Do chareidim use their heads?

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11 Responses

  1. MP says:

    Just one very minor point, which has disturbed me since Rabbi Adlerstein wrote his first post on this subject. Namely, the use of the phrase “l’affaire Slifkin”. The ban is a very serious matter, from whichever point of view one looks at it. From the pro-ban point of view, views which are heresy have infilitrated the Torah world and been accepted by many otherwise frum Jews, which is obviously not an amusing fact. From an anti-ban point of view, an innocent man who consulted with rabbanim regarding his views before he published them is being called a heretic, and having his life destroyed. Presumably this is also not something to be scoffed at.

    Using clever phrases like “l’affaire Slifkin”, “Slifkingate”, etc, conveys a patronizing, condescending sense of aloofness. This is obviously inappropriate considering the serious subject under discussion.

  2. Michoel says:

    “The question of what is heresy is a halachic question that I believe should be left to g’dolei yisroel.” This quote, possibly from me, is not a “right wing” comment. If the entire world thought Rabbi Slifkin’s books were apikores and the g’dolim thought not, I would say the same thing. Just as g’dolim have a better view of what bracha to make on a twizlers, they have a better view of deciding what is apikorses, IMO. Understood, there are different opinions amongst g’dolim and that part of understanding daas Torah is knowing when a broad concept doesn’t not apply to one’s own circumstance.

  3. Zev says:

    An excellent article.

    Re. the use of l’affaire Slifkin and the like, it’s fine. We need less seriousness and more humor here, not the other way around.

  4. Neil says:

    Excellent Article,
    Regarding the actual so called problematic issues, Rabbi Slifkin has responded on his website detailing the sources that he is basing his approach on. If the signatories want us to take there ban seriously , they owe it to us to explain their reasonings and their sources are for their approach. The standard definition of Kefirah is denial of one of the 13 Ikarim, as defined by the Rambam. The two main points of contention do not contradict any of them, and quite the contrary, the Rambam himself as many have pointed out explicitly states that Chazal’s statements regarding medicine need not be accepted as a matter of faith. The question remains, who’s definition of kefirah did Rabbi Slifkin violate, As for some of the signatories sayng that they only intended a private letter, I think a person of that stature has a responsibility to do their due diligence to make sure they know what their name is going to. Chachamim Heezaharu B’DIvreichem. Also, f that is indeed the case, then that person should say so publicly, not through word of mouth.

  5. shimon says:

    “second-tier gedolim”

    what’s this?

  6. Leapa says:

    Excellent post!
    Consider extending the radio example to the internet.

  7. espaklarya says:

    MP wrote:
    “Namely, the use of the phrase “l’affaire Slifkin”. The ban is a very serious matter,”

    L’affaire Dreyfus wasn’t a serious matter?!

  8. Michoel says:

    Neil wrote:
    “The standard definition of Kefirah is denial of one of the 13 Ikarim, as defined by the Rambam.”
    While I don’t entirely understand the ban, the charges of k’firah seem to be based on “magaleh panim baTorah, shelo k’halacha.” According to some, that issur is mushrash in the issur of Avodah zorah, which violoates more than one of the 13 ikkarim. There are other ways of explaining how “magaleh panim baTorah, shelo k’halacha” violates one or more of the ikkarim. The wording of the ban that I have seen, makes clear that the banners feel that MPBSK is the problem.

  9. Zev says:

    Michoel, hock nisht kein cheinick.

  10. Michoel says:

    Zev,
    I feel deeply for Rabbi Slifkin and I don’t claim to understand the ban. But the entire world knows they understand the ban and they understand that it is wrong. Why the great self-confidence? M’koros for a non-literal six days are not automatically m’koros that allow for modern scientific theories. Very often, those m’koros explicitely contradict modern science when one delves in a bit. This is crucial distinction. If we allow science to m’chaiv us to accept one p’shat over another, even when that p’shat may be a minority p’shat, we are asking for problems. There are m’koros for everything if one looks enough. I have no more energy for this discussion.

  11. Moshe says:

    Can someone explain (with mekoros) the “Gedolim” concept.
    Thanks!

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