Reb Ira Gruscott mentions that, "Of course , what he doesn't say is that prior to and even during the lifetime of R' Y.M. Kagan z't'l, it was never a minhag to repeat....even in Yeshivas Radun."
Check Marc Shapiro's post on this.
This can be spun two ways.Either
A: it's a frum shtick with no basis either in minhag or grammar or halakha; or
B: Orthodoxy does have a halakha that is -to quote Shapiro- "dynamic" This, of course goes to the post on your blog re: how one "feels" regarding halakha
Look, we live in an ambiguous world!
Let's face the facts. Those who can tolerate ambiguity well, will be fine, while those who cannot, will be frustrated, angry, railing, and dueling the windmills. Most of us fall somewhere in between! ;-)
Indeed I think "minhag Yisrael" is perhaps a poor choice of words.
What I think he was really saying is that Professor Penkower's academic analysis is irrelevant to the Halachah - one way or the other. Only a Poseiq can make that call, not a professor. As to how the Mishnah Brurah's ruling caught on fire - I do not know. I understand Lubavitch does this, and they are not known to be particularly deferential to the MB
Perhaps, as Hacham Sassoon might say: we believe in continuous revelation. Others might see the Hand of Divine Providence.
What bothers me about the Mishnah Brurah's method is that he presents the safeiq as even. It's not. And as Rabbi Noah G. has noted, a Halachic Safeiq is usually approxximately 50-50.
Here it's clearly not a 50-50. For example, I might say that Rabbenu Tam Tefillin might be 50-50, but Catholic Israel did away with that opinion.
R' Mordechai Breuer's article is brilliant on this matter. I have Professor Penkower's article but I have not yet had the pleasure to complete it.
As I understand Rav Halivni and Rabbis Feldblum and Price, we don't follow "science" when it comes to halachic practice, particularly in nusach. For example, This came up regarding "unetaneh toqef" and "kivnei maron" where Albeck and others suggest "kivnumerion" instead. R' Price dismissed this as academic and not halachic, and so subject to the shifting paradigms in science. For instance, is Pluto still a planet?
The story goes that in Breslau Seminary -
Proffessor Graetz read the Haftara with his emendation based upon science
And R' Z. Frankel apparently re-read the entire passage [iirc with brachot] to make the point that we don't emend Tanach on the basis of our scientific point of view - at least not during the liturgy
Anyway, we can safely say this:
- The Masoretes deviated from the Talmud in a number of instances.
- The Kimchi's Grammar deviated from the Tiberian grammatical system on several points.
- I believe segol is one of those areas. Anyway, as far as I know, the Kimchi's PRONOUNCED tzeire and segol the same - obviating any need for repetition. Perhaps our very hakpadah to distinguish the two vowels has led us to this safeiq, though many would claim that this is irrelevant.