Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chareidi world continues to self-destruct

Behadrey Haredim (Hebrew)    See Rabbi Grylak's problematic editorial  Behadrey Haredim (English)

Avrechim must sign: pledge to abide by Gedolei Yisroel    
The Litvishe sector split saga continues, as after yeshiva students who voted 'Etz' were thrown out of kollelim, as well as the order of Hagaon R' Chaim Kanievsky to fire melamdim who voted 'Etz', comes the next step, designed to completely differentiate the voters of Etz and subscribers of Hapeles from the Litvishe community.

After a series of consultations, the heads of the large kollelim initiated a version which every avreich will be asked to sign, in which he undertakes not to dispute with Gedolei Yisroel, not to support the controversy, not to bring home the newspaper 'Hapeles' and other writings of mockery of Gedolei Yisroel and to increase respect of Torah.[...]


114 comments :

  1. This will result in a lost generation of Kollel students, but will also lead to more haredim looking for other ways of occupying themselves, Tzahal perhaps, or university?
    Perhaps the Haredi bubble is bursting.

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  2. probably not the first person to think of this term, but IMHO, this is Hashem's response to the frummie cult of "GadolaZara".

    Or as it says at the end of Mesechta Sota, In the end of days, before Moshiach, the world will be so untenable that all anyone will have to rely on is Our Father in heaven ... "Ain lanu al mee lismoche, roq al aveinu shebashemayim"

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  3. אשר פיהם דבר שואOctober 29, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    כל המהרהר אחרי רבו כאילו מהרהר אחרי השכינה . כל ת״ח שאינו נוקם ונוטר כנחש אינו ת״ח I don't see this as a deterioration at all. People want to stand up for the כבוד of these Gedolei Torah. I would as well. I would want to stand up for the כבוד of all the Gedolei Yisrael.

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  4. Perhaps you could explain why you call this "self-destruction" when all it seems to be doing is formalizing something that has been a requirement, specifically unquestioning allegiance to Da'as Torah?

    My question is why this only occurred AFTER the election, rather than prior to it.

    My observation is that it should not be attributed to an act of leadership, but because some yingle happened to walk in to Rav Chaim and posed this question to him, with his friend's video camera recording it for public display.

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  5. Reb Elchonon explained the meaning of the mishneh, we have nobody but HaShem, that is the greatest of the curses, because people stop doing and just despair. We must do, not despair.

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  6. At least they're giving the guys a chance to sell away their souls before being thrown out of kollel.

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  7. When I was in Budapest last year I visited the museum of Nazism and Communism. After World War 2, Hungarian Nazis were demanded to sign a very similar document stating they had erred in following Nazism but would now be faithful Communists. Common ground between Haredi and Communist dictatorship.

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  8. i don't understand why you call it self destruction. aren't the roshei yeshivot following their rabbanim which you said they should be doing?

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    1. Ben this is not simply my view but is that of gedolim and major rabbonim who are horrified about this demand and the extremely negative impact it is making.

      So yes, there are roshei yeshivot who are complying because they are following their rabbeim - but there is significant opposition to it from the top down.

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    2. so what is the opposition to the demand stating - that people, the chareidi world, have to obey the dictates/idea of daas torah but that this particular demand is pushing too hard? don't they get that demands of this sort are simply pushing the idea of daas torah (the way it is expressed today) to its logical extreme?

      are these people, the opposition, saying that those who disobeyed rav kanyevski and rav schteinmann should go unpunished or that the punishment should come from shamayim (as promised in numerous flyers? did i link the one i scanned here http://www.twitpic.com/dif3w1 ?)

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  9. who opposes this motion and do they have the same as stature as rav kanievesky ?

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  10. Rabbi Eidensohn,

    Perhaps you could write a separate post about this one, from all my days in yeshivah I just cannot wrap my head around this one, ok, so everyone agrees to be against and protest the gezeirah of going to the army. Ok, so that's a point of agreement. Everyone agrees that in our community the Torah is primary and the lifeforce of Klal Yisroel. The machlokes is about tactics and how to act כלפי these things. Perhaps we could add that the machlokes is also about the direction of Klal Yisroel and Torah leadership of the party since Rav Shach zatzal was niftar. But again, on the big stuff like Torah and its primacy in our lives there is no disagreement, so we're talking about politics and tactics here. They are not arguing about psak halachah and how to keep hilchos Shabbos (at least not primarily). Politics and tactics and that's deserving of סקילה, no חלק בעולם הבא (that phrase used IS being reported), and being thrown out of yeshivah? I just can't fathom it. So, in EY, has politics become Torah? And if that is so, it's sick. Rav Ovadiah zatzal truly felt that Shas was a way to SAVE Klal Yisroel, be מאחד them, and teach them a level of Torah observance and keep them unified under halachah. I don't see the Ashkenazi machlokes over degel hatorah in the same light, perhaps I'm misinformed, but your title for this post was quite apropos and the reports are literally frightening. Like, with all the Torah leadership, how did we come to this level? It's horrifying. Someone please enlighten me.

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    1. Joseph; Rav Chaim Kanievsky holds that Rav Steinman is the Gadol Hadar and that its disrespecting Kavod HaTorah to fight against him That is why he is fighting so hard against it.

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    2. Politics and tactics and that's deserving of סקילה, no חלק בעולם הבא (that phrase used IS being reported), and being thrown out of yeshivah? I just can't fathom it.

      Honestly, I know very little about what's going on, but it seems that the harsh punishments mentioned are for undermining the efforts of Degel which are the efforts of certain Gedoilei Yisroel. If Rabbi Steinman would be preparing a coffee and someone would come and add salt to ruin the coffee, then we wouldn't say that he is culpable for adding salt to a coffee, but for undermining Rabbi Steinman.

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    3. I'm from north America and I also can't imagine what they are fighting about, though I'm sure they mean it for good. It would be nice for someone to really explain the differences in hashkafa as to what the machlokes is about.

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    4. Avf and Katche-lab,

      I hear what you are both saying and appreciate the feedback, but avf, if you pick a different leader (Rav Shmuel Auerbach shlita), another Gadol B'Yisroel, that is in essence "disrespecting" the reigning leader (Rav Aharon Leib Shteinmann shlita) and how then can there ever be a difference of opinion because the second opinion is automatically "disrespecting" the first. The answer is that I disagree with the assumption, if someone feels someone who is a well respected talmid chochom and Gadol, assuming that person is a "better" leader is not called "disrespecting" the reigning outstanding talmid chochom and Gadol. And katche-lab, to your mashal, that's exactly what I don't understand, political parties are like coffee, THEY ARE NOT TORAH!

      Based upon your mashal, I find it hard to believe that Gedolim get involved with what ice cream, pizza, or brand of milk one drinks, and that Daas Torah does not include that and is CERTAINLY not interested in that. Although I do remember once that Rav Avrohom Birnbaum (I think that's his name), who is a great writer for the Yated and others, said that with the proliferation of all these ridiculous "seforim" being published b'shaim Rav Chaim (only to give those crack pots a parnassah) he envisions days when we will see endorsements of Gedolim on pizza shops, clothing stores, and other ridiculous gashmiyus things. "Rav Chaim poskens this is the best pizza..." G-d save us from such morons and that.

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    5. Avf - what does it mean that Reb Aharon Leib is "the" Gadol Hador? Does that mean that Reb Shmuel himself is not ALLOWED to argue with him? If so, pardon how this sounds, but who appointed Reb Chaim to appoint "the" Gadol hador, and who decided that there is only one?

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  11. the government decides to intervene:

    שר החינוך פירון: כוללים שיתנכלו לאברכים על בסיס פוליטי לא יתוקצבו http://bit.ly/1cfZ2o2

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  12. Can we add to this discussion the dishonesty, fraudulent behavior and sheker that occurred in the bet shemesh election "all in the name of Torah and DAAS TORAH"? What is happening to our 'light unto the nation'?

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    1. yoni; it might be in the name of "Torah" but its not in the name of Daas Torah , no Gadol ever said to do this or condoned dishonesty.

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  13. Rav Chaim Knievsky Shlita and Rav Shmuel Aeurbach Shlita are having a Mchlokes L`Shaim Shimayim .The people involved might C"V not be involved L"S .
    Similiar was the Machlokes between Rav Emden ZSAL and Rav Eibshuts ZSAL , which had a destructive impact on Klal Yisroel.

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    1. Not sure about the l'shem shamayim part.
      The machlokes is essentially about who will inherit the title of Gadol hAdor when R' Shteniman shlita reaches 120.
      There was no rivalry between between Moshe and Aharon.

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    2. Eddie - long time no speak! Is your doubt (about the Gedolim's motivation being Leshem Shamayim) based on any actual evidence, or is that your default position regarding Gedolim, until clear proof that they are acting Leshem Shamayim?

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    3. Firstly, Shalom Chaim.

      The Torah states clearly that Tzaddikim can have their views distorted by bribes. Now, political power is one of the greatest bribes of all time. In Israeli scene, it means money, appointing your friends and relatives to high paying city rabbinate jobs, hecsher business etc.

      Next, it is clear that there is no basis for various threats made in this specific dispute about political parties / votes ; e.g. skilah, chayev mavvet etc.
      The Torah has very specific laws for capital punishment. Throwing in one about voting for one guy's party vs. the next is clearly bal tosif.
      Another argument that has been suggested is that Degel was founded by Gedolei Torah, hence any other party is heresy etc. Well, firstly the founder of Degel broke away from Agudah, which was founded by even greater Gedolim a century ago. etc etc.

      But quite apart from which haredi party has allegedly got Divine sanction, there is no issur to vote for Likud, or Shas or any other party you like. And the same goes for Shas , who threaten people who vote elsewhere.
      It is all sheker and corruption, based on money and power.
      Ironic, that the Mishna says "sonneh et harabbaanut" meaning hate power, but these parties simply are in love with power.

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    4. A further point, those who claim that the position of "Gadol HaDor" is being the head of an informal Sanhedrin. In Hilchot Sanhedrin, Rambam disqualifies certain people from holding this position. Kings, because they might distort the calendar for their wars; Kohanim, they might do the same, so that the mikve water is not too cold; very old men because they will be too strict; and a childless person , because he will be too cruel.
      Any resemblance to the current situation is purely coincidental.

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    5. 1. So to summarise, since the Torah warns that "taking bribes" can distort even Tzadikim's reasoning, ipso facto any Tzadik who adopts a position in which there is a perceived benefit to that Tzadik is to be automatically suspected of "sheker and corruption" - regardless of whether that person has an impeccable record of selfless Avodas Hashem for many decades?
      2. If we wish to point to the examples of Moshe and Aharon, who did not argue (as opposed to Shamai and Hillel, who did), was Korach not justified in assuming that Moshe's giving the Kehuna to Aharon was nepotistically motivated?
      3. I want to help you see where avf is coming from. He believes that very great men - although of course not infallible - are able to rise above the pettiness of squabbling for the sake of personal gain. So do I. See Avos Perek 6 for how a person who persistently engages in Torah study is transformed into a higher level of being. This is not theoretical - our history is replete with examples of such men.
      4. Halachically speaking, we know that א"ר אבהו כל המהרהר אחר רבו כאילו מהרהר אחר שכינה שנאמר (במדבר כא, ה) וידבר העם באלהים ובמשה (Sanhedrin 110a). This means that to suspect - not come to a conclusion, but merely suspect - that one's Rebbe is acting inappropriately is a grave sin. And we know from Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 472:5, Y.D 244:10 and Rema) that a Talmid Chacham who is exceptionally great in comparison to his generation has the Halachos of רבו מובהק. I am sure that these criteria are met by the disputants today, who you rather flippantly disregard as being "in it" for money/prestige etc. If you disagree, then show me Talmidei Chachamim greater than these - the Shulchan Aruch's ruling applies in every generation. If you're not sure, then the rule of ספק דאורייתא לחומרא comes into play. Be careful- it's playing with fire (another Mishna in Avos).

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    6. 5. Do you honestly believe that the current Machlokes increases the prestige and honour of those involved? I have yet to meet a person who thinks so. Why do you think that the Gedolim don't realise this, and are motivated by such an absurd idea?
      6. Hyperbole and exaggeration, when employed while speaking to an understanding audience, is a valid and effective tool to convey a message. Nobody thinks that voting for the wrong party ACTUALLY carries a death sentence - they just mean that it is a grave Aveira. Part of me suspects that you already knew that. The Chofetz Chaim Zatsal said that those who sent their children to the secular atheistic schools were violating "do not hand over your children to Molech". This was met with vicious opposition by - nobody, because they realised that he was trying to convey a POINT as opposed to inventing a new Halacha.
      This actually has precedent even in the words of Chazal. Out of many examples, take the Meiri, who writes that Chazal's statement that "it is better to throw oneself into a fiery furnace rather than publically embarrass somebody" - which sounds like a statement of law - is not meant to be taken literally, as embarrassing someone is not one of the cardinal sins, but is rather hyperbolic in nature, and meant to underscore the severity of the transgression. No problem of bal tosif!
      [Rav Ovadia Yosef Zatsal quotes a Rishon who writes this about a certain instance of the phrase "has no portion in the World to Come" in the Gemara. I could supply the source if you like.]
      Come on, Eddie - do you really mean that RCK, RAL and RSA have literally been taking bribes? Of course not - you mean the bribery of accruing benefits and other incentives. And yet you quote the Possuk as if it, too, is referring to such things! Interesting...
      7. Your blanket statement that there is no Issur to vote for "any party you like" is a false one. If you believe that as Jews, we are all responsible for one other's spiritual well-being. The keeping of the Torah and Mitzvos in EY depends to an extent on the religious vs secular nature of the state, which in turn can be positively or negatively affected by the political process - elections, voting etc.

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    7. Like the baal tosif point. why don't the people who make up new halachas consider it? I guess they rely on the idea that to vote for another candidate is shaming a gadol. It is not necessarily intended to shame anyone. it may simply be a difference of opinion as to who the best political candidate would be to run a city.

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    8. How can anyone know if it's lshem shamayim? Isn't it only Hashem Who could possibly know that? Or am I as a jew obligated to make that assumption? If so, why?

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    9. Chaim,

      If you think that it is not possible for gedolei Yisrael to be mistaken about what constitutes disrespect for Torah, look at Maharsh"a's understanding of the final and fatal argument between R. Yochanon and Resh Lakish in Baba Metzia (I think daf 84). And if you think that it is not possible for the egos of great Jewish leaders to get them in trouble, look at the gemara in Perek Cheilek (107a) about how Dovid Hamelech came to be nichshol with Batsheva.

