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  • #591682

    Quote from Maran Rashkbhag 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.”

    #1170235

    charliehall
    Participant

    Rov Soloveitchik z’tz’l disagreed with his cousin Rav Moshe z’tz’l on both these issues.

    #1170236

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Rashkbhag

    Please forgive the ignorance, but what does the above stand for?

    The Wolf

    #1170237

    shlomozalman
    Member

    Rabban Shel Kol Bnei Hagolah

    #1170238

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thank you ShlomoZalman.

    Trying,

    Was there some point you were trying to make, or were you just in the mood to throw out a quote?

    The Wolf

    #1170239

    Wolf,

    Do you really not know the point he was trying to make, or do you merely wish him to state it as a defined prelude for debate?

    #1170240

    Feif Un
    Participant

    My Rosh Yeshiva once told me that this thought is becoming a big problem nowadays. Gedolim used to know when to comment, and when to stay out of politics. That was why we needed to listen to them. They didn’t get involved often, so when they did, it was for a good reason.

    Nowadays, the younger generation of Rabbis thinks it’s part of the job of being a Rabbi to get involved in such things. They don’t know enough about the issues to really make judgment calls, but they feel they have to.

    #1170241

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Do you really not know the point he was trying to make, or do you merely wish him to state it as a defined prelude for debate?

    The latter. Is it unreasonable to ascertain what his/her intentions were before launching into a debate and then running into “I didn’t mean that, I was just putting up a quote…?”

    The Wolf

    #1170242

    Quite reasonable.

    #1170243

    WolfishMusings: I think the quote speaks for itself. Do you disagree with Rav Moshe? Or can you quote someone of equal stature of Rav Moshe who disagreed with him on this matter?

    Feif Un: IMHO what Reb Moshe said above was referring to people who say things like you just said.

    #1170244

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Trying,

    Let me ask you this question then. Do you think Reb Moshe was talking *only* about politics, or do you think he meant in any field of life?

    The Wolf

    #1170245

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    According to Charlie (I would love to see him point out where), Rav Soloveitchik, who was a gadol, disagreed.

    This is something I struggle with, especially when it comes to limiting freedoms. Is it fair that I (as a minority – be it Jewish or female) ask for rights and then refuse them to others? I specifically have issues with this relating to toeva. I don’t agree with condoning it, but I would have trouble voting against it. I also understand why a Rabbi has to come out against it.

    Technically though, if the shul is a non-profit, they are NOT allowed to tell you to vote one way or another otherwise they risk losing their non-profit status.

    #1170246

    Feif Un
    Participant

    Tmb, my Rosh Yeshiva is a well-known, respected Rosh Yeshiva. Believe me, he knows very well what R’ Moshe said.

    #1170247

    Feif Un: Is he of the stature of Rav Moshe?

    WolfishMusings: Clearly politics is an example.

    #1170248

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Clearly politics is an example.

    So, is it your contention that one must consult with a gadol before any decision in life? And if not, then how do you distinguish what requires a gadol’s “wisdom and advice” and what does not?

    The Wolf

    #1170249

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    (Of course, this is putting aside the fact that Reb Moshe’s statement almost amounts to a tautology.

    The Wolf)

    #1170250

    Where have I made a contention? I quoted Rav Moshe’s contention.

    #1170251

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Where have I made a contention? I quoted Rav Moshe’s contention.

    Fine. So you think it was Reb Moshe’s contention that one must consult with a gadol before any decision in life? And if not, then how does one distinguish what requires a gadol’s “wisdom and advice” and what does not?

    The Wolf

    #1170252

    Common sense.

    #1170253

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Where have I made a contention? I quoted Rav Moshe’s contention.

    (Mind you, this is the *very* thing I was trying to avoid and, of course, in my complete and utter stupidity, I allowed it to happen anyway. I never learn…)

    The Wolf

    #1170254

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Common sense.

    Elaborate please. What do you mean by “common sense.”

    The Wolf

    #1170255

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    LOL Wolf.

    My common sense tells me “my vote, my choice.” I can ask my Rav for an eitzah, but why would I ask him for psak?

    #1170256

    ROTFL! If common sense needs elaboration…

    #1170257

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    ROTFL! If common sense needs elaboration…

    Well, I’m asking for it.

    Do you mean to that I can use my common sense when deciding what needs a gadol’s psak or not?

    Do you mean that it’s common sense that everything needs a gadol’s psak?

    Do you mean that it’s common sense that a gadol isn’t all-knowing and that I should only consult them in their field of expertise?

    What do you mean by “common sense?” Instead of laughing at me, how about answering the question.

    The Wolf

    #1170258

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Well TMB, do you agree with my definition?

    #1170259

    Let’s simplify what Rav Moshe said, a bit.

    If Gedolei Yisroel *did* offer advice (with the intention it be binding), follow it.

    The above applies even if the aforementioned advice was *not* quote “in their field of expertise.”

    Rav Moshe did not mean to ask what you should eat for breakfast in the morning.

    Capish?

    #1170260

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thanks for the clarification.

    So, that also means that I don’t *have to* go to a gadol for anything outside of a halachic nature either, correct?

    The Wolf

    #1170261

    That is situational dependent.

    #1170262

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    That is situational dependent.

