Not losing Daas Torah

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  • #613679

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Our Chachamim are the Einei Haeidha, and see what we don’t, due to their deep understanding of Torah, the blueprint of the world. However, we also believe that our Chachamim are Human (not Malachim or CV Gods), and humans make mistakes.

    After seeing some recent news items, I think it needs to be made clear that even if obvious mistakes are made (and other Chachomim agree that the first chochom is wrong), it doesn’t take away from the first chochom’s status as Da’as Torah. Or does it?

    #1033086

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    Being mistaken doesn’t make it not Da’as Torah. It just means that he was mistaken as to what the Da’as Torah was. Even if he wasn’t demonstrated to have been mistaken, it was still just his opinion (albeit perhaps a weighty opinion) as to what the Da’as Torah was. So being mistaken is irrelevant. It is just as much Da’as Torah after we know of the mistake as it was before we knew of the mistake, that is to say it was his opinion of what the Daas Torah was which has been shown to have been mistaken.

    #1033087

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PAA: You are discussing the opinion as “Da’as Torah”, while I am asking about the person. Obviously if the opinion is wrong, it is not Da’as Torah.

    However, the person who issued the opinion has other opinions. Logically, if he is proven not to be “in tune” with the Torah for some things, there is no reason to believe he is more “in tune” for others (as us following his opinion is not due to his expertise, but rather his ability to discern what the Torah says about this question.) However, the Chochom is still a Gadol B’Torah and would at face value be considered Da’as Torah (for the purpose of future opinions of his being held to that higher standard). Or is he?

    Hence the confusion and question.

    #1033088

    The little I know
    Participant

    This thread gets relaunched by another poster every few months. The same comments appear, and there is nothing that helps to resolve the observed lack of respect that is part of the reaction to “Daas Torah”. It is not about degrading Gedolei Yisroel, nor is it about examining the historical roots of “Daas Torah”.

    We have many issues in which practical problems are involved. The questions involve matters of science, human behavior, etc. We once had a Rambam who could derive all these forms of knowledge from the Torah. We lack that today. For all intents and purposes, we cannot reliably identify any individual as a purveyor of Ruach Hakodesh. The best we can hope for is an educated opinion from someone steeped in Torah knowledge. This is not so easy when it comes to matters that require a different body of knowledge. There is other information. Reb Moshe Feinstein ZT”L was asked countless questions about matters of science and medicine. He turned to scientists to gain better understanding of the subject before issuing a psak. Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach achieved the status as expert in Hilchos Shabbos regarding electricity. This was after hundreds of hours spent learning from electrical engineers and electricians. To rely on some Divine source of information on practical matters is erroneous. I do not deny that Gedolei Yisroel might merit forms of Divine communication. But we cannot rely on that. Today’s world is non-prophet.

    I tend to disregard the opinions from rabbonim about scientific matters until I know they have developed expertise in the subject. I continue to respect them, for they possess far greater realms of Torah knowledge that I expect to reach. The questions posed to them need to reflect the expectations of what we can do with their responses.

    #1033089

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    Gavra:

    Why should being wrong be grounds for losing the status of being a wise man’s opinion. I make mistakes. I don’t therefore say that I can never trust my opinion again. Same with Moshe Rabbeinu. Same with experts in any field. If you detect a consistent pattern of this person making mistakes then that’s a horse of a different color.

    #1033090

    πŸ‘‘RebYidd23
    Participant

    But what is the status of the mistake itself?

    #1033091

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PAA: If the only status given to Da’as Torah was that of a wise man, than you would be correct. However, in the case of Da’as Torah, the person themselves is given the status of their utterances as being unquestionable Torah wisdom until proven wrong (and even then many will believe the Da’as Torah source over the facts.)

    If your answer is that the statements should now be questioned, then the person who says them (and those statements) are now only from a “wise man”, but not “Da’as Torah”.

    #1033092

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If there are some statements that are provable incorrect, How are we to know which are correct and which are not correct of the rest of the things that cant be easily proved.