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    10. Mike S,

      Did you read the words "although of course not infallible" in my post? Of course every person has Bechira to make wrong decisions, as the examples you quoted indicate. But this says nothing about the frequency of such decisions, and I assume that you would agree with me that the difference between Tzadikim and the rest of us lies in the fact that their decisions are the right (read: moral) ones much more often. This is why there is an obligation to judge these people favourably and definitely not to criticise them, as is explicit in the Halachic sources I cited (and there are many more which I omitted).
      This may run in the face of the popular notion that anyone is free to express their opinion about anyone else, but that's the Halacha.
      I also feel (and I'm not at all talking about you, just generally) that the people most critical of Gedolei Yisrael are not aware - due to lack of experience - of how a lifetime submerged in Torah and Avoda really DOES change a person. Not only of course in terms of scholarship, but also in the area of morality. I know stories about the people being criticised that demonstrate to me beyond any reasonable doubt how they are WAY above the pettiness of squabbling for personal gain, and this - as well as the Halacha - forces me to evaluate any action they take in a different light. Judging them by other people's standards is not only Ossur (see Rambam on Mishna about judging favourably) but also simply misguided.
      As for Gedolim being mistaken, that is not under discussion at all - even Moshe Rabbeinu made mistakes! Impugning their motives with charges of nepotism etc. is another thing entirely.

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    11. chaim

      everything you write is all well and good. i also don't believe that the rabbis are "in it for some reason".

      however believing that gedolim are simply more capable of coming to the right conclusions wouldn't mean that those who go against said gedolim's directives are sinners. it may mean that a person is stupid or foolish, just like someone who decides to ignore the advice of a world renown medical expert. furthermore, just like said expert can be criticized or questioned (by people who know what they are talking about of course), so too one should be able to question a gadol's decision. and kal v'chomer, if another expert chimes in, that shouldn't be a problem. same too with another gadol.

      that the volume and tones and words being used have gotten to this level shows that the "daas torah" being invoked here is not just "he's a lot smarter than you are" type daas torah (what rav alderstein calls soft daas torah). rather it is a direct result of inflating gedolim. since it is a direct result, i still question why the author of this blog and anyone else is surprised by the demand to sign this form.

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    12. Ben,

      You probably have a much wider definition of "people who know what they are talking about"!

      Your comment "however believing..." seems to indicate that you believe that even in a case where there is consensus among the Gedolim, disobeying their advice is only unwise, but not Ossur. There are many statements of Chazal to the contrary. (See e.g.Brachos 8a and Rashi s.v. הא דכייף ליה.)
      But let me ask you a question. If a person has a question whether the only fruit available to him on Sukkos is an Esrog or a lemon, and he asks a group of world-class botanists and they all tell him it is an Esrog, would you not agree that if he decided to ignore that information and did not take it he would be committing a sin of inaction, not just acting foolishly? So why is not listening to advice from the Gedolim, who are experts in Avodas Hashem, any different?
      Of course anyone can question a world-renowned medical expert, but when push comes to shove, the question is - will he follow that expert's advice or not? If that expert's advice is unchallenged amongst HIS PEERS, then I would submit that to ignore it is not only foolish, but also Ossur. Would you not agree? If so, then I don't understand your Mashal, never mind the Nimshal!

      I would add that we do find numerous statements by Chazal to the effect of "whoever does _ is a sinner and liable to _ punishment", which of course has the unspoken caveat of "if he knows that it is Ossur". There is nothing inherently disagreeable about such a proclamation.

      When there is a Machlokes HaPoskim, however, when the adherents of one Posek have the full right to follow their Rav, things are of course more complicated, but I just wanted to respond to the more general point I think you were making.

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    13. Chaim, you raise a number of impeccable sources.
      Rambam states that a dvar, i.e. a thing is also a bribe. By bribe, we understand it to be an incentive that can skew the clarity or motivation of the Tzaddik or Judge.

      Do I believe that the current Machlokes increases the prestige and honour of those involved? of course not. But you are talking about the result, not the motive. In the same way that the Satmar warfare, or the Ponovezh yeshiva civil war were wars of succession and power influence, so is this one. No religious basis exists or is even purported for this conflict. Since you liek to quote the Shulchan Aruch, does it say anywhere that there can be only 1 newspaper? There isn't even 1 Shulchan Aruch or commentary, so how can there be 1 party, newspaper or Kosher Pizza shop?
      A Dayan in London was once kvetching to me about how the Israeli rabbanut undercuts kashrut prices of the Haredi Hechsherim, and thus takes away income from his community. He didn't realize that this very comment disqualifies him - since he is financially involved in the matter. In economics there are 2 types of competition - price and non-price competition. So the conflict here is essentially non-price competition for a slice of the economy.
      BTW, when you claim that Gedolim and hachamim cannot be suspect of influence, then you are simply denying what the Torah says in Black and white.
      So your argument, couched in learned sources, is really the same as Reform. The only difference is that Reform deny Yetziat Mitzrayim, whilst the kind of argument you bring, is denying the posuk that Tzaddikim can be bribed.
      But they are both heretical statements.

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    14. chayim

      1) when talking about doctors/professors and rabbis, there is of course a difference in how we would relate to an argument. a professor from, i don't know, north new zealand university (whatever) could in theory challenge the world renown expert from harvard, as long as he has evidence to back him up. the velt doesn't really allow some rosh yeshiva, respected as he may be, to challenge the gadol.

      2) when i made my remark about ignoring the doctor's advice being stupid, i meant it in the secular sense. a goy who ignores professor expert's advice is being an idiot. of course it is assur but that wasn't my point.

      3) the other major difference between the doctor analogy and the gadolim is that we, or at least i,limit the areas about which i feel any need to follow the doctor's advice. if the doctor tells me to do treatment X i'll do it. if he tells me to use some sort of fertilizer in my garden, i may very well ignore his advice and not think twice about it.

      so again, if the question is, are the gedolim more capable at reaching the best decision, that has to be limited. no CEO can decide everything and good ones know to say "i don't know, you decide. you understand the issues involved better than i do".

      my basic point is this: the fight going on now between bnei brak and jerusalem is not "rav kanyevsky and rav schteinmann are more capable of making decisions for the chareidi community than rav aurbach."

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    15. Chaim,

      I believe the gemaras I cited (and others like them) are meant to warn leading Talmidei Chacham of things that are particular temptations for the Gedolim. In particular, seeing a disagreement from other scholars as a rebellion against the Torah.

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    16. Ben,

      Reading your comments makes me think that there probably isn't much disagreement between us, rather than perhaps the scope of expertise possessed by the Gedolim. I like discussing the core underlying fundamentals (for which we can look to the sources for clarity) as opposed to dabbling in the nitty-gritty of the present situation - a dispute about which so many details are themselves being constantly disputed! Ascertaining all the relevant facts about who is saying what, to whom, about whom, is very difficult at the moment. But examining the underlying concepts is definitely worthwhile.

      Eddie,

      Not being a constant peruser of Daas Torah, I cannot say for certain that you've hit a new low - perhaps you attack other contributors in a similar way! As per the warning which I ignored, your imperviousness to basic logic and etiquette indicates a rather sinister agenda, one in which vilifying righteous people and institutions seems to be an integral part. Your success in concealing this is in my opinion due to the valid points which you raise (see Rashi Bamidbar 13:27).
      I know that pointing out - yet again - my earlier words, that of course all great men CAN err and be swayed by impure motives, yet that this does not give anyone the right to simply assume that this is the case here (a position I proved to be normative Halacha with sources you ignored) - will not help clarify my position to YOU, but it might help others realise how you ignore details to suit your argument,, and they will be able to view all of your posts in that light.
      I never expected you to concede to any of the valid points I raised - but your daft branding of me as a heretic will be instructive to those who don't know how seriously to take your charges from afar against great men you clearly know nothing about.

      Over and out.

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    17. Mike S,

      I don't disagree with your points - only with what (I perceived as) your misunderstanding of my point.

      Good Shabbos

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    18. Chaim November,

      you quoted "א"ר אבהו כל המהרהר אחר רבו כאילו מהרהר אחר שכינה שנאמר (במדבר כא, ה) וידבר העם באלהים ובמשה (Sanhedrin 110a). "

      How does this help your argument? It actually makes your case worse. First, you are assuming that one of the Rebbes mentioned is my rebbe, but that is not the case. next, how does this particular Gemara help those who have been asked to sign a statement which is effectively doing the precise thing which this statement abhors?

      Also, you make statements about logic - but avoid logic when it doesn't quite agree with your claim.
      If a) a Tzaddik can be bribed, and b) a Sanhedrin can make mistakes, then what good is it saying, as you do, that it is assur to point out that this might be the case? How would a Sanhedrin bring the correct sacrifice for shogegot, if everyone thinks it is assur to tell them they made a mistake or that the facts/truth was concealed from them?
      I am not branding you a heretic, although you are branding me a Rasha.
      I am saying that to claim that a Tzaddik cannot err is a denial of the Torah which says that he can.
      Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it is all l'shem shamayaim, even the insults and the incitement to violence is all l'shem shomayim. If so, then you can tak either side, for it is still l'shem shamayaim.

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    19. Instead of replying to each an every one of your points' let's try an exercise in trust - that is, in building up my trust in your intellectual honesty. What did I write JUST AFTER citing the Gemara in Sanhedrin, and why did you ignore it?

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    20. Chaim - trust is a good exercise:

      In answer to your quesrtion, you wrote as follows:

      "Halachically speaking, we know that א"ר אבהו כל המהרהר אחר רבו כאילו מהרהר אחר שכינה שנאמר (במדבר כא, ה) וידבר העם באלהים ובמשה (Sanhedrin 110a). This means that to suspect - not come to a conclusion, but merely suspect - that one's Rebbe is acting inappropriately is a grave sin. And we know from Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 472:5, Y.D 244:10 and Rema) that a Talmid Chacham who is exceptionally great in comparison to his generation has the Halachos of רבו מובהק. I am sure that these criteria are met by the disputants today, who you rather flippantly disregard as being "in it" for money/prestige etc. If you disagree, then show me Talmidei Chachamim greater than these - the Shulchan Aruch's ruling applies in every generation. If you're not sure, then the rule of ספק דאורייתא לחומרא comes into play. Be careful- it's playing with fire (another Mishna in Avos)."

      Your next question is why did I ignore it? Well, I didn't write an essay refuting all your points - i said quite the opposite - that your sources are good sources.
      The verse in Bamidbar is referring to rejecting a navi, who speaks in the name of Hashem.
      Which point are u asking now, precisely?
      Are you suggesting that Gedolim of Bnei Brak and Jerusalem are Neviim, and speak in the same way as Moshe did?

      Next, since we are trust building - let me ask you a question - which you ignored from my previous post.

      You claim that we have 2 or 3 Moshes. At least 2 Moshes are now in serious dispute, each criticizing the other. According to your sevara, anybody who opposes our Moshes, is opposing G-d. (BTW, in Iran, they call this Mohareb - an enemy of Allah - someone who opposes the Velayat - Daas Koran - of the Ayatollahs).
      So according to your argument, if you take sides in this issue, you become an enemy of G-d, because you have to oppose one gadol or other.
      But dear Chaim, with what nevua do you choose whom to back? You see, you have painted yourself into a lose-lose situation. By your own sevara, you either position you take is going to cost your Olam Haba.
      And about what? which newspaper to read? Which party to vote for?
      Find me in the shulchan aruch or mishneh torah where it says we must follow a particular paper or party.

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    21. My point was and is:

      You wrote:
      "First, you are assuming that one of the Rebbes mentioned is my rebbe, but that is not the case."
      I never assumed any such thing - anybody reading your posts can see that! What I did assume is that you would read the rest of what I wrote - which you quoted so accurately, in which I cite the Shluchan Aruch and other Poskim who extend the Halacha of "one's teacher" to include the great Torah scholars of their generation. Let's leave aside the straw men for now, and focus on this.
      I am happy to reply to your other points, whether in this last post or in your previous one, but the pressing issue for me now is to see whether we can achieve clarity and closure in this point - do you concede that the Halacha is as I have cited it, or am I heretically twisting the words to suit my own ends?
      [If your argument is that the Possuk is only referring to a prophet, not to another teacher, then that is a good question on the Gemara and Poskim, which clearly do not limit this Halacha to prophets - but irrelevant to our discussion, in which I work on the assumption that the Gemara is correct. Do you?]

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    22. It is not heretically anything. I am trying to understand your point.
      If this halacha is designating any and every great scholar as being the teacher of everyone - and I assume this is what you are arguing - so let us accept this to be the case.

      Now, as I already mentioned, this places you and everyone else in a very absurd position. But not us, but also every generation where there has been a dispute - so let us go back to Chazal, where there were very serious disputes, eg when r Akiva was told grass would grow from his face and moshiach still would not come.
      By actually adhering to this understanding, you are burying yourself - figuratively speaking, since both of your rebbes are posulling each other. If you accept both views as valid, which you presumably do, you are meharher both sides. That is a double whammy, since by citing the shulchan aruch you have doubly excluded your own olam haba!

      This is why I think than R' Grylak's position is more wise than DT's.

      DT is saying that one or other must be correct, and since we must follow daas torah, then we should listen , at least to one side or the other.
      But you have not, and DT has not shown how this wil be helpful, since whichever side you take is a double jeopardy.

      R' Grylak's position is not to get involved. And he is obviously thinking of the consequences. Since nobody is on a level to actually express a clear opinion on this.

      But the halacha you cite, does not seem to me to be one that anyone has really adhered to. Rambam would call the Geonim and bunch them with tzedukim. Rambam's opponents would mock Rambam, and compare him to Yochanan, the High priest who changed sides after 90 years.
      Raavad belittled Rambam, with his famous gloss on hilchot teshuva, whilst rambam retorted in his Moreh, mocking Raavad, and comparing his view to that of sabean idolaters.
      need we go on? The Gra mocked Rambam for his accursed philosophy. The Alte rebbe in the Tanya mocked the Gra on his view of the Tzimtzum.
      R Emden and R Eybeschutz.
      R Shach and Lubavitcher rebbe. R Shach and R Soloveitchik. Soloveitchik was clearly a greater Torah scholar than R Shach.

      Now, all of these cases might refute the halacha you cite. But there is an additional problem. The dispute of today, is not one about Judaism. it is about secular matters. this is ironic, since the haredim think everything is Kodesh, but they make totally secular things like political parties and newspapers into religious articles.
      Since there is no religious dispute. there is no halachic dispute. there is no philosophical or theological dispute. It is not about kashrut, about sukka, about Moshiach, or secular studies. It is not about menstrual blood or post natal blood.
      The dispute is a secular dispute.
      there is no religious obligation to take teh dispute seriously, or to get involved or to worry about one side or the other.



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    23. There are a number of errors in the main body of your post - in logic, Torah and history - which I'll avoid commenting on.
      Your last contention - that the dispute is a secular one - is of course an opinion you are entitled to, but is one with which I strongly disagree, as would (as I'm sure you agree) everyone involved in the dispute. I have already given the reasons for my viewpoint in an earlier post.
      In terms of your position, I know that you disagree with much/most of the Chareidi worldview. In your opinion, Torah and politics do not touch, and you therefore deem the Machlokes to be "secular". But in defining the nature of an argument, your opinion is not germane - the motivations of the disputants are, and they - both sides - most definitely see themselves as engaging in a holy struggle, whatever our views are on the subject may be. L'havdil, the debate in the Catholic Church over whether women pastors are acceptable is to me completely trivial, yet it is definitely not a "secular dispute".

