Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rav Aharon Schechter - Attitude towards Science





Rav Aharon Schechter on Rabbi Slifkin and creation, Part 1 Part Two

22 comments :

  1. The recording is somewhat hard to hear, can we poaaibly have it transcribed?

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  2. Roman said...

    The recording is somewhat hard to hear, can we poaaibly have it transcribed?
    ===============
    On my computer the sound is very clear. Try a different computer. or perhaps download the video - you might be having a problem with your internet connection.

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  3. R' Slifkin appears to be the one who uploaded these videos onto YouTube.

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  4. I have no access to Youtube but as a talmid of Rav Aharon, I am very interested. Can someone please transcribe at least the roshei p'rakim

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  5. This view appears to leave no room for Maimonides, no place for the Jewish mind to inquire about the nature of our existence.

    Galileo was tried by the Catholic Church for heresy when he discovered that the Earth orbits the sun and not vice versa.

    My whole life I have heard Rabbeim point to that episode saying the Judaism does not fear questions or knowledge, because true knowledge is never a threat to the true religion.

    What is the source for the idea that we should avoid obtaining knowledge of the physical world around us?

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  6. Rav Schechter definitely did not answer the questions asked.

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  7. Rav Aharon Schechter lays down as fact that: no commentaries have ever discussed the creation except in the framework of the sisrei Torah of Maasei Bereishis, which is reserved for a chosen few. No commentaries or sefarim have ever discussed one word of the creation story relative to the visible world around us. Not one of them has ever questioned how creation verses ties in with physical reality. Yet opening a Chumash at random, I find the Ibn Ezra 1:16 asking how the moon can be called a great luminary when the chachmei hasefiros (astronomers) say that Jupiter and other planets are larger than the moon. (He answers that the Torah is speaking from the viewpoint of earth).

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  8. As background, here's a link to the statement that R' Schechter wrote regarding R' Slifkin's works:

    http://zootorah.com/controversy/Schechter.jpg

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  9. Not to forget Artscroll saying that rakia doesn't mean firmament (as all the Rishonim explained), 'cos there's no such thing, so it must mean atmosphere.

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  10. R. Shechter, shlita, is following a perfectly valid position in emunah peshutah(and he doesn't need my haskama).

    Here are some sources, which seem to allow for inquiry in maaseh bereshis; I'm wondering if R. Eidensohn can comment:

    --Moreh Nevuchim Chelek 1,Perek 32

    --Emunah V'deois, Hakdamah, 6th Perek

    The Ramabam does caution of the dangers of starting to learn maaseh bereshis in the next chapter, but he did write the Moreh for the searching Jew of his times. I'm interested in R. Eidensohn's comments.

    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/more/a8-2.htm#3

    http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/kapah/hakdama1-2.htm#6

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  11. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    Harav Aron Shechter shlit"a is unwise to get involved in any controversial matters outside of his yeshiva simply because he (in tandem with A. Fruchtandler) never answered, and still refuse to settle, several hazmonas to appear before a few notable batei din in the still unresolved matter pertaining to their firing of the yeshiva's mashgiach Rav S. Carlebach shlit"a [I] [II] (not the singer) over 30 years ago, starting with a serious unanswered hazmona from Rav Moshe Feinstein ztk"l and the Agudas Harabonim

    And after not answering hazmonas from the CRC: I, II, III, IV.

    Confirmed by I, II, III (the latter ruling was affirmed by Rav Eliashiv shlit"a when it was appealed to him.)

    It is hard to see how Rav Shechter has any credibility at all when he defies so many batei din.

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  12. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 19, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Follow-up to above post, here is the link to page II of Rabbi Carlebach's letter.

    In addition, see the letter from Dayan Shamshon Weiss to Mr. Fruchandler concerning the grievous nature of this unresolved case: [I], [II], [III] and the letter by Rabbi Carlebach to The Jewish Press describing his situation.

    Finally, Rav Moshe Feinstein ztk"l saw fit to strengthen the hand of Rabbi Carlebach shlit"a against Rav Shechter shlit"a and Mr. Fruchandler by granting him a unique Yoreh VeYadin Semicha.

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  13. RAP,

    As I recall, a Yeshiva is not required to respond to a hazmona. (Perhaps there are conflicting opinions; but the Yeshiva is entitled to invoke this shitta.)

    Harav Aron Shechter shlit"a - a member of the Moetzei Gedolei HaTorah - has, and will continue, "to get involved in controversial matters outside of his yeshiva."

