Sunday, April 19, 2015

Daas Torah and gedolim - the stereotypic Chareidi view.

Guest post by A. Prager -This guest post was written as a response to  Gavriel Cohen's request for information about gedolim and Daas Torah. It represents a sincere - though mistaken - attempt to show the ancient roots of Daas Torah as well as the superiority of gedolim in all areas of knowledge. I originally thought of not publishing it - but then I realized that it in fact is representative of how many Chareidim actually view the matter. So showing the problematic proofs and citations will in fact help clarify the matter.

Basically I think this is a typical chareidi apologetic on the subject - but it is inaccurate. It cherry picks quotes and examples - as if they are representative of the set of all gedolim. It fails to note the common practice of gedolim to recommend the best secular authority - rather than give personal advice. In fact Rav Moshe Feinstein was adamant that when one goes to a doctor to use the best. 

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach did not learn about electricity from the gemora, Rav Moshe Feinstein learned about medical and technical issues from secular experts, The Chazon Ish allegedly learned his medical knowledge from secular medical books. Rav (Sanhedrin 5b) noted, "I spent eighteen months with a shepherd in order to learn which was a permanent and which a passing blemish ?" Pesachim (94b) notes an instance where the scientific view of secular scholars is said to be superior to that of Chazal. There are many other examples.

Even the assertion he brings that all wisdom can be learned from Torah is not relevant. Rabbi Freifeld told me that while the statement is true - it is not known how to obtain the answers. This is similar to the Rambam noting that while Chazal had books of science - they have been lost and that therefore we learn science from secular sources.

update: A Prager responded:
Thanks for your response.

In my defense, I wasn't attempting to provide Gavriel with a balanced approach to the sugyah; I left out most of the relevant material that I have on the subject (8 pages of Mekoros).

All I was trying to prove was that the position that holds that gedolei hador are to be asked on issues other than halacha is most certainly  a valid one, with precedent in Rishonim and Achronim. I made that quite clear to him; he was asking if todays "gedolim culture" was an invention of a tradition that is not our own, an imaginary reality. I proved to him that that is not the case. The dissenting opinion was not of concern in that response.
Dear Gavriel,
The issue is fundamentally important. I have heard many people (choshuve ones too) referring to a lack of cogent and authoritative material that discusses the concept of Daas Torah.
The so-called paucity of sources on the subject has led some to reject the entire concept, as a modern innovation – just about as old as its terminology. I have heard this opinion voiced on a number of occasions and, as I hope you will see, this statement is far from accurate, and fallacy due to lack of knowledge, and also (I sadly suspect) a desire to be liberated from the confines of an imposing Rabbinic authority. It is indeed true that the term daas Torah is a contemporary coinage, but its idea spans back much further:
Let’s start at the beginning. I am presenting you with an argument which I do not feel is enough advanced because there is a lack of awareness of its potency and authenticity. 
Is there such a thing as Gedolim?
Well, the answer is obviously yes. The Gemara is replete with references to Gedolim and Gedolei Olam. Your question pertains more to who they are, and what they can and are expected to know.
If you’re looking for sources though, there are many but see: Pesachim 70b and Kesubos 10b.
What can a Gadol b’Torah Know? Is it Accessible for us?
In three places the Gemara refers to the all-encompassing knowledge of Talmidei Chachomim, and ascribes the sources of their wisdom to Yiras Shomayim: regarding the knowedge of the shiur of time it takes to perform biah (Sotah 4b); a specific knowledge of the pain suffered from a certain ailment (Sotah 10a) and the ability to distinguish between pure and impure blood through the sense of smell (Niddah 20b). See also Berachos 58b that Shmuel knew the patterns and paths of the stars like he knew the streets of Nahardea.
The Chasam Sofer (Bava Basra 21a) writes explicitly that there is no need to study any other discipline other than Torah, since everything can be found in its words. Now, its significant that he wrote that; he’s writing that l’maase just over 150 years ago: that means he held that such knowledge (to the extent that it is required) is discernable and available:
חתם סופר מסכת בבא בתרא דף כא עמוד א
ושארי חכמות שצריך לרקחות ולטבחות לשמש אשת חיל תורת ה' לא יספיקו בילדי נכרי' כי הכל ימצא בתורה ההוגה בה לשמה זוכה לדברי' הרבה וכמ"ש רמב"ן בהקדמה לתורה

You will be familiar, I am sure, with the Mishna in Avos (5,22) “turn it over and over, for all is in it”, how do you understand this? Rabenu Yona there writes that all wisdom that is in the world can be found in the words of the Torah. Read his words in context, he’s explaining the Mishna’s injunction to turn it over (mull it through), in other words, we can get there: 
פירוש רבינו יונה על אבות ה,כב
הפוך בה וכו' – חזור על דברי תורה שכל חכמת העולם כלולה בה
The Mirkeves Hamishneh there has a similar approach:
מרכבת המשנה לר"י אלאשקר על אבות ה,כב
ועל כן אמר הפוך [בה] והפך בה. ואם לכאורה נראה שאין בה כל כך ענינים, אין זה כי אם מצד קוצר המשיג ועומק המושג, וכאמרו כי לא דבר רק הוא מכם (דברים לב, מז), ואם רק הוא מכם הוא (ירושלמי פאה א, א)...וג"כ רמז שאין צריך לאדם לאבד זמנו בשום חכמה חיצונית לפי שכל החכמות הם נכללים בתורה.
Again, the comments made are especially significant because they are made on this Mishnah which implies that we should delve into the Torah, because “all is in it”.
The Paas Hashulchan has a slightly different approach, which is that anything that one could ever need “for Torah” is found in it:
פאת השלחן בהקדמתו בשם רבנו הגר"א ז"ל
"כל החכמות נצרכים לתורתינו הק' וכלולים בה"

You are familiar, no doubt, with the account of the Chazon Ish who provided advice on how to perform a complex brain operation which was completed successfully. Significantly, the Chazon Ish demonstrated erudite knowledge of the anatomical structure of the brain and how to perform an operation thereon. The surgeon at first rejected the Rabbis advice, but reticently followed the patients wishes to perform the operation according to the instruction of the Chazon Ish, which was successfully completed. The procedure is known today in Israel as “the Karelitz procedure”. I enclose the diagram drawn by the Chazon Ish:

