Yeridas Hadoros

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  • #1446879

    square root of 2
    Participant

    does yeridas hadoros mean that people are intrinsically on a lower level than they used to be: i.e. the environment of the world by default will have a negative impact on people and/or hashem sends down neshamos on a lower level each generation
    or does it mean that the later generations have the same potential for greatness as earlier generations, but the fact of the matter is that more people succumb to their yetzer hara in later generations than in previous ones?

    #1447021

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Every generation is tasked with a unique mission and is given the powers needed to accomplish it. We are working through the world and refining it. Once we are done= Geula.

    Yeridas hadoros is because each generation had an easier / lower mission to work on than the generation before so they get progressively weaker as well, as our power matches our mission.

    For example, the generations of the Tannaim and AmoraiMy were tasked with refining the intellect of the world’s. They were brilliant, and the nations of the world were as well. That was the time of philosophy.

    Contrast that for today and no one cares for Aristotle…

    Since we don’t need to refine the wisdom of the world anymore, we are lacking in the wisdom they had… There is alot more to be said but here’s for starters.

    #1447046

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    the farther you get from Sinai, the less influence that pivotal experience has on a person’s spiritual level. The impact of Matan Torah, of direct contact with Hashem’s Word, the clarity of the Torah, gets diluted as generations move on. I don’t think it means that the people are of less potential or have lower level neshamos, it’s just harder to bring out the potential.

    #1447067

    Joseph
    Participant

    We see here the difference between Yidden and Goyim. Yidden look back at our Zaidas and earlier and crow how much greater than us they were. Each earlier dor was greater than each later ones. They wrote the Mishna, the Gemorah, Rashi, Tosfos, Rambam, Chasam Sofer, etc. Each later generation didn’t reach the greatness of the earlier ones.

    By the goyim it is punkt fakert. They each tell how great they are and how their grandparents and earlier generations were Neanderthals and we are the great ones. We invented computers something they never dreamed of! Their parents said we invented robots something the earlier generations wouldn’t even think of. Earlier they said we invented electricity something our ancestors couldn’t even conceptualize. Before that they had the industrial revolution, showing how great they were. So each one sees themselves greater than their ancestors. We Yidden see our ancestors much greater than ourselves.

    #1447074

    midwesterner
    Participant

    Now that the wisdom of the world is all refined, we can check that item off the list and forget about it?

    #1447231

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @midwesterner
    Not sure I understand your question. But yes today our avoda is just to do the right thing! (And in the world people just do what they want, even if they know it isn’t good for them)

    Moshiach is about to come so the world is refined (can always get better) We’re at the lowest level of refinement – just do what’s right without being a great chochom.

    #1447252

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    just do what’s right without being a great chochom.

    אין עם הארץ חסיד

    #1447309

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @daasyochid true but how is that relevant here?

    #1448500

    does yeridas hadoros mean that people are intrinsically on a lower level
    than they used to be … or does it mean that the later generations have the same
    potential for greatness as earlier generations…

    The former.

    #1448521

    square root of 2
    Participant

    why did hashem even make our generation?

    #1448608

    Joseph
    Participant

    √2: To perfect ourselves.

    #1448624

    yichusdik
    Participant

    I agree significantly with Joseph here. As a nation we may aspire to more or better or higher levels, but we as Jews have, it seems, always recognized that we stand on the shoulders of Giants. I think it comes from our prayers and supplications that have always first reminded ourselves and depended on HKBH’s recognition of the Tzidkus of our Avos . That degree of humility though not always evenly held is a distinction that if other groups do so I think they have been influenced by the Jewish experience.

    What, though, are the implications of the concept of Yeridas Hadoros? Are we capable of less? Are our needs more? Can we say that now when there are more Jews learning more Torah than at any time in our entire history, more Jewish Hashpo’oh on the Umos Haolom, and more inklings that the geula is nearing that we have descended to a level of tumah below our ancestors? Maybe. Maybe we are closer to the geula because we need it more now than ever. Maybe we need to measure ourselves against our potential, and that is where we are lower. Yes, there is more Torah being learned than ever, but what could we have accomplished, and not yet reached. Yes, there is more Jewish Hashpo’oh in the world, but could we not have accomplished more, brought more peace or more righteousness to the world?

    I think that the most logical understanding of yeridas hadoros is this. Our potential grows, but our accomplishments do not keep pace, or even diminish. And with every passing generation, the potential gap grows, with our accomplishments as a Jewish generation achieving only part of what we could have and part of what our parents could have. We have more resources and opportunities now. How are we going to use them?

