halacha

Pesachim 11: Telling Time

The halachic legal system is much more than a set of abstract principles or technical details. It incorporates factors such as human psychology (something that is so impactful during the mourning process), human error, and probability analysis.

These extra-legal aspects of the law can be seen in three Talmudic debates, which appear back-to-back-to-back, that discuss the prohibition of chametz.

Eiruvin 60b: He's Only a Prophet

To tell someone that his words are those of prophecy would seem to be the highest compliment one can give. The prerequisites for being a prophet are tough indeed, and those who can meet them are certainly most worthy of praise (see Maimonides, Laws of Foundations of Torah 7:1). Our great prophets help inspire, teach, comfort, and lead the people. Their uplifting words laid the vision for the Jewish nation, and even those who rejected the halachic system of Judaism embraced much of the prophetic vision.

Eiruvin 5a-6b: Building Fences

The halachic system, like most other disciplines, has both a theoretical framework and a practical application--and the two do not always coincide. While this may be frustrating at times, no system can operate in an abstract world, devoid of a multitude of factors that may impact on practical rulings. An important measure of a great posek(decisor of Jewish law) lies in his ability to apply his expert knowledge in halacha from the abstract world to real-life situations.

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