June 19, 2023 9:43 pm at 9:43 pm #2201385
Is there such a thing?June 20, 2023 1:13 am at 1:13 am #2201403RockyParticipant
Of course. It does not mean that there are not people who disagree with him or that we will often not pasken like him. However, the term generally means the one in the generation who commands the greatest level of respect in terms of psak over most others. For example a few who have attained such title : R. Yitchak Elchanan, R. Chaim Ozer & R. Moshe Feinstein. There are many times where the world is not noheig like a psak of R. Moshe. However, most would agree that in the last 20 years or so of his life there are few in the Ashkenazi world who contributed to modern day psak halacha like R. Moshe.
It is also worthhiel to note that not necessarily does every generation have someone to whom the world can point to as the posek hador. There is also a difference between a posek and a manhig.June 20, 2023 1:17 am at 1:17 am #2201405
Rav Bick ZTL, Rav Henkin ZTL and others all disagreed with Rav Moshe on many occasion, and they were entitled. But unless you are qualified to agree with one psak over another, and in the base sense of a prevailing halachic behavior in your family or community, you should follow whoever is the bigger posek (or poskim), and that often would mean Rav Moshe. However, that having been said, there is no such Halachic status as “Posek Hador”. Rav Moshe ZTL was great beyond great, but there is no reason to consider his psakim more authoratative than let’s say Rav Aharon Kotler or the Chazon Ish. There would be no reason, let’s say, to follow Rav Moshe’s shiurim for the Pesach seder than those of the Chazon Ish. In fact, Roshei Yeshiva and Poskim, such as Rav Hutner, Rav Eli Meyer Bloch of Telz, the Debreciner Rav, the Chelkas Yaakov and others, sided with the Satmar Rebbe over Rav Moshe regarding the obligatory size of a mechitzah in a shul, and/or the permissibility of artificial insemination, which were the two big disagreements that those Gedoim had in halachah. It was indeed Rav Hutner who approached the Satmar Rav asking him to write a refutation to Rav Moshe’s psak about the Mechitzos. You will not find the phrse “posek hador” anywhere in any meaningful way. The Tzitz Eliezer uses it all over the place in his titles, and, I believe, either the Teshuvos Maharshal writes it among the titles to the Ramah, or the Teshuvos Ramah about the Maharshal. But in any case, the title connotes no halachic status.
Unfortunately, many of those who use Rav Moshe’s psakim do so only when he is maikel. He permitted Cholov Yisroel (only b’shas hadchak – though they don’t pay attention to that part of the psak); he lowered the height of the Mechitzos — psakim such as these made life much easier for the Modern Orthodox, and even the out-of-town Orthodox communities. They believe they need Rav Moshe’s psakim to facilitate their mission as Modern Orthodox rabbis, or to be able to cater to the not-so-frum and do Kiruv. That is not a bad thing. A psak is a psak. However, when the same Rav Moshe prohibits Shabbos clocks (in most cases), or prohibits going to college, or paskens unequivocally that boys are prohibited m’doraisa to be “just friends” with girls, the same rabbonim with “Rav Moshe’s mechotzos” and cholov stam suddenly rely on “other poskim” (though in the case of boys being friends with girls, there are no poskim of anywhere near that stature who disagree with Rav Moshe). Part of it is due, too, to the fact that, at least in America, the other two personalities who were considered Gedolei Hador of that caliber were Rav Aharon Kotler and the Satmar Rav ZTL. Because of Rav Aharon’s stance on college and secularism in general, and the Satmar Rav’s stance on Zionism, there was no way in the world that those two Torah giants were going to be considered authoratative in what constituted the Orthodox community in America in those days. Instead, Rav Aharon was largley ignored, as it was predicted the followers of his hashkofo would become “mere tourist attractions” (thats a quote from Rav Y.B. Soloveichik in his “Five Addresses” about who he refers to as “seperatist Orthodox”. Rav Aharon was the leader of that Hashkafa), and the Satmar Rav was passed off as extreme by these people. In other words, it was “safe” for people to accept Rav Moshe and ONLY Rav Moshe because once you accept someone’s psakim in hilchos shabbos and kashrus, for example, you are forced to at least think about considering the fact that their stance against college or Zionism comes with as least as much authority. Of course, Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L deserved all the honor and respect that he received. He was a Gaon among Geonim and a Tzadik among Tzadikim, and one of the great Halachic authorities of our times. Thats not the issue. The issue is the fact that people pick and choose which Gaon-among-Geonim to follow when and because it is comfortable for them to do so.
