Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dialogue – The Hoax of Geology: Final

This post is the final submission in an ongoing series of posts relating to Geology.

Rabbi Slifkin writes:

Prior to the eighteenth century, geology did not exist as a historical science. The world was universally agreed to have been created several thousand earlier by God, using a dramatic process that could not be fathomed by mortal man…Additionally…it was assumed that the Deluge had wreaked havoc upon the world subsequent to creation.

But in 1793, a canal digger by the name of William Smith made a startling discovery, as described in the superb book The Map That Changed The World. He found that the same strata of rock are always found in the same order of superposition, and they always contain the same fossils. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Certain types of rock contained certain types of fossils that were unique to those beds. The layers of rock always appeared in the same order. This pattern held true everywhere that Smith checked…And thus the Meiselman theory was abandoned, and the modern science of geology was born.

Two comments are in order.

First of all, the "Meiselman theory" was not yet abandoned. The early geologists were all catastrophists. They believed that the superposition of strata occurred rapidly and was caused by major geological upheavals in earth’s past such as the biblical deluge. Only later was the science of geology harnessed in the service of the nascent theory of evolution. It is important to understand that the neat superposition of strata one on top of the next is not any more consistent with evolutionary theory than it is with "catastrophe theory".

Second of all, contrary to Rabbi Slifkin’s claim, the significance of William Smith’s discovery cannot be understated. Smith checked in England. That’s it! England, at its longest point, is less than 400 miles long. The fact that the strata are uniform in this relatively small geographical locality is entirely insignificant in the greater scheme of things. Yes, Smith’s discovery launched the current branch of science known as Historical Geology but as this science progressed, it was discovered that Smith’s observations did not necessarily hold true in other localities. One hundred years later, in the late 1800’s, professional geologists already knew that Rabbi Slifkin’s statement "the layers of rock always appeared in the same order" was simply false! But the apikorsus of evolutionary dogma is so insidious, so pervasive, so ubiquitous, and so all-encompassing, that even well informed laymen such as Rabbi Slifkin still believe, 120 years later (!), that the layers of rock always appear in the same order.

Rabbi Slifkin continues to write:

Geology is an extremely useful science; it's not an ivory-tower philosophy. All kinds of industries and activities, as well as those investigating natural disasters, employ geologists. Because geology works. The patterns that are found in the rocks, the processes that are inferred from them and are still seen happening today, can all be relied upon to be applicable universally - throughout the planet, and throughout history. Billion-dollar industries prove it so! The constancy of nature over long periods was not an assumption - it was a discovery.

And therein lays the rub. This paragraph constitutes the very essence of what is wrong with Rabbi Slifkin’s assumptions about science and all those who follow in his path. These assumptions have been the bane of our mesorah! They have even managed to lead astray some of the greatest of our nation. Yes, geology is an extremely useful science and yes it is not an ivory tower philosophy. But it depends which branch of geology is being discussed. "Historical Geology", as Rabbi Slifkin calls it, has nothing to do with the billion dollar industries Rabbi Slifkin makes reference to. These industries utilize operational geology.

Operational science is governed by an entirely different set of rules. Its theories must be tested. The results must be confirmed. Its conclusions must be based on empirical evidence. These industries, by definition, are incapable of relying on ridiculous, unproven (and actually false) assumptions such as the uniformity of rock beds over the globe. Industrial geology could care a wit if Rabbi Slifkin’s claim that "Certain types of rock contained certain types of fossils that were unique to those beds" was true or false. It is simply irrelevant to their branch of scientific endeavor.

The truth is Evolution has invaded practically every branch of science, from paleontology and geology to biology and chemistry. Even physics and astronomy have not been spared. Its theories have sullied practically every academic field with the possible exceptions of fields such as mathematics and computer science. The result is that Evolution has managed to generate a whole new branch of science. This branch of science is referred to as "historical science". (I adopted this term from ID author and scientist Stephen Meyer)

The academic world tries its hardest to conflate these two branches of science – operational science and historical science – and thus blur the distinction between them. By doing this they generate the false assumption that just as operational science is proven so is historical science. Just as operational science is dependable, so is historical science. If Rabbi Slifkin understood, truly understood, the fundamental distinction between these two branches of science, he would think twice before investing all of his faith in the materialistic, ivory-tower philosophies of the "global scientific community".

