May 10, 2010 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #684399
anon for thisParticipant
cherrybim, I meant my previous post humorously. For the record, I don’t think the aformentioned roshei yeshiva were damaged by tracing handprint turkeys or coloring mothers’ day cards (any more than the gedolim you mentioned were damaged by their experiences). I’d venture to guess that some gedolim/ roshei yeshiva even call their mothers on mothers’ day too.May 10, 2010 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #684400
rob, I strongly dispute you asserting the right to disagree with the Rema — on any matter the Rema chose to comment on. Now, if you quote a contemporary of the Rema (i.e. a Rishon) who disagrees, that would be a different point. But you seemingly are not doing so.
But even putting that aside, certainly you must agree that just as you feel it is legitimate for you to disagree with the Rema and boldly declare “he too may be mistaken”, surely you must accept and respect others who do accept the Rema’s (and other Rishonim’s etc.) declared statement that Chazal are accepted as infallible on scientific matters. Assuredly you accord him (and those of us with him) at least that much respect that you don’t deny the legitimacy of his position.May 10, 2010 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #684401
cherrybim- this has actually happened already. You may know that there is a remarkable DNA study done on Kohanim that shows that over 80 % share a similar DNA -unlike other jews, poiting to a common ancestor (Yes, I know that there is a tribe of black africans who sahre the same….) Also, it is pretty clear that most jews share common DNA and that DNA studies today can identify common ancestors of long ago. so, indeed, bodies are different, even if only very subtly.
as for medical cures, i think that most doctors would acknowledge that different ehtnic groups react differently to different medicines.
As far as a Beth Din, I can’t tell you but I suscribe to the halachic custom to incorporate modern medical knowledge in our psak also…hence, the argument about when is the time of death..etc.May 10, 2010 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #684402
“That’s like saying: How much greater would Rav Aharon Kotler or Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky have been if they had not read classical literature in their younger years or how much greater would the Lubavitcher Rebbe or Rav Hutner have been had they not studied in the university.”
The GRA declared in his commentary on Laws of Avodah Zarah that even the Rambam has had certain of his Torah positions corrupted due to the influence of his secular studies in philosophy.May 10, 2010 8:57 pm at 8:57 pm #684404
volvie- your latest post brought a big smile to my face.On the one hand- you tell me that I have no right to disagree with the Remo on matters of science- yet, you yourself just quoted the Gra who CRITICIZES the Rambam (a rishon)about his Torah positions!!!
I am not claiming that I am anything more than “afra de’arah” compared to the Gra-but how can you condone an acharon criticizing a rishon on matters that actually are much more serious than me saying that, in matters of science, I am not bound by gedolim who have had no experience in this.
I readily allow you and others to believe in whatever you want but I still maintain that ,in “milei de’almah”, matters that are not part of halacha, I can disregard opinions of gedolim.
Actually, in some aspects I am closer to your opinion than you think. For example, I may well believe that “tzes hakochovim” is at a certain time and still accept a HALACHIC opinion that relies upon a different time element.
My point is that, in matters of HALACHA, we must all bow before gedolim and earlier Poskim but in matters of science or “miei de’alma’ there is no infallibiity aspect at all.May 10, 2010 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #684405
You are playing two sides of the argument without realizing it. If some of the Rambam’s Torah positions were corrupted due to the influence of his secular surroundings, he could not have been infallible in Torah. Thus, a fortiori he could not have been infallible in matters of science.May 10, 2010 9:41 pm at 9:41 pm #684406
I did not read this whole thread (2+ pages long!).
I think that on Mother’s Day, you should tell your mother she’s the best and finished.
Whats all the arguing about?May 10, 2010 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #684407
My criteria is this:
If it’s important to your mother, give her the attention she feels she is entitled to.
If it doesn’t mean anything to her, it shouldn’t to you.May 10, 2010 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm #684408
rob, the difference I believe is that the GRA has that right as an Achron. (BTW, the GRA is often considered on the level of a Rishon.) We (you and I) don’t have that right as being (relatively) a nobody. Yes, I understand your point about the Rishon-Achron aspect (also see my point about the GRA being considered a Rishon in many respects), but we are nothing of anything to argue with any Rishon or Achron.
squeak, my intention isn’t to play one or both sides of the issue, but rather to quote Rishonim/Achronim in the matters of scientific infallibility and secondarily the GRA’s commentary on the Rambam. I’m not offering my own chiddushim here. (At least not intentionally.) How you reconcile the Rema (I quoted) with the GRA (I quoted) isn’t something I discussed here nor something I feel compelled to currently explore. In any event, I wasn’t discussing the infallibility of Rishonim in matters of Torah or science (perhaps another discussion for another time) but rather Chazal’s infallibility, as described in the meforshim.May 10, 2010 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #684409
volvie – “The GRA declared… the Rambam has had certain of his Torah positions corrupted due to the influence of his secular studies in philosophy.”