    #1033093

    Sam2
    Participant

    TLIK: The Rambam learned his science by studying science, not Torah. He quotes Aristotle, Plato, Galen, and others. In fact, he says that it medicinal matters we hold like the scientists over Chazal. Your statement was quite far off.

    #1033094

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I just wish there was some sort of vaccine that protected you from non-daas torah.

    #1033095

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    If someone gets Vaccine and he is your posek, Have you done an averirah?

    #1033096

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    zdad, do you go to a doctor?

    #1033097

    ok first of all what is the mokor for this daas torah thing? Second if someone can make a mistake then he obviosly isnt desserving the title daas torah

    #1033098

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    ok first of all what is the mokor for this daas torah thing? Second if someone can make a mistake then he obviosly isnt desserving the title daas torah

    Daas torah doesn’t mean you don’t ever make any mistakes.

    #1033099

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    gavra:

    Why would you grant someone the status of unquestionable Torah wisdom until proven wrong? I was working under the assumption that a Talmid Chacham can tell you what he thinks the Torah position on a matter would be and considering that he has quite a bit of Torah knowledge, it is very likely that he is right. So unless I had a specific reason to think that he is wrong in a given situation (e.g. I think that he doesn’t know the metzius) it makes sense to follow him. But to unilaterally declare his opinion to be THE TORAH”S POSITION? I think not. Therefore if he is wrong once it doesn’t make any difference (provided that his mistake was not something that calls into question his basic ability to make an informed decision).

    #1033100

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    just some jew:

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/daas-torah-2

    Maybe somewhere in the 345 posts there is a back and forth as to the source.

    #1033101

    What the source is probably depends on one’s definition of the term.

    #1033103

    oomis
    Participant

    Only Hashem doesn’t Make mistakes. Gedolim are gedolim, but they are human beings first. Our rabbonim can and do err. That is what is so exceptional about the Torah’s depiction of the Avos and our other Jewish leaders. Unlike other religions who deify their leaders, the Torah shows ours to be real human beings, occasional failings and all. We respect them no less for it.

    #1033104

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I was working under the assumption that a Talmid Chacham can tell you what he thinks the Torah position on a matter would be and considering that he has quite a bit of Torah knowledge, it is very likely that he is right.

    But would someone who gave an obviously wrong opinion on what the Torah position is then make us suspect that his other opinions regarding the Torah position are subject to similar errors in judgement and/or application of the Torah’s position? Or do we say that here he made a mistake, and it does not call into question other opinions regarding the Torah position.

    #1033105

    charliehall
    Participant

    “he says that it medicinal matters we hold like the scientists over Chazal”

    Actually that halachic principle did not originate with Rambam; it appears in the writings of Rav Sherira Gaon, who lived centuries earlier.

    If in medical matters we hold by contemporary medical experts over Chazal, kal v’chomer we hold by contemporary medical experts over contemporary rabbis based on yeridot hadorot. However, this should not be interpreted as saying that rabbis have no role to play. Here is an example: I know a frum couple whose first child was born by caesarian section and they were not sure whether they could have a second child via natural birth. (The husband is a physician but not an expert in obstetrics.) The medical evidence was not compelling one way or another (and this depends a lot on the individual woman and the type of c-section performed) and it was not clear what the answer should be. Their rabbi was able to discuss intelligently with them how the Torah views risks and benefits, and empowered them to make a decision based on Torah views in the presence of the evidence. At no time did their rabbi pretend to be a medical expert, and he did not make the decision for them.

    #1033106

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    That would probably depend on what kind of error it was.

    #1033107

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    What if someone said something against Vaccines?

    #1033108

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    If we follow scientists over Chazal with regard to medicine, then why is there any arguments about metzitzah? Metzitzah is done for medical reasons, isn’t it?

    #1033109

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    If we follow scientists over Chazal with regard to medicine, then why is there any arguments about metzitzah? Metzitzah is done for medical reasons, isn’t it?

    The arguments for Metzitzah are mostly Kabbalistic.

    #1033110

    I believe that the MBP advocates hold it’s not just medicinal.