      When you muse about whether something may "refute the Halacha" - , I am genuinely sorry, but it is statements such as these that cause the honest reader to doubt your religious convictions. The Halacha is not subject to refutation, period. You can attempt to refute my or anybody else's interpretation of the Halacha, but that is not what you said. Please provide clarity...

      The main point which you are making is that how can we obey the Gemara's law of not being מהרהר אחרי רבו without simultaneously dismissing both views and also losing our Olam HaBo twice in the process - a most distasteful predicament! You therefore choose to adopt Rabbi Grylak's approach over that of DT...
      My answer is as follows. מהרהר אחרי רבו does not mean to have an argument with one's Rebbe (or the Gadol HaDor), whether in terms of Halacha or Hashkafa. This has been commonplace throughout Jewish history. You are surely nuanced enough to understand that you can disagree with someone without disrespecting that person, impugning his motives and vilifying him. To be מהרהר אחרי... means to harbour thoughts of suspicion against a great Torah sage - that he is only interested in money, wealth or is biased in some other way. See Rashi (Breishis 12:10, Shemos 6:1) where the term להרהר אחר... is used in this context of suspecting another of impure motives.
      Somebody who respects both disputants in a Machlokes among Gedolei Yisrael, and realises that they are both acting לשם שמים in their minds, is not included in the מהרהר אחרי רבו category, regardless of who he believes to be correct, or even if he thinks that none are correct. (So none of your cases have relevance.)
      The position I am advocating is not innovative. Rabbi Grylak is (correctly) espousing this very view - for people to be silent and refrain from the mudslinging, which is terribly Ossur. (As for what to do practically, each person should follow their Rov.)

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    24. Well , if there were such serious errors in my arguments, maybe you could have enlightened me.

      but let us look at some of the arguments you bring in the post above:

      1) Since the disputants see themselves as having Holy motives, then the motives must be holy.
      ~~
      There is a double barreled problem here. a) Each disputant sees the other as having impure motives. Thus if both sides are valid, then both sides are wrong. b) Both sides may view their claim as correct. But this does not ipso facto mean it is correct. Or even holy.

      2) The Catholic church on female ministers is not secular, thus neither is this dispute.
      ~~
      This dispute is not about female rabbis, female prayer, WOTW etc. It is about the infallibility and exclusivity of Degel political party.
      The Degel party is not mentioned in any of our Holy books - the TeNakh, Mishnah, Gemara, Zohar, Rishonim, SA, etc. As I mentioned previously, Degel was a breakaway from Agudah. But even Agudah was not Divinely appointed. You have failed to point out what aspect of the dispute is religious. There is no Sanhedrin, and there is no Zaken mamre. there is no death penalty today.

      3) Meharher. You claim you can dispute with a Rav, but not question his motives as being anything other than pure. I demonstrated that many major disputes have suffered from both of these. If rambam says the Geonim had absorbed Zadokite views, that is questioning their motives. If R Emden said Eybeschutz was a Sababtean, that is questioning their motives. If Gra said rambam was swayed by the accursed philosophy, that is questioning his motives. Motives can be subconscious, ie not even aware of them. Presumably you deny all of these cases, as you implied by the alleged errors I made.

      Now, i did not say they are "only interested in money". If that is what I implied, then it is wrong, and i retract such a statement. What i mean is that when somebody gets involved in politics, where money is directly related to votes, seats etc - then as the Torah says, we lose that total objectivity. Thus the irresponsible and i think sinful statements that someone will inherit gehinnom for not voting for party X, can only be due to the Tzaddik being influenced by bribes.

      what i am saying is that the Torah is true, and that G-d knew/knows/ will know more than us - that is why he taught us this. what you are saying, is that no, what the Torah says does not apply to Great rabbis, because they know better than G-d. It is a bit like King Solomon, whom we are told did the same thing - will take foreign wives, multiply, but he is a Gadol enough to not be swayed.

      Now i agree with the final point - it is better not to get involved at all.
      if the discussion was about a split in a Hassidic group about who becomes rebbe, i don't think there would be such an uproar, since those splits are commonplace.

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    25. A final question - which has been asked here, but it is important - what is the Divine mechanism for choosing who is the true leader? with a Navi, we have tests that can establish he is a true navi. As you say, lehavdil, in the catholic church, they have a synod, and they send up whit esmoke, and they choose their pope. But there is no such mechanism in contemporary orthodox Judaism. the only way it is done is by newspapers, pashkevils, gabaim and askanim. This is a war of these forces. It is a batltel between different papers, and gabaim. These gabaim are the biggest crooks of all, who lie to the rabbis, and misrepresent their words. many stories have been exposed of how these characters seek to be powerbrokers and take advantage.
      So you are relying on the lowest and most crooked, who tell you what suits them.

      A few final points to think over:

      * The title is about self destruct, that surely means something.

      * The required document for avrechim to sign, has been opposed by many Gedolim - which means mistrust of the new daas torah.

      * On totally different topic, we have seen accusations here that American Roshei Yeshivas are reshaim, and violating Torah.

      So the problems are greater than you may realise, and more widespread. the age of innocence is over - or perceived innocence. the age of Daas Torah in a single leader is also over. And the age of Litvish unity and dominance is now nearing its end.







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    26. I again ask you to clarify your comments about the Halacha being subject to refutation.

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    27. which has been asked here, but it is important - what is the Divine mechanism for choosing who is the true leader?

      from the latest cross currents (take it or leave it)

      R. Aryeh Finkel (Mir Brachfeld) quoted R’ Chaim Shmuelevitz: “Every generation has gedolim and tzadikim, but not everyone gets to guide the generation. Klal Yisrael has a sense of smell as to who is worthy of that.”

      Read more: http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2013/11/06/guide-to-the-perplexing-one-point-of-view/#ixzz2jwpi4Agp
      Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

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    28. Chaim, please quote exact statement I made.

      Also, look at this:

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/07/italian-religious-order-leader-arrested-camillians

      seems the Catholics have similar problems!

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    29. "Now, all of these cases might refute the halacha you cite."

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    30. Well, virtually any halacha is subject to refutation - if it is found that there was an error , or even if a later BD interprets things differently. There are a range of conditions under which a gezeira of Chazal can be removed - from the very machmir Rambam (greater in number/wisdom) to the very meikil Meiri ( change of circumstances).
      But there are cases where not even a greater wisdom and numberd BD is required, Rambam states that in a time where a takkana is not widely observed, even a simple BD can undo that takkana of chazal. Thus - according to the specific Rambam, today, virtually any BD can remove any takkana of Chazal - since majority of Jews do not keep halacha.

      Then there is the case of horayos / shoggegot. i hardly need to lecture a a learned person such as yourself, Chaim, on this. The Torah has stipulated D'Oraite Korbanot for things that were done in error, ie decisions of Sanhedrin or BD. Since these decisions are ipso facto halachic decisions, then all such decisions are theoretically subject to refutation, if an error can be detected.
      There is the Prophetic statement of Yirmiyahu - "tofsei Torah Lo Tadaooni" where Rashi comments "Sanhedrin"! So a sanhedrin can, and was in this case, a not quite perfect institution, which obviously lacked Daas Torah, or at least Daas Hashem.
      And if you read my sentence that I quoted, i said "might". Might is an imnportant word, since in discussion, you can say might. In halacha pesukah, you say is, or should.

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    31. Your first paragraph contains 2 errors - a small one and a big one.

      The small one: It is true that the Kesef Mishna (Hil. Mamrim 2:7) understands that Rambam's position is that even if most of the congregation accepted a Takana it can nevertheless be rescinded by any subsequent BD if the situation arises that nowadays most of the congregation does not keep that Takana. However, this position is far from unanimous; as the Kesef Mishna himself concedes, Rashi maintains that if at any time most of the congregation accepted a Takana, it can never be rescinded by a smaller BD, even if now only a minority are observing that law. Furthermore, numerous Acharonim point out that contrary to KM, the Rambam's words clearly indicate that he, too, subscribes to Rashi's position - see the Sefer Mafteach (Frenkel edition) at the end of the Halacha.

      Mistake number 2 - your argument was indeed advanced by the second-third generation Reform movement, who reasoned that any Rabbinic legislation can be abolished because people aren't keeping them anyway. Your apparently serious adoption of this logic is worrying to say the least. Do away with all D'Rabanans - and you were comparing ME to the Reform!
      For what it is worth - it is patently obvious that "most of the congregation" refers to the congregation who actually keep the Torah, not people who have simply (wilfully or ignorantly) forsaken the Torah altogether. These people, though technically still Jews, are not considered part of the Jewish people - see Rambam introduction to Perek Chelek, and more specifically in regard to the term ציבור, the explanation of Rabbi J.B. Soloveitchik זצ"ל quoted in ספר ארץ הצבי עמוד קכב. This should anyway be obvious - how can we gauge how difficult a decree is for observant Jews, who are used to the עול מצוות, by taking a look at non-observant Jews, who live with no עול at all?
      I know that you are not Chareidi, but I assumed that you are שומר מצוות, and - coming back to that point about intellectual honesty - let's not pretend that any Rav who is שומר מצוות would give your argument the time of day.
      [You (your argument) remind me of a story about a man who had doubts about Hashem's existence ר"ל, so he was lenient in all doubts, based on the rule of ספק ספיקא!]

      The 2nd half of your piece is factual, but hardly relevant. But that's for another time...

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    32. Chaim, you point out 2 "mistakes" but these are the same point that you disagree on. Furthermore, it is not a mistake that Rambam says this, whether others disagree or reinterpret.
      It is fine to compare one thing or other to reform, it is a form of argumentation.
      It was Rav Kook, who actually said the opposite of what you are saying - ie that TzibooR will always have the Tzaddik, Beinoni, and Rasha.

      You raise a question "how can we gauge how difficult a decree is for observant Jews, who are used to the עול מצוות, by taking a look at non-observant Jews"

      Perhaps it was precisely this Ol that led to the creation of the Haskalah and Reform movements.

      So, now you compare me to an atheist? What a joke.

      Next, you make the radical statement that "These people, though technically still Jews, are not considered part of the Jewish people ". Is that those who do not accept the 13 principles? So what does that say about hareidim who accept kabbalastic theology, which varies with Rambam's theology?
      And what does it say about the 2 warring factions in the hareidi community, who are becoming mutually exclusive?

      I also noticed that you said nothing about Horayot and the Korbanot D'oraita for them. So presumably you do agree that no Sanhedrin is completely infallible?

      But my argument here was not to suggest that we should do away with takkanot wholesale - I was merely pointing out the range of opinions and that there is more power than is generally admitted.




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    33. Chaim,

      I don't see exactly where rambam says non-orthodox Jews are not considered part of the Kehilla. Can you quote it directly?

      He does say: "All Israel have a place in the world to come".
      There was the famous statement of R 'Chaim of Brisk ztl who said a nebuch apikores is still an apikores. Whether that holds in today's world is a different matter. I think the Chazon Ish was more lenient on this issue.

      But thank you for mentioning Chelek, I looked through it quickly and remembered it has some very good ideas. Also, it is important, and relevant to say that these 13 theological principles do not mention voting for a specific party or reading a paper.

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    34. Rambam (Sanhedrin 10:1): When a person believes fully and genuinely in all these 13 principles of faith, he is considered part of the Jewish people and it is obligatory to love him, to have mercy on him and to relate to him according to all the mitzvos that G d has commanded concerning interpersonal relationships of love and brotherhood. And even if he is a sinner because of lust and lack of self control and he will be punished according to his sins - nevertheless he still has Olam HaBah. However, if he questions or doubts any of these principles he is outside the Jewish people and is a denier of the foundation of Judaism. He is labeled a heretic (min, apikorus or cut off at the roots). It is obligatory to hate him and destroy him as it says in Tehilim (139:21) “I hate those who hate G d.”

      Citing the Rambam is not considered a radical view. Rambam doesn't discuss Kabala and is a red herring

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    35. The first sentence in your post that I could make sense of is the second one: "Furthermore, it is not a mistake that Rambam says this, whether others disagree or reinterpret." The word "reinterpret" means to "interpret (something) in a new or different light". Therefore, whenever an ambiguous text lends itself to 2 or more interpretations, each interpretation, even if both are equally valid on their own merits, can be called "reinterpretations" when presented as an alternative to the other. To put it simply, there are 2 valid explanations of what the Rambam means, and to label your Pshat as what he says but mine as merely a reinterpretation is nonsensical and yes, disingenuous.

      "It is fine to compare one thing or other to reform, it is a form of argumentation."
      We'll have to agree to disagree about how to disagree. דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה.

      If you read the Rambam's comments then you'll understand those of Rav Kook, and also how they shed no light on our discussion about completely irreligious Jews who keep nothing whatsoever.

      I fully agree that the yoke of Rabbinic legislation probably contributed to some small degree to the Reform movement - but again, this is irrelevant. From their first conventions the Reformers did away with all laws they didn't like, not differentiating between Min HaTorah and DeRabanan. The spurious logic of claiming that every דרבנן is לא פשטה ברוב הציבור was simply a polemic they employed to befuddle some ignorant members of the Orthodox, and I quoted it in order to show you whose company you are keeping.

      Chazal knew that keeping D'Rabanans would involve difficulty, yet they made decrees anyway. Our job is not to second-guess them - only to obey. Hashem Himself mandated these decrees in the Torah - לא תסור (see Shabbos 23a), and ושמרתם את משמרתי עשו משמרת למשמרתי. I really have no interest in trying to convince you of the legitimacy of Rabbinic Halacha, and I am again disappointed that the core beliefs we share seem to be so few.

      You misunderstood my intention when I spoke about ספק ספיקא - I wasn't comparing you to an atheist ח"ו, just ridiculing your logic (in an appropriate way). I could equally have cited the example of the Yeshiva Bochur who explained that he was allowed to smoke cigarettes without violating ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם - because "I'm מפקיר the lungs first!"

      Yes, the Sanhedrin can make mistakes. That is why I said that what you wrote was factual, just not pertinent.

      Your last remarks have been adequately dealt with by DT.

      Lastly, let me suggest yet again that we try to let go of the straw men. It is only "important and relevant to say that these 13 theological principles do not mention voting for a specific party or reading a paper" if you are arguing with someone who has said that they do.

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    36. Actually, your argumentation is erroneous.

