Rav David Bigman, RaM at Maaleh Gilboa stated his reservations as follows:
The problem presented in the article is important and the discussion is critical from a personal, religious and national perspectives. The older common halakhah is fading away before smaller individualized forms of halkhah to which people cannot relate. And we have to get beyond the all or nothing approach.
But Bigman completely disagrees with Shilo’s disregard of halakhah and his wanting to change the status of halakhah.
The religious Zionists who live in a wider society have presented it all or nothing. On the other hand, the totalizing society of Haredim when you observe them first hand don’t actually live according to the halakhah
Our poskim have lost a sense of normal life, work life, army life. They do not relate to the customs by which people arrange their lives and only view things through an ideal halakhic lens. (Bigman relates a story of yihud in an army situation.) We have lost the distinctions of Biblical law, rabbinic law, minhag yisrael, and custom. We need to allow different levels. We should not reject the halkhic norms but maybe seek a more intellectual reading of the sources. We need a more living and relevant halakhah.
We don’t need a new system. We need the new generation of rabbis who will be relevant. We need to train rabbis to confront the other and appreciate any connection to Judaism.
Some letters- praise Shilo. One letter written by a dat”lash, morid kipah said that he found the article just the help for clarifying his life. There was a screed by Dov Landau crediting Shilo with causing all evil in society -supporting the Clash of Civilizations, Post-Modernism, the breakdown of society, and uprooting any and all Torah values. (If he could he would have also credited him with the Asian Tsunami and all disastrous events in Gaza.)
Shilo’s Response to Rabbi Bigman
When you enter the halakhah one can soften the law only here and there and even then only a little bit. There is not as much flexibility in the law as you credit. And that ordinary people cannot wait for new generation of rabbis. Ordinary people work below without waiting for miracles from above.
PS If you are in Teaneck, ir hakodesh this Shabbat
Rabbi David Bigman will be at Davar on Shabbat June 4 & 5, 2010
8:15am schachrit, kiddush after laining, lecture #2, musaf
The Discrepancies in the Law of the First Born: Dealing with Biblical Criticism with Sincerity
7:15pm mincha, seudah shelishit, lecture #3, mariv, havdalah
Changes in the Procedure of Divorce: From Scripture to Talmud