Thursday, September 8, 2011

Contradiction between new 9th vol of Igros Moshe & older volumes regarding Magen Avraham & Shema

The 9th volume of the Igros Moshe just came out. In the very first teshuva of this volume Rav Moshe says that it is important that eveyone follow the view of the Magen Avraham and that if the local minyan doesn’t one should find a minyan that does. The problem is that there are two teshovs in earlier volumes where Rav Moshe clearly says that the halacha is in accord  with the Gra and the Baal HaTanya and that the Magen Avraham is a chumra of a minority. I don’t know how to resolve this. The editors of the new volume obviously were aware of this problem as they themselves say to look at the two older teshuvos.
Please refer also to Rabbi Hoffman's review of the 9th volume
 סימן א' בדבר לחשוב זמן ק"ש מעלות השחר
בעה"י י"ג מנחם אב תשל"ד
בדבר שיטת המג"א דזמן ק"ש צריך לחשוב מעלות השחר ודאי היא שיטה דכמה ראשונים, ויש לכל אדם להחמיר לקרא ק"ש ולהתפלל בהזמן שיוצאין גם אליבא דהמג"א, כי בכל מצוה הא ספק לחומרא ובפרט במצוה זו שהיא קבלת עול מלכות שמים שצריך לעשותה באופן שיהיה בלא פקפוק. ואין להשגיח על המקומות שנוהגין להקל בזה שהוא מטעם שאין למחות בזה, אבל ודאי מדקדקין כל יראי השי"ת לקרא ק"ש קודם על תנאי, וגם יש הרבה מנינים שמתפללים לצאת גם ידי המג"א והולכות לשם, ולכן במקום שנהגו כל השנים להתפלל בשעת שיהיה בזמן ק"ש של המג"א אין לשנות, וצריכים כולן להסכים לזה וח"ו עוד לעשות מחלוקת ובזכות מצות ק"ש בזמן שיוצאין לכו"ע יתברכו בכל הטוב והשלום ולזכות לישועת ישראל בקרוב,
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שו"ת אגרות משה אורח חיים חלק א סימן כד
בענין זמן קריאת שמע א' דחנוכה תשי"ז. מע"כ ידידי מו"ה ר' שלום הלוי קוגעלמאן שליט"א.
בדבר זמן ק"ש בשחרית הנה מנהג רוב מקומות /שבמדינותינו/ שבדינותינו רייסן וליטא וכן מנהג הישיבות היה עד שלש שעות מנץ החמה כשיטת הגר"א והגר"ז וכן הוא העיקר לדינא בכל הענינים ורק יחידים היו מחמירין לעצמן עד ג' שעות מעלות השחר, ובלוח יש לקבוע כעצם הדין. ומנחה אין להתפלל אחר שקיעה רק בשעת הדחק יכולין לסמוך על המקילים. עיין במ"ב סי' רל"ג. ולענין מוצאי שבת מפני החומר יש להחמיר כר"ת. וכן יראה ידידי בכל המקומות במ"ב שדעתו נוטה כהגר"א והרבה ראשונים סוברין כן. ולכן איני רוצה להכנס בפלפולא בענין זה כי מה אנחנו להכריע בין הרים גדולים אבל הגר"א הוא בתראה והסכימו עליו כל העולם שהוא גדול טובא וראוי להכריע וא"כ הלכה כבתראה ובפרט שגם הגרש"ז סובר כן. ומש"כ ידידי שלתינוק שנולד אחר שקיעה דסוף שבת שהיו נוהגין למול בשבת, ודאי הוא שלא כהראוי שהעיקר לדינא כהגר"א והגרש"ז שנמצא שהוא ספק איסור מלאכה והראוי לענין זה להחמיר כחומר ב' השיטות.

שו"ת אגרות משה יורה דעה חלק ג סימן קכט
ג' לענין זמני ק"ש ותפלה וכ"ש לענין שבת יש להחמיר כשתי השיטות אבל במקום שנוהגין כהגר"א שבאו תלמידי הגר"א רשאין לנהוג כמותו אף לקולא אבל סתם אינשי צריכין להחמיר גם כשיטת ר"ת וכדנהגינן כאן.

24 comments :

  1. 1) Prehaps R'Moshe changed his mind
    2) Perhaps the person who he was addressing came from a place/mesorah where the Magan Avraham was the posek/accepted as the halacha and the question was specifically addressed to him.

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  2. Even before the 9th chelek, at least one of the chalokim had Tendler fingerprints all over (the menuvol grandson) which is why many people refuse to use it. Who compiled this chelek?