If frum Jews understood the inherently speculative nature of the historical sciences, many of the anti-masoretic "reconciliations" offered by people like Rabbi Slifkin would become obviated. If frum Jews understood the true philosophical underpinnings of historical science, they wouldn’t hesitate to scoff (our forefather’s name, Yitzchak – he will scoff) at the materialism of the savants. If they understood the categorical lack of scientific evidence which typically attends the origins-based sciences, they wouldn’t even dream of abandoning their mesorah in favor of science or distorting the verses of the Torah in the service of needless apology. The problem is, most people don’t understand and unfortunately, even when informed, are incapable of breaking free of their preconceived notions. As one of my esteemed colleagues is frequently in the habit of stating, "people simply don’t know how to think".

This concludes our treatment of the evidence, or lack thereof, for evolution from the science of geology. Comments are encouraged.

32 comments:

  1. E-Man,

    If you are going to claim Rabbi Slifkin is lying you must quote the part of Rav Caro explained by Rabbi Fisher otherwise you have zero credibility in your claim.

    Why? Rabbi Slifkin didn’t “quote the part of Rav Caro explained by Rabbi Fisher”. He just made a blanket statement in the name of Rav Caro (with a supposed explanation by R’ Fischer). Why is it that you trust him that somehow he has a source but you don’t trust me that he has no source? To my mind, if you are really interested in the truth, you should be writing to Rabbi Slifkin, not me. Write Rabbi Slifkin and request his source for Rav Caro.

    Otherwise I could claim right back at you, "It is obvious you are lying and misrepresenting everything in the world.

    How could you claim that? I specifically supplied the source for Rav Caro’s discussion in this matter. All you need to do is look it up and you will see that everything I said is exactly as stated there. If you think Rabbi Slifkin has another source from Rabbi Caro which states that “even though Chazal are wrong we still listen to them” then write him and ask him to produce it! If he doesn’t that should be sufficient evidence that he doesn’t have one! I’m not sure what you want from me…

    ReplyDelete
  2. You posted this comment on the wrong thread, whatever.

    "Why? Rabbi Slifkin didn’t “quote the part of Rav Caro explained by Rabbi Fisher”. "

    YOU are claiming HE is lying. That is a serious accusation and without bringing in support for your accusation you detract from your own credibility.

    How do you know I have not emailed Rabbi slifkin for the source? I am only challenging your severe accusation that is unsubstantiated.

    "I specifically supplied the source for Rav Caro’s discussion in this matter."

    The source you provided would have mattered if it was the source R. Slifkin brought. It was not. He said Rav Caro ACCORDING TO R. Fisher. So, unless you can find this source and either reinterpret it or prove it doesn't exist you have, again, shown that you lash out at people with no support.

    Once again, Rav Slifkin quoted Rav Caro ACCORDING TO R. Fisher. That is like saying the Gemara according to Rashi or Tosfos. Rashi and Tosfos sometimes disagree on what the Gemara meant. Or, should I say, OFTEN disagree on what the Gemara meant.

    Find the ACTUAL SOURCE he is quoting. That is not Rav Caro, but R. Fisher explaining Rav Caro.

    What I want from you is that you claim to be a wholesome yid who follows the Torah. Slandering someone and calling them a liar without checking THEIR ACTUAL SOURCE is not how a ben Torah acts. If you look up Rav Fisher and he doesn't say what Rav Slifkin says then you can claim he is misrepresenting the truth.

    Until then you have slandered without substantiation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. E-Man,

    I have no desire to engage you in pointless dialogue. From the ad hominem nature of your previous comment, it is obvious that our discussion is headed southbound. I will respond this once and that’s it.

