Thursday, February 13, 2014

Psychology of everyday life: "I feel sorry for him - but it's not my job!"


Update about Judaism and Psychology. I mentioned to the director of the program that asked me to write on the topic - that in contrast to other topics that they dealt with - this topic was different. Topics such as suffering or purpose in life etc - utilized questions simply as a means to teach the student that which the teacher already knew. These topics are closed ones with a clear answer. In contrast the topic of Judiasm and Psychology was an open one - with fundamental unanswered questions for both Judaism and Psychology. So while I could present the questions, and some basic principles - I could not provide them final clear answers. In other words I can teach an approach to deal with these issues - but not give "the Torah answers." This in in fact the dispute of the Rambam and Ravad of how to deal with free will. Ravad said an intelligent person does not ask questions that have no clear answer and but apparently the Rambam disagreed.

While we are on the topic of Psychology and Judaism I am reminded of a story.

When I first visited Israel I had a Shabbos meal at the home of an occupational therapist who worked at Haddassa with wounded soldiers from the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War as well  as handicapped people.

She mentioned two incidents to illustrate the Israeli mentality - as opposed to the American. 1) She said that when the wounded soldiers were brought to the hospital from the battle field - some with horrible wounds - they were totally silent. No crying, no moans, no cursing - total silence - which she said was totally different than her experience in American hospitals. She said that Israelis feel uncomfortable about sharing their personal feelings with others - even if it means not screaming in pain or even complaining about severe burns and wounds.

2) The second anecdote was more upsetting. She said there was one quadriplegic who lived in the hospital and whose mobility depended on an electric wheelchair - that he operated with the fingers on his right hand that he still could move - that had to be charged every night. One day she came in and found that the wheel chair had not been charged. She angrily asked the attendant why he hadn't plugged it in? She berated him by pointing out that the handicapped young man had lost the whole day because of the attendant's negligence.

The attendant expressed astonishment at the criticism. "Of course I wanted to charge the battery. I know full well the consequence of not having a charged wheelchair. You think I am a moron? An insensitive person? But what could I do - the faceplate on the socket was loose and I couldn't insert the plug!" She angrily said, "Well why didn't you fix the socket - it is a simple job taking 30 seconds with a screwdriver. The attendant patiently explained to this "stupid" American nurse that what she said was absolutely true - the repair was trivial. "But it is not my job. My job is to insert the plug not fix the socket!"

210 comments:

  1. The debate between the Raavad and Rambam is interesting because it is still ongoing today. There are still differing views on freewill, and some hold like Raavad that there is no clear answer (in secular philosophy).
    The difference in worldview of the Raavad and the Rambam might shed some light on why they disagree. Rambam is a philospher/scientist and hence has an interest in knowledge beyond simply halacha. But he is also very dogmatic. Raavad is more the Kabbalist, but is also very pragmatic and realistic, as we can often see on his critiques of Rambam's halachic statements. And that - ironically - makes Raavad, IMHO a greater posek than the Rambam. Raavad, the mystic has his feet on the ground, whilst Rambam, the worldly doctor , has his head in some philosophic/mystic ideal world, and is often divorced form practicalities of reality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RDE. Why do you post this comment of BIZAYON HATORAH - of Reshoinim kimalachim??????!!?

      Delete
    2. I have asked this question, and others like it, and have never received a reply.

      Delete
  2. Eddie,

    Your college junior analysis of people that are so far beyond your imagining is so far from the truth and off the mark that your comments are nothing but a crude and disrespectful joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you tzoorba!

      Eddie responded to you, but conveniently missed your main point. You used the phrase - 'people that are so far beyond your imagining'. He doesn't understand what you mean by that. He doesn't want to know that he is not in the league of the Rishonim. As far as he is concerned, there could be a Machlokes between The Ramba'm, The Raavi'd and The Eddi'e. He truly doesn't know his place and you can't explain it to him, because he doesn't want to know. He says that your statement has no real content, because the idea that he is not in the league to give analysis of the Rishonim, is not considered valid content in his opinion. I tried to explain this to him a while ago, by comparing it to a layman disagreeing with Einstein on the deepest subjects of which the layman has no understanding, but I could not get him to understand. I expect that he will respond to me now as well, and not want to understand.

      Delete
    2. A few trolls here, like Katche, who are pursuers - they follow after whatever I write in order to attack me, regardless of the specifics of the post.
      Katche makes false statements as usual - that I consider myself in the same league as Raavad and Rambam. Where have I said that? I proposed an analysis of how the two differ. How does that make me in their league? I could write about Einstein and Von Neumann having differnt approach, or Rembrandt and Da Vinci. Does that mean I claim I am a world class physicist and Artist at the same time?
      Katche's argument about Einstein is also nonsense. Any physicist, form a freshman or even high school can study Einstein, Newton and propose a critique or an analysis. Katche shows his deep ignorance of scientific knowledge, and he imposes his closed satmar views onto science, as a justification for his closed views on Torah.
      Did Katche go to University? I doubt it, since satmar do not believe in this,a nd see it as assur. Hence he has no knowledge or experience in secular science, or scientific method.
      The argument of Zoorba-Lab actually reveals why there is a yeridas hadorot. IN the past, people would be encouraged to study, and then come up with their own analysis. The Talmid Hacham muvhak of the Gra, R' Haim Volozhiner notes in his Ruach Hachaim (something I doubt Satmar would teach) that not only did the Gra hold that a student can argue with his Rebbe, he can also be right. This is heresy as far as Hassidim are concerned. However, I hold to the true Gedolei Torah , like the Gra.
      Now, in my post, I am not arguing that I am right and the rishonim are wrong, I am describing their different approaches to halacha. You don't have to accept my argument - but you make up lies (just like the German minister made up lies about Israel) that I consider myself on par or greater than The Rambam and Raavad. This is malicious misrepresentation, which shows your true intentions of redifah and hatred.

      Now I have another vort on the Gra, The Alter Rebbe and the Nefesh Hachaim, and how they struggled in a battle over the Rambam. But that is for another time.

      Delete
    3. Katche makes so many contradictions, it is ridiculous.
      "He says that your statement has no real content, because the idea that he is not in the league to give analysis of the Rishonim, is not considered valid content in his opinion. I tried to explain this to him a while ago, by comparing it to a layman disagreeing with Einstein on the deepest subjects of which the layman has no understanding,"

      What league do you need to be in to analyse the Rishonim, or any text? If you cannot analyze Rishonim, then what can you do? Katche is a robot - he takes instructions, and does them, without analyzing. So he does not know if he is doing the correct thing. There is a mitzvah l'asok b'Torah. This means to - amongst other things - analyze. It is clear that this is not the case in chassidim - perhaps with the exception of ChABaD.
      Essentially, Katche wants to prohibit all kind of thinking, and analytical approach. This is totally alien to Rishonim, and Acharonim. Rambam even said accept the truth from whomever you hear it. I once spoke to someone from Brisk, Now he might not agree with my MO world view, but he agreed with me about asking questions, analysis and also about Hassidim. Altho in Brisk they hate Tzionim as much as Satmar do, they do not hate reason. This is why Katche is so hateful, because he hates reason and logic.

      Delete
    4. To say that we criticize you out of hatred is incorrect. Why would I have hatred to someone whom I don't know. But to invalidate our statements that way relieves you of the onus of having to consider our criticism and take it to heart. If you would consider the possibility that there might be some truth to our criticism, you might have to take an honest look at your approach to certain things and perhaps rethink them. You would only grow by this. I see from your responses that you are missing the point of what you are being criticized of. You can disagree, but the way I see it, you are not qualified to disagree unless you first take it into real consideration, which the way I see it, you have not done. Please do yourself a favor, and don't be so quick to dismiss the criticism as mere hatred, but rather look for the wisdom. Fulfill Mikol Melamdei Hiskalti.

      Delete
    5. Katche- your statements are all in error:

      1) Why would I have hatred to someone whom I don't know.?
      Well, I don't know Arafat, but i can hate him - although your close friends in NK love him,.

      2 ) to invalidate our statements that way relieves you of the onus of having to consider our criticism and take it to heart.

      That is actually your own tactic. You do not respond to the content of what I say. You simply take a pompous stand thinking you are infallible, and every nonsense that you type must be true. For example, you talk about Einstein as if you are an expert in madda, even though your views are totally oppsoed to madda.

      3) the way I see it, you are not qualified to disagree unless you first take it into real consideration

      This is the entire fallacy that all of your arguemnts in general are based on. You think that nobody is qualified to disagree with your (puny) daas. Even on your absurd claim that Jews are not supposed to have jobs - when a very learned Rav demolished your arguments with proper reference to halacha, you persist with your ideological brainwashing, and then use cult- tactics as if we must all look to Satmar for "personal growth".

      4) You have made no substanstive statement. What Zorba said is that the rishonim are too great for me to analyze, and interpret. This is nonsense. Even Chazal, and even more so the Neviim, we have not only a reshut, but a chiyuv to learn, analyse and interpret.
      But what Katchup is saying is even worse and more conflated than Zorba. You claim that I am belittling the rishonim and that I see myself as their equal. This is your own flasification. In Bes Din you would be shown to be telling falsehoods here. The point i am making is that Raavad was a Talmudic giant, on a par with the Rambam. Perhaps he is not as famous as the Rambam today, but he had the authority to differ. Also, you have obviously not read his intro comments to the Yad, where he criticises Rambam. According to your ideology, this would be assur to learn, since it might allow us to think we can also disagree with Rambam.

      This total fabrication by you proves that you have an agenda to set straight, since we disagree on most things especially Zionism.

      Btw, in certain areas, such as Science, I am qualified to disagree with Rambam. You probably are not.

      Delete
    6. BTW, Katche - why don't you criticize RDE, since he used to be employed by a secular College, ie he had a Job. Do you think he was not supposed to?
      Or, when he points out that the Chofetz Chaim on LH is novel halacha. Is he qualified to say this? The whole thing about "qualified" is simply your own pyriamid selling system, which assumes that YOU are qualified and hence you nominate who is/isnt qualified. i.e. a cult.

      Delete
  3. Maybe things are different with soldiers, and maybe thing were difference back in the '60s, but in general, we've found Americans (even American Jews) to be more stoic than Israelis. My experience with hospitals and expression of pain in Israeli has been completely different, the opposite in fact. When we went to an emergency room for our daughter's injury, I was disturbed by the apparent lack of propriety (in my American oleh eyes) in the level of kvetching and even yelling by the Israeli patients for what looked like relatively minor wounds. Another story: My wife was in labor and we went to the Tel HaShomer hospital to be admitted. Because my wife was not writhing in pain and screaming, the nurses assumed that she wasn't ready yet and they were about to send us home. This being our second baby, my wife knew that she was already well into labor and quietly insisted that a doctor check her dilation. The doctors and nurses were floored to find out that she was at 6 cm already. They simply could not believe that a woman that far along would appear so calm, and gave my wife a round of applause.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "people that are so far beyond your imagining is so far from the truth and off the mark that your comments are nothing but a crude and disrespectful joke."

    This is a fallacious statement with no real content, other than exposing the author's inability to grasp the debate between the 2 Rishonim in question. A good example is the Raavad's gloss on Hilchot Teshuva (on incorporeality) and Rambam's retort in Ch1:36 of the Guide. It shows that although they may agree on theology, they disagree on the halachic implications for ordinary unsophisticated folk who are not philosophically adept, and take some midrashim literally. The "greater and better" comment was the Raavad's - aimed at the Rambam. Tzoorba in some way thinks I am making that comment, which shows how unaware he is of the strong and fundamental debate that took place 900 years ago, and makes fallacious statements on authority, as if he is such an authority.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Eddie -- i can take your stmt to the opposite. The Rambam was a rationalist, using rational args we can understamd, while the Raavad was more kabbalistic, using non rationalistic thinking.

    As for israelis kvetchim, thats another character trait of israelis --"magia li" i deserve it, it being immediate treatment. And if you dont kvetch insist on your rights for immediate trrstmrnt, they were right yo keep you waiting. ( or so they think)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Medina - I tried writing a response but it got lost in the cloud.
      Basically, I held this view as well. BUt it depends what one means by "rational". Is the Rambam rational everywhere, and the Raavad mystical everywhere? I don't think that is the case. I would say that the Rishonim have rationality in some areas, each in some specific areas. Nobody is totally rational, as it would be beyond traditional orthodoxy. Even Ralbag, who was more radical than Rambam, is sometimes less rational, eg he accepts astrology - although he was perhaps a greater astronomer than Rambam.
      But there is no single analytical description, it is possible to view the picture from varying angles.

      Delete
  6. Here is an article on another dispute between Raavad and Rambam. It is quite a brilliant article, and the dispute is not so straightforward - but it shows how Rambam is absolutist in his halacha, whereas Raavad has the power of lenience, even for Tumaat hameit - cohanim.
    http://www.hakirah.org/Vol%207%20JaffeShabtai.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  7. DT:

    I appreciate your honesty as far as there being "fundamental unanswered questions for both Judaism and Psychology".

    Does that mean that we should just say "there's nothing I can do"? Whatever happened to the Mishna of לא עליך המלאכה ליגמור ולא אתה בן חורין להבטל ממנה?

    If we don't have ALL the answers - why don't we at least attempt to clarify those answers that we DO have???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the issue I presented to the kiruv group is whether they want me to expose their kiruv rabbis to fundamental questions of great importance which had no clear answer - either from the Jewish sources or the secular. I told them I could explain Jewish values and various approaches to dealing with individual cases as well as the problem of Psychology. The issue is solely what they think is helpful/harmful for them.

      Delete
    2. "fundamental questions of great importance which had no clear answer - either from the Jewish sources or the secular"

      Such as?

      Delete
    3. Nature of marriage, chinuch, self-actualization vs being part of a community, family or marriage. Need for therapy and goals.

      Delete
    4. I'm not sure I can agree that the issues mentioned have no "had no clear answer - either from the Jewish sources or the secular".

      I'm pretty sure that the areas of incertitude in each of these areas can be greatly minimized, IF we're ready to exhaustively review traditional sources AND match the results to the preponderance of evidence.in the secular....

      Delete
  8. Eddie:

    What in the world did you mean when you wrote that "There are still differing views on freewill, and some hold like Raavad that there is no clear answer (in secular philosophy)"?

    Huh?

    Freewill is a fundamental belief in Judaism, according to ALL Rishonim, because it's directly tied to שכר ועונש, according to ALL opinions. Belief in שכר ועונש is not in doubt.

    What do you mean with "secular philosophy"? Are you doubting that ancient philosophers' beliefs are very different than Torah Haskafa?

    The מחלוקות רמב"ם ראב"ד has nothing to do with IF there is freewill, but rather, it's about HOW freewill can work. There are many concepts that we don't understand, but as the Ramban says - delving into the wisdom of those that we DO understand makes our Bitachon strong, so that the fact that certain things don't make sense to our limited intellect becomes immaterial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Ploni -What do you mean with "secular philosophy"? Are you doubting that ancient philosophers' beliefs are very different than Torah Haskafa?
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Secular philosophy exists today as well as 2500 years ago. So i refer to modern philosophers, or the "acharonim".

      There is nothing to doubt - the ancients had many views that differed with the Torah. I did not say anything about schar and onesh - so why do you claim that I am doubting it?
      I said that the point that Raavad raises, is actually made by modern philosophers, but in secular language. That is, freewill cannot always be explained so easily philosophically, since it is a human experience. Rambam says he studied secular philosophy, and he also acclaimed Aristo as having been the greatest intellect, who was one step away form having been a Navi. So secular philosophy is not treif according to Ben Maimon. He makes some variations on Aristo in his Guide, and builds on many of his arguments. So why cannot we do the same today? Alternatively, you can follow the Raavad, and say that this analysis will lead to more confusion. You have free will to choose your own approach.

      Delete
    2. Eddie says:
      " I did not say anything about schar and onesh - so why do you claim that I am doubting it"

      Why?
      If we paraphrase what you wrote - based on how you just explained it - that's the only way I can understand what you wrote:

      "some [modern philosophers, or the "acharonim"] hold like Raavad that there is no clear answer.

      These "achronim" are kofrim. THEY most definitely DO doubt שכר ועונש. And unfortunately for humanity, they're the majority right now.

      Why else does society now see those without a shred of guilt about חיוב מיתות בית דין של משכב זכר, as a persecuted minority, if not because they're supposedly "pre-programmed" to be who they are?

      Yes, the Rishonim learned philosophy. But the Rambam in הל' קידוש החודש makes it clear that he only relied on them when their veracity could be independently verified - NEVER because THEY said something.

      These phi

      Delete
    3. I love how a post gets turned into an critique of the "different styles" of various Rishonim zechuso yagen alenu. Eddie et al probably have detailed psychoanalyses of the personalities of Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel and how their personalities affected their pesakim. They are ignorant of one key teaching: Im Harishonim Kemalachim, anachnu fivnei adam, Im harishonim kivnei adam, anachnu kechamorim. This was said by a later amora regarding the earlier amoraim.
      In other words, if you see the rishonim as angels, then you are a man. But if you see them as men, then you are a donkey.
      You are NOTHING compared to these people and your silly pseudo-intellectual analyses just serve to demonstrate this fact.

      Delete
    4. Ploni - these modern philosophers are no more or less kofrim than the ones studied by Saadia, Rambam, Ibn Ezra etc. So this point you make is irrelevant.
      Next, they do not discuss the issue of s'char v'onesh , they discuss free will. The 2 are separate issues, although they are related.
      Sefer Koheleth concludes with the emunah in schar v'onesh. So you can misunderstand me as badly as u wish - perhaps I didnt clarify what my point was to you.
      Free will in modern terms is precisely what that means - do u have free will to drink diet coke vs. sugar coke, or to speak loshon hara vs learning a mishna. Humans seem to think they have free will to choose.
      Does a gay person have freewill or is it predetermined by his genes and conditioning what he will do?
      I don't see what this has to do with denying s'char v'onesh. How do u know that someone who is genetically gay will get the same onesh as someone who wilfully steals money?
      Now I accept your vcomments about the Raavad and Rambam. My point was only that some philosophers also agree that discussing freewill does not leave a clear answer to humans, since we conceive of ourselves as being free. Also, the determinism of say, neurobiology, is not the same as the ancient view.
      So it is a complex issue - and both sides of the debate between rishonim are relvant today. It seems to me that Raavad saw it is too complex and may complicate emunah in this area. The same is the case today.

      Delete
    5. Edie says:
      "Does a gay person have freewill or is it predetermined by his genes and conditioning what he will do?"
      Is that a question? A fundamental belief of religion is that he has the ability to observe all of the Torah commandments - and so do we all.

      It ain't easy - the approach our Rishonim elucidate requires grit, commitment, cognitive skills and a overarching desire to live a life of truth, with the satisfaction of self-control coming only gradually.

      "How do u know that someone who is genetically gay will get the same onesh as someone who wilfully steals money? "
      They won't - the punishment for gay relations is many times harsher. But that doesn't mean that a habitual stealer is so "great". The R"Y says that puts him in the category of מומר לדבר אחד. Not so great...

      "these modern philosophers are no more or less kofrim than the ones studied by Saadia, Rambam, Ibn Ezra etc. So this point you make is irrelevant."

      The modern kofer is no different than the ancient one - what IS different is that Saadia, Rambam, Ibn Ezra etc only studied them to strengthen THEIR own Emuna, clearly knowing how to delineate between Truth & Falsity. Your comments seem to show that you're missing this extremely important distinction.

      "discussing freewill does not leave a clear answer to humans .... it is a complex issue"

      Once again - the complexity has NOTHING to do with the ability that each of us has - with great effort - to observe ALL the mitzvohs.

      This isn't only some "frum shtick" I'm saying here - there is to date NO proof that ANY mental illness is genetic. Whether using the diathesis-stress model, biopsychsocial model, or differential susceptibility (which are ALL unproven theories) NONE of the models can claim to point to a CERTAINTY of someone becoming "gay" ... or BPD... or schizophrenic....

      Read what Nicholas Cumming writes on the matter. Few are better qualified than him, since HE is the past APA president who PUSHED to have homosexuality REMOVED from the DSM as a mental illness. If he says that there's no proof that "gayness" is genetic ... what more is there to say?


      Actually, I know a) there is no so thing as genetically gay

      Delete
    6. Ploni @ " A fundamental belief of religion is that he has the ability to observe all of the Torah commandments - and so do we all."
      Then you must be following a strange religion, since I do not have the ability to offer korbanot, as I am not a Kohen, or Levi. Furthermore, I am unable to enter the Temple, since it has not been rebuilt. And even so, there is no red heifer, so it is also a problem -.

      It is true that Rambam says each person has the freewill to be totally righteous or totally evil. However, I learned once that the Gemara says people are judged by where they come from, ie circumstances.
      I cannot accept your cherry picking of scientific evidence, when you reject secular science l'chatchila, and even was once koifer on R' Yehuda HaNossi for accepting goyish science over that of Yidden.
      The DSM story is probably more political than scientific. It was, for example, illegal in UK to be gay, now it is almost a "mitzva" chas v'shalom. I am in no way supporting that phenomenon, but there is a large part of the scientific community who see it as having a genetic factor.

      Delete
    7. " I do not have the ability to offer korbanot, as I am not a Kohen, or Levi" , etc.

      Please don't get petty. I meant all the Mitzvohs which we are obligated to do.

      "the Gemara says people are judged by where they come from, ie circumstances".

      That is 100% true. I don't remember it as a Gemara, but rather the Gra in begining of אבן שלמה and the אור החיים הקדוש in beginning of וזאת הברכה both say that Dovid Hamalech was judged less harshly than Shaul because of his innate nature.

      BUT - Dovid WAS judged. He paid plenty for the חטא בת שבע.

      The Rishonim disagree on HOW people have the ability of overcoming their negative tendencies. However whether we learn like the Rambam that at most these tendencies are "predispositions" and not strong enough to force actions, or like the Riy Bar Shushan that they DO have the power of forcing - but the power of the Neshama can act as a counterweight - bottom line is we can do ALL the mitzvohs (meaning-הנוהגים בזמן הזה).

      "as once koifer on R' Yehuda HaNossi for accepting goyish science over that of Yidden"

      Eddie, I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm saying. NONE of the Rishonim accepted secular science as dogma, without clear proof. ALL understood that the decision making process by both Jew and Non-Jew can be corrupted by self interest and biases, both conscious & unconscious.

      When a Rishon DID accept a secular, he only did so based on carefully analyzing the chain of logic on what it was based.

      Every chain of logic is only as strong as its weakest link.

      You actually point out YOUR weakest link, when you finish off by saying "a large part of the scientific community who see it as having a genetic factor".

      GENETIC FACTOR does NOT constitute COMPULSION.

      Many people are employed in lines of work that are not matches to their genetic tendencies. many of them learn how to not only cope, but also EXCEL.

      Someone addicted to a דבר עבירה can NOT immediately change, without the proper הכנות. But change he CAN, and is OBLIGATED TO.

      I am not blaming you for not knowing this importance difference - we aren't taught this stuff in Yeshiva WHICH WE SURELY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAUGHT.

      Delete
  9. There is a very important lesson to be learned from the second story. It seems that out of it being the easiest way, people place themselves under the jurisdiction of others to the point that they forfeit their entire Daas and are left with no initiative. The fact that the Nazi officers were 'just taking orders' is an extreme case in point. Education systems tend to breed this phenomenon, because it would probably create a tremendous disarray in the study environment if everyone would be allowed to be an individual. The students who don't exactly fit the mold have a greater chance of developing into 'real' people. It would be a good thing if schools would make a priority of promoting individualism to develop the individual strengths of each student and teach them how to cope with their differences without being an 'accentric', in a world where conformity is truly important in many areas. Every Jews must keep the entire Torah and not deviate from it Kechut Hasaaroh and this is not a Stirah to being a real individual, and this must be taught. Positive reinforcement should be given to students who follow their own good judgement and take good initiatives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katche-lab:

      I agree with you 100%. - and I think the negative repercussions are reverberating in our society.

      A few sources that point out the OBLIGATION to use our unique talents:

      א. כל אדם נתבע אם השתדל בעבודת הבורא בכל יכולתו, לפי שכלו ולפי הבנתו: חשבון האדם עם נפשו ביתרון ידיעתו על מעשהו, ותוספת הכרתו על השתדלותו בעבודת הבורא וכו', ראוי לך לחשוב עם נפשך על מה שחננך האלוקים מהבנתך אותו ואת תורתו, ומה שנתן לך מן הכוח והיכולת לפרוע מה שאתה חייב לו. עשה בזה מה שיצא אל גבול המעשה ממך, ויראה לך כי אתה נתבע בכל זה ובא עליו לידי חשבון. וכו'. וראוי לך להשתדל בכל כחך, ותטרח בכל יכולתך לפורעו, ולהשוות מעשיך לחכמתך, והכרתך עם השתדלותך. והותר כל טורחך לעשות כפי חכמתך. (חובות הלבבות, שער חשבון הנפש פ"ג, חשבון י"ג).

      ב. עוד בענין הנ"ל, שהבורא תובע מכל אדם לפי חכמתו, ומי שמכיר חיובו ומקצר בה, ראוי שיהי' נמאס יותר: איך אמאס ואכלים מי שאינני יודע ענייני לבבו ומצפונו לאלוקים וכו', ואם הוא בנראהו רע, אפשר שגרם לו זה סכלותו במה שהוא חייב לבורא, ויש לו טענה יותר ממני מפני יתרון חכמתי על חכמתו. כי הבורא איננו תובע האדם אלא כפי חכמתו. ואני יותר ראוי שאהיה נמאס ממנו, מפני יתרון קיצורי במה שאני חייב בו מעבודת הבורא עם דעתי אותו, על קיצורו עם סכלותו בו. והוא ממרה את האלוקים בסכלות ובשגגה, ואני ממרה אותו בדעת ובזדון. (חובות הלבבות שער יחוד המעשה פרק ה').