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  3. There is no stirah if you read the teshuva carefully. Its clearly mashma that this teshuva is addresing someone who wanted to CHANGE the minhag of the shul which had been keeping the M”A zman.R Moshe wrote they should not change. In the other teshuva R Moshe was asked if one should accept on himself the M”A zman to which he responded there is no need.

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  4. I don't see the Stira. It seems to me that in the first two teshuvot he is saying that minhag hamakom is the halakha.

    In the later Teshuva he is saying for the individual that there is reason to be machmir and join themselves with a place that holds M"A.

    These are not mutually exclusive opinions.

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  5. Wow, pretty interesting.

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  6. As it goes in a maklokes like this surely we look to the Gedolim of the generation for them to be macria in the maklokes. However I don't think it would be wrong for any other Moreh Horah to come along and tell someone to be nohag like this lhakil like the Gra and Baal Tanya b'frat that the M"B is not even macria and we already have a psak from these 2 Gedolei Achronim. Poskim I know of in the past used this R' Moshe to strengthen there position and I believe they still could even with this "new" teshuva.

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  7. While there clearly are ways of reconciling the teshuvos - the question is why is it necessary?

    Why are teshuvos being published that lack clear peshat and therefore require careful analysis to even understand the view that is being expressed?

    I'll write more on this later

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  8. Why are teshuvos being published that lack clear peshat and therefore require careful analysis to even understand the view that is being expressed?
    ---------------------

    Who said Rav Moshe even wanted these teshuvos in 9, or even in Vol 8 which was also controverdsial for that reason, to be pulished? He could have published them in his lifetime and didn't. Why would it take 25 plus years after he was niftar?

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  9. R'Eidensohn, do you know what the story is behind this volume? Like where these teshuves were collected from, who prepared them for publication etc.?

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  10. I am not sure what the story is behind the 9th volume. When the 8th volume came out there was a lot of complaints because Rabbi Rappaort had added notes and context (in smaller letter) but it was viewed very problematic since Rav Moshe wasn't providing the information.
    I had asked Rav Dovid Feinstein about the validity of the 8th volume. He told me that they had a lot of material left from Rav Moshe - but it was of varying quality. Some was handwritten and other material was transcribed by Mordechai Tendler , some was clear and other material wasn't. He said they had two options - to simply store it away and thus it would be lost or to publish it with clear explanations and context and leave it to the reader to decide what to do with it. They decided it was best to publish it and label carefully.

    The 9th volume seems to be a backing off of that approach and seems to acknowledge that having someone - even as knowledgeable as Rabbi Rappoport - explain what the teshuva is about is not acceptable. Thus they clearly state that they are providing only Rav Moshe's own words.

    But this leaves us without a clarity of what the teshuva is - and thus we have the problem of how this material can be used when it is not clear what Rav Moshe is talking about.

    The clear danger is that these last two volumes - and some would include the 7th - are degrading Rav Moshe' legacy

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  11. R. Eidensohn: So it is clear from what you just described, that the posthumous Vol's 8 and 9 are not as authoritative as the original 7 volumes published by Rav Moshe during his lifetime.

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  12. Dovid said...

    R. Eidensohn: So it is clear from what you just described, that the posthumous Vol's 8 and 9 are not as authoritative as the original 7 volumes published by Rav Moshe during his lifetime.
    =========================
    Not sure what authoritative means. It is clear that these volume are viewed differently by poskim. One rav told me that where Rav Moshe did not either write the teshuva - but it was transcribed by Mordechai Tendler - one can not make inferences from the language of the teshuva since it is not certain that the teshuva is Rav Moshe's actual language. The fact that Rav Moshe did not actually edit these volumes is also problematic

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  13. R. Eidensohn - thank you for denying Mordecai Tendler the title "Rabbi" in your comment above. Perhaps you are aware the psak of R' Wosner (of Monsey), co-signed by dozens of other rabbonim, stripping him of the right to hold any rabbinic position in klal yisroel. (For the record, I have a copy of the signed psak.)

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  14. Adding to this discussion is the well known fact that MTJ back then and until today davens Shacharis on Shabbos at 9AM.

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  15. 1. This makes absolutely no sense. Rav Moshe never provided context to his earlier Teshuvos either.

    2. Why does having someone explain the Teshuva somehow cast doubt on the Teshuva itself? In the 8th volume, any changes were clearly identified; no one would confuse Rav Moshe’s writing with notes from Rabbi’s Rappaport or Tendler, yet people complained. In this volume, any notes have been inserted as footnotes, and now people complain. Are you truly suggesting that Teshuvos should not be published after a person has died?

