[Avodah] Psak in Machshava

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Jan 9 02:45:30 PST 2013

On Tue, Jan 08, 2013 at 11:19:37PM -0700, Daniel M. Israel wrote:
: In halacha we say that even if the Sanhedrin rules one way, it is mutar
: for a chacham to continue to teach as his own opinion a contrary position,
: provided that in practice he abides (and teaches others to abide) by the
: Sanhedrin's ruling. Given that, what does it even mean to have a psak
: in machshava? ...

Which is why I suggested that the only case where the idea makes sense
is a pesaq on the definition of kefirah, eg as part of defining a kofeir
WRT not sharing their wine. In that case, there is a halakhah lemaaseh
that depends on the aggadic position.

BUT, there the pesaq isn't "this aggadic point is true" but "a Jew in
good standing must not reject" -- which "only" implies its truth.

WRT pesaq, both possibilities are "true", in the sense of being validly
derived from the chumash, existing din, etc... It isn't a determination of
truth, but of law. And if the poseiq or even the Sanhedrin pick an opinion
that isn't validly derived, it isn't pesaq. The din of "zil qeri bei rav"
is that if Sanhedrin rule in a way not consistant with the pasuq, it's not
pesaq, they don't even need a par heelem davar.

In aggadita, OTOH, the question is which is true.

HOWEVER, eilu va'eilu might still have application in the realm of
aggadita. Reality might be too large for the human mind, forcing us
to rely on models that illustrate subsets of the truth that appear to
conflict. As the Or Samayach puts in his long piece in Hil' Teshuvah on
"HaKol Tzafui vehaReshus Nesunah", it is like having a blanket that is
too small for you body. Whenever you pull it over to cover one side,
you necessary leave somewhere else out to be cold. Or the proverbial
5 Blind Men and the Elephant. But the impossibility of both being true
is is only illusory, a product of human limitation.

As a YU product, I feel obligated <grin> to close this "however" with
the word "dialectic".

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             If you're going through hell
micha at aishdas.org        keep going.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Winston Churchill
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