      ג. מי שיש סיפק בידו להחזיק תורה מחיוב הוא להחזיקה: "ארור אשר לא יקים את דברי התורה הזאת", כאן כלל את כל התורה כולה וכו' ובירושלמי בסוטה (פ"ז ה"ד) ראיתי אשר לא יקים וכי יש תורה נופלת וכו' רבי שמעון בן חלפתא אומר זה בית דין של מטן, דמר רב יהודה ורב הונא בשם שמואל על הדבר הזה קרע יאשיהו ואמר עלי להקים. אמר רבי אסי בשם רבי תנחום בר חייא למד ולימד ושמר ועשה והי' ספק בידו להחזיק ולא החזיק הרי זה בכלל ארורו. ידרשו בהקמה הזאת, בית המלך והנשיאות שבידם להקים את התורה ביד המבטלים אותה, ואפילו היה הוא צדיק גמור במעשיו והי' יכול להחזיק התורה וכו' הרי זה ארור. (רמב"ן דברים כ"ז כ"ו).
      וכתוב זה כולל שני עינינים. האחד שכל אחד מישראל חייב להחזיק התורה בכל מאודו, והשני, הקמת הדת בכללה. וזה תלוי ביד בית הדין כנאמר בירושלמי סוטה, ועל דבר זה קרע יאשיהו ואמר עלי להקים, וכדברי הרמב"ן כאן. אבל מה שנקטו מלך ובית דין הוא משום שבזמנם היהה בידם הכח למחות ביד הרשעים. אבל באמת חייב כל אדם שהאפשרות בידו לפעול ולחזק הדת בכל יכלתו. ככתוב כבד את ה' מהונך ודרשו בו ממה שחננך (פסיקתא רבתי כה). מי שחננו ה' בעושר וכו' ומי שחננו ה' לדרוש ברבים ידרוש וישפיע, ומי שחננו באמצעים אחרים ישתמש בהם ויתברך מפי עליון. (חיזוק הדת, מאמר ד', מהחפץ חיים זצ"ל).

      ד. גם מי שאינו חכם מצד עצמו יכול לראות כמ"פ ענינים פשוטים הצריכים תיקון אצל אנשים שהם חכמים יותר ממנו: כמה פעמים יש לבעל דין לחלוק עלי ולומר מי אתה וכו' הלא ידעת כי אתה נעור וריק לגמרי מכל חכמה וכו' ואיך מלאך לבך להרים קול נגד אשר חוט השערה שלהם עבת ממתניך, הסבה הזאת עכבתני ימים רבים, אך עתה שמצאתי משל להנצל בו עוררני הש׳׳י לדבר וכו' והוא כי אני דומה לתינוק טפש ולא חכם שהי׳ לו מלמד אמתי חכם גדול ועולה לא נמצא בשפתיו יודע כל סודות התורה וכו' והתינוק הטפש למד מפי המלמד ההוא קריא׳ הפסוקים ופתרונם לבד אין לו חלק כלל בחכמת מלמדו והנה באו אנשים חכמים בכל חכמה ומביני מדע ואשר כח בהם בפלפול׳ העצום לטהר את הטמא ולטמא את הטהור והיו קוראים חפסוקים כפי חכמתם וסברתם לא כפי החכמה האמתי׳ אשר בלב החכם האמתי. ויקר מקרה שקראו אותם הפסוקים באזני הטפש, והוא צעק להם ואמר אהה רבותי אתם טועים בקריאת הפסוקים ובפתרונם כן אלה החכמים בעיניהם וכו' פירשו המקראות לפי סברותיהם ואני התינוק הטפש ידעתי בודאי כי הם טועים אע״פ שאין בי חכמה כלל, על כיוצא בזה אמר כי בער אנכי מאיש (ולא בינת אדם לי) ר״ל מחכמ׳ אנשים, ולא בינת אדם לי ולא למדתי הכמת אך ידעתי דעה קדושים, ר״ל כי זהו קריאת הפסוקים וזה פתרונם וכו' אין לנו בהם כי אם לקבל לבד ולסמוך על הנותן יתברך הוא שאמר כל אמרת אלוה צרופה מגן הוא לכל החוסים בו הוא התינוק הטפש אשר אין לו שום חכמה. (הקדמת החסיד יעב"ץ לספרו)

      Delete
  10. RDE why oh WHY do you allow this comment of BIZAYON HATORAH -of Reshonim Kimalochim?????!!!?!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please state what your problem is? There is an interesting Maharal which states that someone who doesn't ask questions is basically an apikorus because he doesn't care about the issues. If someone has a mistaken understanding but he is willing to express it and defend it - then I think it is important.

      Another statement of the Maharal is that the requirement to be able to answer an apikorus is that you need to know what to answer your own heretical questions. I feel it is important that a person expresses his views - even if mistaken - if it might lead to correcting the mistaken views.

      Delete
    2. RDE what you just said is the exact opposite of the Gemara. The Gemara says that you may not argue with a Jewish Apikoros because he will just get worse. And Reb Chaim said "a nebach apikoros is oichet a apikoros." And most of the posters here are not asking. They are just spouting apikorsus, and, as of yet, you don't seem to have reformed anyone from their "mistaken" views. You are not doing them, nor anyone else in Klal Yisroel, a favor by giving them a forum here. Let them open up their own blog if they wish to spout.

      Delete
    3. ..." if it might lead to correcting the mistaken views."
      ok so please lets see you RDE correct Eddie's mistaken views !!!! thanks.!!!!

      Delete
    4. nat the difference between us is that you have no problem declaring a fellow Jew to be an apikorus. Rav Chaim's view is not the only view as we see when the Rambam rejects someone who thinks that G-d has a body and the Ravad doesn't. following are amongst those found in my Daas Torah page 93-98

      Rav Elchonon Wasserman discusses Reb Chaim and clearly indicates that there is a dispute between the Rambam and Ravad on this issues

      Rav Elchonon Wasserman (Explanations of Agados #2): The view of the Rambam is that a person who believes G d is physical is a heretic. The Raavad commented: “There are greater and better people than the Rambam who erred in this issue because of mistakenly accepting the literal meaning of verses and agada.” I heard in the name of Rav Chaim Brisker that the Rambam views that there is no such thing as inadvertent heresy. Irrespective of how a person arrives at a mistaken belief, the fact is that he believes something which is heretical. Furthermore, it is impossible to be a member of the Jewish people without proper faith. Rav Chaim used to say that “a nebach apikorus (mistaken heretic) is also a heretic.” It would appear that he must be correct since all heretic and idol worshippers are mistaken. Obviously there is no one more mistaken than one who sacrifices his son for idol worship and yet he is subject to capital punishment. However, this approach is problematic since a baby also doesn’t have proper faith and yet he is part of the Jewish people. Furthermore, a person who was denied proper education (tinok shenishbah) is allowed to bring a sacrifice to atone - without being labeled as a heretic (Shabbos 68b). Thus from these two cases it would seem that the Torah exempts an unwitting error also in the realm of beliefs? This can be answered by what we mentioned previously - the foundation principles of faith are obvious and no intelligent person could accept heretical beliefs. It is only because a person wants to reject his obligations to G d that he rationalizes that religious beliefs are not correct. Therefore, there is no such thing as an inadvertent heretical belief. On the other hand, if a person doesn’t intend to rebel against religion but mistakenly thinks something sinful is permitted by the Torah - then this is truly inadvertent. Perhaps this is what the Raavad meant that the person erred “because of misunderstanding verses and agada.” In other words, the person erred not because he wanted to reject religion but because he mistakenly accepted the literal meaning of religious texts. Thus, the Raavad would classify him as someone who mistakenly says a sin is permitted according to the Torah and therefore inadvertent heresy does exist… The Rambam on the other hand seems to feel that one could not err in thinking that G d has a body and that if he was serious about his religion it would be obvious to him that the texts cannot be taken literally…

      Delete
    5. Chazon Ish (Y.D. 62:21): …The Rambam(Tshuva 3:7) says that one who claims that G d has a physical image is a min (heretic) but not an idolater. And even according to the Raavad who says that such a person is not a heretic – apparently that is only if he does not investigate the matter or he isn’t intelligent enough to understand the matter properly. However the Raavad would agree that someone who is capable of understanding that this is not possible from what our Tradition teaches and yet still claims that G d has a body - is a heretic. It is also possible that the Rambam himself would agree that a person who has not investigated the matter and he is committed to our Traditions concerning G d (e.g., He precedes creation, He created everything and there is no other deity) and nevertheless he thinks G d has a physical image – that he is still a valid and good Jew – but he is simply mistaken as the Raavad himself concludes. And this that the Raavad says regarding those who believe such a mistaken view, “There are many great and better than him” – actually the term “mimenu” doesn’t mean “than him (Rambam)" but “from the Jewish people” and thus he is saying that there are many great and good Jews who mistakenly believe this.
      Tashbatz (Oheiv Mishpat Chapter 9): One who denies something in the Torah, knowing that it was the view of the Torah, is a heretic and is not included in the Jewish people… However, you should also know that a person who accepted the fundamental principles of the Torah but who totally misunderstands a secondary principle because of his sincere study of texts is not a heretic. That is because his mistaken beliefs don’t lead him to rebel against the Torah. In fact, if he were presented clear proof of his error he would readily accept the correct view. He only holds the mistaken belief because he thought that it was the actual view of the Torah… The reason why he is not a heretic is that he has clearly accepted the fundamental principles of the Torah. If he errs concerning a secondary principle, he is not to be excluded from the Jewish people…. This provides a valid defense for some of our great sages who held some beliefs that are prohibited. It is not permitted to speak disparagingly about them and say that they are outside the Jewish people - G d forbid - because their foundation belief is correct and they are careful to avoid transgressing the prohibitions of the Torah and fulfill its commandments. This is why the Raavad criticized the Rambam (Hilchos Teshuva 3:7) for saying that those who mistakenly believed that G d had a body were heretics, since it was the result of their being misled by the literal meaning of Biblical verses and medrashim.

      Kesef Mishneh (Tshuva 3:7): One who says that G d has a body is a heretic: The Raavad wrote, “Why should he be called a heretic… because Biblical verses give a mistaken impression?” One is astounded that this holy mouth should say that one who says that G d has a body and a physical image is greater and better than the Rambam! Perhaps the correct text is as we find it in Sefer HaIkkarim 2:1. There it says, “Even though the correct faith is that G d is incorporeal but one who mistakenly believes that He has a body because of the literally reading of Biblical verses and Medrashim is not called a heretic.” This is the way the Raavad is to be understood even according to our text. This is discussed in detail by the Sefer HaIkkarim

      Delete

    6. Radvaz (4:187): A reason for not punishing preachers who distort the meaning of verses or medrashim is that their mistaken interpretations are the result of their faulty study of the texts. They are no worse than those who err concerning one of the fundamental principles of faith because of their misunderstanding of texts and yet are not considered heretics. For example, we find that the great man Hillel II erred in one of the principles of faith when he said Moshiach was not coming because of the events in the time of Chezkiyahu. Nevertheless, this error did not make him a heretic - G d forbid. If he had been a heretic, how could the Talmud quote him? It is clear that since his improper statement was the result of sincere study, it was considered as inadvertent and thus he was not a heretic.

      Sefer HaIkkarim (1:2): One who denies anything which is found in the Torah, if he knows that he is rejecting an aspect of the Torah he is called a heretic…However someone who holds strongly to the religion of Moshe Rabbeinu and believes in its fundamental principles, but misunderstands verses or one of the fundamental principles or says that a fundamental principle is not fundamental … such a person is not a heretic but is still considered one of the sages and righteous of Israel. He is viewed as one who sins accidentally and requires atonement. The Raavad goes one step further. He asserts that if one understands a fundamental principle totally the opposite of the truth because he misevaluated the sources - he is not considered a heretic. We find this in his critical comments on the Rambam’s assertion that a person who thinks that G d has a body is a heretic. The Raavad responded that a person who mistakenly thought that G d had a body because of taking Biblical verses and medrashim literally should not be called a heretic. In contrast, a person who knows that the Torah is true and yet his intent is to rebel against it is amongst the wicked whose repentance is not accepted. However if his erroneous views do not result from a desire to rebel and to turn away from the truth and to reject that which is in the Torah or tradition, but he simply misunderstood the texts - he is not a heretic even if his views are the opposite of the truth… It was necessary for me to write all this because I saw some brainless people who view themselves as scholars opening their mouths against the greatest sages in a manner displaying lack of intelligence and understanding. The fact is that it is permitted for any intelligent person to examine the principles of faith and to explain Biblical verses in a way that he thinks conforms to truth. This is so even if he mistakenly concludes that some of the principles that the ancient sages considered to be fundamental - such as Moshiach, creation from nothing - are not fundamental. If he still accepts them as true but on a lesser level with miracles such as Korach being swallow by the earth, or fire coming from Heaven - then he is not a heretic. If this was considered as heresy then the number of fundamental principles of the Torah would equal the number of miracles and unique events mentioned in the Torah - and that is inconceivable.

      Delete
    7. em'v'shalom - you allege that I have mistaken views, which need correcting.

      If you beleive my views are mistaken, please provide a reason , and then what you consider to be correct.

      did you read the article I posted earlier?

      Here it is: http://www.hakirah.org/Vol%207%20JaffeShabtai.pdf

      Can you also explain how the Raavad brought such a lenient view - not accepted by any other major contemporary - on Tumas hameit?
      Is it bizaoyon of Rishonim to suggest they had different outlooks? Have you read Raavad's harsh critique of rambam's methodology in the Yad?
      Do you hold it is Bizayon of Chazal to say , for example, that Hillel and Shammai had differing views and differing outlooks? And are you also aware that there were internecine wars between their students, ie Beis Hillel vs Beis Shammai, where 3000 Talmidim were killed? How do you explain this? Perhaps the students were too fundamentalist to accept the other side might have a valid but different perspective. that would seem rather like what yourself and several other of my detractors here are guilty of.

      Delete
  11. Ok. Here it is, plain and simple. One who critiques the rishonim as if they are his contemporaries does not believe that Im rishonim kemalachim anu kevnei adam. This is enough to constitute an apikorus in my book and in the book of most believing straight-thinking Jews who do not play with the tenets of Emunah as they would a Rubik's cube. We have a right to these beliefs. Again, you are doing neither yourself, nor anyone else in Klal Yisroel a favor with this and other similar posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Source please!

      It seems today we do in fact ignore Rishonim. Just as Rav Sternbuch told me that sources that say we have an old world - now constitute heresy because the majority of gedolim don't accept such a belief. Similar the view of rishonim that hashgacha protis doesn't apply to everything is widely dismssed by contemporary Jews. Rav Moshe Feinstein says that it is possible to disagree with the halachic views of rishonim.So please show me a clear source that says that one can not disagree with the views of rishonim - either in terms of hashkofa or halacha?

      Delete
    2. Rabbi DE,

      I think nat meant what he said: "One who critiques the rishonim as if they are his contemporaries does not believe that Im rishonim kemalachim anu kevnei adam". Someone who talks about the Rishonim in a flippant and disrespectful way is in nat's view showing that he does not believe Chazal's statement which indicates that later generations are greatly inferior to earlier ones. This would be apikorsus, ie denying the veracity of a statement of Chazal.

      nat did not say anything about arguing with Rishonim making a person into an apikorsus.

      Note that I am not giving my own opinion here. I don't think there was any intention (at least here) to argue with Chazal. Besides which there is the famous opinion of the Ramban and Moreh Nevuchim, followed by many authorities, that the Issur to argue with Chazal is restricted to their Halachic statements. Even if we don't "pasken" like that, it would still mean that a person who followed this view would not be an apikoros, however silly he may be (you said that Rav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita told you something similar about Slifkin).

      Perhaps instead of screaming "apikorsos", it would be better to request that these "critiques" (whose author does not find them to be ludicrous, childish etc.) be written in a more respectful tone.

      Delete
    3. "The difference in worldview of the Raavad and the Rambam might shed some light on why they disagree. Rambam is a philospher/scientist and hence has an interest in knowledge beyond simply halacha. But he is also very dogmatic. Raavad is more the Kabbalist, but is also very pragmatic and realistic, as we can often see on his critiques of Rambam's halachic statements. And that - ironically - makes Raavad, IMHO a greater posek than the Rambam. Raavad, the mystic has his feet on the ground, whilst Rambam, the worldly doctor , has his head in some philosophic/mystic ideal world, and is often divorced form practicalities of reality."

      The above is a quote from Eddie's first post. Please don't tell me that you need a source to see that these words are the product of a krumme kop. This is what you would expect to hear from a reform rabbi or a professor of "Jewish studies" at Harvard. If you think there is nothing wrong with speaking like this of the Rambam and Raavad Zy"a, then you need to go somewhere to get your head screwed in straight. When the mizrachis came to the Chazon Ish Zt"l and said "where is the source that Giyus Banos is assur," he opened up his shirt and pointed to his chest. He said, "This is the source."

      Delete
    4. "sources that say we have an old world - now constitute heresy because the majority of gedolim don't accept such a belief."
      That kind of "heresy" is not the type that will send one to Gehinom. rather it is a political heresy. You can't just change Torah when it suits you.

      Delete
    5. nat- did you know the acronym for Ben Gurion is Natbag?

      Anyhow, at least being compared to a Harvard professor was not an insult.

      You started in a dispute with RDE about disputing or critiquing the Rishonim. But I have done neither - I proposed an explanation for their differing world views and differing psak. How would you explain the Raavad's amazing leniency on Tumat hamet for kohanim? That in itself is further evidence of the enigma, and a further example of how (and why) the 2 Talmudic giants differed. Now you can dispute, refute or argue on my views - but you haven't shown me to either insult nor dispute what they said. I simply said I prefer the psak of the Raavad, even though he was ironically not the "modernist" that the Rambam was. Oh, i suppose you would find that an insult too? Perhaps you are living in cloud cuckoo land, since the Rambam was called a heretic by his contemporaries for being "modern" for his time.

      Delete
    6. No, Natbag is the acronym for Namal Teufah Ben Gurion, which is Ben Gurion AIRPORT. The correct acronym for Ben Gurion is SR"Y. And please do not be insulted if I will not debate you on this. We just come from different worlds. I do not refer to the Rambam as a "modernist." It is just a sensitivity that I guess you do not possess.

      Delete
    7. When I get a taxi to Ben Gurion, I usually end up at the airport.

      The Rambam wrote about the sophisticated Philosopher, as having the highest intellectual standing. It is true, that people who came from different worlds, perhaps not too unlike yours, vandalised his grave and called him an apikorus.

      Delete
    8. Eddie, if there is one person in this blog who is vandalizing the legacy of the Rambam and the respect that the Rambam deserves, I think that we all know who that person is.

      Delete
    9. Sorry nat - you imply I am vandalizing the rambam? You obviously have not read his Guide for the Perplexed, or learned his ascetic -philosophic system of separation from this world. The suggestion that he is using his own method is somehow disrespecting the rambam shows the sheer ignorance of my attackers on this subject. Also their inability to formulate any particular argument but just grunt and say it is kefirah - quite amazing how lacking in knowledge of the Rambam and raavad so many peopel can be.

      Delete
    10. I can only respond by telling a story. It is well known from Rambam's Hilchot AZ, and his Letter on Astrology that he took great exception to all kinds of hocus pocus like astrology, the occult, to the point that he even dismissed some views of Chazal on this matter. he also established his theory of Avodah zara being linked to astrology. Now I once simply quoted this in a shiur, and some imbecile, who had no knowledge of what the Rambam wrote, but only about the references to Rambam by modern Rabbis asked me "how can you say such a thing about the Rambam"?

      now it seems that some people may have ignored, or not be familiar with rambam's Moreh Hanevuchim, especially Section 3, especially his methodology of philosophical-ascetic retreat, and his system of self denial of everything physical, other than the sense of smell.
      So based on this ignorance, like the imbecile in the story I mentioned, it is possible to assume I am denigrating the Rambam, by suggesting he adhered to his own system which he prescribes to his students.

      Delete
    11. Daas TorahFebruary 16, 2014 at 10:57 PM
      Source please!

      See sefer Helimah by the Remak, first paragraph of מעין עין כל הארץ. He makes it pretty clear that to argue with the previous generations or even to try to enter into their sevarra makes one a kofer b'ikar.

      Delete
    12. Rabbi Tzadok - thank you for your source. However your bekius outstripped my library and I don't have access to the source. Assuming you correctly describe his view it clear that it is not main stream - or you obviously would have quoted a Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, etc, saying that disagreement constituted kefira.

      Rather the mainstream is the Rosh - who permitted disagreeing with Gaonim. Rav Moshe who permitted disagreeming with Rishonim, The Gra disagreed with Rishonim such as the Rambam as well as the Rema and the Chazon Ish who disagreed with Shulchan Aruch. In particular it goes against the principle that halacha follows contemporary poskim - not earlier ones.

      In sum, while the idea is widespread today that one is not allowed to disagree with earlier generations - it clearly is not halacha but is either commonsense as Rav Moshe points out or derech eretz.

      Delete
    13. RAmatz - that is very interesting about the Remak, however, it would place a great many of Kabbalists who did argue with the rambam, in let's say, hot water.

      Delete
    14. Eddie not at all. One can argue with one's peers. So the Ravaad and Ramban could argue on him. You will not find later generations of Kabbalists arguing on the Rambam however, they will simply say that they hold by the Ravaad and Ramban.

      Delete
    15. I will try to get the part in question up on my Scribd later today.

      Delete
    16. @Ramatz " You will not find later generations of Kabbalists arguing on the Rambam however, they will simply say that they hold by the Ravaad and Ramban."

      You might not , but everyone else does. when the Gra live? And do you recall what he said about Rambam? And R' nachman of Breslav who called the Moreh HaNevuchim a work of evil...

      Delete
    17. Re: Source Please: I answered that earlier. I will, however, quote to you the great gaon Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, Zt"l, who said that one can be a kofer in all of the 13 Ikkarim and have a source to back up every one of his points.
      That's the importance that you attribute to sources when it comes to our holy Emunah. Someone with the correct gut feeling outweighs all your "sources."
      And yes, Eddie, you are vandalizing the Rambam. The Rambam's legacy belongs to the Talmidei Chachamim, not the historians and the philosophers. The Rambam is something you break your head over in the bais medrash, not dissect in the library with your intellectual tweezers. And if you don't understand this, I'm sorry. Again, it's a sensitivity issue which one either has or doesn't, and you don't.

      Delete
    18. N@t "Someone with the correct gut feeling outweighs all your "sources."...
      "Eddie, you are vandalizing the Rambam. The Rambam's legacy belongs to the Talmidei Chachamim, not the historians and the philosophers. The Rambam is something you break your head over in the bais medrash, not dissect in the library with your intellectual tweezers."

      Ok - so Rambam does not have anything to say about philosophy X

      The sources I provide (Letter on Astrology, Guide, Mishne torah and various Hasagot of Raavad - are not "valid sources" X

      And studying them anywhere else than your Bet medrash, whether it be in my own BM or at home, is also invalid. X


      I have awarded you with 3 X's, since you are talking absolute nonsense, and have obviously no grasp of either the Rambam or Raavad, despite my pointing out various references to the seforim of these great Rishonim.
      I suspect that you learn at a place where on NittelXmas they play board games, and the specialty is that they observe Xmas every night.

      Delete
    19. Nice of you to finally call the Rishonim great. Now you're on the right track!

      Delete
    20. Nat, i accept your point perhaps belatedly. My focus, and the way i write online is more trying to get to the heart of the matter in a less formal manner.
      Al Tistakel b'kan kan. But I would accept that the same point I was trying to make could have been mad more carefully and showing greater deference.

      Delete
    21. Hyperbole is a real problem among certain commenters here, and in the Jewish world at large.

      An apikorus is a halachic construct, not an insult to be bandied about at will. Likewise, in some other threads people have been only too happy to 'create' mamzerim by the thousand because they may disagree (or more likely, the particular guru the hitch their wagon to has chosen to disagree) with the honest psak of someone else. That the outcome of their 'kanous' is the wholesale creation of mamzerim is of no importance when their honor, or the honor of their guru, is impugned (see, for example, the absurd pashkevill calling for the retroactive annulment of weddings and divorces witnessed by owners of smartphones).

      Delete
  12. I think that a careful reading of the texts that DT brings should lead one to believe that the kinds of ideas Eddie expresses ARE כפירה. Nevertheless, the באר הגולה he quotes earlier should also lead us to engage Eddie in discussion, since we have no reason to doubt his sincerity.

    Why such opinions ARE כפירה: The shitas HaRaavad only pertains to those who MISUNDERSTAND VERSES AND AGGADA. The Raavad himself says so, as does the Tashbatz. The Radvaz also alludes to “sincere study”.

    This is light years away from those that base their opinion on חכמת חיצוניות, which have no חזקת כשרות (putting it lightly). We have NO permission to take secular philosophy at face value, since many of the underlying beliefs are known to be biased. Eddie extrapolates the Ramabam/Raavad concerning HOW Bechira works, and assumes that secular unproven theories concerning WHETHER there is Bechira is somehow related.