    #1033111

    even if daas torah IS real (i have yet to see a mokor) if s/o says somthing that is wrong(in anything) then you cant trust them any more unless they prove what they say and they are as good as you or me in there undersstanding ruach haokodesh on the other hand is a case by ccase thing were the tzaddik (not just any talmid chacchom) is not claming to know any thing it could just be that in that case he was not given the knowledge

    #1033112

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    DY: Metzitzah clearly is medicinal. The Chassam Sofer says so straight out.

    #1033113

    Right, and the other opinion argues with the Chasam Sofer.

    #1033114

    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14156&st=&pgnum=250

    Key phrase: ???? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ??? ????

    ????? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??????? ??? ???

    ?????? ?????? ??? ???) ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ?????)

    ?????? ???? ????? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ?????

    ??? ??????? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ???

    ????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ??????

    ?? ???? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?? ?? ??? ??????? ??? ???

    ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??

    ??? ???? ???? ?? ?????

    #1033115

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Daas, Rav Kook held that we do Metzitza because we trust Chazal on medical issues more than the doctors. He wrote about this, ??? ??? ???? ???? ????.

    #1033116

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    An often quoted source in favor of metzitza b’peh is the Binyan Tzion siman 23. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything in there that would be against metzitza with a tube provided that it does as good of a job at drawing out the blood as metzitza b’peh would do.

    R’ Moshe writes that it’s pashut that metzitza is not meakev the mitzvah.

    Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:223:

    ??? ????? ????? ???”? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ?’ ????? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???? ????? ?’ ????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??????? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ?????

    #1033117

    Right, and the opinion of those quoted by the S’dei Chemed argues on Rav Kook and the Binyan Tzion and Rav Moshe.

    #1033118

    Sam2
    Participant

    DY: The issue is the context in which many of the viciously pro-MBP Psakim were written, a context which doesn’t apply in the Frum community today.

    #1033119

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    I’m not sure if you took my post as being to “disprove” you, but if you did, it wasn’t. I just figured that since you had quoted the S’dei Chemed, I would bring in a couple of other opinions.

    #1033120

    No, Sam, to me the issue is the vicious anti MBP movement, which seeks to stop people from practicing milah in a manner their ancestors have done for generations, and which they believe, with backing from numerous legitimate sources, to have religious significance, whether it be al pi nigleh or nistar.

    I’m not arguing that everyone should follow the sources I quoted; the other opinion is also valid.

    PAA, I didn’t think so, and I responded as I did because my intention of quoting the S’dei Chemed was as I just explained.

    Agav, on the next page from the one I linked, he brings what seems to be a nice raya from the Gemara that MBP is not just medicinal (although I haven’t been m’ayen in it).

    #1033121

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    “No, Sam, to me the issue is the vicious anti MBP movement, which seeks to stop people from practicing milah in a manner their ancestors have done for generations, and which they believe, with backing from numerous legitimate sources, to have religious significance, whether it be al pi nigleh or nistar.”

    Why can’t they both be issues?

    #1033122

    charliehall
    Participant

    ” in a manner their ancestors have done for generations”

    The lives of Jews trump even mitzvot from the Torah. MBP is not one of the three for which we give up our lives.

    #1033123

    Joseph
    Participant

    CharlieHall: I’ve seen you previously acknowledge there is no evidence of harm from MBP. How do you now account for your last above comment.

    #1033124

    Why can’t they both be issues?

    It’s not the issue I was addressing, and the “viciously pro MBP” side is defending its rights, not trampling on others’.

    The lives of Jews trump even mitzvot from the Torah. MBP is not one of the three for which we give up our lives.

    Ah, a halachic statement. So can we agree to leave the issue to halachic decisors?

    I can assure you that the pro MBP side is aware of the fact that milah is not from the gimmel chamuros, and hold that MBP does not halachically constitute pikuach nefesh.

    #1033126

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    My point was that the fact that in the discussion of metzitza there is one issue (the “vicious anti-MBP movement”) doesn’t mean that another issue (the context of the pro-MBP teshuvos) is not integral to the discussion.

    “the “viciously pro MBP” side is defending its rights, not trampling on others’.”

