November 19, 2018 10:31 am at 10:31 am #1625993
I imagine your friend refused to grow a beard anyway (assuming that story is actually true)?
I’m not sure what place the MO has in this discussion. If the words of rabbonim are meaningless to you unless you like what they’re saying then you have no stake in the concept of “gadol hador.”November 19, 2018 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1626012
DrYidd and Laskern make good points, particularly Laskern’s quote from Pirkei Avos. Note that it says “asei lecha rav” – you should pick your Rav, i.e., one who is appropriate for you. So long as there is no Sanhedrin whose decisions are binding on Klal Yisrael, the whole concept of “everyone needs to follow the Gadol Hador’s view” is a fallacy.
an Israeli YidNovember 19, 2018 10:33 am at 10:33 am #1626015
why is this a discussion? is there a mitzvah to appoint a gadol hador? is there a mitzvah or even an inyan to funnel all questions to the gadol hador? is there an inyan that the greatest person in the generation is even the address for all ones questions? the concept of sarei meuah etc…indicates that for the rank and file it is a non issue.November 19, 2018 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #1626093
“I imagine your friend refused to grow a beard anyway (assuming that story is actually true)?”
1. He did not grow a beard.
2.The story is true — and not so unbelievable. He actually told him that he should have beard, peyot and wear long sleeves. Maybe the “Rabbi” was kidding — I wasnt there. I heard it first hand.
“I’m not sure what place the MO has in this discussion. If the words of rabbonim are meaningless to you unless you like what they’re saying then you have no stake in the concept of “gadol hador.””
Come on. I like you and your posting. A little disappointed with this. Nonetheless…who said the words of rabbonim are meaningless to me? Did I? (I admittedly have a problem with the expansion of “Daas Torah” which of course, is an old, (too) much written about topic). I speak with my Rov all the time and seek out his input. Why not? He is a smart person. I know him to have integrity and he knows me. I dont think that he expects me to “listen” to him in non Halachic matters — but i think his point of view is valuable.
What is the concept of Gadol Hador? That was my question? Is it the most learned person of the generation? Is it the halachic posek of the generation? Is it the most admired Rabbinic figure of the generation? As i said at the beginning of my post, “Gadol HaDor” is undefined. My point was that if there is to be ONE Gadol HaDor that person would have to have the ability to cut across lines. I posited that Rav Moshe and the Lubavitcher Rebbe seemed to have this ability.November 19, 2018 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #1626104
The RMA YD 142:14 discusses semicha where his rebbi gives him permission to pasken. If his rebbi already passed on, it is not required.
Also it is necessary for gittin and chalitza. Could be like shechita where a person will not do it if he is not knowledgeable כל העומדים אצל שחיטה מומחים הם , so over here also he would not pasken if he is not knowledgeable.November 19, 2018 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #1626133
Why is the concept “gadol hador” even relevant? do we find the tannoim trying to determine who was the gadol hador? amoroim? did the baalei tosfos ask who was greater the rashbam or his younger brother rabbeinu tam? did it even enter their mind to ask? that this is a topic of conversation is ludicrous .November 19, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1626153
“1. He did not grow a beard.
2.The story is true — and not so unbelievable.”
There aren’t enough details for me to assess the likelihood. If his shailah was, “should I grow a beard and peyes,” then, yes, it is very believable. If his shailah was, “XYZ happened do this dish, is it still kosher?” Then it’s a little harder to believe. However, I’m assuming he went to a Chassidishe Rebbe with some kind of generalized, spiritual guidance (non-halachic) question and was taken aback when the rabbi gave an actual halachic shittah; is that what it was?
For what the OP meant by “gadol hador,” I think it can be pretty simply explained as “who is the Reb Moshe of today?”
For what I said about the MO, let me try to lay out an imaginary flow chart. First of all, there is a massive portion of the MO (I believe the majority, but you would know better) who simply never ask shailos ever. Clearly this thread doesn’t apply to them. Of those remaining, a significant portion may ask shailos to their local, MO shul rabbi and be content with his on-the-spot psak without any proofs from major poskim. This thread also doesn’t apply to that group. Finally, you are left with a tiny niche in the MO that actually asks shailos regularly, and expects the psak’s to be well-based in halachic reasoning, and escalated to more experienced poskim if need be.