    The Chazon Ish DT mentions, might help here. He adds that a kofer is he who has the ability to understand the matter properly”. I’m not sure it’ll help, tho…
    Still, the באר הגולה states that we SHOULD engage someone expressing ideas that are very wrong, as long as his intention is to know the truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are mixing a number of issues. 1) I agree with Ploni's call for respectfully discussing earlier generations 2) Ploni is obviously correct when stating that one can not use secular philosophy to reject a position that is firmly accepted in Yiddishkeit.

      3) However there is a clear problem for Nat in that the concept of Yeridos HaDoros is not one of the 13 Foundation Principles of the Rambam. The Rambam doesn't even seem to regard it as a major issue. In fact the Chazon Ish seems to criticize the Beis Yosef for something similar to what Nat is criticzing Eddie for. Similarly the Gra criticized the Rambam in the same way. In addition there is the concept of midgets standing on the shoulders of giants and thus are able to see more clearly than the giants.

      In sum, while it is obviously important to be respectful of the Rishonim - Nat has not shown a single source that Eddie's statements are heretical. Rav Moshe Feinstein said that disagreeing with Rishonim is not heresy but it is a sign of ignorance and foolishness.

      Delete
    2. I think that a careful reading of what PLONI brings should lead one to believe that the kinds of ideas he states are Sheker and Kzav. however, since he does not have the ability to understand his own lies (unless they are told intentionally) , then one must show him his error.
      What I extrapolated from the Raavad was that our understanding of freewill is not easy to put in a nutshell.
      However, i did explain that modern views sometimes hold that people lose freewill due to genetic, or chemical reasons. This has practical implications.
      And i would argue, that perhaps it has halachic implications. for example, many poskim have refused to posken that someone already smoking must give up. This includes RMF - because he saw that addiction was difficult, and it might damage Kavod for the Torah, if Rabbis cannot quit their addictions.
      So now we can ask - is chemical addiction to cigarettes something that removes freewill of someone to give up?
      Now, for people who are nto as obsessive and closed minded as Ploni et al,
      asking a question is not the same as making a statement. To ask if the moon is made of green cheese is not the same as stating that it is. However, idiots ,often make this error, and find reason to attack what i write.

      It is a valid question, and it is also of halachic importance. Another example, is a number of rapists have claimed to be sleepwalking, and hence claimed ot be not guilty. And they have been found innocent in court. What would be the halachic basis for such a claim? I have heard that there is a sugya of committing adultery by mistake, for example.
      So the points I raise are real, practical, and they are halachcially relevant.
      Also, recall, that Ploni has a very dangerous nature, and he attacked Reb Dovid once when he quoted a Gemara. Hence Ploni's own made up set of ikkarim are simply his own manufactured religion, which has no basis in the sources.

      Delete
    3. Thank you - more compliments, i hope it is not just the joking that Adar brings.
      A minor point - I did not disagree with the Rishonim, other than take the Raavad's side on practical halacha vs the Rambam. If oseh l'chah Rov in halachic matters is a problem - then it is a problem for my accuser, and not for me, since this is the foundation we have in Pirkei Avot.

      Delete
    4. Eddie:

      First, my apology. I admit that I was too harsh in my earlier comments.

      Putting aside the vitriol - I can take it in stride, believe it or not - even though I'm a "dangerous" person... On to substance.....

      1) Freewill does NOT mean one can change overnight. It would be juvenile to think otherwise. It's a process.

      2) As soon as one is מקבל עול and DESIRES the goal of change, he is a בן עוה"ב (see R"Y שער ב' כמדומה לי מאמר י' בערך)/

      3) Everyone sins. That does NOT exclude םone from being a בן עולם הבא, as long as one feels remorse afterwords. This too from R"Y שער א מאמר ו', שער ג' מאמר קמג, ומאמר קסט, וסוף ר"ט. Lapses in judgement do NOT mean we don't have freewill-it means that כבישת היצר is HARD work. Hashem is GOOD - he gives us Teshuva.

      4) The false belief in genetics FORCING איסורין is all one's loss and no benefit. The result is lack of remorse. THAT is what makes someone a מומר. So it's NOT the sin - it's the belief that I don't have to do Teshuva since it isn't my fault.

      5) The waters get muddled when we consider many things that are NOT necessarily sins to be sins. Smoking is an example. RM"F does have a Teshuva stating that smoking is איסור ושמרתם מאוד לנפשיכם .. but nobody in their right mind would think that he puts it on the same level as איסורי תורה. He would never tell a Homosexual to keep up his lifestyle ... no matter what.

      I took offense because of your comparing secular philosophers to the Raavid. I haven't noticed you address this problem. THIS was not said as a question, but as a statement.

      I'd appreciate it if you can remind me when I attacked Reb Dovid, whom I happen to hold in high esteem.

      Vitriol is easy - sticking to reasoned arguments is harder. It's perfectly okay to disagree, as long as one attacks IDEAS, and not people.

      I apologize if you thought I was attacking you personally - I was attacking the idea. DT quoted an idea of the Holy Hillel that was found to be kefira. I am sure that in my lifetime I've said things that can be considered Kefira. I hope if corrected them....

      Delete
    5. Ploni - yes, agreed, we should discuss the statements and ideas rather than each other, and work to get to a correct understanding of the issues.
      If you took offense at my "comparing" raavad's statements to secular statements, then I beleive it is your mistake. Since there is a brocho when we see a secular gaon, then obviously Chazal held that this is a marvelous creation. If what Raavad said 900 years ago is valid today, amongst secularists, why is that a bad thing? On the contrary, it is compliment to the Raavad.

      Regarding freewill - yes, there is truth that it needs to be done stepwise. There is basis to the idea that self destruction 9smoking) is a violation of the Torah. I asked dayan Berkovits ztl about smoking, and he said that the issur of eatign fish + meat on the same plate is nothing to do with kashrus, but about health, since it was safek sakanot nefashos. he then pointed out that today nobody will eat the 2 on the same plate, but they will very comfortably smoke cigarettes.
      BTW - the same Dayan Hametzuyan (as Rav Bleich eulogized him) said that the Ikkarim of the Rambam are incumbent on us today, since they have been accepted by now.
      Regarding Kefira - you can hold your own definition of what the Ikkarim are, whether is it Albo, Saadia, Rambam, or even Mickey Mouse - lehavdil. I have not stated anything that violates the 13 Ikakrim, that we recite in Yigdal.
      I also suggest you study the various sources i have cited on the Rambam and raavad.

      Delete
    6. DT, I have 2 issues with your approach.

      1. Your open minded way of not disqualifying anything without a clear source, and giving any idea the full respect of consideration, no matter how absurd the idea is, is very problematic. When a Yid is disturbed with certain statements because they attempt to undo the very fabric of our Mesora, it is inappropriate to give that statement any respect whatsoever. What if I can't find the absolute proof against those statements? If my lack of a source allows me to reconsider the 'basics', then that, in and of itself is an indication that I think I might know better than the Mesorah. For instance, you are discussing the way we talk about the Rishonim. So we get into a discussion of whether the concept of Yeridas Hadoros is Me'ikrei Hadas, and I tell you that the reason that certain statements about the Rishonim are disturbing does not require proof that Yeridas Hadoros is Me'ikrei Hadas. The first thing we were taught in Cheder is to be in awe of the Rishonim. Many even have the Minhag when teaching Tinokos Shel Bais Rabbon, of referring to Rashi as Rashi Hakodosh. This is a basic Yesod which is deeply ingrained in us and is not open to debate. B'aimah Uv'yirah are of the 48 Kinyanei Hatorah, and we have been taught that the words of the Rishonim are Torah and are to be learned B'aimah Uv'yirah. If someone undermines that, he is undermining a 'Basic'. If we give this respect and have to give proofs to support our Mesora, then our Mesorah is is not secure. Let me remind you, Rabbi Eidenson, of the criticism that I gave you of the way you referred to Rashi, a few months ago, about the way he was Mefaresh Lo Selech Rachil. Where does it come to you to be desensitized that way to that which you were initially taught to be Yad Soledes as the Gemara says if a Talmid isn't Sifsosov Notfos Mor in front of his Rebbe Tichvena, and we traditionally are Mekayem this in full about the Rishonim. It comes from your misplaced tolerance. The question of whether certain statements are heretic or not is not the issue. We are not being Dan Dinei Nefoshos here.

      2. I do not like to speak sharply to people, and when I had a debate with Eddie for the first time, I began with a soft spoken tone. When I realized that it would not be so easy to correct him, I made a suggestion that we communicate privately, because in private, you can have all of the patience in the world, and I can speak to him respectfully. Divrei Chachimim Benachas Nishmoim. If you attack someone, you have very little chance of getting through to them. But in a public forum, there are other things at steak. If a Bochur in Yeshiva introduces bad things, such as Nivul Peh or he brings certain Shmutz into Yeshiva, does that mean that he does not deserve to be helped and corrected in a loving way? No! But if he is doing this in Yeshiva, he is endangering others. He is the wolf who is devouring the flock. His behavior can't be tolerated in Yeshiva Bemokom Shechav Le'acheirim.

      Delete
    7. Katche - in your open letter to DT you make some remarks and implications about me, and how I relate to Rishonim.

      The problem is that you are making up all of this, or it is based on your own ignorance of what the Rishonim wrote. You have not really responded to any of the sources I bring from the Rishonim.
      Part of this is also due to your own personal ideology. In your view, philosophy is treif. However, in doing so, you yourself denigrate the Rishonim who engaged in Philosophy, including Saadia and Rambam, to say the least. You are simply in denial it is a joke how much am artzut you have in these matters. You do not knwo that Rambam considered Philosophy to be Maaseh Merkavah; that he considered greek goy Aristotle to be the highest level of human intellect one step before Nevuah. And you do not know that his shita in the Guide (which is assur for you to read anyway) was already in the making when he was much younger, as he notes in his intro to his Mishna commentary that he will write this particular book in the future.
      I will not get into detail about what his philosophical shita is , since he advises his reader not to discuss this in public.
      BTW, as I have already pointed out you are mezalzel Chazal since you are saying the Brocho they instituted for a secular hacham is actually worthless or forbidden - hence you are a) mocking Chazal, and b) implying that they used G-d's name in vain, for creating this brocho.

      But in Satmar, many things are from the other side, including their approach to Am Yisroel, and to Eretz Yisroel. Hence, many statements could be mad, which you would consider evil. RMF said after the Entebbe operation that this was an open miracle. the sadigur Rebbe would also celebrate on Yom haatzmaut, as would the Ponovezher Rav Kahaneman. So i should expect that you consider my ideas to be bad - if you considered them to be good, that would really worry me.

      Delete
    8. You raise some important points. When discussing someone with a common mesorah you are 100% correct in the guidelines and sensitivities you describe.

      The problem is when you deal with people with a different mesorah.

      This is exaclty the point that the Netziv makes in his Introduction

      My concerns for this Blog is to provide a forum for discussion and education for Jews with different backgrounds. Consequently if someone has views that clearly violate halacha and hashkofa and he/she is pushing for them to be accepted I simply stop posting their comments. If the comments take people out of their comfort zone and force them to have a better understanding of the importance of their Mesora or Minhag - I think that is a good thing.

      The Rambam is a good example of someone who got into trouble in his own time and if properly understood makes statements that are unacceptable to many in Modern Times. Nonetheless no one in their right mind would reject the Rambam as a Jew in good standing. Rav S. R. Hirsch also does such things as does Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Solveitchik, Rav Kook, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Satmer Rebbe - as well as many others.

      In general in an Internet discussion group one expects to read things which are problematic and therefore he must learn to deal with them. If in fact you find this forum a danger to your yiddishkeit - please stop participating. I am interesting in strengthening Yiddishkeit not weakening it.

      Delete
  13. Eddie writes:
    "Since there is a brocho when we see a secular gaon, then obviously Chazal held that this is a marvelous creation."

    I understanding that you're referring to או"ח רכ"ד. If so, I strongly believe that your reference is in error. Here's what it says:

    ז הָרוֹאֶה חַכְמֵי אֻמּוֹת הָעוֹלָם עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁחֲכָמִים בְּחָכְמוֹת (ד) הָעוֹלָם, אוֹמֵר: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁנָּתַן מֵחָכְמָתוֹ לְבָשָׂר וָדָם.

    So far - Eddie it does seem to say חכמה בגוים תאמין.

    But see the פרי מגדים אשל אברהם - that חכמות העולם refers ONLY to the שבע חכמות.

    But perhaps philosophy is one of these חכמות?

    Well, Eddie writes "I hold to the true Gedolei Torah , like the Gra". The Gra DID believe that one should learn all שבע חכמות, as mentioned by his Talmid, the פאת השלחן in his Hakdama.

    Let's see what the Gra said about learning secular philosophy:

    "ועל חכמת פילוסופי' אמר שלמדה לתכליתה ולא הוציא ממנה רק שני דברים טובים והם שבעים כחות שבאדם .... ועוד דבר אחד והשאר צריך להשליכה החוצה"

    I can't expect Eddie to be guided by what the Chassidic masters said, but both the נתיב מצוותיך and the בני יששכר, among others have some pretty harsh things to say.

    So forget about proving the worth of philosophy from או"ח רכ"ד.

    Interestingly enough, I found some professor who quotes the פאת השלחן - but he conveniently LEAVES out the part that mentions that the Gr'a only found two useful tidbits in all of philosophy....

    From http://www.kipa.co.il/ask/show/283473-%D7%A9%D7%91%D7%A2-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%9B%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%AA

    "כתב ר´ ישראל משקלוב בהקדמה לספרו פאת השלחן, ירושלים תשי"ט, ה ע"א: "כה אמר הגר"א כל החכמות נצרכים לתורתנו הקדושה וכלולים בה, וידעם כולם לתכליתם. והזכיר חכמת אלגעברע ומשולשים והנדסה וחכמת מוסיקא ושיבחה הרבה... וביאר איכות כל החכמות ואמר שהשיגם לתכליתם. רק חכמת הרפואה ידע חכמת הניתוח והשייך אליה... ועל חכמת פילוסופיה אמר שלמדה לתכליתה." המיתוס על בקיאותו המופלאה של הגר"א, שראשיתו עוד בחייו, טופח והתעצם לאחר מותו בידי אורתודוקסים ומשכילים כאחד, וכל חוג השתמש במיתוס זה לצרכים אחרים,

    I hope the oversight wasn't intentional...

    But all of this is much less of a concern than ANOTHER issue.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Gra was in favour of secular sciences, but critical of philosophy, which the Rambam praised. However, you have to talk about logic , whcih can be the foundation of sciences and also philosophy. If the Gra says that a student can be right and his teacher wrong,t hat is a logical and rational statement. It then blows the air out of your inflated Chassidic thought.

      Delete
    2. Eddie, you're so confusing!

      Are you admitting that your proof from making a Brocho on secular "Gaonim" was wrong, or not?

      Also, how come you told zoorba that you hold like true gedolim like the Gra, and now you change your mind?

      Delete
    3. Lorusch - it is confusing because there are several liens of argument, and each post takes on a new discussion. What I said about the Gra was about accepting the truth -
      "The Talmid Hacham muvhak of the Gra, R' Haim Volozhiner notes in his Ruach Hachaim (something I doubt Satmar would teach) that not only did the Gra hold that a student can argue with his Rebbe, he can also be right. This is heresy as far as Hassidim are concerned. However, I hold to the true Gedolei Torah , like the Gra."

      Are you familiar with that Ruach haChaim? I hold by that and also the statement of the ramchal. The subject here is on accepting the truth.
      Rambam also says that, for example in regards to astronomy. So what is controversial about that?
      Now Gra had issues with the Rambam on philosophy. that is a separate debate. We should really have a whole post for each debate.
      One for Raavad vs Rambam
      one for Gra vs Rambam
      etc.
      You have have tevunah - and just like the cockerel can distinguish between day and night, you ahev to distinguish between the varying debates going on and not conflate them.
      Do you accept the Gra on wearing a Kippa? Does it make you an apikorus if you do not? it woudl make most Litvishers apikorsim.

      Delete
  14. A bigger concern is that Eddie clearly a) sees raavad as a "pragmatist" who understands the limitations of free-will.

    In some of his posts, Eddie says that he's only posing questions, and not making statements. But in others, he clearly DOES make clear IMPLICATIONS - namely, that absolute freewill doesn't make sense, and that the Raavad "helps us" since he's generally more lenient - as noted by Tuuamas Kohanim - , and seems to be lenient on this issue of freewill, also.

    No way! The Raavad is NOT lenient on freewill- unless someone is looking for an excuse.

    Here's what the Raavad says:

    Concerning Raavad being משיג on the Ramabm, that Rambam should not have mentioned the issue altogether:
    וטוב היה לו להניח הדבר בתמימות התמימים ולא יעורר לבם ויניח דעתם בספק ואולי שעה אחת יבא הרהור בלבם על זה.

    Does that sound like a leniency? On the contrary - the Raavad is חושש that simple-minded people will end up doing exactly what some might take out of Eddie's words, namely 'This is sooo complicated" and it's sooo hard for me to resist my urges... Since it's complicated, it isn't soo bad...

    So the Raavad says - it's something we don't understand, but based on מסורה we know that בחירה / freewill IS a fact. So we shouldn't discuss it.

    When the Raavad goes on to offer his קצת תשובה he ends off by clearly saying "וזו הידיעה אינה גזירה".

    Bottom line - Eddie is correct, I DID take offense for comparing Raavad's statements to secular philosophers - because what they say is very different from what the Raavad does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ploni, you are conflating several issues. The freewill issue is one paragraph. In my next paragraph I wrote: "Raavad is more the Kabbalist, but is also very pragmatic and realistic, as we can often see on his critiques of Rambam's halachic statements."

      I state that he is pragmatic in some of his statements re. the Rambam. That doesn't mean he is meikil on freewill, it means he might be pragmatic. the 2 are different. But my example was on Hilchot Teshuva on corporealism. This means, he is being practical, ie some are not capable of fathoming the midrash and may err - so does this make them heretics? The comment on freewill, that me makes is also practical, as he is considering the possible result of people thinking about this and losing their way. that is not being meikil.

      I mentioned 2 halachic examples where Raavad is pragmatic, and there are several more. now you could challenge that and say he is usually more strict than the rambam or more dogmatic and then we have a debate. But you have mistaken the term pragmatic for lenient. There are other cases where he is more lenient, such as with a Pilegesh.

      but you make a fundamental error in logic, which is not surprising. If the hasagot are in disagreeing with the rambam, then that implies some will be stricter an some more lenient. You seem to equate leniency with heresy, so that is why you are offended. But if logically one of them has to be more lenient in any dispute then you are talking complete nonsense!

      Regarding freewill, i suggested that it is an important issue in today's climate, regardless of whether you agree with the seculars or not. That is because Halacha is challenged by such concepts, and for example a rapist can claim he was not aware of his actions. That I mention the secular viewpoint does not imply I agree with it. On the other hand, the psak regrdign smoking does imply some kind of limitations in freewill. Or that hachamim who smoke and cannot give up would be an embarrassment to the Torah.
      So , yes, if you ascribe what i said to the wrong cases, then you can pretend to show me up. But what I said was clear - often the Raavad is more pragmatic, and also he is critical of rambam's methodology, and not stating his sources, or allowing for alternative mesora. This is elementary.

      Delete
    2. Eddie could you please rewrite the above starting from your original assertion concerning the Rambam and Ravad. I really don't understand what you are saying at this point. you start out by making very clear though controversial assertions. But when challenged, your assertions lose their clarify and become a moving targets which are difficult to pin down.

      I understand that some of your comments are expressed in extreme form in order to stimulate debate or because you want to go immediately to the heart of the matter without providing context - but typically no is able to summarize your position with any degree of accuracy when the smoke clears.

      Delete
    3. I think DT makes a good point here. And perhaps it is important to clarify things, since too many issues are being conflated.

      So let us put all secular philosophy aside for now - since that is the tofel.

      Rambam was the supreme posek of the Sefardic world, and a towering giant. Raavad was the supreme authority in Posquieres in France and a towering Talmudic giant. Their hashkafa was also different as Rambam, as is well known was a philosopher, and the Raavad was one of the leading Kabbalists.

      Raavad wrote many hasagot to the Mishne Torah of Maimonides.
      My reading of thes, and IMHO - as I do not speak as an authority - is that there is possibly a systematic or underlying ideology behind the points of difference.
      I suggested that Rambam - who essentially gave us the 13 Ikkarim, had a very strong dogmatic and systematic halachic worldview. Raavad criticised the style of the Yad - for not bringing sources, and not allowing alternative mesorahs. He also stated why should he be deprived of his mesora just because Rambam poskens another way.

      Now, my claim, based on several of Raavad's hasagot, is that he often brings alternative sources, which are often alleviating the strict pronouncements of the Rambam. This means, that acording to Raavad, many who would be considered sinners or apikorsim, are not so, either lechatchila or bediaavad.

      I gave a few examples:

      1) corporealism - where Raavad makes his most famous comment of all - that they are not apikorsim.

      2) Tumat hameit - where he is patur on the matter

      3) Pilegesh - where it is not limited only to melachim.

      I, as a lowly individual many generations removed, see a different shitoh between the Raavad and the Rambam. I also see these as being shitot rather than random disagreements based on varying mesoras. By random, i mean that if it were random, then Raaavad would often be more dogmatic and top-down, rather than his style of taking into consideration the implications of a great statement that anyone who holds X is an apikorus. If there were an equal distribution of pragmatic vs dogmatic disagreements, then this would disprove my assertion. It might be a good topic for research.

      The issue of freewill, the way I interpreted Raavad, is that he is again concerned with the implications and practical results of such a discussion. That is not an issue of him being meikil/or machmir, but - I claim - is also part of his shitoh to look at pragmatic considerations and whether the Am can deal with the consequences of such a statement.
      The freewill discussion is less halachic and more philosophical. in both this case and that of corporealism, he is concerned with the outcome and implications for the average Jew. In other words, eh is not necessarily disputing Rambams philosophical worldview, but is questioning whether these matters can be dealt with by average people.

      So the question really whether there is a difference in shitoh, and if that is the reason , or a contributing factor to the different positions between the two Gedolim.




      Delete
    4. R' Itzhak Twersky ztl, the Talner rebbe and expert on the Rabad of the previous generation, wrote an article in 1957 entitled :

      "Rabbi Abraham ben David of Posquières: His Attitude to and Acquaintance with Secular Learning"

      In it he points out that in Mishneh Torah, Kiddush ha-.Iodesh,VII, 7, ,

      "Furthermore, Rabad's opposition was not to the use of astronomical knowledge derived from secular sources in the exploration and solution of calendrical problems but to the fact that this knowledge was not always in keeping with halakic norms, that it was sometimes erroneous for practical religious purposes. "

      So it is further supporting evidence for my thesis. In this case there is not even an issue of Kula, but of practicality - = pragmatism.
      I doubt if anyone on this forum has the same expertise on Raavad as did Rav Professor Twersky.

      Delete
    5. Eddie, here too, you're so confusing!

      You are obviously changing your mind from what you said before, because before you where talking about some people getting smaller punishments than others according to the Rayvid, and now you're saying that the Rayvid and the Rambam don't really argue!

      Delete
    6. No I did not, you are misreading what I said. "What I extrapolated from the Raavad was that our understanding of freewill is not easy to put in a nutshell." That is all I said about raavad and what some philosphers have said. The fact that some other philosphers, scientists and lawyers will talk of certain deterministic ideas is not related to the Raavad, nor did i suggest it is. That was a furhter step in the discussion. I spoke about smoking addiciton and that it implies some determinism.
      If i speak tomorrow about the extinction of Orangutans in Borneo, that also is unrelated to the Raavad, although we have freewill to stop it.

      Delete
    7. Lorush - you obviously haven't learned the raavad and the Rambam, or what the learned people say about it. The Raavad does argue with the Rambam.
      The question is what are they disputing? In the examples i gave of freewill and anthropomorphism, Raavad is not disputing the concept of freewill or the concept of incorporeality. he is raising objections to the practical implications of both of these hilchot brought down by Rambam.
      That distinction is pretty well accepted.
      The problem with my detractors is that they are meshugaim. So , if for example, i say that a great philosopher or a goy restated what a gadol b'torah said long ago, they will accuse me of heresy.
      But they also have problems with R' Yehuda Hanassi who would restate what goyish scientists said, or Rambam who did the same.

      Delete
    8. I have to make a confession - even if it makes me look foolish, but it is important to speak the Emes even when it may be to a disadvantage.
      I have read an english translation of the Raavad on Freewill. I will post it below. I was led to beleive that they do not not disagree about freewill. Bu tit does seem that there are 3 points, 1 of agreement and 2 of disagreement:

      1) they agree in the concept of free will
      2) Rabad disagrees with Rambam's formulation of the problem of freewill vs. Foreknowledge.
      3) Rabad disagrees with Rambam on the appropriateness of publicising this argument.

      The translation is from a secular source so I will not link it. But i think it ia accurate please correct me if not.

      "Says Abraham: This author did not follow the practice of sages according to which no man should embark on an enterprise he cannot bring to a successful conclusion. He began by raising problems but left the problems unsolved, falling back on faith. It would have been better for him to have left the unsophisticated in their innocence without introducing doubts into their minds, perhaps causing them to entertain heretical thoughts for the time being. Even though there is no completely convincing solution to this problem, it is right to suggest here some kind of answer. So I say: If a man's virtue or his wickedness depended on the decree of the Creator we would then be obliged to say that His knowledge is His decree and then, indeed, the problem would have been extremely severe. As it is, the Creator has surrendered His power to control man's life by giving this power to man himself. Consequently, God's foreknowledge is not determinative but should rather be compared to the knowledge the astrologers have, who know by external means what will happen to this or that person. It is well-known that the Creator has made every event, great or small, depend on the stars but, at the same time, He endowed man with reason to help him escape the fate decreed by the stars and from this results man's capacity to be virtuous or wicked. The Creator knows the force of the star and its times so that He knows whether man will possess sufficient power of reason to enable him to escape from the fate decreed by the star. Such knowledge is not determinative. But all this is really worthless."