Are you saying that the Gra as well as other Torah giants also had certain of their Torah positions corrupted due to the influence of their secular studies? Does that go for members of the Sanhedrin as well because they were versed in all kinds of Avoda Zara, Black Magic and all kinds of secular knowledge required for qualification to the court?May 10, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #684410
anon for this – sorry, thanks for giving me the opportunity to make a point.May 10, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #684411
volvie, your reasoning is the crux of the problem. Undoubtedly, the Gra is heavens above us, but if you maintain that the chachomim are infallible-and this applies not only to the chazal,because you attribute infallibility to EVERY godol ,including our generation-then no one has the right to question anyone who is a godol and the Gro cannot make these comments about the Rambam, especially as they pertain to Torah matters, matters a lot more important than scientific facts.
The fact is that, in general terms, acharonim (including the gro) did not dispute the HALACHIC superiority of th rishonim. They did, however, dispute the every day opinions of earlier generations because on that, they were not infallible.
You cannot accept criticism of a later godol if you think that EVERY word of an earlier godol is infallible. The words of the Gro on the rambam are proof that the Rambam was NOt considered infallible by the Gro and it is preposterous to say that the gro was like a rishon. In greatness, maybe, but in fact he would not dispute any rishon on halchic matters.May 10, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #684412
If it’s important to your mother, give her the attention she feels she is entitled to.
If it doesn’t mean anything to her, it shouldn’t to you.
I wished my mother a happy belated Mother’s Day today. She wouldn’t have cared if I would have not said it. She knows I love her and that is the main thing.May 11, 2010 12:53 am at 12:53 am #684413
a few weeks ago this same question was posted by our rabbi here in north miami beach… who concluded that every day is ‘mother’s day’ for the Jewish People… and he brought to mind the three mothers whose sons are sitting in Japanese jail cells… the three bochrum … and he (rabbi S.) not only prays daily for their quick release…but feels that this mother’s day should be a special day of tehillim for those precious Jewish mothers who have to live through this…
on this note… and since being asked what we could do to escalate their release (tehillim plus anything else)… it came to me while lighting candles just this past Shabbos (the day before mother’s day)… why don’t we just boycott everything Japanese until those bochrum are released? i have a close friend who recently bought her son a used Honda… and even though it was used, it made me think about Japanese products … about how we could use our great buying power to say something …. if we could abstain from buying Japanese products … we could use it as leverage to get those young men released…
i know if i were the mother of one of those young men, it would turn my stomach to know that there were people i loved … including the entire Jewish nation … who were buying Japanese products while my (obviously innocent) son was trapped (G-d forbid) for years in their jail….. i think we should start a boycott… on behalf of the three mothers … on behalf of our version of mother’s day… our Jewish ‘mother’s day’….. don’t buy Japanese until the three are released and safely back in Israel… they know these young men were used as mules… everyone knows they are innocent… we have to start somewhere…
on behalf of those three mothers, someone needs to start a group boycotting Japanese products on facebook… tell it to the world… i know i would feel that this would be a great help if i were one of those mothers … to get their boys back … we don’t need a ‘mother’s day’ to do what’s right .. we should be able to show our loyalty everyday… what else should ‘mother’s day’ be but a day in defense of, and loyalty to, our holy Jewish mothers, whoever and wherever they are…May 11, 2010 12:55 am at 12:55 am #684414
yoheved, why don’t you start a thread about this. Take your above post a make a new thread.May 11, 2010 1:11 am at 1:11 am #684415
thanks… i’m going to work on it right away … i think i’ll call it: Boycott Japan in support of the three mothers … lets see if we can get their sons released…May 11, 2010 1:20 am at 1:20 am #684416
anon for thisParticipant
cherrybim, it’s OK, and I do agree with the point.
My kids colored a scrapbook of pictures and stories for mothers’ day. They also gave me cards, a hand-made picture frame
& a plastic-beaded necklace.May 11, 2010 1:28 am at 1:28 am #684417
The Rema was a Rishon? News to me…..May 11, 2010 1:49 am at 1:49 am #684418
In my opinion there are 3 American holidays that Jews should observe: THanksgiving, Mother’s DAy, and FAther’s Day. Although all of these things should be done everyday, there is an idea to honor these things specially on these specific days, so y notMay 11, 2010 3:25 am at 3:25 am #684419
This is the list of holidays not mentioned in Torah ( from calendar I got from Kolel Shomre Hachomos of Jerusalem):
New Years Day (I think in Jewish calendar will be better to call it “bris anniversary”)
M.L. King Jr. Day
The only day missed – December’s “big day”.
