April 26, 2020 10:13 am at 10:13 am #1853291Someone in MonseyParticipant
I saw this in the Midrash Rabbah, Parshas Nasso, Perek Ches (8): “Once every 60 or 70 years, HKB”H brings a great epidemic upon the world and destroys the mamzerim from [Yisroel]. He takes pure persons with them, so as not to publicize the sinners.”April 26, 2020 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #1853335
OMG!!! please enough already, everyone has his own explanation as to why we have covid 19, the last time I check the last of the nivim was about 2000 years ago, At the height of the epidemic I got 17 robo calls in one day with everyone’s agenda as to why this happened ranging from long shaytils, to fancy weddings, to speaking loshen horah, to technology, to the gay parade to building of multi family housing,
PLEASE STOP, no one knows and anybody who claim they know der aybisters chesbons is a kofer.April 26, 2020 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1853337
Presumably before they have children themselves?April 26, 2020 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1853353zahavasdadParticipant
How does that explain the deaths of Rav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron Or the Novominsker RebbeApril 26, 2020 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1853356Reb EliezerParticipant
I think, He takes the pure away in order the sinners should not be recognized by comparison.April 26, 2020 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1853357KGNParticipant
WOW.April 26, 2020 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #1853385nishtdayngesheftParticipant
Did you read what Someone in Monsey wrote?
I am not saying this is the reason, but your question is literally not a question.
The question is why You limited you question to just those people.April 26, 2020 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #1853389MistykinsParticipant
In the beginning, it was spread that only the goyim were taken.
Then it was only the sinners.
Then it was only those that disobeyed precautions.
Then it was the Pure (ignoring all those previous goyim sinners that defied the rules).
Maybe we can learn to accept that Corona doesn’t discriminateApril 26, 2020 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #1853391NOYBParticipant
How about this: we don’t know, and we can’t know, so let’s stop with the crazy explanations, especially when they slander the victims like this. Just have emunah that this is all for the best, like everything else, and move on!April 26, 2020 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #1853425
THIS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DUMB!!!!, NOBODY KNOW WHYApril 26, 2020 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #1853453
The Gedolim do know why.April 26, 2020 2:57 pm at 2:57 pm #1853510Sarah SParticipant
We don’t have neveim. Thats all. Nobody can know why. The explanation that most resonates with me is that we are supposed to take this time when we are forced to be alone to look inside ourselves and see what we as individuals are doing wrong. So much easier to point at others….sheitel too long, talks in shul, talks loshon hora, fancy wedding etc., than to search for the chometz in ourselves. Be dan l’zchus others and do teshuva yourself…every second of life that HKBH has given you.April 26, 2020 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1853531
It’s Parsha 9, not 8.
ואומר (משלי טו): עיני ה’ צופות רעים וטובים.
לא כשאת סבורה, להנחיל הממזר שלך נכסי בעליך, אני מכיר הממזר ואני טורדו מן העולם.
כההיא דאמר ר’ חנינא: אחת לששים ולשבעים שנה, הקדוש ברוך הוא מביא דבר גדול בעולם, ומכלה מהם את הממזרים, ונוטל עימהם כשרים, שלא לפרסם את החטאים.