      If Rabad - one of the greatest Gedolim in history says that there is no complete solution to this issue - then there is nothing wrong in saying that chachamei Oumot have echoed his statement.
      All the time the Hareidim say that our chachim know more than the goyim, and that the goyim only speak the truth when they agree with our chachamim. however, a Modernish person makes this statement, and is called koifer for saying what all the Haredi textbooks say about madda.
      I am sure the KGB also learned a lot from the Haredim.

      Delete
  15. As far as Tumaas Kohanim - the author of the Hakira paper you linked to thankfully doesn't see any "grand plan" in making the Raavad into a pragmatist, but rather understands that the Raavd is מקיל because טומאת ארץ העמים makes every case of Tumah into טומאה בחיבורין, so that no new Tuuamh is חל.

    Seriously, do you think one Psak of the Raavad that isn't mainstream makes him into a מקיל/ does the fact that Ra Eliezer is מתיר לחלל שבת for מכשירי מילה make him part of the same crowd?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ploni, you twist everything beyond recognition.

      you write "but rather understands that the Raavd is מקיל..... do you think one Psak of the Raavad that isn't mainstream makes him into a מקיל. does the fact that Ra Eliezer is מתיר לחלל שבת for מכשירי מילה make him part of the same crowd?"
      So now you use language which u , Katche and nat were alleging I was using. "crowd" - so there is a crowd is there?
      You say he is Meikil in the one case , and then deny he is meikil. I didnt use the term meikil anyway.
      The author did not address my poitn of pragmatism, he only discussed the alleged discrepancies between the hasagot on Mt and Temim Deim -pointign out that the Temim Deim was written before the hasagot!

      Delete
    2. Eddie, please consider what I write here without dismissing it with an assumption that it is written only out of spite. Give my words the benefit of the doubt.

      You are completely misunderstanding what Ploni wrote.

      1. He pointed out an instance where The Raavid was Maikil and stated that the fact that he was Maikil in that instance does put him in a 'category'. It does not make him into 'A Maikil'

      2. His use of the word crowd was a projection onto what he sees as 'your' approach.

      Step one of having a meaningful debate is effective communication. It requires an effort from both parties to understand what the other is saying. It requires respect in the sense that the assumption must be that the other person 'is' saying something meaningful. If you misinterpret the other person's statements in a way which makes them meaningless, there will be no communication and no meaningful debate.

      I am saying here that you are not debating in a true way. You could dismiss this and/or turn the criticism back onto me. Or you could consider that there might be something to what I am saying.

      Delete
    3. Eddie, you don't make sense.

      Why did you bring the whole article about Tummass Hamess into the discussion, just to say that the Temim Deim was written before the hasagot"?

      What bearing does that have on this discussion.

      Delete
    4. Katche - this post of yours is intelligent - B'H. I agree in principle with you.
      However, you seem to ignore the fact that Ploni is flasifying what i said. I didnt say Rabad ztl is a meikil per se. I said he is more pragmatic on a lot of the cases where he disagrees with Rambam. What katche has written above is a very important point. Do you not see that it is precisely what everyone is doing to me?
      You should - according to your own words - red my statement as if it was written by Joe Bloggs. Then look at the tochen, not the kankan. Do you understand my argument /nimukim? Or are you just looking for one word out of place, so you can say it was said without the right sensitivity, and is apikorsus?

      Next, there is law in the Torah - which many peopel do not observe - which says he who falsely testifies agasint his neighbour, the intended punishment should be brought back upon him.
      There was nothing in my original post, or my new one, that was mevazeh the Rabad or the Rambam.
      You are on the one hand saying it is apikorsus or bizayon to use colloquial language when speaking of Gedolim in a polemic fashion, and ont the other u say it is quite Ok to do that if it serves your own side or ploni's.
      So stop being hypocrtical, and discuss the issues.

      Delete
    5. Lorusch - is it too difficult for you to read an academic article in English?
      Is there a law that says referencing an interesting article which shows the Gadlus of a Torah giant is somehow forbidden?
      The article is for anyone who is interested to see some background to one specific gloss of the Rabad, which is controversial. Since the discussion is about the Raavad vs the rambam, and this was about one such controversy, then it has every bearing on the discussion. if you want to read Mickey Mouse comics, which are easier, and have more pictures, then do not get into a discussion about halacha.

      Delete
    6. Katche lab: first read my new sumamry of my arguemnt, as requested by DT.

      Second - Altogether I have give 4 cases of Raavad's hasagot on the Rambam. I have argued that they all conform to pragmatic considerations. You are presenting Ploni as saying that 1 case does not make a general rule. But I have given 4 cases which u should consider, if you wish to honestly analyse my proposal. you might say 4 cases do not make a general rule. that is true but beyond this you could write a sefer or a book, whichever you prefer, to study all of the hasagot, and then classify what the grounds of dispute are. This blog does not allow for such an enterprise, but if you have the time and koach to do it, then kol hakavod.
      I think the cases I have presented are sufficient to support my hypothesis.

      Delete
    7. Eddie, If you recall, in our first discussion several months ago, I did very much address the points you made. After a while, though, I was getting frustrated because I experienced being misunderstood and straw man arguments. Could I ask that you do the following exercise? Try to understand what I am saying. Begin with an assumption that I am saying something valid and intelligent. That does not mean you have to agree with me, but you do have to know that I am saying something meaningful. You should not automatically assume that as a Satmarer, I am probably narrow minded, and that is the basis of my issue. I assure you I am broader than you think, and my issues are real and intelligent.


      This was the original comment which tzoorba made:
      Your college junior analysis of people that are so far beyond your imagining is so far from the truth and off the mark that your comments are nothing but a crude and disrespectful joke.

      He was clearly insulting to you, but if could look past that and see what he is saying, you will know that he has a valid and intelligent point. I happen to agree with his point, and you perhaps don't, but it is (incumbent upon)requested of you to at least understand it and consider it before you dismiss it as nothing but a spiteful comment. He is very disturbed by something, as am I. If you understand what he means please tell me what you think he is saying. If you don't, I can explain further. But it would be a good exercise for you to try to understand his statement without any further explanation.

      There is, however, no point in having a debate if there is no communication.

      Delete
    8. katche - you ask a reasonable question, and I will therefore try to answer it.

      Zorba makes several claims in his statement, and you admit that you agree with them.

      1) the level of my analysis is college junior

      2) the people (Rishonim) are beyond my imagination

      3) my analysis is far from the truth ie totally false

      4) they are crude and disrepsectful


      Now, this is how I understand his statement. now i will tell you why i reject it.

      1) The level of analysis - well another detractor called it the level of a Harvard professor. Now, i take that as a compliment but also a bit flattering, since I am not at that level. Rav Twersky was. But the level that you or anyoen else ascribes is irrelevant - it is the tochein - which nobody is really addressing, but I hope they do. The exception is Ploni, although he is falsifying what i said.

      2) This may be a religious statement or a rational statement. But it may also be an irrelevant statement. Also, there is no proof that your imagination is more accurate than mine, or more correct. The level was very high. I heard from a respected Litvish Rov in London that R Haim Vollozhiner was asked about the level of the Gra compared to the Rambam RHV said that the Gra was like a "worm" compared to rambam. This should give an indication of how great Rambam was, since the Gra's level of spirituality and intellect and Ruach hakodesh is beyond our grasp. Now the Gra also said that the rambam erred in philosophy. i am not going to touch that debate, but you see that even at the level of a "worm" chas v'shalom, can someone criticise a Rishon. So you might say i am like an atom compared to the Gra. I am. but the Gra gives me permission to argue on him and even be right, if i can prove it thru sevora and logic. So Point 2 is also false and irrelvant and chicanery.

      3) You are totally entitled to say my analysis is wrong - this is what I challenged you on, but you have been unable to answer, and you have not responded yet to my clarification above.

      4) It is disrespectful - nobody has shown why they think it is disrespectful only made bland statements that your crowd are in the know, whilst I am not. This is just proof of your own ignorance. Furthermore, you (plural) have been deliberately falsifying my words. You have said my "accusation" was that Raavad was A meikil, but my statement was that he is pragmatic. An honest and intelligent person (the second of which you certainly are) would see the difference. Now, what is disrespectful about saying one Rishon is more pragmatic and the other is more dogmatic?
      is it also disrespectful to say one was more trained in the sciences whilst the other was a kabalist.

      Katche - the other problem with you is that you are displaying traits of passive-aggressiveness. You learned to speak politely to get what you want, but your intentions are very dishonest and crooked. And a crooked path cannot be made straight. On the one hand you speak with great alleged respect for gedolim, but then you simply ignore what I bring from Gedolim, such as the Gra or the Rambam. You make a dogma that one cannot argue with someone greater than he. This is liek the forked tongue of a snake - which is not surprising considering your origins.
      I bring proof of the Rambam and Gra and Ramchal who say that we can.
      It is actually the Chassidim who are mevazeh these Gedolim (exception is Habad who at least accept the Rambam). And so you are being very dishonest when you ask me to consider your statements carefully, but you ignore my statements which you do not wish to hear. So in your own book, you are a koifer, since you are mevaze the Gedolim who are far beyond your imagination. this also goes for Zoorba, Ploni etc, who are all mevaze and mezalzel the rationalistic statements of the Rambam, Ramchal and Gra.
      This is all unnecessary for my defence, since I was not arguing with either the rambam or the Raavad, i was analysing their differing shitot, which obviously you are unable to do.

      Delete
    9. Eddie, I thank you for calling me intelligent. That's big of you, in light of all things transpired. I disagree however with the insulting things that you said about me. While I can't claim complete honesty because I am a sufferer of the human condition and inevitable human failings as we all are and I referred to myself in the Tefilloh of Yom Kippur Koton as having all negative attributes listed there, I try to be honest and debate honestly, so it is not true what you say that I deliberately falsify your words, or that my intentions are very dishonest and crooked. And with your reference to my origins, I must sadly say that I do not do justice and honor to my holy origins the way I should, and I hope to constantly improve.

      I also must say that I admit to you that I misjudged you, because you write something here which very much speaks the language that I like to hear, and I didn't expect this of you and I was pleasantly surprised. You wrote:
      This should give an indication of how great Rambam was, since the Gra's level of spirituality and intellect and Ruach hakodesh is beyond our grasp.

      After having seen this from you, I would imagine you would speak similarly of Rashi, as there is a statement about Rashi too from RHV, that when he was asked if his Rebbe The Gra was as great as Rashi, he said Chas V'sholom like Rashi, Maybe like the Ramba'n.

      It would probably follow logically that you would place all of the Rishonim in such a league, as you call 'beyond our grasp'. After all The Gra and all of the Gedoilim whom you hold in the highest esteem revered their every word. The more you learn any Sefer, the more you see this again and again - the humility and Hisbatlus (like a worm) that the Gedolim throughout the generations felt to their predecessors. So you are not Chas V'sholom pretending to negate what Chazal say, about Rishonim Kemalachim

      And I agree with you that this in and of itself is not a reason to prohibit issuing a Halacha Ruling or learning a Pshat different from those preceding them to whom they felt this Hisbatlus. The fact that a later Gadol doesn't argue with an earlier one is for a different reason entirely. I will state the reason here Bekitzur and please don't take it as a superfluous statement because it is a deep idea which really needs to be explained at length, but in a nutshell the reason is that he is not Omed al Daato Ho'amuka of the earlier Gadol, so how can you argue a point which you yourself realize that you haven't grasped thoroughly.

      Delete
    10. Now to the issue, when you say that The Gra's level of spirituality and intellect and Ruach hakodesh is beyond our grasp, that means, at the very least, that we do not understand the depths of his thoughts and reasoning. The logic that is apparent to us in his statements, is just the tip of the iceberg of the full depth of the underlying logic in his statements. We therefore can't on the basis of learning somethings that he said, know the underlying rationale enough to be able to predict how he would rule on something else. There is an old philosophical expression אילו ידעתיו הייתיו. Therefore when you analyze debates between Rishonim and attempt to put their concepts into some sort of category, it is out of place, because we can't categorize when we don't grasp the full reasoning. You might say that the words of this Rishon are presented in a way which has an outward appearance to us as this or that, but not to say that this is absolutely so. We might think that The Ramba'm was not a Kabbalist, but the Migdal Oz says he was. So could we know how much Kaballah went into his reasoning? Also sometimes Gedolim deliberately conceal the depth of their wisdom. Reb Chaim Vital spoke so figuratively and allegorically, that The Gr'a said that if not for a few places where it was apparent that RC'V understood the Nimshal, it would have seemed from his writings that he did not. Hence my being disturbed by your analysis. So the underlying issue lies in the point you numbered as 2). The other 3 points follow.

      Delete
    11. Katche, you are only seeing one side of the story.
      You entire argument actually - once again - denigrates the statement of the Gra. I am not going to repeat it anymore, since it is useless. But you are effectively saying that the Gra is talking nonsense. this contradicts what you claim about the greatness of the Gedolim. In other words, you pick and choose, and only accept the statements of the Gedolim that suit your own preconceived views. I think to an extent we are all guilty of thsi, since we all have negios and bias. But if you are making an intelelctual case, and you repeatedly ignore my citation of the rambam, ramchal and Gra, then obviously youhave some kind of intellectual or Hortense deficit.
      Ramchal (whom gra said he would walk by foot to Italy to see him if he were still alive) said his statments about analyzing the Talmud! Can you grasp what he is saying? I don't think you can.
      The American Indians , when the Spanish ships were coming to attack them, could not see the ships. The reason was that the concept of a ship was so beyond their preconceptions of the world, that their minds blocked out this vision on the sea. Now this is precisely what is occuring to you. the idea of , say a college junior arguing with Einstein, or an am haaretz arguing with a Gadol is beyong you capability to comprehend. So when the rambam, ramchal and Gra say that it is a valid approach and sometimes they are correct (ie am haaretz) you simply block it out.
      But that is not surprising, since the idea that a Rebeb would send his flock to the gas chambers rather than lose a game of political poker, and admit he was wrong, is also invisible to you.

      Delete
    12. Eddie, I think there is a miscommunication here. It is possible that since we are coming from such vastly distant vantage points, we omit in our discussions what think is automatically understood as given. When you say 'I am not going to repeat it anymore, since it is useless', that rings of frustration. It reminds me of the way I often feel in our debates. I think that in this phenomenon, which is a natural nondeliberate and not culture related human experience, we are the same. I will say, though, that you have accused me recently of speaking arrogantly, and you blamed it on Satmar, but now your words are full of insults, so where does that come from? I have stopped (at least for the time being) speaking sharply. Maybe I can keep it up. How about you? I admitted that I judged you wrongly. Please forgive me.

      You say that my my argument denigrates the statement of the Gra, and that I am effectively saying that the Gra is talking nonsense.

      I haven't the foggiest idea what you saw in my argument that warrants this response whatsoever. I'm afraid you will have to clarify.

      I did not ignore your citation of the rambam, ramchal and Gra. I explained Bekitzur what the conditions are to allow argument against the words of a greater/earlier gadol. I said that I was expressing a deep concept very much Bekitzur, and I can expand on it, so why do you simply dismiss and insult? Why don't you just ask me to give the expanded version, if this is your issue? Is it? Or maybe your issue is something else. It is because I don't know where our underlying difference is that I don't want to be lengthy on any particular point before I know that this is the point of issue.

      Please clarify.

      Delete
    13. katche, there is plenty of miscommunication here and we jump from point to point, and also early points are conflated with latter ones.

      I can't see your comments on Rambam etc - but these are just your way. The Gra does not give conditions - he is telling his student that the student can argue, and win.
      A minority of rabbis claim that Rambam knew Kabbalah - by that I mean Zohar etc. If you had seen the debates we had here about 1-2 years ago you would maybe see that it is pretty much impossible.
      Just because you make a statement , that doesn't make it true. The Gra attacked Rambam for rejecting the Kabbalah! try wrapping your head around that one. my friendly advice is to think long and hard about what this means. it is not something like pashkevil you see which says pepsi cola is kosher or treif. It is a very serious and fundamental issue. And you need to learn what Rambam says on all these issues and in the Guide to get an idea of his hashkofo.

      I will repeat another point - and I base it on a principle that RHV ztl says. he says that even if all the kabbalists in the world get together and agree you can change 1 single part of the Torah, it doesnt make any difference - this act would be bottul. RHV' point is a very deep one, again. Please mediate on it and its implications. Whislt we are on the subject of Rambam, the Gra and RHV - these giants of Torah and foundations of the world - here is another vort.

      it is well known that the Gra critiqued the Rambam. But what might be less well known was the esteem for which RHV held the Rambam in. there was a Chossid who was teaching a shiur, whow as very anti-rambam, and anti Moreh hanevuchim. But the Nefesh Hachaim begins , ie its first 2 chapters, on exactly the same topics as Moreh Hanevuchim. This also has a dep implication - it obviously means he studied this sefer of the Rambam and held it to be Kadosh.

      now, if anyone claims that we can change the Torah, or change our view on monotheism, or pantheism, chas v shalom, i simply point to HV who said such a claim, even with all the experts of maaseh merkavah, is bottul.


      Delete
    14. Eddie, it looks like you are trying to take me and the argument of track, but I refuse. You agree about the miscommunication and talk about jumping from point to point, which is something I am trying not to do. So let's recap.

      1) Tzoorba made a statement of criticism to which I agreed.
      2) You subdivided his statement into 4 points and explained your position in connection to those points. Betoch Hadvorim you discussed the right that one has to argue with one who is greater.
      3) I explained that the main issue is in point 2 and the other points follow.
      4) I explained what about point 2 is so disturbing to me. That you can't claim to understand and thereby categorize what the underlying reasoning is of the Ramba"m whom's wisdom you admit is beyond your grasp. Betoch Hadvarim I also discussed Bekitzur the issue of arguing with previous Gedolim.
      4) You said that I only see 1 part of the story, and then go on to say that I have effectively said that the Gr'a is speaking nonsense. You did not address at all my explanation of what disturbed Tzoorba and me.
      5) I asked you for clarity because I don't see how you addressed the issue which disturbed me about your analysis, and I don't know what your attack is about the Gr'a.

      Now, I am requesting, in order not to lose track, to deal first and foremost with the initial issue, which is what Tzoorba and I were disturbed about. If you haven't addressed it because you see my point, then please say so, and we can move on to other things.

      Delete
    15. Katche - firstly forgive me if I do nto remember every point you made. You see this is asymmetric warfare. that means I am 1 person, and i am in battle with about 10 people, each of whom demand responses. So i have to write 50 responses a day, whereas you only have to do 1/10th of that. See my point?

      In other words, if it was a streetfight, me against 10 thugs, who knows, I might have to use some fancy kung fu moves. Also I sometimes mix what u say with Ploni, since you argue on very similar lines and agree with each other.

      Let us discuss point 2 b'bekiut.

      What I can't understand is the level of greatness of the Rishon in Torah. That doesn't mean we cannot understand what they say. this may be a fundamental ikkar for you - but the regular people in rambam's time were nto greater than they are today. That means eddie and katche 1000 years ago were no smarter than they are today. The Gedoliim, , Rambam, Ramban etc - were greater than the Gedolim of now, i.e. RMF, RYBS. That is greatness. since we should be in awe of R' feinstein ztl, then even more so we should be of Rambam.

      However, if you claim we cannot understand a word of what they wrote, then you must be either completely stupid or completely brainwashed.
      If you cannot understand the Shulchan Aruch, or say 1 line of it, then hwo do you know you are keeping it correctly?
      how do you knwo you are keeping the Torah correctly? Moshe was greater than rambam and Ramban put together. Do you not understand the 10 commandments? Do you not understand the prohibition agaisnt homosexuality? if you a person does not understand that he is a tembel.

      How about the commandments? When the torah says do not do gay things, do you udnersatdnn that? Perhaps becasue you are so stupid, what it really means is that you should do that? Is that reasonable to you? This is where your argument is leading. this is precisely what Korach and Shabbetai Zvi's strategy was. It is also how sex abuser operate, they try to confuse their vicitms, and then tell them that what they are doing is a mitzvah.

      If you do not understand the torah, Mishna, Rishonim, acahronim, poskim, and current rabbis, it means that u are complete dunce. So why do you pretend to understand and then tell other peopel what the meaning is of one halacha or other.

      Delete

    16. Now yes, I respect the rambam, and he is greater than rabbis of today. That doesnt make ita big mystery. This is the language of dictators. And little dictators like yourself, have big dicators like your rebbe. you are simply passing off your brainwashing to justify your own dictarship.

      What I missed was you alleged dealing with the Gra and rambam and Ramchal. Ramchal is talking about the gemara statements, ie what he thinks is pleasing to the mind vs what isnt. And how to distinguish. he is not talking to himself or to Elijahu - he is talking to his students, and to me.
      if he didn't think people would understand, he would not write the book. or he would put a self destruct note,t hat it shoudl be burned after 20 years.

      I have never heard such rubbish from anyone, well apart from a few other characters here, like Chaim.

      Let's put it this way. R shternbuch doe snto understand the Gra, who does nto understand the Rambam, and DT does nto understand R Shternbuch, so whenver he mentions the psakim, he is mistaken,. In any case, we do nto understand DT. So basically what you say is the complete opposite of the Mesorah. Again this is not surpsing, because you coe from the other side, so it is your nature to be kitzutz b'netiot. But quite apart from that, the torah says lo b'shamayim hi - the torah is nto in heaven. it is nto far away for us to say we cannot keep it.

      Now, I really do nto need to waste my time, and my typing mileage to answer to someone so insane as yourself. As i said, all the major yeshivot say that you can understand - the Gedolim, the Shuchan aruch rishionim, Gemara, and torah. If by your admission, you do nto understand what the rishnim say - then, you have not say in this matter -a s you have already claimed diminished responsibility. So i see no point in continuing this discusison with you or anyone who thinks like you. farewell.

      Delete
  16. What to do about addictions? Bechira would mean that one has the ability to take the FIRST necessary step.

    Rav moshe shapiro Shlit'a has a piece on this in בינת המדות א'.

    personally, I think the ספר הישר לר"ת שער ששי can be an excellent resource for addiction treatment.

    It pays to remember that the issue isn't perfection, but rather קבלת עול, רצון, תשובה. As I've mentioned in an earlier post, the only thing gained by limiting freewill, is removing remorse for sin. This is usually done out of a misplaced fear of the negative repercussions of "guilt".

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anyway, why does Eddie think that "pragmatism"=leniencies and "dogmatism"=stringencies. Isn't that highly subjective, the subject being Eddie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chaim - that is Ploni's claim not mine. Read my full statement above, I did not mention leniencies I mentioned pragmatism.

      Delete
    2. Chaim - you mentioned in the original post that you agree with chas v'shalom in his ludicrous claim that my statement is Bizayon haTorah. Now, look at my updated statement above, where i have essentially said the same thing, and try to make an honest comment. Even if I am "wrong" about their styles, it is not Bizayon HaTorah. I would also ask Nat to look at my statement of today, since he seemed at least to be a little bit more reasonable....

      Delete
    3. Eddie.

      I have reread your original statement which started this whole ball of thread rolling, and I am still as convinced as I was before that the way you speak about the Rambam, portraying him חס ושלום as some absent-minded Halachist whose dogmatic (I know what that means) methodology shows an incapability to address the practical realities of society (at least society at large). This is disrespectful, to put it mildly. And yes, there is a lack of humility in speaking this way about spiritual giants - even when you write "IMHO".
      The fact that this view is utter nonsense is not what bothers me. Your theory of an underlying argument of approach between the Rambam and Raavad (which informs some of their Halachic positions), though being to my mind unfounded, also does not bother me in the least. You could have expressed both of these ideas in a respectful way through which your point(s) could be conveyed without producing the negative reaction that they did.

      Continuing the honest comment: You consistently berate me for all the negative qualities you associate with being Chareidi. I would submit that perhaps the negative way you write about Gedolim is indeed much more tolerated and perhaps even promoted in certain Modern Orthodox circles. This may be one area of disagreement between our camps. I say maybe, because I am not sure and do not want to חס ושלום denigrate an entire Choshuve (though misguided in some areas) ציבור of Klal Yisrael. But here are 2 (of many possible) examples that come to mind:

      When Rabbi Shlomo Goren issued his famous ruling allowing 2 mamzerim to marry, he drew universal criticism from across the gamut of Gedolim worldwide - Rav Yechezkel Abramsky, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shach, Rav Eliashiv, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, the Steipler, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Moshe Soloveitchik זכרונם לברכה - and many, many more. They declared him unfit to serve, and disqualified his decisions on all matters.

      In a taped lecture available on YUTorah.org, Rabbi Aharon Rakeffet, a famous MO Rabbi, says that Rav Henkin זצ"ל disagreed with all of the above and declared Rabbi Goren's ruling as correct. Rakeffet offers his own explanation of why Rav Henkin was the only Gadol to do so - it's because he was old and blind and therefore did not suffer from נגיעות and selfish political motivations!
      In our circles, such speech would, if not get one ejected from the Beis HaMedrash, at least be a red warning sign that the speaker's כבוד חכמים is sorely lacking - but in some places, this man is greatly revered and his words soaked up and unchallenged by the listeners.

