Monday, August 18, 2014

Ami Magazine editorial why it refused to publish article printed in secular paper.

In defense of observance by rote, a article  was published in the secular forward newspaper, Ami magazine editor Rabbbi Yitzchock Frankfuter explains why he rejected the article even though the author asked him to carry it. The author claimed, an upstanding person with a nonobservant lifestyle is, on a spiritual scale, light years beyond those who go through motions of observance but without giving much thought to what they are doing. The editorial counters putting  to much emphasis on intention, which while important can lead to negative consequences-and mislead people into thinking that intent and kavannah is equal to or even more important than the act itself.
A over emphasis on intent can lead people to repudiate the very dictates of the Torah as having no inherent value. The editorial brings various sources supporting this. Halacha has demphasized intent lest heretical tendencies seep into Judaism and corrupt the observance of Hashems commandments. It is better for a Jew to observe mitzvos by rote, even in almost a robotic fashion than to deviate from a single mitzva of Hashem. 

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