Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Essence Of Emuna


The Degel Machaneh Ephraim taught that a person has not reached the essence of emuna until he believes that absolutely everything is from Hashem. If he receives his support through an intermediary agent, he must understand that this particular intermediary agent is just one of an infinite number of other possible intermediaries that could have been sent to him.

We may say that we trust only Hashem, yet honestly how often is this really the case? How often do we go beyond the bounds of what we would consider normal hishtadlus?

Recently, I applied for a job. After submitting the application, I davened to Hashem to allow me to move to this job if it was a better place for me. I then put this matter entirely out of my mind. Internally, I was quite proud of myself, because I had not attempted to meddle with the process or attempt to sway a decision maker's mind to select my application. Yes, I had done that in the past, however this time I thought I was handling this matter with "real" emuna.

A month and a half went by from the time that all the applications had been submitted and I had still not heard anything. I was sick at home with a high fever, yet I still decided to e-mail the HR specialist to check on the status of the position. The HR specialist wrote back that a selection had not been made. The next day, I received another e-mail and it said that I had not been selected for the job.

Referencing the above teaching from the Degel on real emuna, I related my story to the Sudilkover Rebbe and asked him whether he thought that my small action revealed a deficiency in my emuna. The Rebbe responded by saying that it appeared that it had, but he noted that knowing when not to push after doing normal hishtadlus was a great nisayon for most people. He then comforted me by telling me that Hashem knows my true potential and that it was possible that Hashem was telling me that He was expecting something more out of a person like me.

Understanding that there is a subtle difference between normal hishtadlus and actions that could be classified as "pushing", I asked the Rebbe to clarify how a person could determine whether his actions fell into one category or the other. The Rebbe answered that this was a really question that only the person asking could answer since he alone knew the true intent for his actions; thought often was the key to everything. He then cited two examples where a change in intent could drastically alter the results.

In the first example, two women are sitting together in a kitchen on Shabbos morning at 11:30 cutting vegetables to make an Israeli salad. They are using identical knives and vegetables that were purchased at the same store. Yet, one woman is doing a mitzva and one woman is doing an aveira. How could this be?

The halachos of Shabbos provide a leniency that allow one to cut vegetables shortly before eating. The first woman was cutting the vegetables in anticipation of her husband's imminent arrival home from shul for Shabbos lunch. The second woman was cutting vegetables in preparation for a 4:30 seudah shlishis.

As a second example, the Rebbe noted how the thoughts in a kohen's mind had the power to cause his korban to be be accepted by Hashem or cause its meat to be regarded as pigul.

Later, after reflecting on my conversation with the Rebbe, I finally began to understand the Degel's teaching, and why the Degel said that the ability to view the world through the lens of emuna is a very high level. Too often we think we believe Hashem runs the entire world, yet our thoughts, speech, and actions prove otherwise.

29 Comments:

At February 3, 2009 at 9:45:00 AM EST, Blogger Shorty said...

I am glad you posted this, because I too am faced with a potential new job and not sure how/whether to "push"...

 
At February 3, 2009 at 10:00:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Shorty. Hatzlocha to you!

 
At February 3, 2009 at 4:03:00 PM EST, Anonymous Shoshana (bershad) said...

A friend of mine is waiting to hear whether she's been accepted for a new job she applied for. She had a second interview 2 weeks ago, and a decision was expected last week. She wrote last night that she was on tenterhooks. The wait is driving her nuts. She's written to ask if the company has made a decision, but there's been no reply. I counseled her to "sit tight"; she's already made her presentation, had her interview, submitted all the documentation. At this point, the decision depends on factors beyond her control (her competitors' strengths, bias of the interviewer, etc). And if she doesn't get this job, another one will come along soon and might change her life for the better, in ways she can't even anticipate.

Then I read your blog today, and since you've often told me that there's no such thing as coincidence, I sent her a copy of your post (to which I added the English translations of the Hebrew that's intermixed). I'm sure it will be a comfort to her and will give her some insight. Although we need to prepare ourselves, set goals, and strive to reach them, we have to trust that Hashem will provide for us.

I just want to thank you, as always, for the enlightenment I find in reading your thoughtful posts. And I'm sure a job will come along soon for you, too, and it will be better than you can imagine!

 
At February 3, 2009 at 7:43:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Shoshana (Bershad): I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comment. Please tell your friend that I hope she gets the job.