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  14. DT:
    I understand some of your Loshon Hora that you keep present on your blog because you believe that there is a toelet in stopping what you believe to be incorrect conversions. But other than currying favor with your favorite RaP blogger, what toelet is there in posting decades old documents?

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  15. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 20, 2009 at 10:42 AM

    Joseph, the hazmonas were not made out to "a Yeshiva" they were addressed personally to Rav Shechter shlit"a and to Mr. Fruchandler, n"y.

    Are you saying that if a mashgiach or rosh yeshiva is fired by his fellow hanhollah members then they can hide behind the legal fiction that they "don't exist" as real people? What narishkeit is that?

    Obviously Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Bais Din of the Agudas Harabonim at that time, and the Bais Din of the CRC of Satmar that issued not one but four hazmones, and the case of Veretzky that Mr. Fruchandler tried to take to Bais Din but which was rejected by all Batei Din as being illegal Halachically because he and Rav Shechter had still not settled the case with Rav Carlebach and with which Rav Eliashiv agreed, that as long as Mr. Fruchandler and Rav Shechter do not setlle the long-standing Din Torah brought agaisnt them by Rav Carlebach, they are lo tzayis dino and are in cherem, with the yeshiva.

    Being on the "Moetzes" is not a Halachic reality and it is just a nice choshuve position, but not responding to a series of hazmonas and defying a series of Batei Din is a Bizayon HaTorah and a violation of Halacha itself and degrades the very Torah that a yeshiva and its leaders represents.

    Rav Shechter, like any other citizen of the USA has the liberties of free speech and can say what he wants but he will have no credibility as long as he is viewed by many as a unrepentant rebel against Bais Din or a "lo tzayis dino" as Rav Carlabach makes clear in his statements, but as someone who has violated the guidelines of the Shulchan Oruch, and has set the worst example to his disciples, that they too need not answer to Dinei Torah when and if they would ever be summoned before a reputable Bais Din such as in front of the Gadol HaDor Rav Moshe Feinstein who summoned them and they ignored him, or that of the Satmar CRC's Bais Din, Rav Shechter has set down the worst of precedents.

    Perhaps it is no wonder that Rabbi Leib Tropper of EJF can ignore the Bais Din of the Aidah HaChareidis for so long and in such a casual and cavalier way, and run around the world preaching his prverted gospels of reaching out to billions of goyim to convert, when one of his original important rabbinical backers like Rav Aron Shechter of Chaim Berlin yeshiva has led the way and shows him how to do it in grand style. Aveira goreres aveira...

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  16. RAP,

    Joseph, the hazmonas were not made out to "a Yeshiva"

    The Hazmonas were regarding the actions of the Yeshiva, regardless of which individuals were acting in their capacity for the Yeshiva.

    Are you saying that ... then they can hide behind the legal fiction that they "don't exist" as real people?

    I, Joseph, am not saying anything. I am merely relating a halachic principle as I know it. Feel free to disagree. But so long as this halachic principle exists, don't be surprised that a Godol Hador - who understands these principles infinitely better than you or I - invokes it.

    One Godol Hador has a right to disagree with another Godol Hador.

    ...and can say what he wants but he will have no credibility...

    Really RAP? I beg to differ. This is quite a silly statement for you to make. After all, Hagoen HaRav Ahron Schechter Shlita was appointed to the Moetzei Gedolei HaTorah and accepted by the rest of Gedolei Yisroel Shlita as a peer after this whole incident.

    This is quite convincing that whether some anonymous bloggers may think otherwise, Gedolei Yisreol Shlita sit with Rav Ahron Schechter Shlita as peers on the dais as the current leaders of Klal Yisroel.

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  17. Recipients and Publicity surely has the right to invoke Reb Moshe Feinstein, R' Schwab, and R' Mordechai Gifter in considering the rabbi to be a lo tzais dino. "Anonymous blogger" RaP certainly has what to rely on.

    Anyways, where's this halachic principle you speak of? Where's a source for such a thing?

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  18. The issue isn't really whether or not Rabbi Schechter is credible. Just because someone is credible doesn't mean they are correct.

    I'd like to see the issues raised by Isaac N and Baruch Horowitz addressed, rather than get distracted by one controversial remark by RaP who makes an excellent argument.

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  19. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 21, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    Joseph seems to be either very naive or is simply ignorant of both the real world and Halachic facts. My responses commence with "RaP" below:

    "Joseph said... The Hazmonas were regarding the actions of the Yeshiva, regardless of which individuals were acting in their capacity for the Yeshiva."

