Sunday, August 14, 2022

Hashkofa alert

 Why are people so concerned today with criticizing gedolim whereas we find that Chazal often looked to uncover sins that  are not stated explicitly in the Torah

For example they say Adam was a heretic Avraham's lack of faith caused the Jews to  go into exile in Egypt and Yosef was almost seduced and lacked bitachon or that Yehoshua wanted the Jews to rebel  and caused the nation to sin


Got three types of explanation. 1) We don't understand Chazal and why they did anything and we are such inferior creatures we can not possibly even question the activities of a Gadol. When I mentioned the idea of a Gadol committing a crime such as bank robbery. The answer was a Gadol would never do such and if he did he is not a Gadol. 2) As a result of the Haskala attacking authority figures, it was collectively decided never to criticize Gadolim. 3) Gedolim today are lesser people and any criticism detsroys their authority while in earlier generations they were much bigger and were not significantly damaged by criticism

According to these views we can not utilize the conduct of Chazal and rishonim in this matter! But clearly if a Gadol actual made a mistake - according to consensus of rabbinic authorities or is making a chillul HaShem - it can be noted

Sanhedrin (44a): Rav Naḥman says that Rav says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The poor man speaks entreaties, but the rich man answers with impudence” (Proverbs 18:23)? “The poor man speaks entreaties”; this is a reference to Moses, who addressed God in a tone of supplication and appeasement. “But the rich man answers with impudence”; this is a reference to Joshua, who spoke to God in a belligerent manner.
The Gemara asks: What is the reason that Joshua is considered to have answered God with impudence? If we say that it is because it is written: “And he laid them out before the Lord,” and Rav Naḥman says that this means that Joshua came and cast the spoils down before God as part of his argument, this is difficult: Is that to say that Pinehas did not act the same way in the incident involving Zimri and Cozbi? As it is written: “Then stood up Pinehas, and executed judgment [vayefallel], and the plague was stayed” (Psalms 106:30), and Rabbi Elazar says: And he prayed [vayitpallel], is not stated; rather, “and he executed judgment [vayefallel]” is stated, which teaches that he entered into a judgment together with his Creator. How so? He came and cast Zimri and Cozbi down before God, and said to Him: Master of the Universe, was it because of these sinners that twenty-four thousand members of the Jewish people fell? As it is written: “And those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand” (Numbers 25:9).

Rather, Joshua’s belligerence is seen from this verse: “Why have You brought this people over the Jordan” (Joshua 7:7), as if he were complaining about God’s treatment of Israel. This too is difficult, as Moses also said a similar statement: “Why have You dealt ill with this people? Why is it that You have sent me?” (Exodus 5:22). Rather, Joshua’s belligerence is seen from here, from the continuation of the previously cited verse in Joshua: “Would that we had been content and had remained in the Transjordan” (Joshua 7:7).

§ With regard to the verse that states: “And the Lord said to Joshua: Get you up; why do you lie this way on your face?” (Joshua 7:10), Rabbi Sheila taught in a public lecture: The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Joshua: Your own sin is even worse than that of the other Jews who sinned, as I said to the Jewish people: “And it shall be when you have gone over the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones” (Deuteronomy 27:4), and you have already distanced yourselves sixty mil from the Jordan River, and you have yet to fulfill the mitzva.

After Rav Sheila finished his lecture and went out, Rav, who had been present but remained silent, placed an interpreter alongside him, who would repeat his lecture in a loud voice so that the public could hear it, and he taught: The verse states: “As the Lord commanded Moses His servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Joshua 11:15). This indicates that Joshua could not have been guilty of a grave offense such as delaying in setting up the stones.

If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: “Get you up,” hinting that Joshua was in fact responsible for some transgression? The matter should be understood as follows: God said to Joshua: You caused the Jewish people to sin, as had you not dedicated all the spoils of Jericho to the Tabernacle treasury, the entire incident of Achan taking the spoils improperly would not have occurred.

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