Wednesday, January 12, 2005

More on heresy and Gedolim

Thanks to all who commented and sent me emails about R. Slifkin and his books. I have been informed that only one person who gave a haskamah has retracted it. Unfortunately, the article in Yated allows the impression to be formed that many if not all retracted- a case of genevat da'at, if you ask me.

"ki eleph shanim b'einecha k'yom etmol" Tehillim. 1000 years in your(God's) eye are like yesterday. 30 years ago I remember a (devoutly Orthodox) rabbi using this verse to explain that some sort of evolution and creation were not neccessarily mutually exclusive. And now, this belief gets labelled as heresy. I have to call him right away.

I think that most of the readers would disagree that this is heresy. So I wonder a lot of things:

Do those rabbis really believe that it really is heresy? or are they trying to keep their flock from even coming into contact with these beliefs(a fence around the fence, around the fence around the Torah)?

Does the fact that R. Slifkin went to Mir, and has some chareidi credentials inflame the Gedolim even more than if he had been, say a YU grad? my guess is they would have just ignored the book in that case.

If we can feel free to disagree with the Gedolim on this subject, and state with confidence and good backing that they are wrong, why should they be listened to on other subjects? Or does this claim of heresy come under the rubric of Da'at Torah and other things come under pesak halacha, and a differentiation can be made?

Who are those people we label as chareidi? Is it all the roshei yeshiva who signed the article? is it my neighborhood rosh kollel, the nicest sweetest person in the world, who goes out his way to make time to learn with me at odd hours? Does the whole chareidi world agree with this? I didn't see any Roshei Yeshiva from Ner Yisrael Chaim Berlin, or the Skokie Yeshiva on the list. I guess I dont know enough about the chareidi world to say. I would be happy to hear more. The floor is open. I have one more post on this topic that has been germinating even before this heresy issue

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