February 1, 2012 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #601864
A point was raised on the controversial views thread, and I’m addressing it here so as not to clutter that thread with a tangent.
I believe that the current idea of Da’as Torah, and how people view Gedolim, borders on violating Lo yiyeh lecha elohim acheirim. Now, God forbid to say that people shouldn’t follow their Rav. They should. However, this idea of blind obedience is just wrong. People have an idea that gedolim are incapable of making a mistake, and will follow whatever is said, no matter how wrong it might feel.
I remember learning (although I will have to look up the source) that if you think a psak you get is wrong, and you have a good foundation for it, you do not follow it. You must confront the Rav who issued the psak, and explain to him why you think he was mistaken. Only if he listens to you, and still says the psak is correct, do you follow it. If he won’t listen to you, then you do not follow the psak.
This is something that we’re told since childhood – Judaism encourages questions. However, while this is true in words, it is not true in practice. When a gadol issues a psak, nobody dares to question it. R’ Elyashiv make a mistake? Impossible!
But that is wrong. R’ Elyashiv CAN make a mistake. I’m sure he has made mistakes. Even Moshe Rabbeinu made mistakes. As big as R’ Elyashiv is, he is not as big as Moshe Rabbeinu. When a gadol issues a psak, there is nothing wrong with questioning it, and suspecting a mistake was made – as long as it’s done properly, with respect. Indeed, halachah requires us to ask in such a case. Yet nowadays, people look at gedolim as incapable of making a mistake.
A few years ago, after the whole fiasco with the Lipa concert, R’ Shmuel Kaminetzky said publicly that it was a mistake. What happened? The interview where he said it was buried. People pretended the interview never occurred. When it was brought to light, people tried to explain what he meant, so that it didn’t look like the gedolim had erred.
The only one who doesn’t make mistakes is Hashem. Looking at people, even great people, as incapable of making mistakes is making them into deities. This is clearly assur.February 1, 2012 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #847511
I don’t care what you think. I just try to follow what my rebbeim say to do. And that’s how it is.
I also think you are incorrect, and that nobody (intelligent) thinks that gedolim cannot make mistakes. I certainly don’t think that. I just think that prospectively it will almost always make sense for me to follow them and assume they are not making a mistake.
(Look at that word I know- “prospectively”)February 1, 2012 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #847512
Da’as Torah is not that Gedolim can’t make a mistake, that is just silly, let alone Kefirah.
Da’as Torah is that the more one attaches themselves to Torah, the more their decisions become based on the Torah and not outside factors.
For example, Rav Moshe when saying IVF is Muttar brought in “Da’as Torah”. He felt that others that were saying that IVF is Assur were not speaking from Torah values, but their own personal biases (even though they may have been Tamidei Chachomim as well). Rav Moshe was saying that the Halacha that he paskened was only based on Torah and not external factors like such biases.February 1, 2012 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #847513
don’t we say if you view doros harishonim as anashim then we are chamorimFebruary 1, 2012 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #847514
don’t we say if you view doros harishonim as anashim then we are chamorim
Even Malachim make mistakes.February 1, 2012 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #847515
I guess Feif Un will be telling us when Rav Elyashev makes a mistake.February 1, 2012 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #847516
Speaking of IVF, if a man has a son who is conceived after the father is already dead, is the son a yoresh? What if the brother did kidushin with the yerusha, is he not married?
Better, does the son conceived after he is already dead pattur his wife from yibbum? Or mechayev his sister in law in yibbum? How long does a widow with no kids or brothers in law have to wait to know that a brother will never be born? What if there is one live brother but she is an ervah to him but there is a tzara so according to beis shammai she is chayav in yibbum and she does chalitza, so now it is a safeik d’oraisah if the they are pattur even if there is another brother, so is it a sfeik sfeika now?
See, isn’t this more interesting than fighting over whether we should believe in daas torah?February 1, 2012 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #847517
Wait, I made a mistake. Obviously it cannot be mechayev his sister in law in yibbum- that is eishes ach shelo haya b’olamo. So the only question is if it can pattur his father’s wife from yibbum.
