes to proper Torah beliefs than proper Halachic decisions, since new technology and circumstances do not necessitate a new evaluation of Hashkafa.

Secondly, and more importantly, Torah Hashkafa depends much more on Mesorah than Halachah does. The Rambam's 13 Ikarim are nowhere to be found in the Gemora, and nowhere brought down in Shulchan Aruch; yet the Rambam says that if you do not believe in one of them, or you are even doubtful regarding one of them, you are an Apikores, and for all practical purposes kicked out of Klall Yisroel.

Hashkafic issues were not codified like Halachic issues were, but rather were relegated to the Mesorah and left in the hands of those whose skills go beyond merely looking up a Halachah in the Shulchan Aruch to determine the proper course of action. Issues - to mention just two that come up daily nowadays - such as how to properly conduct ourselves when in conflict with the Goyishe nations - hisgaros b'umos - or whether we should allow or tolerate compromises or heteirim in order to reach out to our as-yet unreligious brethren (or even the religious ones) -- things such as these are clearly delineated in our Seforim, black and white as much as any Halachah, but not codified in the Halachic works.

Therefore, you will not be able to look up in a "Yalkut Hashkafos B'Inyan Hisgarus B'Umos" and find a footnote that says "Hameikel yehs lo al mis lismoch", or something like that.

Such things were left for great Torah scholars to decide, and the reason is because whereas every day Halachos are relevant to every day people, decisions such as these are decisions for all of Klall Yisroel, and therefore, are made by those who are in charge of making such decisions for Klall Yisroel, and they do not need such codifications.

That is why the Chofetz Chaim wrote his Mishna Brurah on Orech Chaim and not Yoreh Deah - Orech Chaim is those halachos that pertain to every Jew every day, such as davening, brachos, shabbos and yom tov. Every Jew needs to know them. Yoreh Deah, as the name indicates, are those halachos that you generally do not need to know every day on your own, but can ask a rabbi - such as shechitah, kashrus, taaruvos, basar b'cholov etc.

That is why Semicha is essentially given for knowledge of Yoreh Deah, even though Orech Chaim is more relevant - Orech Chaim you need to know even if you’re not a rabbi.
Even Haezer and Choshen Mishpat are generally not even included in the usual Semicha ordinations because they are even more specialized and relevant to batei din, not even plain rabbis.

And so, with issues that need to be determined not for individual laymen and not even for individual rabbis and not even for individual batei din, but for all of Klall Yisroel as a whole, the documentation of the material need to make those decisions was let in a form that those who need to make such decisions are able to access.

Many in the Modern Orthodox world have this backwards - they think that because the Shulach Aruch and Shach and Taz don’t contain this information, that it is LESS formalized or less subject to Torah authority. Nothing could be further from the truth.

To be sure, the proper Torah hashkafos are indeed accessible to us in the sifrei chazal and gedolei yisroel throughout the generations - Torah leaders don’t make things up. It is just that you need more skills to know them than those which allow one to find a Halachah in the Mishna Brurah

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