      Delete
    4. Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein, son of Rav Aharon and co-RY of Gush, has an article here: http://www.torahmusings.com/2013/11/people-and-objects/
      He is a well-known and respected MO Rav. Here is some of the criticism he writes about the holy Yehuda:

      "Let us begin with the Tamar episode. The cardinal sin in these happenings is not the sexual licentiousness of the parties involved, but the treatment of Tamar. Both Yehuda and his sons treat her as an object to be used (or abused) for their own benefit and pleasure, refusing to relate to her as a human being worthy of respect and recognition as such, whose needs, emotional and other, must be taken into account. Initially manifesting itself in the crude and boorish behavior of Er and Onan, it is true of their father as well."

      I view these words, as well as those in the subsequent paragraphs in that article, as nothing less than disgusting. For these sentiments to be thought, not to mention expressed, by any believing Jew is troubling. But a Rosh Yeshiva? It should be unthinkable! A community in which such remarks are not even considered controversial has a deep problem, and it pains my heart.

      Again, I am not claiming that this phenomenon is endemic. I have listened to thousands of hours of MO Rabbanim who are Torah-true. But the problem exists and nobody in that camp seems to be willing to address it.

      Delete
    5. For anyone interested in the statements of the Gedolim against Rabbi Goren, see the Journal HaPardes (available on Hebrewbooks) year 47 issue 4.

      Delete
    6. Chaim @ "the way you speak about the Rambam, portraying him חס ושלום as some absent-minded Halachist whose dogmatic (I know what that means) methodology shows an incapability to address the practical realities of society (at least society at large). This is disrespectful, to put it mildl"

      That is not what I was saying about the Rambam. I said he has his head in the clouds - it is relating to his elevated state of mind, as prescribed in the Guide. After all, many of the Neviim were elevated above the clouds. If you prefer, the analogy should be with the ministering Angels, that is where i see the Rambam, in terms of a moshul.
      where on earth did you get the absent -minded quip from? I did not say or imply he was absent minded.
      As for dogmatic - I heard from Rav Simcha Wasserman ztl the same thing, he said that rambam speaks with authority and dogma, ie he basically tells us the halacha, while the Ramban takes us through each step and works with us to reach a conclusion.
      Have you seen a tower, eg the Canaray wharf in London, or the Empire state? Do you know where the top of the tower is? It is in and above the clouds. I said the same about Rambam because he towers above all of us in his intellect.
      Basically Chaim you are pontificating, but you are also a dishonest and manipulative character. i don't know if it is chicken or egg - do dishonest people get pulled into Charedism or do the Chareidi institutes produce well versed liars.
      The moshul the Rambam gives in the beginning of his maamar Techiyat Hametim is perhaps appropriate - the Shema says one thing, yet the Christians say the complete opposite. This could just boil down to your stupidity. But the allegation that I said he was absent minded is a vindictive lie. I didnt say that at all. I said he was dogmatic, because of his systematic thought system.

      Since you have been caught out as liar, then discussing anything else with you is of no value.
      The lies told about R' Goren were also exposed recently with the same rav Elyashiv who opposed him giving his backing to ex-Dayan (now under criminal investigation) Sherman, and colleague Atias, who posulled thousands of conversions without even looking at the cases! This is a violation of halacha. Now Rav Yosef who you quote did not excommunicate or disqualify Rav Goren. he did, however, oppose the Sherman disaster, and was consistent in his position.

      Delete
    7. Thank you very much for that eye-opener. This is from the leadership of the modern orthodox. They do not even deserve the credit of being apikorsim. Chamorim nos'ei seforim in the true sense of the word. And Bera K'ara Deavua.
      I just want to quote Rav Shach's words regarding the father's rebbi: Oib er hut talmidim, zey zennen oichet apikorsim.

      Delete
    8. "universal criticism from across the gamut of Gedolim worldwide - Rav Yechezkel Abramsky, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Shach, Rav Eliashiv, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, the Steipler, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Moshe Soloveitchik זכרונם לברכה"

      This was largely a staged protest, and it gave Rav Elyashiv the credentials to enter the haredi orbit, having previously been a Tzioni and follower of R Herzog.
      A few of the Gedolim you mention had clear ideological reasons for their oppositions. R' Moshe Soloveichik was in Brisk, and was also oppsoed to his cousin RYBS. Brisk are totally anti-zionist, so any excuse will be enough for them to protest the Zionim. Lubavitcher rebbe saw a challenge to his plan of becoming Moshaich. This may have even preceded Rav Shach's campaign - but R Schneerson had a serious problem. His Messianic pretensions, which actually began with his father in law, the Friedikker Rebber, were allegedly based on the Hilchot malachim of Rambam. The criteria that the Rambam brings are the compulsion of Israel to keep Torah and mitzvot; fighting wars; ingathering of the exiles, and building the temple. Since it was Rav Goren who was actually better qualified (but not fulfilling these criteria), ie fighting the 6 day war, liberating Temple Mount first time since Bar Kochba, compelling the army to keep kosher and Yom Tov; and of course zionistic gathering of exiles, then it was a bit of an embarrasment to the Rebbe that this upstart from Gur would technically outscore him on the criteria of the Rambam.
      Also, the rebbe never stepped foot in Israel and was oppose to ingathering of exiles.
      Now there was genuine halachic grounds to oppose R' Goren, and R' Yisraeli, R' Yosef, and R Elyashiv ztl were on the original BD, and all opposed him. But only R' Elyashiv disqualified 'Goren, not the other two.
      The issue is not about halacha, since clearly Sherman did this but 20K as much, and without looking at the cases. So RYSE was well aware that it is possible to posul a giur. The issue was whether a Tzioni can be a Rav bichlal and make halachic decisions. The Gedolim you mentioned did not approve of that. If a Russian convert today cannot complete the Pasuk Shema Yisrael... , then people like Atias and Sherman would annul their giur. In Borokovsky's case they held that he was Jewish in every respect.

      Delete
    9. Well, it didn't take much to bring back the old Eddie! I rest my case.

      Delete
    10. ChaimFebruary 19, 2014 at 12:34 AM
      I view these words, as well as those in the subsequent paragraphs in that article, as nothing less than disgusting. For these sentiments to be thought, not to mention expressed, by any believing Jew is troubling.


      Why? That is the ikar of the Targum Yonatan? It is also the sentiment expressed by Rav Yitzhak Meir Morgenshtern, who I hope we can agree is not MO by any stretch of the imagination. Granted instead of calling upon her individual human dignity he claimed that they failed to treat her with the respect due to a Bat Yisrael.

      You can find said sentiments in numerous sources both classic and more recent. While the honor and respect due a Bat Yisrael have been hijacked by certain progressive elements it does not negate it. Likewise the Torah elucidates certain rights of a Bat Yisrael, neither are those negated simply because some progressive elements over reach.

      Delete
    11. EddieFebruary 19, 2014 at 2:38 AM
      This was largely a staged protest, and it gave Rav Elyashiv the credentials to enter the haredi orbit, having previously been a Tzioni and follower of R Herzog.
      Also, the rebbe never stepped foot in Israel and was oppose to ingathering of exiles.

      Where do you come up with this stuff? I mean really!!! Rav Elyashiv a Tzioni? I think not. Read his teshuvot in Piskei Din it is quite clear that he was not a Tzioni. Unless you are radically redefining the term Tzioni.

      LIkewise the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, while true that he never stepped foot in Israel(or outside of Brooklyn ever for that matter) to say he was opposed to people moving to Israel is a downright untruth. Throughout his speeches and letters on the issue he laid out an idealogy that plotted a path for a Chareidi person to be incredibly pro-Israel without falling into the excesses of Zionism.

      Delete
    12. @RAMATZ " Rav Elyashiv a Tzioni? "

      evidence:

      1) ignoring the Brisker Rov's advice or claim that hechal Shlomo is like the temple set up by one of the idolatrous Kings
      2) follwoer of R' kook
      3) follower of R Herzog
      4) said that the Tzioni Rabbanut is the beginning of the Sanhedrin. Do you consider such a statement to be a Haredi one or a Tzioni one?

      Regarding Lubavitch - I heard from a Rav who learned in Manchester under rav Dubov, that the Rebbe had originally blamed Zionism for the holocaust. This was surprising to him when the Rebbe counter-attacked rav Shach for blaming it on Reform in the 1990's.
      in any case, shortly before the Rebbe's fatal stroke, he gave a sicho that until the Moshiach comes, Lubavitch is Jerusalem. he also said that people should not move to Israel, since they were placed in, say Brooklyn, and hence there is a purpose for it.
      I don't think you are entirely familiar with Lubavitch and how they make statements and what they intend by their statements.

      Delete
    13. 1) ignoring the Brisker Rov's advice or claim that hechal Shlomo is like the temple set up by one of the idolatrous Kings

      So what. So did many great Rabbis and Roshei Yeshivot.

      2) follwoer of R' kook
      First proof please. Second So what? Rav Kook was also, briefly, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ponevzh. It is possible to learn from a Rav without completely accepting his hashkafa on all matters. I have had intensely ant-Israel Rabbanim and Intensely Zionist Rabbanim, and I am neither.

      3) follower of R Herzog
      Again please offer proof, and even if so so what? Rav Herzog was without doubt both Chareidi(as was Rav Kook) and an giant in the Torah world.

      4) said that the Tzioni Rabbanut is the beginning of the Sanhedrin. Do you consider such a statement to be a Haredi one or a Tzioni one?
      Source please. That aside the Rabbanut preceded the State of Israel by about 300yrs and Zionism by 200yrs. Just because it was absorbed by the State of Israel does not by necessity make it, or the Rabbis serving there Zionists. The state of Israel could cease to exist tomorrow and there would still be a Rishon L'Tzion with a Rabbinic High Court, as there has been since 1665, and as there will be so long as there is a Jewish presence in the Eretz Yisrael.

      I heard from a Rav who learned in Manchester under rav Dubov, that the Rebbe had originally blamed Zionism for the holocaust.
      Every word the Rebbe ever said is printed. Source or it never happened. I will not go by hearsay.

      in any case, shortly before the Rebbe's fatal stroke, he gave a sicho that until the Moshiach comes, Lubavitch is Jerusalem.
      Yes I am familiar with that Sicho, but the point is not location, but rather the supposed elevated nature of Chabad/Lubavitch above other forms of Judaism.

      he also said that people should not move to Israel, since they were placed in, say Brooklyn, and hence there is a purpose for it.
      I'm sorry but unless you can give a source for this I am going to say that it is an utter fabrication. The Rebbe's position was that a Jew should not move out of his neighborhood except if it were to make Aliyah. There is a video put out by Chabad on the Rebbe's views on Israel and Aliyah, it's available on Youtube I believe. He makes many many statements that are exactly opposite to what you are saying.

      Eddie, I'm sorry but I did time at Tomchei, as much as I do not ascribe to Lubavitch views, I still find the Rebbe to be an impressive individual, and I have been subjected to countless thousands of hours listening to, reading and studying his various lectures...

      Delete
    14. Rabbi MT,

      I expressed an opinion that in the MO world, there is an unaddressed problem of lack of כבוד חכמים, even among certainof their Rabbinic leaders. I picked 2 examples of statements/articles which I consider to be symptomatic of this non-Torah approach, and commented that the fact that there has been zero objection in the MO world to these statements indicates that the underlying attitude is more prevalent than one would hope.

      Now your comments to me suggests that you are one of the silent masses (majority) of that Choshuve Tzibbur, who do not take exception to these viewpoints, and consider them acceptable. The question is then: where to go from here?

      In my experience, when 2 people have a difference of opinion in Halacha, or להבדיל in science or mathematics, the medium of intellectual dialogue - analysis of the points of agreement/disagreement, proof-citing and rejecting - is a successful method of achieving clarity for both disputants, and will often lead to one of them agreeing to the other's position. In arguments of a more emotional and sentimental nature, however, the above method is less effective. There are a number of reasons for this, but those are the facts. If someone would insult my father to my face and accuse him of some low behaviour, the last thing I would do would be to start to marshal proofs and evidence of his fine character - however capable I am of doing so.

      When one community believes that speaking about great, angelic men in a derisive manner, accusing them of pettiness and sexual objectification of women and worse, the response is not to adduce proofs that these men were great Tzaddikim and that their low points were higher than our Kol Nidrei, and that analysing their sins as one would a Shakespeare character's is contrary to Torah. There is obviously a much deeper-rooted attitudinal problem at work here, and though I may not know how to address it - and it anyway must start from within that community - I am not going to be sucked into discussing minutia and distinguishing between what sort of criticism (of subtle character flaws) is acceptable and what (describing base motivations and indecency that the author presumably would not ascribe to himself) not. If you don't see any difference, I don't know how to make you.

      Delete

    15. To me this is definitely related to, if not a consequence of, that community's extensive efforts to paint the concept of "Daas Torah" as an invention of the Chazon Ish. Even if the truth about this concept is far more nuanced and subtle than the typical Chareidi position, the Rabbis who have managed to convince their Talmidim that the concept does not exist AT ALL have produced a generation who regard great, outstanding, Torah scholars as "experts in Torah" but whose intuition and advice is not fundamentally different than that of the layman. It is not a great leap to extend this attitude about contemporary Gedolim to those of the past - and then on to the Acharonim, Rishonim, Amoraim, Tannaim and Shevatim! Why not? There is no belief that a lifetime spent immersed in Torah and Kedusha makes a person truly great. The view that the Zohar is made up is sadly completely acceptable amongst many respected intellectual graduates of YU. The strong-held belief of the Vilna Gaon, Baal Shem Tov and their many great Talmidim doesn't carry much weight with these people against the analysis of Graetz and other modern-day Kofrim "historians of Judaism".

      The Chassam Sofer once said: "I am sure that Rabbeinu Tam was greater than my Rebbe the Haflaah - but I can't see how that is possible." I even recall Rav Aharon Lichtenstein once making a similar remark about Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. Yet the widespread phenomenon that I am describing, and which you seem to deny, indicates that the attitude which informed these sentiments is not widespread.

      And of course such a culture is going to breed many Eddies, who will self-righteously deny disrespecting the Gedolim, and then go on to say that all believers in Kabbala are heretics.

      This is a very upsetting Parsha for me. Believe it or not, when I hear unwarranted criticism against Rabbi JB Soloveitchik זצ"ל and his Talmidim, I am always quick to respond and correct false notions which cause פירוד בין אחים in Klal Yisrael. But there is no denying that there is a problem there. Harry Maryles takes delight in criticising present-day Gedolim, and sees himself as following in the Rav's footsteps, who declared "I couldn't care less what they say in Agudas Yisrael". Is this the מסורת הרב?

      Delete
    16. When I wrote (majority) in the first part of my post, I missed out an important question mark - it was meant to read (majority?).

      Delete
    17. "Believe it or not, when I hear unwarranted criticism against Rabbi JB Soloveitchik זצ"ל ... I am always quick to respond and correct false notions which cause פירוד בין אחים in Klal Yisrael"

      Funny, considering Chaim was citing rav Shach who called him an apikoires.

      Delete
    18. Now your comments to me suggests that you are one of the silent masses (majority) of that Choshuve Tzibbur

      Your powers of deduction unfortunately are somewhat lacking. I am not MO. I am traditional Sephardi Hareidi. Specifically I am one of the Hasdei Beit El.

      Moving on.
      is not to adduce proofs that these men were great Tzaddikim and that their low points were higher than our Kol Nidrei
      This statement is in error. The Arizal says that this simply is not true in the first Dursh of Shaar Ruach HaKodesh and the Leshem says this as well in his sefer Biurim, 2:17 if I remember correctly.

      However through three comments of obfuscation, you have not answered my actual objection, namely that you take umbrage at someone saying something that both Tannaim, Rishonim and Achronim have said... Only he phrased it in more modern language. Were the various authorities(including Chareidim) that have said the same also guilty of whatever you are dreaming up that they did wrong? Or it is just because it is an MO person saying it that you are upset?

      Delete
    19. 'Chaim@ And of course such a culture is going to breed many Eddies, who will self-righteously deny disrespecting the Gedolim, and then go on to say that all believers in Kabbala are heretics."

      Do we have 2 Chaims here? Only a few inches up my screen, he was extolling the greatness of the rambam (or at least feigning his respect for rambam as a tactic to attack me). however, when the content and meaning of what rambam says in his Ikkarim, MT and Guide (which probably both Chaims are unversed in) about what maketh an apikores, suddenly Chaim 1 denies the rambam, and denies that having a sefirot styled trinity or a dualistic system would violate the Ikkarim of the Rambam,
      The same hypocritical Chaim (1 or 2) pontificates about the importance of the words of the Rishonim and then when it conflicts with his new yated ikkarim, simply throws out these Monotheistic ikkaraim into his garbage can.

      Make up your mind. If the Torah says there is one G-d, do not claim there are 2 or 10, and then rely on some hidden tradtion that tells you so.

      As for Er and Onan, what a surprise. The Torah says they died for their sins, yet we need Chaim to tell us that they were tzaddikim Gamurim.

      Delete
    20. ramatz, you ask for quite a few sources, and i cannot bring them in written form, so let us stick to what you can verify currently:

      in any case, shortly before the Rebbe's fatal stroke, he gave a sicho that until the Moshiach comes, Lubavitch is Jerusalem.
      Yes I am familiar with that Sicho, but the point is not location, but rather the supposed elevated nature of Chabad/Lubavitch above other forms of Judaism.

      The point is not location? What are you talking about? Do you recall what David Hamelech wrote about if I forget thee Oh Jerusalem? What is different about saying , chas v'shalom, Berlin is G-d Forbid Jerusalem, and chas v'khalila, that Lubavitch is Jerusalem? Both these are statements of heretical movements. Lubavtich is not jerusalem, it is a treif town in galus.
      And the movement is not above other forms of Judaism.

      Now, i am not attacking ramatz, and i respect his deportment in all our debates, even when we totally disagree. The point is that , if you were to fill a scorecard of the requirements for Moshiach, one of them would be the Temple in Jerusalem. this was lost in CE 70 to the romans. It was then liberated for 3 years by Bar Kochva. Since then, it was under goyish rule, until 1967. This would not even have happened, since it was not in the original army plans to take East Jerusalem. It was haRav Shlomo Goren ztl who persuaded Motta Gur to take the Old City. Until this point, goren was still respected as a gadol, even by Rav Shach. Rav Shach had asked r Goren to start a yeshiva with him in 1960, after the passing of the Brisker raav. that says something about the level of gadlus of r Goren.
      Lubavitch did not liberate Jerusalem, and their rebbe was not a King of Israel.

      Delete
    21. Rabbi MT,

      Let's try not to get personal. MO is a mindset, not an ethnic division. I claim that many of the adherents of this mindset countenance sharp, unwarranted and disrespectful criticism of great Torah leaders and Tzadikim. This is most definitely NOT the "traditional" Jewish approach.

      Of course there are numerous statements of Chazal which level criticism against Tzadikim in Tanach. Never - not in targum, Talmud or Kabbala -is it done with the disrespect that is rampant today among some circles.

      You can disagree with me all you want. As I've said already, the complete lack of negative response to the types of articles I cited show that there is unfortunately wide tolerance for and acceptance of that way of speaking about Tzadikim. But you could have the decency to take me at my word, that I genuinely believe what I write and am upset about what is happening, instead of accusing me of obfuscating - ie trying to deceive through complication. I don't care if you think that I am mistaken and ignorant of many statements of Chazal and later luminaries. אדרבא, you could try to help me escape my delusions by providing me with some examples. But you instead accuse me of having some bias against MO. If you knew me - where I am from, where I am now and what I do - you would never make such a daft assumption. But instead of treating me as someone making an honest Hashkafic mistake (לשיטתך) you choose to think that I am biased: that I am aware of statements just like the ones I cited, but find them acceptable when they are not from MO sources. What nonsense! Where did I give you an inkling that I am aware of the sources that undermine my position, and that I must therefore be motivated politically?

      Be unequivocal: do you think that I am honest and mistaken, or dishonest with a bias against the MO world and trying to obfuscate. If the former - you believe that I am genuine - then please apologise for attacking my intentions. If not, then why should I waste my time debating with someone who thinks that I am dishonest?

      Delete
    22. @ Chaim - "I view these words, as well as those in the subsequent paragraphs in that article, as nothing less than disgusting. "

      Perhaps if Chaim had learned Torah and commentaries with some humility, he would know what RML is referring to.

      Rashi, who needs no introduction, but of course towers above us gnomes, says that Er was as bad (ra) as Onan. we all know what Onan's sin was - and hence the assertion that Er and Onan were somehow Tzaddikim , does contravene the Rashi and the Torah.

      regarding Yehudah, of course we must be careful what we say about the leader of our shevet as Yehudim, and our forefather. I can only repeat what the Ramban - the giant in Torah writes, that Yehuda's intent - kpshuto, was znus, and that the chut does not refer to tzitzit, since had he kept this mitzvah he would nto have committed the znus. the Kli Yakar hakodesh says pretty much the same as the Ramban, with the addition that in order to be a King or leader of a Shevet Yisroel, Yehuda could not have the impurity of this znut. In other words, he says that yehuda didn't observe Tzitizit and that is why he sinned.

      So it is clear from the meforshim, whom Chaim feigns allegiance to, that R' Lichtenshtein is on the mark and Chaim is far off the mark. it is also now becoming apparent that Chaim's claims are based on fantasy rather than fact, and that if he atatcks RML's statemnt , in effect he is also attacking Rashi , Ramban, and the kli yakar, who support RML. Now this would be bad enough on its own, but i recall only yesterday how he was pontificating about how we must speak of the Rishonim and gaonim, yet by is worthless insults and debased lies he tells of RML, he is digging his own pit, since the rishonim said this same thing a long time ago.

      Delete
    23. What is different about saying , chas v'shalom, Berlin is G-d Forbid Jerusalem, and chas v'khalila, that Lubavitch is Jerusalem? Both these are statements of heretical movements. Lubavtich is not jerusalem, it is a treif town in galus.
      And the movement is not above other forms of Judaism.


      Ok Eddie, you have not read the Sicho to know what he is talking about, you are simply taking one line. He starts with the Gemarra that says every Beit HaMidrash is like Jerusalem, and then expands that to the Chabad/Lubavitch movement because it "teaches" Torah all around the world and where any Chabadnik is located according to the Rebbe that is his Beit HaMidrash.. Oh, and if you do not understand that the Lubavitcher Rebbe saw Chabad/Lubavitch as being far superior to all other branches of Judaism, then you have not really understood Chabad.

      Delete
    24. ChaimFebruary 19, 2014 at 8:49 PM
      Be unequivocal


      I have been. You brought a single example of Rav Lichtenstein who said several things are are said directly by the Targum(if you Read Targum Yonaton you would know it does not paint Yehuda in a good light). Midrashim, Rishonim, and even by very well respected Chareidi Rabbis today.

      You have not yet explained how you can say that either his words or his views are disgusting when those same words are found in the mouths of our sages for generation upon generation until our day. Instead you obfuscate, and go of a rant about MO.

      Because you will not answer what you find so abhorrent in his words, which are simply an echo of our tradition, I, therefore, am left with only two possible conclusions that I can see. Either you are ignorant of what the sources say about the text he is speaking on, or you simply do not like his words because he is MO.

      Please if I am mistaken correct me. But please do not give me yet another rant about the evils of MO and their "disrespect" without offering up some sort of defense for your words.

      Delete
    25. RDE: did my comment not go through?

      Delete
    26. Your language needs some toning down. The fact that you feel that way is not a justification. Remove that one phrase and I will be glad to approve it.

      Delete
    27. Ok. I did not save the comment though, and it was lengthy. I do not know the rules of the blog, but if possible, I give you reshus to change those words to "a horrible, abhorrent quote made by someone regarding Yehuda..."

      Delete
    28. Rabbi MT,

      Let's try one last time.

      "Either you are ignorant of what the sources say about the text he is speaking on, or you simply do not like his words because he is MO."

      You are 100% correct. Either I am ignorant of what the sources say, or I am aware but trying to find fault with MO. Do you know which? I asked you to be unequivocal. You, having judged me unfavourably, assumed the latter and therefore accused me of obfuscating and being biased and ranting against RML. For the 2nd time, I am asking you: why?

      If you answer me honestly, AND provide quotations from sources which you think undermine my position - ie which speak as derogeratively about Yehuda as did RML, then there might be some Tachlis in continuing the conversation. Otherwise, as I said before - what is the point?

      Delete
    29. Do you know which?
      No I don't. I have asked you three times which, and you have yet refused to answer. The sources have been provided, in part by Eddie feel free to look them up.

      Here is my original question to you which you are once again obfuscating and refusing to answer:
      Why? That is the ikar of the Targum Yonatan? It is also the sentiment expressed by Rav Yitzhak Meir Morgenshtern, who I hope we can agree is not MO by any stretch of the imagination. Granted instead of calling upon her individual human dignity he claimed that they failed to treat her with the respect due to a Bat Yisrael.

      You can find said sentiments in numerous sources both classic and more recent. While the honor and respect due a Bat Yisrael have been hijacked by certain progressive elements it does not negate it. Likewise the Torah elucidates certain rights of a Bat Yisrael, neither are those negated simply because some progressive elements over reach.


      Your very first response starts off with this:
      I expressed an opinion that in the MO world, there is an unaddressed problem of lack of כבוד חכמים, even among certainof their Rabbinic leaders.
      But never actually addresses what I was asking you. Then your second response starts off like this:
      To me this is definitely related to, if not a consequence of, that community's extensive efforts to paint the concept of "Daas Torah" as an invention of the Chazon Ish.
      Which is completely off topic of what I was asking and yet another attack on the MO.
      Somewhere in the middle there you tried to accuse me of being MO, as the only grounds for why I would have a problem with your original statement.