The Gedolim in the days of the Shulchan Aruch and shortly thereafter have agreed to accept the psakim of the mechaber (and the Rema) as authoritative. The Shach writes that one cannot even claim “kim li” against a psak of the Shulchan Aruch. This is akin to accepting someone as your “Rebbi”, where you follow his psakim. This is the same thing that happened when, let’s say, Klal Yisroel decided that the period of Chazal has ended after the 7th generraiton of Amorayim (Mar Zutra, Mar bar Rav Ashi, etc), and nobody from here on in can add to the Gemora. There was no “halachah lmoshe misinai” that told us that the Gemora was sealed; it was the accepted reality told to us by our Gedolim. The same thign applies to accepting the Shulchan Aruch and Rema.June 20, 2023 1:18 am at 1:18 am #2201406
Godol is a relative term; it means someone who stands out among his generation in greatness, which is measured in terms of Torah knowledge, and righteousness. There is no measurable threshold beyond which you are categorically a “godol”, like there is when a person gets a medical degree and becomes a “doctor.” Being that the term is relative, different people apply it to different levels for people, and even among those who are commonly referred to as Gedolim, they are not all the same. Rav Shach was a Godol, but he was not the Chazon Ish, for example.
There seems to be a common misconception that we are unable to comparatively assess the level of various Gedolim. This sometimes leads to comments, like, well my group has their own Gedolim so we are equal.
We can compare “levels” – in fact, we need to in order to judge who is an authority in the first place! If you can’t compare levels then how are you to know that someone is a godol? The fact that he is “accepted” as a godol only means that many people have judged his “level” to be that of a godol. But if you cannot compare levels, then these people have no right to accept him as a godol in the first place.
And the same common sense that tells you so-and-so stands out among his peers making him an authority, tells you that certain so-and-so’s stand out even more.
Part of knowing who to follow is to know who is greater. Godol mimenu b’chochma ubaminyan is an assessment that it legitimately made. And as Rav Shach writes – if you don’t know who to follow, follow whoever is greater – and, he adds, you can of course tell who is greater.
If you yourself don’t know, then that’s fine – not everyone can know the answer to all questions they encounter – but why in the world would you say nobody else can know?
And it’s an error in logic, too, because they themselves compared “levels” of other people! i.e.: “Rav Ovadia Yosef is the leading Sefardi posek of our times.” And how would they know this if you cannot compare him to other sefardi poskim?
And how can one know whether “any of us are on the madreiga of assessing the ‘levels’ of other people” unless you assessed the levels of all those other people who said arent “on the “madgreigah” to do that?
If i were to ask you who is greater – Rav Ovadiah or Rabi Avika — would you say you cannot compare people? Rav Ovadiah or the Rambam? Avraham Avinu?
