Friday, December 17, 2010

Maharal: The dangers of universal education and access of the masses to clear texts

From Daas Torah - translation copyrighted

Maharal (Tiferes Yisroel #69): It is not proper that the words of the Torah, which are words of wisdom, should be in the hands of fools so that each person can think they are just as competent as anyone else to say what is in the Torah. I discussed this in my sefer Be’er HaGolah. I explained that our sages have deliberately concealed their words in many places in order that fools should not have ready access to them. Therefore if the Torah had been written clearly and explicitly – it would be difficult to distinguish who is truly wise from one who is lacking in wisdom. As a consequence it would produce great disputes. This is the opposite of the intent of the Torah that everything in it should make connection, order and unity in creation. It is in order to prevent dispute and schisms that the Torah says that a rebelious elder is deserving of capital punishment (Sanhedrin 88a).  Therefore it is proper that the Torah be in the hands of the few in order that they be listened to. This would prevent the many disputes that we have our day in which everyone imagines that they are a scholar and outstanding religious authority. They believe this because they say, “I can also read seforim.” This causes a number of bad thing which I don’t want to write about. Therefore the Torah is written in a manner that only the elite will comprehend it and so it will be inaccessible to the masses. This universal access to Torah was the cause that the Sanhedrin was not utilized and everyone built a private sanctuary for himself and there was no connection or unity. Thus Devarim (17:11) commands us that when there is a difficult matter it should be dealt with by the Sanhedrin. Thus we see that not writing down the Oral Torah and that it be given to the Sages (rather than the masses) is something inherently necessary for our well﷓being.


  1. Ana shluchi derabonon. Please allow yeshivos to collapse while we funnel all of Klal Yisroel's money to bail out Rubashkin from his latest self-imposed legal problems.

    A federal judge has ordered the family that owned a kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa to pay more than $2 million after defaulting on agreements with one of their banks, which has since collapsed.

    US District Judge Edward McManus on Thursday entered summary judgment in favor of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp & Value Recovery Group against Sholom & Tzvi Rubashkin & their father, Aaron Rubashkin.

    The family owned Agriprocessors meatpacking in Postville, the site of a 2008 raid in which 389 illegal immigrants were detained. The plant filed for bankruptcy & was sold.

    Sholom Rubashkin was later convicted on federal fraud charges, sentenced to 27 years in prison & ordered to pay $27 million restitution. Prosecutors said he intentionally deceived the lender & told employees to create fake invoices to show First Bank the plant had more money than it did.

    Omni Bank sued after the Rubashkins stopped making payments on $300,000 they received for a property rental company in Postville & on equipment they were renting from the bank, including conveyor belts, labeling machines & computers.

    Federal regulators shut down Omni after it filed the lawsuit, saying it engaged in "unsafe practices" making bad real estate loans.

    The FDIC was appointed Omni's receiver. Value Recovery Group bought the debt Aaron Rubashkin owed on the leases & joined the case.

    Court records show the Rubashkins personally guaranteed $300,000 for the rental company, Nevel Properties. McManus ruled the trio owes the FDIC $290,000 plus interest. Nevel rented apartments to Agriprocessors employees.

    McManus also ordered Aaron Rubashkin to pay Value Recovery Group $1.8 million for equipment leases, the amount owed after equipment was sold during bankruptcy, plus interest.

    Michael Mallaney, a lawyer who represented the Rubashkins, had asked the court for more time to file a motion opposing summary judgment, but U.S. Magistrate Jon Scoles rejected that request in October. Scoles said the defendants had failed to show cause for the extension.

    "Here, defendants have made virtually no effort to actively defend this case," he wrote.

  2. so, isn't the Daas Torah series not a good idea... in light of these words from the Maharal?


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