So “common saychel”, “Mistykins”, and “NOYB”, you are not free to dismiss it. You have to take it seriously, because it is a maamar chazal, and you don’t want ch”v to be מכחיש מגידיה.April 26, 2020 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1853538
The Tosfos Yom Tov identified talking in shul as the cause of the terrible tragedies during Tach V’Tat. And many other Gedolim have identified other reasons for other tragedies.April 26, 2020 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1853569
I seriously question why you would publicize this message.April 26, 2020 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1853567
Could the who are the Gedolim? I refer you to all the other posts. It seems inconclusive.April 26, 2020 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1853568
Why are we not free to dismiss it?April 26, 2020 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1853566
I agree with your overall point. But, whom do you speak of as a Navi 2000 years ago? Do you mean Hillel? Then, by comparison Reb Eliezer HaGadol was also a novi, and so on. Let us keep in mind that Hashem reveals to the neviim what will happen BEFORE it takes place.April 26, 2020 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #1853563Someone in MonseyParticipant
Apologies for the innacurate location. Milhouse, thank you for citing it correctly.April 26, 2020 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1853580
Why and Hashem should not be used in the same sentence. Hashem’s servants ask what have we done wrong? And, what is demanded from me now? As essence becomes more celestial, reasons disappear and become replaced with consequences. Those that are dedicated to their own emunah, never move on from good questions.April 26, 2020 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1853591
We have been told causes for past tragedies. Yes. After the fact. When the victims were properly mourned. Please do not forget what is going on in many homes and hospitals. An attempt to put a cause on it now, only serves to deny reality.April 26, 2020 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1853593
nOm, you are not free to dismiss it because it is a maamar chazal, and you don’t want ch”v to be included in the category of מכחיש מגידיה.April 26, 2020 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1853598
I got to robo calls today one saying the long shaytils caused it, the other say it was technology that caused it, the leader in my wife shmirah haloshon group said it was caused by loshon horah, my neighbor whos son was not accepted in the yeshiva of his choice said it because the boys are not accepted that caused it, my SIL who is a social worker said its because we not embracing at risk kids, my other neighbor says its because we don’t do enough kiruv, parent’s neighbor says is from over development, 3 prior poster had other reasons and the OP has his,
Why don’t we be humble and admit that not everything is in the realm of human understanding or will it ever be, how about if there is something that we can be misakin on let do it for ourselves and not tell others reasons that we think caused it,April 26, 2020 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #1853625
How does a statement become a maamor chazzal? I am offering to print your statement in my next sefer, if that is what it takes. Someone stated something that we feel should have been left unmentioned. The fact that the idea is printed doesn’t give him license.April 26, 2020 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #1853648
What do you mean, how does it become a maamar chazal? It becomes one when Chazal said it. You are not free to dismiss any maamar Chazal. The mar’eh mokom has been given, and the exact text provided. What more do you want?April 26, 2020 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #1853675LurkerParticipant
In my addition, it is indeed in parsha 8. And if you actually bother reading to the end of the midrash, you will see that Rav Huna apparently disagrees. The larger point of the midrash seems to be that when people sin in private, the fruits of that become public. I might suggest that it would be much more beneficial to think about that idea rather than to worry about how Hashem punishes mamzerim.April 26, 2020 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1853728unomminParticipant
Wait, so I’m still here (at the moment; we don’t know of course what tomorrow may bring). Does that mean I should have a serious conversation with my father? I’m lost as to what I’m supposed to learn from this, or what I can do about it. Should I change my shiduch resume and now I can’t marry just anyone? Or is it the other way around, if I don’t make it, then I’m not pure…? Help.April 27, 2020 2:53 am at 2:53 am #1853767
The ma’amar is not ancient origin, I was wondering why you call it a ma’amar chazzal. If you are referring to the statement of Rav Chanina, can you supply the original? I only have an old print with me, and am unsure if it the same one from Parshas Noach.April 27, 2020 2:58 am at 2:58 am #1853768
Just because a statement is cited in the medrash, that does not automatically make it relevant to today. To me, one is only guilty of dismissing Chazzal, when they say no one said that, or that did/will not happen.April 27, 2020 10:52 am at 10:52 am #1853848yichusdikParticipant
It has literally been years since I posted here. I look at these “reasons” and “explanations”, and I shake my head. ‘plus ca change, plus c’est le meme choses’.
HKBH brought this upon the world just as he brings every wonderful and every terrible thing. He has a ketz in his plan and this is part of the path towards it. If there is anything to learn from it, perhaps it lies in these things that have become self evident during this time.
1. The hedonist on the beach and the illui in the beis medrash can have few things in common beyond having two arms and two legs. But one thing they do share is that willful ignorance of vinishmartem meod lenafshoseichem can kill either one of them. It is each person’s responsibility to safeguard their health and that of their loved ones, to do their own hishtadlus in this respect. It isn’t a matter of communal guidance from someone else who isnt a medical professional or not listening to one. It is a commandment mideoraisa for each one of us. The consequences of not taking this personal achrayus are rachmono litzlan abundantly and horrifically clear.
2. Generosity is vital, but gratitude is paramount. We say thank you to HKBH every day. He sends us sustenance, inspiration, food, medicine, treatment, first response. He sends us the means to offer help to the deathly ill through donating plasma. If someone sent you a gift through a shaliach, would you not thank the shaliach?