      "For what it is worth - it is patently obvious that "most of the congregation" refers to the congregation who actually keep the Torah, not people who have simply (wilfully or ignorantly) forsaken the Torah altogether. "

      If most of the congregation has stopped keeping one or several d'rabbanans, then you would call them reform/karaites/ or apikorsim, not orthodox.
      However, your forced interpretation of the rambam in question is that the Congregation here refers to Halachic Orthodox only, and nobody else.!
      How can this be the case, if in parallel you are calling these people who stopped keeping d'rabbanans apikorsim, and not real Jews,a nd not part of Israel? This is because your interpretation of rambam is to convoluted, and you don't wish to accept what it is clearly saying.

      " our discussion about completely irreligious Jews who keep nothing whatsoever."

      It seems that this is your discussion with yourself, and not mine. I simply pointed out that Rambam states that some d'rabbanans may lose their practice over time. There are many Jews who are not totally irreligious, and they do kep some things. Some keep tefillin for example. Some keep certain aspects of Shabbat, eg they do not go to work. many keep kosher. So your blanket statement is not descriptive of reality.

      I am not defending reform. If you don't like my modern example, look at Avot DRabbi Nathan, on Adam and Chava, adding to the first Torah - ie making the tree assur to touch.

      It is funny how in once sentence you think up a new insult, and in the next you deny you were insulting me in your previous post.

      Anything that you cannot deny, you deny in a Freudian way, by sayin it is irrelevant or not pertinent. This current discussion began several days when you wanted some clarification of what i mean by refuting halacha. It is not a blank check to refute all halacha - is that how you perceive what I am saying?

      It is very possible that reform had many roots. Some point to Shabbetai zvi; others to Bible criticism. others to haskala, I am only suggesting that certain rabbinic or even later minhagim and chumros could have tipped the balance - eg opposition to secular studies.

      The question of לא תסור is actually a very interesting subject, and i think you missed some very important posts on this blog, especially the one about R Shlomo Fisher, and the acceptance of Halacha.
      Now, RambaN actually disagrees with rambaM on his interpretation of this and asher yorou. So you can tell as many jokes as you like, but the people you claim to follow do not always see it your way.

      The straw men are not straw men. This thread started in the discussion of how political differences are causing terrible machlokes between great Rabbis. And followers of each sides are being called names, not by chilonim or Lapid, but by the rabbis themselves. People are being kicked out of Kollels, not by Lapid, not by Bennet and the Kipa Sruga, but by the Haredi leaders. Now your position is that this is l'shem shomoyim. If that is the case, then so must be the consequences - and that makes my comments highly relevant.




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    37. First things first.

      The Gemara states (Horios 3b and elsewhere) that אין גוזרין גזירה על הצבור אלא א''כ רוב הצבור יכולין לעמוד בה. So we see that an original גזירה is not binding if it is not adopted by most of the ציבור. Since ציבור refers only to religious Jews who generally keep the Halachos, even Rabbinic Halachos, this must mean that a majority of religious Jews did not accept the גזירה. If you ask me: how could religious Jews not accept the גזירה, the answer is simple - a גזירה is only binding if accepted by most people to begin with!
      Now we come to the other case, where the גזירה has already been accepted, and is therefore binding, yet is now subject to abolition (not "refutation", which means to disprove something) by a future Beis Din. The Kesef Mishna maintains that there is a Machlokes between Rashi and Rambam. According to Rashi, the later Beis Din must always be greater in order to change the law; according to the Rambam, if most of the ציבור do not keep the גזירה then any BD can change the law. Many Acharonim disagree with the KM and argue that the Rambam is in agreement with Rashi. Among their reasons is the simple reading of the text of Rambam himself. Here it is (from http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1181853/jewish/Chapter-2.htm, not my own convoluted distortion):

      Sages issued a decree and thought that it spread among the entire Jewish people and the situation remained unchanged for many years. After a long duration of time, another court arose and checked throughout the Jewish community and saw that the observance of this decree had not spread throughout the Jewish community, it has the authority to negate the decree even if it is of lesser stature than the original court in wisdom and in number of adherents.

      Now what does the Rambam mean when he says that "the Sages THOUGHT that the decree spread amongst the entire Jewish people". The clear indication is that in reality it did NOT spread among the entire people, and that it is therefore subject to abolition by a lesser BD. But had the decree indeed been accepted by most of the ציבור, a subsequent situation of widespread laxity in adherence would NOT be grounds to allow any BD to reverse the law. This is the simple reading of the Rambam - there is no convolution here. (I have a possible theory of how KM understood these words, which I can share with you if you want, but it cannot be denied that the simple meaning is as most Acharonim understand them.)

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    38. Now according to the simple explanation of the Rambam, and according to Rashi, your question doesn't get off the ground. According to the KM, however, then acc. to the Rambam one could ask (and I think that you were asking this): how can most of the religious community not be keeping a certain law? If it has already been accepted and is binding, then by definition everyone will be following it, because if they are not then they are not religious Jews!
      The answer to this question is that as the Rambam in Maseches Sanhedrin says, and as Rav Kook says, and as Rav Soloveichik says, and as Chazal say in so many places, אע"פ שחטא ישראל הוא. Sinning because of the temptation of the יצר הרע, while acknowledging that a Halacha is binding, does not affect somebody's state of Jewishness. One who does a sin because of greed, or lust, or laziness, or any other such reason, is a Jew who is a full-fledged member of כלל ישראל. Many people are lax in many עבירות for many reasons. The Gemara says that most people engage in אבק לשון הרע. Unfortunately many people talk during Chazaras HaShatz and engage in Machlokes and do all sorts of wrongdoings - but these people do not reject the Halachos, they are just struggling (or they err in thinking that the Halacha doesn't apply to this case - see Chafetz Chaim in his introduction).
      So if BD see that for these reasons, most religious people are not keeping a certain גזירה, then acc. to KM acc. to Rambam, they would be able to change the Halacha IFTHEY SAW FIT. (Obviously Chazal did not see fit to relax the restrictions of אבק לשון הרע, regardless of the widespread abuse.) But if a group of people say "we don't agree to the whole institution of איסורים דרבנן and are not going to keep their Halachos" - reform, conservative etc. - then as Rambam and other sources say explicitly, they are no longer considered part of Clal Yisrael, and their actions have no relevance to the BD.

      I never wrote that such Jews "are not considered real Jews" - just that they are not considered part of Clal Yisrael. This is an important distinction which has many ramifications in Halacha and Hashkafa, a few of which are dealt with by Rav Soloveitchik זצ"ל and להבדיל בחל"ח Rav Schachter שליט"א in the Sefer I cited.

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    39. The following addresses the main bulk of your post: While I am prepared to concede that your perpetual inability to understand what I am saying is probably genuine, it may well be that this forum is not the best one to remedy this situation. Speaking face to face would probably be much more useful. What do you think?

      On insults - come on, Eddie, don't quit now! We both know that your skin is probably thicker than mine, and I'm feeling fine. Would you believe that I always try to find a way to convey my ideas in the least insulting way?

      What does the Avos DeRabi Noson show? That one should not invent new Halachos and then say them in Hashem's name, even for the best reasons. The Rambam (Hil. Mamrim 2:9) maintains that if Chazal would claim that their גזירות and תקנות are מן התורה, then they would violate the prohibition of לא תוסיף. Got it. The relevance to איסורים דרבנן, Reform and the current Machlokes eludes me - unless you're referring to hyperbole, which is a valid technique employed by none other than the holy חפץ חיים זצ"ל, as I wrote in a previous post.

      Do I concede that one man's hyperbole could be misinterpreted by ignoramuses as Halachic fact? Absolutely. This is one of the examples of valid concerns which crop up periodically in your writings, with which I strongly agree.

      Thank you for letting me tell as many jokes as I like.

      Also, I never said that your comments aren't relevant - just that they aren't relevant to OUR thread, regardless of what our thread is sewn onto.

      Finally, what is a "consequence LeShem Shamayim" - I thought LeShem Shamayim describes motivations! If a person eats Chametz on Seder night thinking that it is Matzah, would you argue that just as the motivation is LS so ae the consequences? What does that mean?

      Delete
    40. Thank you Chaim, quite a good reply.

      I can only respond to your major points, as i dont have time to cover the 3 posts.

      You write :

      "But if a group of people say "we don't agree to the whole institution of איסורים דרבנן and are not going to keep their Halachos" - reform, conservative etc. - then as Rambam and other sources say explicitly, they are no longer considered part of Clal Yisrael, and their actions have no relevance to the BD. "

      Not sure Rambam agrees with this. Or at least, if they dont agree with a particular Gezeira - he writes

      http://mechon-mamre.org/i/e302n.htm

      יא [ו] הֲרֵי שֶׁגָּזְרוּ בֵּית דִּין גְּזֵרָה, וְדִמּוּ שֶׁרֹב הַצִּבּוּר יְכוּלִין לַעֲמֹד בָּהּ, וְאַחַר שֶׁגָּזְרוּ אוֹתָהּ, פִּקְפְּקוּ הָעָם בָּהּ וְלֹא פָשְׁטָה בְּרֹב הַצִּבּוּר--הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּטֵלָה, וְאֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לָכֹף אֶת הָעָם לָלֶכֶת בָּהּ.

      So, essentially being a Karaite, at least if they complain about the gezeira being too difficult , is totally valid, according to this Rambam. Try getting out of that one :)

      Next, the following halacha says:

      [ז] גָּזְרוּ וְדִמּוּ שֶׁפָּשְׁטָה בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְעָמַד הַדָּבָר כֵּן שָׁנִים רַבּוֹת, וּלְאַחַר זְמָן מְרֻבֶּה עָמַד בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר, וּבָדַק בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָאָה שְׁאֵין אוֹתָהּ הַגְּזֵרָה פּוֹשֶׁטֶת בְּכָל יִשְׂרָאֵל--יֵשׁ לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְבַטְּלָהּ; וְאַפִלּוּ הָיָה פָּחוּת מֵאוֹתוֹ בֵּית דִּין הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּחָכְמָה וּבְמִנְיָן, יֵשׁ לוֹ לְבַטַּל. [ח] וְכָל בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהִתִּיר שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים, אַל יְמַהַר לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר שְׁלִישִׁי


      A gezeira was passed in , say year 25 CE. The Chazal research authority carried out several surveys, and concluded that it was accepted.

      1500 years alter, the same institute carries out a survey, and see it is not so widespread. The reasons could be many.
      Now you are injecting your own reasons why it is no the case in year 1525. But this is your own imagination, and not what rambam says. He is talking about carrying otu surveys, and the findings differ from earleir surveys. This could be for many reasons. he doesn't say that it is only if the same people stopped keeping it - which is a logical absurdity, since they are all dead. Perhaps the majoritykep tit in 25, stopped after Bar Kochba, started in Bavel, stopped in spain, stopped after the inquistion etc. Today's majority is nto the same as 1500 years ago.

      So both of these halachos you have quite eloquently misunderstood.



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    41. regarding l'shem, also Xtians and Moslems are l'shem shomoyim, although they missed the mark by a country mile.

      The irony I was pointing to, which may have slipped your otherwise good attention, is that all the hoo-ha last year about Lapid, about Shmad, about the IDF and the war against Yeshivos - was based on hysteria. The new hysteria is leading to a self made shmad, where good frum talmidim are being kicked out or threatened to be kicked out of Kollels and yeshivas.
      So what is l'shem shamyim really? If the original motivation was so pure, and not distorted, the consequences would also not be so disastrous. but this is a political problem.

      Let me ask you a question:

      what exactly does halacha 6 tell us?

      [ו] הֲרֵי שֶׁגָּזְרוּ בֵּית דִּין גְּזֵרָה, וְדִמּוּ שֶׁרֹב הַצִּבּוּר יְכוּלִין לַעֲמֹד בָּהּ, וְאַחַר שֶׁגָּזְרוּ אוֹתָהּ, פִּקְפְּקוּ הָעָם בָּהּ וְלֹא פָשְׁטָה בְּרֹב הַצִּבּוּר--הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּטֵלָה, וְאֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לָכֹף אֶת הָעָם לָלֶכֶת בָּהּ.

      Why does it matter that a majority can or cannot keep something? What if a minority can't keep it? What if I can't keep it? Why should i care that you can keep something? Do you really think G-d could care less if the it is the majority or minority who are unable to keep a rabbinic law? He said Lo Tosifu. According to rambaN, the Mekubal, there is not Torah obligation to accept D'Rabbanans. This is quite an amazing point of view.
      If you can , then very good, but if others cannot, that doesnt make them outside of klal Yisrael.

      Delete
    42. Did you read what I wrote? If a גזירה has not yet been accepted by most of the congregation then it is not yet binding, in which case those who do not accept it can obviously be religious Jews! That answers your first question.

      Your second question is based on wilfully ignoring the word וְדִמּוּ used by the Rambam, which clearly implies that the BD only THOUGHT that the גזירה was accepted, but in fact it was not. The Rambam is thus explicitly telling us that the grounds for reversing the original decree involve ascertaining that it was NEVER accepted by most of the Tzibbur, and this supports the understanding of most Acharonim of the Rambam. If, as you correctly contend, an investigation 1500 years later would not be able to ascertain this, then the Rambam is TELLING us that such an investigation would not be valid.

      Just because you don't care about the threat to large-scale full-time Torah study in EY because it doesn't feature highly in your value system doesn't mean that those who believe differently are "hysterical".

      Your last paragraph is another example of an "Eddie-cluster" - a group of questions, ranging from the provocative to the nonsensical, which seem to either be the result of confusion or an intent to confuse. I'm often confused as to which it is.

      You can cApitAliSe "Ramban" in however many ways you like - the suggestion that because the Ramban sees לא תסור as not referring to איסורים דרבנן, he ipso facto considers all הלכות דרבנן to not be binding and just in the category of good suggestions (much like "wash behind your ears") - is ludicrous and indeed heretical. The Gemara, whose authority is beyond discussion, is full of statements that involve the terms חייב and אסור in reference to Rabbinic legislation; the Ramban himself comments in hundreds of places on these statements without ever entertaining a thought of "he's not really obligated"/"it's not really forbidden". The Gemara in many places tells us that one who violates Rabbinic Issurim is punished with lashes (מכת מרדות), and sometimes even death. I presume you know that beating up an innocent man is forbidden, and a man who ignores a well-meaning suggestion is innocent in my book. The reasons for why we must listen to Chazal must be explored (ושמרתם את משמרתי), but to suggest that we need not is not treading on dangerous ground - it's rolling about in a minefield.

      Delete
    43. I capitalise RambaN to distinguish between his acronym-sake the rambaM.

      You sir, are still misreading these halachot. But before I go there - it is important to note, Rambam in MT is not writing a philosophical work, but is writing a halachic digest of the Talmuds. So there may be contradictions, because there are differing opinions within Talmud.
      In halacha 6 it says וְאֵינָן רַשָּׁאִין לָכֹף אֶת הָעָם לָלֶכֶת בָּהּ. This contradicts the various statements that you refer to, and also that Rambam makes in the preceding halachot of that sefer. That the BD do not have the right to enforce gezeirot? So, the minefield you refer to , has already been opened up by rambam, not me.