    3. Regarding the veracity and authenticity of the Teshuvos: You say that a “rav” told you that “where Rav Moshe did not either write the teshuva - but it was transcribed by Mordechai Tendler - one cannot make inferences from the language of the teshuva since it is not certain that the teshuva is Rav Moshe's actual language.” This is called “piling on.” Believe what you want about Rabbi Tendler, but there has never been any proof that he changed/falsified or even inadvertently changed a Teshuva from Rav Moshe. The fact that “people” say so does not make it true.

    Bottom line: Rav Dovid, Rav Reuven and Rav Moshe Tendler vouch for this volume, as they did for the 8th volume.
    ==========
    1. Rav Moshe edited the earlier volumes and changed the wording. It is hard to belief that teshuvos such as the first one dealing with the time of Magen Avraham would have been published this way by Rav Moshe.
    2. The question is whether to accept the context provided. As you note people i.e., rabbonin and poskim have complained. It is a major question whether unedited teshovos which are open to confusion should be published when they can't be clarified and seem to contradict earlier teshuvos.
    3.This is not piling on. This is stating that when the original response of a posek is paraphrased that you can't make inferences from the particular language used.
    Regarding Mordechai Tendler there is a widespread belief that he said things that he thought Rav Moshe held which are not necessarily what Rav Moshe held.
    Rabbi Rappaport told me that Rav Eliashiv was planning on banning the eighth volume because he felt that there were views expressed that were not Rav Moshe. He met with Rav Eliashiv and showed him that these views were in fact found in the earlier volumes. We see that despite the vouching of Rav Dovid - Rav Eliashiv doubted the validity of the 8th volume.

    Bottom line - it is the perception of Rabbonim that will determine the acceptance of the volumes - not the fact that Rav Moshe's sons and son-in-law vouch for it. It is a fact -that we both are aware of - that there are poskim who question and don't use the later volumes

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  16. the top of my previous comment was sent anonymously. [I don't publish anonymous comments] However since the comment was important I am reply to it.

    The bottom half is my reply.

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  17. The Orech Chaim section contains 50 responsa. In the first he recommends that all shuls follow the timing of the Mogain Avrohom for the recitation of Krias Shma. This is interesting as it seems to be in contrast with his earlier position in Volume I #24 to Rabbi Shalom HaLevi Kugelman. How do we understand or resolve this apparent contradiction? One may view it as a realization by Rav Moshe Feinstein that the pendulum has swung too much in the wrong direction after the publication of Volume I of the Igros Moshe (and not necessarily because of that). Especially, if one views the purported intent of the publication of the Igros Moshe in the first place. Not everyone is in agreement that Rav Moshe meant his Igros Moshe to play the role of say, the Mishna Brurah in halacha. Some would have it that the authorial intent of his halachic magnum opus was to be a running dialogue, a discourse with Torah scholars immersed in a sugyah. If this is the case, then the contradiction is readily resolved utilizing the “pendulum has swung too far” model.

    (Source: http://www.vosizneias.com/90842/2011/09/07/new-york-new-volume-of-igros-moshe-%E2%80%93-an-overview)

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  18. Rael, that explanation doesn't seem to hold much water, as Rav Moshe never chose to publish the most recent responsa in Vol. 9. So it would appear implausible he intended to swing the pendulum the other way without publishing the teshuva supposedly doing so.

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  19. to mr. anonymous - if you want your comments accepted on this blog please chose a name other than anonymous.

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  20. this was sent anonymously - future anonymous comments will be deleted
    ==========================
    Anymous wrote:
    I simply do not understand what your concern is. Rav Moshe did not write Teshuvos so that anyone could look in the Sefer and Pasken from them. Each Teshuva was highly individualized.

    1. With specific attention to your criticism of including the Teshuva about Shitas MA – there are many Teshuvos from Rav Moshe that seemingly contradict each other at first, yet upon deeper analysis don’t contradict each other at all.

    2.Are you suggesting that nothing ever be published posthumously? If so, many of Rav Shneir Zalman of Liady’s works would have been lost, as would many of Rav Kook’s seforim and a myriad amount of other Seforim we have today.

    3. You didn’t address my point. I said there has never been any proof, at all, that R. Mordecai Tendler ever knowingly or inadvertently falsified/modified anything from Rav Moshe. I do not believe your story about R. Eliyashiv for two reasons. First, if indeed R. Eliyashiv did have a concern, he surely could have contacted R. Dovid Feinstein, with whom he has signed many joint proclamations. Any specific Teshuva could surely have been addressed. To say that he would have banned the Sefer without even talking to R. Dovid Feinstein is simply hard to believe. Secondly, it is possible that people raised objections to the 8th chelek to R. Eliyashiv and that R. Rappaport went to meet with him. Either way, the fact is that that R. Eliyashiv (according to you) no longer doubted the validity of the 8th chelek.