3. What you do choose to do impacts others. What you choose not to do impacts others. If you choose not to socially distance, YOU are responsible for the consequences, not the person or the rov or the kol koreh who told you to ignore it, just as surely as the pastor in Louisiana or the partygoer in Daytona. Spreading the virus if you had an opportunity to avoid doing so is a transgression. It’s a perfect example of a Laav she’ein bo maaseh. And while you can go learn gemorah makkos to determine if you are chayyav malkus for it or not, you’ll have to answer to HKBH at the end of your days about the lives you may have taken.
4. There is tremendous chesed being done on behalf of those who are mourning, those who are old and infirm, those who are housebound, those who simply need someone to talk to because they are alone and scared. This has brought out the best in us and we should all be proud of our community for always giving, especially b’eis tzoroh.
5. Suffering is a terrible thing. It is terrible for everyone. The playing field is level, now. HKBH has determined that the tzadik and the bulvan are both potential victims. In some things all of HKBH’s creations are the same. So, please remember. Pride does not have to be Gaivah.
I’m sure there are many more lessons to learn that have nothing to do with sheitels, or mamzeirim, or anything else. You want an explanation? HKBH is the beginning and the end, and all he does is for a reason. He doesn’t share that with bosor ve’dom, not anymore. Learn what you can from the experience, but don’t have the arrogance to think you know the reason.April 27, 2020 11:15 am at 11:15 am #1853864🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
yichusdik – Thank you! Thank you for coming back here after so long to write such a beautiful and truthful post. Thank you for giving everyone something else besides blame to focus on. Just thanks.April 27, 2020 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #1853891
@yichdick “I’m sure there are many more lessons to learn that have nothing to do with sheitels, or mamzeirim, or anything else. You want an explanation? HKBH is the beginning and the end, and all he does is for a reason. He doesn’t share that with bosor ve’dom, not anymore. Learn what you can from the experience, but don’t have the arrogance to think you know the reason. ”
WOW WOW!!! how wonderfully you put it down, thank you thank you thank youApril 27, 2020 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1853956
Lurker, I’m using the edition at daat.ac.il. In which edition is this Parsha 8, and which two previous parshios does it combine? And if you had continued a little you’d have seen that it reconciles the two opinions. But even if it hadn’t, we are not free to dismiss <i>any</i> maamar chazal just because a different tanna says something else.
n0m, what do you mean, “The ma’amar is not ancient origin”? How much more ancient could it get? The source was cited in the original post that we are all discussing, and I quoted the exact language in my first comment. What more do you want? And why do you refer to Parshas Noach?
Sure there can be many lessons learned from every situation, and each person should take those most relevant to him, but when chazal say something we must pay attention to it. The first few people to respond to the original post completely dismissed it, as if it were some opinion by a modern writer who is their equal, and they can reject it at will. They can’t. What chazal say is the truth; it may not be the only truth, but it cannot be false.April 27, 2020 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm #1854008
To be sure, many (perhaps most) Rishonim say that we are not required what is stated in the Midrash.
I am not commenting on this or any other Ma’amar Chazal in particular, just on the general question of whether we are beholden to believe everything that is written in Midrashim (or, for that matter, according to many, in Aggadeta Gemaros).April 27, 2020 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #1854047
What are you talking about? What rishon says such a thing? Are midrashim not an inherent part of the Torah, every bit as much as mishna? Is not every part of the gemara equally Divrei Elokim Chayim? Shomu Shomayim! Do you know what כחיש מגידיה means? It is one of the categories of apikores! One who says this part of Torah is true and that part is not, is a 100% heretic!April 27, 2020 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #1854065
Well, to start, the Ramban says so explicitly in Seder HaVikuach, and so does Rav Shmuel HaNagid in Mevo HaTalmud. (It’s worth noting that, although not a Rishon, Rav Hirsch followed this view as well, as he writes in Collected Writings)
The Ibn Ezra disagrees with Midrashim countless times in his Peirush on Chumash, as does the Ramban, as well as the Radak in his Peirush on Nach.
The Ritva says that the whole story of what happened during the debate about Tanur Shel Achnai didn’t really happen.