      So you wonder why I think that you are simply acting out of Sinat Chinam toward the MO community, it is simply because to this point you have taken the tactic of a propagandist, and have attempted to make any challenge to your position somehow about evils of the "other".

      I could easily bury you with sources on this one, but you really need to look no further than the daf of Mikraot Gedolot to understand that Yehuda undertook a series of reprehensible acts.

      Delete
    30. "provide quotations from sources which you think undermine my position - ie which speak as derogeratively about Yehuda as did RML, "

      Ramban and Kli Yakar not good enough sources?

      Delete
    31. Rabbi MT,

      It's a pity that we couldn't get past name-calling and accusations. I would have actually liked to have a Torah discussion. At least this back-to-forth has, if nothing else, been educative in showing me that honest dialogue without recriminations is not on your agenda. I had to go through a similar learning experience with Eddie, once upon a time. Perhaps you two can continue this discussion with each other.

      On the other hand, perhaps the visceral reaction to my bringing up the problem tells me more than I would have hoped for...

      Anyway, this is my last post (to you) on this subject - Kol Tuv.

      Delete
    32. It's a pity that we couldn't get past name-calling and accusations. I would have actually liked to have a Torah discussion.

      We still could, you simply need to answer the original question. I was even kind enough to ask it twice. If you like I will ask it yet again.
      Why? That is the ikar of the Targum Yonatan? It is also the sentiment expressed by Rav Yitzhak Meir Morgenshtern,

      In essence, I have, now for the third time, asked you to please justify your statement based on some sort of source, without deflecting to an other. So far you have first attacked MO(and tried to lump me in with them), and now you are attacking me. But you have yet to actually answer the original question.

      So this is me calling your bluff. If you would like to have an actual Torah disicussion in this, please back up your assertion with sources.

      Delete
  18. Eddie, I'm confused.

    Could you clearly define what "pragmatism" is?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Pop Quiz: Does anyone remember what the original post was actually about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously they found my comments more "interesting".
      Nat - please review my updated statement above.

      Delete
    2. We British have a phrase "pig ignorant". It seems that many of the kanoim here are really deserving of that epithet on their knowledge of Rambam.
      In the standard editions of his works , he is referred to as HaNesher HaGadol. the Great Eagle. What is the characteristic of the Eagle? That it flies heights above everyone else, and up in the clouds. I basicaly paraphrased this description of the Rambam, and all the chazirim start showing their hooves. In the process, they proudly are mevazeh rav Soloveitchik ztl, who was not even part of this discussion. BUt that is pretty normal in Hareidi society.
      But abusers , when they run out of people to abuse, they start abusing themselves or their own kind. Look at what is said between Bnei Brak and Ir HaKodesh. Look what was said in the Eda. The insults and violence within the Litvish gehinnom are far worse than they even dared to say about RYBS and Rav Goren. The war in Syria up north is a physical reflection of the ideological wars going on within the Hareidi world. This isnt even mentioning the nuclear devastation of American Haredi world.
      So please remember, Maasei Avot, siman l'banim, The sons of the previous Haredim are now taking the extremism to the next level - one of self destruction.

      Delete
    3. Eddie, surely you know that most scholars (R N. Slifkin among them) say that the biblical Nesher is in fact a vulture...? /sarc

      Delete
  20. Eddie--I guess so! And thanks for clarifying. And I hope that you realize that none of this is meant to be personal. We hopefully are all discussing ideas here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nat, yes, I think it is possible that my abrupt style may have obscured what i am trying to say. there are many intertwined issues, but the substance of my argument is stated above. Kol Tuv

      Delete
    2. Being that this seems to be a generally beneficial discussion, I would like to articulate a point, not aimed at anyone in particular. In the realm of halacha, it is generally accepted that there are certain accepted tracks which are to be followed to the exclusion of others, regardless of their viability at one point in time. I will relate the following example, which was given to me by a certain Adam Gadol who would like to remain nameless: Let's say that someone went through the sugya of tefillin, and decided that he agrees with the sevaros of Rabbeinu Tam. He then decides to follow through with this in practice and proceeds to get rid of his Rashi Tefillin and begin using Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin. When this person goes to Shomayim, he will be regarded as a "karkafta delo manach tefilei" and a "poshei yisroel begufo." I think that everyone will agree to this. Now, if I would ask you--what kind of Tefillin did Rabbeinu Tam wear, the answer would be that he wore Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin and not Rashi Tefillin. And he does receive the mitzvah of Tefillin. Why? Because it has "evolved" (sorry--for lack of a better word) that the accepted halacha is like Rashi and not Rabbeinu Tam. I think that most of you would generally agree with this point (notwithstanding Rav Moshe's "allowance" of disagreeing with Rishonim). The same, in a general sense, holds true in the realm of Hashkafah. Many of the holy Rishonim, zy"a, held positions and made statements that today are accepted as kefira. Does this mean that they were kofrim? Chas VeShalom. However, in the exact parallel to the halachic process, the range of accepted hashkafos has evolved and crystallized through the ages, with the marking of certain hashkafos as being acceptable and other ones as being beyond the pale, regardless of their source, and without having any aspersion whatsoever being cast on their source. To once again quote the great gaon Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, Zt"l, it is possible for someone to be a kofer in every one of the 13 ikkarim and source a Rishon to back up every one of his dei'os. This is how I see the matter.

      Delete
    3. Nat - what R Kreisworth says is correct - obviously he doesn't need my approval, but it is logically true. But this doesnt help though, since as I have shown previously, belief in the Sefiros and in a dual deity as the Kabbalists profess, is koifer in the 13 principles, yet the Kabbalists have become the new Orthodox, and the monotheists are now the kofrim.
      Regarding the halacha and hshkafa claims, the Ritva does nto agree with you. The Ritva says that if Gedolim do not sit together, they do nto have to follow the majority. In fact, if one has sevoro that the majoirty have erred, then one may refuse to follow them.
      As for your quote of Rav Shach, today many Haredim agree that RYBS was greater than Rav Shach. In any case, Maase Avot, Siman l'boinim. Look at the wreck in Ponovezh, and how the sword never departed fromt he split house of the Yeshiva which was once the leading Yeshiva in the livtish world

      Delete
    4. Eddie you get into big trouble and deservedly so when you make these grand pronouncement and theories of everything based on dikyukim and your ruach hakodesh aka intuition.

      When you bring your rhetoric down to earth and keep to the observable facts, keep your language clearly respectful - you say things we can all agree with. In short your flights of grand synthesis and extrapolation - besides often being way off - simply don't advance the discussion. In sum when you speak like a charedi magid - in the sense you always criticize - it simply doesn't work.

      Delete
    5. DT@ Nesher is an animal,.It is a treif animal. And it is also associated with Edom/Romans. How could Bartenura call the Rambam a Nesher HaGadol?

      It has nothing to do with my language - it has to do with conditioning of certain people. had i referred to the Rambam as an Eagle, i would also have been attacked for being disrespectful and calling him a behemoh.
      As for Rav Shach calling RYBS an apikores, that is just a tonic for the troops. Since all worldly pleasures are denied, eg seeing a movie, wearing denim jeans, or even being human, then some concessions are made to satify the lust for hatred, and this is one of them.

      Delete
    6. But this doesnt help though, since as I have shown previously, belief in the Sefiros and in a dual deity as the Kabbalists profess, is koifer in the 13 principles, yet the Kabbalists have become the new Orthodox, and the monotheists are now the kofrim.

      Eddie you did not make this apparent at all. You simply showed that you were incapable of understanding the depth of Kabbalistic concepts. Owing to the fact that perhaps I am simply poor at explaining such things, I offer this essay by Rav Hillel

      http://www.scribd.com/doc/208146508/Shorshei-HaYam-Beriat-Olam-and-Sod-Elokut

      Delete
  21. Funny....

    I was trying to catch up on the discussion that went on while I was away, and repeatedly found my senses attacked by Eddie's vulgar - and totally uncalled
    for - comments.

    And at the very end - I see DT noting the same thing.

    Liers .... falsifiers .... you name it and you can see it here in print.... But what really "exceeded expectations" was ..... "chazirim start showing their hooves"

    WOW!

    Eddie - I have a very hard time fitting your updated explanation of your thesis with your original presentation.... but I'm more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and allow that by their very nature, blog posts are often only partially developed ideas.

    I can hardly blame you for something I myself am guilty of - namely writing things here that need further clarification.

    But you don't seem to notice when you do it. At the same time that you see your lack of clarity as something NORMAL and expect others to give you leeway for just acting "human" ... you use such vulgar terms attacking those that disagree with you?

    Did it occur to you that in normal discourse misunderstandings are THE NORM?

    When your original post SOUNDED like KEFIRA - you expected everyone to ignore the implications (I still don't see why you'd mention diminished responsibility in this thread, if not because you tie that to the confusion of understanding freewill).

    .... but when Chaim or Katchi disagree with you.... they get the book thrown at them.

    This choice quote to Chaim:

    "Since you have been caught out as liar, then discussing anything else with you is of no value"

    WOW!

    Eddie - please grow up - the very ESSENCE of discourse is the constant clarifications of misunderstandings.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ploni @ "Eddie - please grow up - the very ESSENCE of discourse is the constant clarifications of misunderstandings."

      If I am attacked based on false information, then i will respond in kind.

      Absent mindedness is not what I said about the Rambam. So it is a false pretext in order to attack me or my claim.
      And if you say the original post sounded liek kefira then u didnt really say why - other than the fact that the Great eagle flies above us all in the clouds.

      The discussion on Freewill is a huge discussion. In any case Rabad says it is all worthless, and that is essentially his caution to the Rambam. So if this discussion spins into a freewill discussion, then of course you get defensive and suggest it is kefira.
      But kefira - denial - you didn't prove that i am denying any ikkar.
      There is also a 2-way discussion on Ikakrim. Some hold that the 13 ikkarim are always valid (myself included) and others seem to think that they can change whenever a modern day gadol has a new chiddush, and can make Judaism into a new religion - approx every 10 years.
      If a modern gadol changes Ikkarim, then that is all fine and dandy. when I stick to the original Ikkarim, then it seems it is denial.
      A discssusion on freewill would be a very large one.
      The Rabad raises some points, and then cautions us that they are still unfathomable. I agree - if you "give" me permission to make the arrogant act of agreeing with a Rishon.

      Delete
    2. "If I am attacked based on false information, then i will respond in kind."

      Anyone reading your posts can surmise as much.

      The question is - WHY?

      Even assuming that you're always on the side of truth and your detractors are "based on false information" ....

      what happened to:

      תענית ד: ארץ אשר אבניה ברזל אל תקרי אבניה אלא בוניה אמר רבינא אפ''ה מיבעי ליה לאיניש למילף נפשיה בניחותא שנאמר {קהלת יא-י} והסר כעס מלבך וגו'

      and .... שבת פח, יומא כג, גיטין לו, ב"ב ה

      עלובין ואינן עולבין שומעין חרפתן ואינן משיבין עושין מאהבה ושמחין ביסורין עליהן הכתוב אומר {שופטים ה-לא} ואוהביו כצאת השמש בגבורתו

      In other words - what's REALLY bothering you?

      I happen to think I have an inkling - there's an underlying reason for the vitriol..

      And I happen to think that that YOU HAVE A STRONG ARGUMENT.

      I just think your anger doesn't allow the REAL truth to come out...

      Delete
    3. Good point - I used the wrong phrase to express myself. I mean that if people make false statements then i will respond harshly, not by using equally false counterarguments.

      Now, you havent really shown my statements to be kefira. Besides, each attacker is attacking a different point.
      Ploni, your points were that i was saying that philosphers restated what the raavad said. That is kefira - of Ploni's ikkarim. So i am not bound to them.
      Forgive me, since I have by now lost track of who said what.
      I think you or your friend alleged that i was calling the Raavad a meikil.
      Now firstly, that isn't what I said. But secondly, again that is not kefira. if i say that RMf was more meikil than the Chazon ish, what is that really denying? Is it denying G-d's unity, chas v shalom (which anyone who says L'shem Yichud is doing anyway), Or am I denying that the Moshaich will come one day, bimherah b'yamenu.?
      Again, katche claimed i considered myself equal tot he rishonim - whcih is total rubbish. but it seems you do arrogate to yourself to set up Ikkarim for Klal Yisroel. Don't be so arrogant. You are essentially mocking yourself, but using me a stalking horse.

      If one good thign has come from this is that it helped me develop my hypothesis on the differences between raavad and Rambam. That has been constructive, and at least a few of you do nto see it as so revolutionary - although it is not a proven theory.
      It is again important to distinguish between pragmatic and lenient. Do disagree on the method of setting Rosh Chodesh is not a case of leniency or strictness. It is no stricter to keep rosh chodesh on wednesday than a thursday. It is , however, perhaps more pragmatic, to keep to what has been traditionally done, as the Rabad suggests, than using Rambam's hi-tech astronomical calculations.

      Delete
    4. @Eddie - reality is difficult to ascertain and communications are frequently misunderstood. I think however that despite your obvious sincerity and desire for the truth - you consistely are eliciting comments that you are 1) being insensitive to the sensibiliti8es of others 2) your analyses are frequently giant leaps of conjecture presented in a confident didactic form - which also typically many find is innacurate or inappropriate.

      I have commented on this a number of times - as have others and you really don't seem to understand that it seriously undermines your veracity in the many important points you do make.

      I think it is time for you to ask yourself, why are you persisting this way and using an approach which generates more smoke and confusion than light and clarifty? It is unlikely that everyone else on this blog is against you.

      Delete
    5. @ Ploni - In other words - what's REALLY bothering you?
      ----------------------------------------

      The original comment I made was not meant to demean either the Rambam or the Raavad, but to suggest a pattern in their areas of dispute.
      Now, I clarified this and gave 4 cases to support this argument.
      A range of accusations were made at me - ranging from being koifer, to disrespecting the Rishonim, and various other nonsense.
      Now, very little was said about the content of my argument. What happened to al tistakel b'kankan?

      I also am bothered by the hypocrisy - where i am supposed to adhere to some special formula before mentioning the names of great rabbis. Anythign i say is just twisted, very much like the Spanish inquisition. Perhaps there is a gilgul of the Inquisitioners here. Ramatz, do you knwo anything about gilgul?

      There is an arbitrary code of language, which can be deemed heretical. Let us just exclude philosophy for the moment. I mentioned hanesher hagadol. Nobody said a word. Rambam was referred to by the name of a treif animal, one which eats neveilos. It is ironic that you chaps talk of giving the benefit of the doubt - when in fact you give the oppsoite. You exceed in the most exxagerated doubt, beyond that of a normal human being. It seems to be a obsessive compulsive habit. Now you can be OCD about your lettuce, but you are biased when it comes to anything I write.
      I repeat - the eagle is a treif behemo or bird, forbidden by the Torah, and associated with Edom. That is a general interpretation of the word. it is also a bird that flies high in the skies and mountains, above the clouds.
      So my phrase, which was admittedly off the cuff, was hinting at this epithet.

      So i have given 2 principles from Pirkei Aovs which you are all vioalting - and that is what annoys me.

      Al tistakel b;kankan

      and kaf zchut

      So before you claim tobe frum, consider that u are violating Pirkei Avos.

      Next - either you or katche claimed that the Gra and all rabbis held by every word of the rishonim. This is simply wrong. The gra did not hold by every word of the Rambam, as we know. The rambam did not hold by the Geonim in some instances, saying they are teaching stuff from the Tzedukim.

      So you guys are also fictionalising matters.


      It might be worthwhile, to give some comment or even reasoned disagreemnt with the tochen of what i said, rather than attacking the kankan.

      Thank you, and kol tuv

      Delete
    6. @DT -
      your point 1) is certain valid - I am trying to ascertain what those sensibiltiies are. My defence to this claim is what i said about the nesher. if this word, whcih decribes a treif behomo which eats neveilos, is "appropriate" to describe the Ramabm, even for the your many sensitive readers, why is even my original phrase, which said head in the clouds less appropriate, as even on a bad day it has little or no negative connotations? If you can show that the negative connotations of my phrase are worse than that of an eagle, then you might have a point. if not, which is more likely the case - then obviously it is
      simply prejudice.

      your point 2) might be valid, if anyoen had actually bothered reading my analysis. however, nobody has, and nobody has given an honest comment on it. i was accused of calling the raavad a "meikil", when in fact i said he was pragmatic . I gave 4 halachic cases to support my claim. As i said, a book, sefer or phD might be able to answer the issue definitively, but a blog post with 4 cases should be a reasonable sized argument.

      A third point - I am really irrelevant in this problem. you see, it is not just me that is being attacked by kanoim. And what was said about me is relatively light compared to what is said about gedolim. In an age where we have no capital punishment, people are speaking of s'kilah. In an age where we have no sanhedrin, people are calling Gedolim zaken mamre. So what is going on in the real backyard is determining how Ultra orthodox react and respond to anything they deem as threatening their own ikkarim. tha is the real problem, as I am sure you are aware. And whether or not i play ball is irrelevant, since that problem has been around for a while already, and is only getting worse.

      Delete
    7. " I mean that if people make false statements then i will respond harshly"

      I see. Dis you bother to read the two Gemaras that i quoted? Based on those two Gemaras, do you think that it's okay to respond harshly?

      "Ploni, your points were that i was saying that philosphers restated what the raavad said. That is kefira"

      Sorry, mate. (As I think you guys on the other side of the lake would say). I said nothing of the sort.

      I'm almost positive that you're not doing this on purpose. I THINK it's an issue of בא לכלל כעס בא לכלל טעות. Anger clouds our judgement, and makes us miss out on constructive engagement.

      You're in good company - משה רבינו, רבן של כל ישראל - see פסחים סו:

      אמר כל אדם שכועס אם חכם הוא חכמתו מסתלקת ממנו אם נביא הוא נבואתו מסתלקת ממנו אם חכם הוא חכמתו מסתלקת ממנו ממשה דכתיב {במדבר לא-יד} ויקצוף משה על פקודי החיל וגו' וכתיב {במדבר לא-כא} ויאמר אלעזר הכהן אל אנשי הצבא הבאים למלחמה זאת חוקת התורה אשר צוה ה' את משה וגו' מכלל דמשה איעלם מיניה אם נביא הוא נבואתו מסתלקת ממנו מאלישע

      See also גבורת ארי on Taanis 4., how to resolve the apparent contradiction between the Gemara in Taanis vs. the Gemara in Pesachim.

      Anyway - I think you're bothered by A LACK OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY in the Chareidi world.

      You're just attacking the wrong people. DT ... Katch "the Satmerer"... Chaim ... אני הקטן ... we all tried appealing to you ... hoping for reasoned discourse... The fact is, as DT just said "communications are frequently misunderstood" ....

      ...if you think you have license to attack me for misunderstanding you - will you grant me the same license when you misunderstand me? And say you WOULD allow mutual attacks - would that lead to any enlightened conversation...?

      I think it's worth talking about this phenomenon - because THIS is a reflection of the tremendous schism in Kllal Yisroel - not just between religious vs. secular ... not only between Chareidi and MO ... but WITHIN the streams - between right & left leaning Chareidi or MO ... WITHIN families - parents and children, husband and wife, children among themselves....

      THIS is what the Gemara in Yuma 9 means -

      יומא ט: מקדש שני שהיו עוסקין בתורה ובמצות וגמילות חסדים מפני מה חרב מפני שהיתה בו שנאת חנם ללמדך ששקולה שנאת חנם כנגד שלש עבירות ע''ז גלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים.

      Delete
    8. Ploni, I respect you intuition, so please tell me at least in a Remez that I will understand, what you think is Eddie's REAL issue, in which he has a strong argument?

      Delete
    9. @DT -
      your point 1) is certain valid - I am trying to ascertain what those sensibiltiies are. My defence to this claim is what i said about the nesher. if this word, whcih decribes a treif behomo which eats neveilos, is "appropriate" to describe the Ramabm, even for the your many sensitive readers, why is even my original phrase, which said head in the clouds less appropriate, as even on a bad day it has little or no negative connotations? If you can show that the negative connotations of my phrase are worse than that of an eagle, then you might have a point. if not, which is more likely the case - then obviously it is
      simply prejudice.

      Eddie I don't about England but in American English there is a world of difference between saying someone is an eagle and saying he has his head in the clouds. Likewise while both the lion and the hyena are meat eaters - they clearly don't have the same connotation.

      There is a reason why the eagle is a symbol of America and not a person living in an ivory tower with his head in the clouds and no contact or awareness of what happens on earth. The eagle soars high but he never loses contact with reality on the ground. It has nothing to do whether the eagle is kosher.

      Bottom line you should become aware of the connotation of what you say is to the rest of us.

      Delete
    10. @DT - whilst I do accept your bottom line statement , and this is the lesson I have hopefully learned - your argument is not convincing.

      to have one's head up in the clouds, can have a negative or positive connotation, You failed to show that the negative connotation of my statement is worse than the negative connotation of the term Eagle, which is used to describe the Rambam. BTW, Moshe Rabeinu when on har Sinai was both mamash at the highest level possible for a human to reach (compliment), in the clouds at the har, and unaware of what went on at ground level, i.e. the egel hazahav. hakodesh Boruch Hu had to tell him to go down to ground level and deal with the situation. now i am not saying this is an exact replica of Moshe ben maimon, but the phrase is not necessarily derogatory - the Torah uses it.

      If you look at black people as being 2stupid" , but white are "smart", that is prejudice. if you or the others take my comments in the most negative sense, but other terminologies int he most positive sense (as you do for eagles) that is also prejudice. So you have shown that these comments are prejudiced, not only agaisnt me, but also against others:


      Now, the only person who took issue with this phrase was Chaim, who then went on to attack R' m Lichtenshtein with great vitriol. however, I have provided evidence that rashi, Rabman, and kli yakar support and indeed make the same statements as what Lichtenshtein said. The Gedolim say that Er and Onan were sinners, and evil; and they also say that yehuda's intent was znus. hence, the extreme prejudice of Chaim has scored an own goal to his purported casue of kavod for Gedolim. he is not only belittling Lichtenstein, but also Rashi, RambaN, and kli Yakar.

      Given the obvious misuse of my phrase, which I would certainly retract now that it has been pointed out to me - it is still a legitimate, and non-heretical question to ask, questions on Rishonim. If one was to ask a question about any statement, that is not heresy, it is part of learning. And this is what Rambam teaches, and what Ramchal teaches. I apologise for any offence I have caused, by using phrases out of correct context.

      Delete
  22. Eddie - I think the issue of intellectual dishonesty that seems to bother you IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE. I’ll go as far as to say that you haven’t been vociferous enough in advancing THIS issue.

    You write: “not only did the Gra hold that a student can argue with his Rebbe, he can also be right”.

    I have some news for you – the source isn’t the Gr”a – it’s the Gemara in סנהדרין ז, among many other places…

    אמר ר' יהושע בן לוי עשרה שיושבין בדין קולר תלוי בצואר כולן פשיטא לא צריכא אלא לתלמיד היושב לפני רבו
    פרש"י: קולר תלוי. עונשה של הטייה: לתלמיד היושב לפני רבו. ובא דין לפני רבו והוא לא נזקק לדבר. נענש אם שתק והוא מבין ברבו שטועה:

    SHULCHAN ARUCH also clearly states the talmid’s obligation:
    יו"ד רמ"ב-כ"ב רָאָה רַבּוֹ עוֹבֵר עַל דִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה, אוֹמֵר לוֹ: לִמַּדְתַּנִי רַבֵּנוּ כָּךְ וְכָךְ. הגה: וְאִם רָצָה לַעֲבֹר רַק עַל אִסּוּר דְּרַבָּנָן, אֲפִלּוּ הָכֵי צָרִיךְ לִמְחוֹת בְּיָדוֹ. (ת''ה סִימָן מ''ג) . הָרוֹאֶה רַבּוֹ עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה, וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַקְשׁוֹת עַל זֶה, אִם הוּא אִסּוּר דְּאוֹרַיְתָא יַקְשֶׁה לוֹ קֹדֶם הַמַּעֲשֶׂה, וְאִם הוּא אִסּוּר דְּרַבָּנָן, יַנִּיחוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת הַמַּעֲשֶׂה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יַקְשֶׁה לוֹ, הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ וַדַּאי שֶׁעוֹבֵר, אֶלָּא שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לְהַקְשׁוֹת עַל זֶה (תא''ו נָתִיב ב') .

    Likewise, SHULCHAN ARUCH also clearly states the Rebbe’s obligation to SUPPLY REASONS for his Psak:

    יו"ד רמ"ב-י' יֵשׁ מִי שֶׁכָּתַב שֶׁאָסוּר לְחָכָם לְהַתִּיר דָּבָר (יב) הַתָּמוּהַּ שֶׁנִּרְאֶה לָרַבִּים שֶׁהִתִּיר אֶת הָאָסוּר. באר היטב (יב) התמוה. כתב הש''ך נראה דהיינו דוקא אם מתיר בסתם אבל אם אומר לשואל טעם בדבר ומראה לו פנים או שמביא ראיות מתוך הספר מותר:

    But why do I think THESE סעיפים in S”A are SO important; after all, aren’t there unfortunately so many neglected סעיפים in שלחן ערוך???

    BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT קדמונים UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS ISSUE EFFECTS THE VERY ESSENCE OF JUDAISM…..

