Friday, May 02, 2008

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum On Rabbinic Sensibility

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenbloom revisits the issue of Pesach Hotels, a topic he'd written about previously. (We'd linked that post here.)

Here's an important point:
But most disturbing to me was the suggestion of one reader that "the rabbis" should just place a ban on Pesach hotels. No, no, no – a hundred times no. Once we recognize that there are perfectly valid reasons for some people to go to hotels no ban is possible. The rabbis would soon find themselves not only dealing with Pesach shaylos and selling chametz, but with Vaadim L'Inyanei Hotels.

More important, the bans would be widely ignored. Chassidic rebbes can enunciate and enforce sumptuary laws on their own communities because their authority is unquestioned. But outside those courts lies an Orthodox world of infinite variegation, in which no figure commands universal authority. Our rabbonim are wise enough to know that commands that are widely ignored only serve to lower the esteem of Torah.
Now to convince the frequent ban signers of this...

Looks like Rabbi Rosenblum has his work cut out for him.

Hat tip, Hirhurim.