So clearly, we can compare “levels”, its just that to some, certain comparisons are “obvious” and others are not. Well, to other people, perhaps who are more knowledgeable and skilled in assessing these kinds of values, other comparisons are also obvious.June 20, 2023 7:59 am at 7:59 am #2201446
Who decides? Isn’t it yehirus to say that one knows who is a Gadol?June 20, 2023 8:50 am at 8:50 am #2201491
YO: How do you know that Rav Ovadia is a Godol?June 20, 2023 8:51 am at 8:51 am #2201490DaMosheParticipant
Good old Joseph, he’ll never miss a chance to insult large numbers of Jews, even when it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.June 20, 2023 9:28 am at 9:28 am #2201495Reb EliezerParticipant
מגן אברהם סימן סח הקדמה
(פמ”ג) (מחה”ש) האר”י ז”ל לא היה אומר פיוטים ופזמונים אלא מה שסדרו הראשונים כגון הקלירי שנתקנו ע”ד האמת, אמנם המנהגים שנהגו בשרשי התפלה אין לשנות ממנהג מקומו כי י”ב שערים בשמים נגד י”ב שבטים וכל שבט יש לו שער ומנהג לבד מה שנזכר בגמרא שוה לכל (הכוונות) וז”ל הגמרא ירושלמי אף על פי ששלחנו לכם סדר התפלות אל תשנו ממנהג אבותיכם עכ”ל וכ”כ בס”ח סי’ רנ”ו וכתב שגם הפסוקים שאומרים על הפיוטים צריך לנגן כמו שמנגנים הקרוב”ץ. ובש”ל האריך בשם גאונים שמצוה לומר פיוטים וכשפייט ר”א וחיות אשר הנה וכו’ ליהטה אש סביבותיו עכ”ל
פרי מגדים אורח חיים אשל אברהם סימן סח הקדמה
בנוסח התפלות אין לשנות נוסח האשכנזים לנוסח ספרד, כמו שכתב המ”א בשם
The Rav Haflaah says on the pasuk הכהן אשר יהי-ה בימים ההם that we cannot question from one generation to another. Each generation is given its own gedalim according to ‘their’ needs. People should follow their own mesorah. The gedalim in 1866 of Hungary made an edict that a shul that has a see through mechitza or the bima is not in the middle, one cannot daven there even Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur and eve if one must daven without a minyan.June 20, 2023 11:02 am at 11:02 am #2201544☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
Is this the most important issue facing Klal Yisroel in 2023?June 20, 2023 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #2201565Yserbius123Participant
@DaasYochid Nope. Which is why we’re arguing about it in our free time in CR, instead of taking out ads in the Yated and posting petchkvilim to shul bulletin boards.June 20, 2023 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #2201568
UJM: where did I say R Ovadia was Posek HaDor? Did I even mention his name?
DaasYochid: imitation is the best flattery.June 20, 2023 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #2201583
YO: Are you uncertain whether Rav Ovadia or Rav Moshe Feinstein were one of the Gedolei HaDor?June 20, 2023 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #2201590commonsaychelParticipant
@ YO”: “UJM: where did I say R Ovadia was Posek HaDor? Did I even mention his name?”
Its called a preemptive strike, because most of your post are about how bad Askinazim are and how great Sephardim are.June 20, 2023 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #2201596Reb EliezerParticipant
To be a posek one must know all views which Rav Ovadya Yosef does.June 20, 2023 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #2201648RockyParticipant
The title has no real practical significance. At least not since the days of Yehoshua (?). Similar to the idea of Gadol Hador it is a honorary term. If some whosays who is Rabbi X? You can respond by saying He is soooooo great he is the Posek/gadol/tzadik Hador.
Let’s take Rabbi Akiva for example. I think most would say he achieved a very high title. Does that mean that we always pasken like Rabbi Akiva? No. Psak has a certain system and does not care about titles.