    I’ll try to iy”h explain why in my next post.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Part 1:

    Katche - What I think is Eddie's REAL issue, in which he has a strong argument, is THE LACK OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY SO RAMPANT IN OUR CIRCLES. In my last post I mentioned a little bit about the sources stating that TRUTH is of paramount importance in Judaism. Here I want to try to elaborate a bit on WHY:

    I think practically every Jew agrees that the core beliefs of our religion are encapsulated in Kria Shema. These are the Pesukim that every Jew says several times every single day … these are the Pasukim that countless Jews have said in the last few moments of their worldly existence, as they stood ready to sacrifice their lives – regardless of whether they were Chareidi or MO .. Sefardi or Ashkenazi …..

    What are our intentions supposed to be, when we utter these hallowed words … again and again? Listen to what the רשב"א says in ח"ה ס' נ"ה (while I’m only quoting a small piece, I think the entire תשובה should be required reading for everybody).

    In essence, the Rashba seems to advance several startling concepts: a) We are OBLIGATED to engage in what he calls חקירה – which is typically assumed to be one and the same as searching for TRUTH and also the same as INTELLECTUAL HONESTY, b) this חקירה includes השמיעה והלימוד וחיקור היטב אם יש ראיה סותרת ח"ו – searching for contradictions to our beliefs, c) we need to continue to engage in such חקירה until we reach the point of what we might call “moral absolutism” - the OPPOSITE of moral relativism - שהחקירה תביא לדעת שאין עוד זולתו אדון בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת אין עוד – certitude in our beliefs.

    The Rashba doesn’t mince words on WHY this is so important: He says that we are obligated to engage in introspection so as to understand that our religion is not based on habit - מצות אנשים מלומדה שהלימוד שלימדהו והרגילוהו עליו יביאהו להאמין ככה שלא הונח על חקירת דעתו. Our religion is NOT something that contradicts and / or discredits the most intelligent person’s sensibilities - וחכמתו יחויב בהפך. And although it’s not proper to say in our politically correct world of tolerance where everybody is free to believe in anything but nobody has a right to REALLY believe in anything – we stand apart from other religions, which וחכמתו יחויב בהפך כאשר יקרה לרוב האמונות. (An example of PC’ess – the recent decision in the “enlightened” Danish govt. that “animal rights come before religion”. (Just google it for more).

    Here’s the Rashba, see it for yourself:

    אודות החיוב לחקור - דברי הרשב"א בשו"ת ח"ה ס' נ"ה: ענין פרשת קר"ש... יש לכל בעל דעה לדעת כי היא פרשה מיוחדת לנו כוללת ... יסודות כל הבנין אשר בית ישראל נכון עליהם ... ועוד צריכין אנו להתבונן שאין אמונתו וייחודו מצות אנשים מלומדה שהלימוד שלימדהו והרגילוהו עליו יביאהו להאמין ככה שלא הונח על חקירת דעתו, וחכמתו יחויב בהפך כאשר יקרה לרוב האמונות, רק אנחנו חייבים לשמוע ולחקור אחר השמיעה והחקירה שהחקירה האמיתית תחויב ותכריע על ככה, והוא אומרו שמע ישראל שמלת שמע כולל ג' ענינים ... שמיעת האזן... והושאלה לדעת... והושאלה גם לקבלה והאמונה... וכאן ר"ל ... (ו)אחרי השמיעה והלימוד וחיקור היטב אם יש ראיה סותרת ח"ו, ... תביאנו החקירה ותכריחנו הכרח אמתי לקבל ולהאמין כי הוא יתברך נמצא וכן הוא משגיח על פרטי מעשנו ... שהחקירה תביא לדעת שאין עוד זולתו אדון בשמים ממעל ועל הארץ מתחת אין עוד, ואחר שנדע ונסכים על זה אז באמת ראוי לאהוב אותו בכל לבבנו ובכל נפשנו ובכל מאודנו כי משלו הכל ומשלו נתן לו ... ע"כ.

    The Rashba is far from the only one who endorses this stance. I think it’s pretty much universal among Rishonim like the חובת הלבבות (הקדמה, שער עבודת אלקים פ"ג), רבינו בחיי (עה"פ אשר לא ידעת אתה ואבותיך דברים י"ג-ד), רבינו סעדיה גאון באמונת ודעות (הקדמה), etc. It just seems more surprising for the Rashba, when one notes that this is the same Rashba who was in the FOREFRONT of the חרם AGAINST חכמות חיצוניות – see ח"א ס' תי"ג וכו'.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Part 2:

    So far, we know that the benefit of this חקירה is “moral absolutism”. Rav Saadya Gaon elaborates on the benefits of the search for TRUTH, when he explains why he wrote his Sefer. He seems to say that besides the obvious “religious” benefits obtained by having the CERTITUDE of truth - namely the necessary confidence while successfully engaging non-believers, grace of G-d, etc. – there are many other potential gains: a) Happiness, b) authenticity, c) heartfelt prayer, d) honest business dealings, e) less envy, jealousy & resentment of others.

    Here’s the רב סעדי' גאון, see it for yourself:

    (הקדמת הרב סעדי' גאון לספר האמונה והדעות, פרק א-ב): הריני מקדים לספר זה אשר בכוונתי לחברו: הודעת גורמי השיבושים לבני אדם ... ועל דרכי סילוקן ... ויגיע בו דורשו אל הצדק והאמת ... מפני שראיתי ... מי שכבר הגיע אל האמת ויש לו בו ספקות ואינו ברור לו ואינו מחזיק בו, ... ומהם מי שכבר אימת את השווא מתוך דמיון שהוא האמת, והרי הוא מחזיק בשווא ועוזב את הישר, ... ומהם מי [ש]נבוך בתהפוכות כל ימיו ... ותהמה נפשי לאומתנו בני ישראל ... ואין אמודאי שיעלם ממעמקיהם ... וביכולתי ממה שחננני מה שאסמכם בו, וראיתי שחובה עלי לעזרם בכך ... וכאשר ינהג החכם והתלמיד בספר בדרך זו, יוסיף דורש האמת להגיע אל האמת, ויוסר מן המסופק ספקו, ומי שהיה סומך על אחרים באמונתו יהיה מאמין מתוך עיון ותבונה, וייאלם המטעה מהטעאותיו, ויבוש המתנגד העקש, וישמחו הצדיקים והישרים ... ובכך יוכשרו מצפוני בני אדם כברם, ותהיה תפלתם בלב שלם כאשר יהיה להם בלבם דבר המרתיעם מן החטא, והמעוררם אל הנכון, וכמו שאמר החסיד: בלבי צפנתי אמרתך למען לא אחטא לך. ותהיה נאמנותם שלמה במשאם ומתנם, ותמעט קנאתם זה בזה על עניני העולם, ותהיה מגמת פני כולם אל בעל החכמה, ולא יסורו אל זולתו, ויהיה להם לישע ורחמים וטובה ...

    I found this to be a REAL eye-opener, since Rav Saadya’s list of benefits seems to point to a solution to many of the major issues that our communities currently suffer from, as his list of benefits is pretty much the diametrical opposite of many of the contemporary “hot button” issues: Depression, anxiety, empty aimless & wasted lives, dishonesty & the resultant Chilul Hashem, envy, jealousy & resentment……

    I think that it’s fair to say that the MO crowd can accept the concept of חקירה much more easily than we Chareidim….

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Eddie – does this mesh with your condemnation of Chareidim as unthinking and unpractical folks?

    However, this post SUPPORTING what seems to be a positive aspect of the MO lifestyle over that Chareidi one is NOT so simple… (I’m sure you knew this would be coming – after all, I’m biased, right)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ploni, thank you - excellent 2 posts. I wanted to say something similar but i was worried it might not , davka , go down too well with you.

      I think the Haredi?Mo debate has become too tribal. In the debate that has taken place over the last few days, my biggest disappointment was that the hypothesis I proposed was not scrutinised in the same way as the wording I used for the original version. In other words, ok, we talked a lot about how to correctly speak about rishonim ztl, and whether tangent into free will and philosophy was kosher or not. But , so far, not one person, despite many acres being written, has commented about what I have said about the different shitot of the Rabad and The Rambam. The second post was really expanding and focussing on this issue. I have no problem in people telling me it is off the mark - but I wouldnt accept it if they just say that, without giving a good reasoning for that argument.
      The Nefesh Hachaim sees the Torah as being emet, but also an unchangeable Emes. In other words, you cannot suddenly convene 100 rabbonim to sign something that says Moshiach only needs to buy fish n chips in mcDonalds to prove himself. He says it doesn't matter who those rabbonim are or what status they have. Now in his time, the debate with the Chassidim was over some specific halachic issues, eg davening Mincha at nigh time.

      regarding Saadia - yes it is impressive. Also Hovot Halevavot speaks on similar issues.

      There is also another issue, which is how you reach truth. And I think Saadia, Rambam, and apparently Ibn Ezra take a very rational approach to this - which is simply neglected today.

      A question I have - is the truth the same today as it always was? that means, if we are searching for truth, is the answer to any question the same nwo as it was 1000 or 2000 years ago?

      Delete
  25. Eddie wrote:

    “I think Saadya, Rambam, and apparently Ibn Ezra take a very rational approach to this - which is simply neglected today”.

    This is precisely the subject I’d like to touch on, IY”H beginning from this post.

    The issue of חקירה also seems to breed lots of confusion. In our Chareidi circles, being a חקרן is akin to being a “freethinker” – a word usually said in the same breath as some VERY negative terms, such as; Atheists, Secularists, Freethinkers, Rationalists and Humanists.

    Is this just one of Chareidiasm’s biases? Or is there any valid reason to attach a negative connotation to the terms חקירה and חקרן?

    Putting aside contemporary Chareidi sensibilities for a minute, the positive exhortation to engage in חקירה and השמיעה והלימוד וחיקור היטב אם יש ראיה סותרת ח"ו raises some important questions of its own….

    How could the Rashba obligate חקירה, when even the Rambam, מחבר of the Moreh, etc. writes in הל' ע"ז פ"ב ה"ג that we are PROHIBITED to “bring up” or focus on any thought that could cause us to weaken any of the עיקרי התורה, as he writes:

    רמב"ם פ"ג ה"ג: ... שלא יפנה אחר עבודת כוכבים ... ולא עבודת כוכבים בלבד הוא שאסור להפנות אחריה במחשבה אלא כל מחשבה שהוא גורם לו לאדם לעקור עיקר מעיקרי התורה מוזהרין אנו שלא להעלותה על לבנו ולא נסיח דעתנו לכך ונחשוב ונמשך אחר הרהורי הלב ... פעמים יתור אחר עבודת כוכבים ופעמים יחשוב ביחוד הבורא שמא הוא שמא אינו. מה למעלה ומה למטה מה לפנים ומה לאחור. ופעמים בנבואה שמא היא אמת שמא היא אינה. ופעמים בתורה שמא היא מן השמים שמא אינה. ... ועל ענין זה הזהירה תורה ונאמר בה (במדבר טו-לט) ''ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם אשר אתם זונים''. .... כך אמרו חכמים (גמרא ברכות יב-ב) ''אחרי לבבכם זו מינות'' ואחרי עיניכם זו זנות. ולאו זה אע''פ שהוא גורם לאדם לטרדו מן העולם הבא אין בו מלקות:

    So the Rashba - who led the Cherem against חכמות חיצוניות - is telling us to search השמיעה והלימוד וחיקור היטב אם יש ראיה סותרת ח"ו, while the RAMBAM – author of the מורה נבוכים – is telling us כל מחשבה שהוא גורם לו לאדם לעקור עיקר מעיקרי התורה מוזהרין אנו שלא להעלותה על לבנו.

    Huh?????

    But even worse – how are we supposed to reach the CERTITUDE that רב סעדיה גאון tells us is so important and beneficial, if we can’t even THINK of the possibility of the different options???

    The answer can be found in רב סעדיה גאון –הקדמה, פרק ו', where he himself raises the issue that חז"ל seem to PROHIBIT חקירה, while he is encouraging the same…

    I believe that his answer is CRUCIAL READING, because it can help explain an authentic Chareidi outlook … and also explain why many believe that the Chareidi world IS NOW IN CRISES….

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ploni - thank you - i read a few more posts which i missed or were nto up yet, and they are all very interesting.
      But you are saying the complete opposite of katche - but that is not my problem. tahnk you very much also for the proofs from the Gemara, and that yes it wasnt the Gra who originated this. But today , if you ask a Rav for his reasoning, you can be called an apikorus.

      You see intellectual honesty is the strength to admit also when you are wrong - but also to be adamant when you are right.
      What you have done is to show that you understand a thread of thought from teh gemara, all the way down to the gra. I once mentioned a mishna also that teaches we should always accept the truth.
      Also, contrary to katche, you seem to understand what rishonim and chazal said. it is no use arguing when someone denies any understanding is possible.

      Well done, thank you.

      Delete
    2. @Ploni But even worse – how are we supposed to reach the CERTITUDE that רב סעדיה גאון tells us is so important and beneficial, if we can’t even THINK of the possibility of the different options???

      --------

      this is an interesting question, and perhaps it is implicit in Rabad's critique of Rambam on freewill - which began this whole discussion. By the way - it is also in tune with my hypothesis of Rambam being more dogmatic.
      In some areas i am not really interested in doinghakirah, eg whether false idols etc may be true - it is a waste of time. I wonder if rambam was implying this, ie in those days there was still taava for idolatry, But then again , today there is atheism etc, which can be a taavah.
      interestingly, Ploni, you are now doing what i was alleged to be doing - which is to analyse the shitot of different rishonim. I hope you fare better than i did.




      Delete
    3. Ploni, Ralbag gives an extensive and deep commentary on Mishlei. Mishlei uses the idiom of weights and measures quite a bit. Ralbag interprets this as intellectual honesty, specifically in the domain of Torah.

      Delete
    4. Eddie - Thank you for the compliments!

      "intellectual honesty is the strength to admit also when you are wrong - but also to be adamant when you are right." - 1000% true!

      As to katche - I think you're misunderstanding him. I hope to eventually get there, iy"h.

      As far as reaching CERTITUDE if we can’t even THINK of the possibility of the different options - and this being in tune with your hypothesis of Rambam being more dogmatic.....

      1) We can't be on the side of truth if we don't deal with seeming contradictions to our hypothesis:

      The argument that the solution to reaching certitude is to avoid "dogma", and that only the Raavad manages to so is weak on two counts:

      1) The Rambam obviously WAS עוסק in חקירה, as anyone who opened his מורה נבוכים knows. How do we resolve the seeming contradiction between what he writes in the Yad in הל' עבודה זרה vs. the whole concept of the Moreh?

      2) How could the Rambam in הל' עבודה זרה miss such an obvious problem - How does HE expect certitude when the ability to question is lacking?

      In my next post I hope to start laying out what the Rishonim's vision of חקירה entailed.....

      Delete
    5. Part 4:

      Rav Saadya Gaon makes it clear that the חקירה he is endorsing does NOT START with rationality (def: based on or in accordance with reason or logic), and he also explains WHY it CAN NOT.

      Rather, Rav Saadya states, the STARTING part – and the point against which all חקירה is constantly SCRUTINIZED – is TORAH.

      Here’s Rav Saadya:

      ואם יאמר הרי גדולי חכמי ישראל הזהירו מזה ... והוא אמרם כל המסתכל בארבעה דברים רתוי לו כאלו לא בא לעולם, מה למטה מה למעלה מה לפנים מה לאחור? נאמר בעזרת הרחמן, כי העיון האמיתי לא יתכן שימנעונו ממנו, והרי בוראנו כבר צוונו עליו עם המסורת האמיתית. כאומרו: ... הלא הבינותם מוסדות הארץ, ואמרו החסידים זה לזה: משפט נבחרה לצו נדעה בינינו מה טוב ... אבל מנעו מלהניח ספרי הנביאים בצד, ולהחזיק במה שייראה לכל אחד ואחד מדעת עצמו, בהעלותו במחשבתו עניני ראשית המקום והזמן ... אבל חוקרים אנו קהל בני ישראל ומעיינים שלא בדרך הזו, והיא אשר אזכירה ואבארה בעזרת הרחמן ... כי מה שאנחנו חוקרים ומעיינים בענייני אמונתנו הוא ... כדי שיתאמת לנו בפועל מה שידענו מפי נביאי ה' בידיעה ... כי ה' יתברך ויתעלה לימדנו כל מה שנחוץ לנו בענייני אמונתנו באמצעות נביאיו ... צונו שנדע אותם העניינים ונשמרם. והודיעם כי כאשר אנו מעיינים וחוקרים, יוציא לנו העיון האמיתי השלם בכל דבר ככל אשר הודיענו בדברי שליחיו, ונתן לנו בטחון שלא יתכן שתהא נגדנו הוכחה מצד המכחישים את דתנו, ולא טענה מצד המפקפקים באמונתנו ... ועל דרך זו ... אנו מעיינים וחוקרים כדי להוציא אל הפועל את אשר הודיענו בוראנו בדרך הודעה.

      He doesn’t leave any doubts about the point that חקירה does NOT start with rationality, reason & logic. He repeats it over and over - I think FIVE times - in this piece alone:

      א) מנעו מלהניח ספרי הנביאים בצד, ב) שאנחנו חוקרים ומעיינים ... כדי שיתאמת לנו בפועל מה שידענו מפי נביאי ה' בידיעה ... ג) ה' יתברך ויתעלה לימדנו כל מה שנחוץ לנו בענייני אמונתנו באמצעות נביאיו ... ד) יוציא לנו העיון האמיתי השלם בכל דבר ככל אשר הודיענו בדברי שליחיו ... ה) אנו מעיינים וחוקרים כדי להוציא אל הפועל את אשר הודיענו בוראנו בדרך הודעה.

      He also explains WHY חקירה MUST – first and foremost - START from Torah.

      In פרק ג' he explains that חקירה is a time-consuming, elaborate process:

      וכשם שיש לכל מלאכה מן המלאכות חלקים אשר אם יחדלו מלעשותם לפני השלמת המלאכה לא תיעשה אותה המלאכה, כגון הזריעה והבניין והאריגה ושאר המלאכות אשר אינן נשלמות אלא בסבלנות עושיהם עד סופם, כך מלאכת החכמה צריך להתחילה מראשיתה, וללכת בה פרק אחרי פרק עד סופה ... שהמעיין החל בדברים רבים מעורבבים, ולא חדל מלנפותם תשעה מתוך עשרה, ואחר כך שמונה מתשעה, ואחר כך שבעה משמונה, עד אשר זוקקו מן הבלבולים והספקות, ונשאר לו הצרוף המוחלט. ואם הפסיק מלעיין כאשר הגיע אל המצב החמישי או הרביעי או איזה שלב שהוא, הרי נסתלקו ממנו מן ספקות בשיעור השלבים אשר הניח מאחריו, ונשאר לו מהן שעור מה שנותר מן השלבים שעודם לפניו.

      Therefore, he says, our חקירה ends up only SOMETIMES accurately reflecting truth, and but we often end up making mistakes. 2) Even if we DO eventually reach truth, the process is lengthy, leaving us without proper beliefs until that point in time. 3) Even after reaching truth we can “lose” it, because of a new false belief that pops up.

      As he writes:

      כי מי שמעיין בצופן זה, אפשר שיכווין אל האמת ואפשר שיטעה. ועד אשר ישיג את האמת הרי הוא ללא אמונה. ואפילו אם יגיע אל האמונה, אין בטחון שלא תעקר ממנו בגלל איזו טעות שתיראה לו ותפסיד לו דעותיו,

      Delete
    6. Part 5:

      Furthermore, Rav Saadya (הקדמה-פ"ז) mentions eight beliefs & behaviors that hold people back from reaching the truth: 1) Admitting to the truth often results in certain obligations, and people don’t like obligations. 2) Foolishness often overwhelms reason. 3) Prurient biases cause us to avoid proper analyzation. 4) People tend to despise properly scrutinizing & deliberating matters. 5) Haughtiness causes people to assume expertise in matters that they don’t have sufficient knowledge about, 6) People are emotionally swayed by heresy that they heard, 7) In the past, they became accustomed to hearing weak arguments to defend faith, so they erroneously believe that stronger arguments don’t exist. 8) Somebody carries hatred towards a certain religious person, and therefore blames the religion.

      He also points out that none of these beliefs & behaviors would ever be acceptable in matters pertaining to עוה"ז “worldly matters”.

      So what we see now is that the basis for חקירה has to be Torah, because otherwise we’d never “make it” to truth on our own, and even if we do “make it”, we could easily “lose it”.

      But this seems to bring up an obvious shortcoming in reaching the stated goal of חקירה – which is certitude.

      Delete
    7. Part 1
      Ploni, you say: "Katche - What I think is Eddie's REAL issue, in which he has a strong argument, is THE LACK OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY SO RAMPANT IN OUR CIRCLES." and "We are OBLIGATED to engage in what he calls חקירה – which is typically assumed to be one and the same as searching for TRUTH and also the same as INTELLECTUAL HONESTY"

      Well let me tell you, the entire discussion here is about intellectual honesty.

      The Schvontz, when of Chassidishe ilk, will deviate from this honesty by blindly following the 'Head Counselor' of his club, without any consideration whatsoever.

      The pseudo-intellectual Kal, of MO persuasion, will 'broadmindedly' be Mezalzel in any Dovor Shebikdusha.

      Both of these are done out of 'Negios', meaning a lack of intellectual honesty. Negios is a interpartisan problem. The only difference is style.

      But now I will get into the discussion of your point about learning Chakira. Chakira includes all aspects of Torah study, but if you are referring to philosophical Chakira to bring us to Emuna in Acduso Yisborach and some of the other Ikarim, which it seems that you are, I totally disagree with you. I will mention a few points and my final point is from the Rav Sadya Gaon that you cited and the end of your post - Hakdomo, Perek 6. Yes Eddie, if you're reading this, the Satmarer Katche-Lab owns the Sefer Haemunos Vehadaios and is quite capable of reading it and understanding it.

      But first this.
      Chassidishe Sefarim have strongly advised against Chakira about Yichud Hashem. See http://www.hebrewbooks.org/4769 page ס"ד-ס"ו. And the Divrei Chaim Al Hatorah Parshas Lech Lecha writes:
      באשר ידוע שגדולי הפילסופים נלכדו ברשת התאוה אחרי התבודדותם כי החומר כרוך בעקבי נפש האדם ועי"ז לשוא חזה נפשם כי לא יכלו לחתור היבשה יסוד האמת כי טח לבותם מהשכיל כי המדות פחיתות ותאוות דימו בנפשם בדמיונות כוזבות נגד האמת
      And look at this: http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/5459/why-is-shaar-hayichud-of-chovos-halevavos-so-controversial
      I bring this only to point your attention to the 3rd answer by Chanoch. He writes: In addition to the issue of whether the philosophical proof of G-d's existence is a proper approach, my own analysis of Sha'ar HaYichud is that the particular philosophical proof he uses is simply incorrect. Some mathematical premises that he relies on were proved incorrect in the 19th century.

      So what is he to do now that in his mind the proof is incorrect. So that's why it has been considered By Gedolei Chassidus a not safe way to reach Yedias Hashem. Most people don't really understand these proofs. Many people convince themselves that they do but they can easily be shown that they don't understand. So since for them it's only pseudo-intellectualism anyway, it isn't really what is building their Emuna.

      I'm sure , Ploni, that you don't believe that Gedoilim like the Divrei Chaim and The Bnei Yissosschar, whom I quoted, did not value intellectual honesty. So it is obviously possible to achieve this honesty even without this particular pursuit. And The Rasa'g says this clearly....

      Delete
    8. Part 2
      Ploni, I thank you for the source in the Rasa'g and I read it, and this is what he says:

      We MAY NOT 'base' our Emuna in all of the correct Torah Beliefs, upon Chakira. Our Emuna MUST come from regular Limud Hatorah and accepting what we learn out of simple Emunah. He says at the end of that Perek that someone who isn't able to understand the Chakira will still not be lacking any Torah Values "תהי' דתו שלמה" (So he certainly won't be lacking intellectual honesty.) But the purpose of the Chakira is 2 fold.
      1) To strengthen our clarity in that which we already know from out regular Torah study.
      2) To be able to rebut those who make claims which go against the Torah.

      And to Eddie who says: "Also, contrary to katche, you seem to understand what rishonim and chazal said. it is no use arguing when someone denies any understanding is possible.", you have misjudged me.
      And also says: "Ploni, you are now doing what i was alleged to be doing - which is to analyse the shitot of different rishonim. I hope you fare better than i did. ", you have yet to understand what is disturbing about your analysis, and not about Ploni's. I saw your response to me and it is full of insults and misinterpreting what I say.

      Delete
    9. Part 3
      Ploni, let me also briefly address your discussion about a student arguing with a Rebbe.

      There is no question about the fact that a student can argue. Anyone who has learned יו"ד סי' רמ"ב (which I have done Beiyun) knows this. See the Rema in סעיף ג. There are rules, however. The Sheilas Yaavetz 'חלק א' סי' ה deals with this at length, and I spent a lot of time studying that Teshuva - It's not bed time reading, so an superficial viewing will not suffice. And as far as arguing on earlier Gedoilim, other rules apply as well. I have touched upon some of this in my earlier response to Eddie. Eddie does not have the slightest clue of what I am saying and what my Hashkofo is. He's too busy ridiculing and insulting me, to understand me.