    #1448749

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @yichusdik the way I always learned it was in a positive way. Im harishonim kmalachim anu kbnei adam… Yes previous generations were on a much higher level than us because they were tasked with greater things. Our work is building on theirs, as you said.

    Therefore the world is a much better place than our used to be because the Torah and mitzvos of previous generations has brought it to this much more elevated, refined state (think emperor is the murderer of the previous emperor vs today’s politicians trying to impress the public with their good deeds)

    Yes we aren’t as capable and our mission is lower, we just need to add the final touch, and that’s why we are called ikvasa dmishicha, the heels of moshiach because we’re are much lower, yet at the same time – we the lowest ones are gonna be the ones to bring moshiach and finish off all the work for everyone else. Vain hamlocha nikra ela al Shem gomra – we will be the ones to get the credit for that, abs everyone is applauding us, although our work is miniscule compared to previous generations…

    #1448850

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS, are you trying to claim that the world is a better place today than, say, during the time of the Beis HaMikdash or during the time of Har Sinai?

    #1448877

    MalachOfCholent
    Participant

    CS, our world is in a worse state than ever before, our mission is to fix it up and bring it to some state of normalcy.

    #1448890

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    The world as a whole – definitely. Our personal spiritual heights, no that’s what this thread is about…

    But yes the physicality of this world is much more refined.

    Like in your examples:
    The time of Shlomo hamelech is compared to the time of moshiach,as all the nations were at peace with us, but the fiend is that then the nations were temporarily overwhelmed by the kedusha emanating from eretz Yisrael, but still remained the same evil nations, and so it didn’t last.

    Now however, the nations themselves are allot more refined, they admire chessed more than brute strength etc, and some are already serving Hashem.

    When moshiach comes he will finish it off with “Az ehpoch el hoamim safa brura likro *kulam* bshem Hashem.” Bimheira vyameinu amen!

    #1448916

    Joseph
    Participant

    “Now however, the nations themselves are allot more refined”

    You really believe that? It was only a few short decades ago that the nations engaged in a worldwide war, for the second time in a very short period, and wantonly murdered six million of us while everyone else watched and applauded the murderers even if they didn’t actually participate. Most of the occupied countries helped the Nazis murder.

    #1449013

    JJ2020
    Participant

    The time of bais shaini was pretty bad. And towards the end of the first also
    Hence them both being destroyed. There were great times for short periods here and there. But lots of bad too.

    #1449085

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Sorry I had another post explaining the matan Torah one but I guess it’s wasn’t politically correct even if there is not one sentence that is incorrect/not true, so the whole thing just wasn’t allowed through (am I getting how the moderating works?) so I’ll try again in a more acceptable post and if it isn’t allowed through, what can I say, it’s hard to answer questions in half statements

    #1449099

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    And just wanted to clarify, this is NOT an attack on the mods at all – every site has the right to post what they want – just with col for example, I will not post more than happy comments on happy news because I know anything not to their liking is unlikely to go through. Just trying to figure out what’s acceptable so I don’t waste anyone’s time 🙂

    #1449110

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @joseph does it have to be perfect or barbarian to you? It’s a process and yes nothing will be perfect till moshiach comes and Hashem “removes all impurity from the land” but I for one can appreciate the difference between living under the barbaric Roman rule and western democracy today…

    #1449111

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    So for the matan Torah one just consider our bodies weren’t able to handle the revelation (that’s why our neshamos flew out) and when moshiach comes we will have the greatest revelations from Hashem in our bodies, no problem.

    And that will be because we have refined our physicality all these years.

    I’m leaving out an important point because it’s not pc but I hope this helps somewhat.

    #1449114

    BaisIsThePlace
    Participant

    This doesn’t address the original post, but I am dubious of Joseph’s statement that this is some sort of intrinsic difference between the Jewish and Gentile worldview (as if there was only one Gentile worldview!). It is, perhaps, a commonly held view in modern secular society that modern society is more refined and advanced than past societies , and of course this is obviously correct in terms of scientific discoveries in technology.
    However, the idea that current society was inferior to the greatness of the past is quite common throughout history. Note that even today it is common to refer to the generation who lived through the Depression and World War 2 as “the greatest generation”.

    #1449142

    Joseph
    Participant

    CS, I said Nazi Germany. That was in very recent times. The Russian pograms wasn’t all too long ago either. Even Tach V’tat is within memory. Crusades is a bit longer ago. When did this great utopian “Western Democracy” that you so love begin?