This niche chooses to self-identify as MO, even though for all intensive purposes they aren’t. We can’t be expected to use this niche as the basis of all generalizations we make about the MO just to spare feelings.November 19, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1626155
“Why is the concept “gadol hador” even relevant? do we find the tannoim trying to determine who was the gadol hador? amoroim? did the baalei tosfos ask who was greater the rashbam or his younger brother rabbeinu tam? did it even enter their mind to ask? that this is a topic of conversation is ludicrous .”
Then don’t click the thread. I think the people attacking this thread on some kind of imaginary moral grounds are the ones taking it too seriously, not the other way around. It’s just a curiosity. Would you rather us discuss who the most popular celebrity in pop-culture is?November 19, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1626160
There is no such concept in America. Sadly, we have lost the ability to have respect for gedolim. After the petirah of Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl, there has not been a gadol hador in America. A lot out there think they are but do not reach the heels of Rav Moshe ztl. Similar to when the tekufah of the rishoonim left and the acharonim came in. What caused that? A certain lowering of standards, not necessarily negative in nature, but nonetheless, a lowering of standards. That is what we are faced with in America today. No godol hador.November 19, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1626166
Sometimes its hard to see the forest through the trees….I’ll go back to my original comments weeks ago, focus on your own Rav or posek and don’t worry about ranking others. Your metrics will be different from mine or any other CR poster. Contemporary psaks have grown very subject-matter focused and complex and the “gadol-hador’ you would consult on kashruth . is very different from who you would consult on gittin or on end-of-life questions.November 19, 2018 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #1626212
“There is no such concept in America.”
there is no such concept in yiddishkeit.November 19, 2018 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #1626312
“here aren’t enough details for me to assess the likelihood. If his shailah was, “should I grow a beard and peyes,” then, yes, it is very believable. If his shailah was, “XYZ happened do this dish, is it still kosher?” Then it’s a little harder to believe. However, I’m assuming he went to a Chassidishe Rebbe with some kind of generalized, spiritual guidance (non-halachic) question and was taken aback when the rabbi gave an actual halachic shittah; is that what it was?”
You dont need to assess the likelihood…i told you it was true. Isnt that enough? 🙂 Without going into more details than necessary — your assumption is more or less correct.November 19, 2018 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #1626354
Torah Yiddishkeit always has had the concept of Gaonim, Reish Galusa, Raskbehag, Godol HaDor or whenever else you want to refer to it by.November 19, 2018 6:48 pm at 6:48 pm #1626356
There are still today Gedolei HaDor in America and in Eretz Yisroel. And there always will be as long as Yidden are there.November 20, 2018 7:24 am at 7:24 am #1626517
☢️ 🚭 ☣️ Rand0m3x 🧠🕴️🎲Participant
The concept of a single leader (to quote the OP, “The Gadol Haddar”)
to whom all others defer isn’t a concept, just an occasional reality.
(Wasn’t Reish Galusa a political appointment?)November 20, 2018 8:18 am at 8:18 am #1626602
Reish Galusa was an inherited position. From among the offspring of Dovid Hamelech. The Gaon wasn’t an inherited position.November 20, 2018 8:40 am at 8:40 am #1626603
Sorry, I wasn’t trying to accuse you of lying. You had said “not so unbelievable,” so I was just pointing out that whether or not the story is even surprising depends on the shailah.
Given the context, I don’t think its so unbelievable either. What was the point the story was supposed to illustrate again?November 20, 2018 10:51 am at 10:51 am #1626806
B’H, klal yisroel has always had gedolim. Yiftach bidoro, kishmuel bidoro. the idea that there was a discussion to find THE gadol is foreign to yiddishkeit.November 20, 2018 10:53 am at 10:53 am #1626818
The OP asked for the “gadol” hador. I remember in the 80s the boys in camp krasna used to sing “Pupa Rebbe Tzadik Hador – Satmar Rebbe aahh plainer, plainer, plainer tzadik”.November 20, 2018 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #1626877
“Given the context, I don’t think its so unbelievable either. What was the point the story was supposed to illustrate again?”