    The bottom line is that the perception of competent and unbiased Rabbonim will determine if this volume is accepted. Clearly your are biased in that you cannot even bring yourself to use the title of “Rabbi” before R. Mordecai Tendler’s name. The fact is that this volume has the Haskomo of Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Reuven Feinstein and Rav Moshe Dovid Tendler. You only seem to quopte R. Dovid to your benefit. When it comes to questioning the authenticity of Teshuvos, then you can quote something from R. Dovid which seems to support your position. But when it’s not convenient, you simply brush R. Dovid to the side.

    Until you can come up with something better than innuendo and mean spirited insinuations, and maybe even get a quote from someone other than “a rav” your post was simple Motzei Shem Ra.

    When the debate about whether to invade Iraq raged, one Europan leader incredulously asked “are we really going to side with Iraq as opposed to the United States?”
    Are we really going to side with anonymous Rabbonim and/or Rabbonim who have clear personal agendas, without any facts, against Rabbis’ Feinstein and Tendler?

    By the way, anyone who seeks the truth, could simply call Rabbi’s Feinstein or Tendler and ask to see a copy of any of the Teshuvos that have been included in any volume (including the 8th volume).

    PS. You published an index to the Igros Moshe - something Rav Moshe did not do in his lifetime. By what basis do you feel that this was ok?

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  21. Anonymous wrote:
    3. You didn’t address my point. I said there has never been any proof, at all, that R. Mordecai Tendler ever knowingly or inadvertently falsified/modified anything from Rav Moshe. I do not believe your story about R. Eliyashiv for two reasons. First, if indeed R. Eliyashiv did have a concern, he surely could have contacted R. Dovid Feinstein, with whom he has signed many joint proclamations. Any specific Teshuva could surely have been addressed. To say that he would have banned the Sefer without even talking to R. Dovid Feinstein is simply hard to believe.
    ========
    So you don't believe that Rabbi Rappaport told me this story - why don't you call him up and ask him. You are saying either I or Rabbi Rappaport is a liar because you can't conceive such a thing happening. Call him up and ask him.

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  22. anymous wrote:

    The bottom line is that the perception of competent and unbiased Rabbonim will determine if this volume is accepted. Clearly your are biased in that you cannot even bring yourself to use the title of “Rabbi” before R. Mordecai Tendler’s name. The fact is that this volume has the Haskomo of Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Reuven Feinstein and Rav Moshe Dovid Tendler. You only seem to quopte R. Dovid to your benefit. When it comes to questioning the authenticity of Teshuvos, then you can quote something from R. Dovid which seems to support your position. But when it’s not convenient, you simply brush R. Dovid to the side.
    ==========
    You are either naive or deliberately ignoring reality. I did not say that Mordechai Tendler forged or inacccurately represented Rav Moshe's view - I did take note that it widely perceived that way by important rabbis and poskim. More than one rav has described the 7th volume to me as Igros Mordechai.

    When I bought this volume, the customer next to me commented "who says this volume is genuine. Why is it first coming out after all these years." If you read the introduction of the new volume you will say that they are aware of the issue.

    So acting insulted etc simply ignornes the facts. You are simply shooting the messenger - and avoiding reality than many talmidei chachomim are suspicious of the 7th 8th and 9th volumes.

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  23. Anymous wrote

    By the way, anyone who seeks the truth, could simply call Rabbi’s Feinstein or Tendler and ask to see a copy of any of the Teshuvos that have been included in any volume (including the 8th volume).
    ===========
    you are naive - not every teshuva is in writing. Rav Moshe himself noted this in the Igros Moshe.

    If it is so easy to get copies you might call up Rav Dovid Feinstein and ask for a copy of the teshuva criticizing an individual who had written the first index to the Igros Moshe and summarized it in English. You will notice a disparity between what is in Rav Moshe's handwriting and what was published in Igros Moshe. Rav Moshe deleted a key phrase that was in handwritten response that has very important halachic significance.

    Thus we know that not everything that Rav Moshe wrote did he want published and those things that he wanted published - he edited them carefully.

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  24. anonymous wrote:

    PS. You published an index to the Igros Moshe - something Rav Moshe did not do in his lifetime. By what basis do you feel that this was ok?

    ===============
    First of all the index does not have anything to do with content. It is just a tool to make it easier to find the material - not telling what the material is or what its significance.

    Secondly if you speak with Rav Shmuel Fuerst in Chicago - he will tell you that he had been working on an index to the Igros Moshe (never completed and unrelated to my previous comment) and that Rav Moshe knew about it and approved the idea.

    ReplyDelete

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