    I’ve provided you the well-known source in Rav Caro which discusses this issue. This no doubt is precisely the source Rabbi Slifkin is referring to. If, as you claim, you’ve contacted Rabbi Slifkin and he has provided you with another source, you would have produced it. But you haven’t. Neither has he. So stop playing games. And stop avoiding the issue. Rabbi Slifkin doesn’t need you to protect his honor.

    As far as your comment re R’ Fischer, it is meaningless. Rabbi Slifkin quotes Rabbi Fischer approvingly which means that he agrees with Rabbi Fischer’s supposed interpretation of Rav Caro. This blog is an analysis of Rabbi Slifkin’s views (as the name of the blog implies) not Rabbi Fischer’s views. Besides, I never saw Rabbi Fischer interpreting Rav Caro the way Rabbi Slifkin would like us to believe. All I have is Rabbi Slifkin’s tacit approval of Rabbi Fischer’s supposed interpretation of “Rav Caro” and everyone who is in the sugya knows exactly which “Rav Caro” Rabbi Slifkin is referring to.

    If you have anything substantive to add to this discussion, by all means. However if it’s just more of the same I’ve seen in your last comment, I’m out.

    Be well,

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are a funny man and that is all I have to say about that. I am not really sure you understood what I was saying based on your response, but repeating it would be pointless.

    Also, I am still confused as to how your blog exists since the Gedolim that you follow have banned the internet. I know why FKM continues, but I am not sure I was ever clear on your heter. Would you be able to e-mail me because I am curious. Thanks.Jsmith11085@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. E-man

    You are a funny man and that is all I have to say about that.

    Too bad. I wish you had more to say. I wish you would either produce a source in Rav Caro that “Chazal made mistakes but we listen to them anyway” or admit that you can’t. It’s not too much to ask you know…

    Also, I am still confused as to how your blog exists since the Gedolim that you follow have banned the internet.

    Please don’t tell them!

    I know why FKM continues

    Can’t I use the same excuse?

    but I am not sure I was ever clear on your heter

    Yeah… I know what you mean… I’m also not sure I was ever clear on my heter either…

    Look E-man, I’m here. That’s the fact. dan me l’kaf z’chus that I have a heter and let’s get on to business. Do you have a source in Rav Yoseph Caro, zecher tzadik v’kadosh l’vrahca, which says that “although Chazal erred we still follow their opinions”; yes or no?

    I bet you will

    a) not respond, or

    b) respond, but not to my question.

    I challenge you to prove me wrong…

    ReplyDelete
  6. I challenged you first to prove R. Slifkin wrong and you have yet to provide his source. All you did was quote a part of the kesef Mishna that Rav Slifkin may or may not have been referring to. Either way you have not quoted Rabbi Fisher who is the one being quoted by Rabbi Slifkin.

    Not sure how Rabbi Slifkin is lying if he is going according to Rabbi Fisher.

    I still don't think you understand that. If I say that according to Rav Soloveichik's understanding of Rav Chaim I am going to explain x-y and z that doesn't mean Rav Chaim says anything straight out. That means I am telling you what Rav Soloveichik said. Do you see your misunderstanding here? You are saying that Rav Slifkin is making something up, but all you do is link to a single kesef mishna and you don't even mention the fact that Rav Fisher is the one Rabbi Slifkin is talking about.

    I need not provide any source. I am simply pointing out that you are accusing someone of lying without asking them about their source. Maybe if you knew kol a hatorah kula and KNEW that there was nothing else that Rabbi Slifkin could be referring to and you KNEW what Rabbi Fisher said then I wouldn't point out this problem. But we both know you do not know kol hatorah kula (not even all of Rav Caro's works and what he says) nor do you have the slightest inkling of what Rav Fisher says.

    You can't rely on FKM's heter. He got it specifically from Rabbi Meiselman, his Rebbe, for a specific purpose.

