Cherem on sefer “Pshuto Shel Mikra”

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    Dear Ubiquitin,

    Your post is clear and makes a lot of sense. Now let me double check. To my understanding, you are reading the letter as a principled statement. They are not really conveying any of the ideas behind their position. Thank you!

    Sholom D

    Interesting take on the community the authors of this peirush come from!!
    You do know that they are long time Yerushalmis, long peyis and all, and with the enthusiastic support of the Eida Chareidis, as I wrote before and as appears in their defense against the ban and in the haskomos to their newest work, Chok l’Yisroel?
    And that their American distributors are two Satmars, one a Satmar Rosh Kollel and the other a kiryas Yoel Maggid shiur?

    Yup, sure sounds suspicious.
    Glad you caught on something that their own community missed!!


    Ubi, nice comparison of the communities. Now, try putting yourself in the Rashi’s shoes, if I may. Did Rashi mean to foreclose our thinking about Chumash? Did he order printers to put his commentary in a special Rashi script to underscore that nothing else should be said after and avoid confusion?

    Another option is that Rashi is there every time you are reading a posuk and have a concern, you are likely to find a helpful Rashi giving you an explanation. As if he is preparing you to be able to master the text and start serious analysis after that.



    “Did Rashi mean to foreclose our thinking about Chumash?”
    Interesting thought experiment. Though it doesn’t matter what Rashi wanted what matters, is “our mesora as handed down by our rebbeim”

    “Another option..”

    Sure! by all means that is another option. by all means go for it. Hopefully you can acknowledge their right to hold by their option

    “Yup, sure sounds suspicious….Glad you caught on something that their own community missed!!”

    I have no idea what you are saying.
    It am not arguing on your notion is something/someone behind the ban that may have ulterior motives. nor am I arguing that the banners are correct.



    I reread your comment
    You wrote it as a reply to me, but I’m not sure where/how it relates to what I said.

    I never suggested every body would agree.
    I never suggested that there arent those that might want to change Rashi’s postition as the peshat (that is literally whathe kol koreh says) how does saying they are yerushalmi yidden/satmar change that?

    In fact in one of their repleis the authors claimed the title “pershuto shel mikra” was NOT their title but the publisher changed it ….

    catch yourself

    The Ohr HaChaim quoted above is far from a Da’as Yachid.

    The Malbim, the Netziv, Rav Hirsch, and many other Gedolei HoAcharonim regularly explain Pesukim differently from Chazal, let alone Rashi and the other Rishonim.

    The Ramban in multiple places in his commentary on Chumash makes it clear that we are not bound to Chazal’s interpretation of the Pesukim, a point he makes explicitly in his Sefer Haviku’ach.*

    There is no question that, as the Ramban says, Rashi is first and foremost among the Meforshei HaTorah. This, however, was never understood to mean that we are required to follow his interpretation.

    The ban seems very strange to me.

    *There are, of course, those who say that the Ramban didn’t really mean it, that he just used that as a winning argument in a debate. To my mind, this is a slanderous accusation, which amounts to the assertion that the Ramban espoused kefira because it would help him win the debate. The Chasam Sofer (in his Teshuvos) accepts that the Ramban meant what he said, and that he intended it in reference both to Midrashim and Aggadeta Gemaros.


    Catch, you never find achronim arguing with a medrash; you just don’t. That ended with the early rishonim, and they weren’t arguing fully anyway, as explained above.

    Of course we’re bound to what chazal say; the achronim say other pshatim, based on the principles of chazal, because ayin panim letorah, and there’s no limitation on how much you can say in pesukim; that’s not arguing at all.

    The ramban’s statement is understood by the consensus of achronim, including the abarbanel, as you wrote in your footnote.

    catch yourself


    It is an incontestable fact that numerous Gedolei Acharonim knowingly and deliberately explain Pesukim in ways that are irreconcilably different from Chazal. I don’t know what you mean by “[not] arguing fully.”

    Rav Hirsch wrote an extensive explanation of his position on this issue, which is published in Volume IX of his Collected Writings.

    I acknowledge that there are those who disagree, but it appears that the mainstream, majority opinion among both Rishonim and Acharonim is that Aggados Chazal (including, but not limited to, Midrashic explanations of Pesukim) are not Torah M’Sinai, and we are free to reject them (It scarcely needs to be said that we do so at our own peril, and we are well advised to exercise extreme caution in this regard).

    I know this is not what we were taught in Yeshiva. That doesn’t change the facts.

    I would love to see this Abarbanel; can you provide the reference? I am rather skeptical that there is any sort of “consensus of Achronim” reading the Ramban that way; the annotated Mosad HaRav Kook (it’s been a while, but I think it was from MHK) version does not provide many such references. If you would, I would greatly appreciate it.


    catch, the abarbanel is in yeshuos meshicho, when he deals with the ramban’s vikuach extensively.

    re, rav hirsch, etc…, they do not say, chas me’lehazkir, that a word of chazal is not torah misinai. Kol ma shetalmid vasik asid….was said at har sinai. What rav hirsch writes is that strictly speaking there is no obligation to LISTEN to chazal in agadata, but that we would be foolish not to.

    That dovetails the discussion among rishonim and achronim about what the authority of chazal actually is. Is it a din, or is it the understanding that we are nowhere near on the level to argue with them? There’s a famous beis yosef on it, who says that klal yisroel were mekabel the gemara. Rav Hirsch holds that it’s a din by halacha and not by agadata. That has nothing to do with saying other pshatim.