    RaP: No, the Hazmonas were addressed directly to Rav Shechter and Mr. Fruchandler based on their attempt to take over control of the yeshiva from Rav Hutner to the contrived exclusion of Rav Carlebach who already had a clear chazaka to his prestigious position as mashgiach.

    "Are you saying that ... then they can hide behind the legal fiction that they "don't exist" as real people?

    I, Joseph, am not saying anything. I am merely relating a halachic principle as I know it. Feel free to disagree."

    RaP: I do disagree with you, and strongly at that. What is the name of this principal in Halachic terms? At least one citation from a Torah source and a simple explanation will do. Can you tell me were and what exactly this "halachic principle" is (don't say it is "kol de'olim govar!") that you are claiming allowed Rav Shechter and Mr. Fruchandler to free themselves of their Halachic obligation to appear certainly before Rav Moshe Feinstein's Bais Din when they were explicitly summoned by him, as well as failing to respond to the four hazmonas to appear before the CRC Bais Din?

    "But so long as this halachic principle exists,"

    RaP: It does not exist, except in your knee-jerk willingness to be an apologist. Look it up and report back where your so-called "principle" exists please. Thank you.

    "don't be surprised that a Godol Hador - who understands these principles infinitely better than you or I - invokes it."

    RaP: Let's get this straight, you are saying that a Gadol Hador does NOT have to appear for a Din Torah if he is summoned to one? Is there a different Shulchan Oruch for a Gadol Hador than for ordinary yerei shomayim Jews? Where does it end? Is a Gadol Hador above all laws perhaps? Let's say he gets a parking ticket, can he rely on the excuse that "I am a Gadol Hador" and I do not have to pay a fine or appear in court for that parking or speeding or car violation? Obviously he would be in contempt of court if he tried that trick! So it's the opposite of what you claim, because a Gadol Hador or any Gadol has a GREATER obligation to appear for a Din Torah precisely because he IS a Gadol and precisely because he would not wish to give any impression that he is defying or belittling a Bais Din, especially one headed by Rav Moshe Feinstein. It takes infinite chutzpa, not gadlus, to do such a thing, regardless of all your lame excuses not based on either the real world or on a Halachic imperatives.

    "One Godol Hador has a right to disagree with another Godol Hador."

    RaP: So what? This is not about simple agreements versus disagreements, but rather this was a machlokes within the hanhola of a major yeshiva that had reached nera-violent proportions and it was thus a matter that had gone way past "agreemenst vs disagreemnt", and had reached the level of Dinei Torah, the way that such machlokes should be solved in Klal Yisroel which is in accoradnace with Halacha.

    Besides, are you saying that Rav Shechter was already for certain a Gadol HaDor even in the lifetime of Rav Moshe Feinstein who was not just the Gadol Hador but also the RASHKEBEHAG. Sure, Rav Shechter's supporters may believe he is a Gadol Hador, but that does not mean that the rest of the world has to accept that or that it is an excuse not to appear for a Din Torah.

    "...and can say what he wants but he will have no credibility...

    Really RAP? I beg to differ. This is quite a silly statement for you to make. After all, Hagoen HaRav Ahron Schechter Shlita was appointed to the Moetzei Gedolei HaTorah and accepted by the rest of Gedolei Yisroel Shlita as a peer after this whole incident."

    RaP: Joseph, use your brains! You fail to understand some very important points. There is a vast difference between a legally and Halachically constituted Bais Din and an association or council like the Moetzes that is a communal and political body heading a communal organization like Agudas Yisroel. The Moetzes is NOT a Bais Din nor does it claim to be.

    Roshei Yeshiva and Hasidic Rebbes are NOT Dayanim and they do not claim to be. Being a Dayan on a Bais Din need not make someone into a "gadol" as such (the word "gadol" is just a hashkofic term, it does not have Halachic status either) but when Dayanim come together on an officially constituted Bais Din they automatically have extraordinary Halachic powers that even a Gadol or Gadol Hador must answer to. Not to understnd this, or as in Rav Shechter's and Mr. Fruchandler's case defying not one but many Batei Din, is to undermine the entire institution of Batei Din and to destroy the practical application of Halacha. You need to become more aware of what a Bais Din is and how a Dayan and Dayanim operate as sanctioned and allowed and desired by Halacha. Most yeshiva bochurim are naive and don't get this. They have never really met a Dayan or had any real dealings with a Bais Din and your comments reveal just such a gaping gap and the problems of understanding that flow from such ignorance.