I forget. 🙂
Actually, my point was that, in my opinion, to be a “gadol” you have to resonate across Orthodox lines. So for example, the Debreciner Rov — when he writes in his Sheilot u Teshuvot that you cannot go to YU — in essence no is unable to speak to the YU students (or rabbis for that matter). (As an aside, i bought that set years ago at the YU Seforim sale, at the student clerk said, you can buy them but now you have to leave). I was saying that my friend (and me) would find harder to listen to a “Gadol” who does not seem to be speaking to us in any way.
To go back, one post, you wrote:
“For what I said about the MO, let me try to lay out an imaginary flow chart. First of all, there is a massive portion of the MO (I believe the majority, but you would know better) who simply never ask shailos ever.”
I dont think this is true at all. I think the Local MO Rabbis will tell you that they receive many many question, every day. You may think of “shaila” different than i do .. but I think that people ask. (I guess the Rabbis would know better than I).
You further wrote:
” Of those remaining, a significant portion may ask shailos to their local, MO shul rabbi and be content with his on-the-spot psak without any proofs from major poskim. This thread also doesn’t apply to that group. Finally, you are left with a tiny niche in the MO that actually asks shailos regularly, and expects the psak’s to be well-based in halachic reasoning, and escalated to more experienced poskim if need be.”
You believe that there is a necessity to go beyond the Shul Rabbi. Why? The Shul Rabbi may have a responsiblity to check with others — but even that is disputed among Rabbis. (I know the Rav Moshe story that he included his phone number along with klaf smicha).
I went to a non NY shul years ago where the Rov — who was a Yeshiva graduate not a YU guy — disputed that he was required to have the Eruv constructed by another Rov. He said basically that he was the halachic authority for that town. I have asked my Rabbi questions — and when i dont like the answer — i tell him i dont like the answer. This happened once — and he said to me — would you like me to ask Rav X. I said — i appreciate the offer — and with all respect — please do. He called me back an hour later — and he said “Rav X agrees with you. In fact, Rav X said more leniently than you and you should follow Rav X.:
Back to the Gadol issue. I think that, we in the MO community — do recognize “greatness” or “leading lights”. Years back, when Rav Asher Weiss spoke in the US — and I admittedly did not really know who he was — the MO shul was packed for him. I guess the difference is that the MO community does not feel bound by, certainly the non-halachic prouncements. (As to Halacha — the yeshiva world doesnt follow “the” gadol necessarily. — i dont think the Yeshiva world always followed Rav Moshe or Rav Shlomo Zalman. There is more autonomy than people think).November 20, 2018 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #1626880
The OP stated:
“I would like to know who the ywn coffee room members consider the gadol haddar of America”
He wasn’t asking for an absolute. He was clearing asking for people’s opinions. Why are you getting to bent out of shape about this, apush?
I’m all for making threads more controversial and interesting, but this is just sloppy work. Calling a thread “irrelevant” over and over is just kind of redundant and boring. If you don’t find it interesting or pertinent to you then just stop clicking on it.November 20, 2018 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #1626914
What OP is asking is not only a silly nonsensical question, but reflects perhaps what is going on in his mind. Is he looking to start a grand scale machlokes? Klal yisroel does not need that. He is looking to make trouble and at the end of the day, what will OP do with the answer to his question?November 20, 2018 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #1626910
“You believe that there is a necessity to go beyond the Shul Rabbi. Why?”
Most shul Rabbis aren’t poseks. They can answer a shailah that just results from a congregant not knowing the Mishnah Berurah well enough or something, but they can’t actually posken. There are also certain areas of expertise that not all rabbis have. For example, there could be an area in which there are hundreds of people with smichah, but only 1 or 2 are qualified to check bedika cloths (sorry for using that as an example, guys, but this is a common one). There are official, different levels of smichah as well, “shul rabbi” being the lowest. This isn’t anything invented by modern chareidim; this is a system that’s existed for centuries. Anyone who knows more about this than I, please weigh in.