 
At February 4, 2009 at 9:33:00 AM EST, Blogger micha said...

I find the Degel Machaneh Ephraim's assertion very difficult to accept.

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the notion that hashgachah peratis (individual providence; hereafter "HP") applies to everything was a novellum of the Ba'al Shem Tov's. See this igeres.

The Sifsei Chaim (Pirqei Emunah veHashgachah vol I, ma'amar 4) discusses whether HP goes beyond humans. He doesn't bring a rishon who says yes. The origin of the idea he finds implied in Radal, and R' Yonasan Eibishetz, but the earliest source that actually says it that the Sifsei Chaim identified was the Vilna Gaon.

Looking at the rishonim oneself, you find shitos that HP only applies to people (animals get providence on a species rather than individual level), or only to moral people, or to the extent one knows G-d, except as the distinction would impact people who get HP.

According to the Degel Machaneh Ephraim as you quote him, none of our rishonim would qualify as ma'aminim. That's really difficult.

Perhaps he said that a person should think this of "everything that happens to me"?

-micha

 
At February 4, 2009 at 12:54:00 PM EST, Blogger DixieYid (جنوب يهودي) said...

Micha, as we have had this conversation before, I would point ASJ's readers to this piece from Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh, which basically explains how those Rishonim who limit hashgacha pratis to Tzadikim, etc. were speaking on a more natural plane of existance, which was appropriate for their time. I wrote about this understanding HERE as well. Kol tuv!

 
At February 4, 2009 at 1:08:00 PM EST, Anonymous avrohom said...

Micha,

They would also probably not have been yotzeh any shiurim for kiddush, matza, etc as per current psak. So, what's your point?

 
At February 4, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM EST, Blogger micha said...

You don't see a difference between saying they held differently in a machloqes and saying they weren't ma'aminim?

The latter seems to me to be more on a par with saying that shitah X, which BTW EVERY RISHON held by, isn't even one of the eilu va'eilu, the set of possible shitos for deciding this halakhah.

DY: Saying that we can resolve the position of the rishonim with current belief doesn't mean they did. By that I do not mean that RIS's answer in Bilvavi is wrong. Rather, he could be discussing an implication of what they said that the rishonim themselves didn't consider.

I find the total silence on the subject by anyone born before 1698 pretty deafening.

I also find the fact that the Rambam (Moreh III:17) discusses HP for all people and then explicitly reduces it in the next chapter at odds with RIS's peshat. Not that we hold like the Rambam's philosophy on too many subjects anyway. There is a reason why traditionally we learn the Yad only from Yesodei haTorah ch. 5 onward. Or Rabbainu Bachya -- few who learn Chovos haLvavos learn Shaar haYichud.

I also have problems with RIS's synthesis approach when he tries something similar to make a single derekh out of Chassidus and Litta. The two fought eachother bitterly; clearly the Gra didn't think the two were aspects operating on different levels. How can you then take his legacy and say that's what it is?

-micha

PS: I notice I'm coming across too contrarian on this blog. Perhaps I should just refrain from commenting rather than repeatedly note such things. Barring email from our host that says I'm not coming across as cynical as I think I'm sounding, that's what I think I'll do.

 
At February 4, 2009 at 2:06:00 PM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Avrohom: I don't understand your comment.
Have you learned the sources that discuss shiurim? If you have please clarify what you mean. If you have not please do so before making statements about this complex subject.

 
At February 4, 2009 at 2:29:00 PM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Rabbi Berger: Excellent question. But I don't think that the Rishonim you so excellently summarized have any relevance to the Degel or the Gra and Ba'al Shem Tov's "chidush."
The moment the halacha is that hashgacha pratis applies to Yisrael or tzaddikim etc. we understand that every inanimate object or animal brought in contact with a tzaddik or Yisrael or whatever has the same H.P. by definition. If not then the tzaddik or whatever else also lacks true H.P. I always understood that the Rishonim are discussing the hashagacha in general when inanimate objects animals or whatever else do not come in contact with a tzaddik or another that has H.P.
The Gra and Rebbe Nachman of Breslov both teach that we draw the hashgacha upon us in direct accordance with how much we focus our inner eye on Hashem. In view of what I wrote this is in keeping with the majority of Rishonim.

