August 14, 2011 7:31 am at 7:31 am #598614
This was sparkeed from an earlier thread (now closed). Does it apply to all types of chocma ie. the arts and sciences or just to scientific and mathematical fact and theory which can’t really be an influencing source on your neshama if the proposer of the theory is a total oisvarf, whereas in literature and the like it’s readily apparent that it can make a bad imprerssion ie. Acher; according to some went off the D because of goyish books. Also does it mean a mitzius- a statement- that chochma exists by goyim or is it an active tzivuy to go learn from them.August 14, 2011 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #798396MichaelCMember
Chochma bagoyim taamin, Torah ba goyim el tamin (Talmud Meggila)
Artscroll translates ‘taamin’ to believe that they have chochma, not to believe that there chochma applies for us to learnAugust 14, 2011 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #798397lesschumrasParticipant
does than mean Artscroll goes back to using scrolls because goyim invented ptinting?August 14, 2011 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #798398
lesschumras – no obviously we can and should use their wisdom where it improves our ability to serve G-d. But not to learn the chochma for its own sake as a pure academic study.August 14, 2011 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #798399
I know the translation. that wasn’t the question. mitzius/rishus or tzivuy.August 14, 2011 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #798400yitayningwutParticipant
Metzius.August 14, 2011 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #798401hello99Participant
metzius. even that is a chiddush that requires emunaAugust 14, 2011 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #798402
mitzius and an implication to make use of itAugust 14, 2011 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #798403ChachamParticipant
Why do you think it is called artSCROLLAugust 14, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm #798404HaLeiViParticipant
No implication of anything, only that you shouldn’t think your friend is lying. Making use of things has nothing to do with acknowledging or learning. Obviously it doesn’t take Emuna because there is no Chiyuv to believe they have Chochma. It doesn’t say Ein Chochma Bagoyim Al Taamin.
As far as learning things that they’ve discovered, it is obvious that the Rambam pursued knowledge for its own sake. Broadening the mind in one area opens it in other areas as well. There is a difference however if the Chochma is Bria based or human based. The latter was considered Chochmas Yevonis, and was frowned upon when unnecessary.
There is also the issue of who you are learning from. Then there is the Shulchan Aruch that says you should first be well versed in Torah so that it shouldn’t sway you.August 14, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #798405
Chochma bi’goyim ta’amin simply means that the Goyim do posses some wisdom. It does not mean that every thing every Goy writes should be considered worth learning.
“Also does it mean a mitzius- a statement- that chochma exists by goyim or is it an active tzivuy to go learn from them.”
It sure sounds like a statement to me.
Also, I think it’s interesting to note that the Mishna could have just said “there is chochma by the Goyim”, instead of the longer “if somebody tells you that there is Chochma by the Goyim, believe them”. Why use the extra words? I think it could be to show us us that one should only be hearing about the Goyim’s chochmah second-hand, not investigating himself.
“So, does than mean Artscroll goes back to using scrolls because goyim invented ptinting?”
Of course not. There is no question about using the products of Goyim’s chochmah, only about whether or not it’s a good idea to learn them. (In this case, if one should go learn exactly how to make the paper.)
on the ball:
Where do you see such an implication?August 15, 2011 2:19 am at 2:19 am #798406zahavasdadParticipant
Should one learn to drive?
You have to study the traffic laws. There is no torah in that.
Certainly one in NYC does not HAVE to drive, Satmar women dont drive and many gedolim did not learn to drive eitherAugust 15, 2011 4:05 am at 4:05 am #798407
C’mon, traffic laws aren’t chochmah. And even if it was, learning secular knowledge in order to be able to do something is quite different than learning it just to know it.August 15, 2011 7:39 am at 7:39 am #798409
k so maybe this thread was trolling because in previous threads it appeared that the basis for a lot of MO hashkafa was CbGT. and now youre all saying its not a directive. I know i just opened a can of worms but i wante to see what you all would say in a neutral setting. i had an agenda and everyone followed through perfectly. thanksAugust 15, 2011 8:45 am at 8:45 am #798410
The implication is that we should use it otherwise Chazal should simply have said ‘There is Chochma by the Goyim’.August 15, 2011 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #798411gavra_at_workParticipant
Mitzius. There is no Chiyuv to go to Goyim to learn Chochma, unless it is needed for Limud.
For example, part of the whole Anaskis policy was changed due to data from the CDC. That was unavailable without “Goyim”, so it is a chiyuv to learn it to be able to paskin (and for the mitzva of “Lehavdil” between Kosher & not).August 16, 2011 2:05 am at 2:05 am #798412apushatayidParticipant
What daf in megilla?August 16, 2011 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #798413
“The implication is that we should use it otherwise Chazal should simply have said ‘There is Chochma by the Goyim’.”
Again, how do the extra words indicate this? Actually, I think they indicate just the opposite, as I explained above.August 16, 2011 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #798414
mw13: Why do Chazal tell us to believe it? Who cares? For what purpose? If not that we should make use of it for the correct purposes (not study for its own sake but to further our own Avodas Hashem).
