Rabbi Avraham Chaim Carmel on the Slifkin
As you realized on your
last visit, my father, shlita, is unfortunately no longer in a
position to discuss the issue of your books.
I would like to share with you some ideas I have discussed with him
in the past.
have tried to imagine what would have been Rabbi Dessler’s position with
regard to the ban against your books.
The following three points come to mind:
Rabbi Dessler advocated a healthy skepticism, to the point of
contempt, towards the “conclusions” of scientism, in particular where
these challenged the beliefs of a Torah Jew.
See the epilogue to Artscroll’s biography of Rav Dessler (p.
365), “Against the worship of Science”.
He would not have taken kindly
to your attitude that anything reported in “The New Scientist” as fact
is to be accepted as such.
Rabbi Dessler, following in the footsteps of the Maharal, taught us
to have the greatest reverence for Chazal and the tremendous siyatta
diShmaya and divine insight that permeates all their teachings.
I think that his advice to
anyone tackling issues of science and Torah would have been to use their
knowledge to discover, or come up with, alternative theories that the bias
of scientism may have rejected, but may give more credence to Chazal.
As you may have by now discovered, the main opposition of the Gedolim
is to your attempt to “re-educate” or reformulate the thinking of the
chareidi community. As one
person put it: “your worst crime” was to put haskamos on the
Rabbi Dessler was
uncharacteristically outspoken in his criticism of such attempts (see
letters vol. 3).
Finally, regardless whether I am correct in my assessment of Rabbi
Dessler’s attitude to the above, one thing is definite.
After the fact, Rabbi Dessler would have accepted the decision of
those Rabbanim, Roshei Yeshiva and Mashgichim in whose hands Hashem
has entrusted the directions of our generation.
When Hashem showed Adam and Moshe, “dor dor vedorshav…
manhigav” these are the names on that list.
We can get no closer to Hashem’s ratzon than by listening
to our Gedolim who have spent their entire lives in ascertaining
the emes of Torah. Even
if, as a result of all the non-Torah ideas that we have read, their
opinion seems to us to be incorrect, Hashem wants us to follow them.
Their siyatta diShmaya in knowing what is good for Klal
Yisrael is unimaginably greater than ours.
you all the best,
I saw a statement on your website to the effect that “G-d told you that
the mabul never happened.” I
would like to draw your attention to the Radak who writes that a navi
sheker may truly believe that he had a Divine revelation about the
falsehood he prophesizes about. He
is nevertheless chayav missa, because as a believing Jew, he is
required to realize that he has allowed himself to be mislead by his
imaginations (or as a horaas sha’a, since he is a danger to Klal
[Rabbi Carmell is commenting on the following
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2003 11:29:05 +0200 From: Zoo Torah <
@zootorah.com> Subject: RE: Basics for Philisophical discussions
Actually, if someone feels that one needs to have a sufficiently qualified
authority upon which to rely for the allegorization of the Mabul, then I
can provide one. It's a more authoritative source than the Rishonim. More
authoritative even than Chazal. It's the Metziyus. Hashem's "diary of
history," the physical world, states that there was no global Flood. I
think that Hashem is a reliable source (unless, of course, He was
deliberately deceiving us...). There is only one metziyus. On the other
hand, there are different ways of understanding the Torah....]