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Dec 19, 2016

Semicha will soon require expertise in the Fifth Volume of Shulchan Aruch

The saying used to go that the rules of common sense and decency can be found in the "fifth volume of Shulchan Aruch".

There is no actual fifth volume of Shulchan Aruch, but the saying is a calling for people to not just use and rely on their book smarts but also to be menschlich, use common sense and be kind and fair to other people. 

Now people aspiring to be rabbis in Israel are going to actually need to learn, and be tested on, that fifth volume of Shulchan Aruch.

According to a report on Kipa, the Rabbanut is soon (March 2017) going to require all applicants for semicha to also be tested in the issues and concepts of derech eretz and behavior between men. The test will include the laws of respecting parents, laws of tzedaka, lashon hara of the Chofetz Chaim, gneivas daas, verbal abuse, returning lost objects, paying employees on time, and more.

It is not a bad idea to ensure that budding new rabbis realize that they are going to be dealing with people and not just theoretical abstract halachik discussions...

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  1. Should include the Chofetz Chaim's Sefer of Ahavas Chesed.

  2. So they are essentially giving classes in common sense???


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