How Briskers Pasken

The Brisker “Voss, not Farvoss” rule has changed Halacha, too, in spite of Brisk officially despising the deciding of Halacha. Instead of magically learning correctly after leaving Yeshiva – as Shittas Brisk is supposedly designed only for the Yeshiva period – the student of Halacha, now hopefully no longer delving into imaginary constructs views Halacha as nothing more than arranging rows: How many Poskim hold X; how many hold Y.

This is dry, librarian work, far worse than what even Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef would (mostly) do, which is why so few Yeshiva alumni go into Halacha at all.

After deciding who voted what, they then try to discover how each one is “Leshittaso” elsewhere, instead of asking: “Is it even logical to believe X in the first place?” If noticing Sevara was not disallowed, they would be asking which words are exact, and which are not.

One example of this style is Rabbi Zevulun Shub’s “Sha’arei Zevulun” (although better than many others). Ponevich alumnus and popular Rosh Yeshiva and Magid Shiur for many years, he is, importantly, also a major Posek in Ramot and beyond.

This is my book review…

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