What I am trying to demonstrate, is that there is a strong basis to argue that the Gedolei Yisrael, have an ability to know and rule – even in our generation – on matters much wider than halacha. I have not tried to explain why this is the case.
The very same Chazon Ish in Igros writes that the distinction between kodesh and profane in the perception of the gedolim’s abilities was the hallmark difference between the pre-war reform and those that rejected reform. To say that the gedolim only have a right to make statements in the area of halacha is against the entire ethos of Yiddishkeit, he argues. A similar approach is taken by Rav Hutner in a fascinating essay first printed in the Jewish Observer, November 1977.
So is the approach new? No, it’s heavily based in Gemara, Rishonim, Achronim and Poskim. The term “daas Torah”, as you allude to, is new. I don’t know how familiar you are with between-the-wars Continental Jewish politics? I would suggest that it was due to the political tensions that emerged in pre-war Europe between the religious parties and their secular counterpart that was responsible for the coinage of the term. The novel term is the formalisation of a well-established concept, symptomatic of a political struggle, necessary to demonstrate the authenticity of a Politics guided by Gedolei Yisrael; a model we see practiced today in Israel. It became common usage, I think, for political reasons, but it was always there, just was more relevant to the world of philosophical theory than practice.


  1. Yehudah-Simcha GaffinApril 16, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    I think that the suggestion that the Chazon Ish only knew this from reading Torah sources is a total fallacy...If it is present in the gemora then Reb Yehudah Hanasi, Abaye and Ravina should all have been able to perform such operations.

    I'll even grant you that there is perhaps something in the gemora about neuro-oncology, but no-one before Rabbi Karelitz was able to decipher it because it required 'external' knowledge before it was able to be understood.

    Additionally, it is because the rabbis of old were not closeted away from the outside world, and in fact corresponded with philosophers and doctors of their times, that they were considered experts in many fields not just in the traditional 'Torah' understanding. Today, when that simply isn't too and our leadership remains cloistered away, it is simply ridiculous to suggest that it is sensible to go to a rabbi about a medical problem. It is similar to asking a philosopher to rewire your kitchen; he has ideas about electricity and what it means to us, but the practical aspect is beyond him.

  2. Maybe the Karelitz procedure was a success, but the gedolim politics going on today in Israel appear to be an abysmal failure.

  3. This is another reason for Orthodox Jews to go into professions they're good at. They'd be best fit to communicate key details to Poskim.

  4. Regarding the chatam sofer, he still ascribed secular knowledge over 'daas torah'. See his last shu''t in yoreh deah, which i recall you reference in your bookon daas torah.

  5. Wouldn't they need a secular education for that?

  6. "The
    very same Chazon Ish in Igros writes that the distinction between
    kodesh and profane in the perception of the gedolim’s abilities was the
    hallmark difference between the pre-war reform and those that rejected

    This is not a very clear statement, and I would think that the CI would be making a clearer or greater argument that that presented above.

    Do you mean "reform" Judaism? Weren't they the ones who would eat treif, intermarry, and observe Shabbat on sundays in germany? So it is hardly convincing that they would have such a fine distinction on the Gedolei Torah's locus of halachic authority.

    In fact, the Gedolim of Torah Im Derech Eretz, like R' Hilsdheimer and R' Hoffman ztl, opposed Reform, but were not of the same school of thought as Eastern european gedolim.

    So i would like to see a more coherent argument here, in what is overall a very interesting post.

  7. Regarding the Chazon Ish's knowledge of medicine, I was told by a reliable source that he read medical texts in the bathroom.

    Partially aside from the discussion of Daas Torah, I think that not many people completely understand the level of genius of many of the Gedolim in the previous generations. It is certainly true that if someone who is not so bright learns Torah with yegiah and ameilus, then Hashem will open his head and he will be able to comprehend much more than he would have otherwise. On the other hand, there are also many natural-born geniuses who didn't make it big due to personal failures of some kind or another. The few men to whose Daas Torah many defer to are, for the most part, the very rare combination of sheer natural genius complete toil in Torah, together with near perfection in character traits. It is therefore not a wonder that the Chazon Ish, with his natural genius mind honed by complete immersion in Torah, was able to sit in the bathroom for a few hours and comprehend the human body to a greater degree than the scientists.

  8. It fails to note the common practice of gedolim to recommend the best secular authority - rather than give personal advice.

    How does this contradict the letter-writer? In those cases where they recommended seeking the expertise of a particular tradesman, then that was a decision they made with their Daas Torah.

    In fact Rav Moshe Feinstein was adamant that when one goes to a doctor to use the best.

    How does this contradict the letter-writer?

    Reb Moshe clearly did tell people not to follow the doctor's decision in certain cases.

    He valued their knowledge as a tool to help him reach his own conclusion. However, he clearly allowed himself to disagree with them as their ethos differed from ours.

    Rav Moshe Feinstein learned about medical and technical issues from secular experts

    Yet he strongly disagreed with his son-in-law - a man with much medical knowledge - about any danger with metzitza b'peh.

    The Chazon Ish allegedly learned his medical knowledge from secular medical books.

    Even if this were the case, he clearly never attended medical school. He did not go through the rigors and training that a residency provides. Yet, his conclusions were superior to the doctor's conclusion.

    A person deeply steeped in Torah study, lishmah, does reach a level where his decisions and conclusions that are based upon his Torah knowledge are the correct ones. It does not mean that they cannot make a mistake. So long that they're human, they can still err. It's just that those decisions are based upon his own slant, his human side, not upon his Torah knowledge.

    The origin of the term is assumingly from the Gemara in Chulin 90B. Daas Torah is where he was certain about his conclusion, and Daas Noteh is where he is not 100% certain. Rav Chaim Kanievsky had his son arrange for a sefer of his letters to be published. But he wanted it to be called Daas Noteh, to indicate that his letters are generally not written in a conclusive fashion.

  9. @honesty - you are not describing a Daas Torah approach. Rav Dovid Feinstein told me never heard Rav Moshe invoke Daas Torah to justify his views.

    The cases where Rav Moshe disagreed with a doctor - he clearly had other doctors and medical opinion that agreed with him. This is something most of us do today. We gather information from the Internet, friends, magazine articles etc. if the doctors view seems inconsistent - we ask that the doctor comply with our understanding or we find another doctor. What does this have to do with Daas Torah?

    A true Daas Torah case is the following I heard from the room mate of the chassid. A chasid from Meah Shearim was hospitalized with a heart condition. Tests were done and the head of the department told him that he needed an emergency operation or he wouldn't live. Chassid - who was so primitive he had never seen a tv before being hospitalized told the doctor he first needed his rebbe's approval for the operation. The doctor was highly irritated at this insult but told him he had until morning to agree. Next morning the doctor came and was calmly told that his rebbe had said no operation. The docctor was furious and stomped out of the room saying the chassid was committing suicide. Several hours later the doctor returned with an embarrassed look on his face and apologized. Seems the tests had been improperly analyzed and there was in fact no need for the operation.

