Sunday, August 20, 2023

Steipler: There is no rebbe muvhak today since we learn from seforim - and not orally

פסקי תשובות סימן תקכט שמחת יו"ט ע' תלה #45

...ובס' אורחות רבנו ח"ב עמ' קי"ב מביא בשם הגר"י קניבסקי זצ"ל שדין מצוות קבלת פני רבו נהג רק בזמן שלמדו בע"פ וקיבל מרבו רוב הלמודו. אבל בזה"ז שלומדים מגמרא וספרים לא שייך ענין דרבו מובהק וחיוב הקבלח פניו. ובזה שמלמדו דרך הלימוד לא נעשה רבו כי יכול להתלמד דרך הלימוד לבד ועוד מי וידע אם הדרך של רבו היא האמת. וברבו שאין מובהק ליכא חיוב לקבל פניו. והא דילפינן משונמית שקבלה פני אלישע אף דל"ש אצלה רבו מובהק. כי אלישע היה רבן של כל ישראל וכולם חייבים לקבל פניו. עכתו"ד

In the sefer Orchos Rabbeinu (vol 2 page 112) it is stated in the name of the Steipler that the halacha requiring a person to visit his rebbe only applied during the time when learning was done orally and he received from his rebbe most of his learning. However in modern times where learning is from the gemora and seforim – the concept of rebbe muvhak and the obligation to visit him is not relevant. And this that a person learnt an approach to learning from him doesn't make him his rebbe. Thatis because it is possible to learn an approach to learning by oneself. Furthermore who knows whether the approach to learning of his rebbe is a valid? In contrast if his rebbe is not a rebbe muvhak there is no obligation to visit him. And what about the apparent contradicition to this assertion from the fact that the Shunamite woman visited Elisha even though it isn't relevant for him to be her rebbe muvhak? The answer is simply that Elisha was in fact the rebbe of all Jews and therefore eveyone was required to visit him.


  1. what is the precise translation of מובהק, bot in terms of Rebbe and Talmid Chacham?

    And was the visit to Elisha about a rebbe or something totally different? Elisha was the Navi Muvhak of his dor, receiving "semicha" from Eliyahu haNavi.
    But these Neviim had abilities to bring the dead to life, to heal etc. I do not recall any rebbe ever being recorded as bringing the dead back to life.

  2. I have stopped trying to work out what Rabbi DT's criteria are for posting articles on this blog!

  3. רבי מובהק is defined by
    קיבל רוב חכמתו ממנו.
    it has been extrapolated to include whoever the geichazis have decided is the gadol hador etc.

    will we get a update on what went on at the aguda convention
    did the gedolim get put on the spot etc?

    how about redeem rivky et al

  4. I would argue that r kanievsky is a different type of rav, without a yeshiva, without talmidim, so his followers should not consider RCK as a rebbe muvhak for this purpose.

    2. Like manyother blogs, RDE posts on a variety of topics. Meaning of (what is called) daat torah being one of his common topics.

  5. I am not sure how this effects the halacha , but there are the few and privileged people that have had an intense and personal learning relationship with a Rov who has defined who they are , their approach not only to learning, but to Torah and life itself. I am sure they feel a sense of gratitude and indebtness to the Rov . The story - I think it was R' Boruch Ber who wanted to take up a position and leave R' Chaim and Volozin and was told that seforim had limitations and you needed to be in the Yeshivah and the importance of the Rav -Talmid relationship even today in learning imho makes seforim less significant than what I think the Steipler is saying ( maybe he was thinking about Schottentstein )

  6. 1. It is said that any amorah mentioned by name in the gemarah had power of 'tchiyat hametim'. Justlike yousay a navi had.

    2. The rivkie stein case is in process of being dismissed by a judge for failure to prosecute.


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