When it comes to the title Posek Hador IMHO it is more about who has contributed the most to psak halacha. Thirty years ago R. Moshe had few rivals in the Ashkenazi psak ( R. Sholomo Zalman?) and R. Ovadia had no rivals in Sfardi psak. This does not mean that we pasken like them. It just means that their word carries a lot of weight and we consider them heavily when considering how to pasken Lemaaseh.June 20, 2023 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #2201696
Sar HaTorah? Who is responsible for this??June 20, 2023 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #2201708n0mesorahParticipant
Not do degenerate either of them, but to think that Rav Aaaron or the Satmar Rav could have brought anything similar to what Rav Moshe brought to the questions of the generation is highly absurd. Both of those giants you mentioned, were more committed to raising the people over the bar, than to elucidating what the bar actually is.June 20, 2023 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #2201709n0mesorahParticipant
Such a person only exists when there isn’t an argument about the role.June 20, 2023 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #2201761
> Rav Ovadia is a Godol
He is a Gadol and a Chacham. As I wrote before gedolim are indirectly elected. Chofetz Chaim did not declare himself a godol. He travelled around, selling his seforim, giving discounts to groups who will learn them … when other Rabbis started sending their shailos to him and to pasken by his seforim, he became the godol.June 20, 2023 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #2201750
N0m: I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. But Rav Aharon, the Satmar Rav and Rav Moshe are THE reason Yiddishkeit is what it is today in America. All three were multifaceted across the Torah world, of course, but Rav Aharon made the Torah and Yeshiva world what it is today, the Satmar Rebbe made the Chasidus world what it is today (and ensured any Jew, of any affiliation, would be proud to walk in the streets and offices of America unabashedly and noticably from a mile away dressed as a Jew, something that was sorely lacking in America) and Rav Moshe made Psak Halacha what it is today.
They were THE three Gedolei Yisroel of that caliber in the postwar world of chutz la’aretz. They are responsible for ensuring the prewar Torah world of Europe continued in postwar America.June 20, 2023 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #2201781
UJM: what about the Lubavitcher Rebbe??? I think he had the biggest influence on most JewsJune 21, 2023 9:11 am at 9:11 am #2201895
YO: Do you believe that the Lubavitcher Rebbe was a Godol?June 21, 2023 10:04 am at 10:04 am #2201834takahmamashParticipant
The Gadol HaDor, Moreinu v’Rabbeinu Harav HaGaon Sar HaTorah Shloimele Rosenbaum, the heilige Admor of Shaputz (a/k/a The Shaputzniker Rebbe) shlit’a, lives in a community he leads outside of Tzfas. His Gadlus isn’t well know because of his deep humility, but he heads both a yeshiva gadola and a kollel there. His opinions on such things as women wearing sunglasses, dressing in a tzniyusdike manner, setting the dining room table inside on Sukkos, chewing gum, kashrus, and davening every day with a minyan, are know the world over, and have attracted hundreds of new followers to his community. There are Shaputznik communities in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boro Park, and the Lower East Side.
His seforim on halacha and hashkafa are available wherever fine Judaica is sold.June 21, 2023 10:05 am at 10:05 am #2201920
For sure.June 21, 2023 10:09 am at 10:09 am #2201927
Yabia, he had influence on Lubavitcher chasidim and secular jews. None of his teachings or rulings spread elsewhere. He met with tons of secular figures, from America and Israel, and was seen by them(and them alone) as a representative of orthodoxy… But he was not seen as such by orthodoxy itself! Modern jews looked to rabbi yoshe ber soloveitchik, chasidim looked to their own rebbes, with certain ones being more outstanding in America, such as satmar, bobov, klosenberg, etc… And litvishe had the gedolim mentioned above.June 21, 2023 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #2202013
YO: Wait! A wise man (guy?) said earlier in this thread (look above) “Who decides? Isn’t it yehirus to say that one knows who is a Gadol?”
So how can you say that you know that he’s a Godol?June 21, 2023 1:05 pm at 1:05 pm #2201932Reb ShlomoParticipant
Whether or not the Lubavitcher Rebbe was a Godol or not is besides the point. The fact that because of him, more Yiden are doing Teshuvah today than ever before, world wide is the important thing. Those of us who live in Brooklyn, Monsey, & Lakewood may not realize this because we live relatively insulated lives. But since I made the move to Boca Raton in Florida 8 years ago I am amazed by what I see here in Chabad. And the dedication & mesiras nefesh of these Baalei Teshuvah is truly genuine.June 21, 2023 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #2202018commonsaychelParticipant
This tread is getting dumber and dumber by the minuteJune 21, 2023 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #2202070
Is this the most pressing issue in 2023?June 21, 2023 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #2202077amiricanyeshivishParticipant
Your insights get brighter and deeper in each post. Not to mention the sophistication. Does this come from having “common” seichal, because such depth is way beyond common. Really rare to find.June 21, 2023 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #2202101
Shlomo; want to know where most BTs become frum? It isn’t at mitzva tanks or chabad houses, it’s in yeshivos in eretz yisroel, especially among sefardim.June 21, 2023 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #2202107June 22, 2023 7:58 am at 7:58 am #2202133
“Shlomo; want to know where most BTs become frum? It isn’t at mitzva tanks or chabad houses, it’s in yeshivos in eretz yisroel, especially among sefardim.”
