Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Age of Psak

One of the casualties of the electronic age is the disappearance of the written Teshuva. Back in the old country, and even until recently here in America, when one had a difficult question it was sent via horse, and later horseless carriage, to a Posek. Tricky questions were sent to the Posek of the generation. There are countless SHU”T Seforim published with the questions of old, that many a Posek and thesis has mined for the treasure trove of information contained therein.

Yet in our day and age, the telephone has curtailed much of this activity. Very few Rabbonim still write up their Teshuvos, with Maareh Mekomos etc. I’ve heard of people who even TXT their Rav when they have a Shaaleh. Unfortunately, most TXTS and most phone calls do not get saved for prosperity. There will be no “precedents” for future generations of Poskim to rely on.

Additionally, we have photoshop and other tools that can be used by disreputable individuals to further their own agenda and say that Rav Ploni signed this or Rav Almoni signed that. But as always, even in this age of information, Hashem has sent the Refuah before the Maakah. Perhaps Youtube was created so that we can video record Psak, and then retrieve it when necessary.

1 comment:

  1. What electronic communication has done is lower the bar for who gives psak and how much time the "posek" deems to spend thinking about the matter.

    The "real poskim" (all of whom are in EY) still write detailed, well-argued teshuvos.

    The telephone poskim in the US rattle off their psakim without accountability.

    Batei Din in teh US often work the same way, unlike in EY, where they just tell you the psak w/o any substantive explanation.

    Bottom line, don't judge the state of psak based on what you see in the US.


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