If according to this calendar Jews celebrate bris anniversary, I’m wondering who’s mother and father days they celebrate.May 11, 2010 4:25 am at 4:25 am #684420
Ok, this is how I see it…. We are obliged to honor our parents EVERY DAY.. BUT…. there is nothing so terrible in finding a perfectly good excuse to buy a nice card, get a nice gift, and maybe take a parent out to lunch or dinner on ONE day a year that is designated as “their” day (besides a birthday or anniversary). Though it should be done from tim to time for NO special reason other than the fact that they gave us life and took care of us all our lives, still, it is nice to have a time set aside where we REALLY consciously think about doing something nice for them, and show our hakoras hatov.May 11, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm #684421
In my opinion there are 3 American holidays that Jews should observe: THanksgiving, Mother’s DAy, and FAther’s Day.
Is there any reason your list did not include Independence Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
I would think that we should have a great deal of HaKaras HaTov for the opportunity that we have here in the United States to live our lives according to the dictates of the Torah as, perhaps, never before in the long history of our exile.
And, likewise, I would think you would want to honor those who died to help secure that freedom for you and honor those living veterans who have worked towards those same goals.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm #684422
Well said. I couldn’t agree more.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #684423
NotRichEnough, you know that the December and January dates are not accurate at all right?May 11, 2010 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #684424
there is no point in “celebrating” mother’s day. do it on her birthday. this is totally chukas hagoy and has absolutely no meaningMay 11, 2010 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #684425
there is no point in “celebrating” mother’s day. do it on her birthday. this is totally chukas hagoy and has absolutely no meaning
What if it means something to her? Mother’s Day means something to my mother, and I made sure to see her (even though I see her quite often since she only lives two blocks from me).
Likewise, I know that Father’s Day means something to my father – and as such, even though I see him regularly during the year (he lives quite a bit further away than my mother does), I will make it a point to drive out and see him on Father’s Day.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #684426
Rav Breil said it is certain that the rabbinic science is more accurate than the science of the scientists, and even if currently it appears one way, the rabbinic view will eventually be proven correct.
I’m curious how you reconcile this with areas where we *know* Chazal to have been wrong. The prime example, I suppose, is lice. Chazal say they don’t come from eggs, but lice has been observed to come from eggs. If, at some future point, Chazal are proven to be correct, how does that explain the observations that we have seen that lice do, in fact, come from eggs?
The WolfMay 11, 2010 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #684427
wolfishmusing – Just as “we know” they are wrong, you will one day “know” they are right, and what you “knew” (i.e. modern science’s viewpoint that shows “we know” they are wrong) was wrong!May 11, 2010 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #684428
You’re missing the point here.
Chazal say that lice do not come from eggs.
However, we have actually seen lice come from eggs. This isn’t “theory” or “wishful thinking.” It has actually been observed.
That being the case, if you’re positing that one day Chazal will be proven correct, how will you explain all the observations that we have of lice actually hatching from eggs?
The WolfMay 11, 2010 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #684429
Btw, there is an answer to the lice question. We already know now they were *not* wrong. You just misunderstood what they said.May 11, 2010 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #684430
So, qa, what *is* the answer? How were they not wrong if they say that lice don’t come from eggs?
The WolfMay 11, 2010 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #684431
To be honest I forget offhand what the answer was. I know it is answered. From the best I can recall, I believe it has something to do with Chazal referring to lice in a halachic sense, and some people asking the question assuming they were referring to it in a scientific sense. But again, that is just my vague recollection. I do know the answer is out there.May 11, 2010 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm #684432
From the best I can recall, I believe it has something to do with Chazal referring to lice in a halachic sense, and some people asking the question assuming they were referring to it in a scientific sense.
But what does that mean?
How are lice in the “halachic sense” different than lice in the “scientific sense?”
The WolfMay 11, 2010 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #684433
Mother’s and father’s day were created, becays the non-jews in scoiety weren’t being respected. So they made one day a year to get their attention. When we give nachas to our parents, and we bring a smile to their face by doing ANYTHING for them, we are mekayem a mitvas asei of Kabeid Es Avicha Ves Imecha! and that is a greater gift than flowers that die at teh end of the week along with the whole mothers dya thingMay 11, 2010 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #684434
and that is a greater gift than flowers that die at teh end of the week
Why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t I honor my mother during the year AND bring her flowers on Mother’s Day?
The WolfMay 11, 2010 4:41 pm at 4:41 pm #684435
I didn’t say you can’t, what i meant was that it has nothing to do with “mother’s day” you want to make her happy you can buy her an ice cream, a thinking of you card, flowers. It doesn’t make a difference. But I don’t see the difference between next Sunday and this past Sunday. As a frum yid, you are probably always thinking of your mother. So whenever you feel it would brighten her day, then go for it. This mother’s day thing was created as I said, bec. these mother’s (and fathers on Father’s day) weren’t ever getting recognotion or respect from their children, so they mahe a day to celebrate it. We don’t need it.May 11, 2010 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #684436
I can’t give you a source but I am not so sure that Chazal said lice do not come from eggs. I believe they said lice do spontaneously arise from the earth or decaying matter or whatever it is. I don’t believe they excluded other forms of genesis as well. This is how I recall it.