    Metzitza is an old issue and there is medical evidence on both sides. Again this is not good example.

    Again the fact that the Chazon Ish after reading medical books was able to suggest some innovation - says nother about Daas Torah as the source of knowledge. It is something that laymen do all the time. In fact doctors often do not have a broad perspective about what is going on. Many times people are suffering from overmedication - that the patient or family is aware of from common sense.

  10. But this whole argument is the exception that proves the rule - of modern orthodoxy. In the entire literature of the yeshiva world, there is only one recent day Gadol HaDor who had a single inspiration of scientific genius.

    Where are all the other examples? The Lubavitcher rebbe studied engineering, and according to Chabad, he was able to give more accurate teshuvot for questions regarding electricity.

    The Ralbag studied astronomy, and was hence celebrated for his scientific achievements.

  11. A true Daas Torah case is the following I heard from the room mate of the chassid.

    I would have understood the case of the Chosid as a Ruach Hakodesh story, as the rebbe didn't hear from the doctor what the intricacies of the condition were. Many Chasiddim will not proceed with a significant medical procedure prior to getting their Rebbe's brocha. Brochos and Ruach Hakodesh, to me , appear different than the concept of Daas Torah. I understood Daas Torah as the ability to draw proper conclusions and make proper decisions, not based upon a person's own slant (negios). This ability to make proper decisions clearly includes to ability to say they don't know, when they don't know.

    Interestingly, here is a story where it is claimed that Reb Moshe made a medical decision, after speaking with the doctor, based upon his Torah knowledge. Its pages 3, 4 and 5 (after the 20 intro pages) which can be looked into.

    Rav Moshe disagreed with his son-in-law on the basis of שומר מצוה לא ידע דבר רע. That's how it is claimed that his son's repeated it. It was probably in conjunction with medical knowledge, but the conclusion -which differed greatly with his son-in-law's conclusion - was based upon Reb Moshe's methods and values to draw a conclusion.

    This is something most of us do today. We gather information from the Internet, friends, magazine articles etc. if the doctors view seems inconsistent - we ask that the doctor comply with our understanding or we find another doctor.

    There are many supposed "centrists" out there who clearly believe in swallowing any decision the medical field throws at us. They don't believe that they can challenge a doctors conclusion, while they also believe that a Torah-scholars knowledge should not have any role in coming to the correct conclusion. R. Moshe Dovid Tendler went on record saying just this in support of his conclusion and fight about metzitza b'peh.

  12. I think that most rational Charedi people do not believe that an ordinary "gadol" will be able to issue a medical ruling as did the Chazon Ish without having thoroughly studied scientific texts. I don't see what this has to do with modern orthodox.

  13. because the foundation of MO is Torah u'Madda. Some say all mada is treif, and that you can learn everything from studying shas alone. However,t eh Gedolim of previous generations obviously did study madda, and did consult with secular experts.

  14. @Eddie Torah u'Madda is not the foundation of MO - it is the willingness - even the excitement to compromise with the secualr society. It is called Modern Orthodox - not Scientific Orthodoxy.

  15. it depends which Modern orthodoxy you are referring to.

    Basically, you are falling (perhaps willfully) in the same trap as those who claim that Hareidim are all Neturei karta, who oppose anything to do with Israel and side with hamas and iran.
    Neither R' Hirsch nor R' Soloveitchik were talking about compromise with secular society, but of a "synthesis" of science with Torah understanding.

  16. @Eddie - no such thing - please provide sources

  17. Please bring a legitimate current source that holds that all mada is treif and that you should not consult with secular experts. Please bring me an example of a mainstream Torah leader who advised people not to go to a doctor.

  18. R' Hirsch is chareidi. TIDE is very different than TuM. R' Hirsch also held “Austritt”, meaning that secular knowledge becomes acceptable after it is separated from and discards secular culture, values, and environment. Modern Orthodoxy has omitted this condition.

  19. Regarding the "Karelitz Procedure" and the CI, several things should be kept in mind.

    1) For one, Rav Gedalia Nadel said that everything the CI knew about medicine (and Rav Gedalia Nadel said that it wasn't "that much"), he knew from medical journals. How did Rav Gedalia know this? Because HE was the one who brought the journals to the CI, at the CI's request! Therefore, according to Rav Nadel, by asking for the textbooks and journals, the CI HIMSELF was conceding that the knowledge he was seeking was NOT available to him in the Torah.

    2)Given the limitations of neuro imaging at that time, almost NOTHING was known about the workings of the brain and neurosurgery was very, very iffy. The CI's primitive drawing (and some say it wasn't he who drew it, but a physician who drew it) describes a primitive approach that was the only thing possible at that time and based on the very limited knowledge available at that time.

    3)The CI did not perform the surgery himself, nor did he show the doctors how to do it using the more modern techniques known today. Were he to have had an unlimited understanding of neurosurgery, why wouldn't he have jump started the profession and guided neurosurgeons as to how they could help people who couldn't be helped until only recently, thanks to new discoveries and new techniques known only today? Think of all the people who could have been helped all these years!

  20. R' Dessler and R' Shach opposed studying secular sciences, ie formally going to university. They held that such people must be shunned. R Shach also alleged that HaRambam did not study foreign (secular) philosophy, but instead learned his logic and philosophy from deducing the logical methods employed by Chazal. This claim was refuted by R' Lichtenshtein.

  21. @DT , please provide sources where MO Roshei Yeshiva are excited to compromise with secular society. Where have they done a reform job and discarded the shulchan aruch?

  22. "Eddie - no such thing - please provide sources"

    Sources for synthesis? Are you aware that the Rambam does precisely this, in commentary on the Mishnah, his MT and his Moreh? When he cites, and even sometimes relies on secualr philosophy, especially Aristo, and Arabic neo-platonists, he is doing the synthesis of his day. In one of his works, he says that Aristotle was 1 degree below that required for nevuah! So not only does it exists in R' Soloveitchik's works, who did the same with Kant, or R' Hirsch, who was influenced by Hegel, but also by the Nesher hagadol, the Rambam, who mentions secular philosphers all the time.