So for my sfeik sfeika case, we’ll say this:
Suppose there was a son, but the father and son died in a collapsed building and it is a safek which one was first. And, now there is another safek if there will be another kid conceived later.February 1, 2012 3:28 pm at 3:28 pm #847518
The modern Poskim deal with these issues. I would not be so bold to say that I know the sugyos like they do.February 1, 2012 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #847519
PBA: You can’t use Shittas Beish Shammai to create a Sfek Sfeika. Aino Mishnah.February 1, 2012 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #847520
What if we know it was from another man? What if it was forced, and the son married his mother B’Issur? Or is it not B’Issur? What if it’s a safek whether it was from IVF, though there vadai was IVF? What if there were then twins? What if there were twins but one was born through C-Section? What if there were twins, but a weasel went in and brought one of them out? What if a weasel brought one of them out and then a dog ate the weasel, went back in, and then the child was born normally?February 1, 2012 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #847521
Ii agree pba,
Btw how did you get the new additionFebruary 1, 2012 3:42 pm at 3:42 pm #847522
Tora Yid: When the whole thing with Indian hair wigs came out, R’ Elyashiv was the one who said it’s a problem. A family member of mine who is close with R’ Shteinman asked R’ Shteinman about it. His response was, “I think it’s a shtus and there’s no problem!”
R’ Elyashiv was quoted as saying that Crocs shouldn’t be worn on Yom Kippur. Many other Rabbonim wear Crocs on Yom Kippur ( I heard the Gerrer Rebbe wears them). I wore them myself (even after the psak) until I started davening for the amud. The Crocs didn’t give me enough support, so I got a pair of canvas shoes instead. But I would wear Crocs if they worked for me.February 1, 2012 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm #847523
Btw how did you get the new addition
Just noticed it. I dunno, but it makes you all r
s again http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/driving-with-popaFebruary 1, 2012 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #847524
This is much more interesting than screaming and shouting koyfer at each other. The following is entirely off the top of my head and I am not in sugya.
2- Definitely. Even if he shouldn’t have inherited, he was koneh.
3- If conceived by to the wife, possibly. If there was a surrogate mother, definitely not. The only question in that case would be bias znus. (is the kid Jewish if the surrogate mother is not?)
5- Why should she have to wait? Let her get chalitza and be shot of the whole family.
6- Cite please. Need to see inside.
Now to be yotze getting back on topic: Heretic!! Idolater!! Troglodyte!!! 😛February 1, 2012 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #847525
Hi Feif Un.
I can totally understand that the “blind obedience” you talk about is not always easy to “just” follow for a variety of reasons.
I can also understand wondering if what the gedolim are always saying is always correct.
But I will give you my perspective:
Da’as Torah, whether any one of us suspects something is or not right, based on our own views, is still Da’as Torah.
While it is true that anyone can make a mistake, it does not matter that we perceive something a godol says as being in error.
Why? Because I have come to a level of faith where if something seems like an error in “stage one” of it’s impact. Or even in subsequent stages, somewhere along the line that decision, no matter how we judge it, has it’s role in providence, IF, it comes from a godol.
You are correct that only Hashem does not make mistakes. It is my understanding, that all that is, is only so because Hashem wills it to be so.
In light of this, if a ruling or opinion from a godol comes down that seems to be an error, my belief is that somewhere up the line of that rulings impact, is exactly what it was suppose to be, whether I realize it or not.
Da’as Torah, to me, is still Torah, and sacred.
That is just my view.February 1, 2012 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #847526
Feif: Nothing unusual about different shittas amonst gedolim.February 1, 2012 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #847527
Even if he shouldn’t have inherited, he was koneh.
So suppose it is something that doesn’t work it it is gazul. Like a lulav. And suppose he finds out that day. And suppose I’ll figure out a case where you can only do it if it is a chiyuv.February 1, 2012 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #847528
Indeed – straight out of Rabbi Miller’s book. I don’t have it in front of me now so I can’t quote it verbatim, I’ll try as best as my memory allows.