The Rambam in his commentary to Mishnayos writes that whoever thinks that everything Chazal say must be taken literally is a fool who makes the Chachamim seen like fools.
The list goes on.
I know there are those who argue, and that’s fine. Just don’t pretend this isn’t a mainstream opinion.April 27, 2020 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #1854066
You mean the mitzva of V’chai Bahem. Also, we are required to feel the suffering of all yidden.April 27, 2020 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1854067
If there is a novi today, why do you assume that we would know about him/her? The neviim stated that Hashem always reveals what will happen BEFORE He enacts His Word.April 27, 2020 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1854071
This specific Medrash is newer than most. It would be an older medrash if would be equivalent with Talmud Bavli. This appears to have been composed toward the end of the Gaonim. Mabye later.April 27, 2020 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1854074
To make your point, based on this Medrash, we would need to find where Rav Chanina said his statement. It seems very likely that the Darshan never intended as the cause for a plague.April 27, 2020 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #1854110
“catch yourself”, that is not a mainstream opinion. In fact it is not an opinion within yiddishkeit at all. It is pure apikorsus.
The Rambam, for instance, whom you quote, says the exact opposite of what you claim. He criticizes two groups: The fools who think every medrash must be taken literally, when it’s obvious that some are metaphors or parables, or speak in coded language; and the heretics who dismiss medroshim and say that some of them are false. It seems that you are defending the second group.
Arguments used in vikuchim cannot be relied on — they are not Torah, and often the debaters deliberately used false arguments if they thought they would help them. The object was to win, not to tell the truth. We have examples in the gemara too, where an amora said something to an attacker and the gemara says that he didn’t mean it, he just pushed him off with a straw man because he didn’t want to get into it, or he didn’t want to tell him the truth. So nothing in the vikuchim can be taken for granted.
Pretty much every meforash on chumash will say that certain midrashim are not pshat. Even without the meforshim it’s obvious that that must be true. Midrashim by definition are drush, not pshat; sometimes they help us understand pshat and sometimes they’re irrelevant to the pshat and only address other levels of understanding. For instance it would be strange to try to learn pshat in a posuk from the Zohar. When the Zohar says a pasuk is talking about this or that sefirah, that is true. That is what the posuk is talking about — in addition to everything else. But it’s not the pshuto shel mikra. That’s all the Ibn Ezra and the others you cite mean. But chas veshalom to dismiss any medrash, to say that it isn’t true or relevant.April 27, 2020 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #1854111
Where R Chanina said it? He said it here. What makes you think it’s late? Because the Maskilim y”sh said so?! But even if that’s true, it must have been compiled from an earlier manuscript, or a set of such. The compiler, whoever he was and whenever he lived, didn’t make things up, ch”v.April 28, 2020 7:38 am at 7:38 am #1854146
You were so kind as to give us the full statement. It is clearly a quote from somewhere else. It does not imply that this is a reson to explain or cause a mageifah. For that we have to look elsewhere. It is not here.April 28, 2020 7:38 am at 7:38 am #1854148
A medrash that is quoting whole sections of other midrashim was compiled later. Also, when the names are random and not chronological, it means that it was not put together in person. Third, when there is no mention of the activity of the Beis Medrash, that means it was done in private. I hope we could agree that no Jew would have the audacity to publish an anonymous private work, when the Yeshivos in Bavel were thriving as the Torah Centers of the World.April 28, 2020 7:39 am at 7:39 am #1854149
The Rambam in Perek Chelek that you quoted is against those that assume the words of Chazzal are what they intended to convey. You seem to advocate for that. The Zohar generally explains pesukim in line with the literal understanding. I am not familiar with the Zohar refering a passuk to a sfeirah; The meforshim take the Zohar to be understood that way.(More like a sefirah to a passuk,)April 28, 2020 7:39 am at 7:39 am #1854150
The most accepted view of how to treat statements of Chazzal is Ramban Al HaTorah. The Ibn Ezra openly refutes midrashim & piyutim. The Ramban allows that. The Ramban objects when it appears that Rav Avraham is intelligent for doing so.(i. e. It seems he knows better than the medrash. As opposed to simply being unaware what the medrash could mean. Of course the Ibn Ezra was exceedingly humble about these things. But not every casual reader is aware of that.)April 28, 2020 7:39 am at 7:39 am #1854151
What pshat meant to the Rishonim is complicated. It is a simple truth that they did not feel beholden to midrashim, including the drush of the Talmud. Realize, that they had a lot more midrashim than we do. Including some that where written by their own contemporaries. (Some midrashim quote the Rambam etc.)April 28, 2020 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #1854561
Due to the constraints of time, shorthand responses point by point:
1. I understand it may be surprising, even shocking. I was also startled when I first saw it. I know this is not what we learned in Yeshiva. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear to the objective researcher that many Rishonim and Acharonim held this way. Are you labelling Rav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch an apikorus?
