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Updates and necessary changes in halacha


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Iyyar 14, 5780
Why do we still use Aramaic in prayer? Originally it was THE spoken language, but the masses davka don’t understand it any more!
All agree that "Tradition" is super-important to Judaism and we are correctly wary of reforms. On the other hand, all also agree with the importance of the rabbis of each generation to keep Judaism eternally relevant in a constantly changing world, where, for example, no Jews "speak" aramaic, and to the contrary, the Holy Language of Hebrew is once again revived and thriving. The proper and original apparatus exactly geared for the harmony of these two ideals, is the Sanhedrin [=the High Beit Din in Jerusalem, comprised of the 71 leading halachic authorities], which we have yet to revive. There is an obligation to do so and we must redouble our efforts to implement this mitzva, which happens to also be the very next stage in the redemption process [see Megilla 17a, following the revival of the Land of Israel, and gathering the exiles, as established, for that reason, in the order of the brachot of the Shmoneh Esreh]. We live in a unique period, which never was and never will be again, in Jewish history. We have one foot already in geula, while the other foot is still in galut. We have the challenges and questions of redemption [unprecedented myriads of modern halachic problems, resulting from: miraculous and eschatological strides in technology, sociology and the modern State of Israel; as well as the gathering of thousands of religious exiles, with their various customs and respective halachic traditions; not to mention what to do with 200,000 olim who aren't halachically Jewish; the role of women, etc…]; but don't yet have the framework, the Sanhedrin, to answer them. Until then, most halachic authorities, basically work alone, as they did for 2,000 years, and don't have the halachic "clout", nor the collective responsibility and authority, to make the necessary and far-reaching "updates". It is up to us to revive the Sanhedrin speedily in our day [it's actually easier than the previous 2 stages of geula which have already succeeded!], and return to normative and well-balanced Judaism.
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