March 28, 2013 3:07 am at 3:07 am #608790
Since Rav Eliashev paskened that if someone converts while believing in evolution the conversion was never valid and he remains a goy since evolution is apikorsus, wouldn’t it similarly mean that if a (born) Jew believes in evolution then his wine is yayin nesech?March 28, 2013 3:15 am at 3:15 am #941968
Plenty of rabbonim accept evolution and you can rely on them. Enjoy your wine.March 28, 2013 3:17 am at 3:17 am #941969truthsharerMember
What about if he believes in nishtane hatevah?March 28, 2013 3:19 am at 3:19 am #941970
I’m kind of skeptical about this quote from Rav Elyashiv.March 28, 2013 3:27 am at 3:27 am #941971
I think R’ Nachum Eisenstein claimed that the gerus is invalid if the ger believed in an ancient universe (one that is millions of years old rather than 5k.) Since R’ Eisenstein was close to R’ Elyashiv, that may have led to the rumor that R’ Elyashiv has similar views (extending them to evolution and the like). But I’ve never seen evidence that R’ Elyashiv actually stated such views.March 28, 2013 3:49 am at 3:49 am #941972
Rav Eliashev’s gabbai Rav Eisenstein specifically relayed the psak b’shem Rav Eliashev. (He did so long before Rav Eliashev was niftar and it was never challanged.)March 28, 2013 3:52 am at 3:52 am #941973rebdonielMember
Is this a joke?March 28, 2013 4:10 am at 4:10 am #941974
rebdoniel: I hope so, but it probably isn’t.March 28, 2013 4:11 am at 4:11 am #941975
Chez11: Source? You do realize this would make most of Klal Yisrael drinking yayin nesech.March 28, 2013 4:15 am at 4:15 am #941976
You do realize this would make most of Klal Yisrael drinking yayin nesech.
so what. most of klal yisroel is mechalel shabbos, eats treif, etc.March 28, 2013 4:19 am at 4:19 am #941977
Yes, but plenty of people have relatives who are not frum at the seder. So a large percentage of Torah observant Jewry.March 28, 2013 4:24 am at 4:24 am #941978
Well, if they aren’t frum, then you already should be using mevushal wine because of their not being shomer shabbos, irrespective of their evolutionary beliefs.March 28, 2013 4:28 am at 4:28 am #941979
Back to OP – what kind of evolution? We all agree that mutations exist, for example.March 28, 2013 4:31 am at 4:31 am #941980rabbiofberlinParticipant
ahavas yisroel is in short supply on this website…March 28, 2013 4:34 am at 4:34 am #941981
T613: One of the examples specifically cited by Rav Eliashev was the belief that the world is older than 6,000 years.March 28, 2013 5:00 am at 5:00 am #941983benignumanParticipant
Is there some sort of teshuvah to this effect, with sources and argument?
I am extremely skeptical that R’Elyashiv gave any such psak. The age of the universe is not one of the ikkarim in anyone’s listing of ikkarim. At worst it is a mistaken belief of fact. Almost all geirim (and all Jews) will have some mistaken beliefs of facts. This does not make them apikorsim, it just makes them mistaken.
If those who believe that the Universe is billions of years old are correct, are then those who believe that the Universe is less than 6000 years old apikorsim?March 28, 2013 5:12 am at 5:12 am #941985
I’ll say something interesting.
I think there are reasonable viewpoints that the world is pshuto k’mashmao 5773 years old, and alternatively that it is billions of years old and there were billions of years before odom harishon in gan eden. And I don’t think either of those views are categorically wrong, even if I myself prefer the former.
