The previous post talked about 1-day and 2-day individuals vs. 1-day and 2-day communities. This post is just here to clarify that there are far more than two possible stances that a community can take on this issue.
For example, Tikkun Leil Shabbat (featured in HP8) has explicitly not taken a communal stance on the issue. (Explicitly not taken a stance, as distinct from simply not taking a stance by default, like any community in the state of nature, or like TLS as of a few month ago.) You might think this is unusual, even unique. And perhaps it is, among prayer communities that meet for prayer on 16 Nisan, 22 Nisan, 7 Sivan, 16 Tishrei, or 23 Tishrei. But there are other types of Jewish communities out there, such as Hillels (which contain multiple prayer communities under one roof), or non-denominational Jewish organizations that are not ritual-focused. Such groups can and do take neutral stances on 1-day vs. 2-day yom tov (though the implementation is not always given enough thought).
And among those communities that have either 1 day or 2 days as the norm, there are different ways of approaching this. There are communities for which "1 day" or "2 days" is the answer to the question "How many days of yom tov should we do?", and there are communities in which the question is never asked in the first place. For example, (and people who know otherwise can correct me if I'm wrong) when the first Hadar Shavuot Retreat was being planned, I suspect there was not an initial gabbai meeting at which they discussed (or even rubber-stamped) whether it would be 1 or 2 days.
A useful way to think about the range of possible stances on this issue is the concept of the Overton window, which incorporates not only the actual position of a given community, but the range of other positions that are considered acceptable within that community's discourse (which is generally smaller than the range of all possible positions).
The Overton window is named after the late libertarian activist Joe Overton. The classic example is on the issue of education, in which he ranked different public policies from "least government intervention / most freedom" to "most government intervention / least freedom". (As a public education advocate, I obviously disagree strongly with Overton on the framing of the various policies. I'm citing him here for the structure, not the substance.)
His ranking was:
No government schools
Parents pay for only the education they choose
Private and home schools monitored, not regulated
Tuition tax credits
Private and home schooling moderately regulated
Private and home schooling highly regulated; parents pay twice
Home schooling illegal
Private schools illegal
Compulsory indoctrination in government schools
The point is that in addition to the status-quo policy, there may be a "window" on either side of it containing other policies that are considered within the realm of possibility.
So if we arrange the possible communal stances on 1-day vs. 2-day yom tov on a spectrum, it might look something like this:
- 2 days as the unquestioned communal standard
- 2 days as the unquestioned communal standard, but individuals who observe 1 day can be open about their practice
- the number of days of yom tov is a question, and the answer is 2 days
- the number of days of yom tov is a question, and the answer is no official communal stance
- the number of days of yom tov is a question, and the answer is 1 day
- 1 day as the unquestioned communal standard, but individuals who observe 2 days can be open about their practice
- 1 day as the unquestioned communal standard