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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@saber.towson.edu> Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 01:45:08 -0500 (EST) Subject: RE: Conflicts between Halacha and Tnach In v30n11 we have Ahron Wolf raises the following >>>>>>>>> As for monarchy being the ideal torah form of government see the Abarbanel on parshas Shoftim and in Sefer Shmuel where the people ask for a king. Also see the Netziv on parshas Shoftim. Both these authorities do not believe that the monarchy is the ideal form of government. The Abarbanel holds that monarchy is very bad form of government indeed and was only allowed as a concession to the Yetzer Hara of imitating the nations of that era. >>>>>>>>> But it is well known that creation of a monarchy is a Biblical commandment according to many authorities. So my general questions are --do commentaries like the Abarbanel imply a HALACHIC opinion that there is no commandment of monarchy --if Abarbanel accepts the halacha does he have a right to let the negative comments of Samuel on the monarchy override the fact that commandments are usually positive things to wish for In other words...what should our attitude be towards commentaries which base themselves on Agaddic type material in Tnach but avoid discussing the larger halachic framework on which these issues revolve [I think I have some problems with the above paragraph. I'm putting this here to the whole list, since I see similar type posts from many people. The tone of the last paragraph clearly sends a message to me when I read it that commentaries like the Abravanel and the Nitziv are doing something "wrong" and you ask what our attitude should be. I think a more productive approach is to make sure one knows the range of halachic opinions on the topic is question (here, whether appointing a king is a desired positive commandment, or is a requirement only if the people demand a form of government outside of Sanhedrin/Navi), try and understand if the halachic issue is dealt with by that reashon or acharon possibly in a different location. Mod] Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA http://www.shamash.org/rashi/