As for your story with Rabbi X and such, you do understand that what you’ve described is a dynamic of the MO that the chareidi world is very critical of, right? What that system inevitably leads to is people thinking “if I’m just going to keep going to rabbis until the get the meikel answer I want, why not just cut out the middle man and be meikel without asking the shailah since the end result is the same?”
I think “gadol hador” is community specific. I don’t think there is such a thing as someone who can relate to all communities; it’s impossible. Even the names you mention like Reb Moshe are not true examples of this. He, for example, was not claiming to posken for chassidim and sphardim.November 20, 2018 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1626946
As an interesting point when one says he sees a rainbow it is loshan horah. Why, he wants us to do teshuva. Maybe, the Klei Yokor explains it says בימות רבי שמעון בר יוחאי לא נראתה הקשת at the time of Rabbi Shimon bar Yachai the rainbow was not seen, should have said there was no rainbow?
He says that that they relied on the gadol to protect them and did not look to see if there was a rainbow. According to this it is lashon horah because we don’t trust the gadol that he protects us or we don’t recognize the gedolim.November 20, 2018 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #1626950
The same point has been made over and over….there is NO SUCH THING as a single “Gadol Hador” other than perhaps for honorific purposes. You either rely on your own local Rav/Posek or in consultation with your Rav, the two of you seek additional guidance from a subject area expert on complicated issues that your Rav is not capable of addressing. There is no “one-stop shopping” for all matters of halacha. for all yidden regardless of their location or hashkafah.November 20, 2018 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #1626959
I don’t know why someone would assume that MO don’t ask shailos. We definitely do, all the time! Now, we may limit our asking to actual halachic cases, as we don’t always ask a Rav for practical advice – for example, if a doctor recommends that I have surgery, I won’t ask my Rav about it. I may get a second opinion from another knowledgeable doctor, but my Rav doesn’t know medicine!
My Rav has also told me when to ask someone who is at a higher level than him. I once had a difficult shailah which he declined to answer – he referred me to Rabbi Willig. Rabbi Willig also declined to answer, and he told me “I believe there are only two poskim who will answer this for you. One of them told me that in such cases, he is always nervous about it so he tries to be machmir. The other is R’ Dovid Feinstein, who I know really weighs the factors in the individual case, and will give the appropriate psak for that case. I suggest you ask him!”
So you’re wrong about that. As for having sources from prominent poskim, most MO Rabbonim have semichah from YU, and were taught by R’ Schachter, R’ Willig, and other giants. They definitely have the proper backgrounds!November 20, 2018 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #1627753
since this is such an important topic, lets expand it beyond gadol hador. who is the tzadik hador? the manhig hador? posek hador? how bored does someone have to be to even conjure up such a question? I think this is a discussion destined to be closed as someone names a particular Rav and someone disparages him. a whole segment was already disparaged, are we waiting for individual rabbonim too?November 20, 2018 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm #1627885
Lol, OK I really want this thread to stay alive just because of how angry it’s making apushatayid. I have nothing against the man or whatever point he’s trying to get across. I just find it weirdly hilarious how someone can develop such strong feelings against a totally mundane CR thread that has pretty much yet to go in any controversial direction.
DaMoshe: Like I said, there are MO people like you who respect that process. Do you believe the part of the MO that ignores halachos like tznius are strict to ask shailos on the arbitrary parts of the halachah they do choose to follow?November 21, 2018 9:52 am at 9:52 am #1628098
A Woman Outside BrooklynParticipant
IMHO if such an idea of a Gadol Haddar actually exists, it remains Rav Moshe. He was obviously preeminent in poskening shailas. But also the fact that virtually all frum Jews from MO to Chassidic respecte his viewpoint makes him unique. When my Rav, who is a world reknowned Posuk although perhaps still a bit younger then most of the Rebbeiem mentioned in this thread so he isn’t (yet) universally known says that he is following Rav Moshe’s position on this and that, it is accepted by all. Think back to the 80’s for instance, and recall that every group, with the possible exception of Lubavitch, followed Rav Moshe. Not just in Halacha, but all aspects of Judaism. We are still telling stories to our children (as are their Rebbes) of his sterling middos, which is just as much a qualifier as knowing Halacha. Rav Moshe respected every Jew, not just the Yeshiva world, and that love was directed back to him. Is there such a unifier today? No, just like the USA, we are more and more divided.November 21, 2018 10:28 am at 10:28 am #1628188
Neville: Yes, I do believe that MO people who may not be strict in one area will ask a shailah in the areas where they are more strict. You mentioned tznius – just remember that most of the “rules” that the yeshivish and chassidish people follow in that area are chumros, not halachos. Most MO people (at least the ones I know) follow halachah, but many don’t take on the chumros which were accepted by the yeshivish community.
