[Avodah] When BD Errs, Who Brings the Sin Offering, AKA the MaHaRal that will not go away

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Wed Feb 20 14:32:50 PST 2013

RMR wrote me about the topic off-list, and I replied in kind. I have a
problem now that this last email expresses a misunderstanding of what I
said there, presents it as my opinion, and so I need to back fill where
RMR is coming from.

I wrote a point-by-point reply, and then summarized:

> We disagree on how to understand the Maharal on two issues:

> 1- Is the destruction caused by the moreh halakhah mitokh hamishnah because
> his hora'ah is inferior, or that he isn't engaging in talmud Torah? I'm
> arguing that it's not inferiority of hora'ah, because he explicitly says
> that broken hora'ah isn't called moreh halakhah.

Rather, "moreh ta'us". And if it's not moreh halakhah to get the wrong
answer due to a lack of talmud, it's also not moreh halakhah to do so by
ill considered talmud. (Which he later also calls ta'us.)

>                                                  Also, because he is saying
> it's like the am ha'aretz who didn't do shimush, but worse -- and the am
> ha'aretz isn't pasqening.

Also Maharal says that the ill of pasqening from mishnah and neglecting
talmud is "ki ha'olam omeid al haTorah", a reference to Avos 1:2, "al
sheloshah devarim ha'olam omeid". This is a discussion of neglecting
talmud Torah, not a neglect of the right way to pasqen.

Third (as already posted on-list):
} 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.

Back to my private email:
> 2- When he talks about the need to be moreh from one's seikhel, is he even
> talking about someone who wasn't deemed competent for hora'ah, just
> deciding for himself what to do in cases his qehillah has a settled pesaq?
> I'm arguing no, since that's not "moreh".

RMR's position allows for some ad absurdum. Somoene in the 8th cent asks
their rav a question, and he asks the gaon. The rav gets a reply, but the
original sho'el isn't convinced, so he does his own thing. RMR's take of
the Maharal and RCVolozhiner is that this guy did the preferable thing.

There is then no notion of pesaq, just rabbinic advice for people to make
up their own minds. And it's better if they do that and violate the ruling
in every code, shu"t and peirush ever written than if they actually act on
emunas chakhamim -- because the alternative is destroying the world.

>                                           Also, if it were all one topic,
> the Maharal would be saying that the Yad is both the minimal learning for
> the masses and yet also insufficient learning for them (since [RMR is]
> unifying talmud Torah and hora'ah in #1).

To clarify:

OT1H, the Yad is the Mishneh Torah, sufficient learning for those of
the masses who lack the time to go elsewhere in depth.

OTOH, RMR has the Maharal saying that had he known that people -- including
the masses who lack the time -- were deciding halakhah for themselves based
only on his code, he would have been upset.

Is it sufficient learning or not?

>                                           Whereas I'm saying it's both
> minimal learning for the masses and insufficient for their posqim. And the
> abuse is when the poseiq doesn't realize he graduated.

And so as I see the Maharal, he is making two very different points:

1- Everyone needs Talmud, not just cutting to the chase with a Qitzur,
   becauase talmud Torah is one of the 3 amudei olam.

2- Someone capable of true hora'ah shouldn't be trying to play safe by
   pasqening out of a codes.

On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 12:49:01AM +1100, Meir Rabi wrote:
: Reb Micha argues that permission is required before one can Pasken, which
: is the purpose of Semicha. But I say, this is not true. The purpose of
: Semicha is to provide permission to Pasken FOR OTHERS...

Which is why I said permission is needed for hora'ah. Not for deciding
halakhah for oneself. Hora'ah is inherently for others.

:                                                        Anyone and EVERYONE
: must engage in Talmud and debate Halacha. If the Posek cannot explain his
: Pesak, we are NOT PERMITTED to accept it, as per the reb Chaim VeLosziner I
: have quoted in other posts...

And as I explained then and again above, the results end up absurd. Then
there is no concept of halachic authority left, ish hayashar be'einav

RCV is telling talmidim to try to understand the pesaq they get. Not that
they must understand it or they must reject it. That emunas chakhamim
doesn't mean ignoring talmud Torah.

:                             It is part of the system that compels those who
: followed Beis Din's erronous ruling, to bring THEIR OWN sin offering.

This is only WRT grevious errors. Hil Shegagos 14:1 -- vehoru la`qor guf
migufei Torah. His eg (14:2), BD say it's okay to bow to AZ, to carry
mireshus lereshus on Shabbos, or that bi'ah is mutar with a shomeres yom.

But, if they made a mistake that doesn't rise to that level, like
throwing meireshus lereshus or moshit would be mutar, then they are the
ones chayavim.

: Following a Posek, following a Beis Din, does not exempt one from bringing
: a sin offering; even when it is the Torah, it is HKBH who instructs us to
: follow the BD, to follow the majority.

As I just cited -- in any normal case, actually, it does.

: How does the MaHaRal forcefully posit that RaMBaM would not have published
: his Sefer had he known that its use would lead to people abandoning Talmud
: learning, when RaMBaM himself writes in his intro that his Mishneh Torah be
: used as the text for TSBP? The answer is that we must keep in mind RaMBaMs
: guidelines in Hilchos TT regarding how much time one must dedicate to TT.
: And RaMBaM is not providing guidelines for Poskim but for the entire Jewish
: People.

This actually makes my point.... The entire Jewish People includes those
who aren't experts, are still learning in three thirds, and the Rambam
is telling them to use the Mishneh Torah. When it comes to morei
hora'ah, who the Rambam has focusing on talmud, and thus not primarily
on the Yad, the Maharal is saying that the Rambam would not have them
pasqen from the Yad to the exclusion of using their own talmud.

Both statements couldn't refer to the same class of people. And apparently
you agree here.

: Reb Micha argues that the MaHaRal explains the MeVaLey Olam as referring
: exclusively to Poskim, people who actually get the Halacha correct...

Mavlei olam is anyone who isn't engaging in talmud torah upon which the
world stands. Morei hora'ah who in their caution rely on codes rather
than feel self-secure enough to use their own heads to deal with cases
that might not match up exactly are therefore among the general class
of mavlei olam.

:                   MaHaRal simply says that the PROBLEM is NOT that they GET
: WRONG IDEA ABOUT HOW TO SERVE GD. HKBH does NOT wish to be served by

This is RMR, not the Maharal. Our ch of Nesivos Olam says nothing about

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to
micha at aishdas.org        suffering, but only to one's own suffering.
http://www.aishdas.org                 -Robert Lynd, writer (1879-1949)
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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