(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) 1996-2000 Project Genesis

Re: Are turkeys kosher?

Russell Hendel (rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu)
Tue, 28 Oct 1997 20:22:06 -0500

Jaco Faturechi raises the fascinating observation that,
<<so much of what I am bound to is not Torah, but fence. At times it feels
like I lose sight of Torah for all the fences and I have met quite a few
people who really do not know the difference...>>

The Rav, Rabbi Soloveitchick, whom I was priveleged to hear for many years
once gave the following beautiful analogy to answer Jacob's question:

Consider a PAINTING vs a BRIDGE:

In the PAINTING you are interested in its overall effect. You look at the
painting and it acts as a whole to create a feeling or mood. No particular
detail in that painting is necessarily important..it is rather the painting
as a whole.

By contrast, consider a BRIDGE. Would you go over the BRIDGE if a screw was
missing here and there!!?? The bridge has a specific function and that
function can only be achieved by adhering to strict details. Using this
analogy we can understand the issue of details in halachah. If the Torah
and Halachah is a PAINTING...if we are only interested in 'general
mood'...then the details shouldn't matter. BUT...if the Torah is a bridge
(to the next world) over the turbulent waters of life then every detail in
halachah is as precious as the screws of a bridge..they are all needed.

I wish Jacob and others like him who ponder how to resolve the details and
whole picture, Hazlachah and success in their journey of Judaism.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d; ASA, rhendel @ mcs drexel edu