 
At February 4, 2009 at 3:17:00 PM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Rabbi Berger: As for your other point regarding Chasidus and Mussar I must emphatically disagree.
The strife sadly proves nothing--will you then "prove" that either Rav Yonasan Eibshitz or Rav Ya'akov Emden were wrong because of the tremendous strife in their time? How about the many greats who argued on learning mussar in general? (I know that they really only opposed learning mussar in Yeshivah as a regular seder, but this resulted in most people in yeshiva and out not learning it at all.) As you probably know, this was a very bitter fight and it was only due to the masterful management of many greats--especially the Chofetz chaim and the Alter of Slabodka--that this fight did not go on for much longer. Chasidus and chasidim were validated by very virtually every more recent gadol B'Yisrael (from the time of and including Rav Chaim Brisker and the Chofetz Chaim.)
The only reason for the Gra's cherem that I understand is the claim that the Chasidim would have went off the derech if they had not had to watch their step because of the cherem. I have heard dozens of additional so called reasons, but none that I understood. Each time I have had a conversation with a person claiming a different reason, it quickly became evident that he did not really understand it either.
I find it very ironic that the Gra's mehalech in understanding deeper inyanim is very close to that of chasidus and that the later mussar seforim make more and more use of chasidic concepts. (See for example Michtav M'Eliyahu, Lev Eliyahu etc etc)
It is true that there is sometimes a difference in focus but that does not invalidate the other approach.
Although I have not learned much Bilvavi I applaud his efforts to give over a genuine approach that synthesizes the best of Mussar and Chasidus. It is hard to argue with the incredible success this sefer has had in the few short years it has been in print. I have heard many people call it a step by step guidebook for emunah that totally changed their life. Some of these people tried mussar but it "didn't work for them."
By the way: I have met a tremendous amount of people who say that mussar has never worked for them. Some have merited to work with the Bilevavi but many others just stopped learning mussar since they deem it a waste of time. You may say that these people were not doing it right--and I agree--but that isn't going to help them as much as learning Bilvavi or doing whatever else works for them.

 
At February 4, 2009 at 5:03:00 PM EST, Blogger micha said...

RMG asks about my earlier comment: "As for your other point regarding Chasidus and Mussar I must emphatically disagree.
The strife sadly proves nothing--will you then "prove" that either Rav Yonasan Eibshitz or Rav Ya'akov Emden were wrong because of the tremendous strife in their time?
"

No, but it would mean that someone who says they're really discussing different levels of the same thing is creating something new. They obviously did NOT believe they were discussing the same thing.

In this case, the Bilvavi derekh isn't a fusion of Ramchal-based sheleimus with chassidishe deveiqus, it's a new beryah.

Another way to put it (for people who know a little Hegel): a synthesis isn't simply the thesis plus antithesis. By combining them, you're creating something new that isn't actually either.

Michtav meiEliyahu's approach is quite explicitly that the time for pursuing a single derekh came and went. To quote RYGBechhofer's loose translation (from a Jewish Observer article about the deveiqus-sheleimus split):

In our times: The qualities of "Emet" that personified the Ba'alei Mussar [Mussar Masters] are already extinct. We no longer find individuals whose hearts are full with profound truth, with a strong and true sense of Cheshbon HaNefesh [complete and rigorous reckoning of one's spiritual status and progress]. We have reached the era of Ikvasa d'Mashicha [the final generations before the coming of Moshaich], generations that Chazal described as superficial. If we find an individual who does learn Mussar, we find that he is primarily interested in the intellect of Mussar, the profound philosophy and psychology that are linked to Mussar. Even if he learns Mussar b'hispa'alus [with the emotional impact of nigun - melody - and shinun - repetition - that R.Yisroel prescribed], rarely does this activity lead to Cheshbon HaNefesh.

Contemporary Chassidus lacks the component that was once at its core: Avodas Hashem with dveykus. All that remains is the external form of Chassidus, something that appears like hislahavus. There is nigun, but the soul of nigun is no longer. Hitlahavus in davening is almost a thing of the past.

