Tuesday, January 18, 2011

מי יעלה בהר ה: Who Can Pasken?

When I went to Rav Yitzchok Koolitz zt"l to get semicha, I told him a shtickel Torah on Hil. Melichah. At some point I said הש"ך טעה. He gave me that smile that an Adam Gadol often gives you just before he is about to rebuke you and said לא מתבטאים ככה על הש"ך. He was right, of course. It's the same thing that your Rebbe was telling you when he said that we don't call an Amora a "guy". If you don't have אימה, יראה, רתת וזיעה before saying Chazal "made a mistake" - and even then not saying it, really, but לא זכיתי להבין - you have no business in the world of psak.   

12 comments:

Michael said...

The timing of this is just a tad obnoxious. Don't you think?

dlz said...

What exactly do you find obnoxious about it?

Michael said...

It's a thinly veiled ad hominum attack on RNS while YGB is in the middle of a "discussion" over the brain death issue.

When someone resorts to this type of attack it usually means that they don't think they can win with intellectual arguments.

sb said...

Michael have you ever learned in yeshiva?

Michael said...

Why?

sb said...

I would just be surprised if anyone who had actually learned in yeshiva would really take what R' Slifkin is saying seriously. So I am just curious who it is that is defending R' Slifkin at this point - is it actually learned people who know how to learn, or people who never had the chance to go to yeshiva or learn in any full-time capacity.

Joseph said...

In the last few years, after the ban on his books, RNS has gone on a mission to take down a peg or two those the world considers to be gedolim.

Michael said...

sb, once again proving my point that when one has nothing to contribute to the discussion he resorts to ad hominum attacks.

Thanks for the back up!

sb said...

That's all you are doing either, you are not "contributing" to any discussion. If you read the discussion, you will see that RYGB does have quite a few things to say. I don't suppose that you will answer my question. I am really just shocked and amazed that anyone could take that things that Slifkin is saying seriously. If he were to say the kind of nonsensical arguments that he is using in this debate in any serious beis midrash, he would laughed out of it. This should be painfully, painfully obvious to anyone who has learned for any substantial amount of time in a yeshiva.

And if you are so worried about "ad hominim attacks, you should look at the kind of nasty things that slifkin and his followers are saying to and about RYGB.

Michael said...

Never said RYGB didn't have anything to add. All I said was that this particular post was an unnecessary attack on him at this time which, again, does nothing to further their discussion.

I just watched the first part of RYGB's lecture. And, again, he has some valuable things to say, but speak of RNS with such shrill, condescending sarcasm that the value of anything he says is lost. It's truly a shame as this is an interesting and important debate.

No, I'm not a yeshiva "bochur", and you're probably right that RNS would be treated poorly in some of the "classic" yeshivas. Of course that would have much more to do with the lack ability of a large number of yeshiva bochrim to think outside the box of the daled amos of the beis medrash than anything lacking in RNS's argument.

If you look carefully at what the Yeshiva world is producing you'll see a tremendous lack of original thought and also a tremendous lack of Derech Eretz.

RNS is a brilliant young "yeshiva bochur" himself who actually began using the mind God gave him. Does he make mistakes? Sure, and he actually admits when he does.

I haven't read anything by RNS where he's attacked RYGB personally and of course he's no more responsible for commenters who defend than RYGB is responsible for you.

Anonymous said...

You aren't embarressed to have said that?

N. said...

What Rav Koolitz meant is that you don't say it like that, just as you don't tell your father he was wrong - becuase it's not a reverent way to express yourself in that setting so you use a term that your listeners will understand to mean that he was really wrong but just sounds better as a convention. If you are in a forum where you are talking tachlis and not a great rabbinical stranger but a casual forum where people are talking matter of fact, and anything ambiguous will just rebound to you as "cut the baloney" or where people will be left with an unclear view, then you have no choice but to say things as they are. Just like an official or clerk you are talking to in a very down-to-earth setting who, tachlis, needs to know if your father correctly evaluated X correctly you say "he was wrong" and don't waste everybody's time.