      In the next halacha, it says וּלְאַחַר זְמָן מְרֻבֶּה עָמַד בֵּית דִּין אַחֵר, A different BD arises many years later. the mechanism is not specified. If you want an analogy, there may have been a time when most ashkenazi jews dressed in chassidic style clothing. today that is not the case. It doesnt mean that it never was the case.
      Rambam is not saying the investigation is nto valid, you are simply changing what he says. he is saying the Gezeira may be invalid, or subject to cancellation. thus he calls for moderation - וְכָל בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהִתִּיר שְׁנֵי דְּבָרִים, אַל יְמַהַר לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר שְׁלִישִׁ

      Regarding "the threat to large-scale full-time Torah study in EY", it is precisely the point I was making - there was not threat from Lapid and co. the threat is now emerging from the Gedolim in-fighting, who are threatenign to cut subsidies and boot out avrechim. RAP wrote a post thanking Lapid for unifying Haredim, several months ago. An irony, since now Lapid can thank haredim for carrying out his scheme far more effectively than he ever could!

      Next: Ramban sees לא תסור as not referring to איסורים דרבנן, - I take it you agree that he wrote this?

      I suggest you read this post and the comments, since it is a big discussion

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/rav-shlomo-fisher-halachic-significance.html?

      BTW, ושמרתם את משמרתי, which I have seen Rambam use in is Intro to commentary on the MIshneh, is actually not referring to Rabbinic Law, but to Written law. How can i say this? Because this is how it is used in the Neviim.


      2 מְלָכִים א

      וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת-מִשְׁמֶרֶת
      3 and keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself;

      Now, yes there are threats and punishments for violations in the Gemara. However, Ramban still states his statement. He says that the claim that lo Tasur (made in Ch1 of mamrim) is exaggeration for societal reasons.

      What is the minefield for you? Do you put authority above truth? If your fear is punishment, or being beaten up, then that is distorting your ability to think clearly.
      Ramban is understanding the reasons why we lsitne to Chazal, but he cannot find a convincing Torah source for them. This troubled also R' Wasserman. So the discussion of R Fischer explores this very problem -
      whehter we agree on anythng or not, at least the question is a good question, since it has been dealt with by Gedolim of all ages.






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    44. Another comment i learned recently, was R' Akiva's advice to Rshbi, in Pesachim. He told him to quote a teaching in the name of a big teacher, in order to get it accepted by the masses.
      In other words, the standards of strict truth do not apply when the Rabbis make a statement - perhaps they didnt really hear it from R' X. If they didnt hear it from Rabbi X, perhaps they also didnt hear it from Moses either - they just claim to have done, in order for the doctrine to gain wider acceptance. This is what R Akiva says, regarding making imagine attributions.

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    45. THE RAMBAM'S THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES
      OF JEWISH FAITH

      8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moses.

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    46. Sorry, I already replied to your 2nd post - being puzzled over the apparent non sequiter to what I wrote. I think that DT posted it first, as has happened before. Now, after reading your 1st post, I am bolstered in my belief that the help you need cannot be administered in this forum. Without wanting to insult you, suffice it to say that as long as you remain blissfully unaware of the pervasive עמהארצות which permeates your analyses, you will always be imprisoned in that wonderful place my Rosh Yeshiva called the "גן עדן של שוטים". Many, many people have been cured of this condition, but the patient must always take the first step. On the other side there is difficulty, confusion and unanswered questions - but such is the nature of honest inquiry in the pursuit of truth.

      Now a serious question for Rabbi Eidensohn: Do you think that the "Lashon HaRa Alert" disclaimer should be updated to include an alert against real Apikorsus, due to many of the positions advanced by the posters here - surely this is more serious than לשון הרע? What appears to you and I as nonsensical can nevertheless be a stumbling block for some.

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    47. You can make what declarations you like, it doesnt amount to a hill of kitniot.
      Perhaps you should, once again, avail yourself of the full intro to Helek, rahter than twisting it or relying on stylised bulletpoints that you find in a vernacular siddur:
      e.g.

      The Eighth Fundamental Principle is that the Torah came from God.
      We are to believe that the whole Torah was given us through Moses our Teacher
      entirely from God. When we call the Torah “God’s Word” we speak
      metaphorically. We do not know exactly how it reached us, but only that it came
      to us through Moses who acted like a secretary taking dictation. He wrote down
      the events of the time and the commandments, for which reason he is called
      “Lawgiver.” There is no distinction between a verse of Scripture like “The sons of
      Ham were Cush and Mizraim” (Gen. 10:6), or “His wife’s name was Mehetabel
      and his concubine was Timna” (Gen. 36:39,12), and one like “I am the Lord your
      God, and all are the Torah of God, perfect, pure, holy and true. Anyone who says
      Moses wrote some passages on his own is regarded by our sages as an atheist of
      the worst kind of heretic, because he tries to distinguished essence from accident
      in Torah. Such a heretic claims that some historical passages or stories are trivial
      inventions of Moses and not Divine Revelation. But the sage said that if one
      accepts as revelation the whole Torah with the exception of even one verse, which
      Moses himself and not God composed, he is referred to in the verse, “he has
      shamed the Word of the Lord” (Num. 15:31), and is heretical.


      That is the main part, but there are a few more paragraphs. In any case you earlier admitted that if you claim that d'Rabbanans were given to Moses then you are bal tosif - a hole in which you have now dug yourself into.

      You missed the discussion on Pesachim - it seems to me you are a wannabee talmid chacham, i.e. you know some things but are not an authority. however, your arrogance makes you think you know it all. I do not claim to be a talmid chacham, and if you can disprove anything rationally, i will accept.

      It is interesting that you call me an apikorus, since I am merely quoting Rashi on the advice of R' Akiva. Now it is a genuine question, and several others also raised the same question, that if you can state a teaching in the name of someone you didnt hear it from, then how reliable is your testimony if you state you heard it from Moses?

      As I have already stated, Rambam speaks in philosophical terms. But he also advises his reader to be skeptical on occasion, of what some baalei mesorah say. That is the type of fact that you always evade. He thus says clearly in Issurei Biah, as i have mentioned several times before, that Geonim were giving a Tseduki interpretation of Damei Tehorah. That is a clear contradiction of his rendition of the 8th principle. So are you also suggesting rambam violated his own ikkarim and has lost his place in O'H?
      Or do u not accept something that I say, but since it comes from the rambam, you vent your abuse on me, rather than the rambam, who says that Chachamim cannot force a gezeira on people?

      It seems you fall into the category of someone who wants to be intellectually honest, but when it conflicts wit your concrete beleiefs, some of which are flawed or unreal, then you choose the path of deception and attack.

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    48. # 8 ctd.

      The authoritative commentary on the Torah is also the Word of God. The
      sukkah we build today, or the lulay, shofar, fringes, phylacteries, etc. we use,
      replicate exactly those God showed Moses which Moses faithfully described for
      us. This fundamental principle is taught by the verse: “And Moses said, ‘Thus
      Maimonides Introduction to Perek Helek
      22
      shall you know that then Lord sent me to do all these things, and that they are not
      products of my own mind’” (Num. 16:28).

      This is the commentary on the things obviously needing explanation, eg teffilin, for which no details are given.

      It is not talking about gezeirot, which were judgements made later on.

      As i said, there is machlokes on the exact geder of the authority of Sanhedrin d'oraita - Ramban limits it to this paragraph, whereas RamBaM includes gezeiros, minhagim etc. Now are you calling ramban an apikores too? it seem that way Mr Chaim!

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    49. "you are a wannabee talmid chacham" - right on. I want to be a Talmid Chacham.

      "your arrogance makes you think you know it all" - you are half-right. I AM arrogant. How do you suggest I work on building humility?

      "if you can disprove anything rationally, i will accept." - the history of our discussion shows otherwise.

      Your attacks on me are understandable - you're feeling hurt and angry - but I simply don't see much point in the dialogue any more. I have always held the optimistic view that however flawed and indeed nonsensical a person's arguments are, if he is (1) honest and (2) shown how the underlying principles undermine his position, he will see the light. Without speaking to you in a more direct way, where there can be a real give-and-take rather than simply writing essays to each other, where you are free to pick up on some tangent while ignoring the cogent and germane points of your correspondent, I don't see progress as possible. We live separate lives. You have no idea whether the people who know me consider me to be a Talmid Chacham or a complete ignoramus, and neither do I know that about you. The only thing that we had in common was a desire for the truth, together with a belief that the other also had that desire. There was also, on my part, the unspoken law that we would take all the words of Chazal as true - an assumption which you seem to undermine every now and again. It has gotten to the point when I simply can't even make out a pretence of cogency in your remarks; to be honest, only the insults were mildly interesting (and my sister liked the "hill of kitnios!"

      At any rate, only a real-time dialogue - such as by phone etc. - would hold interest for me now. You claim that I'm only interested in defending my position, and that's what I presently thing about you as well. Here is an opportunity to correct our misconceptions about each other. It's up to you.

      I again repeat my question to Rabbi Eidensohn: what do you do about the views expressed on this blog which do not conform to Torah beliefs? Why does only Loshon Hora bother you?

      Delete
    50. Well, you throw the word honest about quite a lot - but when I press you on some particulars, you consistently evade them.
      I don't mind what you call me, it is rather missing the point. the point, should be, which positions you consider to be "nonsensical" or whatever. Again, you do not argue on position, because you do not wish to attack ramban, meiri, or even some parts of rambam.

      So, the positions I have cited in this last batch of dialogue are:

      a) Ramban / R' Wasserman/ R' Fischer - that in contrast to RambaM, there is not a D'Oraita basis for keeping D'Rabbanan. This is actually so radical, that when i read the essay of R' Fisher, and also the comments of Ramban, i fell of my metaphorical chair. If I had never conversed with you, these issues would still be around, but then, as now, you would completely ignore them.

      b) Rambam states that under certain conditions (where we differ on interpretation) Chazal cannot force us, or Jews if you consider me an alien, to accept their Gezeiros. ANd, also, under certain conditions of laxity or otherwise, a regular BD can annul (perhaps not refute) a gezeira or 2, but preferably not 3.

      c) R Akiva's advice
      Pesachim(112a)
      פסחים קיב.

      אמר לו: אם בקשת ליחנק - היתלה באילן גדול

      רש"י מסכת פסחים דף קיב עמוד א

      אם בקשת ליחנק - לומר דבר שיהיה נשמע לבריות ויקבלו ממך.
      היתלה באילן גדול - אמור בשם אדם גדול.

      brought by Magen Avraham 156


      to tell something in a big name, even if it was actually said by that name.
      The above are not my claims, they are written in the Oral Law which you profess to follow.

      My "innovations", which i do admit, but are logical ,and logic /sevara is not forbidden (except in your yeshivot), are as follows:

      1) If a majority cannot accept a Gezeira, why should the individual care, his acceptance is not contingent upon the majority. If the majority can go without ventolin or aspirin on shabbes, why should the individual give a damn about the majority, it is totally irrelevant to him.

      2) If you can claim that your story was given by The Chazon Ish, but instead you read it in the washington post, then how can the "honest" person rely on anything else you claim? perhaps your claim that you have a family tradition from the Chatam Sofer is equally contrived. Or my hill of kitnios comes from the RIF, if i said that to impress the ladies, or my Rosh Yeshivo, then why should you accept any other tall story i tell?

      These are honest and straightforward questions, whether they ruffle your feathers or not. The same question was actually asked by other users on this site.

      Now, we have come full circle. What you are implying, is that users of this site must sign a declaration, not so different from the one on the top of this page. but that the conditions are they adhere to your view of the world - your truncated 13 principles, your evasion of important gedolim form the ramban down to R Fischer. So anyone who doesnt sign that, would be excluded from posting on here.

      Now, I may be wrong. I may be very wrong - but the issues are more important than whether I adhere to your view or that of your yeshiva.

      i cannot speak for RDE, but I assume you read R Fischers essay, and that you disagree with the Chazon Ish, r Waserman, the Ramban etc?





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    51. Chaim, I appreciate your invitation to talk on the phone, but I prefer to keep some anonimity, in case I get stoned. If R' Aurebach is allegedly subject to s'kila, I certainly will not be spared such an ending.

      But since you like jokes here are one or 2 which tell you a bit about where I came from.
      When I was younger, I got involved in the BT movement. A very nice Gateshead educated rav was telling me hwo open minded his then current yeshiva was, how you can ask any question, and that yeshivos work in the spirit of science, and that the yeshiva is like a university. Now in the yeshiva, the first part was true, that you can ask any question. however, this was just a decoy, because you were expected to accept whatever answer they give. Even is if it totally shekker. The first joke, is that they claim to be misnagdim, and the Gra told R Chaim Volozhiner that sometimes the truth is with the student, and not the Rav. So wananbee misnagdim, but actually chassidim, but without an impressive rebbe.

      The 2nd joke, is a woody allen joke. He says that in the 50s, when they had restriction in the American workplace, agasint Jews, he got a job for a WASP law firm to be the token Jew. he was paid to look Jewish, speak in a jewish accent, read from right to left etc. but eventually, he got kicked out for taking off too many Jewish holidays.

      Now, this is how the Yeshiva system is, and I suspect the haredi world in general. They give very nice marketing about how yeshiva learning is an open intellectual process, and how in the Talmud they were not bashful, and ask any questions , even what we may fins shocking. But when somebody does ask a question, they are called apikorsim, and threatened with various nasty things.

      The application of the Woody Allen joke, is that the Gedolim fought against the Lapid shmad, but in the end, there is an internal shmad agasint entire communities, who are threatened with skilah, with expulsion from yeshivot etc. If you read all the threats going around, it is like one of the prayers on Yom Kippur, with the various al chet. and it is about what, voting for a Haredi Mayor rather than a a tzioni one from a heretical party? Give me a break. read Ramban's writings, Rambam's philosophy, Chasam Sofer, to see what real torah is about.






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    52. I was wondering why my comments on the post "Yaakov hated Leah - a minority view takes it literally" have been ignored by most of the regular commenters. (Besides Ben Waxman who has shown me the respect of not ignoring me) I figured either most simply agree with me and have nothing to add or detract, or what I am saying is regarded with so little value that it was simply ignored. But now I just happened to stumble over this discussion which apparently has been ongoing for quite some time now, and I understand that this is where all the attention is being given.

