Critiquing a Critique
In his critique of Rabbi Daniel Sperber’s book On Changes in Jewish Liturgy (winter 2011), Rabbi Gil Student expresses surprise that instead of defending and preserving minhagei tefillah, Rabbi Sperber, the “researcher,” uses his command of source material to permit changes in davening. Unfortunately, why Rabbi Student treats all minhagim as a foregone conclusion is never explained. Whether or not Rabbi Student’s confession that he must leave Rabbi Sperber’s work to rabbis greater than himself is disingenuous, the readers of Jewish Action are not served by sly, backhanded comments in place of proper halachic analysis by rabbbanim of sufficient learning to weigh in on the matter.
Shoshana M. Schwartz
Bronx, New York
This article was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Jewish Action.