2. The Rambam labels both of the first two groups fools, but does not label either one of them as heretics. He does label as heretics those who deny Torah Min Hashomayim, including both Oral and Written Torah, but seems to define Oral Torah as the “explanation of the Written Torah, such as how to [perform the Mitzvos],” which is precisely the definition given by the Ramban. I do not defend heretics. I am merely presenting the view (which is widely held among the greatest authorities) that Midrash (and, according to many, Agadeta) are not part of the Torah which was given to Moshe at Har Sinai.
3. The passage in Sefer HaVikuach is quoted by some of the greatest Acharonim, including, for example, Chasam Sofer in Teshuvos, none of whom (to my knowledge) advanced your argument. It is true that, there are some recent Rabanim who take your approach and discount any points made in a Vikuach. To me, this is an outrage. Do you really mean to allege that the Ramban promulgated apikorsus in defense of our Torah?! (Quite aside from the fact that his opponent in that debate was an apostate Jew who was rather learned and would have been able to destroy that particular argument if it was not the real truth). This is very different from the Gemaros you reference, for obvious reasons.
4. It’s rather clear that the Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Radak, and many others have no problem disputing the historical facts asserted in Midrashim. If you want to say, “Well, Vashti didn’t literally have a tail, but the Gemara is teaching us a lesson in Middos,” that’s absolutely fine. It is, to paraphrase the Ramban, just like when a Darshan embellishes a story in Chumash to teach a lesson. We are free to accept it or not to, each according to his understanding. Of course, this is not to say that the lesson is not valuable; just that the Derashos of Rav Tanchuma in his day were not (according to this opinion) any more Torah Min HaShomayim than those of Rav Shalom Schwadron in his day. I am not saying it isn’t true in the sense that it is instructive, or relevant in the sense that it addresses us, just that this opinion holds that it isn’t an “inherent part of the Torah.” I am not stupid enough to pretend for a moment that I approach the greatness of intellect of Chazal. Of course, when they speak, we should listen. It is the foolishness of the Rambam’s second group to think that we are on anything approaching equal footing with Chazal. That is not the question at hand. Our discussion is about whether Midrash is part and parcel of Torah Min HaShomayim, not whether we should learn the lessons it teaches.
I notice that you did not address Rav Shmuel HaNagid or the RItva.
For the record, if I recall correctly, the Chasam Sofer accepts the Ramban implicitly, and only enters into discussion about whether the Ramban meant to include Agadeta Gemaros with Midrashim, or if he held those were part of the Oral Torah.
There are those who attempted to sweep the letter from Rav Hirsch under the rug by disputing its veracity, but they ultimately had to acknowledge that there is no question that the letter was accurate. When pressed about it, they reputedly responded, “Rav Hirsch iz nisht fuhn unzer Beis Medrash.” This to me is rather telling about their own intellectual dishonesty, but not at all about the actual discussion.April 28, 2020 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #1854674
You are correct in the academical sense. But here we do not have any specific knowledge against this medrash, just we felt it was not right to bring it up. I think that was what bothered Milhouse. Just because it makes uncomfortable is not a permission to reject it. Personally, I do not think the medrash is backing up Someone’s explanation.April 28, 2020 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #1854700
As I said in my first post in this thread, I am not commenting on this particular Medrash, just on the general question of whether we are obliged to accept every Medrash as part of the Torah.
According to the opinion of the Ramban et al, one doesn’t need specific permission for each statement of the Medrash. However, I agree that it feeling uncomfortable is not a logical reason not to accept it. This is especially true if, as I understand it, this Medrash is intended to teach a lesson rather than to be taken literally.
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