      I see that the conversation evolved from the issue of how to deal with Meharher Acharei Rabbo kind of issues. In the Heimeshe lingo this is dealt with as follows.
      מ'טאר נישט רעדען אויף א צדיק, מאכט מען עהם קודם אויס צדיק און נאכדעם זאגט מען וואס מ'וויל
      Out of fear of being told the bitter truth, that I'm nothing more than a wannabe Talmid Chacham, I am quick to rather admit to it myself and thereby free myself of having to show sources, as though I am a Baki, but just my simple interpretation of this Halacha. Being Meharher Achar Rabo is compared to being Meharher Acharei Hashechina. If one would be Meharher Acherei Hashechina, as happened in the Possuk וידבר...באלוקים ובמשה, it did not consist of a having a mistake about the greatness of Hashem but rather at the malicious lack of respect or Emunah. In the same way to be Meharher Acharei Rabo would not be talking about a case in which one genuinely isn't sure if his Rebbe is right or wrong, but rather in a malicious and disrespectful attitude toward his Rebbe. The Gemara says אם הרב דומה למלאך יבקשו וכו This means that by the level of The Hasagah of the Talmid, the Rav is like a Malach who cannot err, because the level where the Rebbe has his Nisionos are beyond the level of the Talmid. He is therefore worthy of יבקשו תורה מפיו which means without my considering on my own whether I agree, but accepting מפיו because I don't have the ability to understand at the depth that the Rebbe understands so I can't give an opinion of agreement or disagreement so I accept from the Rebbe. (If there is a Machlokes between 2 Rebbes כמלאכים then there are rules about how this is dealt with, irrelevant to this discussion) If, however, the Talmid does not see the Rebbe to be at this level, not because the Talmid is a Porek Ol, but because he genuinely doesn't see the Rebbe to be at quite that level, that does not constitute Meharher Acharei Rabo.

      As an aside, the Ramchal explains the insults that we sometimes find in the Gemara between Chachamim, as follows. Milchamto Shel Torah is a real Milchama. It is that when someone has a mistake in understanding something of The Torah, it is because of a Chesoron in the Midos, so one points out that the other person is deficient in a particular Midah, which he believes to be the cause of his colleague's mistake. When a simple person witnesses such a Milchama between two מלאכים, whom's Middos are impeccable at the level of the simple person's Hasaga, he can't join either one to insult the other, because for him to do this would be a cheap and malicious insulting of someone greater than him, and it would also be an untrue insult by his standards.

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    53. Katche-lab, thanks for your comments, and I simply haven't seen the comments on other posts recently as I have been in a 1-1 debate on this one.
      The meharher aspect of the debate - i argued is self defeating. The unpleasant war between Yerushalayim, sheyibaneh, and Bnei Brak, involves both sides telling each other to be meharher! Is it possible to say that one gadol is chayev mitah, and yet not be meharher? Or to threaten many talmidim to be meharher, or to lose their stipends and be kicked out of Kollel? So , who exactly is being meharher here?

      Perhaps there is a new category, of being meharher l'shem shomoyim; or iloo v'ilo meharherei....

      Regarding the infallibility of Melachim - that is a very much Chassidic take on things, not a misnagdic one. At least not the old misnagdim.

      let me give an example of what a wannabee Talmid Chocham is. Someone who is so arrogant about his learning, despite him not even knowing all of Talmud, rishonim etc. So one rabbi I knew, had this fixation about having to follow the majority, becasue we have a Sanhedrin today (go figure). He was unaware of the Ritva, that I heard from a Rosh yeshiva, who says if chachamim do not sit together, there is no obligation to follow the majority. Now the rabbi in question would accept that a Rosh yeshiva knows better than him. This is wanna be - based on arrogance, but of low intellectual stature. In other words, if a source that one is unfamiliar with argues differently from one's understanding, that doesn't mean one should attack that source.

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    54. Eddie, I thought I clarified the Meharher aspect of the debate, that Meharher doesn't apply to disqualifying the Rebbe. Meharher applies to being Meharher of the Rebbe when the Talmud admittedly maintains his Rebbe's status and yet is Meharher, similar to what the case would be with Meharher Achar Hashechina.

      The reason I mentioned the quote in Yiddish, which in a somewhat humorous way basically makes my point about Meharher, is to illustrate something. There is a tremendous amount of wisdom in the air, in the culture of Jews who have an old Mesoira, that even a humorous comment reflects it, to those who know how to extract real information from such a folks expression. You and Chaim have embarked on a slow boat to China, which will in fact never get to China, because of the numerous tidal waves encountered on the way, with which everyone will be happy to just survive even if taken off course. And all of the baggage which needs to be taken along for such a journey. I don't think one should have to start from scratch to try to figure out how to deal with a Machlokes of our Rabbis. After all this isn't a new question. You talk about ננס הרוכב על צוארי ענק. So why don't we, at least to begin with, understand how the issue of Meharher was understood over the years, before we begin discussing the possibility that this Halacha was ignored, which is, at the very least, a radical thing to say. My explanation is simple and logical. Otherwise, what then will determine who is the Gadol Hador for the Halacha of Meharher to kick in, the newspapers and Gabaim? as you so clearly stated.

      Regarding the infallibility of Melachim , I believe that the way I have explained it, then when this would be appropriate to apply, would be an acceptable and accepted doctrine among Misnagdim as well. It very much goes along with our previous discussion about the student who argues with Einstein.

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    55. Katche-lab, thanks for your post. Actually I am in agreement with your view on meharher. And you are probably right on the slow-boat to China, i hope it misses the typhoon. I actually think the meharher here is irrelevant and doesn't help anyone. I have have great respect for RSA and R'Shteinman, but in the areas of party politics, I do not accept that their views are from Sinai. Chaim is implying that this constitutes meharher.

      Regarding Einstein, which was a very interesting discussion, I did want to add a point, so thanks for reminding me here.
      The difference between science and - Orthodox Machshavah, or at least haredi machshava (Ramchal not being part of that) - is that in Physics, Einstein became a gadol because he thought up a theory as brilliant as the general and special theories of Relativity. Until then, he was just a talmid , working in a patent office. So a PhD researcher might come up with some new theory or discovery, and get a Nobel prize for it.
      In Haredorthoxy , it is the other way around. A vort is good because of who said it. If it is really good, then it can either a great chiddush, is spoken by a Gadol, or apikorsus, if spoken by a katan or am haaretz. that is why i requested that the issues be discussed not my status.
      Sometimes, the chiddush can be both accepted, and apikorsus - e.g. if someone quotes the ramban as i have done above!

      kol tuv

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    56. Isn't "having a mistake about the greatness of Hashem" essentially a "lack of... Emunah" on some level - such a Emunah in His all-encompassing abilities, which were clearly doubted in the Midbar?

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    57. Eddie - you discovered my plan to release your identity and whereabouts to the Yated Ne'eman and Eida HaChareidis simultaneously!

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    58. Eddie:
      "I have have great respect for RSA and R'Shteinman, but in the areas of party politics, I do not accept that their views are from Sinai. Chaim is implying that this constitutes meharher."

      Chaim (above on this page, speaking to Eddie):

      "My answer is as follows. מהרהר אחרי רבו does not mean to have an argument with one's Rebbe (or the Gadol HaDor), whether in terms of Halacha or Hashkafa. This has been commonplace throughout Jewish history. You are surely nuanced enough to understand that you can disagree with someone without disrespecting that person, impugning his motives and vilifying him. To be מהרהר אחרי... means to harbour thoughts of suspicion against a great Torah sage - that he is only interested in money, wealth or is biased in some other way. See Rashi (Breishis 12:10, Shemos 6:1) where the term להרהר אחר... is used in this context of suspecting another of impure motives.
      Somebody who respects both disputants in a Machlokes among Gedolei Yisrael, and realises that they are both acting לשם שמים in their minds, is not included in the מהרהר אחרי רבו category, regardless of who he believes to be correct, or even if he thinks that none are correct. (So none of your cases have relevance.)"

      Why do you feel that you cannot express your views without misrepresenting mine?

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    59. Chaim, i thought it was Yated and HaPeles, or whatever the warring factions are called!

      "Why do you feel that you cannot express your views without misrepresenting mine?"

      Are we going by your definition of meharher or Katchkes?

      If there were differences between the Gedolim on say, maaser terumah or sheviis, then I don't think there would be this debate here.

      "To be מהרהר אחרי... means to harbour thoughts of suspicion against a great Torah sage - that he is only interested in money, wealth or is biased in some other way."

      we are going round in circles, i already answered this. Once someone gets too involved in politics it can cause some kind of bias,

      I think you have run out of what to say, so you want to debate the same things again!

      One of the Marx brothers, Chico, was a compulsive gambler. But he couldn't always find people to play cards with, so he would have to pay people to play with him! So, perhaps we are too addicted to this discussion, but have run out of things to say. Kol tuv!


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    60. Eddie, I get the feeling that you haven't had much opportunity to have intelligent conversations with intelligent chareidi thinkers. I was somewhat puzzled by your excluding the Ramchal from what you say about haredi machshava, because this implies that you are saying that even the works of Gedoilim have this trait, and I don't remember ever coming across this in any of the Sefarim I learn. I will tell you that from when I was approximately 11, I have been called Apikoires by my classmates and friends numerous times but not by anyone who matters, and today, I am B"H well respected. If you recall, in our first dialogue you said " Before I hear cries of Reform! let me explain what I mean" and my immediate response was "I don't cry Reform, when it isn't due." I think you have a misconception about chareidi thinking. The masses of any group do know know the theology of that group. It is when the philosophy translates itself into outward behaviors, that the simple members have their place. But they will not be able to explain the thinking that is their Shoresh. As the hand does not understand how to signal the hand to move. Only the brain understands that. The hand only moves. It is true that the L'maase outcome of Chareidi thinking produces a more cautious, conservative way of life. It produces fear, which will naturally cause simple folks to cry 'Apikores' when an alien thought is presented, in order to protect them of an unfamiliar though which may perhaps be bad, they can't tell. The L'maase manifestation of the Zionist idea will no doubt have many aspect to which you, as an intelligent person, do not agree and certainly do not adhere. That is why, I want to discuss things with you and not with the Shmendricks in your group.

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    61. Chaim
      Don't worry, I'm quite capable of seeing your position on the matter, but I gathered from Eddie's comments that he isn't convinced whether these Gedoilim's motives are completely pure because there exist the possibility of tremendous negios here. While I don't know if I agree with Eddie on that, and I think more likely that I don't, still, by my understanding, even that would not constitute the Issur of Meharher.

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    62. Eddie, I get the feeling that you haven't had much opportunity to have intelligent conversations with intelligent chareidi thinkers. I was somewhat puzzled by your excluding the Ramchal from what you say about haredi machshava, because this implies that you are saying that even the works of Gedoilim have this trait, and I don't remember ever coming across this in any of the Sefarim I learn. I will tell you that from when I was approximately 11, I have been called Apikoires by my classmates and friends numerous times but not by anyone who matters, and today, I am B"H well respected. If you recall, in our first dialogue you said " Before I hear cries of Reform! let me explain what I mean" and my immediate response was "I don't cry Reform, when it isn't due." I think you have a misconception about chareidi thinking. The masses of any group do know know the theology of that group. It is when the philosophy translates itself into outward behaviors, that the simple members have their place. But they will not be able to explain the thinking that is their Shoresh. As the hand does not understand how to signal the hand to move. Only the brain understands that. The hand only moves. It is true that the L'maase outcome of Chareidi thinking produces a more cautious, conservative way of life. It produces fear, which will naturally cause simple folks to cry 'Apikores' when an alien thought is presented, in order to protect them of an unfamiliar though which may perhaps be bad, they can't tell. The L'maase manifestation of the Zionist idea will no doubt have many aspect to which you, as an intelligent person, do not agree and certainly do not adhere. That is why, I want to discuss things with you and not with the Shmendricks in your group.

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    63. Kol Tuv Eddie - Hatzlocho Gedola in your search for the truth.

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    64. Katche, it is difficult to speak of Hareidi in terms of 400 years ago or 1000 years ago. Was Rambam the Modern O of his day, and his opponents haredi?

      My i mentioned Ramchal, was that the comment he made in the Derech Tevunot, that I mentioned, i.e. that we judge a saying not by who says it, but by whether it makes sense to our intellect - which is conceptually the opposite of the Yated / we have the only Daas Torah/ your left is right etc world.
      In science, which we enjoyed discussing, they also have this method. A professor of Chemistry, Israeli, but was at Harvard, made a discovery about crystal shapes, which was "apikorsus" to the received wisdom and theories. His colleagues at Harvard said he was a "shaigetz" of science. Ultimately he proved himself and won a Nobel prize. So he was going by the Ramchal in question, not by Yated Neeman.

      The Tzioni/Satmar debate, which we have until now agreed to avoid, is complex. I think it is dangerous to have a Hassidic adualtion of a rebbe, whether Rav Kook or the Satmar rav. I have criticisms of both, even though i am obviously closer to rav Kook.
      R Kook once said he would rather err by giving someone the benefit of the doubt (hessed) than err by wrongly accusing someone of being a rosho (gevurah). I would say , in general, that the other end of the hareidi spectrum do the opposite. And both positions have their dangers.
      I believe that the recent posts on Loshon hara and the Chofetz Chaim, are actually dealing with this issue.

      My main critique of Satmar, is the elevation of the 3 shavuot into new ikkarim - which is virtually a new religion. The Brisker Rov, R' Sonenfeld lived in Eretz hakodesh, and Brisk do not leave, whereas Satmar do not have such a problem. So I don't mind if you are sceptical of the entire Zioni enterprise, and you can divorce yourself from it totally like Brisk, and only use $ and not Shekels. Even when you buy cigarettes at BenGurion airport!
      In a paradoxical way, I love Brisk more than any other current group, because they are sharp and lomdish - although this is bounded. Obviously i disagree with their views on the rabbanut, but that's a different story.
      So paradoxically, Rav Goren ztl and the brisker derech were the greatest, or most open minded of recent years.
      I have a theory, or claim - and that is as follows: what was the the first commentary on the Torah? My answer was Sefer Yehoshua. then Sefer Shoftim. etc. There is an internal logic of the Torah, which is often neglected. it sometimes conflicts with how we understand things today. But the brave soul has to be aware of these as well.
      So I gave an example with Chaim, of a commentary on the Torah - where ushmartem mishmartai , in Sefer Malachim 1, is actually referring to Torah Shebikhtav.
      I try to choose my controversial statements carefully, where I have a good source to rely on - and TeNach is about the best source there is. Also the Chatam Sofer.

      Kol tuve

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    65. Eddie'
      Again, I reiterate. This is not a difference between Hareidi machshava and scientific method. Maybe the way you called it orthodox machshava, your statement would be true, with orthodox meaning the norms widely accepted by the masses, as the majority of people are not independent thinkers, and thus not true scholars, and therefore orthodox machshava does not really represent the true chareidi machshava. I would not put Ramchal on one side of the coin and Yated on the other, because Yated is not a Man D'amar. It's not a scholarly work. It's merely a newspaper full of Propaganda and Shtusim, written by the people, for the people - people meaning simpletons not shcolars. It doesn't, IMHO, represent intelligent chareidi thinking, but rather, it's manifestation away from the Olam Hamachshava and into the Olam Hamaaseh, where machshave isn't understood. I repeat "The masses of any group do not know the theology of that group" So what the 'people' of any group call heresy and cry 'Apikores', does not represent the 'Mind' of that group. Now you admit that this happens in the scientific community as well. So we shouldn't be presenting this difference in thinking methods as a difference between science and Chareidi Machshava, but rather as the difference between the scholars of any group and the simpletons of that same same group - לפלוג ולתני בדידה.