    Adoring a Rosh Yeshiva or being a Rosh Yeshiva does not mean that Dayanim and Batei Din should be disparaged and treated like garbage, which is what Rav Shechter and Mr. Fruchandler are doing in thius case and that is a horrendous example to set to their disciples and followers, as well as being a huge chillul Hashem.

    The Moetzes is a collection of a few rosh yeshivas and some rebbes. There may be greater ones than them who do not join them on the Moetzes for all sorts of reasons. Being on the Moetzes does not mean that its members do not have to answer to Dinei Torah. In fact, as Rav Moshe Feinstein stated in this case, that when he (Rav Moshe Feinstein) had summoned Rav Aron KOTLER to a Din Torah he came running to attend, but Rav Shechter refuses to come. Even that argument did not impress Rav Shechter, so one is left dumbstruck as was Rav Moshe Feinstein who said he ws powerless to force them to come. That should tell you something.

    "This is quite convincing that whether some anonymous bloggers may think otherwise, Gedolei Yisreol Shlita sit with Rav Ahron Schechter Shlita as peers on the dais as the current leaders of Klal Yisroel."

    RaP: Ok, so they sit with him, maybe it means they are aiding a person who has rebelled against Bais Din? Would they all also refuse to appear before any Dinei Torah they thought they feared that they would lose and invoke all sorts of non-Halachic doctrines that they have friends on the Moetzes so they are "exempt" from following certain sections of the Shulchan Oruch that demand that when a Jew, any Jew, is called to a Din Torah, he must respond.

    The Moetzes is a POLITICAL body, with some communal-govermental powers perhaps, but even a Melech BeYisroel had to submit to the calls of a Sanhedrin if he was summoned by them and to refuse to do so is an invitation to civil war r"l and chaos as each person makes up their own rules to suit their own ends, especially when they have deep pockets like Mr. Fruchandler who does not lose sleep when he is sued, so why should he fear a few poor Dayanim?

    So is it any wonder then, that someone like Rabbi Leib Tropper when he's summoned by the full Bais Din of the Eidah HaChareidis to stop his EJF activities does not bother even answering them, because following the example, and maybe even the advice, of one of his known strategic rabbinic advisors Rav Shechter and his rich supporter Mr. Fruchaandler (who has contributed in grand style to Rabbi Tropper's Kol Yaakov Yeshiva over the years -- it's all on record), Rabbi Tropper also has his rich supporter Dr. Tom Kaplan and with their money and connections they hope to get their way regardless of what anyone else in the Torah world says against them.

    Pathetic, don't you think?

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  20. I must have missed it! But the loshon horah machine embodied in RaP has an irrational hatred to tropper would invoke anything to associate with trooper bashing. He will associate totally unrelated issues (attacking a rosh yeshiva (repeating the nauseating loshon horoh that appears in other loshon horah blogs) in an issue that has no connection to his losohon horo) to go back to troper.

    I hjave news to tell this loshon horah machine and motyzi shem rah: your buddy bomzer also does NOT appear in diney torah! And he is not as big as RAS. He is the one who is responsible for HUNDREDS OG GOYIM ENTRY IN KLAL YISROEL AND ASSIMILATING THEM WITH YIDDEN! RaP probably cannot take the fact that Tropper actually makes KOSHER GERUS! where he actaully demands shabbat, kashrut, taharat hamishpacha! from the converts as opposed to bomzer's 10,000$$ fee that he shares with RAP and RAP's buddies! This is besides that RAP speaks like a total am hooroetz repeating slognas and unable to address any halachik reference that is made to him without resorting to the name calling that he learnt in his circles (where he probably did not toil learing Torah She baalpeh but learnt losohon and motzi shem rah about other yidden!).

