Who under what circumstances has the right to declare that a violation of halacha is in order because "it is a time to act for Hashem"?

I have by now a few times seen this posuk from Tehillim used as justification for changing the halacha, i.e., by rabbis. I have also seen individuals -- even simple Jews -- use it to justify their actions.

It would seem to me that only a navi or an exceptionally qualified rabbi (if not rabbinate) is in a position to use this heter to stretch the halacha. But I don't know. Exactly who is allowed to use it, under what circumstances, and to what extent? Is there ever any justification for an individual, learned or not, to use this excuse based on his own judgment?

  • 1
    You are right. It has limited application and one should be very knowledgable and/or consult an expert in Halacha before thinking it can be used a a heter. Sep 16, 2018 at 19:55
  • My sense is that one would need to be (at least) a gadol hador rather than merely a very knowledgeable person or an expert in halacha in order to do something like this. Am I wrong?
    – SAH
    Sep 16, 2018 at 21:28
  • @SAH to apply it purely on one's own without any guidance would be hard to justify. Knowledgable people who know where and when Gedolim and Shulchan Aruch applied it would be relying on them. To innovate a new idea based upon it that does not appear in the works of the past should require Gedolei HaDor to agree. All IMHO based on learning this in Yeshivah Sep 16, 2018 at 21:55
  • From the words of your question, you seem to be making a broad over-generalization of what the concept from Tehillim 119:126 is about. It is addressing the issue, 'May the Merciful One save us from it', of our commitment (oath) to keep the Torah being invalidated and thus lost due to the circumstances of the time. In each of the linked examples in your question, that is the consistent theme. Each case is judged upon the unique local circumstances and even then would follow the consensus of the majority, not the view of the individual. Sep 17, 2018 at 3:22


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