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June 2, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #1076617
Patur, according to your strict definition of Lo Sassur we shouldn’t be making a Bracha on Chanuka or Megilla.June 2, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #1076618
“Patur, according to your strict definition of Lo Sassur we shouldn’t be making a Bracha on Chanuka or Megilla.”
See the Torah TemimaJune 2, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1076619
That famous quote from the Baal Hatanya is referring to the second category, of asking personal advice. Of this we mostly agree anyhow, that while it is worthwhile to get a Talmid Chacham’s perspective you are not Mechuyav to take his advice. (Although, to ask and then disregard might be Bizayon Talmid Chacham, depending on the circumstance.) Interestingly, the Baal Hatanya didn’t stop giving such advice. He obviously just wanted to slow it down. He wouldn’t have given advice had he not felt capable of doing so.
He didn’t address the main kind — where it is usually invoked — which is public issues. For this it doesn’t take Nevua or derivatives thereof to make decisions. And yes, we must follow our leaders as we always did.June 2, 2014 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #1076620
Why wouldn’t public issues fall under the category of ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??????June 2, 2014 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #1076621
This is what they call a straw man. There is nobody, and I mean nobody who goes to a Godol for actual medical advice rather than to a doctor.
Proponets of Daas Torah bring up the case where the Chazon Ish told a Brain Surgeon where to operate.
There are also cases where supposedly a Gadol told a averach to go see a certain doctor instead of the specialistJune 2, 2014 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm #1076622MachaaMakerMember
Regardless of his non yeshivish hashkafas, rav soloveitchik ws a huge godol in Torah and should be treated with respectJune 3, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am #1076623LogicianParticipant
So is the R’ Dessler I quoted, written out by DY, also from the ‘certain chasidic Rabbis’ mentioned by R’ Feldman as the only ones who invoke ruach hakodesh when discussing “da’as Torah” ?
And he rejects the possibility that they all made “ta’us gamur”.
And even the most ‘acceptable’ idea he says – that they were great chachamim – is much more emphatic than most here would like. We cannot assume to fathom the depth of their thinking and decisions, and it is impossible that they made a “ta’us gamur”.
So – what would R’ Zelig say here ? This is already after the idea was ‘invented’ ? You can assume he would disagree – but lets be honest:
the clear distaste everyone here has for the idea has not as much to do with the sources, as much as with difficulty conceding the limitation to personal autonomy sanctioned by the torah.June 3, 2014 12:53 am at 12:53 am #1076624
It is very obvious he is talking about coming to ask personal business advice. Public issues were always decided by Rabbonim, including the Vaad Arba Aratzos. Every Rav had decrees and Takanos. Just imagine what would have happened to those who knew the calendar better than the Noda Beyehuda.June 3, 2014 1:24 am at 1:24 am #1076625charliehallParticipant
“Public issues were always decided by Rabbonim, including the Vaad Arba Aratzos. “
The deciders were not always the greatest talmidei chachamim. We had an example of that in today’s Daf Yomi.June 3, 2014 1:43 am at 1:43 am #1076626
ZD, that is used to show his brilliance. Notice how in that story (which copies are available of his drawing, btw) the Chazon Ish didn’t do the surgery, and nor did the person come to him instead of a doctor.
Your reference to a referal is probably basedd on experience. Not everyone that is famous is the best. And, very often, people go to the top notch doctor for a minor procedure and it is a waste of money.
In either case, the person didn’t go to a Gadol for a prescription rather than to a doctor. Are you trying to refute one point with an unrelated one?June 3, 2014 1:53 am at 1:53 am #1076627
Patur Aval Assur:
I did not mean to imply that you held “Mai ahanu lei Rabbanan”. I meant to note that nobody should make that extrapolation from your quote.