Or for that matter they may have considered “eggs” to be a normal part of the complex components of dirt, as we consider spores, bacteria, fungi, and decaying organic matter to be.
I also am not so sure “lice” is the correct translation of the organism that is being referred to.May 11, 2010 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #684437
I AM trying to make some sense of all the various comments on chazal and science…etc.
Where does it say anywhere in the gemoro that I must accept a scientific or every day opinion of any godol??? Even in halachic questions, this is not the case (within each category of generations) why should it be in matters that have nothing to do with halacha??
I wish anyone show me a SOURCE for this opinion- and not something written in the past century when, according to the way i see it- this notion of infallibity suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Thee was always a respect for prvious generations but infallibity ??? and in matters of science??? REAL sources please!May 11, 2010 7:47 pm at 7:47 pm #684438
rob, The Rema (Toras HaOlah 1:2) wasn’t written in the last century. See previous comment.
No one, myself included, said the Gedolim of this or previous generations are infallible.(*) We are talking about Chazal. So focus your comments/response regarding infallibility on Chazal. As I understand it, you say Chazal is infallible on halachic matters but not scientific matters, while I strongly dispute your denial of their infallibility on scientific matters whilst agreeing with your understanding of Chazal’s infallibility on halachic matters.
cherrybim, I am not saying anything other citing the Vilna Gaon in response to your characterization that “it’s silly” to say a Godol would have been even greater had he forgone secular study. If you have questions on the interpretation of what the Gra said, see your local Ultra-Orthodox Talmid Chachom.
(*)Although it is important to note that the Gedolim are closer to infallibility than you or I. And if there is an issue of disagreement between you and a Godol, the very strong likelihood is the Godol has a better idea of what Hashem wants.May 11, 2010 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #684439
We are talking about Chazal. So focus your comments/response regarding infallibility on Chazal.
Sorry… but I ascribe infallibility to one Being only… and it’s not Chazal.
(yeah, I know, that makes me a heretic…)
The WolfMay 11, 2010 8:08 pm at 8:08 pm #684440
I don’t believe they excluded other forms of genesis as well. This is how I recall it.
Then why can you kill them on Shabbos? The point was that they don’t reproduce normally, so killing them is permitted.
If some reproduce normally and some don’t, then I would think you have a safek (did this particular louse come from an egg?) and you would have to apply the rule of safek d’oraissa l’chumra.
I also am not so sure “lice” is the correct translation of the organism that is being referred to.
I have never heard of “kinnim” being referred to as anything other than a louse.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm #684441
Wolf, Are you denying Chazal’s infallibility in halachic matters?May 11, 2010 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #684442
Wolf, Are you denying Chazal’s infallibility in halachic matters?
Absolutely. All you have to do is open up a Gemara to see that there are places where they admit they were wrong or defeated in argument.
Again — I only ascribe infallibility in *any matter* to only one Being — and, once again, it’s not Chazal.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #684443
Which Gemarah are you referring to (that they “admit they were wrong” in a halachic matter)?May 11, 2010 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #684444
Don’t have one off the top of my head… but you’ve *never* come across a Gemara where one Tanna or Amora admitted that another one had defeated him in argument and was correct??! Or come across a Gemara that said about a certain Amora’s position “Tiyuvta…?”
The WolfMay 11, 2010 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #684445
I asked for a citation where Chazal “admitted” the concluding halachic opinion was wrong. Perhaps it wasn’t clear. Do you or do you not believe that the concluding halachic opinion of the Gemorah can be wrong?May 11, 2010 8:35 pm at 8:35 pm #684446
Ah, okay, so we weren’t talking the same thing.
You’re talking collectively. I was talking individually.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #684447
Does this change your response?May 11, 2010 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #684448
To be honest, I don’t know.
I hear what you’re saying, but I still have a *very* hard time ascribing infallibility to anyone other than HKBH.
If that makes me a heretic, so be it.
The WolfMay 11, 2010 9:32 pm at 9:32 pm #684450
Actually, Volvie, upon giving the matter some more thought, I think I can answer your question.
Can Chazal be wrong on matters of halacha? I think the question is meaningless simply because we have ruled, post facto, that the matters are as they say they are. Therefore, by definition, they aren’t “wrong.”
Example: We follow their opinion regarding tereifos, even though animals that they would have labeled tereifos can, in fact, live more than 12 months. Nonetheless, no one is (or should be) rushing to change the halachos of tereifos.
So, are Chazal infallible in halachic matters? No — we’ve simply decided to take their say-so on the matter.
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