  23. Moe, I certainly appreciate R' Hirsch, but for you to claim that MO has omitted this condition, then you need to show that MO has full acceptance of secular culture, values etc. Can you show me MO female roshei yeshiva? Are there MO rabbis who ch' vshalom conduct gay marriages? Which MO shuls serve treif kiddushim, or hold shabbat on a sunday?
    Which MO poskim make halachic statements based on secular legal precedents?


    on the differences between R' Hirsch and Modern Orthodoxy.

  25. @Eddie - you have got to be kidding! Did you ever read Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm's book on the topic?

  26. Eddie kindly quote sources. Statements and proclamations without sources are difficult to deal with. You made four claims here without a single source.

  27. Again, without sources is it is to mistakenly obfuscate.

    1) You need to quote Rav Hirsch, and the exact source.
    2) Again, please quote a reliable source explaining Rav Hirsch's strict instructions and insistence of Austrit.

    Once you've done these two, you will clearly realize that the examples you gave are not the barometer with which to measure whether MO blogs, institutions and theology follow Rav Hirsch about Austritt.
    TV, Music etc etc

  28. your one-liners are not very easy to follow. what is your argument exactly? I have Lamm's book. What do u mean by compromise?

  29. they have their own criteria, but it is not an orgy of secular-orthodox relations that you imagine.

    case 1) RYBS forbade people to even listen to the mitzvah of shofar in a non-orthodox shul. That is clearly in parallel with RSRH ' separation fromt eh reform community.

    case 2) the yeshivot associated with YU, eg those in Israel, all have kosher kitchens. you are impplying that they do not keep kosher and mix kosher style with secular treif.

    In general, there is a debate even within MO as to what degree of involvement to have with non orthodox clergy. England's previous Chief Rabbi Sacks prevented giving an Aliyah to conservative rabbi Louis Jacobs, when Jacobs visited an orthodox shul for his grandchild's aufruf. Sacks is left wing MO, yet he made this very risky and controversial decision.

    So I think your arguments are very weak and unconvincing - probably you have no idea what MO is and only believe the 2 minute hate vorts you hear in haredi shiurim.

  30. this article refutes the revisionism of the so-called follwoers of r' Hirsch:,d.d2s&cad=rja

    quote: "R’ Weinberg himself explicitly
    wrote that R’ Hirsch wanted “a synthesis of Torah and worldly studies (derech eretz) in the broadest sense of that term." ”

    Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg, She’elot Uteshuvot Seridei Esh, vol. 4 (Jerusalem,
    1969), p. 366 quoted and translated in Judith Bleich, “Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch: Ish al Ha’edah,” Jewish Action 56.4: 28

  31. @Eddie your initial comments was

    because the foundation of MO is Torah u'Madda. Some say all mada is treif, and that you can learn everything from studying shas alone. However,t eh Gedolim of previous generations obviously did study madda, and did consult with secular experts.

    You have not shown 1) that MO is based on Torah u madda 2) you have not defined what you mean by MO lumping Rav Hirsch in with YU and Open Orthodox etc
    3) you switched from foundation of MO to synthesis.

    In short Eddie - your allegations are very sloppy conceptually and they keep changing from comment to comment.

  32. Well, I said that your claims were also less than rigorous. I find it funny that you are now using "open orthodox" which is a fringe group that MO have distanced themselves from, as a central part of MO.

    Like i said earlier, that is akin to lumping mainstream yeshivish world with extreme Satmar /Neturei karta groups. There are plenty of "ultra orthodox" sects who have completely gone off the derech, for example Lubavitch which has become a messianic cult; satmar which is a satanistic cult and define themselves purely on opposing what they deem to be "satan" ; NK who are mosrim and sit with murderers; various other extremists who attack Hareidi gedolim for being "tzionim". So if you lump MO and OO together, it is like lumping Hareidi and the meshugennes together.

  33. furthermore, i am not saying that R' Hirsch was identical to YU. But He was also not the same as Rambam, or the Rishonim who studied sciences. In act, he was critical of Rambam in some ways. The fact is, Hareidim of the recent generations had only Yu to attack, because Rambam, and Hirsch were no longer around. In rambam's time, they had no problem in attacking him either. Perhaps you also deny that rambam studied science and philosophy?
    what has changed is the culture. There wasnt internet 30 years ago, and there wasnt TV 150 years ago.
    There probably wasn't classical music in Rambam's time.
    I have attacked Open O myself several times on this blog, because some of their musmachim are kofrim b'ikkar. That is not the case with mainstream YU/ or MO in UK or Israel.

  34. @Eddie so what is your definition of MO?

  35. There is Modern orthodoxy which is centred in YU, and other Modern yeshivas such as HTC, Har Etzion, and possibly what Rav Kook originally proposed for his Universal Yeshiva. There is also the Modern Rabbinate, which includes, for example the Chief rabbinate in the UK, and the Dati rabbanut in Israel as well as Tzohar. What the common features of this Modern orthodoxy are, as far as I know, is that Torah studies can be combined with secular studies and learning a modern profession, as well as entering academia. Thus university study, becoming a lawyer, doctor, scientist, psychologist etc is all "mutar" and meshubach as far as Mo is concerned. Halachic authority is still observed, this will be Roshei teshiva in YU for example, Chief Rabbi /Dayanim in UK, and in Israel the Rabbanim whether poskim or gedolim such as r' Ariel shlita, and until very recently R' Lichtenstein ztl.
    There is an additional factor, where in Israel, army service is part of the ideology, thus MO who are frum Chu'L support and will enlist in the army when they move to Israel. In Israel they have Hesder yeshivot where they combine military service with torah studies. I agree this is different from YU, but a lot is to do with culture - and Israeli culture or necessity requires military service.
    There is also the Sephardi MO which is largely affiliated with the Mizrachi movement, and have no problem with studying for a profession or entering a full time business.
    There are groups who would like to claim to be "orthodox", but are also into Bible criticism, i.e. apikorsus, and denial of the 13 Ikkarim. I think this is ridiculous, it is essentially Conservative/reform which still has some vestiges of orthodoxy, (as in fact early conservative also did).

  36. I am somewhat bothered by your third point. I hope that you are not contesting the fact of Histakel BeOraisa Ubara Alma, which means, in other words, that all scientific wisdom is contained in the Torah in some form. This has nothing to do with our lack of the ability to necessarily extract all of this wisdom, which is due to our failings and not the Torah's. Now let's take Shlomo Hamelech, for example, who did possess the wisdom to extract scientific knowledge from the Torah. This does not mean that his scientific wisdom should have been able to extend far beyond the scientific understanding of the day. This again has nothing to do with his lack of ability, but is rather due to the fact that technology is a step-by-step progression, and you cannot skip steps in that process. So even though Aristotle possessed greater wisdom than the current scientists, it is not considered a failing that he was not able to invent a cell phone or a space shuttle. Rather, his contributions to science were proportionally much more significant than the contributions of today's scientists, who have been compared to dwarfs on the shoulders of giants. So the fact that the Chazon Ish's contribution, which was advanced for his day and age, did not jump fifty years in the future, has nothing whatsoever to do with its lack of significance.

