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    Rabbinic will, halachic way – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. People often quote Blu Greenberg’s assertion, “Where there’s a rabbinic will, there’s a halachic way.” Do you think she’s right?

    Blu Greenberg

    A. I understand what she’s getting at: “If the rabbis really wanted to, they could find halachic loopholes.” But putting it like this makes a mockery of halachic principles.

    There certainly are situations in which the halachah allows for leniency, but you cannot go to a rabbi and challenge him, “Rabbi, you’ve just got to turn treif into kosher!” The fact is that halachah, like any legal system, has its firm principles, and rabbis are pledged to uphold them.

    Blu Greenberg, like every rabbi and every Jewish lay person, is desperate to solve the problem of the recalcitrant person (male or female) who is unwilling to agree to a gett for an ex-spouse. But each case has to be handled quietly, and on its own merits, without implying that rabbis somehow do not care or that if there is no gett the halachah can find a way of declaring one unnecessary.

    Rabbis continue to work on the issue, but the cause is not helped by sloganism or rabbi-bashing.

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