    #1449201

    Joseph
    Participant

    The 20th Century Weimar Republic was one of the most “Western Democracies” coming from the great German civilization, the most “civilized” people and nation on Earth. And that democracy democratically elected as their Chancellor and Fuhrer Adolf Hitler ym’s.

    #1449191

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Joseph, the United States, where Jews are allowed to attend any shul, yeshiva and even incorporate as a political entity ( KJ, New Square ) to practice Judaism as tjeey see fit.

    #1449162

    GAON
    Participant

    There is certainly elements that are much better than it always was. Anyone claiming not is missing facts. Although the stories make it sound like there was once a perfect world. Torah was in many ways looked down upon.

    There were thousands of Am Haratzim who barely could read. There were ע”ה דורי דורות
    There were many Bnei Torah who couldn’t even find a shiduch, being that they were looked down as being disconnected and as batlanim etc.

    All this has changed in the last few generations, you wouldn’t find too many that can not read a siman in Mishnah Brurah or Kitzur etc.

    There are thousands in Isreal and the US who are sitting and learning in depth sugyas on all aspects of the Torah.

    On the other hand, there has been a shortage of true and ethentic Gadolim as there once was. All you need to do is look on the seforim of today’s Gadolim and compare it to the seforim of prewar Gadolim. It’s not even close. What we have today are “experts”, each on his own issues, there aren’t any that are truly sufficient in all areas if the Torah.

    #1449161

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    First you said matan Torah and bayis sheini. I was addressing that.

    As far as anti semetism yes it is always brewing and an outburst could happen today in America cvs if Hashem didn’t protect us…

    Esav sonei lyaakov and the won’t be a complete end to anti semetism until moshiach comes.

    That being said there are more Chassidei umos haolam today – there are whole movements of christians United with usual and Jews against anti semetism than ever before – there are also even bnei noach today.

    Kindness is valued in the world today whereas it wasn’t in past times. As far as the cossaks etc – yes our Avodas Hashem, Torah and mitzvos has continued to refine the world since then, and bh it is much better.

    As for Nazi Germany – the nazis yemach shmom also prided themselves on kindness, education etc on being civilised, but when it came to the Jews, all of a sudden none of those values applied.

    But even then the world valued civilised behaviour even as it allowed incredible anti semetism to happen, as it would today if it was allowed.

    Moshiach will fix this of course, but today the difference between the world now and eras past is that the world today world be happy to serve Hashem with moshiach as the ultimate civilised, G-dly leader, leading the way.

    The days where cruelty, paganism, and even immorality were ideals to uphold are far gone.

    #1449153

    BaisIsThePlace
    Participant

    “CS, I said Nazi Germany. That was in very recent times. The Russian pograms wasn’t all too long ago either. Even Tach V’tat is within memory. Crusades is a bit longer ago. When did this great utopian “Western Democracy” that you so love begin?”

    … says the guy who can publicly write whatever he wants about the government and citizens and local religion and customs of the country he lives in, without fear of being jailed or beheaded or burnt at the stake or even fined or told to be quiet.

    I don’t know when the “utopia” began, but clearly it was sometime before you started using the Internet.

    #1449152

    Joseph
    Participant

    BITP, the world at large and general society spit at their “ancient” ancestors as barbarians and nowhere near as advanced and civilized as themselves.

    #1449343

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    *curious

    #1449342

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Good q op. Im if anyone has any legitimate sources on this…ya that would be great….

    #1449620

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @gaon +1

    @oyoyoy if you want me to bring a source for anything I said just ask me and I’ll look out for it next time it comes up

    #1449670

    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    “The days where cruelty, paganism, and even immorality were ideals to uphold are far gone.”

    I guess you don’t read the news. Cruelty seems to be dished out on a regular basis in many parts of the world. Immorality has been put on a pedestal to admire. OK, I’ll give you paganism (although there are places in the world it is still practiced). But the western world is far less religious nowadays than it was in the past. Is atheism any better?

    #1450499

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    The athiests of today are also on a lower level. In previous doros, an atheist was a philosopher that thought about things but came to the wrong conclusion because of mistakes and negios. Nowadays a guy goes, (t.t.t.o. a question) “well, i believe that blah blah blah, because thats whats in style and i dont really care that much to even think about it.”
    And negios.

    #1450471

    GAON
    Participant

    There is a fascinating piece of Rav Tzadok HaKohen ZTL of Lublin explaining why there are times when the Gadolim are of a lower level and the rest is of a higher level, and some times the other way around.

    Why was it after Navuah ceased did the Chachmos haTorah of the Anshei Kenese haGdolah and Talmud emerge?