  37. @Eddie you made an assertion that MO has its foundation in science. When I questioned that you now say that it tolerates the teaching of science or combines teaching science and Torah and getting a job or serving in the army

    the issues you are now raising have nothing to do with science as a foundation. Please stick to your original assertion - which is the one I am responding to

  38. Eddie wrote in response

    My original assertion was that the single case of the CI ztl advising on how to correctly do complicated brain surgery is an exception. I then stated that MO is founded on Torah u Mada - which is what Lamm's manifesto of the same name also claims.
    But i pointed out also that our great rishonim, such as Rambam, Ramban, Ralbag etc, were experts in scientific and philosophical disciplines. Rambam was world renowned for his knowledge of science, philosophy, medicine and astronomy. Ramban was a medically trained doctor, and Ralbag was an authority on Astronomy, he invented several devices used by mariners and astronomers, and even has a crater on the moon named after him! These gedolim were the model for Torah and science.

    R Hirsch ztl was also interested in high culture, although he argued - and i agree - that Torah has all the good middot we need, and we only accept the culture if it coincides with Torah values.

    But just like the mada of Rambam's time was different from that of Hirsch's time, so it is also different today.

    I am not saying MO of YU is better or worse than Torah in DE of R' Hirsch, but that we live in a different world.
    Finally, do you see the irony, that more recently you are attacking MO as being reformists, yet when they serve your social agenda (which is certainly a good thing, and one based on chessed v'emet) you are happy to publish letters from very Mo rabbis such as the one in this post.

  39. Perhaps you could address my main point, which is that the real story describes the opposite, that the CI seemingly got his information from medical journals.


  40. @Eddie you made an assertion that MO has its foundation in science. When I questioned that you now say that it tolerates the teaching of science or combines teaching science and Torah and getting a job or serving in the army

    the issues you are now raising have nothing to do with science as a foundation. Please stick to your original assertion - which is the one I am responding to

  41. Anonymously claiming that Rav Gedalia Nadel said certain things, yet not providing a verifiable source that he did in deed say what you claimed he said, is not worth very much.

    The rest of your original questions/proof show that you either don't understand, or don't have, the Chazon Ish's values. To you medical advancements will do more to save Jewish lives and and be more of a fulfillment to a person's mission on this world. To the Chazon Ish, him continuously fulfilling Hasham's comandments, and to be doveik in Hashem and His Torah was his mission, purpose-in-life and raison d'etre.

    Your quotes remind me of R. Moshe Dovid Tendler's quotes in 2005 claiming that Rav Elyashiv and Rav Wosner were against metztzah b'peh. Rav Wosner subsequently wrote a letter making his position very clear, as well as his disgust at RMDT's war. Rav Elyashiv's position was equally clear.

  42. “But this whole argument is the
    exception that proves the rule - of modern orthodoxy. In the entire literature
    of the yeshiva world, there is only one recent day Gadol HaDor who had a single
    inspiration of scientific genius.”

    My evidence for this is that whilst
    there are hundreds of MO scientists,
    thousands of doctors, professors, researchers etc, and even more
    recently prof Aumann a Nobel prize winner, where are the Hareidi counterparts?

    Next, I wrote:

    “because the foundation of MO is Torah
    u'Madda. Some say all mada is treif, and that you can learn everything from
    studying shas alone. However,t eh Gedolim of previous generations obviously did
    study madda, and did consult with secular experts.”

    Other posters challenged me on this,
    so I cited comments of R’ Shach for example, in his opposition to secular

    DT seems to be mixing quotes to avoid
    the real issue. Since he
    misquotes me,
    whereas in fact I wrote that Torah’uMada is the foundation of MO, he
    insists I wrote
    that science is its foundation. But science was also not the foundation
    of SRH’s
    Torah im D.E. It was the best of secular culture, including science. In
    fact, DT cited the book by Lamm called Torah uMadaa, which brings a
    number of models, including a kabbalistic one. So he sees Kabbalah as also part of Mada.
    Remember also Machon lev , which teaches science and technology with
    Torah studies, was banned by the Hareidi leadership, precisely because
    they teach science.

    Remember also, please, that my initial
    comment was a reaction to the famous maaseh of the CI on brain surgery.

    Now, not all doctors have perfect
    knowledge. I had a case when I saw a surgeon and tried to advise him of a new
    method, which was published in a scientific paper that someone from India had
    sent me.

    The English doctor didnt understand
    the method, even though upon reading the paper again, it had full details

    the equipment and the
    manufacturer. Now, i am not trying to say I am as smart as the CI, but
    that sometimes a regular doctor or surgeon is only as good as the
    methods he has learned. And they can be stuck in that "conceptzia" as
    they say in Israel. The CI showed that science is based on the
    application of logic and innovation to existing methods, to improve all
    the time.

    But why are there no other examples of this in the hareidi world?
    And why is there a schizophrenic approach towards science? it is bad -
    from a pedagogical and rhetorical point of view, hence Ponovezh blasting
    university studies etc. yet when someone who does make a secular
    profession ends up as a personal doctor of a great rav, then that doctor
    is not shunned (as R' Dessler would want), but is praised and given
    special kavod and articles in Yated and other propaganda instruments of
    the hareidi machinery.

    the issues I raised are in response to your question on how i define
    MO. These are related to Torah and mada - where mada can be science,
    economics, psychology, music, and even military strategy. The question
    of military service, i would admit, is viewed differently by Rav Kook
    followers, since they see it as a Mitzvah, or milchemet mitzvah.

  43. If you look further into this post, you will see that a few days back, I said exactly the same thing in one of my responses. I will quote it for you:

    "Regarding the Chazon Ish's knowledge of medicine, I was told by a reliable source that he read medical texts in the bathroom." --Nat

    Most rational people do not believe that the Chazon Ish did not derive his knowledge of neurology from the Torah, even though it is in there. See the rest of my response below, where I discuss the uniqueness of the Chazon Ish and the other Talmidei Chachomim who possess what is known as Daas Torah. The fact that he got medical knowledge from secular texts does not at all detract from the great wisdom that he used to devise a course of operation for the neurosurgeon.