For today's era, there remain only one alternative: To take up everything and anything that can be of aid to Yahadus; the wisdom of both Mussar and Chassidus together. Perhaps together they can inspire us to great understandings and illuminations. Perhaps together they might open within us reverence and appreciation of our holy Torah. Perhaps the arousal of Mussar can bring us to a little Chassidic hislahavus. And perhaps the hislahavus will somewhat fortify one for a Cheshbon HaNefesh. Perhaps through all these means together we may merit to ascend in spirituality and strengthen our position as Bnei Torah [adherents of a Torah centered lifestyle] with an intensified Judaism. May G-d assist us to attain all this!
- MmE V, pg 39

-micha

 
At February 4, 2009 at 6:30:00 PM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Rabbi Berger: Beautiful quote from the Michtav Me'eliyahu, but I still don't see any kind of proof that Mussar and Chasidus cannot operate on two levels.
As you may know, many early Chasidic works recommend mussar classics like Chovos Halevavos and Mesilas Yesharim. Surely they did not hold that a regular seder in these seforim in any way detracts from the derech of chasidus. In addition, it is clear that cheshbon hanefesh was very important in many branches of Chasidus (especially Breslov--Rebbi Nachman says explicitly in Likutei Moharan that one should use hisbodedus to work on his character defects one at a time.) Similarly, mussar definitely had dveykus as an important goal. (The proofs to this are way too numerous to mention here.)
The question was what is the best way to achieve these goals. In Mussar the focus was usually cheshbon hanefesh especially in areas that are beyn adam l'chaveiro. In Chasidus the focus was often (but not always) more on dveykus.
I have no idea why you insist that the machlokes somehow proves that the two cannot go together. The machlokes could have been for any number of reasons. There definitely were fakers who did all sorts of terrible things in the name of chasidus. This is irrelevant to chasidus as a whole but is a good reason for hisnagdus. Another example I mentioned earlier is that the cherem served to keep the Chasidim on the right path--this is actually the opinion that an earlier Rebbe of Lubavitch expressed to the Aruch Hashulcan (recorded in Mekor Boruch volume III, pg. 619.)
Why do you assume that the Gra's machlokes was with the shitah of chasidus per say and not for an entirely different reason?
It is very plausible that putting together Mussar and Chasidus is the shlaymus of both. Clearly an adherent of Mussar who never achieves dveykus has not done it right and is surely no ba'al mussar however nice his manners may be. Similarly, a chasid who never changes his character defects which he hardly notices because of a marked lack of cheshbon hanefesh, has messed up for all his dveykus.
Hashem should help us merit true dveykus and emesser cheshbon hanefesh--with chizuk and joy!

 
At February 4, 2009 at 9:12:00 PM EST, Blogger Micha said...

RMG: I made this point a few time now over the past few posts, so I'm not sure how else to phrase it.

The Gra and Chassidim fought, each thinking their derekh was correct to the exclusion of the other. A fusion derekh would therefore not be something either side would have considered an authentic representation of their own. Neither could have thought they were giving one piece of the bigger puzzle or they wouldn't have fought.

REED suggests taking elements of both -- or wherever one can find qedushah. But not because he commended a fusion (of which RIS's is only one possibility), but becausehe held (at least when he wrote, right after WWII) we don't have the luxury of selecting a derekh. We are starving people who must grab food wherever we can find some.

Now you want to create a new derekh, a synthesis. Kol hakavod. But acknowledge that it's new. It's not that there are no machloqesin -- the machloqesin are real and at one time quite heated. It's that we have hope to find a way that lets us gain the best of both.

And then one has to wonder how we differ from the talmidim of the Besh"t that we found some new superior path that he didn't recommend they follow.

-micha

 
At February 4, 2009 at 9:16:00 PM EST, Blogger Micha said...

Also, an important element of a derekh isn't just the answers, but the questions one asks. How one approaches the world, which are the big issues, the model one uses for discussing reality... To some extent, a Chassid and a Litvak don't just have different solutions, they speak different languages.

There is an old line about the difference. Two Jews learn the maamar Chazal about how no blade of grass grows without a mal'akh telling it to grow.

The Chassid tries to understand the nature and root of the mal'akh, so that he can raise the nitzotos trapped in the grass.

The Litvak learns not to walk on grass unless he has a real reason.