    I would be dan likaf zechus if I could think of a single Gadol that would allow you on the internet that you would follow, but I can't think of any. Do you know of any? I don't mind that you are on the internet in the slightest, I am just curious about who would let you on the internet and who gave you the heter.

    If you want the actual source for Rabbi Slifkin's statements he IS ALIVE. E-mail him and ask him instead of slandering him. If you were right and his only source was the kesef mishna in mamrim (which it can't be because he is going according to Rabbi Fisher) then you would be justified. Until that point you are slandering without Justification.

    "Do you have a source in Rav Yoseph Caro, zecher tzadik v’kadosh l’vrahca, which says that “although Chazal erred we still follow their opinions”; yes or no?"

    Again, I am surprised that you would ask this. Rabbi Slifkin himself, in the previous post you wrote said that it was Rav Caro ACCORDING TO RAV FISHER. What are you not understanding here? I am soooo confused by you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just to bring your quote again to show you what I mean in case you are confused for some reason:
    Rabbi Slifkin said:

    "Yesterday, I noted how Chasam Sofer was of the view that the Sanhedrin may be mistaken in their rulings, and yet they must be obeyed, due to the importance of a centralized rabbinic authority. In this, he was following the approach of Sefer HaChinnuch (and, arguably, some others). Rav Yosef Caro, as explained by Rabbi Shlomo Fisher, takes the same approach to Chazal. Chazal could indeed be mistaken; nevertheless, we never dispute their rulings. This is because the Jewish People canonized the Gemara; we accept its binding authority, regardless of whether or not Chazal were correct. (Cases involving matters of life and death are an exception to this, as discussed previously)."

    Please realize that Rabbi Slifkin says Rav Caro ACCRODING TO RABBI FISHER. Again, that means Rav Caro as explained by Rabbi Fisher. So, if you want to say anyone is making up sources it would have to be Rabbi Fisher, not Rabbi Slifkin.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "This blog is an analysis of Rabbi Slifkin’s views (as the name of the blog implies) not Rabbi Fischer’s views."

    I have notice that very often people are too scared to attack those that originally stated their controversial views, they therefore "shoot the messenger"

    ReplyDelete
  9. Exactly my point david. This is not Rabbi Slifkin's idea, it is Rabbi Fisher's. Therefore, Rabbi Slifkin is not the one SC is calling a liar, but really Rabbi Fisher since HE is the one who came up with this idea in Rav Caro.

    ReplyDelete
  10. E-man

    I predicted:

    “I bet you will…b) respond, but not to my question.

    You responded:

    I challenged you first to prove R. Slifkin wrong and you have yet to provide his source.

    Prediction confirmed. The rest of your email constitutes patent avoidance. I provided you with his source. You choose to question my authority to do so. Too bad. I stick to what I am saying. I don’t think we have anything else to discuss regarding this matter…

    ReplyDelete
  11. R Coffer,
    Can you please be brave enough to admit that you are calling Rabbi Fisher a liar?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Danny,

    Shalom Aleichem! Welcome to our blog and thank you for writing.

    You wrote: Can you please be brave enough to admit that you are calling Rabbi Fisher a liar?

    Why should I do such a thing? Can you produce a verified statement in his name that “despite the fact that Chazal erred we still follow their opinions”?

    Here’s my prediction. Pigs will fly before someone will produce a verified statement in Rabbi Fischer’s name that Chazal erred.

    By the way, I am not calling anyone a liar. That’s E-man’s line. Rabbi Slifkin is not a liar. He is a polemicist. In the heat of argument people sometimes exaggerate their point. The purpose of this blog is to analyze. I simply pointed out that Rabbi Slifkin’s reliance on Rabbi Caro was an invention of his own mind. E-man chose to make a whole issue out of this. Please don’t get swept up in frivolities…

    ReplyDelete
  13. If this isn't calling someone a liar "Now Rabbi Slifkin has stooped to inventing sources in support of his thesis." I don't think you understand what a lie is.

