[Avodah] The MaHaRal that will not go Away

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Sun Feb 10 11:05:28 PST 2013

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 03:18:53AM +1100, Meir Rabi wrote:
: As best I can penetrate R Micha's response, he seems to be answering that
: the MaHaRal is not talking about Paskening Halacha LeMaAseh but is talking
: about TTorah....
: I must therefore assume that R Micha's answer to my question is in the
: negative. According to R Micha, Correct decisions are Torah even when there
: is no Talmud behind them. However, this is the position of Rashi with whom
: the MaHaRal makes it abundantly clear that he disagrees with, in the
: strongest possible terms.

He is clear that he disagrees with this being the intent of the gemara,
not the idea itself.

The Maharal thereby divorces the quote from the topic of pesaq altogether.
You want to read him as saying they're related, but in the opposite way
as Rashi -- that talmud that leads to incorrect pesaq is still halachically
preferable. I'm not even sure how that's meaningful; what's left to the
idea of "incorrect pesaq" if the thought process *defines* correctness
regardless of results.

The Maharal says that if the gemara meant that ruling from mishnah led
to mistakes, and that's what destroys the world, it would refer to
"hora'as ta'us" rather than "hora'as halakhah". And thus the gemara
must be talking someone who learns miqra and mishnah to the exclusion
of talmud even when he gets the halakhah right. These people destroy
the world because it's talmud that is the third pillar. Even though
the pesaqim actually are accurate and halakhah.

: R Micha urges that we notice that MaHaRal?s comments are not directed to
: the masses. I don't see this at all. Please tell us where this is alluded
: to.

1- He talks about hora'ah, as does the quote he's working with. As in "yoreh
yoreh", not as in a person deciding for themselves zil qeri bei rav issues
that do not require a poseiq.

2- The Maharal compares this group to those who aren't meshamshim their
rabbanim of the prior paragraph. Again, a discussion of the shalsheles
hamesorah for pesaq, not that of the masses.

: It also sounds as though the desperate plea and despondency of the MaHaRal
: is misunderstood. MaHaRal wails that compared to what we are doing to day,
: HaLeVay we would be learning the Mishnah. That way at least we would be at
: the threshold of the Talmud and there might be a small chance that we may
: progress to the Talmud. But as it stands today [says MaHaRal, of his times]
: it is a disaster of much greater proportions because by consulting the Tur
: and the RaMBaM and the ShA, we have moved even further from ever getting to
: learn Talmud.

Although he feels that the Rambam and the Tur weren't written for this
purpose, and the SA was -- which is why he came out against the SA.

Nothing in this paragraph has to do with claiming that it's more important
for pesaq to be based on thought than it be accurate. There is nothing in
it with which I disagree.

: The MaHaRal certainly says nothing like, "WRT to pesaq, rather than neglect
: of talmud Torah, case law would be sufficient because it's the reishis
: letalmud vehaschalah eilav." ...

Pg 69, col 1, line 6, starting with the final word "aval". Yes, the Maharal
says "bedor zeh", but he distinguishes mishnayos in that it's "asuyag
letalmud ki hatalmud hu peirush halakhah". Not his later point that pasqening
for mishnayos is the best we can do.

: RaMBaM in his intro suggests that his Mishneh Torah be used as the text for
: TSBP; how does the MaHaRal in that case suggest that RaMBaM would have
: preferred not to publish his Sefer had he known that it would be used to
: avoid learning Talmud? That's not a problem. Just keep in mind RaMBaMs
: guidelines in Hilchos TT for how much time one must dedicate to TT. And he
: is not providing guidelines for Poskim but for the entire Jewish People.

But you said the Maharal's disdain for codes was also even for the entire
Jewish People.

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of
micha at aishdas.org        heights as long as he works his wings.
http://www.aishdas.org   But if he relaxes them for but one minute,
Fax: (270) 514-1507      he plummets downward.   - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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