    Perhaps one would argue that the viciously anti-MBP movement is defending the right of the child to not have a dangerous procedure done to him.

    #1033127

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    DY: Actually, bris milah has changed somewhat through the generations. Most notable was the addition of periah about 2,200 years ago. People were trying to get Jews to undo their bris by stretching the remaining skin. Rabbonim added periah to the bris, so that there wouldn’t be any skin left to stretch.

    #1033128

    (the context of the pro-MBP teshuvos)

    In what way is the mareh makom I brought not relevant to MBP today? There are (at least) two arguments pro MBP; one is that it gets the ?? ??????? ???????. This is indeed irrelevant and out of context if another method is equally effective.

    But the sources which say that metzitzah b’peh (davka) is part of the mitzvah, either for halachic or kabbalistic reasons are wholly relevant.

    The arrogance and condescension of those who think that certain groups in klal Yisroel are either incapable of determining the level and balance of risk/reward or don’t care about their children is astounding and horrifying.

    #1033129

    DaMoshe, I don’t know if that’s true or not, but how is that relevant to MBP, specifically its function in the realm of halacha and kabbalah, as opposed to only refuah?

    #1033130

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    DY: You wrote, “which seeks to stop people from practicing milah in a manner their ancestors have done for generations”. I was just pointing out that milah HAS changed in the past. The way we do bris milah today is not the same as when Avraham Avinu did it.

    #1033131

    We daven today from siddurim while they used to daven baal peh. So is it now okay to cut Shemonah Esrei to 15 brachos?

    #1033132

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    DaasYochid:

    I am referring to (and I think this is what Sam meant) the context in which they were written – one has to ascertain whether they were written as a stam halachic discussion, or as a (perhaps polemical) response to a perceived threat against a religious practice. For instance, R’ Moshe’s teshuva was just simply a halachic discussion, and it was really only a tangential discussion, almost like meisiach lefi tumo. But it is possible (and to be clear I am not applying this to any source in particular) that if someone perceived a threat against the religion (or a specific practice of the religion) then they would as a counterbalance, elevate the practice to more than it really is.

    #1033133

    Are you calling the S’dei Chemed or his sources dishonest?

    I hope this is not what Sam meant.

    Agav, that context definitely exists today.

    http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/banning-bris-milah-in-the-united-states

    #1033134

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    The arrogance and condescension of those who think that certain groups in klal Yisroel are either incapable of determining the level and balance of risk/reward or don’t care about their children is astounding and horrifying.

    BS”D

    With all due respect, I have no qualms with those who say there may be a slight risk but none the less want to go ahead with MBP due to its Kabbalistic significance. You take risks with your children all the time: Crossing the street, sending to school and allowing them to play football. It is only the nanny state that says “we can’t allow you to do that”, and they are wrong.

    That being said, there are those who simply choose to ignore or worse argue with the very concept that MBP might be risky. These people blatantly write articles that contradict the idea of germs, and contribute to the ignorance of the Klal. This then passes on to other health related issues (such as vaccination), and contributed to both yerai shomaim and not thinking that these people have no business taking care of themselves, let alone children who need someone to take care of them. And yes, being purposefully ignorant is grounds for others to think that one doesn’t care about their children.

    Our argument should be that even though it may be slightly risky, this is a religious practice and should be allowed. With the current strategy, what happens in 5 years when it is proven that MBP elevates the risk of herpes?

    #1033135

    Patur Aval Assur
    Participant

    I believe I specifically wrote “to be clear I am not applying this to any source in particular”.

    Let me put it this way: If the government was not involved at all in MBP, do you think that people’s reactions would be the exact same as they are now? The issue has ceased to be simply a halachic question. It is also a political/legal/medical question. The answer to a purely halachic question might be different then the answer to a halachic medical legal political question. Which is why one has to very precise in the wording used to express a conclusion.

    #1033136

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I think some cant see the differnce between those who would want to ban Milah and those who want to ban MBP. There certainly is a difference. There are halachic opinions the MBP is not needed , nobody says Milah is not needed

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