But I do think that thinking it is impossible that it is 5773 years old is pretty much apikorsus.March 28, 2013 5:34 am at 5:34 am #941986Sam2Participant
This was big a few years back. They said in the name of Rav Elyashiv that believing the world was older than our counting is Apikorsus (supposedly it was in response to Schroeder-like Pshatim). Several Gedolei Kaballah argued back that much of Kaballah believes in an older universe. I don’t remember the entire back-and-forth, nor do I know if it was published anywhere reliable.March 28, 2013 5:37 am at 5:37 am #941987playtimeMember
Speak to Rabbi [SELF CENSORED], abut the contents of his book [SELF CENSORED]March 28, 2013 6:28 am at 6:28 am #941988Veltz MeshugenerMember
I believe that the world is billions of years old. I also go around touching people’s wine without them knowing. Am I your cousin who was at your house for the seder? Did I sneak into your wine closet and substitute non-mevushal wine for the mevushal? You’ll never know…March 28, 2013 6:43 am at 6:43 am #941989
talmud: What a helpful and informative post.March 28, 2013 8:31 am at 8:31 am #941990old manParticipant
I thought for a while, but couldn’t come up with definitive proof that it’s assur to drink from wine that was touched by someone who doesn’t believe in evolution or that the universe is 14 or so billion years old.
The closest I came is that I say every morning, ????? ?? ????, and there is a pasuk, ???? ??? ????. Even so, this is not a productive way to think or act when dealing with fellow Jews whose beliefs are not quite like mine, converts or not.
And so, when real yeshiva boys come to me for Shabbos (Mir, Brisk-Rav A.Y. Shlita, R’ Tzvi Kaplan Shlita,etc…), I open a non-mevushal bottle of wine and let them touch it and drink it without making their personal beliefs an issue.March 28, 2013 8:54 am at 8:54 am #941991
I have good friends for whom there is no heter for me to drink wine with and I’ve never had any problem. Beer tastes good too.March 28, 2013 9:58 am at 9:58 am #941992Shraga18Participant
It’s a sad but true fact that in order to further their own agenda, people will say things in the name of gedolim which those gedolim never said.
Unless there’s a clear written source, there’s no reason to believe R. Elyashiv ever said something like that.March 28, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am #941993
“those who believe that the Universe is less than 6000 years old apikorsim?”
No, just uninformed. There is SO much that we see from day to day that wouldn’t work were it not for the fact that the world is ancient. The fact that you are working on a computer right now is one of them: The electricity you use probably comes from either (ancient) coal or natural gas, or (even more ancient) uranium.March 28, 2013 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #941994
Good point, Shraga18.
Rav Shach said that any college education whatsoever, even Touro, is full of apikorsus and is forbidden. (See Wikipedia.) May you drink wine with someone who went to Touro?
See where this leads?
The idea that anything said or reportedly said by a gadol or the Gadol HaDor somehow becomes canonical is not only fatally flawed — it’s not followed in practice.March 28, 2013 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #941995
yytz: Rav Shach’s statement about Touro is on paper he signed that is easily available and is well known. Other gedolim also signed it. Just ’cause it makes some folks uncomfortable doesn’t negate the fact that a godol said what he said.March 28, 2013 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #941996
Prominent University-educated rabbis of the past (many of whom can be called gedolim):
Rambam (Islamic philosophy; University of al-Karaouine, Fez, Morocco)
Sforno (Medicine; University of Rome)
Rabbi Dr. Joseph Solomon Delmedigo (Medicine; University of Padua, which had granted degrees to hundreds of observant Jews before the 19th century)
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (Undergraduate study, University of Bonn)
Rabbi Dr. Ezriel Hildesheimer (Undergraduate study, University of Berlin, and PhD in Bible from University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Rabbi Dr. Bernard Revel (PhD from Dropsie College; dissertation on the Karaites)
Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog (PhD from University of London; in his dissertation he identified the source for techelit)
Rabbi Dr. Joseph Soloveitchik (PhD in Jewish philosophy from University of Berlin)
Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner (studied Jewish philosophy at the University of Berlin; Rav Soloveitchik was a classmate!)
Rabbi Avigdor Miller (Undergraduate degree from Yeshiva College; it would not be fair to Rav Miller’s memory that later in life to fail to mention that he became an opponent of that institution)
And the list of living rabbis with university education is very long.