      I think(hope) we have narrowed or closed this gap, so now we move on to your next point.

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    66. About the danger of 'The Chassidic adulation of a Rebbe' First of all I repeat an earlier response of mine to you.

      "Eddie
      Sadly I think I have to agree with you about the end of the era of Gedolim. The Satmar Rav z"l(R' Yoel) clearly said this that there no longer is any real reliable leadership and every individual must follow his own feeling of right and wrong.

      This Shita can potentially lead to warlike behavior, stemming from the fact that people can be Mevatel any Gadol who holds different from them, as he is, in fact, not a reliable Gadol.

      Or this Shita can allow people to act peacefully and not feel that they need to fight relentlessly to support their Gadol because he's not really a Gadol anyway.

      If we follow our own conscience and our own sense of right and wrong we will not fight viciously to support the statements of or Gedolim.

      The problem is that some people have no Middos and no sense of decency to go by. They need someone to follow and rely upon. They will need to choose a "Gadol" even in our times. As the Rambam explains the Mishna עשה' לך רב' to mean even if he isn't worthy to be your Rebbe. But anyone who has sense and Middos should not join the fight."

      Here in the last paragraph I explained that people who have no sense of their own of right and wrong, need to blindly follow someone. That would not be so bad in and of itself. See Chinuch on the mitzva of Som Tasum Alecha Melech. He says any leader, even imperfect, to keep order is better than none. I assure for many people, if they would use their own sense, it would not be an advantage over following their Rebbe. On the other hand, those people who do have good sense, should not ignore their own sense, and, in fact they don't. Unless the Rebbe is Domeh L'malach. (About Domeh L'malach, I ask you to look over again my explanation thereof, and I don't see why you shouldn't agree)There is only one problem, that someone might deceive himself to believe that his Rebbe is Domeh L'malach, when in fact, he is not worthy of quite that distinction. You will say that this problem exists with the Chassidim because it manifested itself from the original and true application of Rav Domeh L'malach and was wrongly applied by the masses. To this I say,
      ישרים דרכי ד' וצדיקים...ופושעים....
      The alternative would be to have no proper Hachna'ah to the True Gedoilim and even to Rishonim and even Chaza"l, as I already accused the Modern Orthodox community, in our earlier discussion - the one which included the mention of Einstein. Please look that over again too. I was under the impression that we narrowed that gap already.

      The next point, being your main critique of Satmar, I don't feel we are ready to touch. Not until all of the above has been cleaned up and clarified. All of the above includes our earlier discussions as well, specifically the one in which I explained the underlying mentality that goes along with each of these ideologies. I would like to first narrow the gap as much as we can on the issue of which of these two approaches should be adopted.

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    67. This Shita can potentially lead to warlike behavior, stemming from the fact that people can be Mevatel any Gadol who holds different from them, as he is, in fact, not a reliable Gadol.

      the warlike behavior has been coming from those who believe in daat torah, not those who do not believe.

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    68. There is warlike behavior coming from all camps, stemming from those individuals who have no Middos. Don't you agree that if someone has no Middos, he would be better not using his own instinct, but rather following someone else's judgment?

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    69. Sorry, Katche, I cant find the post you refer to [MO /Einstein], and I don't know what you accuse MO of. Did you know that I did a lot of accusing of Haredi leaders, but I am not in the mood for repeating that whole spiel.
      So let's try a simple one - those who were offered visas to escape Europe, eg the case of a Tzioni Rav , Tzemach Warhaftic, who brought visas to many Yeshivas, but they all turned him down, because they didnt like the idea of having an agricultural yeshiva in Israel (in order get the visas).
      SO, are u suggesting these Gedolim, who were great in halacha, were like malachim, or were too blinded by their own ideology?

      Next, i am not sure you really understand Science well enough to say Hareidi machshava is like scientific method. Alternatively, i don't understand hareidi machshava well enough to see your point.

      This business about malachim is also a joke - although you also point out that people can be misled.

      I don't know which gaps you claim are being closed, but I am interested to find out. Rav Kook, for example, was to many people a malach. Gedolim were amazed by his greatness. Now, i personally, am not too much into some of his ideas, which are a bit too extreme, but I like what he says about zionism. However, as you speak about middos, peopel were very abusive towards him. Even the satmar rav mocked him. With due respect, I dont think the Satmar Rebbe was on the level of Rav Kook. Now, I used to daven with Lubavitch, so i know how chassidim feel about their rebbe.
      it is possible to disagree, eg Satmar rav can disagree with R Feinstein, as can Lubavitcher; they can disagree with each other etc.
      But, as an illustration, the Ohr sameach, R Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, was a Zionist. He celebrated the balfour declaration, and said the oaths are no longer valid (if they ever were).

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    70. If you want to talk scientific method - i raised a point with Chaim, but he evaded me. Now according to rabbinic law, you are not allowed to take medicine on shabbes, because u may come to grind herbs. Thsi is still the case today, even with pills. One needs to get a heter from a Rav in order to take pills.

      If you want to be a scientist, you have to say:

      a) What Divine right did Chazal have to institute this issur?

      b) what relevance does it have today, since most meds are in pill or liquid, or compressed gas.

      c) Why do i need to ask a rav about a pill i need to take, it is none of his business. And furthermore, eh has negios in the matter. What negios? he has his perceived Olam haba; he has his reputation to think about, and since being machmir is all the rage, then he is not interested in me, in the Torah, in G-d, or in emes. he has negios, and self interest.

      d) The law should be abolished since it is no longer relevant.

      e) the issue of "majority" has no scientific meaning in this case. whether the majority can abide by it or not, i couldn't care less, and it doesn't change my situation. So the rule is irrational.

      There is a to-and-fro in haredi, and MO, about whehter rabbinci law is from Sinai or not. On the one hand , you can cite rambam who says if you say it is, then it is bal tosif. On the other, he himself writes that gezeiros, takkanos, and minhagim were all subsumed under asher yoro.

      Actually, scientifically speaking, and ramabNically speaking - the pasuk is referring a situation where we cannot resolve our dispute about property or kashrus locally, so we go the the Sanhedrin, or to the Lishkat Gazit. it is not saying anything about rabbinic additions, that is am misreading of the pasuk, and Rambam was great in everything, with the exception of Bible exegesis.

      Another example . whilst Sadducess/Karaites, claimed that we cannot light a fire on a weekday, to let it burn itself over shabbes, the rabbis did the same thing in another area. I don't knwo the source of this, if it is Kabbalah or from the Gemara - but cutting nails on Friday is forbidden - because they will grow on Shabbes! They use the same logic as the Tsedukim.
      Again, if you think logically, you will see the absurdity and hypocrisy of that statement.

      Since, I dont think any hareidi rav will agree with either analysis of mine, then it is very difficult to say Haredi machshava is the same as Scientific machshava.

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    71. Eddie
      Before we continue this debate, I wish to know if we can agree to some ground rules. I don't want to waste my time going in circles. In my Chareidi way of learning, I like to keep track of what is being said - which points have already been agreed, completely or partially, and which have been accepted as being irreconcilable or thus far not reconciled. I also like to know, at any given point, in which issue we are aiming to gain clarity. We will never reach the point of building the third floor if as soon as we finish the second floor, the first floor collapses. The reason I am coming with this now, is that I find that the answers I need to give here in many of the points you make, are things which I have already clearly explained, and some of these things you even seemed to agree with, and now it's as though we never had the discussion.

      The post I refer to [MO /Einstein] is: Sunday, November 3, 2013
      Rav Sternbuch: Bishul akum based on Jewish status on Israeli i.d. card
      In this post, although I didn't openly say that I mean to criticise the MO, the discussion was about MO type of machshava, and I have given 2 reasons(each applicable differently) why this approach to Limud Hatorah is faulty. One was the distinction between Science, which is working from bottom upwards, and Torah L'havdil is the opposite. The other was that practically as a beginner would be a fool to argue with an expert, so would a modern day scholar be a fool to argue with a Rishon. I quoted אם ראשונים...
      Next, I am unfamiliar with the story of Tzemach Warhaftig, but if it is as you say, then unless these Gedolim viewed an agricultural Yeshiva as a יהרג ואל יעבר, they were wrong. This has no bearing on what I wrote about Malachim. This is what I wrote.
      "The Gemara says אם הרב דומה למלאך יבקשו וכו This means that by the level of The Hasagah of the Talmid, the Rav is like a Malach who cannot err, because the level where the Rebbe has his Nisionos are beyond the level of the Talmid. He is therefore worthy of יבקשו תורה מפיו which means without my considering on my own whether I agree, but accepting מפיו because I don't have the ability to understand at the depth that the Rebbe understands so I can't give an opinion of agreement or disagreement so I accept from the Rebbe. (If there is a Machlokes between 2 Rebbes כמלאכים then there are rules about how this is dealt with, irrelevant to this discussion) If, however, the Talmid does not see the Rebbe to be at this level, not because the Talmid is a Porek Ol, but because he genuinely doesn't see the Rebbe to be at quite that level, that does not constitute Meharher Acharei Rabo."
      Next, I didn't say "Hareidi machshava is like scientific method."
      I said about a particular diference you were trying to point out, that "This is not a difference between Hareidi machshava and scientific method."
      The gaps were about who may argue against who - again the earlier mentioned discussion

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    72. About Shechikas Samonim, you say that this is still the case today. This is debatable. See K'tzos Hashulchan 134,7,2. The general consensus, however, is that it does in fact apply today, because of the rule about nullifying a G'zeirah, which is also discussed in the source I mention, as well as other sources. I don't see why you are turning this into a debate between Chareidi and Non Chareidi.
      You say " One needs to get a heter from a Rav in order to take pills." This statement makes no dense to me. One needs to see if the Halacha offers a Heter. If he doesn't know how to find out on his own, he needs to ask a rabbi, the same way a person who doesn't know how to fix the leak needs to call the plumber, not because the law requires it.
      Your points
      a)Is this a question or a statement of protest? If a question, we can have this discussion when we're up to that. If a statement, then we need to go back to the discussion of who may argue against who, and fill some gaps.
      b)admittedly a legitimate question
      c)Why do I need to go to the doctor and take my clothes off to show him the wound? It's none of his business! The answer is you don't unless you happen not to know medicine, in which case I'm afraid you have no choice. If you don't trust him to answer you honesty, or if you think this doctor is a quack, find another. If you can't, I'm so sorry to hear that. How is this relevant to our discussion?
      d)Don't speak with such certainty. I already said it is a legitimate question, but since when do you have the final word on this?
      e)I haven't been a party to that conversation so I'm not sure what your point is.

      Whether Rabbinical law is from Sinai or not is a very interesting subject, and that's all it is. If anyone is planning to come up with an argument that says we don't need to adhere to them Chas V'sholom, and he thinks he is in the league to argue against them, please let me know, because I have enough to say to convince ANYONE (with integrity) otherwise.

      The statement you make "Rambam was great in everything, with the exception of Bible exegesis." disturbes me very much, for reasons similar to those we have been discussing.

      The issue of cutting nails, I think you misunderstand. The prohibition is against cutting on THURSDAY. The reason is not as you seem to understand, but that when nauls are cut, they maintain the fresh cut look for some time, and then they look like they're beginning to grow back. If one cuts in Thursday, it begins seeming to grow back on Shabbos, so since we cut our nails in honor of Shabbos, it would be showing a degree of disrespect to make the growing back process kick in Davka ON Shabbos, like someone who gets all dressed up for a party on Friday such that by the time Shabbos come he's getting all messy, thus giving more importance to Friday than to Shabbos. The way you understood this rule, you're correct to be puzzled by it, but if that is how you understood the words of our sages, how could you have spoken about them in such a derogatory way? Even you would agree that they were at the very least not Chelmites.

      So the question is, will we get organized to a fruitful debate? Who has the time.
      Sorry for the tone in this post. I'm only human.
      Kol Tuv

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    73. katche- i am sorry - perhaps I misunderstood what you meant "So we shouldn't be presenting this difference in thinking methods as a difference between science and Chareidi Machshava, but rather as the difference between the scholars of any group and the simpletons of that same same group " - i seemed to think you implied that Chareidi or even orthodox thinking is like science.
      Now, you quote your attack on MO thinking as being scientific. So I am not clear what you say or know about science.

      There is a philosopher, who claims that the Test for a navi, in the Devarim, is the first written scientific method in history. In other words, 1000 years before Aristotle, the Torah instructs us how to determine if a Navi is a valid or a false one. So are you saying that Hashem, and Moses are MO, and hence you do not accept them, because they think too scientifically for you?
      The Torah tells us, that if we do not know whether or not a Navi or dreamer (implying kabbalist, chassidic rebbe) is true, we should carry out a test on him. What are you saying? you are saying that we are not on the level of the Navi, to test his words. This is your Hareidi machshava. it is also MO machshava. I don't think you really know MO, other than what they taught you in Satmar summer camps.
      After all, you could easily claim that the Rav is like a malach, hence we cannot test him. You could further claim, as does Sifri, that if a rav tells you your left hand is right , and your right is left, you should believe him. Again, this is in violation of the Torah. Even the Talmud Yerushalmi, were shocked at the nonsense brainwashing of this sifri. They rejected it.
      So this is the difference between Scientific approach, and Authoritarian brainwash approach.
      You do not appear to know science well enough when you claim that a beginner, eg a research student, cannot argue with the received tradition. This is precisely how science progresses. Otherwise you would not be able to fly a plane, a doctor would still sue leeches, etc. (and i don't knwo if leeches are mutar or not).
      I am not familiar with the gemara אם הרב דומה למלאך יבקשו וכו, but it seems to me to be aggada, to instill fear into the student. If you take this literally, which I know Chassidim do, but not all misnagdim (although you are wining the battle in destroying misnagdic thought) then it leads to a weird situation of denial of the entire concept of the Torah and Horayos, which has actual korbanot for cases where the Sanhedrin or Judge does err.
      A problem in learning is that people fixate on one idea, without seeing the bigger picture. the bigger picture is that Torah already says that nobody is infallible. This includes Moses, Aharon, David, Shlomo, etc. What Chareidi mindbend does is to create a new religion called Ultra orthodox Judaism, which Chazal rejected, (Horayos is a tractate of both the Yerushalmi and Bavli).

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    74. Ultra Orthodox Judaism, is sheker, because it denies the Torah.
      Now, there is a degree of hypocrisy amongst rabbis, because some will claim in their propaganda speeches that there is no infallibility. However, in reality they adhere to the kind of אם הרב דומה למלאך יבקשו וכו statement you make, and they cannot accept that there was infallibility.