    ReplyDelete
  14. And just as I thought, you have no idea what Rabbi Slifkin's source is, yet you still call him a liar (or if you don't understand what a lie is, someone who says things exists that don't really exist)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anyway, at the very least SC, you should say you don't believe Rabbi Fisher ever said such a thing. Since HE IS THE ONE RABBI SLIFKIN IS GOING ACCORDING TO.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "R’ Yosef Caro does not say that "Chazal could indeed be mistaken; nevertheless, we never dispute their rulings." What he says is that although normally a latter Beis Din may dispute the halachic rulings of a former Beis Din, the chasimas haMishana and chasimas haTalmud are apparent exceptions to this rule."

    Excuse my ignorance but I don't understand what you mean, if you dispute chazal's halachic rulings does that not mean that you think they were mistaken?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Danny wrote:

    Excuse my ignorance but I don't understand what you mean, if you dispute chazal's halachic rulings does that not mean that you think they were mistaken?

    Ahhh… givaldic! Finally a good ha’ara. I was worried this thread would die an ignoble death.

    The answer to your question is no. Why? Because the dispute discussed in the Rambam in Hilchos Mamrim refers to a dispute between two batei din. As per the gemara, Rambam paskens that a later beis din has the right to overrule a previous beis din when it comes to halacha (as opposed to gizeira).

    Does this mean that the previous beis din was mistaken? No. It means that at this point the halacha is different. How can this be? Because halacha is established via the understanding of the currently functioning beis din. This is the very definition of halacha.

    According to Kesef Mishneh (Rabbi Caro), the Talmud Bavli possesses a superior halachic status in the sense that future batei din cannot dispute its rulings. Why is this? Rabbi Caro posits that since our entire nation accepted upon ourselves the final rulings of the Talmud, this effectively eliminates the ability of any future beis din to countermand its rulings. Nowhere does Rabbi Caro state that “we follow Chazal despite the fact that they were wrong.” In fact, concepts of right and wrong don’t even enter the picture here. Even if we did have permission to pasken differently than Chazal, that wouldn’t make their halachic rulings “wrong”.

    Danny, was my explanation understandable? If so, do you have any further issues? Or perhaps you understand my position but nonetheless disagree? Please let me know.

    Be well,

    ReplyDelete
  18. "Nowhere does Rabbi Caro state that “we follow Chazal despite the fact that they were wrong.”"

    Again, NO ONE is claiming that Rav Caro said this straight out. It is how R. Fisher explains R. Caro. I still don't see what you are missing.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sc-

    Thanks I am still a bit confused so maybe I should try by using a practical example
    If I am hopelessly wrong, I would appreciate it if you could bring a practical case.

    Let's assume that the prohibition of masturbation is a rabbinic one, a later bais din might decide that because people today get married later and because of the crazy provocative world we live in, people will simply not be able to handle having no sexual outlet, therefore this baisdin wants to permit masturbation, this would not imply That the previous beisdin was wrong.
    Now the problem is that because the prohibition is part of the talmud we can't change this halachick ruling even if we might have changed it if we could

    ReplyDelete
  20. Danny,

    Now the problem is that because the prohibition is part of the talmud we can't change this halachick ruling even if we might have changed it if we could

    Correct. So what is the problem? The fact that we can’t now change halacha? This is no different than the fact that we re-accepted the Torah on Purim and it became binding on all of the future generations. The gemara in Shabbos states that the Sinai revelation was not necessarily binding because future generations could say that we were forced to accept the Torah! But nine hundred years later, when we re-accepted the Torah willingly, it now became forever binding on future generations. Same thing here. We all willingly accepted the halachic conclusions of the Talmud together, the whole nation, so it now becomes binding on all future generations. This is the pashut pshat of what the Kesef Mishna means. Chazon Ish has a different spin on this Kesef Mishna and R’ Elchonon disagrees with Chazaon Ish. I don’t mind writing about it but first I’d like to know if you understand what I’ve written so far. Perhaps I will compile a post on this important matter…

    ReplyDelete
  21. E-man wrote:

    Again, NO ONE is claiming that Rav Caro said this straight out. It is how R. Fisher explains R. Caro. I still don't see what you are missing.