Again, I was not insulting your “Rav”, yourself and not anyone else either. Writing, for the sake of brevity, “Rabbi JB Soloveitchik” rather than spelling out both names each time, is not insulting. I’ll leave it at that.June 3, 2014 4:12 am at 4:12 am #1076628
HaKatan: If you really want to save space and not be insulting, why not just write Rabbi Soloveitchik? Everyone would know who you’re referring to.June 3, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #1076629bhe (Joseph)Participant
Outside of MO circles “Rabbi Soloveitchik” is more likely to mean any one of the Brisker Rovs, past or present. They are, after all, the original and famous Soloveitchiks (and the family that RJBS decends from.) Which leads to the point, in many if not most online discussions MO commenters refer to him with the brief “RJBS”. They do the same for other rabbis to (i.e. RMW for Rabbi Willig, RHS for Rabbi Schachter, etc.) So it is obvious no ill will is intended with these abbreviations and it is the accepted and common form of abbreviating.June 3, 2014 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm #1076630
Just curious if thousands of people had died and or lost family members as a result of listening to Jabotinky’s (or other early Zionist leaders) advice, Would you be as forgiving? Would you hold those leaders responsible? If you would dont you see a double standard in your position?June 3, 2014 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1076631
I would hold them responsible if they would have sabotaged rescue efforts. Did the Rabbonim do that? Did they declare that no one should escape?
The first four pages dealt with this so I have no reason to think this will change anything. One famous Rav is knows for having advised people not to go, up until a certain point. Many others understood what was coming before the activists.
People didn’t leave because people have inertia. Nobody advised my grandparents not to leave, and yet he left the last minute. It wasn’t even possible for many to leave.
And yes, there were Baalei Ruach Hakodesh who foresaw and spoke about what was coming. Did people just get up and go? It is a gross misrepresentation to say that they held people back. Before the trouble started people were indeed advised not to go to America where they will drop Yiddishkeit. That was the truth, not an intuition. And still, many came, with their rabbi’s blessings.
Yirmiyahu Hanavi knew about the Cchurban and all the deaths, why didn’t he get everyone to run away?
What kind of scenario are you depicting where a zionist leader would advise people that things are fine and that people stayed because of him? If he knew better but wanted to pacify the masses then yes, he is to blame. If those who decided to listen to him rather than to someone else ended up suffering, that wouldn’t be any different than any other advice that didn’t work out. If you don’t know you can only calculate. And a single extreme situation doesn’t prove anything about the ability to calculate.
The Sanhedrin made a mistake by being Mattir Tzidkiyahu’s Neder. Reb Zecharya Ben Avkilus made a mistake by having Rachmanus on Bar Kamtza. Yehoshua was fooled by the Givonim. Moshe Rabbeinu made a mistake by allowing the Meraglim, does that justify the calling of Atem Hemitem?June 3, 2014 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1076632
Surely you realize that there are other Rabbis Soloveitchik/Soloveichik. So I feel it makes sense to specify to which I am referring.June 3, 2014 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #1076633
The Belz Rebbi in his final Tish in Hungary in 1944 told his flock to stay in Hungary that it was safe there and it was assur to go to PalestineJune 3, 2014 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm #1076635
Actually, my grandfather was there. What he said was that they won’t deport the Budapest ghetto, which they didn’t.
Don’t you think it’s odd that he would say not to run while running?
He is actually famous for having said that he can’t advise people in that time because, like the day of the Churban, the wellsprings were blocked.June 3, 2014 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #1076636
Hakatan, just cut it out. I don’t think you are being honest about this. First of all you would never refer to Reb Chaim or the Brisker Rav as Rabbi Soloveitchik, so the name is not ambiguous. Second, why are you harping on this issue? You see that he takes it in a denigrading way. If you won’t change or apologize just follow your earlier recommendation to leave it at that.
The normal response to seeing someone get insulted or upset from your words is to back off, at least somewhat. Why keep on drilling?June 3, 2014 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #1076637
You asked ” Did the Rabbonim do that? Did they declare that no one should escape?”
The answer is Yes many Rabbonim did declare that no one should escape. The point isn’t really if they can be blamed for making this mistake (I don’t believe anyone sitting here can really judge anyone living in Europe then) as much as that clearly a mistake was made. The fact that other secular leaders didn’t make this mistake and did advise people to leave would seem to support those that say you shouldn’t take the advise of a Gadol over a secular person just because it was said by Gadol who has “Daas Torah”. This raises the question of what does the term Daas Torah even mean? If both opinions are equally valid what’s the Daas Torah do?
Your comparisons to yirmyahu etc is flawed the Rabbonim didn’t say “a huge percentage of European Jews will die” they said for the most part “don’t worry about it”June 3, 2014 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #1076638
You are purposely referring to those Rabbanim who advised not to leave and to those laymen who said to leave. This is not a fair argument. If a Rav said Europe is about to explode and someone else said that it won’t, then who should they listen to?