I of course am not fit to argue anything with Rav Shach z’tz’l! But others of similar stature did not agree with him.March 28, 2013 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #941998
Correction to the parenthetical statement for Rav Miller. It should read:
(Undergraduate degree from Yeshiva College; it would not be fair to Rav Miller’s memory to fail to mention that later in life that he became an opponent of that institution)March 28, 2013 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #941999truthsharerMember
Rav Wolbe, and it’s best to include him because he became frum while in college.March 28, 2013 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #942000
Thanks, CharlieHall, but my point was that even since R’ Shach said this plenty of people who consider him to have been the gadol hador go to Touro and elsewhere anyway. The idea that every pronouncement (whether documented or rumored) that a gadol hador says is to be followed, is simply not observed in practice. People tend to rely on more lenient opinions by other rabbis, as well as being influenced by the gadol hador.
Now that we’re listing, can someone list rabbis who approved of evolution or an ancient universe? That would be helpful.March 28, 2013 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #942002
That amplifies the point that many people became frummer after college, and like pointed out above about a godol, became opposed to it only after attending it and better understanding what it is all about and/or later becoming a godol and considering the wider picture.March 28, 2013 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #942003nishtdayngesheftParticipant
It is not t all clear Charlie or others are trying to say with their posts.
I am sure we can point out thousands of apikorsim who went to college.March 28, 2013 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #942004zahavasdadParticipant
Rav Shach Son had a PHd
His son and grandchildren were not excommunicated from his lifeMarch 28, 2013 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #942005rebdonielMember
Rambam was an Aristotelian.
Rav Wolbe, zatzal, advocated a pedagogy that seemed awfully similar to that of John Dewey.
Neoplatonism was strong among many kabbalists, such as Yitzhak the Sagi Nahor.
The influence of different realms of thought on that of torah giants is undeniable.
Rav Hirsch was university-educated.
Netziv delved into philology and used methodologies found within the Talmud departments of major universities nowadays.
In Volozhin, they learned the entire Tanakh with Rashi and Moses Mendelssohn’s biur; all sedros of the Mishnah, except Taharos, with “biur” (could most likely be Bartenura), Shulchan Aruch, Dikduk, and Berakhos, Shabbos, Pesachim and Eiruvin, Chulin, Niddah, Yevamos, Kesuvos, Gitin, Qiddushin with Rosh (Rashi, Tosafot also, perhaps).
What tremendous bekius! The Volozhin yeshiva was a true testament to the gemara’s claim that Sinai trumps Oker haRim.
While today’s yeshivos often include secular studies, they often don’t stress any bekius, sadly.
The only way to become a talmid chacham, I’ve been told, is to follow this kind of model and cover ground.March 28, 2013 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #942006
My point was that in practice even the very frum don’t necessarily hold by every statement made by a gadol hador — especially if we don’t know if he really said it because it’s second or third hand (as with many statements attributed to R’ Elyashiv), but also when we do know that he said it (as with R’ Shach on college).March 28, 2013 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #942007
Most of the very frum do not attend college. Especially those who hold of Rav Shach. So it is safe to assume they, in fact, do subscribe to his statement.March 28, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #942008
For the record, in case it was implied, I must state that everyone at my family’s seder was 100% frum.March 28, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #942009Sam2Participant
abra cadabra: The point was that they don’t because they don’t treat wine touched by anyone who went to college as Stam Yeinam. I think the point was made quite well.March 28, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #942010aproudybParticipant
Sam: Rav Shach didn’t say students who go to college are apikorsum. So your (or yytz’s) point is invalid.March 28, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #942011nishtdayngesheftParticipant
R’ Shach did not say that someone who goes to college is an apikores, he said that all colleges teach apikorsus.
If you do not accept what they say, you are not an apikores.
Thus there would be no reason to consider their wine stam yeinam.
On the other hand, if some one believes something that is apikorsus, even if he is sitting in a beis medrash, he would be an apikores.
The point was not made at all.
One who does not believe in brias haolam and believes that man comes from apes, or some similar theory, he is an apikores.
He is an apikorus because if his belief, not because he heard it.March 29, 2013 4:20 am at 4:20 am #942012The Kanoi Next DoorMember
“ahavas yisroel is in short supply on this website…”
See, now this is the type of MO chumra bashing that just really ticks me off. All that happened here was a halachic discussion; nobody here has said anything that is even remotely lacking in ahavas Yisroel. Just because somebody is advocating a chumra does not, contrary to popular MO belief, mean that they hate you. How about taking your own advice.