    Rabbi Fischer. And so are you. I am claiming that Rabbi Fischer never interpreted Rabbi Caro as saying that “although Chazal erred we follow them nonetheless…” I stick by this assertion. If you don’t like it, too bad. Prove me wrong. But you can’t. That’s the plain simple fact. I’m not sure what you are missing…

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sc-

    "Correct. So what is the problem? The fact that we can’t now change halacha?"

    Yes that is the problem, on an emotional level.

    I do understand what you are saying, (although it was difficult to understand at first. Do you know why? Because the name of this blog, gives the impression that it simply out to attack an individual, I know this is not your intent, but I and a lot of other people would be able to gain so much more from what you have to say if you explained all your insights without mentioning the slifkin thing, to be brutally honest it gets in the way of my objectivity)

    Now, why do I say that
    It is hard to grasp on an emotional level?
    Because the result is that we can't say that there is nothing wrong with masturbation, chazal were mistaken, but we try not do it because of a national acceptance, no, we are saying chazal are right and there is something wrong with masturbating.

    I know that this is going off topic but you seem sharp and rational and I would value you opinion.

    I used to view masturbation as something very negative (you know all the sources)
    I eventually realized that my negative attitude would destroy me so I started viewing masturbation as something positive on a psychological level.
    Yes my goal was to stop but this was for spiritual aspirations

    To cut a long story short a was told by certain frum people (one of them is very well known but I won't mention his name)
    That my "addiction" was talking to me and that if I don't stop masturbating I would ruin my future marriage and that masturbation is pretty much the most selfish thing that one can do.

    To cut a very long story short I took these people very seriously, but deep down I knew something was not right, so I went to ask expert mental health professionals I went to 3 of them after consultation with me they said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my mental health and that masturbation is completely normal and that my problem was my strict religious environment.

    So I had been taught nonsense,peoples religious convictions had caused me turmoil I almost complety went off the derech, thank G-d I have enough appreciation of the depths of Hashem's Torah and his beautiful universe to keep me hanging on.

    But I struggle with this
    I believe that yes there is something wrong with masturbation on a cosmic level, I have know idea what, I am sure Hashem has his reasons, but on a psychological level I don't think it is negative at all.

    Some one told me that I have lost my olum haba for my beliefs

    Rabbi Coffer, you probably completely disagree with me, and maybe I am wrong but does Hashem still love me? Can I still be considered a Torah Jew? Does Hashem turn a deaf ear to my prayers?

    Sorry for rambling on, and thanks very much for your time

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Rabbi Fischer. And so are you. I am claiming that Rabbi Fischer never interpreted Rabbi Caro as saying that “although Chazal erred we follow them nonetheless…” I stick by this assertion. If you don’t like it, too bad. Prove me wrong. But you can’t. That’s the plain simple fact. I’m not sure what you are missing…"

    I am glad you finally admitted this, that you don't believe that Rabbi SLifkin has a source IN RABBI FISHER. Now, you can realize that your link to the kesef mishna to disprove Rabbi Slifkin was worthless. You should retract your statement that Rabbi Slifkin "invented sources" and just ask him to point out the Rabbi Fisher since YOU CLEARLY HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TO FIND THIS RABBI FISHER. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA IF IT EXISTS OR NOT. Therefore, you are unqualified and unsubstantiated when you call RNS a liar.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Some anonymous person dropped this off at my blog:

    Rabbi Shlomo Fisher, Derashos Beis Yishai 15

    Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Danny,

    I apologize for the late response. I’m preparing for the summer months (I’m leaving to the Catskills tomorrow bi’ezras Hashem) and my time is short. However, July is wide open for me.