“So this Rabbi, whose hair reaches to his naval, gets up and says, ‘Should we follow our Rabbanim like BLIND SHEEP…?’ Indeed, blind sheep. A Jewish nation without its Torah-true Gedolim as its eyes, are truly like blind sheep.” Read on. It’s in English. I think it’s in ‘Awake My Glory’.
In my Torah (Bible, for the uneducated) it says ‘????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??…?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?????. Then there’s the famous Rashi (I think quoting Medrash) even if they say of the right that it’s left. Excuse me, that’s the holy Torah I just quoted. (I think even the king james version has it too). Yes, people make mistakes. All humans. Do you think a proud modern orthodox is best equipped to discern those of our cherished true Gedolim?? Is that all MO has to offer – ??? ???? ?? ???????? It takes true Jewish humility and Yiddishe sechel to know HOW to have true Emunah. Dasan & co., Korach & co., did not. Wanna join??
I don’t have to put all my cards down on the table here, suffice it to say I’m brilliant enough to know how to use a computer. (obviously). I am truly blessed with a Torah – true upbringing to know how to channel my sechel into Emunah in HaShem and His Gedolim. Thank you Mommy.February 1, 2012 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #847529
2- What if he wasn’t Koneh it ( Can you marry a woman with a shtar on karka?)
Why are you sure on 4 not 3?
5-If at the time of Chalitza it was a safek, is that chalitza pesulah?February 1, 2012 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #847530
Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
Itche, great word!!! “Troglodyte” just add “mouth breathing” beforehand and you get extra z’chus for m’hudar.February 1, 2012 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #847531
See R’ Ovadiah Yosef in Yabiah Omer Y.D. 6:7.2. He quotes a Sifre, Ramban, and a Ran that clearly state blind obedience is wrong.February 1, 2012 5:18 pm at 5:18 pm #847532
Feif un- Disagreeing in lomdus is encouraged. However, when it comes to halacha -and most certaintly haskafa- you cannot argue with the Gedolim, unless there are other Gedolim of equivalent caliber that agree with your opinion, in which case you are not disagreeing with the Gedolim, their peers are.
If a Gadol gives you a psak and you follow it, you will not be held accountable for following the psak.
Isnt it strange that layman want to argue with Gedolim its usually when they feel the Gedolim are being too stringent?
Feif un- No need to answer this publicly, but how often do you disagree and follow your intuition and are more stringent?February 1, 2012 5:41 pm at 5:41 pm #847533
ZeesKite: The Riva says the left/right mentioned in the pasuk refers to Rabbonim telling us not to do a mitzvah such as Shofar on Shabbos, or Arba Minim on Shabbos. It only refers to a mitzvah that they are telling us NOT to do.
The Yerushalmi says in Horios that the pasuk means only if they say right is right and left is left. If they say otherwise, you do not listen.
There are many shitos against Rashi. Indeed, both Rambam and Ramban do not pasken like Rashi in this regard. There is a Sifre which Rashi bases it on, but again, many question the Sifre, and there are Gemoros in both bavli and Yerushalmi that say otherwise. R’ Ovadia Yosef reconciles the two views as I mentioned above – you have to confront the Rav if you think he erred. Until you confront him, you do not listen. The Yad HaMelech states that if you listen when you think he erred just because you think you have to listen, you are required to bring a korbon chatas. Only after confronting the Rav with the opposing view, and he stands by what he said, are you required to listen.February 1, 2012 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #847534
pba: your new case for number 6 makes more sense. I would say you don’t call it a sfek sfeka. Ask the widow if she plans on having the baby.
So suppose it is something that doesn’t work it it is gazul. Like a lulav. And suppose he finds out that day. And suppose I’ll figure out a case where you can only do it if it is a chiyuv.
So make up a case and we’ll talk. Since this thread is about “daas Torah,” a Rosh yeshiva I was zoche to learn with taught me not to “talk in the air” without a case.
Zeeskite: If I thought presenting rishonim (including the ones Rabbi Miller uses in his books) would help, I would.
2- Kiddushin 7a or thereabouts. Look it up.
What do you mean about being sure?