  44. Nor was I. Neither was the Vilna Gaon's mathematical knowledge or the Rambam's medical knowledge. (Everything in the Mishna Torah is definitely sourced from the Torah, though.)

  45. Why would the CI have read the medical texts only in the bathroom, as is purported in your comment above? Had this person heard this from the CI?

    It's also interesting to note that Rav Schwab z"l said that when he traveled to EY to visit the CI, the latter specifically asked him to bring certain medical journals from Europe.

  46. Selling herring? Red ones? Relevance?

  47. Another one of your anonymous, unverifiable falsehoods.
    1) When was the Chazon Ish nifter?
    2) When did Rav Schwab visit Eretz Yisroel?
    3) How did the Chazon Ish supposedly contact Rav Schwab? (definitely not by phone).

  48. Nat, not sure that everything in the Rambam's MT is sourced from the Torah - if you read Mada, he brings in science of his day, with notions which are not from Torah but from Greek ph-ilo-sophy.
    In fact he says explicitly in Rosh Chodesh that we accept the truth from wherever it comes, ie even non Torah sources! This was also the derech of Rebbe Yehudah HaNasi, who said that the gentile scientists were correct over the Jewish ones on a specific issue of why hot springs stay warm overnight.

  49. Can you give an example of something he writes in sefer Madda for which the commentaries do not provide a source from the Torah?

  50. Rav Yaakov (Emes L’Yaakov Bereishis 15): notes that when the astronauts landed on the moon - that showed the Rambam was wrong. He asks if this error reflects on the Rambam's other statements such as Hilchos Shabbos. He concludes that the first four chapters of the Mishneh Torah is only philosophy and science and in that the Rambam could err. In his halachic sections we say Eilu v'Eilu - but not in his philosophy and science.

    אמת ליעקב (בראשית דף ט"ו) ד"ה ואגב למדנו מדברי רמב"ן אלו וביחוד ממה שהסיק בהמשך דבריו בפסוק ח' שכל הנמצא בבריאה בכל כדור העולם, כולל השמש והירח וכל צבא השמים, אינם נקראים בשם "שמים", כי שמים הוא רק דברים שאינם בעלי גוף כגון המלאכים וחיות המרכבה, אבל כל דבר שוא בעל גוף נכלל בשם "הארץ" שוהזכר בפסוק א'...
    ודברי רמב"ן אלה הם שעמוד לי בשעה שראינו איך שבני אדם יורדים מעל המטוס ע"י סולם על גלגל הלבנה, וחשבתי בלבי מע יענה כעת הרמב"ם ז"ל שכתב שהלבנה היא בעלת צורה רוחניות, והרהרתי בלבי שכעת נצחה הקבלה את הפיליסופיא, ונחמתי אל עמצי בדברי רמב"ן אלו. אבל כפי שאנחנו מתייחסים לדברי הראשונים שסוברים אנו בגדר של אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים א"כ אע"פ שבמקום זה אין הלכה כמותו אבל שיהיו דבריו דברי טעות לא יכולתי להשלים, ואם טעה הרמב"ם בהלכות יסודי התורה מדוע לא יטעה בהלכות שבת וכדומה?
    ... ובעל כרחנו אנו צריכין לומר שמה שמסר לנו הרמב"ם בפרקים אלו אין זה לא מעשה מרכבה ולא מעשה בראשית, אלא כתב כל הד' פרקים אלה מדעתו הרחבה מתוך ידיעות בחכמות חיצוניות, כלומר שלא מחכמת התורה אלא הרי זה פילסופיא בעלמא - ונאמר שכבר השיג עליו הגר"א ביו"ד סיק קע"ט סקי"ג שהפיליסופיא הטתו ברוב לקחה ועיי"ש...

  51. Eddie, Yehoshua, DT, there is a small sefer by the Malbim called Alim
    Letrufah. It is on, I think, the fourth chapter of Yesodei Hatorah where
    the Rambam discusses medically related issues. The purpose of the sefer
    is to show that every single line of that chapter was sourced in Bavli,
    Yerushalmi, or elsewhere in Chazal. Otherwise, one might have thought
    that the Rambam might have been giving over information that he had
    learned as a doctor. Obviously this is not to say that medical texts
    written by the Rambam were not based partially or mostly on relevant information of his day
    and age. My point is that when the Rambam wrote his sefer called Mishna
    Torah, he included in that sefer only things that he believed were
    sourced purely in the Torah.
    With all due respect to Rav Yaakov ZT"L, he also had said that everything in the first four chapters of Mishna Torah were derived from his own wisdom, and the true "Mishna Torah" does not start until the fifth chapter. Well, there are two mitzvot (I do not remember which ones) that the Rambam discusses in the first four chapters.
    Also, the Rambam saying that the moon is a "Baal Tzurah Ruchani" does not mean that it cannot also be physical.

  52. What is your problem? Is there something wrong with what he said? If a godol's wife is ill, and he needs to cook for Shabbos, would you have a problem if he looked up the kugel recipe in a cookbook?

  53. Eddie, the argument that was recorded in the Gemara is Torah. When you learn those words, you are learning Torah. The Torah was relating that the gentile scholars approach was correct as opposed to the approach of the Jewish scholars. The incorrect belief of the Jewish scholars itself was their personal belief and had nothing to do with the Torah.

  54. This is a very interesting and important point. Please help me in understanding what is the case in certain halachic disputes, which seem mutually exclusive.

    Examples are: where Rambam says a certain notion is heretical, and Raavad takes issue with him.

    Or where Rambam attacks certain halachic views of the Geonim (on impurity after childbirth) and claims that these views reached the Geonim not from the mesora, but from the Tzedukkim!

    How can such views be eilu v'eilu?

  55. @Nat wrote:
    My point is that when the Rambam wrote his sefer called Mishna Torah, he included in that sefer only things that he believed were sourced purely in the Torah

    Don't recall the Rambam making such a claim.Do you have sources that indicate that the Malbim's thesis is widely accepted and that no one rejects it?

    Obviously Rav Yaakov disagreed with it

  56. Sorry, but Rav Yaakov Zt"l was not the final word in this subject and I do not have to excuse the statement that he made. And the Malbim's thesis does not have to be accepted, certainly not by Rav Yaakov, being that he brings a Torah source for every line of the Rambam in that perek. And I think it is clear from the fact that is called Mishna Torah. Every word of the Rambam in Mishna Torah has been studied by countless Talmidei Chachamim throughout the generations and you really think that the first four chapters were somehow stuck in as an addendum and do not possess the same significance as the rest of the work? The Rambam wrote secular books as well.