There is a person for every view. Finding the one, after the fact, that turned out to be the case doesn’t show anything. If I run down every street yelling, “Your pot is bubbling!” and eventually it turned out true for someone, that proves nothing at all. On the flip side, when a sudden current swept away a professional swimmer that doesn’t put a shaddow on his professionalism.
People were not wholesale advised not to run. And if you are comparing, as many do, before anything started when Rabbonim kept people from going to places where they will lose Yiddishkeit while others urged people to go — not out of any long term understanding, but out of ideology — then you are comparing apples and pebbles.
You are actually picking on exception rather than the rule. Besides, in Poland nobody told anyone not to worry, so why didn’t they run? This is why I mention the Navi. It doesn’t help.
These points were raised earlier in the discussion.June 3, 2014 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #1076639
In Hungary they were specially told it was safe and in Hungary the Rabbanic Leaders knew what was happening to the Polish Jewery.
One could make the excuse that Polish Rabbanim could not predict what would happen, however the Hungarian Rabbanim had no such excuse. Auschwitz and Treblinka were known about in 1943June 3, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #1076640
My point isn’t if the Rabbonim can be blamed. I would never presume to judge any Jewish leader in Europe at that time, Secular or Religious. The discussion here is if it is necessarily smarter to listen to someone because they have “Daas Torah” and what meaning and value the term even has. From the example I brought above it would seem that blindly listening to “Daas Torah” is not always the smartest thing to do. That’s all. I would never be so arrogant as to actually judge them as human beingsJune 6, 2014 2:06 am at 2:06 am #1076641
I disagree, unless you can explain why it makes more sense to purposely leave the name ambiguous.
I simply chose to make clear to whom I was referring. Leaving out his initials would leave an ambiguity as I noted.
In any event, there is nothing insulting about specifying the initials, as I also noted.June 6, 2014 4:27 am at 4:27 am #1076642
ZD, that is slander. There is one Rav who is famous for having said that. Others incouraged escape long before anyone believed them. Others taught people how to jump from trains before people knew what they were. It was Rabbonim who were at the forefront of seeing ahead and understanding very well the personalities involved. It was others who stood in their way. Then they tried turning the tables.
Brining exactly one incident to draw from is not quite an honest way to make a conclusion, especially if that incident didn’t have much to do with insight. This is besides the fact that it is a big misrepresentation of the facts to state what you are stating, unless you are talking about before anything started, in which case it is a silly argument.
Those at the forefront are the Einei Ha’eida, and they have a perspective of a big picture. They lead Klal Yisroel, inasmuch as they are listened to, to what is best for Klal Yisroel.
The idea of looking to non-Torah leaders to lead is in fact an old one, as it says, Nitna Rosh Vinashuva Mitzrayma. But we know the Torah’s perspective on that and how it turned out.June 6, 2014 4:28 am at 4:28 am #1076643LogicianParticipant
There is nobody, and I mean nobody who goes to a Godol for actual medical advice rather than to a doctor.
I don’t know anyone who goes to a Gadol in place of a doctor, but gedolim are routinely asked whether they should follow medical advice, such as whether one should have a surgery – and they answer.June 6, 2014 5:12 am at 5:12 am #1076644charliehallParticipant
“Auschwitz and Treblinka were known about in 1943”
To be fair, by 1943 there was nowhere to flee. They should have listened to Jabotinsky in 1938, when there were still a few places that were letting Jews in.June 6, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am #1076645
Logician, if you are talking about asking a Baal Ruach Hakodesh and hoping for a Havtacha that is not this concept of Daas Torah which is being discussed here. A Gadol, or any serious person, knows what he can answer and won’t say what he doesn’t know.June 6, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am #1076646bhe (Joseph)Participant
Even in ’38 whatever very few places might have accepted a handful of Jews, certainly nowhere no place even that early would have accepted masses of Jews. At most a few here and there. (And whatever quotos they were willing to accept were generally filled anywhere.) So the accusation that we could have escaped is mostly baseless.June 6, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #1076647
To be fair, by 1943 there was nowhere to flee. They should have listened to Jabotinsky in 1938, when there were still a few places that were letting Jews in.