The implication that you derive i.e. believe it but only second-hand and not first-hand even if true is not the main point of the Maamar Chazal.
And anyway it’s not true at all. How exactly do you learn Chochma ‘second-hand’? Are you telling me the Rambam learnt his medical knowledge second-hand with no non-Jewish sources? How then? A series of lectures through a bas-kol? And Chovos Halevovos and other seforim quote extensively from non-Jewish sources. The Rambam also praised the Chochma of Aristotle.
The poshut pshat in this maamar is ‘believe it’, i.e. don’t dismiss it, don’t say Goyim know nothing – they do. Therefore obviously we should make use of it for the right purposes.August 16, 2011 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #798415
i would propose that the rambam didnt praise aristo; solely his chochma. the rambam probably was also on the madreiga to be able to separate the negative hashpaos from the chochma itslef. to go nowadays into goyish halls of study where the ruach of tumah and kfirah permeates is alot more dangerous, especially for someone on our levelAugust 16, 2011 5:05 pm at 5:05 pm #798417apushatayidParticipant
What daf in megilla is this statement found?August 16, 2011 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #798418yitayningwutParticipant
??? ???? ??? ?????
– famous words of the Rambam in the beginning of ???? ?????.August 17, 2011 3:52 am at 3:52 am #798419
“Why do Chazal tell us to believe it? Who cares?”
So that we won’t automatically dismiss anything the goyim come up (especially regarding practical sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, etc).
“How exactly do you learn Chochma ‘second-hand’?”
I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that, but you seem to be misreading my diyuk. What I was trying to point out is that the reason the Taana phrased the Mishna “if somebody tells you that there is chochma by the goyim, believe them” instead of just saying “there is chochma by the goyim” is because the only way one should be hearing about the goyim’s chochma is from somebody else; he should not be looking into it himself.
“Are you telling me the Rambam learnt his medical knowledge second-hand with no non-Jewish sources?”
Actually, I heard a very interesting speech which explained that the Rambam learnt medicine to become the top doctor in Eypgt in order to gain political power, which he used to preserve Torah-true Judaism that was under attack by reform movements.
Also, the Chovos Halevavos and the Rambam had to go through goyish philosophy in order to disprove any parts that were against Jewish philosophy.August 17, 2011 8:40 am at 8:40 am #798420
“So that we won’t automatically dismiss anything the goyim come up (especially regarding practical sciences such as physics, biology, chemistry, etc).”
My point precisely – we shouldn’t dismiss what the Goyim come up with and we should make practical use of it. That’s what the ‘Taamin’ implies.
“I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that, but you seem to be misreading my diyuk. What I was trying to point out is that the reason the Taana phrased the Mishna “if somebody tells you that there is chochma by the goyim, believe them” instead of just saying “there is chochma by the goyim” is because the only way one should be hearing about the goyim’s chochma is from somebody else; he should not be looking into it himself.”
Your diyuk is a chidush – maybe a nice shtickle Torah but not the simple Pshat. If that was the main point of the Chazal they would have said it straight ‘Don’t learn directly from Goyim’ As it is the poshut pshat in the chazal is that we should believe in the Chochma of Goyim. That we should then make use of it to further Avodas Hashem is then obvious.
Anyway how do you define looking into it himself? If you hear it from somebody else like a teacher, that is the natural way of learning and how else would you look into it yourself? Reading a book written by a Goy? That’s essentially the same thing.
“Actually, I heard a very interesting speech which explained that the Rambam learnt medicine to become the top doctor in Eypgt in order to gain political power, which he used to preserve Torah-true Judaism that was under attack by reform movements.”
Again my point – using Chochmas Hagoyim to further Yiddishkeit.
“Also, the Chovos Halevavos and the Rambam had to go through goyish philosophy in order to disprove any parts that were against Jewish philosophy.”
True but they also quote it for its own sake to bring out Chochmas Hagoyim that can in certain instances make us understand our own Hashkafah.August 17, 2011 1:18 pm at 1:18 pm #798421
“My point precisely – we shouldn’t dismiss what the Goyim come up with and we should make practical use of it.”
Practical use, yes; but we should not learn it for purely academic reasons.
“Your diyuk is a chidush – maybe a nice shtickle Torah but not the simple Pshat.”
“Anyway how do you define looking into it himself?”
Going to the library one tuesday afternoon and taking out several volumes on Greek philosophy.
“Again my point – using Chochmas Hagoyim to further Yiddishkeit.”
No, the Rambam was using chochmas hagoyim to get himself a high-level government position, and that was used to further Yiddishkeit. But if it would have been bodybuilding that would’ve gotten him the position, maybe he would’ve done that. There’s no rayah from here that chochmas hagoyim should ever be pursued for its own sake.March 9, 2023 8:03 am at 8:03 am #2172011mrosengartenParticipant
In my naivete, I’m always amazed when those who disparage “goyishe” knowledge, including gedolei Torah, flock in droves to the offices of “goyishe” medical specialists when struck, rachmono litzlan, by some terrible disease, in the hope of some miracle cure for what ails them. Suddenly, “goyishe” science earns a teudah of kashrus, mehadrin min hamehadrin. Science and knowledge are neither Jewish nor “goyish.” They just are.March 9, 2023 11:45 am at 11:45 am #2172129AviraDeArahParticipant
Maybe you should pay attention to what the gedolei yisroel actually say about chochma instead of looking for hypocrisy and being in the category of “hanei rabbanan” who suffer a fate too horrible to describe?