(However, in the interests of being dan li’kaf zechus myself, perhaps you were referring to a comment which has since been deleted, in which case I retract my comment.)
Saying that apikursos is taught at every college is a far cry from saying that everybody who has gone to college is an apikoresMarch 29, 2013 5:56 am at 5:56 am #942013BronyParticipant
psh da reason r shach said no touro is bc even he knew dat a touro diploma isn’t worth da paper it’s printed on. at least have the dignity to go to da baruch school for young syrians who can’t read good. smh @ all u touro kidsMarch 29, 2013 6:28 am at 6:28 am #942016MorahRachMember
I know many day schools that used to delve somewhat into evolution, but not Darwinism. Jewish day schools including the one I went to.March 29, 2013 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #942017rabbiofberlinParticipant
to ‘the kanoi next door:’ first, I don’t even understand your reference to “MO”. what does my remark have to do with MO? second, this was not exactly a halachah discussion. This was an attempt by chez11 to “passel’ thousands of jews -frum jews,mind you- who have a certain belief in the creation of the world that is not and was never in any way opposed to an “ikkar’ in emunah. Check the Rambam’s thirteen ‘ani maamin”s. The gemoro even says that no one should delve into “maaseh bereishis”. So, it is disingenious of you to hide behind “a halachic discussion”, it wasn’t and you should check some of the subsequent comments by others. To assert that soemone who believes in an evolutionary world is a “kofer’ and an “apikores’ just deepens the chasm that is between some on the extreme right of the spectrum and the other jews.March 29, 2013 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #942018The Kanoi Next DoorMember
“what does my remark have to do with MO?”
People associating themselves with the MO ideology often (and ridiculously) attempt to to label every chumra “sinas chinom”, as you just did.
“This was an attempt by chez11 to “passel” thousands of Jews… So, it is disingenious of you to hide behind “a halachic discussion”, it wasn’t”
Who’s throwing around accusations now?
All chez11 did was ask – yes, ask – if people espousing a certain belief are, according to the opinion of R’ Elyashiv, halachicly considered to be apikursim. Sounds like a halachic discussion to me.
“you should check some of the subsequent comments by others”
“To assert that someone who believes in an evolutionary world is a “kofer’ and an “apikores’ just deepens the chasm that is between some on the extreme right of the spectrum and the other jews.”
Could be. However, if R’ Elyashiv said that they are apikursim, you cannot demand that the Halacha be changed in the interests of bringing us closer our secular brethren. That’s just not how Judaism works.March 31, 2013 2:48 pm at 2:48 pm #942019Charles ShortMember
Do we count years by the number of time the Earth has circled around the Sun, or is that Gallilean heresy the source of the problem?March 31, 2013 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #942020Josh31Participant
During the Seder we mention different drashas that each try to increase the number of plagues that were brought on ancient Egypt.
The more plagues that were then, the more we can be protected from.
Recent Kanoim want to increase the number of categories of Apikorsim until we will, in their eyes, be left with only a Minyan of pious Jews fitting to meet the Moshiach.March 31, 2013 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #942021benignumanParticipant
Not everything said by a Gadol (or Chazal for that matter) is meant literally. Just because Rav Shach wrote a letter against an institution does not mean that Rav Shach held that the institution should be closed or not attended by frum Jews.
Rather it may mean that he saw some problem in the institution or flaw which could lead to a problem and felt that a machaa needed to be made to correct the problem or prevent the danger from occurring.
For example: Rav Shach wrote a letter putting a (then new) Israeli Torah institution in cherem and forbidding parents from sending their children to the institution because the institution had secular studies. The RAM that started the institution visited Rav Shach and asked the Gadol whether he, the RAM, should close the institution. Rav Shach said “chas v’shalom,” the institution is needed for many. Rather Rav Shach did not want that such institutions should become the norm and so Rav Shach came out strongly against it.March 31, 2013 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #942022
“However, if R’ Elyashiv said that they are apikursim, you cannot demand that the Halacha be changed”
Rambam didn’t include that as an ikkar of faith. Neither did R’Hasdai Crescas. Nor did R’Yosef Albo. It appears in none of the lists of 613 mitzvot. Does an Acharon have the power to change halachah by adding an ikkar?
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