AWOB: R’ Moshe was not universally followed in all areas. For example, most don’t follow his position regarding Shabbos clocks. Satmar opposed his views on many fertility treatments, and even held that many children who were the results of those treatments are considered mamzeirim. (My children, who resulted from IVF, would not be acceptable to Satmar). Many don’t follow his views regarding an Eruv in Brooklyn.November 21, 2018 10:30 am at 10:30 am #1628172
Not everything was accepted. Reb Moshe’s ztz’l psak on cholov stam and mechitzas were not followed by everyone.November 21, 2018 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1628178
Chassidim, Sphardim, and even Israeli Litvaks commonly poskened differently than Reb Moshe. I’m not saying this detracts from his greatness, or from their respect. But, you can’t really base the entire point on the assertion that everyone followed Reb Moshe’s psaks regardless of community because it’s just not true.November 21, 2018 10:43 am at 10:43 am #1628230
Angry? Amused more like it. Amused (and saddened) at the depths of boredom of some people that they have to dig down really deep to come up with such questions.
Rabbbeinu Tam doesnt accept Rashi, quite often. Doesnt detract from the greatness of either.November 21, 2018 11:25 am at 11:25 am #1628244
“Rabbbeinu Tam doesnt accept Rashi, quite often. Doesnt detract from the greatness of either.”
Who said it did? Or, who said anything even similar to this with contemporary names?November 21, 2018 11:25 am at 11:25 am #1628255
A Woman Outside BrooklynParticipant
DaMoshe, Rav Moshe did not accept the Brooklyn eruv, a reason it’s still under dispute to this day. Another reason I am AWOB. But just like Hillel and Shammai disagreed, there may be positions Rav Moshe held that did not jibe with Satmar. However, they sat on the Motzeis together, and worked diligently for the betterment of Kal Yisrael.November 21, 2018 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1628294
“There are official, different levels of smichah as well, “shul rabbi” being the lowest.”
I assume that you are referring to — what is given in some Yeshivas — known as “rav u manhig” smicha. In YU — that doesnt exist. So — all the Rabbonim who come out are the same with respect to the semicha– although there is an extra smeicha — from the YU website — “Semikha Yadin Yadin, an advanced ordination that qualifies rabbis as poskim in Even HaEzer and Choshen Mishpat, is offered through an intensive postgraduate study program following traditional ordination.” But — the “rav umanhig” doesnt exist. Most rabbis, i think, do not have Yadin Yadin.
That being said — as with all things, doctors, lawyers, professional football players — there are better, there are worse. With all those things (except maybe professional football players) — it is not so easy to really know who is good and who is bad. (Obviously, if a Doctor is literally killing people — you may have a clue. But bad outcomes are not necessarily an indicator). This actually cuts to my “Gadol” issue. I have no problem with someone being acknoweldged as a “Gadol”. Rav Moshe. The Lubavitcher Rebbe. I dont think that i have any basis upon which to make that call — other than they were both widely accepted (albeit — there was still room for disagreement as to each of their rulings). My problem comes from when people say you must do “x” because the “Gedolim say…” This was my point with my anecdote above. These are “Gedolim” whom i didnt elect, who dont know me, probably have not come to my community, may not speak my language (literally and figureativelY), and dont know my hopes and dreams. (Okay…a little melodramatic). They may be geniuses and brilliant poskim and great people — but when they say that I cant go to YU or i must grow peyot/beard or that the IDF is “treif” — then they are obviously not speaking to me. (Of course, i may be wrong in all my “hashkafot” — maybe — but still they are not speaking to me. Rav Moshe and the Lubavitcher Rebbe were known to be able to connect with people throughout the Orthodox spectrum.)
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