    You wrote:

    I do understand what you are saying, (although it was difficult to understand at first. Do you know why? Because the name of this blog, gives the impression that it simply out to attack an individual, I know this is not your intent, but I and a lot of other people would be able to gain so much more from what you have to say if you explained all your insights without mentioning the slifkin thing, to be brutally honest it gets in the way of my objectivity

    The purpose of this particular blog is to analyze the public opinions of Rabbi Slifkin and, where necessary, offer a rational counter-opinion to his anti-mesorah positions. There are many people who want to know how our traditional mesorah can be defended against its detractors. This blog fulfils that need. But this blog’s purpose is in no way aligned with or motivated by a desire to attack anyone. I trust you are able to grasp this important distinction.

    As far as the rest of your comment, this is not the appropriate venue for an ongoing interaction regarding your particular issue. I encourage you to write me privately at rivkyc@sympatico.ca and I will do whatever I can to assist you. However, in case you choose not to pursue this option, I will make few short general comments. I hope they are helpful.

    1) The gemara in Kiddushin sates that a man should be married by the time he is eighteen, twenty the maximum. Chazal knew what they were talking about. Hashem put a wonderful urge into mankind, let’s call it the “procreation urge” (PU) for the purpose of insuring the continuity of man. It is a functional urge, no different than, say, eating. If used properly, it is one of the forms of avodas Hahsem, just like eating. However, like eating, the PU urge can be mis-channeled and misused. The holy Rav Ashi even boasted that he got married at thirteen, as soon as he became bar-mitzvah, so as not to even give the yetzer hara a chance! It seems from your missives that you are a young, unmarried yeshiva man. The most important thing on your agenda at this time is to look for a spouse.

    2) Rambam states in Hilchos Deos that the only way to fight the PU is to “fill one’s mind with wisdom”. And as Chazal state, Hashem says “I Created the yetzer hara, and I created the Torah as a panacea for it”. If your head is constantly full of learning, it is harder for the yetzer hara to squeeze his way into your mind. But it goes without saying that you should not bring the yetzer hara into your yeshiva! No goyish newspapers or magazines…

    3) Daven to Hashem! Ask Him for help. People think Hashem is only there to help when they need money.

    4) Stay away from gentile “expert mental health professionals” like the plague! Most of them are reshaim gemurim who will fill your mind with the most wicked and crooked ideas. If you need to see a therapist, choose a well-known ben-Torah who is recommended by the gedolim. There are plenty of them.

    As I mentioned, the primary thing for you to do at this point is to seek a spouse. Otherwise, it is not likely that the other suggestions will help at this point.

    One final thing. Chazal say, “Yisrael, af al pi shechata, Yisrael hu”. Remember that Danny! Hashem loves all Jews who sincerely wish to improve.

    If you wish to continue this interchange, please write me privately.

    May Hashem Help all of klal Yisrael to overcome their nisyonos…

    ReplyDelete
  26. E-Man,

    I am continuing this thread against my better judgment (and my stated intention not to!)

    I am glad you finally admitted this, that you don't believe that Rabbi SLifkin has a source IN RABBI FISHER.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never believed Rabbi Slifkin had a source in Rabbi Fischer but I don’t KNOW that for sure because he never provided a source. What I do know is that his mention of Rav Yosef Caro was a reference to the kesef Mishna in Mamrim and he quoted an outside interpretation of the kesef Mishna (in this case Rabbi Fischer) approvingly which means that Rabbi Slifkin agrees with this interpretation. I mentioned this to you already but somehow you choose to ignore what I write and go on with your diatribe unchecked.

