Monday, May 26, 2014

Re: Retroactive Prophecy Redux by Avi Shafran

I think the concept of ain cholkim kavod larav can also be applied when rebuking those rabanonim that degrade the torah by insisting it has given them a magical sixth sense called das torah


  1. Rav Shafran demands the privilege of “ein cholkin kavod lirav” to attack Rav Wein. He then denies Rav Wein the same privilege because Rav Wein attacks his 'Gedolim". Hypocrisy.

  2. I think that Rabbi Wein would be the first to recognize that he is not a "gadol" at the level of, say, the Chazon Ish. Nevertheless, there is no hypocrisy here -- just a difference of opinion. Rabbi Shafran believes in the principle of "da'as Torah," Rabbi Wein does not. In the latter instance, a generation's Gedolim are not believed to possess any "extra" insight into world affairs, such that their guidance is binding -- ergo, historians, politicians, political philosophers (and the like) can respect a Gadol's opinion but, nevertheless, not be bound by it. In the former instance, even if a Gadol is in error, da'as Torah requires that his opinion be adhered to, regardless. Bottom line: I do not believe that Rabbi Wein would take offense at criticisms leveled against his viewpoint -- he is humble enough to admit that such criticism is not out-of-bounds. On the other hand, I also believe that Rabbi Wein fully understands where those who adhere to "da'as Torah" are coming from, and that they would, therefore, not accept his criticism of Gedolim from the past or the present. This is NOT hypocrisy, it is eilu v'eilu, as they say.