      Delete
    10. I have move this discussion about Intellectual Honesty to a separate post - please make your comments there

      http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/is-lack-of-intellectual-honesty-causing.html

      Delete
  26. nat has left a new comment on your post "Psychology of everyday life: "I feel sorry for him...":

    First of all, do not attribute Rab Shach's quote to Chaim, because it was posted by me. And I am really not interested in the situation of Ponovezh today--I know that it is a wreck--because it is really irrelevant to the issue.

    Second, I hate to make this an issue of semantics again, but the fact of the matter is that most of the time, the semantics used happen to be an indicator of the person's true viewpoint. That is the idea behind the Freudian Slip. Maybe when someone is posting something hastily in a blog we can say that his emotions got the better of him. But when writing something for public consumption, the person is darn well aware of the words he is using and the impact that they will make. Especially when the person is educated and has a good command of language. So I must maintain my original protest.

    Chaim had originally posted a quote about Yehuda Ben Yaakov Avinu, one of the Shivtei Kah,[...] I'm sorry, but that is how I call it. And don't tell me about the Rishonim. Because in delicate matters such as these, only they had the right to say what they had to say. You do not. You have only the right to quote their words verbatim, without adding one iota and without giving it artistic touch or a modernist flair. I am sorry that I had to read the quote, but language used to describe the actions of Yehuda was akin to language used to describe molesters and abusive spouses.

    Now, I have a question for all of you: A number of you have swiftly jumped in the defense of RJBS and the others. Why did you not similarly jump to the defense of your saintly forefather Yehuda when he was being compared to the likes of Bill Clinton?

    If you are all bothered by my strong language, too bad. It is called a visceral reaction. People have visceral reaction when their parents or grandparents are attacked or insulted. And for those of you who didn't, maybe there is something wrong with you. And, by the way, the same goes for his father as long as he does not disavow the statements of his son. At the end of the day, no matter what is going on in Ponovezh, Rav Shach's statement has been proven to be true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't tell me about the Rishonim. Because in delicate matters such as these, only they had the right to say what they had to say. You do not. You have only the right to quote their words verbatim, without adding one iota and without giving it artistic touch or a modernist flair.
      Says who? If such were the case, and by the way we have not seen the entire piece(or heard the entire piece), but if what you are saying had any truth there would be no such thing as a Shabbos drush.

      Further it can be demonstrated that it was not just the Rishonim that said such things, but our sages down through the ages.
      Why did you not similarly jump to the defense of your saintly forefather Yehuda when he was being compared to the likes of Bill Clinton?
      Where do you come up with Bill Clinton? Rav Lichtenstein never mentioned Bill Clinton.
      Now as far as using language that is akin to that used in regards to men who hire prostitutes, is that not fitting? Yehuda hired a prostitute(hey David HaMelech did a lot worse, see the first two chapters of the Chida's Lev David). However Yehuda also did teshuva... Which is why we consider him righteous(unlike say Esau) and much like David HaMelekh(see second chapter of the Chida's Lev David).
      I am neither bothered by your strong language or your visceral reaction, however both are highly irrational, and frankly doesn't fit with what the sources say.

      As far as jumping in to defend Yehuda... How? How do you defend a man hiring a prostitute? Or in the case of David HaMelech how do you defend a man sleeping with his friend's wife? Our sages through the ages(again see the Chida's Lev David) have said that these acts were indefensible, and suddenly now you want to defend them. That doesn't make sense!!!

      Delete
    2. I thought the Rambam says before Matan Torah a prostitute was OK - so what's the whole problem?

      Delete
    3. Michael: First of all, let's just get one quick thing out of the way: Regarding David Hamelech, are you not aware that the gemara says "kol sheamar Dovid chata aino ela toeh?" To translate: Anyone who says that David sinned is completely mistaken.
      Your problem is a general one though. As I quoted earlier from a different gemara: Im harishonim kemalochim, anu kevnei adam. Im harishonim kevnei adam, anu kechamorim. Obviously my earlier message didn't get through, so I will elaborate:
      Do you know what a malach is? A malach is a being of which you or I or any other human being has absolutely zero comprehension. This is how we must view the earlier generations. As malochim. If not, then we are donkeys. This quote was made by one Amora regarding the earlier Amoraim, kal vachomer to the Tanaim, kal vachomer to the Neviim, kal vachomer to the Avos Hakedoshim and the Shivtei Kah. These people are not your contemporaries who "hire prostitutes" and "sleep with other peoples wives." They are beings whom you cannot comprehend. Let me ask you a question: Can you imagine the Chofetz Chaim or any gadol of his or any generation contemplating hiring a prostitute or sleeping with someone's wife? Well, Yehuda and Dovid Hamelech were a billion times greater than the Chofetz Chaim. So if the Torah brings a story where something like this happened, the first thing that we have to realize is that these people are not us, and we, on our own, have absolutely zero comprehension of their situation. Sometimes the Gemara and the Rishonim open our eyes and give us an explanation, but that is all we have. We have no permission to extrapolate one iota further. And anyone who disregards the gemara and thinks that he is being modern or intellectually honest or needs a good Shabbos Drush, is nothing more than a donkey who has no comprehension of a human being at best, and is playing with fire and his chelek in Olam Haba at worst.

      Delete
    4. Nat

      First of all, let's just get one quick thing out of the way: Regarding David Hamelech, are you not aware that the gemara says "kol sheamar Dovid chata aino ela toeh?" To translate: Anyone who says that David sinned is completely mistaken.
      Yes I am aware of that. Which is why I referenced the work of the Chida and Haim Vital in the sefer Lev David, because they deal with that passage quite well, while saying that David most certainly sinned... Please see there to have a proper understanding of what that one line of Gemmarra actually means.

      Obviously my earlier message didn't get through, so I will elaborate:
      Do you know what a malach is? A malach is a being of which you or I or any other human being has absolutely zero comprehension. This is how we must view the earlier generations.

      I understood that you were trying to push this mistaken understanding of this Gemmarra as well. However, I reject this mistaken understanding for the one laid out by the Ben Ish Hai in his sefer Benyahu and the Leshem in his sefer Biurim(as well as the Arizal and the afore mentioned Remak). Who all agree that we are not supposed view them as sinless, but rather we should receive their words with a certain gravitas, and in this way our mesora is preserved.

      So please, as I tried to explain to your friend Chaim above, I can bring numerous sources demonstrating your error here. However, for now how about we simply focus on the first two chapters of Lev David... Sadly I do not think the edition that Rav Hillel put out where all of the sources are clearly enumerated, however I hope the initial sefer will suffice:
      http://www.hebrewbooks.org/41691

      Delete
    5. Nat wrote:

      Michael: First of all, let's just get one quick thing out of the way: Regarding David Hamelech, are you not aware that the gemara says "kol sheamar Dovid chata aino ela toeh?" To translate: Anyone who says that David sinned is completely mistaken.

      The problem with Nat's approach is that it is either cherry picking or he simply doesn't understand that the issue more complex

      One of the most elementary factors when learning gemora is that one needs to not only understand what is on the page in front of you - but what is says elsewhere in the gemora. That applies to the issues discussed by Chazal and also to the commentaries of the Rishonim and Achronim.

      While Nat has in fact correctly quoted the gemora in Shabbos, he neglects to mention the gemora in Avoda Zara

      Avoda Zara (4b): This last statement accords with what R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: David was not the kind of man to do that act,27 nor was Israel the kind of people to do that act.28 David was not the kind of man to do that act, as it is written, My heart is slain within me;29 nor were the Israelites the kind of people to commit that act, for it is said, O that they had such a heart as this alway etc. Why, then, did they act thus?[God predestined it so] in order to teach thee that if an individual hath sinned [and hesitates about the effect of repentance] he could be referred to the individual [David], and if a community commit a sin they should be told: Go to the community.1 And both these instances are necessary; for if [the case of] the individual only were mentioned. [it might have been thought that pardon is granted] because his sin is not generally known, but in the case of a community whose sins are publicly known it might not be so; if, on the other hand, the case of a community only were mentioned, it might have been thought, because they command greater mercy,2 but with an individual, whose merits are not so numerous, it is not so; hence both are necessary.

      Delete
    6. Nat
      Here is Rav Yaakov Hillel's version of Lev David, I have the first three chapters. Regarding your quoting the above Gemarra concerning David HaMelekh please see Daf 17 last paragraph that starts with גם בענין עבירות שבין
      Through the next page.
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/208172776/Lev-David

      Delete
    7. Daas TorahFebruary 20, 2014 at 7:33 PM
      While Nat has in fact correctly quoted the gemora in Shabbos, he neglects to mention the gemora in Avoda Zara

      He neglects several Gemarras as well as numerous other sources in Chazal which is why I referenced Lev David. Rav Haim Vital and the Chida, undoubtedly knew Gemarra, and were experts in in its interpretation and exposition.

      Delete
    8. @nat "And don't tell me about the Rishonim. Because in delicate matters such as these, only they had the right to say what they had to say. You do not."
      This is typical fallacy, like the no-true scotsman fallacy.

      Chaim is angry at Lichtenshtein for bringing the rishonim and mefoshim. He calls it disgusting language because he is unaware of the MIkre Gedolot and the major meforshim.

      We bring proofs from Ramban, Kli Yakar, and Ramatz has brought some others. Chaim disappears, and his sidekick nat appears.
      A few days ago Nat and Chaim were saying how great the Rishonim are, and how we cannot question their words. Ramban, one such Rishon has written that Yehida was intent on Znut. All lichtenshtein does is to explicate on this in modern language. He has said nothing that Ramban and Kli Yakr didnt say.

      So what does Nat do, that Haredi stalwart of Rishonim? he says "And don't tell me about the Rishonim."

      very typical mentality. It shows that Hareidim talk rubbish,a nd do so out of ignorance and arrogance.

      Delete
  27. I'm sorry, Michael. Maybe my Hebrew is not as good as yours. Would you mind enlightening me and telling me where in that paragraph it says that David Mamelech slept with an Eishes Ish? Just find me that line and paste it for me, please. Thanks.

    And RDE: I'm sorry that I simplify things so much. I follow in the path of Ba Chabakuk vehe'emidam al achas who also simplified things. Real Truth is simple, and Real Emuna is simple. It's all of you who like to cloud your thinking with all of your "sources."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @NatBag "sources"

      yeah - we knwo you don't accept the rishonim, so don't pretend you do.

      Delete
    2. nate wrote:
      I'm sorry, Michael. Maybe my Hebrew is not as good as yours. Would you mind enlightening me and telling me where in that paragraph it says that David Mamelech slept with an Eishes Ish? Just find me that line and paste it for me, please. Thanks.
      ----
      That is what Avoda Zara (4b) says. I pasted it above or you can open your own gemora.

      "And RDE: I'm sorry that I simplify things so much. I follow in the path of Ba Chabakuk vehe'emidam al achas who also simplified things. Real Truth is simple, and Real Emuna is simple. It's all of you who like to cloud your thinking with all of your "sources."

      yes Chabakuk realized that some Jews couldn't take Judaism full strength so he watered it down for them. If everything you needed to learn about Judaism you learned before you got into adult literature like Gemora, Chovas halevavos etc - then there really isn't any point to discuss it. You are saying "don't confuse me with the facts" because you know the answer and nothing in our Mesora could possible convince you otherwise. Rav Yisroel Salanter complained that most people's understanding of Yiddishkeit is that of an 8 year old which was the last time they thought about the subject. he said it is important to learn yiddishkeit as an adult.

      You are correct that is emuna without sources is emuno peshuto but it has nothing to do with being a talmid chachom. As Rabbeinu Bachye notes, emuno peshuta is equivalent to a group of blind people who are wallking with their hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. They really know nothing and if the person who has with sight who is leading them doesn't know where he is going - then they all are in trouble. Therefore most authorities - including the Baal Shem Tov - urge learning hashkofa to avoid blindly following views or thoughts which are mistaken and in the worst case scenario are heresy.

      Delete
    3. nate your claim that you following" in the path of Ba Chabakuk vehe'emidam al achas who also simplified things."

      According to Rashi it is not something to brag about

      Rashi (Makkos 24a): in the beginning, they were righteous and everyone was able to accept the yoke of the multitude of mitzvos. However the later generations were not so righteous and if they tried to observe all the mitzvos no would have succeeded. Therefore, David HaMelech reduced them so that they should be righteous with only these eleven mitzvos. And thus as the generations declined the number of mitzvos was reduced.”

      Delete
    4. natFebruary 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM
      I'm sorry, Michael. Maybe my Hebrew is not as good as yours.


      Excuse me but I am a bit perplexed. You seem intent on lecturing me(and others) about not only the words of the Gemarra but what it actually means(in you view) buy you cannot read two paragraphs of Hebrew?

      In short the first paragraph lays out the severity of Eshet Ish. The second paragraph that I referred you two proves this out from David's sin with Bat Sheva. It is a paragraph of sources and drush on how David suffered, the earthly Jerusalem suffered, and the heavenly Jerusalem suffered from David's sin. Further he refers there briefly to another Chazal, which he brought more fully in the previous chapter(p 14 last paragraph of second chapter), that when the Gemarra says, "If one says that David sinned it they have erred" it is speaking specifically about the end of David's life after he had done Teshuva. Specifically that he had done such a complete Teshuva that HKB"H offered to have no record of his sin. David HaMelekh then plead with HKB"H to have his sin recorded, so that all would see that even if they fell into utter depravity like him, there was still hope of Teshuva.

      Now you will notice that Marchu and Chida were not making this stuff up on their own, but rather bringing it from various sources in Chazal. What is more, these were musar books. They were meant for common individuals, not Talmidei Hakhamim. Thus what they are putting forth is emuna pshuto.

      It's all of you who like to cloud your thinking with all of your "sources." Huh???? It's not clouding thought my friend, it is determining if that is the Torah that we have been given. See you put forth an idea, the only way to know if that idea is a Torah idea or not is to check it against the words of our sages, all of them.

      Above you made an argument surrounding Tefillin and claimed that we must hold like Rashi, not Rabbeinu Tam, not Shimusha Rabba, and not the Ravaad(the four main opinions regarding Tefillin). Why Rashi? How do you know Rashi? How are you so certain that Rashi is correct? Simply because generation after generation and sage after sage has written that Rashi is the halakha, and not the others(Unless you follow the Arizal and wear both together... but that is a side point). In short because there is a pile of sources saying that Rashi is correct and the others are not.

      It is the same with the ideas that you are putting forth my friend. I am sure that some well meaning, but underinformed Rebbe, in somewhere in the course of your Jewish education told you these things(or you inferred them from their words). However, they must be checked as truth.

      Delete
    5. The part about the Hebrew was sarcasm. Sorry if it you missed it. My Hebrew is at least as good as yours.

      Some of us Haredim actually work for a living, so I will clarify my point and then wait for the next interesting post from this site.

      Look. I am not stupid. If Dovid Hamelech did not do anything wrong at all, there would be no reason for Natan Hanavi to criticize him. Obviously he did. But the Gemara says that he didn't sin. The basic reconciliation of all this is that he did something that was wrong on his exalted level. And if you want to quote the Chida or other meforshim, that is absolutely fine as well. And Obviously the story was told to us so that we can relate it in some way to ourselves on our level. I do not stick my fingers in my ears and shout that they were perfect tzadikkim and therefore , because no one was, except for four people. But they were malochim, meaning that they are way beyond our comprehension. So because we ourselves are unable to comprehend them, we can learn from what the earlier Chachomim said about these stories. But it has to be with absolute deference and the utmost respect, just as the Chida and all the others had for them. To say about Yehuda that he "used and abused her for his own pleasure" and whatever else he said is absolutely disgusting and abhorrent and displays contempt for Yehuda, not respect. And then the person has the chutzpah to say that he is only repeating the words of the meforshim in the mikraos gedolos. This person has a complete lack of understanding of Rishonim Kemalochim. And this is something that is done time and time again by the rabbis in the MO community. I warn all of you, quote whatever meforshim you want and even hold like them if you want, but tread very, very cautiously when speaking about the Avos Hakedoshim. As I mentioned earlier, you cannot imagine the Chofetz Chaim using and abusing a woman for his own pleasure, and the Avos were a billion times greater than the Chofetz Chaim. This has been my point throughout this post and this is what I am ending with here. Kol tuv to all of you and have a great Shabbos.

      Delete
    6. Nat why are you ignoring the gemora in Avoda Zara that I cited?

      Nat we are not discussing whether we can imagine - but rather what Chazal said. I can't imagine Yosef haTzadik being interested in an adulterous affair either but Chazal said it. I can't imagine Yosef haTzadik speaking lashon harah about his brothers - but Chazal said it.

      I can't imagine the Jews who received the Torah directly from G-d worship a Goldan Calf - but they did. I can't imagine Yitzhok not understanding the nature of his sons but Chazal say that in fact is what happened. I can't imagine Adam ignoring G-d's command.

      In short there are many examples of people on very high level doing things that I can't imagine how it happened and yet Chazal said it happened.

      Delete
    7. First of all, the Gemara in Avoda Zara was included and reconciled in my previous comment. Second of all, that's not what I said. Please work on your reading comprehension. I clearly said: can you imagine the Chofetz Chaim using and abusing a woman for his personal pleasure? I don't think that RML would even imagine that about his father. So please do not talk like that about one of the Shivtei Kah, because even if he did do something, that is definitely, definitely not what he did. And I don't know how anyone can have a problem with what I just said.

      Delete
    8. nat the reading comprehension problem is yours. You are simply proclaiming that it is impossible that they did what it says they did and therefore their "sin" needs to be understood as something else. Therefore you have no need to pay attention to the many and diverse sources that say otherwise because by definition they don't mean what they say.

      Delete
    9. DT - on this subject - long before I discovered the blog, I had a solution to the issues raised above, about what we cannot understand about things that previous generations and Tzaddikim did. It may challenge you views, but here goes:
      Shlomo Hamelech (whom we also have trouble understanding certain things about) says " Ein chadash tachat hashemsh". Now what does it mean notin is new under the sun? 20 years ago there were no smartphones or internet. 200 years ago no planes or vaccines. 1000 years ago no guns or bombs. etc etc so a lot has changed and a lot is new.
      The only aspect that doesn't change is human nature an human psychology. If there is PTSD now it existed 3000 years ago as well. If we have temptations and blind spots, then our fathers who had our original DNA had the challenges. Adam Harishon was flesh and blood like the rest of us, and had loneliness , and his wife had temptations etc. Nothing is new under the sun.

      Delete
    10. Instead of going back and forth with you, I will explain again.
      If it says that someone sinned, then their sin does not need to be understood as a mitzva. But it cannot be understood as a sin as you or I would sin. And it cannot be spoken of or referred to as such, especially with language such as "Yehuda used and abused Tamar for his own personal pleasure". And someone who does use this language has major problems, even if he holds a post of rosh yeshiva.

      Delete
    11. Daas Torah,

      Could you help me understand your argument? There are examples of the greatest Tzadikim doing sins which you wouldn't have imagined they did, ergo they probably - or possibly did other "unimaginable sins". So it would not necessarily be wrong to ח"ו say, for instance, that one of the אבות happened to rape or murder one Tuesday morning, but for some reason that Aveira didn't make its way into Chumash? In fact, if I'm pretty sure that I've never committed any "unimaginable" sin, then I must be greater than the Avos!

      This is without going through the examples you cite and nit-picking them - For example: Yosef's temptation was daily, for a very long time, as the Midrash tells us. He was probably dejected, being a slave banished from his father's home. Potifar's wife added threats to her enticements - I would not find Yosef sinning "unimaginable" at all. Indeed, nowhere (to my knowledge) do we find that Yosef is criticised - in Tanach or by Chazal - for almost sinning. On the contrary, we only find him being praised in the highest terms - בו פורת עלי עין, יוסף הוא מדת היסוד - for resisting at the last second. (The Arizal's statement concerning the עשר טיפות is not relevant.) I always assumed that Yosef did in fact resist temptation as much as was humanly possible - so where is the sin?

      Yehuda wanting to do znus also doesn't bother me in the slightest, since as Joey said it was Mutar then. (I heard this from R' Avigdor Miller זצ"ל.) And besides, Rabbi E, you are surely learned enough to know the Gemara in Sota 10a which describes how scrupulous Yehuda was to observe many Halachos in that union - many of which did not even exist yet. All this quite apart from the Midrash which states that a Malach caused Yehuda to do what he would not have usually done. [You can't pick and choose, saying that Chazal are only speaking literally when they criticise but not when they defend.] Yet you look at Yehuda's actions as "unimaginable"! We definitely have different yardsticks, it seems.

      Delete
  28. Eddie: I don't even think you understood my comment. Please reread slowly. And please knock off the personal insults. And I never identified myself as Haredi. And I am not Chaim's sidekick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, several points - but the main argument made was that Er,onan and Yehuda did/not sin.

      Er and Onan clearly sinned. There is basis in the meforshim that Yehuda also sinned. My criticism of Moshe L on that article is that he just writes it like a newspaper article, not actually citing the sources (which do exist).
      So if the statement itself is disgusting or assur, then the statement was made by Rishonim, acharonim. So maybe you are suggesting that he is correct in what he says, but that he doesnt bring the sources, which would be a scholarly critique, but it doesnt make him an apikores. If ther eis such a machloket or safek about what is written in the Torah, I look at my Mikraot gedolot, and see the mainstream opinions. Sometimes Ramban might disagree with Rashi, but he is entitled to do so. So if the reader finds one perush more appealing than another, I don't see it as a crime to follow that perush.

      Delete
    2. To whoever it may concern (whoever wants to answer me!):
      1. Where did anyone (on this page) argue that Er and Onan din not sin?
      2. Where did anyone argue that Biblical characters did not sin? Chaim seemed to say that the criticism which Talmud, Medrash etc. gives is given much more respectfully than some nowadays, not that nobody sinned. Is it too much to ask for one counter-example?
      3. I already asked - if before the Torah was given you didn't need to get married, like Rambam says, then what is all the fuss about?

      Delete
    3. NOT SURE IF FIRST ONE MADE IT THROUGH:

      To whoever it may concern (whoever wants to answer me!):
      1. Where did anyone (on this page) argue that Er and Onan din not sin?
      2. Where did anyone argue that Biblical characters did not sin? Chaim seemed to say that the criticism which Talmud, Medrash etc. gives is given much more respectfully than some nowadays, not that nobody sinned. Is it too much to ask for one counter-example?
      3. I already asked - if before the Torah was given you didn't need to get married, like Rambam says, then what is all the fuss about?

      Delete
  29. And Eddie, my point is really this: It's you and your sidekicks who do not care about Rishonim. Because, like you always say, you can argue with Rishonim. Just like Rav Moshe Zt"l always argued with Rishonim. By the way, why do you even follow the Shulchan Aruch? There are always Shitos who hold otherwise? And even if there are not any, just argue with the Rishonim. So if you have a free heter to argue with Rishonim, what are they worth to you, really? I will tell you--they are to be used as a tool in your hand to promote whatever agenda it is that you happen to be in the mood of selling. Just find one Rishon that says something similar to what you are saying, and there usually is at least one, and bring him as your "source" so that you look intelligent, and say whatever you want. You quote plenty of "sources." Especially now, with all of the great software out there, you can find a source for everything. You can find sources for age of the universe, evolution, Christianity, whatever you want. Everyone can quote whatever he wants and he looks impressive. What you are missing is the ability to think straight, and figure out what is really right, regardless of your sources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you saying that a source is only valid if you hear it from a Rebbe? That is kind of a fallacy again, because if I say I hear it from my Rebbe, then it's not valid, since you don't accept my Rebbe. But vice versa is also true. That is why we have all these sidekick problems.

      Delete
  30. Not really. Most sources are valid to some extent; my general point was that sources can be used as well as misused. BTW, what do you care if I accept your Rebbi? If you accept him, then that's good enough for you. And vice versa that my Rebbi is good enough for me. And better to have a sidekick than to be one:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nat you are correct to follow your rebbe - but that doesn't mean that what you are saying is what Chazal say. There is a similar view of the Baalei Mussar to say that a sin is not really a sin. The Chazon Ish wrote two letters dealing with the issue of when theological principles contradicts Chazal

      Chazon Ish (Letters I:208) responded to the assertion that the Jews in Egypt were on the highest level in Torah, Mitzvos, faith and piety. The assertion was based upon the medrashism which said that the righteous women went to the fields and gave birth and left their children and there were many miracles done for them…The deduction being that surely because of these righteous women and these miracles – the entire Jewish people must of have been totally devoted to G-d and his mitvos. A further foundation of this assertion was the medrash which states that the Jews were only enslaved for 86 years and that this is insufficient time to become significantly dissolute and debased. The Chazon Ish said that these deduction have no basis since they are all against what Chazal themselves say on the subject. He concludes that the assertion that it was impossible for the Jews to become ruined since they saw miracles is not valid. In fact the Jews saw miracles when they were redeemed from Egypt and at the Sea, as well as the Maan and at the giving of the Torah – and yet they made the Golden Calf. Furthermore there were 10 miracles at the Beis HaMikdash and many miracles and wonders done by the Prophets – nevertheless this did not prevent them from having free will to serve idols. one should not interpret the early generations in such a way that it is impossible for us to comprehend and learn from them. In fact they had free will and this is main thing in avodas HaShem.

      Chazon Ish (Letters I:209) states a rule that for major widely stated facts one should should not interpret them significantly from the clear simple meaning. Only isolated things can be occasionally explained differently then their simple meaning. In the Torah we see much effort to save the Jews from deserting the entire Torah and running instead after idol worship something which according to our present condition where the Yetz has been killed is totally incomprehensible.The reality of the desire for idol worship is really beyond our comprehension is the same way a blind person can’t comprehend colors

      Delete

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED!
please use either your real name or a pseudonym.