Saturday, July 29, 2023

Listen to gedolim and tzadikkim - even against the Torah - but not to a prophet

 Devarim (04:02)You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, but keep the commandments of your G-d that I enjoin upon you. 

Rashi (Devorim 04:02)YE SHALL NOT ADD — For instance, to place five chapters in the Tephillin, to employ five species of fruit and plants in the fulfilment of the command of Lulab And to place five fringes on one’s garment. Thus, too, must we explain the following words ולא תגרעו, Ye shall not diminish [from it]" (Sifrei Devarim 82:4).

Ramban (Devorim 04:02) However, the prohibition against adding [to the Torah] by word of a prophet we derive only from the verse stating, These are the commandments, which establishes, “From now on, no prophet is permitted to originate anything [in the Torah].” Whatever [laws] the Sages have established in the nature of “a fence [around the Torah],” such as the secondary degrees of forbidden marriages — that activity of [establishing fences] is itself a requirement of the Torah, provided only that one realizes that these [laws] are a result of a particular fence and that they are not [expressly] from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, in the Torah.

Vayikra (27:34)These are the commandments that G-d gave Moses for the Israelite people on Mount Sinai. 

Chizkuni (27:34)“these are the commandments;” no future prophet has the authority to either add to them or to cancel any of them. (Sifra)

Modern belief is that if a godol or tzadik tells you that something is halacha - it must be accepted even against a clear mesorah. This perhaps started with the belief that one can not disagree with the Chazon Ish.

Rav Moshe Feinstein: Can one disagree with the Chazon Ish & other gedolim

This view is still clearly alive. My son went to a major posek in Bnei Brak for a haskoma to his sefer. which he got but it included the caution "I can not agree with his halachic conclusions that result from his analysis because in many issues they conflict with the rulings of the Chazon Ish"

Similarly I have been criticized for disagreeing with the halachic views attributed to Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky and Rav Nota Greenblatt

In other words the view of gedolim must always be accepted while that of a prophet is disregarded if it goes against the halacha. 


  1. A few points -

    Neviim cannot add. Neviim are greater than Gedolim and even Chazal, although they say Talmid Hacham adif m'navi.

    Nobody is criticising you for disagreeing with RSK and RNG - it is the way that you may have portrayed them as villains which may have upset some people.

    Also, Rav Moshe - there are a few posts - including disagreeing with the CI, disagreeing with him (which he permits) and also to the Rackmans and Greenblatts he says drop your false modesty and innovate to release agunot. So why does everybody attack when people follow his advice? He does not say it needs to be accepted by the entire world of gedolim.

  2. cherry picking again
    No Rav Mpshe does not advocate radical changes in halacha i.e G0ren, Tendler or Rackman
    Rav Greenblatt never claimed he was doing anything other than simply listening to the request of a godol
    And you are wrong - I am being criticized for simply for disagreeing

  3. OK, but are you injecting parameters that he didn't say explicitly?

    Nothing radical about rav Goren, except that he said the 6 day war was atchalta d"geula. Can't say that and then be considered orthodox - he cast doubt on the emunah of those who said it was just happenstance.

  4. The criticism that matters is bizayon, since there are many authorities who disagree with Rsk and rng.

  5. Nope that is not what is actually happening!

  6. Hareidi atheism or deism, that they decide what G-d does. In the case of the 6 day war, the Agudah had a meeting and accepted Satmar dualism. A small guy stood up and said it is rubbish, and rav Yaakov retracted.
    Maybe Hareidi theology is the comic book, and is only guided by political interests.

  7. There's a kind of pecking order in Judaism - Hareidim can attack modernish or mizrochists, ; mizrachi can attack LGBT, reform. MO can attack conservative. Conservative can attack reconstructionists. That's the norm.
    When it works the other way, then things get "ugly ".
    So if you attack the Gadol hador of America, as though he's a Rackman or Irving Greenberg, then there is some fallout. I didn't invent the rules, Im just an observer. It's the law of the frum jungle.

  8. It's right enough to prove my point. The argument brought was that for the bad things, eg the Holocaust, we say it is punishment from Hashem, therefore why are not the good things also from Hashem? So this was accepted by Rav Yaakov, who hitherto agreed with the Satmar position ("there are 2 gods, one is Hashem, the other is Sam-a-l" be careful which oen you follow).

  9. "Ponovezh Yeshivah
    “After the victory in the Six-Day War, they recited Hallel in the yeshivah for two years on the day Jerusalem was liberated. Following the Six-Day War, there was an eruption of Religious Zionist sentiment in the Ponevezh Yeshiva. In its wake, students sought to transfer to Mercaz HaRav, and there were those who wished to be drafted into the army.”

    Rabbi Gavriel Botbol, a student in the Ponevezh Yeshivah in 1967, ibid."

    2 years Hallel? that's good, what made them change their minds? Was the outflow of students to Mercaz and the Army?


  11. So where is the cherry picking? The only thing I left out was itchie Meyer Levin's name, what he said I reported accurately, as was rav Yaakov 's retraction.
    Both rav Moshe and rav Yaakov's views were rejected by rav shach in his polemics against mizrachi (which were merely virtue signalling against his opponents inside ponovezh, Who suspected him of being too centrist, his otd son, his rebbetzen didn't cover her hair at etz Chaim).

  12. Your version and mine are significantly different

  13. I see - "Speaker after speaker spoke on the topic and the gedolim were clearly divided on whether to agree or disagree with the Satmar position. One of those who publicly agreed with the Satmar view was Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky."

