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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rav Friedlander on paskening from a computer image

                                                                                                  Rav Mordechai Friedlander Shlitah


During my recent trip to Eretz Yisroel I met with Rav Mordechai Friedlander, M'T of the Vaad Mishmeres Stam (Yerushalayim) and of the Eidah. Rav Friedlander gave me kabollah 12 years ago and I have been in touch with him many times over the years.

For those who have not met him, Rav Friedlander is a world leading posek and is extremely knowledgeable. He is also very approachable, tolerant and broadminded (perhaps because he is American), and he understands the mentality and nuances of different groups within the frum world.

One of the things I discussed with him was this forum. I showed it to him on my laptop and he seemed quite impressed. He felt that it was partuicularly beneficial for sofrim such as myself living in "Chutz laaretz" where there is no real organized support for sofrim and others in the field of Stam.

I asked him if one can pasken via shailos scanned and posted on the forum. He said if it is a shailah such as an unusual tzurah etc it is OK, provided it is a clear scan or photo (for example he saw the shailo posted recently of the mem, where the chof and vov were connected very low, and he said that one could pasken from such a picture). It does not matter if it is enlarged or enhanced.

However he said shailos which are size sensitive such as a small blita coming out of the back of a chof which may look more like a beis when enlarged, can really only judge accurately from the real thing as it appears in real life. (Real life sized images on a computer screen always comes out less clear than the real life original and once you blow it up its already altered). Also he said nifsakim and nekavim would be virtually impossible to judge correctly from such images.

However he did say that a posek with good judgement and exprience could pasken by using his "minds eye" to judge what an enlarged photo would look like in real life. This would be a Rov with a lot of experience with both real life and computer image shailos - and he would also know if the image is not suitable to pasken from.

5 comments:

  1. Indeed - thanks. Excellent that he is so supportive of the forum.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eli,
      Thank you for sharing part of your trip's experience and Rav Friedlander's views with us.
      Regards!

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    2. As I read your summary of Rav Friedlander's paskening, I had the feeling that I was reading words that would be referred to in years-to-come by other Soferim, and that it was a historical moment. Thank you for spreading this critical news with the forum.

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    3. To be honest I am thinking of writing a proper article on this topic. I wonder if this has ever been discussed in any seforim. Does anyone know of this and if yes where??

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