Consulting a rabbi

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  • #1819277

    Avi K
    Participant

    From Stories of the Daf:

    Reb Simcha Bunim of Otbutzk was approached by a local member of the community who bought and sold etrogim for Sukkot. This business man had several options to choose from in terms of strategies in his purchasing and marketing of his etrogim. Although the idea was not yet developed, the man wanted to consult with the Rebbe and to elicit the Rebbe’s advice in the matter.After the Rebbe listened to the question, he responded based upon our Gemara. He explained, “When David HaMelech determined that it was necessary, for political reasons, to attack the enemy and collect the spoils, he presented his opinion to the heads of the nation. The generals—Doeg and Achitophel—were consulted, and the question was then debated by the sages in the Sanhedrin. Only at that point was the question proposed to the Urim V’Tumim for approval. We see, therefore, that a matter has to be analyzed carefully by expert and experienced minds before it should be presented to the Urim V’Tumim for approval.”
    The Rebbe then concluded his remarks. “This is a lesson for us in asking advice in the realm of all other areas, as well. An idea or business consideration should be reviewed before coming to a tzaddik for a beracha. It should be analyzed from a business and legal perspective. These considerations can then be presented to the tzaddik for his review and recommendations. The concept can then be graced with the blessings of the Rebbe as appropriate. However, to use the tzaddik as a business advisor in the initial stages is too premature, and his input as a spiritual guide and yir’at Shamayim consultant would be underutilized.”

    #1819394

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Avi K, there is a GRA that says that Eli Hakohen consulted the Urim Vetumim when he saw Chana praying and it lit up כשרה and he misread it as שכרה.

    #1819399

    The little I know
    Participant

    Avi:

    The tzaddik whose advice comes via Ruach Hakodesh can freely provide it even without being asked. After all, he knows whatever he needs to know anyway. In practice, one is free to believe that his rebbe possesses Ruach Hakodesh (I am not engaging in the debate of whether or not Ruach Hakodesh exists in our times). But one cannot be certain that this is the modus operandi at any specific time and place. So when seeking such advice and guidance, the rebbe must be presented with a carefully deliberated question. If the situation is medical, how can one seek such advice from the rebbe, who was presumably never in medical school and is totally without training? The obligation is either to come prepared with the needed information, or for the rebbe to inquire of the experts until he is comfortable that he has the full picture.

    Quite many poskim delve deeply into subject matter before giving advice or paskening a shailoh. Reb Moshe Feinstein inquired in detail before concluding about anything that entered the realm of science. Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach studied for hundreds of hours before emerging as the prime posek for shailos concerning electricity on Shabbos.

    The strength of a psak is directly dependent on the strength and accuracy of the shailoh asked.

    #1819443

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    The above GRA about Chana I don’t understand as the Urim lit up the letters and the Tumim was supposed to put the letters together in the right order.

    #1819629

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Perhaps a subject for a separate thread is the need to have respect for the Rav’s time and consider whether an issue is really an appropriate matter to take up with your local rov/posek versus simply using common sense? Most rabbonim are too polite to chastise a yid for wasting their time with really dumb question or matters that they should be able to decide for themselves. While we don’t want to discourage people from seeking guidance on substantive matters when in doubt there is a need to have respect for the Rav’s limited time and resources.

    #1819763

    Reb Eliezer: Please state your source for this. I have always been taught that the letters light up but the Kohein Gadol is granted ruach hakodesh to arrange them properly.

    #1819760

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Maybe that is why the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch was wrjtten in order not to have to consult the rabbi on everything.

    #1819923

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Lower, the Ritvo above says that when kohen gadol had in mind the first part of the shem called urim, the words would light up and when he had in part the second part of the shem called tumim, the words would be arranged in order.

    #1819772

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    lower, see the Ritvo Yoma 73,2 who says when the kohen gadol had the proper machshava the tumim helped him to put the letters together.

    #1820873

    Joseph
    Participant

    Quote from Hagaon HaRav Moshe Feinstein:

    “There are people who maintain that Talmidei Chachomim are not qualified to decide political matters, that Gedolei Yisroel should limit themselves to Torah and Halacha. Such people cannot be considered within the Torah camp. One might well say ignoring the advice of a Talmid Chochom is far worse than violating a commandment. One who violates a commandment because he is too weak to resist temptation, at least knows that his action is wrong. By contrast, one who ignores the advice of a Talmid Chochom denies that a Torah scholar’s wisdom is superior. This is a far more serious breach.”

    (Reb Moshe, p. 123)

    ______________________________________________

    Igros Moshe, Even HaEzer 2:1

    “My outlook is based only on knowledge of Torah whose ways are truth, without any influence of secular studies.”

    #1820969

    Reb Eliezer: I spoke to my Rov last night and he told me he was taught that there is a machlokes between Rashi and the Maharsha based on the gemora yo cited above (Yoma 73:2). Rashi seems to say that the letters lit up and the kohein gadol had to put them together. The maharsha says what you stated above.

    #1820991

    The little I know
    Participant

    Joseph:

    I am not sure what you are implying with the quotes from Reb Moshe ZT”L. I was not suggesting otherwise. It is all over Shulchan Aruch that the ingredients to pasken a shailoh require knowledge of the facts. That’s why the Rov when asked about the milchig spoon that fell into the chicken soup needs to verify several matters, such as the temperature of the soup, whether the milchig spoon was used as such within the last 24 hours, the amount of soup, etc. Knowing the facts is critical, not just a good idea. And when confronting matters involving science, one must inquire about much of the relevant information (that is if the response is not coming from “ruach hakodesh”). Reb Moshe himself did this extensively, and there are numerous reports of his interactions with physicians.

    Questions in politics also require knowledge of facts, and the responsible Rov has either learned them or must inquire. No, the Rov is not required to go to college and receive formal training. I don’t believe that this was suggested by anyone. The Rov, once knowing the metzius, can utilize his Torah knowledge to guide him.

    The first quote introduced an element to the discussion that I don’t think was raised, that of not obeying the advice given by a Talmid Chochom. Of course, Reb Moshe is correct. But many of us have witnessed shailos being brought to a Talmid Chochom with intentionally omitted information, in order to color the psak to be more favorable to one direction. The halacha of שמע בין אחיכם is intended to ward off such biased situations, and to allow a psak to be based on Torah alone, not a predetermined one based on bias.

    #1821017

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    TLIK, I think this is implied in the statement of chazal כל הדן דין אמת לאמיתו של תורה you have to know the facts first before paskening, lehavdil maybe we cannot apply the computer saying, GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.

    #1821077

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Should be above can apply the computer saying. GIGO.

    #1821370

    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Learning the daf yomi, Brochos 6,2, whoever relies on others for support, his face changes to different colors. I heard in the name of the Chasam Sofer that this refers to a Rav who relies on others, he acts differently towards them.

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