    E-Man, no offence but you’re a bit naïve. Rabbi Fischer is a chareidi Rabbi who probably lives in Bnei Brak or Mea Shearim. His hashkafos are as distant from Rabbi Slifkin’s as east is from west. Rabbi Slifkin has no problem disputing the conclusions of chareidi rabbanim and does so on a consistent basis. If he mentions Rav Caro and then throws in “according to Rabbi Fischer”, he is attempting to do two things. Fist of all, he is trying to harness Rav Caro in his attempt to demonstrate that Chazal made errors. An dsecond of all, he is making a subtle suggestion that even chareidi Rabbanim agree with this. But know this: Rabbi Slifkin is not relying on Rabbi Fischer as the authority which establishes the interpretation of Rav Caro because Rabbi Slifkin would not hesitate to discount Rabbi Fischer’s opinion if it contradicted “Rationalist” thought. Rabbi Slifkin is quoting this interpretation of Rav Caro because Rabbi Slifkin feels it is correct!

    BTY, there is nothing wrong with this! I do the same thing. I don’t appeal to authority. I state my opinion independent of currently fashionable ideas. But the reality is that Rabbi Slifkin wants you to believe that Rav Caro is aligned with his view on Chazal. Thus, I wrote that he is inventing sources. I didn’t say he was lying because technically maybe Rabbi Fischer does say what he says. I said “inventing sources” because Rabbi Slifkin’s underlying message is wrong. This is a subtle point. Please think about it before firing off another comment…

    BTY, I never have, nor will I ever say that Rabbi Slifkin lied. If I think that what he is saying is not true, I will refer to his statement, not him, and call it false. This is the proper way to do things. Your ongoing histrionics seems to be nothing more than an attempt to foment discord between us but it won’t work.

    Some anonymous person dropped this off at my blog:

    Rabbi Shlomo Fisher, Derashos Beis Yishai 15

    Have fun!


    I’d love to! But I don’t have the sefer. Please tell your anonymous friend to drop off a scanned page of the text in question and post it in the comments. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hammer home your point with an actual source? I’ll admit I’m wrong about Rabbi Fischer if I read what he says and it is indeed as Rabbi Slifkin presented it. But until then, I stick to my assertion; I don’t believe it! I do not believe that Rabbi Fischer said that Rav Caro takes the approach that despite the fact that Chazal were mistaken we still have to listen to them. So, prove me wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  27. http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2011/04/rav-shlomo-fisher-authority-is-bottom.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. How is saying someone invented a source, aka says a source exists that does not, not calling them a liar? Also, I am not trying to foment discord between the two of you. If RNS thinks you are calling him a liar he thought so without my say so and if he didn't then he still doesn't. I am just confused as to how someone can call another person a liar (or inventing sources) without even looking at the source he is quoting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Danny wrote:

    http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2011/04/rav-shlomo-fisher-authority-is-bottom.html

    I looked it up. And like I suspected, Rabbi Fischer says nothing like what Rabbi Slifkin intimates!

    For people like E-Man who just can’t wrap their heads around the imperatives which govern polemics and their attendant subtleties (and I can’t say I blame him), I will comment that Rabbi Fischer mentions there that the amoraim’s kabala (acceptance) of the Mishna is binding despite the fact that an amora may have felt the need to be machmir in a halacha that was established previously by a tanna l’hakel. To Rabbi Slifkin, this means that “despite the fact that Chazal erred, we still must follow them”. However, this is the furthest thing from the truth.

    There is much to say about this topic. The truth of the matter is, this blog should have made its position regarding the fallibility of Chazal clear a long time ago. I am now on vacation for a month so bl’n I will begin compiling a six part post delineating our position at length. I hope to have it done in two weeks or so.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I really hope you aren't relying on the first page of eight pages to reject RNS which is what Rav Eidensohn brings.

    But again, you refuse to admit that you called RNS a liar(inventing sources) without looking up the source. I don't know if you realize this, but this last comment is you admitting that.

    I was never debating whether he had the source or not. I was trying to tell you that you are calling him a liar without looking up the source first. That is the ironic part.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Forgive me for not believing you SC, but if you did see all eight pages of Rav Shlomo Fisher, can you tell me where online you found them since the link provided here was only the first of the eight pages. Thanks

    ReplyDelete