-micha

 
At February 5, 2009 at 12:54:00 AM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Rabbi Berger: I am sorry but this is incorrect.
Although each group focused on different things to a certain extent, there is no evidence that the Gra argued on Chasidus because of their shita in focusing on dveykus (unless he was afraid of them only focusing on dveykus and in Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's words: making the ikar--learning niglas hatorah--into the tafel. He wrote to beware of this by the way.) The Gra also may have argued on Chasidim for other reasons.
Many ba'alei Mussar disagreed with the Michtav Me'eliyau's approach and believed that they could follow the old way of mussar without learning Chasidus. Rav Wolbe definitely comes to mind. Yet he said clearly that someone who has not learned Nefesh Hachaim is missing an essential in sifrei Mussar. I am sure that you are aware that the Nefesh Hachaim is very similar to a chasidic work. Is someone who learns this work not learning a Mussar work? Your example is very simplistic. At the end of the day, do you think that the Gra or the Nefesh Hachaim would not contemplate the root of the grass or that the Ba'al Shem Tov or the Magid would not have the decency to avoid treading on the grass?
For that matter, I cannot imagine any truly great person who only avoids treading on the grass but does not even aspire to reach the level where he uses the grass--and all physical things-- to connect to Hashem through appreciation of Hashem's brios as implied in the Yerushalmi and recommended by the Rishonim. Or to bring him to dveykus through focusing on the fact that Hashem is giving life to this object-plant etc right now.
Would most people learning mussar likely focus on the beyn adam l'chaveiro aspect of this in the beginning of their avodah before reaching the dveykus aspect? Very likely. Would Chasidim of around the time of the Mussar movement? That depends which chasid. For Kotzk, Slonim and many others the answer is a resounding yes. For other groups the answer would be likely be no.
As for Chasidim in the time of the Ba'al Shem Tov: it also depends who. If you know anything about Rav Ya'akov Yosef of Polanyah or the Magid you would understand that they would certainly agree that it is preferable to focus primarily on the cheshbon hanefesh aspect although they likely would insist one work to remember the dveykus as well.
Rav Chaim Brisker said, "When the hisnagdus to Chasidus began there were two types of misnagdim. The first searched for the truth about chasidus--and were very happy by what they found. The other group searched to perpetuate the fight and 'prove' its veracity even through falsehood--beware the descendants of this second group..." (Toras Chaim, Bamidbar, 17:5)
Chasidus definitely had very many adherents who focused on cheshbon hanefesh--but with tremendous warmth in avodas Hashem as well.

 
At February 5, 2009 at 2:14:00 AM EST, Anonymous Melbournite said...

Bear in mind that dveykus does not mean the same thing to all of these approaches anyway.

I see nothing wrong in admitting that there are different approaches and that these change with the generations. Work with what is meaningful to you now.

 
At February 5, 2009 at 4:52:00 AM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Melbournite wrote: "Bear in mind that dveykus does not mean the same thing to all of these approaches anyway."

If you could demonstrate a clear difference in the dveykus in their respective sources I would agree, (and the Bilvavi would be disingenuous for failing to admit that he is forging a new path as Rabbi Berger wrote.) But since the Gra and Nefesh Hachaim etc etc are very similar to Chasidus, (not to mention many earlier sources) this premise is insupportable. As I already mentioned, many early chasidic sources adjure one to study the classic mussar works--they clearly didn't think there was an essential difference. The Machlokes may have been necessary but it was not relevant to essentials. The burden of proof is on anyone who believes otherwise.
As always when I have these conversations, I have heard nothing solid--no deep analysis or quotes of sources. Just, "It's different because I have heard it is so," or some other equally weak argument.
As I mentioned above from Rav Chaim Brisker: the so called Litvisher "kabalah" that the machlokes was on the essential elements of chasidus etc. is incorrect.
To the contrary: the Chasidim did much better combating the insidious influences of the haskalah then the Litvisher including those who adhered to the mussar schools. Please don't deny this fact that Rav Elchonon Wasserman and many others admitted to. It was obvious in his time that the youth stayed much more with the Chasidim then the children of Litvisher.
Rav Nosson of Breslov said that the difference between a chasid and litvak is like the difference between a cold kinish and a warm kinish. Both have the same ingredients but while one is delicious, the other is not nearly as tasty.
Perhaps this is the reason why Chasidim fared better in their resistance of haskalah. The warmth and simple emunah in Yiddishkeit that was a large focus of most of chasidus was stronger; in spite of less focus on the minutiae of cheshbon hanefesh. It is easy to make cheshbon hanefesh in a self serving way or by rote. After all: warmth and by rote don't really go well together; it's either one or the other...

 
At February 5, 2009 at 6:14:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I always enjoyed this joke about the differences between them here

 
At February 5, 2009 at 7:09:00 AM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

ASJ: I also always enjoyed the many versions of that joke. But ever since I found that this was how Rav Meir Shapiro of Lublin explained the difference to his students (brought in Rebbe Meir Omer, pg. 112-113,) I enjoy it much more.

