Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Machzikei HaDas"

A couple of years ago now, R' Micha of Aspaqlaria challenged me about the name of my blog. To paraphrase his comment that was lost when haloscan was discontinued, "Machzikei Hadas" implies those who "Hold on" or "Maintain" the faith. As such my frequent posts challenging views held by other Orthodox Jews seemed to imply they were outside of Orthodoxy ח"ו.

It was a fair criticism, but by no means my intent. While I am someone who believes that their are beliefs that are and should be considered heresy, beliefs which are mutually exclusive with Judaism, I do not believe every erroneous belief needs to be חייב כרת ר"ל, and certainly not because I believe it to be incorrect.

So to explain myself (better late than never?), my understanding, and intent, when using the phrase "Machzikei HaDas" was in the sense of faith being "strengthened" rather than "possessed". Whether "Strenghteners of the Faith" is the best (or even appropriate) English rendition of the Hebrew phrase, I'm not the only one who has understood it in this way. If those of you whose Hebrew comes a little more naturally think that this understanding doesn't hold, please feel free to let me know. While I cannot change the URL, I can change the "Title" fairly easily if necessary.

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