Ctrl Alt Del: Fech, stop being such a machmir!February 1, 2012 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #847535
Modern Orthodox rabbis do not give Daas Torah opinions.
They would likely refer you to an expert in the non-torah area (Like Real Estate if you want an apartment or someone who knows about Doctors if you need medical help)February 1, 2012 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #847536
zahavasdad, I honestly can’t believe you have the audacity to attack such Rabbonim as R’ Herschel Schachter, R’ Mordechai Willig, R’ Aharon Lichtenstein, and many others – and that’s just those who are alive! What about R’ Soloveitchik zt”l? How can you possibly say such a thing?
Mods, how can you allow someone to post such a thing?February 1, 2012 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #847537
3- If conceived by to the wife, possibly.
Why is patturing through children easier than brotherFebruary 1, 2012 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #847538
Troglodyte literally means “cave dweler”.February 1, 2012 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #847539
☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Modern Orthodox rabbis do not give Daas Torah opinions.
That can be understood in more than one way. 😉
They would likely refer you to an expert in the non-torah area (Like Real Estate if you want an apartment or someone who knows about Doctors if you need medical help)
As would old-fashioned Orthodox rabbis.February 1, 2012 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #847540
Daas Torah says as I understand it
If you want an apartment you go to the Rav and he tells you which one to get.
If you want a Job the Rav will tell you which one to get.February 1, 2012 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #847541
Feif un’s question is relevant and arises out of the fact that, in recent decades, we have conflated psak halacha and ‘milei d’almah”.
Clearly, when it comes to halachic issues, there is a well documented way of accepting the psak and , most of the time, “puk mo amo diber”, see whom the populace follows and indeed, R’moshe “psakkim” became the norm because the people accepted him as the possek of America.
The problem arises with “milei d’alma”-matters that are not ruled by halacha. On that, there is absolutely no compulsion to follow the “gedolim’ all the time.
You can certainly ask advice, you can obviously follow the opinion given but there is absolutely no “daas torah’ on that. This is a modern invention .February 1, 2012 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #847542
Sheep: You’re right. If conceived to by the wife, then yes.
Rephael: I know what it means.
Daas Yochid: You’re right. The version of daas torah people seem to be defending is not very old. In fact, you might call it an innovation.February 1, 2012 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #847543
zdad: You don’t understand what is meant by daas torah. Sorry.February 1, 2012 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #847544
And my Rosh Yeshiva (who is not Modern Orthodox, and is a very well known and respected Rosh Yeshiva) told me that is a big problem in today’s world – as he put it, “Some people won’t blow their nose without asking their Rav if it’s ok.”
He said if you have a question that pertains to halachah, hashkafah, or something else religion-related, you ask your Rav. If you have a medical question, you ask a doctor. If you have a financial question, ask an accountant. Rabbonim are not experts in everything.February 1, 2012 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #847545
I think people are mixing up the concepts of daas Torah and Emunas Chachoming.February 1, 2012 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #847546
OOps I meant Enunas Chachomim.February 1, 2012 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #847547
Please define Daas Torah then.February 1, 2012 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #847548
Daas Torah IS Emunas Chachomim.February 1, 2012 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #847549
Daas torah is the idea that a person, a kadosh vitahor, who immerses himself in torah and the words of chazal, works on his middos and has achieved heights in judasim, views modern day happenings through the prism of torah, and decides things accordingly. the more deviant a person is from the ways of Hashem, the less his mind will work with torah principles, and fakehrt gohr, he will view things through his own prism which consists of personal nigi’us and taavos oilam hazeh. such a person-the first type- is therefore more qualified to offer or be asked his views on things which require a deeper, less obvious understanding/ position then that of the layman. to illustrate (this isnt entirely accurate but i tried) R’ Moshe ztl once issued a deiyah in regard to a certain matter. A person who felt strongly otherwise told r moshe that his view wasnt ‘daas torah’. R moshe responded,”Have you ever read a newspaper in your life? Well i havent- so what i think the torahs view is IS daas torah.” In other words, because R moshe was entirely immersed in shas and poskim, his very opinions emanated from the torah. i think thats pretty accurate.February 1, 2012 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #847550
