Friday, April 8, 2011

Words of our Sages are from G-d


Baal HaTanya (Likutei Torah Acharei 27b): Concerning this matter we find the statement of our Sages, “These and those are the words of the living G-d.” [Eiruvin 13b] That means that the words of Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel as well as the words of Abaye and Rava are not literally their words. Rather they are G d’s words that are in their mouths. This is just as the Magid said to Rabbi Yosef Karo, “I am the Mishna which speaks through your mouth.”

Leshem (Shaarei Leshem 2:4:19):
The critical point is that every Jew is obligated to believe with perfect faith that all which is found in the words of our Talmudic Sages - both in halacha, Talmudic agada and medrashim - are in their entirety the words of the living G d. That is because everything that they say is with ruach hakodesh (Sanhedrin 48:). This includes even that which isn’t relevant to halacha and deed…Also all their decrees and statutes are not the product of human intellect at all but rather are the result of ruach hakodesh in which G d has expressed Himself through them. This is the great sound that doesn’t end (Devarim 5:19) of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and it expresses itself in the Oral Torah…. Thus, the Sages are just like messengers in what they say…. This is why the Bal Halachos Gedolos includes the Rabbinic mitzvos with the Torah mitzvos since all of them were given by G d (Chagiga 3b)…We can conclude from all this that anyone who tries to analyze the words of the Sages in order to establish the nature of their truth places himself in great danger. That is because man’s intellect cannot properly comprehend this matter and thus a person can come to heresy from the endeavor. This is what Koheles (7:16) states: Don’t make yourself too wise - why destroy yourself? A person who gets involved in this matter will find it very difficult to resist following his human understanding. He will end up going back and forth between the view of the Torah and that of his own understanding…. The righteous person lives by his faith because that is the foundation of the entire Torah….

3 comments :

  1. The Leshem - the grandfather of R' Elyashiv shlita - states that even the non halachic content of Midrash is also Divinely revealed.

    This explains perhaps, R'Elyashiv's position on science, which is extremely negative.

    It does not, however, fit with Rambam's thinking, who takes issue with some claims of Midrash on matters such as Astrology, and scientific matters. This even comes through in Halachic issues, where in Hilchot Rosh Chodesh , rambam says that the science of astronomy is not always in agreement with the Sages views, and that we should accept the truth from whatever source it comes.

    I think fundamentally this is a machloket between the kabbalists and the rationalists.

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  2. The statement of the Leshem is problematic - as far as the Torah is concerned.

    "We can conclude from all this that anyone who tries to analyze the words of the Sages in order to establish the nature of their truth places himself in great danger. That is because man’s intellect cannot properly comprehend this matter and thus a person can come to heresy from the endeavor. "

    The sages of the Talmud were post-Sanhedrin. This implies that the sanhedrin were of greater stature. However, the sanhedrin itself was not infallible. The Torah has a set of korbanot to be brought for errors made by them. The errors have to come to light by human intellect. So the Leshem, is effectively putting away this Torah law and also mesechet horayot, ans hilchot shogegot.

    Next, if he claims that everything they say is with ruach hakodesh, and are thus infallible, he is denying another principle of the Torah. The Torah also allows for Neviei Sheker. These again are tested by the human intellect. A Navi can make a false prediction, and he can be disproven. the torah tells us not be afraid him. The Leshem is saying that we must be afraid of him, even if our intellect shows him to be wrong. So the Leshem is implying that the Torah is also "heretical".

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    Replies
    1. Eddie the Leshem is not problematic. What is problematic is your ready assumption that you have a clear understanding that Chazal, Rishonim and Achronim are making problematic statements.

      Instead of going through your pilpul - why not accept the pshat of what the Leshem is saying.

      If you find somewhere that he actually claims that we need to accept a navi sheker and that therefore the Torah is also "heretical" then we will deal with that at that time.

      you remind me of Eiruvin 13b that there was a student who could logically prove 150 ways that a sheretz was tahor. or Sanhedrin 17a that a member of the Sanhedrin needed a similar ability

      סנהדרין יז.

      אמר רב יהודה אמר רב: אין מושיבין בסנהדרין אלא מי שיודע לטהר את השרץ מן התורה.

      שו"ת משנה הלכות חלק יב סימן שפה

      ולפמ"ש הרמב"ם י"ל בפשיטות קושית התוס' שהיה האי תלמיד יודע לטהר שרץ בק"ן טעמים ואעפ"כ אמרה התורה שהוא טמא ונדע שכל מה שקבלנו הוא אמיתית דבפלפולים אפשר לעייל פילא בקופא דמחתא ואפשר לטהר אפילו שרץ בק"ן טעמים אבל אנן אקבלה נסמוך והביאו שם מפני שר"מ היה חריף עצום ואמרו שם גלוי וידוע לפני מי שאמר והיה העולם שאין בדורו של ר"מ כמותו ומפני מה לא קבעו הלכה כמותו מפני שלא יכלו חבריו לעמוד על סוף דעתו שהוא אומר על טמא טהור ומראה לו פנים ועל טהור טמא ומראה לו פנים ולכן הביאו אחריו האי תלמיד שהי' יודע לטהר שרץ בק"ן טעמים ואעפ"כ אנן אקבלה סמכינן והתורה אמרה.

      Delete

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