Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  USS NJ
E-mail:  not available
Date:  1/18/2005 9:19:00 AM
Subject:  Chazal and modern views
Message:  I am (or rather was) in a shiur learning Mesechet Niddah. As we were learning through it, the many statements of Chazal on the various physical/biological aspects of birth, labor, etc. kept coming up. Based upon modern science and technology, most of these statements are not true, and do not conform to known physiology and biological processes.

The rabbi who teaches the class took the point of view that chazal are always right, and to question them or to think anything they say is incorrect is a horrible sin and bordering on apicorsut. I have left the shiur as this bothered me terribly. To me, chazal are not gods that can never be wrong. To elevate them to that status is the sin in my point of view. The Torah goes out of it's way to show, that even the greatest person, Moshe Rabbeinu was not perfect.
I am having a lot of trouble w/this rabbi's point of view. It seems to me to be another manifestation of the so called modern "yeshivish" outlook on life. It makes me very uncomfortable to say the least.

I was wondering what the Rav's perspective on this issue is. I appreciate any response, as this is really bothering me at the moment. Todah Rabbah b'Kavod.
Reply:  What he should have said was, "Just like we know that nowadays women see every 28 days even though the gemara says every 30 days is the norm, so too, other facts of biological/physiological aspects of the human being have changed. There are many examples of this. This is alluded to in many places with the statement "Nishtaneh Hateva".

I'm not sure if I understand your issue with the Chazal always being right. It says "elu vaelu divrei Elohim chaim". That means they are both correct. However, we have instructions that tell us how to decide whom we follow in Halacha. There are many Rabbonim out there and they each hold differently in at least one situation than the other. Does that mean one is right and one is wrong? No we must follow our Rov.

Back to the Q & A Board