Mass, Mainstream Halachic OCD

Otherwise serious Torah scholars in Yeshiva fear even speaking like a normal person when studying certain Sugyos. When learning Nedarim, or Shevuos, they will never use the first person point of view in an example, as though this would obligate them to do or avoid doing something…

It’s one thing to be superstitious in a religiously permitted way, such as not demonstrating Schita on himself, not writing “Siman שמ”ד”, or being careful, as Sefer Chassidim says, around Iyun study of Moed Katan or Yevamos.

It’s one thing to avoid saying Birkas Hashem and the like, but quite another to mix in ridiculous “Yiras Shamayim”, as though saying “I owe you a Maneh” means you do, “Hareini Nazir” demands nervous hedges, even “Harei At mekudeshes” are words to be avoided.

An otherwise rational person once said the Yiddish word for yes should not be pronounced as “Yah”…

To psychologize, I think this is caused by the abandonment of zeal for actual Halachos. Jews have a religious impulse, especially when generally cultivated, and if suppressed, it will express itself in insanity.

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