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Daniel Sperber is President of the Makhon ha Gavoah le Torah at Bar Ilan University.

Author of numerous works in Jewish law, custom and theology, he was awarded the Israel Prize by the State of Israel for his monumental contributions to Jewish scholarship.

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Is he inexorably bound by the rulings of the Shulhan Arukh, for example?

Or may he take a position which is more stringent than that of the Mehaber ?

However, in truth, we are guided by the principle that Torah is not in Heaven.

Rather it is determined according to what appears correct to the rabbi after proper study of the issue to clarify the halakha according to the Talmud, and the writings of posekim.

And the kabbalists explained that all souls were present at Sinai and received [the words] through 49 channels (tzinorot), seven times seven purified (cf. And these are the voices (or sounds) which they heard and saw. Exodus , "And all the people saw the thunderings (kolot, voices) and the lightning….” These are the opinions that were transferred through the channels (or conduits), each one seeing through his channel in according with his own understanding.

So each one receives in accordance with the strength of his soul…

Thus the Mishnayot in Eduyot 1:5–6 teach us the following: 5. Rorth, Orthodoxiah Humanit: Mahshevet ha-Halakhah Shel ha-Rav Professor Eliezer Berkovitz, Tel-Aviv 2013, pp. David ha-Levi (1586–1667) (Yoreh Deah 293) the latter. Menasheh of Ilya (Lithuania 1767–1831) clarified the Eduyot statement as follows: We thus learn that a court may rely on an individual and, at its discretion, change a law from the one that had bound their ancestors…. 44) This, too, is the view of the Raavad (as against that of the Rambam), and also of Tosafot to Megilah 5b, as explicated by R. And He said that it would be given to the Sages of Israel in each generation [to make a determination], and that determination would be according to their ruling. " He replied to Him, "We follow the majority; if the majority declare impurity, it is impure, if purity, it is pure." (This text is derived from Y. Hagigah 3b: "[The words of the wise are as goads and as rails fastened] by the masters of the assemblies…" (Ecclesiastes )—these are the learned Sages; "assemblies," they who are studying Torah; these declare pure and these declare impure, these declare kosher and these declare not kosher, these permit and these forbid.

And why do they [the Masters of the Mishna] record the opinion of the individual against that of the majority, whereas the halakha [ruling] may only be according to the opinion of the majority? Yehudah said: If so, why do they record the opinion of the individual against that of the majority when it does not prevail? 41–54, referring to Berkovitz's Ha-Halakha Kohah ve-Tafkidah, Jerusalem 1981 pass., and other of his writings. Shelomoh ha-Adani, in his Melekhet Shelomoh ad loc., writes: For were it not for the opinion of the individual it would be impossible to annul the opinion of the majority, even in times of need…. Mosheh Tzvi Neriah, in his article "Yahid ve-Rabim,” Or Hamizrah VIII, 1961, (3/33), pp. Indeed, it could well be that both dissenting views are actually correct. And this is correct according to the homily, but in truth there is a secret [explanation], (i.e., an esoteric one). Should a person say: How can I now learn [i.e., what is correct]?

(It is generally agreed that he may add stringencies to his own private practices.) Conversely, can he take a position of leniency, which would seem to contradict the standard rulings?

We know that there are certain well-defined areas of halakha where the posek is given considerable leeway and personal freedom, and may even be encouraged in the direction of koah de-heteira adif (favoring the position of leniency).

And if you think about it, this clears up all the uncertainties. Shelomoh Luria, Maharshal, in his introduction to his Yam Shel Shelomoh, formulates this notion as follows: Everything that is found in the words of the Sages of the Torah, from the time of Moses up to the present day, these are the Sages concerning whom is it said, "The words of the wise are as goads" (Ecclesiastes )—they were all given by one shepherd (B. And be not surprised by the various differences of opinion, which are so very distant one from the other, if these opinions are directed to heaven….

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