  57. @Nat the Malbim's sefer is on Hebrew Books here

    Where does the Malbim claim that the Rambam's statements are from the Torah? I see how he shows that Chazal made similar statements. Is there an accepted principle that all of Chazal's scientific statements were based on Torah and not the medicine of their time?

  58. I did not say specifically that all of Chazal's scientific statements were based on the Torah and not the medicine of their time. I said that the Rambam wrote the Mishna Torah as a concise reformulation of all of the concepts and laws that are in the Torah.

  59. Is there something wrong with what he said?

    Who is the he? What part of my point was he responding to? What was his answer? Are you familiar with the term red herring?

  60. @Nat - I suggest you reread you posts.

    Bottom line the Malbim is not relevant to the discussion. You disagree with Reb Yaakov - so what?

  61. @Nate - please reread the previous comments- you are changing the topic and claiming I don't understand your song and dance.

  62. I did reread it. Please explain to me clearly what your issue is and what you would like me to answer.

  63. Nat, that is a good way of putting it, but it is done in hindsight. Correct me if I am wrong or speaking kefira, but

    the Gemara brings arguments between different sages. Now i have seen somewhere that Rabbeinu Tam comments on this specific Gemara that in truth , the Jewish scholars were correct, but the gentile scholars were only only convincing in terms of the logic or sophistry they used. So as you define Torah, then also the comentary of Hachamim on Gemara is part of the same Torah, and thus there are various Torot, ie one which disagrees with Rebi, and the pshat that supports him. (I am too little to take an opinion on this, I am just bringing fascinating discussions that I have learned).

  64. Thank you for answering question # 1. Please answer numbers 2, 3 and 4.

  65. In answer to Honesty's inquiries earlier, requesting I source two of my statements:
    1)That the CI asked Rav Schwab to bring him medical journals / texts from Europe: I heard this from someone who heard it directly from Rav Schwab.
    2)That Rav Gedalia Nadel brought medical journals and texts to the CI, told by Rav Nadel to Nosson Slifkin, according to Nosson Slifkin.

    Additionally, I am not aware of the CI ever having made the claim that his medical knowledge (such as it was) came from gemara, although others have made that assumption.

    I am also not aware of the CI having said that his medical study was limited to the Beis HaKissei, although others have made that assumption.

  66. Eddie, I think that I understand the point that you are making, but the way that I understand this, it is no different from disagreements that the Chachamim had in Halacha. I think I have mentioned this before, but since you mentioned Rabeinu Tam, it is very fitting to mention it again. There is a machlokes between Rashi and Rabenu Tam with regards to tefilin. If someone today were to wear only Rabenu Tam tefilin, when he arrives at the next world, he will be informed that he has never performed the mitzva of tefilin. Now, with regards to Rabenu Tam himself, I am sure that he only wore his own tefilin and not Rashi tefilin, and he did do the mitzva of tefilin. The same would apply, to matters of hashkafa. Many times there will be disagreements between the original Chachamim, be it in the Gemara or the Rishonim, but through the ages only one of these ways is defined as being the correct one. As I have quoted before from Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, ZT"L, it is possible for a person to be kofer in all of the 13 ikkarim and have a source in the Rishonim to back up each one of his positions. So in a way, what may have previously been the potential of being different Torot has basically "crystallized" into only one Torah. I'm not sure if this has addressed your specific point.

  67. Nat, I am familiar with the points you present. One example is the question of belief in Moshiach (as an ikar). R' Bleich points out that Hillel the great states in the Talmud "ein Moshiach b'Yisrael" there is no Moshiach for Israel. Such a belief today would be heretical, but in his time it was still an open discussion.
    There are some variances in halacha, eg Rambam's Tzitzit, which is only worn by Temani community, but they do fulfill the mitzvah. I dont know of any community who wear Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam exclusively. it is possible that a community could arise, and then I don't see a problem if they elect to wear this teffilin.
    The broader question is whether science in the MT is all from the Gemara. i don't know, but Rambam does refer to Aristo (either by implication or by name in his other Sefarim). This leads to the problem that science becomes Torah (which I oppose). That is why I think the claim is incorrect. Not everything in the MT is Torah, and I would also suggest that some scientific discussions in Talmud - forgive me - might be secular and not Torah. Or is such a discussion - by the fact that it was included in the closing of the Talmud - part of the Torah? Is the discussion of Pi, an important mathematical constant - part of Torah? Would we need to make brocho, therefore if we learn about Pi?

    So there are problems in taking this view that everything is Torah, even if is it science or maths. Then R' Hutner would have a problem about what brocho to make over seeing a scientist.

  68. Thank you for starting a new feed to answer these questions.

    1) Your anonymous, unverifiable claims are not credible - especially considering the many questions you left unanswered.

    Please answer these.

    Another one of your anonymous, unverifiable falsehoods. 1) When was the Chazon Ish nifter?
    2) When did Rav Schwab visit Eretz Yisroel?
    3) How did the Chazon Ish supposedly contact Rav Schwab? (definitely not by phone).

    2) Nosson Slifken is not a reliable source, especially when quoting Rav Nadel or the Chazon Ish.
    Kindly provide the link where Slifkin makes this claim.

    3) The rest of your assertions are not more relevant than your claims.

  69. Shlomo, from everything that you have said, it sounds like you have spent a lot of time around the Chazon Ish. What are you aware of that the Chazon Ish has said about his medical study? And to whom did he say it? Where did he go to medical school?

  70. I have no more information for either of you.

    Perhaps there is someone reading this blog who knows more about the CI than what appears in any of the published biographies of him (including the PH.D. thesis of Benny Brown and 1,000 page book that came out of it).

    Perhaps this person will be able to verify that the CI claimed his medical knowledge came from gemara, not from medical texts, and that even if he did read them, he only did so in the bathroom.

    One suggestion: Make sure to pass that information to Dr. Benny Brown and Rav Lorenz's family, so they can update their books.

    Hatzlacha Rabba.

  71. Yes, I am actually related to two people who were very close with the Chazon Ish and I am confident about what I have stated. You can keep your PH.D. thesis. Hatzlacha to you.

  72. Huh? A person presents misinformation, and when called upon it, this is the response?

    Much hatzlacha in finding the truth.

  73. Regarding the debate about how the CI ztl knew about the brain surgery, it is possible that the story has developed as a sort of "chassidic tale", ie the facts are no longer important, but the myth to show how great Gedolim really were. (why is this necessary if mastery of Torah is greater than scientific progress?)