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  21. Recipients and PublicityJanuary 25, 2009 at 8:47 AM

    Roni, which part was made up? Only original known and published documents were linked to. Unlike you who can only come up with one scrawny letter againsst Bomzer, in this post multiple original documenst are cited. What is the "loshen hora"? Is someone who refuses to go to a choshuve Din Torah to be praised and a hero? No chiddushim here. Which Bais Din has called on Bomzer to stop? You only published a letter from a "Va'ad" (not from ANY Bais Din) writing from two anonymous "P.O. Boxes" while Rav Shechter was summoned by someone you should respect, Rav Moshe Feinstein himself as well as the Satamr CRC four times. What is lashon hora about that? The one who refused to go to the Din Torah has himself to blame. In some papers they publish the names of people who refuse to go to a Din Torah or to a Bais Din to give a get. Your self-righteous krumme sevora of the "heter" that a "cher kal is better than chet chamus" is stupid, just see the way you defend it by saying that the Shulchan Oruch does not say it is "assur" as if that is ever an excuse in Halacha. Stop over-reacting to everything and using the one-horse Bomzer excuse to cover up trope's refusal to abide by the BADATS's call for him to stop his proselytizing to gentiles and to halt ejf's plans to reach out to and convert BILLIONS of gentiles.

    Bomzer may be bad, he's brought in maybe a few hundred safek Jews/goyim?, but Tropper is worse, his converts are dropping out it's reoprted, and he has pland to reach out and convert BILLIONS (is that normal?), according to his own ejf infomercials! And Rav Shechter only has himself to blame for the matzav he is in that he and Mr. Fruchandler cannot go to any Din torah until he settles with Rav Carlebach, so stop hacking in kop and stop acting the innocent tzadik when you are far from it.

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  22. RaP

    "Your self-righteous krumme sevora of the "heter" that a "cher kal is better than chet chamus" is stupid":

    You boor and amhooretz! I cited Rav MOshe and Rav Chayim Oyzer discussing this concept! You cannot read without nekudot, get a tuotr!


    "just see the way you defend it by saying that the Shulchan Oruch does not say it is "assur" as if that is ever an excuse in Halacha".

    No, start learning what you haven't in your life, and you will see that this concept is VALID AND USED BY RAV MOSHE AND RAV CHAYIM in *this* subject. You speak like a real am hoooretz who never learned but his slogans and losohon horah's fed in your circles in the time that others spend it by actual learning!


    " Stop over-reacting to everything and using the one-horse Bomzer excuse"

    It is not an "excuse"; it is the truth why many leading rabbonim endorsed and and are PARTNERS with Tropper! Because they know that the alternative Bomzer and CO are worse and brought thousands (BOmzer nad all like him) of GOYIM INTO KLAL YISROEL!

    "to cover up trope's refusal to abide by the BADATS's call for him"

    He obeys the GEdoyley YIsroel who endorse him! like Rav Reuven Feinstein and Rav Elyashiv!

    " to stop his proselytizing to gentiles and to halt ejf's plans to reach out to and convert BILLIONS of gentiles".

    again the holy buzzwords and real overreacting by this am hooretz parexxcellence! there is no issur obrur over this! in Shluchan Oruch! (Rav MOshe writes that even leshem ishut is not an "isur borur" -obivously there is an issur but since it is not an issur borur one may violate this if it is to prevent an issur chomur!)

    "Bomzer may be bad, he's brought in maybe a few hundred safek Jews/goyim?,"

    BRINGING GOYIM IS THE WORSE AVERA! IT BRINGS GILUY ARAYOT AND INTERMARRIAGE IN PRACTICE!

    " but Tropper is worse, his converts are dropping out it's reoprted,"

    1) iT IS not; EXCEPT BY YOUR MOTZIEY SHEM RAH!,

    THey preseve yididshkeyt in much higher number than the BEST BOMZER'S COVNERSIONS! ,

    3) Even those who do are mostly yisroel mumar! so that a jew who lives with them, is not living with a GOY!


    " and he has pland to reach out and convert BILLIONS (is that normal?),"

    iT IS NOT AN ISSUR! WHEREAS YOUR PHONY BOMZER AND OTHER SUCH CORRUPTED RABBIS CORRUPT TORAH AND CONVERSION AND BRING GOYIM INTO KLAL YISROEL, (and further: depsite your hysteric flase unholy criticism at him: He did not perform over the years more per capita conversions than bomzer and CO!).

    THe letter against your fakwe tzadik bomzer is clear that he violates severe dinim in torah of causing giluy arayot and itnermarriage and the issur of bringing goyim into klal yisroel. Your stupid "po box" remarks do not ease the situation of Bomzer since we have respected rabbonim signed on paper about the shikssas he brought to klal yisroel.

    Instead of wasting your eneergy to look for tropper and asociate everything and anything with him; do something that bomzer stops his fake bussiness and let him return to his sermons so that he does not hurt klal yisroel by mizing his vaday an sofek goyim into klal yisroel!

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