6/27/2005

One Dilemma, Two Solutions (and a possible third)

At two different weddings that I've attended the past month, both at the same hall, the 'shtar tena'im' was missing or forgotten.

At the more recent one, the Mesader Kiddushin was a big-time Rosh Yeshiva, who proceeded to write out a shtar tena'im by hand. It was very impressive.

At the earlier wedding, the Mesader Kiddushin was calling around to get one faxed to the shul office, but in the meantime I downloaded and printed one up from here. Different approaches, same result.

It caused me to wonder if we're not experiencing a paradigm shift in how we judge accomplishment in the world of Torah. Mastery isn't what it used to be before the age of information. Knowing how to use the Bar-Ilan CD is probably more useful than knowing Mishnayos Ba'al Peh. So what will the standard be? How will talmudic accomplishment be judged? Solely on 'lomdus' - analysis, understanding, creativity? Doesn't the information age make 'da'as Torah', in some form, all the morenecessary? If everyone has access to the information, wouldn't it be necessary to posit SOMETHING which make the gedolim different, and which makes a 'teshuvah' from a bona fide different from the teshuvah of some guy who's good on the Bar Ilan?

Since I don't have Da'as Torah, the third potential solution to the 'tena'im' problem -i.e., skip the tena'im, it's meaningless anyway - isn't really feasible.

Oh, well.
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