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Author:  shmulie
E-mail:  not available
Date:  11/17/2003 10:25:00 PM
Subject:  Science and torah
Message:  Rabbi,
a few weeks ago, we had a back-and-forth about science and torah which concluded in you telling me that all i was saying was apikorsus, and to beware of it. since then i have done some extensive research on the subject, and came up with the following:

1) Chazal based their statements of science, medicine and the like on the information that they had available to them (at times this included gentile "experts") not some mesorah etc., SEE for example Shabbos 85a "Asher gavlu rishonim..." and Rashi there. Also SEE Rambam Hilchos Kidush HAChodesh 17:24 and Maseches Nidah 22b (reliance on Doctors for information).

2) Is it possible that Chazal erred in areas of science etc? SEE Pesachim 94b"Tanu rabanan Chachmei Yisrael Omerim ...." (Rebbi chooses the opinion of umos haolam over chachmei yisroel) See Shut Maharam Alashkr # 96 - it was the opinion of Rav Sherirah Gaon, Rav Hai Gaon and the Rambam (who are certainly not conservative rabbis!!), all brought in that Teshuva, that Chazal erred in the area of Astronomy - WHERE THEY APIKORSIM? Also See gen. Rav Avrahm Beno Shel HaRambam's Maamar on Derashos Chazal (printed in sefer Milchemes HaShem) and (THIS IS A GOOD ONE) Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim chelek 3 end of perek 14 "Velo tivakesh ...." -Apparently Chazal because they simply relied on those who were believed to be "experts" in the area - were subject to error. - This point is also made quite nicely in an artcle wriiten by Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsche re: Agados (I have an english rendering - if you would like to read it - i Beleive it was in Light Magazine - more than once). c.F. rav dovod tzvi Hoffman's comments in Melamed Lehoeil (heearos mukdamos to Sefer VaYikra)

3) With Spec regard to the bugs in fruit - SEE Rav Y. Lampertini's Pachad Yitzcok in the section "Tzeidah Haasurah" - he says chazal made a mistake in this area. - WAS HE AN APIKORES.

4) All of this not withstanding - there certainly were those rishonim, achronim who pref to resort to the nishtanu hativiim school of thought - which is certainly their perogative - BUT to say the above is apikorsus ...

Thank you for your time
   
Reply:  To all you people out there!
This is a typical example of our modern day Apikorsim (non-believers). There are thousands of Gemaras, Rishonim, Achronim, and more that clearly state that we should and could trust our Rabbis. He who says this type of stuff is listed in Sanhedrin as an Apikores, under "May Ahanu Lan Rabbanan." But then you'll say, "but he brought so many sources." Let's look at one or two.
Reliance on doctors for information?! Of course. Can things be different today? Certainly. When the Gemara listed a cure for something, it worked. Period!
the opinion of umos haolam over chachmei yisroel?! That Gemara is way over this guy's head. Based on the way he speaks, I assume he doesn't believe in Kaballah. In his simple world, this is an argument between the Jewish sages and the non-Jewish ones, and Rebbi sided with the others. There is a depth to our Talmud that is beyond that simple comprehension. Even in that simplistic understanding, there is no issue. Disputes are a part of the system.
I'm sure in many different issues you can find an opinion that explains it in a way that is different than the mainstream Rishonim & Acharonim. These Apikorsim take every issue and find a justification somewhere, or they modify one to fit.
How can they ever explain the thousands of statements contradicting their lack of trust in our Sages of the Talmud and beyond. Statements showing that one who doubts his Rebbi is Chayav Mitah (deserves death). They don't learn those Gemaras, or they say it is only allegorical. They'll always find some Sefer somewhere with a little hint of a comment in their direction. What stupidity! The Rabbis in those days were capable of killing people by just looking at them, bringing people back to life, and even creating people from earth (but these Golems don't speak). Many went up to heaven to visit during their lifetime. Some would study and the angels would come to listen. So many of them conversed face to face with Eliyahu Hanavie (Elijah the Prophet), and even the Malach Hamavet (the angel of death). They argued on Moshe (Moses) Rabbeinu more than a thousand years later on the meaning of the Torah he brought us, and even on God in Halachic issues. They knew astrology better than we know our own backyards. They were capable of getting gold delivered by a hand from the sky, and taken back the next morning. They made goats bring bears on their horns to prove their honesty. They split rivers in order to cross. They said a few words and they were able to instantly arrive thousands of miles away. The Sanhedrin Rabbis knew all the languages. I can go on for weeks....
And these idiotic Apikorsim think that you can believe in the Torah, accept the Gemara (Talmud) as the truth, yet they think these Rabbis made mistakes on almost insignificant little things. They learn Torah only to build and establish their Apikorsut, and we must all keep away from them like from a plague. Better to get the plague than listen to them. These idiots clearly have no serious background in Talmud and studied it with certain conclusions fixed, and attempt to justify them. It is extremely difficult for an Apikores to do Teshuva (repent), because God does not help them, and because their soul eventually gets it's sustenance from the other side.
Avoid these people, and don't even talk to them.
God should help us be strong against these people and their opinions.
AA

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