      But I think you are making progress. You let slip out that there is an objective halacha, which even Gedolim cannot bend. This was in your statement "then unless these Gedolim viewed an agricultural Yeshiva as a יהרג ואל יעבר, they were wrong." We can go into a discussion of what is Yehareg v'lo yaavor. I think Satmar said this about moving to Israel, or leaving Europe. or the 3 oaths.

      Also, your analysis of malach - is nice, but is logically flawed. You are saying that if the Talmid does not see his Rav as a malach, it is not meharher. This has many implications.
      a) the objective fallibility of a Rav has nothing to do with the perception of him by his followers. If your rav was Shabetai Zvi, Nathan of Aza, or Lubavitcher Rebbe, all false messiahs/ false prophets, then believing he is a malacha does not change the truth of the situation. In fact this is precisely one of the arguments Lubavitchers bring is that their leader is such a Tzaddik, he cannot be wrong.







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    75. For Samim/medicine - I am pointing out how technology changes the world -
      the question of whether you can grind actual herbs for an illness is not what I am asking - that is a strong halachic quesiton for a Rav. the question is about how things are today. Can an asthmatic carry an inhaler on shabbes, if there isnt an eruv? If I have to take a medicine every day, then why should i not take it on shabbes? And again, look at HaMeiri, the most MO of the rishonim. Today, apart from trendy herbalists such as myself, nobody grinds herbs for medicine. If i have a herbal med, i will make enough portions before shabbes. But the gezeira was specifically to prevent the issur of grinding. So, just like drinking milk does not have a fear that grinding will take place, so if you take an aspirin for a toothache.

      Regarding nails: my analogy was that it is not possible to break shabbes on a Thursday. This was one of the big errors of the karaites, that if u start a process on shabbes, you are breaking shabbes. I don't know if the issur claims that one is mechalel shabbes for cutting on thursday, but if so, in the Divine court after 120, i will say that all malachas are permitted on the 6 days of the week.

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    76. Eddie
      As I read your comments, I am utterly perplexed. How could it be that a seemingly intelligent person, is misinterpreting what I saying, again and again, and presents arguments against me, which have no bearing on what I have said. First I thought that maybe the concepts are deep and as you aren't used to these concepts, you're having a hard time grasping them, so on Shabbos, I presented to a reasonably intelligent young Yeshiva Bochur, my understanding of the Issur of Meharher Achar Rabo, to see how difficult it would be for him to grasp, and in a relative short time, and without much difficulty, I realized that he understood it well. So the big question - Why does Eddie not understand? And as I am reading your argument, it seems as though you merely skimmed through my comment and saw the mention of certain key words and took it for granted that you know what I mean and went ahead with presenting your irrelevant argument against my words. So I wondered why would a intelligent person do this. And then it occurred to me that this approach, of arguing before you understand what has been said, goes well along with the idea that a beginner student is fine to think that he knows better than Einstein and that he can argue, which to me is the epitome of narrow mindedness, but to you is okay. Well why not if you can argue without knowing what was said, then the beginner student who doesn't yet know the material can argue on Einstein. You say that this is the scientific way, because otherwise we wouldn't have planes and modern medical advances. To this I say, although it's wasted because you won't bother trying to understand what I'm saying anyway, but my answer to the point is that such advances, which are aroused by a question that a beginner asks, it is either because the question motivates the student to become more of an expert, or the teacher who truly understands, in a much more real and solidly based way, that it is a good question and needs to be addressed, takes it to the further step. It is true that sometimes even someone who doesn't know much can say something meaningful, but since he doesn't know the subject well, he doesn't really understand the meaningfulness of what he said. He merely stumbles upon it in a way to which the Gemara refers as כסומא בארובה. But if a student who isn't yet well versed thinks he knows better, he is certainly a fool, and even if the question he stumbled upon lead his teachers to great advances, he is destined to remain a fool, because he doesn't really have a thirst for knowledge, as he believes he's as good as the experts even when knows very little. I hope you understood that nowhere here did I say that the student is supposed to think his teachers are infallible. That would be silly. Nobody is infallible. But if he thinks, that because his teachers aren't infallible, therefore that means that he, without knowing anything compared to them, is their equal, it is utter stupidity, and a lack of respect for the knowledge of his teachers and of knowledge in general. You seem to think that since it is broadminded to know that nobody is infallible, it therefore becomes broadminded to totally disrespect great scholars, to the point that anyone is legitimate to argue and even ridicule their words. In my opinion, this is narrow minded thinking. To think that whatever I think in any subject of knowledge, is wise at the level of the wisdom of the experts of that subject, and to, therefore, have no tolerance of anyone else's wisdom, and ridicule it, even when I genuinely don't know. Could there be anything more narrow minded than that?

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    77. You ridiculed and attacked the Halacha of the nail cutting. You did so without even knowing the basic basic of the Halacha, and clearly had no understanding of it's reasoning. How shameful. I explained it. You still don't seem to understand(or you just have a hard time with being מודה על האמת, which is a fault which will truly stop you from understanding things), because what you continue to argue about it makes no sense. If you will say after 120 what you are planning to say, you will be told that you were so clearly explained the reasoning, and you are capable of understanding, so why did you refuse to understand? Melachos are permitted 6 days, and this has nothing to do with not doing Melachos, as I explained quite clearly. We are meant to prepare before Shabbos to bring in the Shabbos in a honorary way. We prepare special delightful food, we clean the house, we wash ourselves to be prepared for the coming of the holy and exalted Shabbos. Part of this preparation is that we should be beginning to get unkempt just as the Shabbos arrives, so we don't make the preparations so far in advance that by the time it's Shabbos it's already partially undone. I already explained this so clearly that even a small child would understand, but not Eddie. I am repeating and further explaining, as I would do to a small and inattentive child, who needs to be told again and again until he will grasp. Admit that this refusal to understand, or the careless assumption that there is no wisdom beside by those whom you choose, is narrow minded, and needs to be reassessed.

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    78. It is interesting to note, however, that while you hold that anyone is qualified to argue with anyone, you find it acceptable to disqualify my argument against the modern orthodox by saying that you don't think I know about MO ... and you disqualify my arguments in general by saying that I do not appear to know science well enough. This logic works for you when you want to use it, but still you find yourself qualified to ridicule the words of the Sifri and countless Torah scholars. You make a broad statement, which put a zillion things, most of which you know nothing about, in a single category. You say 'Ultra Orthodox Judaism is Sheker' What a silly narrow minded statement. What aspect are you referring to? Or do you mean every aspect, in which case you would have had to study all of these things in depth, and I see that getting you to understand just a few concepts of mine is קריעת ים סוף, so how could you deceive yourself into believing that know the whole thing and know better than all of it. Do you know all of the people you are including in this statement? Or do you mean that there are some aspects of some people in the Ultra Orthodox community who have some mistakes which would constitute Sheker. If you mean that, then you've said nothing of any substance. Truthfully, this statement is laden with tremendous שנאה, which has been מקלקל את השורה to get you to say this. You call Rebbes and Kabbalist dreamers. What a unmitigated Chutzpah and stupidity. Which Rebbes and which Kabbalists? Do you mean the Tzanzer Rav Z"L or at this point I wouldn't be shocked if you mean רשב"י. Should we see how much you know of their teachings? You have stated in this single statement that all of the multitudes of students and Rabbis that study their words are less wise than you. How ridiculously narrow minded! Or are you not aware of all of the great minds whom you are ridiculing? So you just make these statements without any basis. You completely ignored my explanation of the concept of Horav Domeh L'malach, but you attack the concept, on the basis of the way you would like to understand it in order to ridicule it. It does not by any means mean to say that the Rav is infallible. You claim that my understanding of Meharher is based on Rav Domeh L'malach. This is a misrepresentation of my words and taking them completely of of context. I had clearly explained that Rav Domeh L'Malach is subjective rather than objective(although I didn't use those exact words), and you go on about the objective fallibility of a Rav, as if that had been what was discussed. I also clearly aid that one can disqualify a Rav, but you may not because you do it without due diligence.

      I am no longer willing to continue this debate with you, because you aren't operating with the degree of honesty that I would require. If you wish to respond to me, you will be left having the last word.

      I do wish you all the best.

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    79. Well: "You call Rebbes and Kabbalist dreamers. What a unmitigated Chutzpah and stupidity."
      You obviously have a hard time in the subject of Torah. The speaks of neviim and dreamers of dreams. The Nevua can come to a navi like Moses, when he is awake, or it can come to a regular navi in his dreams, as is explained by Rambam. So what is the insult here? Kabbalists claim to have revelations from Eliyahu, from maggidim etc. This can be in a meditative state or in a dream. You seem insulted that the Torah would ever ask a question on Rebbes?


      "but still you find yourself qualified to ridicule the words of the Sifri and countless Torah scholars"

      It is called the Yerushalmi, In case you or your child protoge have not heard of it, it is the Talmud Yerushalmi, where they vehemently disagreed with the Sifri. But it seems that not only do they not teach it at your establishment, but they also conceal the very existence of this particular Yerushalmi, since it would be most inconvenient.
      Furthermore, I reiterate the words of Ramchal (who incidentally had revelations of Zohar on further books, eg Koheleth), who says we reject or accept a statement based on its rationality, not on who said it. So if ramchal lends his methodology to me, and you atatck this methodology, then you are also attacking the Ramchal. This is typical of Haredi mentality, but one should not be surprised at all if it comes form satmar.

      The Gra, who was greater than any Hassidic rebbes the 20th century, said that if Ramchal was alive in his day, he would go on foot to Italy to see him.

      I accept your explanation of dome l'malach. I am saying in reality, it doesnt work, and that many still hold their rebbes to be inerrant. If you don't follow my argumentation, then I am sorry. The issue is that the subjective view of a rebbe being dome l'malach is very subjective. 2 people might have different views.

      Regarding the Sifri, the issue is whether the Torah would accept that argument or not. And it also depends on how far u take it. A chassidic Rabbi knew, who was Belz, says that if your rebbe tells you to do the most absurd thing, you should listen to him. And I presume this is how the satmar rebbe hoodwinked his flock to remain in Europe, while he took the Kastner train, and started singing New York, so good they named it twice.

      What you are doing, is denying the Torah, and its mechanism for smoking out a navi sheker. This brainwashing is what the Sifri does. The Yerushalmi smoked out the fallacy of that particular Sifri. So you are projecting your anger at me, since you are ignorant of teh Talmud Yerushalmi, which says precisely what I say. But you don't need a Jerusalem to say it. or at least a rational person doesnt. For an irrational person, such as yourself, even with the Yerusahlmi, you still hold on to your fixations.

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    80. "'Ultra Orthodox Judaism is Sheker' What a silly narrow minded statement. What aspect are you referring to? "

      I am referring to the aspect which claims a Rabbi's statement to be infallible. So the debate is where they say it is or isn't infallible.
      Again, I referred you to the Torah about sacrifices for errors. you may claim that no ultra-orthodox ever say this, and then my statement might not apply. So the debate is whether some people claim that daas torah or such is infallible.

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  14. Rav Daniel: When you say that many Roshei Yeshiva are opposed, is that because they value personal autonomy -- or is it just because they are followers of Eitz?

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  15. There is something about this whole thing that I think you are overlooking. The issue here is one of leadership, not halacha. (That has always been my view of most daas Torah issues -- they are really issues of leadership. That's could be a whole separate discussion.)

    Like it or not, in modern Israel, the kollelim and yeshivos are dependent on government money, which in turn depends on electoral power at the ballot box. That requires concerted action by the group that wants the yeshivas supported. By splitting off and forming another haredi party, those involved are diluting the haredi vote and weakening its ability to obtain the funds from the government.

    For someone in a kollel or yeshiva that accepts government funds to go off and vote for another party while still accepting the largesse gained by the mainstream parties strikes me as both hypocritical and lacking hakoras ha tov. If you think that, say, R. Shmuel Auerbach is a better leader than R. Shteinman, then how can you continue to accept funds that R. Shteinman's party is responsible for? Strikes me as trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

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    1. And having one's lifestyle largely supported by the State, its, taxpayers, and its army, while dehumanizing them at the same time is less hypocritical?

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  16. Like r tsvi y kook who never remarried after his wife died young , so r ahmuel auerbach.
    They are both posul to be cohen gadol.

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    1. And this is relevant to what, exactly? (For that matter, is Rav Auerbach even a Cohen at all?)

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    2. Presumably the Hilchot Sanhedrin, that the Head of the Sanhedrin cannot be childless.

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  17. I didn't write clearly not wanting to touch on such a delicate subject

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  18. Maybe this is not a Machlokes between Gedolim?

    Op-Ed: Gabbaim Wars "The reason why we should not be shocked is because this dispute is not really between the Gedolim, it is between gabbaim – the men that ostensibly speak and issue statements for our Gedolim."

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/General+News/198327/Op-Ed%3A-Gabbaim-Wars-.html

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    1. IMO this is a cop-out answer which is problematic in of itself.

      if the whole system is so corrupt, why in the world is ANYONE adhering to it? how can anyone trust anything coming out of bnei brak if the rabbis are so easily manipulated?

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    2. btw i don't believe the story about the rich donor either. some guy donates a lot of money without getting a receipt, without checking where it goes to? no way.

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  19. if people are still following this thread:

    http://bit.ly/1b8q8ib

    חומרה בחתונה בבני-ברק: מצביע 'עץ' פסול לעדות קידושין

    הפילוג בעולם הליטאי מגיע לשיאים חדשים: אמש (רביעי) התקיימה באולמי 'ארמונות חן' בבני ברק שמחת נישואין בין משפחות גליס וברלינגר.

    בסידור החופה והקידושין כובד הגאון הרב יחיאל קלרמן, מראשי ישיבת 'אורחות תורה', בה לומד החתן ונמצאת בנשיאותו של מרן ראש הישיבה הגראי"ל שטיינמן.

    אלא שדקות ספורות לפני מעמד החופה, לחש אחד הנוכחים באוזנו של הרב קלרמן כי אחד משני עדי הקידושין (הרב י.ש) הינו פעיל בתנועת 'בני תורה' ומצביע למפלגת 'עץ' השייכת לפלג הירולשמי בציבור הליטאי.

    הרב קלרמן, בירר את הפרטים והודיע על אתר כי אינו מוכן לקדש את בני הזוג עד שיוחלף העד הסורר.

    "מי שהצביע לאותה מפלגה המורדת בגדולי הדור הרי הינו עד פסול והקידושין לא יהיו כשרים", הודיע הרב המקדש.

    לאחר דין ודברים נמצא עד חילופי שאיננו חשוד בהצבעה לאותה מפלגה, או-אז שב ראש הישיבה וקידש בשעה טובה ומוצלחת את בני הזוג.

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    1. Ben, thanks for the link. What an absurd perversion of halacha.

      A prediction: soon, geirim converted by dayanim who voted for "that" party will have their giur rescinded. Sounds familiar? History repeats itself.

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