You have data to back that up?!June 22, 2023 10:49 am at 10:49 am #2202159
I am not sure about EY, but most yeshivos in US, outside of Aish, etc do not accept BTs off the street. Most BTs happen during formative teenage/college years and many of them happen thru Chabad, there is no denial of that. So, L Rebbe must have done, wrote, something right! Also, according to my trusted L source, when L Rebbe was choleh and meshugas started, Rebbe’s secretariat was against it and was OK with publicizing that they have nothing to do with the meshugas.June 22, 2023 10:49 am at 10:49 am #2202164
BT movement is also due to Tzahal, it started in large after six day war that made some Jews re-evaluate their positions. And Chabad was there to help them.June 22, 2023 10:57 am at 10:57 am #2202191
Yabia, i do – look at population studies on how many Lubavitchers there are in the world… it’s not that much. By contrast, there’s huge growth in the sefardi orthodox population, especially in eretz yisroel, but in the US too.June 22, 2023 10:57 am at 10:57 am #2202286Avram in MDParticipant
“You have data to back that up?!”
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. And you and AviraDeArah would likely have to first come to mutually agreeable definitions of BT and frum to even begin an attempt at comparing.June 22, 2023 11:52 am at 11:52 am #2202445
Aaq, right….im sure the mixed units and treif food really is mekarev people!
The danger of being there, however, might stoke an existential interest…many go off to India or elsewhere to explore the meaning of life, and some are picked up by kiruv people.
But to say that the army is mekarev????!!June 22, 2023 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #2202448
Sefardi and Orthodox cannot be in same sentence. The transcend such labels. It’s a European construct.June 22, 2023 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #2202474
Yabia, that might be true to a degree, but there is a growing number of labeled, ideologically frei sefardim who are conservative or fringe, heretical MOJune 22, 2023 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #2202512
YO: When referring to “Orthodox”, it is simply referencing the Jews who never broke off to form a new movement. In other words, “Orthodox” is simply referring to what used to simply be called “Judaism”. (This point is also true regarding the term “Chareidi”.)
In fact, the very term “Orthodox” was coined and invented by the Maskilim (intended in a mocking manner, based on Orthodox Christianity) to refer to those who didn’t join the breakaway Reform movement.June 22, 2023 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #2202536
Avira > mixed units and treif food really is mekarev people!
What I mean is that Six Day War (achieved by TzaHaL w/ Hashem’s help) changed views of many people on their religion. Not any more a nation suffering defeats and murder, but able to stand for itself. I know what you are going to say and what negative attitudes this also developed .. but it made some people give Judaism another look. It also changed how other people look at Jews and that also affected Jews second-hand.June 22, 2023 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #2202537
Indeed, Sephardim (or more precise – non-Ashkenazim, they didnt have to be in Spain) did not have haskala and all machlokets that came out of it. Of course, they lived side-by-side with Karaims centuries earlier.
“Charedi” is not a synonym of what was Judaism before, it is one of the modern responses to current condition.June 22, 2023 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #2202561
Chareidi and Orthodox are terms that were applied to the group of people who never broke off or made themselves into some movement separate from the Judaism and Jews that simply existed previously.June 23, 2023 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #2202676☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
DaasYochid: imitation is the best flattery.
I didn’t know that the words imitation and mocking were synonymous.
@DaasYochid Nope. Which is why we’re arguing about it in our free time in CR, instead of taking out ads in the Yated and posting petchkvilim to shul bulletin boards.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.