    There are many examples of Hassidic tales and myths.One such myth is that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had a heart attack in the 1970s, and refused to go to hospital, and stayed in 770 and recovered through his Tzidkut. When I checked on this story, what had actually happened was that they brought in an intensive care unit to 770 and treated him medically there. So he recovered through the aid of medical intervention.

  74. Why are you categorizing his claims as misinformation? Even if he has not "proved" the validity of them, that does not mean that they are false, only unproven.

  75. Eddie - a daft error in logic, even by your standards. For Moe to show that MO had omitted this condition, he only needs to show that MO has NOT fully REJECTED secular culture, values etc, ie that they have partially accepted them. This is self-evident to anybody living in the 21st century, at least with major חלקים of MO. Of course MO hasn't accepted EVERY depraved value of the Zeitgeist - nobody claimed they do, and indeed no religious Jew could! So what?

    As usual, Eddie seems to delight in taking straw men out of his suitcase and then attacking them. Don't you get bored?

  76. Because some of what he claimed are simply not possible to be true.

  77. Wonderful!
    If you don't want to contact Prof Brown, whose book is possibly being republished in English and who would certainly want to update it with firsthand testimony such as you describe, at least contact the family of Rabbi Lorenzc, whose multi-volume collection of many decades with many Gedolim, primarily the CI ("In Their Shadow") also does not include your inside info.

    This is so exciting: new information about the CI, never-before published -- and it first came to light on the Daas Torah Blog!!!!

  78. As far as I know, having read the book, the one-third of the first volume which is about the Chazon Ish ZT"L, is limited to Rabbi Lorencz's personal interaction with the Chazon Ish. But you would have to have read the book to know that. Or at least have figured it out by looking at the cover.

  79. Point is that the world is that we have exciting new testimony / evidence regarding a fundamental aspect of CI's life and worldview that has never been published.

    Please share it with the world!

    (I realize sharing it with Prof Brown would be uncomfortable for you, which is why I suggested the family of Rav Lorenzc.)

    And to think that I will have played even a small part in this, by encouraging you!

  80. Nothing is new; it is all understood by people who understand something of who the Chazon Ish ZT"L actually was, which definitely excludes you. Your problem is that all of this is a chiddush to you. I thought you already wished me goodbye. Go bother someone else now.

  81. Hi Eddie,

    I know I'm responding to you quite a while after we discussed this here. I looked up all the letters used as sources in the Wikipedia page.

    1) In all these sources, there is not a single specific reference to the Rambam's study of philosophy. In fact, in the very first "source", vol. 1 page 109, Rav Schach explicitly says not to compare to ourselves to Chazal and the Rishonim who needed this knowledge. [I'll add, that I find it scandalous for people to try to claim that they're emulating the Rambam by defying the Rambam's rulings in regard to learning Torah. It's bad enough to defy him. It is so much worse to claim that our defiance is "emulating" the Rambam.

    2) I'll try to briefly sum up each page quoted.

    A) Vol 1, page 109: Rav Schach advises not to mix, or "synergize" learning the Word of Hashem - Torah - with the study of the disciplines that were left to the Nations of the world in Yeshivos. Bachurim, chosen ones, who learn Hashem's Words in Yeshiva should not combine it with the ways of the Nations.

    B) Vol 1, page 128 is clarifying that Rav Schach never encouraged a specific Kollel member, who was doing well in his learning, to join a technology school.

    C) Vol 3, page 31: Rav Schach strongly objects to trying to change Kollelim and to create a "kollel" whose purpose is to produce "rabbis". All should learn together in Yeshivos and Kollelim, and those who are befitting will merit to grow out to be a proper Rabbi.

    D) Vol 3, Page 39: If a parent teaches in a school, can the school force the teacher or Rebbi to send his children to school he teaches in? This was a case where the school he would like to send his children to teaches only the necessities of secular studies, as opposed to the place where he teaches which "synergizes" secular studies with Torah studies. Rav Schach makes it clear that the school should not compel the teacher to send his kid to the school he's employed at.

    E) Vol 4, page 35: It was a letter when Rav Goren wanted to open up a branch of YU in Yerushalayim. Rav Schach saw the scheme which would endanger other yeshivos.

    F) Vol 4, page 107: Rav Schach speaks out against the preposterous idea that desecrating Shabbos is somehow considered "acquiring Eretz Yisroel", and is comparable to Avraham Avinu, Yitzchak Avinu and, Yaakov Avinu building alters and sacrificing on it, with which they completely subjugated themselves to Hashem's Will. Defying Hashem's explicit instructions - which we were warned can C"V lead to the land rejecting... - cannot be compared to our Patriarchs alters.

    Being truly cultured and deeply civilized is through the study of Torah. The Torah is the very first that has taught us the proper ways of true kindness, loving people. See how the Torah cherishes and values a persons image, and how the Torah is so scrupulous on the sin offending another person or their honor......


    I don't see that Rav Schach was quoted correctly in Wikipedia or here.

  82. Thank you honesty for your research and for clarifying the errors in that wiki source.
    Out of curiosity, who suggested that desecrating Shabbat is part of acquiring Israel? There are times when in wars or even sakkant nefesh there is permission to violate shabbat.

  83. There are times when in wars or even sakkant nefesh there is permission to violate shabbat.

    No, this had had nothing to do with pikuach nefesh. There was no Shabbos Switch heter or anything of the sort. He said that any person involved in settling Eretz Yisroel is somehow just like our patriarchs. The fact that a person, unfortunately, purposefully desecrates Shabbos is irrelevant. Oh, although he doesn't have to behave like a Jew, he has to be a of Jewish decent. I would assume that even this is no biggie, as if he lives in Israel and "feels" Jewish, we can give him a Druckman conversion.

    This is printed in "the five addresses".

  84. I heard Rav Shlomo Volbe say, at the shloshim for R. Yaakov Kaminetsky, that in Europe everyone knew what a gadol was because there was one living on every street; people who knew Shas and Poskim. Today that is gone. As of Uncle's (R. Yaakov's) petira, there are no longer any Gedolim in America.

  85. Kalonymus HaQatanJuly 1, 2022 at 1:54 PM

    According to this , the CC said that Daas Torah can solve any worldly problem, and that any knowledge of worldly matters, eg from a text book or a newspaper, takes away the DT that a Gadol may have had.

    It is reported that R' Dessler said that Rav Wasserman will save us from teh holocaust, several years after he had been mercilessly murdered by the nazis yemach shmam.
    Why is it OK to criticise everyone amongst the rishonim, but it is heresy to disagree with the CC?


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