 
At February 5, 2009 at 7:12:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I didn't realize that was the source! Gevaldig.

 
At February 9, 2009 at 3:45:00 PM EST, Anonymous Emunatidbits said...

Rabbi Golshevsky,

I don't understand what the Degel has to do with Hashgacha Pratis. All he says is that everything is from Hashem. Every 'maamin' agrees with that. The discussion of Hashgacha Pratis is whether Hashem changes nature for an individual. Please clarify.

Thank You,
NE

 
At February 10, 2009 at 8:45:00 AM EST, Anonymous Micha Golshevsky said...

Emunatidbits: I responded mostly to Rabbi Berger's question from the Lubavitcher Rebbe and especially after Dixie Yid's comment.
If you wish to go a little deeper see the Rishonim on H.P. (for example Rabeinu Bachayah in Breishis, 18:19) and you will find that the Degel is also problematic.
But I believe the answer I gave responds to all the questions raised. Boruch Hashem!

 
At February 11, 2009 at 12:41:00 AM EST, Anonymous menachem said...

Here is a link to a translation of a letter written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Rabbi Rivkin, the Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaas.

The letter examines different schools of thought with regards to Divine Providence, and what the Baal Shem Tov added to the discussion.

 
At February 11, 2009 at 9:11:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

do people really disagree with the Degel that Everything that any livlihood one makes comes about only because Hashem wills it? Rabbi Berger seemed to say that.

 
At February 12, 2009 at 11:12:00 AM EST, Blogger Micha said...

Before the Vilna Gaon and the Baal Shem Tov, no one embraced the notion that Hashem executes individual providence (hashgachah peratis) in all events, even those that have no impact on human lives. Animals, plants and inanimate objects were subject to general providence, either on the species level (hashgachah minis) or the rule level (hashgachah kelalis; G-d's Hand in making nature happen). I mentioned sources that document the relative newness of that idea in my first comment on this post.

What the rishonim argued about was whether individual providence extends to all people. Many said yes, many said it could be forfeited, or at least is proportional to one's middos or one's knowledge of G-d.

Do many Orthodox Jews believe what the rishonim taught? No.

Personally, I don't think the position is tenable within today's science. I don't think there is an event that occurs that doesn't impact a person, and a pious person, in some way. Like the sound-bite people know about Chaos Theory -- whether there is a tornado in Kansas could depend on whether or not a butterfly in Africa flaps its wings.

I'm also a bit of a "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, it doesn't make a sound -- and there isn't even tree or that part of the forest" kind of guy.

-micha

 
At February 12, 2009 at 2:53:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to say that Hashem created "tevah" and isn't "actively” involved, it is really the same thing as saying Hashem is "actively involved in everything, because He has no time constraints. The time of creation is the same as now, hence either way Hashem is "actively" involved in everything even according to the Rishonim. It is two ways of looking at the same thing.

 
At February 12, 2009 at 3:02:00 PM EST, Blogger Micha said...

I'm drawing a distinction, as did the rishonim, between hashgachah peratis, what Hashem does for the sake of the individual, and hashgachah kelalis, what Hashem does for the sake of the whole. Some rishonim discuss hashgachah minis rather than hashgachah kelalis -- providence on the level of the species or collection.

Teva is a form of hashgachah kelalis. G-d does nature, but for the sake of having a natural and predictable universe. If hashgachah peratis is universal, then He is also doing it for the sake of that particular item.

But as I wrote, I'm a modern. I'm not trying to explain my own view of hashgachah, I'm trying to explain the Ramban's and Rambam's. It's not 100% accurate to talk about what I want to say, or to argue against the idea using a model of time that the rishonim didn't consider.

-micha

 
At May 6, 2009 at 6:08:00 AM EDT, Blogger Eli Sapir said...

This is ridiculous,

if you were not feeling well and your doctor tells you everything is fine, you rely on Hashgacha Pratit or get a second, third, fourth and fifth opinion?

How is a Rabbi to decide what is enough if he is not expert in the recruiting field?

True Tzadikim, can say I dont know.

The truth of the matter is, Hashem hides himself in this world so that YOU, have to work, and push, and push. Your obligation is to keep pushing and fighting and win battles with life and with your yetzer arah.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home