The Satmar Rebbe or the Belzer Rebbe , who were in Hungary in 1944, could have told their flee resist going into the ghettos and resist going into the trains. The Gedolim today are telling their flock to totally resist going into the army, why didnt they do this in 1944. If the Nazi had to drag every jew into the train they would have been greatly slowed down. The Nazis were short Ammo, they could not shoot every jew. They needed the jews to comply with orderJune 6, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm #1076648
Also in 1944 it was possible to move between Hungary and Romania and survive the war .
I knew quite a few people who did this including some relatives of mineJune 6, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #1076649
Never mind 38. Nobody believed the Gedolim in 42 — when they announced how bad things were.
We should have payed more attention to the Northern Goose, who left Hungary year after year.June 13, 2014 12:53 am at 12:53 am #1076651
Well contrary to my earlier statement I found another Rishon who seems to apply Lo Tasur to the Chachamim of every generarion (although again, he is speaking in a strictly halachic context).
Rashba (Teshuva 2:322)
??? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ???? ???? ??? ????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ????? ????? ?? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ???June 13, 2014 1:03 am at 1:03 am #1076652
R’ Herschel Schacter writes in Divrei Harav (p. 237):
???? ?????? ????? ???”? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ??? (???????) ??????? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ????June 13, 2014 1:50 am at 1:50 am #1076653
My understanding of Daas Torah is very simple:
When we had neveim, if you were uncertain as to what Hashem wanted you to do, you would go ask the Navi. Today, b’avoisainu harabbim when we have no neveim, it makes sense to go to someone who spends most of their time contemplating Hashem’s will (and who knows you) to guide you in making your best guess at what Hashem wants you to do.
Frankly, I have a hard time seeing how anyone can disagree with this but I am open to hear any counter-argument. Note, however, that these are “best guesses” they are not nevua.June 13, 2014 2:44 am at 2:44 am #1076654
“Frankly, I have a hard time seeing how anyone can disagree with this”
I don’t think anybody disagrees. I think everyone will acknowledge that someone who is smart and very knowledgeable in Torah can give good advice and inform you about what the Torah sources say on a given topic. The issue is when this said person issues a statement, without providing a Torah source (or where other people bring in conflicting Torah sources) and people say that these statements are binding on klal yisrael as determined by the percieved stature of the issuer of the statement.June 13, 2014 3:25 am at 3:25 am #1076655oomisParticipant
Sometimes rabbonim speak from personal prejudices or opinions that are NOT necessarily Torah mandates, and that’s where the problem emerges. I know I mentioned once that a bunch of mikvah attendants were speaking with a rov to get a consensus on how to deal with the issue of women who came in with nail polish that was difficult to fully remove. Instead of addressing the shailah that was being asked, his immediate response was, “What do frum women need to be wearing nail polish for?” That might be his personal view of cosmetics in general and nail polish in particular, but that is not a Torah mandate to refrain from polishing the nails. This is surely not an isolated example.June 13, 2014 4:25 am at 4:25 am #1076656
Oomis: I don’t think this should be the place for you to hock against Rabbonim. In your particular case, I could well understand this Rov’s retort. Why should a frum woman put herself into such a position of danger. (Sounds like a sound advice, why look for problems!) But I’m sure he went further and delved into, dealt with the issue at hand. He didn’t just walk out. Am I wrong?
And as a general rule we are (as per Chafetz Chaim) supposed to give a Rov the benefit of the doubt MORE than a regular person. So a person off the street will be more, much more inclined to give his own biased opinion.June 13, 2014 4:28 am at 4:28 am #1076657
P. A. A.
I don’t know who all the abbreviations are referring to, but I find it quite amusing to listen to “daas torah” that there’s chalila no Daas Torah!June 13, 2014 5:32 am at 5:32 am #1076658
LF: We see it in this week’s Parshah. A N’giyus Badavar can take down even the Gedolei HaDor (see the Zohar as to why the Meraglim wanted the Jews to stay in the Midbar). That’s an extreme case, but N’giyus exists everywhere in life. There is a Gemara in Bava Metzia with a list of Amoraim who wouldn’t be a Dayan for anyone who had ever done them a favor. I’m not going to be one to come out and try to find which Psakim (if any) of which contemporary Poskim come from any sort of N’giyus, but it certainly exists somewhere. To be human is to have biases. That’s how we were created. One of the challenges of life is to ignore those biases when the time comes up.