Toi: Well said!February 1, 2012 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #847551
Toi: I agree with that, but people nowadays have elevated such gedolim to all new levels, as I said in my initial post. There is nothing wrong with questioning a gadol. They can make mistakes.February 1, 2012 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #847552
And how many people asked a Daas Torah in the 1930’s if they should leave Europe and they were told to stayFebruary 1, 2012 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #847553
agreed feif. but thats not justification to dissolve the concept.February 1, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm #847554
Toi: I understand the point you’re trying to bring out, but the story you tell about Rav Moshe is fiction. I know more than one person who would get newspapers for Rav Moshe at his request.February 1, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #847555
zdad- aha. so you have an agenda. why not just put your cards on the table? if you want to start a blog letting out your pent uprage at how gedolim are to blame for the holocaust the by all means, but please, not here.February 1, 2012 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #847556
Gedolim aren’t neviim. If a gadol advised a yid to stay in Europe, the gadol felt that is what was best for the person. Actually it probably was the best thing. Going to America for the most part was a ticket to chillul Shabbos and a life of hefkarus. Yes, Europe meant almost certain death, but with olam haba.February 1, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #847557
Toi: No, let’s have it here. That was a point I believe Rabbi Miller Zatzal made too. People were beginning to doubt Gedolim. Enlightment, refomism, modernism. So HaShem took away for some time the ability of true gedolim to guide at that most crucial hour. If one does a bit of research he/she will find that many chosheve Rabbonim were not able to give clear answers at that terrible era, clearly a divine intervention. Midah kneged midah. ????? ???? ?????, it was said about that time. Again caused BECAUSE of what mockers here are trying again..February 2, 2012 1:50 am at 1:50 am #847559
Ctrl Alt DelParticipant
What I am gleaning from a lot of these posts is the following issue, and I think I might have raised it here or maybe just had a conversation with some friends. I dont remember.
Clearly, we must be talking about non-halachic questions here since no-one would doubt any godol’s learning (ok, I am sure some would so I will confine my remarks to those well known and aknowledged gedolim) So we must be talking about asking gedolim about worldly issues. Current events maybe, or monetary transactions. Maybe changing a career.
So the issue as I see it is : Does daas torah give the gadol a special insight, a type of nevuah if you will, so that the answer they give you is correct on account of their total immersion in torah? That being so holy gives them the ability to give you (so to speak) G-d’s answer? Or is their sage advice worthy of being followed because as a consequence of learning torah, they have developed a keen insight into worldly matters and have exceptional logic/analytically skills? The difference being, that if it is the latter, any well trained scientist or mathematician, or anyone with a great analytical mind could give you an answer. If it is the former however, only someone steeped in torah could give you the guidance thatG-d wants you to have.
I dont know what to think. It definitely a difficult question. I would hazard to guess that its probably the former and that overuse/abuse by those surrounding the gadol tends to dilute the magnitude of that rav’s answers/opinions in our eyes. We get weary of hearing that godols name with every little small naarishkeit. Case in point: the Lipa ban. Lots of fist shaking and pashkevil writing. But at the end? Gornisht. So we start to think, uh oh, these gedolim are starting to sound a bit over the edge, when they are not. Their name is being smeared because the folks AROUND them are using the force of daas torah (their name) to support naarishkeit.
I’m not sure if this was as eloquent as it could have been, but I tried.February 2, 2012 3:57 am at 3:57 am #847560
rabbiofberlin: actually the modern invention is to relegate the torah to ‘halachic’ matters only. The torah (i.e. God’s will) has what to say about all matters, mundane and spiritual.(Actually there realy is nothing mundane in a jew’s life but that’s another subject). The one who has aquired daas torah knows what Hashem wants in all matters. The modern jews separate Hashem and his Torah from certain areas of the physical world thereby demonstrating that they don’t really believe in achdus hashem and ein od milvado. This is not the proper forum for blasting modern orthodoxy, which is a modern invention, but believe me I’ve got plenty of ammunition.
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