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  1. Moshe says:

    Can you elaborate on any sources for this paragraph?

    (As a historical point, the actual universal acceptance of the Tamud Bavli as the final word on what Chazal say (when the Bavli actually has an opinion) posr-dated the Rambam. Ashkenaz still had a large population from Eretz Yisrael who were loyal to minhagim from that area. In fact, even to this day Ashkenazim do some things that fit the Yerushalmi or the medrashei halakhah better than they conform to the Bavli. But the Bavli didn’t become THE Gemara in Ashkenaz until the Tosafists. Which is why they were the first to show a struggle between the gemara’s content and (locally) accepted halakhah)

  2. J. says:

    Your characterisation of the kezayis issue is misleading. R. Chaim Volozhhyner was far from the only one, and both the Chazon Ish and RSZA held this way me’ikkar hadin. See here for details:

    • micha says:

      J, if you think the point of the issue is whether there are halachic grounds to be meiqil, then my whole post wasn’t clear.

      I’m arguing against this trend deciding halakhah for themselves what’s reasonable, because:
      1- “reasonable” isn’t necessarily based on halachic, legal, thinking, and
      2- it’s too often based on ulterior motives.

      In the case of the kezayis. People who don’t enjoy eating large amounts of matzah will want proof that a kezayis matzah is less than what we’re being told. They therefore take to an argument they see in a booklet written by someone who doesn’t “do halakhah” where the primary thrust doesn’t even have to do with halakhah. But they want larger shiurim to be absurd, and this booklet validates that.

      My greatgrandfather, who learned full time and had a kloiz in Suvalke ate kezeisim far smaller than what’s in the books. A cousin of my grandfather’s generation had the zekhus of being in the homes of a number of gedolim around Lithuania and Northern Poland, and never saw such kezeisim. My grandfather (on the other side) told me that his father, Rav Yisrael Avraham Abba Krieger, who held the rabbinate of Kashduri (Lithuania), Frankfurt-am-Main (the Orthodox Gemeinde community) and Boston, who spent the second part of his childhood in the Or Sameiach’s home, at his table the kezeisim were smaller.

      So I think there is, a valid argument for smaller kezeisim. Even if I didn’t present it.

      My problem isn’t with the result, but with the methodology.

      I have no problem with someone who feels a certain ruling makes more sense than what’s in the books talking it out with his rav, and making sure that the ruling is one for him to follow. But for someone who never had his skill at hora’ah checked out to make such a decision on their own… It has to do with an unwillingness to submit, to at times do things that make less sense to me because I trust that they make more sense by some objective standard.

      Time for me to hone the text. After the next round of Pesach cleaning…

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