    When achronim on chumash say pshatim that dont fit with every single chazal(there are a myriad shitos in midrashim, and you cant match them all, or even most of them) they are not, chas veshalom, treating chazal as recommendations, and not torah misinai, they are saying torah lehagdil torah vela’adira.

    See the first bartenura on Avos, where he says that avos begins with moshe kibel…, to show that EVEN ethical aphorisms and teachings are not something that chazal said on their own, without a mesorah, but rather EVERYTHING was mesorah.

    “kofer bedrashos” includes someone who denies techias hamaysim; according to the way you’re understanding this issue, if one argues with the drasha of Az Yashir Moshe, he is entitled to, since it’s not a halachik issue.

    This is part of what makes rav hirsch’s explanation difficult; but we don’t change the “pashtus”, pardon the pun, of kol ma shetalmid vasik etc…, based on something rav hirsch said – happens to be that not everything in the collected writings is even from him; there were letters not in his handwriting which his relatives decided were written by him. Truth is that anything outside his published seforim(19 letters, chorev, etc..) I would take with a grain of salt.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Rabbenu Bachaya says that the world was created for our benefit but the Rambam does not like it.


    Catch yourself (indeed!), the mainstream opinion is that we are free to reject Midrashei Chazal? Who told you that?!?
    Avirah, (with his kanaus) do you have anything to answer to the Shlomo’s story with the two Battei Din in E. Yisroel?


    Mdd – if you think I’m a kanoi….i have some rabbonim to show you who make me look tame.

    As for the narrative being presented of the supposed two batei din and their supporters/distributors – simple question; where’s the proof?

    Lakewood and many Brooklyn roshei yeshiva supported rav Shmuel aurbach; that is consistently being used as a way of spinning political controversies. Show us the evidence; when i read through the narration, i just skimmed the details and waited for a mention of some source to back up the claims – surprise, surprise…not a single one!

    The founder of michlalah is not a “yerushalmi with long payos,” that much i know. He was controversial. I don’t know to what degree.


    The rashba and tons of rishonim, achronim, say that even to aegue with chazals scientific statements would be apikorsus; the aruch hashulchan notes that too – kal vechomer midrashim. Sources for that are in rav moshe meiselman’s Torah chazal and science.

    You’re playing around very liberally with something that gedolei rishonim and achronim say can make a person lose their olam haba.

    There’s also a famous gemara about a drasha regarding yemos hamoshiach, which a talmid said was not physically possible. The rebbe showed him in the ocean that Hashem was preparing this phenomenon, and said that he (the talmid) only believes what his eyes see, and doesn’t have emunas chachamim – whereupon he was turned into a pile of bones.

    That was an aggada teaching. Clearly, the rishonim who “argued” with medrash were simply saying another pshat, and not saying that chazal were wrong.


    Many posters here – and many people exposed to the Internet in general – find that a few minor things that they learned in Yeshiva might not be correct, or might not be so simple… So they then turn around and assume that everything they were mekabel from their rebbeim is suspect, and question things that are very basic, all the while thinking that they’re enlightened, because they read some blogs from arrogant people who couldn’t make it through a maaracha of rav akiva eiger or dibros moshe.

    Shlomo 2

    Rashbam explains in his introduction to Chumash that chazal did not engage in peshat, only in derash.
    Therefore, he says, he is not arguing with chazal when he explains pasukim differently.

    For he is explaining according to peshat and they are explaining according to derash. To repeat, anything that appears in chazal is by definition derash. Nothing from chazal is peshat.

    And when he disagrees with Rashi, which is the majority of his peirush on Chumash, it is for that reason as well. Not that Rashi’s peirush is invalid, but that it is derash, not peshat.

    Same with the other mefarshim who disagree with Rashi, that Rashi is derash, not peshat.

    Reb Eliezer

    The Rav Nissim Gaon on Brachas says that if something the gemora says cannot be understood literally then it is allegorical, a mashel. The Daroshes Haran says that we say that Torah is not in heavens and don’t follow Rebbi Eliezer, as once the Torah was given down to earth, now we must understand it with human understanding. However, Rebbi Eliezer they were unable to understand and therefore could not follow.

    Shlomo 2

    Avira asked about the proof for the two battei Din. It’s published in the response to the Lakewood cherem from the peshuto Shel Mikra publisher and can be seen through a Hebrew Google to the hebrew discussion groups that discuss this in depth, like the Otzar hachochma forum.

    And this has nothing to do with the sefer by Rav Copperman of michlala. That is a different sefer.

    Reb Eliezer

    Shem Hagdolim says that we don’t pasken mostly like Rashi as Rashi is mefaresh and not a posek and therefore, Rashi’s mind was at explanation and not pesak.


    Shlomo – so we agree that the rishonim aren’t arguing with chazal or dismissing anything they say. Great.

    The mesorah of the yeshivos, however, does not follow that rashbam, as can be seen in rav aharon’s sefer, as mentioned above.

    I’ll agree that i don’t think it’s a shitah that’s so excluded that one would be an apikores for saying so, but i also understand why yeshivos would want to limit such an approach from becoming mainstream, if it’s not the mesorah.

    Shlomo 2

    Yes, we agree.

    And the way they chose to “limit such an approach from becoming mainstream” was to ban its sale, ban it from all shuls, ban it from all Battei Midrash, ban it from all homes, and characterize it as having the “spirit of haskala.”

    In other words, it is so compelling and attractive that had they not banned it from all homes and all battei midrash, it would have become so popular that it would have become mainstream, supplanting Rashi (the cherem says this was their goal).

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