They don’t bash the chochma. They bash the desire some people have to learn it at the expense of Torah, or to foresake the yeshiva at an early age to go to college.
Pay attention and you’ll learn from them.March 9, 2023 11:46 am at 11:46 am #2172148Yserbius123Participant
The Rishonim and Acharonim are full of examples where gedolim learned from goyim. From Greek philosophers, to Persian mathematicians, to 17th century medicine, we find all of these in our seforim and no one ever felt the need to explain nor apologize.March 9, 2023 3:05 pm at 3:05 pm #2172342n0mesorahParticipant
What an amazing self troll!!!
The OP tried to point out that it does not mean an obligation to go learn חכמת הגוים. Yet, the binary question of is it a permission or an obligation leads to an opposite truth. By admitting that even if it is only a permission it is because the wisdom of it is still factual, than it no longer matters. Since factual wisdom is it’s own obligation. If you see the wisdom in something, that in itself obligates you to follow it. As opposed to ignoring the wisdom and doing some foolish alternative.
In sum, the OP demonstrated the fallacy of believing that one could get through what they are doing (Random example: excelling at deep analytical thought in any random field of study. Ummmm let’s pick one randomly. Say, all the different tosofos in one sugya. Or shagas aryeh. OR even bircas shmuel.) while ignoring the wisdom of what it is and how it works.March 9, 2023 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #2172367AviraDeArahParticipant
Yserb, see the hakdoma of the yam shel shlomo – they most definitely did have to defend themselves from the possibility of outside influence. The Gaon said – and of course we would never dream of saying this on our own – that even the rambam was not immune to outside influence. And he said it as a criticism, not as a neutral statement.March 9, 2023 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #2172373
It refers to science and mathematics. These are the words of the Rambam:
רמב”ם הלכות קידוש החודש פרק יז הלכה כד
וטעם כל אלו החשבונות ומפני מה מוסיפים מנין זה ומפני מה גורעין, והיאך נודע כל דבר ודבר מאלו הדברים, והראיה על כל דבר ודבר, היא חכמת התקופות והגימטריות שחברו בה חכמי יון ספרים הרבה והם הנמצאים עכשיו ביד החכמים, אבל הספרים שחברו חכמי ישראל שהיו בימי הנביאים מבני יששכר לא הגיעו אלינו, ומאחר שכל אלו הדברים בראיות ברורות הם שאין בהם דופי ואי אפשר לאדם להרהר אחריהם, אין חוששין למחבר בין שחברו אותו נביאים בין שחברו אותם גוים, שכל דבר שנתגלה טעמו ונודעה אמתתו בראיות שאין בהם דופי אין סומכין על זה האיש שאמרו או שלמדו אלא על הראייה שנתגלתה והטעם שנודע.March 9, 2023 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #2172374March 9, 2023 7:15 pm at 7:15 pm #2172402Yserbius123Participant
@AviraDeArah The same Gaon who hired goyishe teachers to learn all the chochmas of the world (except alchemy)? I guess we are only left with OPs question: Is it required or only reccomended?March 9, 2023 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #2172407n0mesorahParticipant
That blurb from the Gaon is from the least authenticated of his writings. Your point about influence may be a valid one. But that is not this discussion. The Gaon himself studied all kinds of wisdom. There is no fear of being influenced from the truth. The only question is if the student is ready to handle it. But if he sees the wisdom in say, chemistry, what is the danger of outside influence?
I have a feeling this will be a long discussion. So keep it light. We can always yell later.March 9, 2023 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #2172456Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Value of science (that is, understanding the world Hashem created for us) is clearly stated in a midrash that asks – why early humans lived longer? A: they did not benefit from previous writings, so each of them had to make his own astronomical observations to figure out all the planet and stars movements.
This sounds like a back-projection from the era of astronomy, but clearly says that a person did not fulfill his role in the world until he built all those Ptolemy’s circles (or better Copernicus or Einstein models).
The arguments against chochmas goyim:
1) We now have Torah, so non-Jews could work out quantum physics on their own, while we are
torn between Abaye and Rava
2) social effect of secular learning leading to university dorms and mixed dancing.
These are valid ones, but can be addressed: (1) with the right balance, (2) with right social construct
Major argument for (beyond lifestyle, parnosa): bein Adam l’Havero is a major part of Torah. Healing people may need an MD; finding lost objects – writing phone apps; teaching Torah to busy people – ability to use zoom; unloading enemy’s donkey – using heavy machinery. More generally – organizing healthy and just society requires knowledge of modern society.March 10, 2023 10:42 am at 10:42 am #2172571
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