    He basically explains that there is a concept that Dargos and Chachmoh is of Klal Yisrael as one, and some times it is as Idchei m’Kamei Gavra, the dargos are sort of condensed into a few, and there are times when all is spread out among all of Klal Yisrael.

    See below link for more, he explains it and elaborates in other places as well (As of now, I do not remember where…)
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14377&st=&pgnum=10

    #1450740

    GAON
    Participant

    “Is atheism any better?”

    I recall that its much worse, one who believes in nothing has no Tikun, whereas A”Z he still believes in a concept of a G-D but in a form of Shitfus etc. thus he can still have a Tikun.

    #1450813

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    Anyhow this is off topic to put in short –

    Yes we are nothing compared to our ancestors (although the world has become a more refined place and is ready for moshiach.)

    Avraham frieds song “On giants shoulders” expresses this theme quite well :

    “Holy and pure
    Our fathers were
    Giants, righteous men
    We are strong compared to them

    But our deeds
    Upon their deeds
    Together we will bring
    Moshiach our king

    And we will do it brothers
    After us there will be no others
    You and I will do
    What giants wanted to

    So stand and take the credit
    Golus! Well be the ones to end it
    Though were small were standing tall like soldiers

    Riding high because we’re on our father’s shoulders….

    Its up to us
    Our fathers started long ago
    ….
    Waiting for us to follow…

    Great song!

    #1450849

    yichusdik
    Participant

    oyoyoy, You make the point that today’s atheists are at a low level. I find that curious. Do you have any evidence for your assertion? Because if you have read Bertram Russel, or Christopher Hitchens, Jean Paul Sartre or Richard Dawkins, you will find that though they come to dramatically wrong conclusions, and when specifically addressing the issue of HKBH make several dramatically wrong assumptions, these are among the most articulate and informed non-Torah scholars of the last 100 years. Russel and Hitchens especially, because unlike Dawkins they write about much more than atheism, and unlike Sartre they avoid existentialist philosophy and the determinist outcomes it presupposes. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of 20th and 21st century writers who are more articulate than Hitchens. Maybe George Orwell, but he was likely an atheist as well, certainly an agnostic.

    My point is that you don’t have to diminish an individual’s acumen in comparison to earlier generations to conclude that he is wrong. He can be brilliant and utterly wrong, too. He can even prophesy and be inspired by HKBH, as Bilaam was, and be utterly wrong.

    #1450795

    Chabadshlucha
    Participant

    @gaon interesting.

    @wtp if you notice the wording I used is ideals to be admired. Cruelty exists but it isn’t looked up to a an ideal anymore. (Besides in the Muslim world and they would also be ready for moshiach because in their world irs all about serving G-d even if He asks your to do the weirdest Cruel things. They just need to be corrected on what HE wants.)

    Science isn’t the absolute god replacing religion as it used to be regarded.

    Even immorality – is seen in a confused way – they don’t see objectification of women or assault against them as a good thing (think priestesses of idol worship temples in the past) they just don’t mind if people do what they want as long as they don’t hurt anyone.

    But many many of the youth are hurt from this hedonistic lifestyle as if it’s against Torah, it goes against the fabric of the world, so it’s impossible for it to work well.

    And there are many voices speaking up against it. Modesty is more in fashion now. So I would say they’re confused but don’t hold immorality as an ideal.

    The only places you will probably find that is Hollywood and california, not mainstream goyim, and with the recent scandal even they are rethinking their ideals…

    edited

    #1451212

    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    ychusdik- frst of all, no havent read them. I beieve its stupid (and probably assur) for someone trying to grow in emunah to read them. In fact, many hold jewish philosophy or debates “proving” that there is a Gd isn’t safe.
    Regardless, i admit they are intelligent and articulate (articulate wasnt really my point btw). I was referring to the average joe.
    There is a level of depth required to actually care enough about Believe it or Not, i dont think people are deliberating while theyre waiting for netflix to load.

    #1451294

    K-cup
    Participant

    ychusdik, yeridos hadoros would compel us to compare those thinkers to minds of the past, not just ask if they’re intelligent or not. It also clear from your post you haven’t read their works(names are incorrect – not just spelling – and not differentiating agnostic and atheist even though you mention both terms, no mention of any particular work), it’s disingenuous to call others out.

    #1451319

    Curious1000
    Participant

    “I recall that its much worse, one who believes in nothing has no Tikun, whereas A”Z he still believes in a concept of a G-D but in a form of Shitfus etc. thus he can still have a Tikun.”

    Where are you getting this from?

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