In regards to your second point, he was just quoting from someone who had a strong Mesorah in Europe and never heard the phrase used in that context.June 13, 2014 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #1076659
???”? ??? is R’ Menachem Genak and ????? is R’ Soloveitchik.
I don’t know why you think that R’ Soloveitchik was issuing a statement of daas torah that there is no such thing as daas torah. He was simply stating a fact. If he would tell me that this week is parshas shelach would that be a statement of daas torah?June 13, 2014 3:00 pm at 3:00 pm #1076660
Sorry, haven’t heard of him. But the Torah Greats we learn from are thoroughly Torah. ????? ???? ?????, every aspect of our Torah leaders is Torah. No divisiveness, no time-outs. A true Godol is a Godol 24/7/52/120+.
If My Rov would tell me this week is parshas shelach, I’d have to lein parshas shelach this week.June 13, 2014 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #1076661
Sam: I don’t think it’s up to us, men and women of the Coffee Room to judge, evaluate, appraise the actions and thought of our Torah Leaders. Yes, everyone down here is human (including a certain froggie), make missteps and errors. But we (laymen and women) don’t judge our greats. That’s the sad lesson of ??? ???? ?? ??????. And also ??? ?? ???? – ??? ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????.June 13, 2014 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #1076662
LF: Rabbi Genack is the head of the OU.
And no one claims that a Gadol stops being great. But Gedolim do make mistakes and can even have (usually very slight) personal flaws at times. That’s something to be respected, not ignored. There is nothing to be learned from an angel being an angel. There is much to be learned from a person coming very close.June 13, 2014 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1076663
“The issue is when this said person issues a statement, without providing a Torah source (or where other people bring in conflicting Torah sources) and people say that these statements are binding on klal yisrael as determined by the percieved stature of the issuer of the statement.”
Patur Aval Assur,
There are two separate issues that you raise. I think that when a person is struggling to determine what Hashem wants him to do, there are often no clear-cut, black on white answers. Sources can inform the answer but he is going to a Chacham for his intuition as to what Hashem would want, not for a source (which can always be distinguished).
The issue of being binding on Klal Yisrael are issues of halacha, and whether or not the ruling of a great sage in modern times (post-Talmud) can be binding on Klal Yisrael. I don’t think anyone maintains that non-halacha advice of a great sage can be binding on someone who didn’t ask for the advice (or even someone who did). And I don’t think anyone holds that even the halachic ruling of a single great sage, when there are other sages who disagree, can be binding on someone who didn’t ask for the ruling.June 13, 2014 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1076664
The whole debate of “Daas Torah” is whether the hamon am is obliged to follow the Rabbis’ pronouncements on political, sociocultural, economic, and medical issues. A source can be binding (unless there is a way to reinterpret the source or counter it with another source). Presumably intuition should not be binding.June 13, 2014 4:44 pm at 4:44 pm #1076665
“If My Rov would tell me this week is parshas shelach, I’d have to lein parshas shelach this week.”
What would you do if you knew that it was not parshas shelach? What would you do if your Rav was doing birchas hachodesh and he said the wrong day?June 13, 2014 5:42 pm at 5:42 pm #1076666
I don’t think anyone holds there to be an obligation to follow Rabbinic pronouncements on halachic issues. People may want to follow such pronouncements but nobody holds it is an obligation. You cannot be munned after 120 for not voting the way the Rebbe said you should.
I think that some of the arguments here are confusing what is prudent with what is obligatory.June 13, 2014 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm #1076667
And maybe that’s the reason I don’t follow the “daas torah” of such “manhigim” who say not to follow Gedolim. To question, analyze their every saying, thought to see of it fits into my pithy narrow mind.
No, I follow the ones and the derech of mesorah, that say ????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? not with an? fancy, modern explanations. A “Rav” who says otherwise, deserves to have HIS views examined, analysed, scrutinized. ??? ???? ???.June 13, 2014 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #1076668
I’m not sure what your comment is responding to do. Also, I can’t tell from your comment if you answered my question – would you lein the wrong parsha and bentch the wrong day as rosh chodesh?
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