    Then I return you to my previous question. How is one to know the difference?

    The Wolf

    #1170263

    Then I return to my previous answer. Common sense.

    #1170264

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    So, if my common sense tells me that I don’t have to ask a gadol whom to vote for, then I don’t have to, correct?

    If not, then please define how “common sense” is to be utilized since different people have different perceptions of “common sense.”

    The Wolf

    #1170265

    Sorry, I don’t know how to elaborate on common sense more that as such.

    Breakfast is not included. Where to live is.

    #1170266

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Where to live is.

    I have to ask a gadol before I buy a house? (Assuming, of course, I intend to live in it and it’s not for investment.)

    The Wolf

    #1170267

    squeak
    Participant

    Do you think that statement can be made simply on the grounds of D”T, and if so, how is that possible?

    #1170268

    BTW, as far as voting, Rav Moshe’s quote specifically used that example as you must listen to Gedolei Yisroel if they advise you on political matters.

    #1170269

    I have to ask a gadol before I buy a house? (Assuming, of course, I intend to live in it and it’s not for investment.)

    WolfishMusings: *Where* to live, I meant as in neighborhood or city, etc.

    #1170270

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    WolfishMusings: *Where* to live, I meant as in neighborhood or city, etc.

    Right. So, I bought a house in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Was I required to ask a gadol before I did that?

    The Wolf

    #1170271

    TMB, I have a question about the reach of the statement you quoted. Do you think that daas torah means instant understanding of all issues in this world and their causes?

    squeak: I don’t think so, but that is only my humble opinion. Nevertheless the statement I quoted didn’t address this point, as it only (seemingly to me) addressed following advice already offered. So if Gedolei Yisroel offered the advice, they clearly did so with “understanding” of the issue in question, and did so with superior wisdom.

    I’m not sufficiently knowledgeable to answer the specific question you posed about the shidduch issue.

    #1170272

    WolfishMusings: I think it is common sense that you should ask an Adom Gadol if such and such neighborhood (or city) is appropriate for your family.

    #1170273

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    WolfishMusings: I think it is common sense that you should ask an Adom Gadol is such and such neighborhood (or city) is appropriate for your family.

    Ah, well, but see, “common sense,” as I pointed out, means different things to different people.

    I guess, according to your interpretation of Reb Moshe, I can no longer “be considered within the Torah camp.” But you know what? I’m willing to bet that the majority of people whom we would consider “yeshivish” failed to ask a gadol before purchasing a house as well. So, I guess there’s lots of us who are “outside the Torah camp.”

    The Wolf

    #1170274

    If they are moving within the same general area, I’m not sure how necessary it is to ask if I should move from Avenue R to Avenue S.

    #1170275

    squeak
    Participant

    I simply used that issue as a clear example. I am not particularly interested in an answer that specifically addresses that example – how about in general.

    Can we assume all are agreed that the scope of the statement about D”T is limited to the ability of Torah scholars to offer sage and sound advice only, and not that they possess the ability to divine and identify the underlying causes and nature of the tevva?

    #1170276

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    If they are moving within the same general area, I’m not sure how necessary it is to ask if I should move from Avenue R to Avenue S.

    I understood that from your statement. However, I, like many other people, moved from one neighborhood to another. As such, are we “out of the Torah camp?”

    The Wolf

    #1170277

    squeak: With the provisio that the advice is binding.

    And even then it is certainly possible (if not even likely) that they do possess the ability to divine and identify the underlying causes and nature of the tevva.

    [Again, this is my understanding of Rav Moshe’s statement.]

    #1170278

    WolfishMusings: You are always welcome to rejoin it. JK

    Perhaps you hadn’t realized beforehand that you should have asked. If someone was an onus, I can’t imagine they are chutz lamachne or cannot rectify it (even without moving again.)

    Additionally, it seems to me that Rav Moshe’s statement focused on what Gedolei Yisroel already advised, moreso than on what you should be asking of them.

    #1170279

    squeak
    Participant

    I was trying to establish some common ground as to the limits on both ends of that statement. I can agree with you that the advice I receive from a gadol in areas where others might use “common sense” to decide is both more sound than common sense and is binding on the advice seeker. I had hoped that you might agree to my statement that advice in areas that require divination can be no more than advice, and then we could discuss middle ground. But alas, it seems that you refuse to impose an upper bound.

    #1170280

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    TMB, actually, if you think you should ask a gadol about a move, it should be about any move because “meshana makom, meshana mazal.” At least be consistent.

    #1170281

    squeak: I take it you disagree with my description of the upper bound?

    #1170282

    feivel
    Participant

    and not that they possess the ability to divine and identify the underlying causes and nature of the tevva?

    i certainly wouldnt agree with that. nor would the Chovos HaLevavos who states that they see without eyes and hear without ears, and many other descriptions of those who have achieved a certain Purity and Kedusha who can “see from one end of the earth to the other” in many Mussar Seforim (referring to those Talmedei Chochomim of earlier generations at least, but not just to Neveim)

    not that your and my little minds have any idea what that really means

    #1170283

    squeak
    Participant

    not that your and my little minds have any idea what that really means

    Certainly mine does not. Please define “they” in modern day terms. Please direct me to a gadol who claims to see without eyes and hear without ears.

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