    The gedolim were divided, but it doesn't actually mention any who remarked that the victory was Etzbah Elokim Hi. Although Rav Moshe is quoted in the Jewish Action article I posted as saying it shows Hashgacha Elokit. Nevertheless this is how Jewish history is, we see miracles, and then forget or rationalize them. But the Emes is not a commodity you can play around with and devalue for political gain - which is what happened both after 1948 and after 1967. The Satmar rebbe may have been defeated by Rav Kamenetsky and Rav Henkin, but the Yated Neeman phenomenon is where he was victorious.

  14. “Listen to gedolim and tzadikkim - even against the Torah” No. This week’s parsha עקה we have at the end we say twice a day:

    Deuteronomy 11:13-15 “If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving the Lord your God and serving Him with all your heart and soul, I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil--- I will also provide grass in thy fields for your cattle---and thus you shall eat your fill.”
    דברים פרשת עקב פרק יא פסוק יג - טו
    (יג) וְהָיָה אִם שָׁמֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל מִצְוֹתַי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם לְאַהֲבָה אֶת יְקֹוָק אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְעָבְדוֹ בְּכָל לְבַבְכֶם וּבְכָל נַפְשְׁכֶם:
    (יד) וְנָתַתִּי מְטַר אַרְצְכֶם בְּעִתּוֹ יוֹרֶה וּמַלְקוֹשׁ וְאָסַפְתָּ דְגָנֶךָ וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ:
    (טו) וְנָתַתִּי עֵשֶׂב בְּשָׂדְךָ לִבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ:
    Berachoth 35b
    R. Hanina b. Papa pointed out a contradiction. It is written, Therefore will I take back My corn in the time thereof, And My wine in the season thereof, And will snatch away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness.[Hosea 2:11] and it is elsewhere written, You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil [Deut. XI,14]! There is no difficulty: the one text speaks of where Israel do the will of the Omnipresent, the other of where they do not perform the will of the Omnipresent [Who accordingly takes back the corn and shows that it is His]. Our Rabbis taught: You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil--- [Deut. XI,14]. What is to be learnt from these words? Since it says, This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy ways prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. [Joshua I, 8], I might think that this injunction is to be taken literally. Therefore it says, You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil , which implies that you are to combine the study of them [Sc. the words of the Torah] with a worldly occupation. This is the view of R. Ishmael. R. Simeon b. Yohai says: Is that possible? If a man ploughs in the ploughing season, and sows in the sowing season, and reaps in the reaping season, and threshes in the threshing season, and winnows in the season of wind, what is to become of the Torah? No; but when Israel perform the will of the Omnipresent, their work is performed by others, as it says. And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And aliens shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. [Isa. LXI, 5] and when Israel do not perform the will of the Omnipresent their work is carried out by themselves, as it says, You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil--- [Tosaf. point out that this homily conflicts with that given above on the same verse by R. Hanina b. Papa].Nor is this all, but the work of others also is done by them, as it says. therefore shalt thou serve thine enemy whom the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things; and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. [Deut. XXVIII, 48].

    KA wow your son wrote a book! Where can I find it?

  15. “Modern belief is that if a godol or tzadik tells you that something is halacha - it must be accepted even against a clear mesorah.” No. In Parsha ואתחנן:
    Deuteronomy 6:11 11. Houses full of all good things that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves, that you did not plant---and you eat your fill,
    דברים פרשת ואתחנן פרק ו פסוק יא
    וּבָתִּים מְלֵאִים כָּל טוּב אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִלֵּאתָ וּבֹרֹת חֲצוּבִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא חָצַבְתָּ כְּרָמִים וְזֵיתִים אֲשֶׁר לֹא נָטָעְתָּ וְאָכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ:

    Chullin 17a
    “R. Jeremiah raised the following question: What was the law regarding portions of meat of stabbed animals that were brought into the land of Israel by the Israelites [This question is based on the view of R. Akiba and is purely an academic question as to what was the position at that particular period in history. Cf. however, comment of Asheri a.l.]? But then, at what period could this Question have arisen? Should you say during the seven years of conquest? Behold! They were permitted to eat unclean things, for it is written: Houses full of all good things that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves, that you did not plant---and you eat your fill [Deut. VI, 11], And R. Jeremiah b. Abba stated ill the name of Rab that even bacon was permitted! Can there then be any question regarding the flesh of a stabbed animal? The question could have arisen only after this period [I.e., during the following seven years when the land was being divided among the tribes, and during which period the concessions of the Torah did not obtain.]. If you wish, however, I can say that the question refers to the seven years period of conquest, and it would have arisen, [since it might be argued] that when permission was granted it was only with regard to the spoil taken from the idolaters but not their own [stabbed meat]! The question remains unanswered.”

    Wow, a gadol said: “R. Jeremiah b. Abba stated ill the name of Rab that even bacon was permitted!” Now stabbed animals and bacon, the Torah forbids and it is certainly a clear mesorah. Some say R. Jeremiah b. Abba stated in the name of Rab leniency applied only to soldiers doing the conquering the 7 years. Anyway “The question remains unanswered.”

    No. If a godol or Tzadik tells you something is halacha – it needs not beaccepted especially if it’s against a clear mesorah. Follow KA? I wamt to write a review on your son’s book. Is it available on Amazon? Is it in bookstores in Bnei Brak?

  16. The book is by rabbi Eidensohns son

  17. It might be in stores in Bnei Brak


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