Sunday, January 12, 2020

A Quandary

Let's say something happened which caused many, many people to feel greatly inspired and happy. (No further effects beyond that.) And let's say one were to find out that it didn't actually happen, or that it happened in a way that wasn't so inspirational. Should one tell people?

28 comments:

  1. Isn't this like every chassidic story :)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely.
    Even there are myriads of Chassidic stories that embellish the facts, another Chassidic quip goes, "אותות ומופתים--באדמת בני חם": we shouldn't derive our belief in a Tzaddik based on stories of מופתים.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Insufficient information. Saint Paul and his successors have gotten billions of people to feel greatly inspired and happy over the crucifixion of Jesus allegedly atoning for the Original Sin.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're talking about matan Torah, aren't you? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my first thought, but unlike you (judging by the emoticon) I am 100% serious.

      Delete
  5. Do you want the Red pill or the Blue pill?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I promise, the Siyum haShas in NJ really happened, and the stadium's staff really were impressed by the attendees' behavior and gratitude.

    Seriously, though, what are the grounds for speaking up? Is learning the truth disillusionment so likely that you feel an obligation to ease people into it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pretty sure this is what he is talking about (but not the US Siyum). But although overblown and staged, pretty sure the basic idea that they were impressed is true.

      Delete
  7. No. Withholding the truth for a good reason is better than lying for a good reason and the Torah allows us to lie for a number of good reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rabbi Yisroel Reisman used to say often: "If you believe every story you are tipesh (fool), if you don't believe any of them, you are an apikorus (heretic)". I think everyone knows that there is a percentage of stories that aren't true or changed, but people like them anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Seems related to the story on Chulin 94b.

    ReplyDelete
  10. No, but don't worry, somebody else will.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, you should.

    Source: http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2017/02/lord-of-flies.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. You know this blog better than I do. I had no memory of that post!

      Delete
  12. For instance:
    The Arizal (with the help of Eliyahu Hanavi :)) devised a new religion in which HKBH, at the time of creation, broke the keilim into which he was pouring his light. The new religion required Jews to go around the world picking up those pieces of light and sending them back to HKBH, thereby repairing G-d (!!!!!).
    The Arizal lived in the century after the Gerush Sfarad and as the New World was being inhabited by Europeans.
    This new religion gave purpose to the Gerush and made sense of the finding of a new world thereby helping to bring Klal Yisroel out of a deep depression.
    Many rabbis at the time realized the absurdity of what the Arizal was saying (HKBH did not know how to keep his tools from breaking? Man can repair the creator of the Universe?) and that it bordered on kefirah. THe rabbis were silent as they realized the psychological benefit of this mythology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might have *sounded* like "repairing God," but it wasn't.

      Delete
  13. A better question might be whether the scenario is even possible. If it’s not true, surely there will always be “further effects” (there are probably always further effects even when the story is true). If this is correct then the question is a misnomer as it’s really always going to be about the balance of effects, not all of which will be known or knowable. Thus being straight up is likely to be the least risky path to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tell us already. This is torture. Just put a health warning on to cover all bases.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This question is exactly the one posed in the film "Life is Beautiful," starring Roberto Benigni, who played a Jewish-Italian father trying to shield his young son from the reality of their incarceration during the Shoah.

    Does halakha countenance "white lies?" And, if so, under what circumstances? That is the issue here. Personally, I have always felt that any rule anywhere is no better than the wisdom with which it is administered.

    If that be the case here, then we require more information to ensure an answer infused with wisdom. So if one size does not necessarily fit all, then we are left with the fall-back rubric "consult your rav and be sure to provide all the details."

    ReplyDelete
  16. "(No further effects beyond that.)"

    In that case, there's no good reason to speak up. But there usually _are_ further effects -- some people try to convince others that they, too, must experience the effects of the event -- or else!

    So, FWIW, I would probably speak up. And probably be stoned, for trying to make so many people less happy than they were before they were "enlightened".

    As the archaeological evidence builds, against the Pesach story, I wonder when I'll say:

    . . . "OK, no traditional Haggadah tonight -- we only speak of things that are consistent with the archaeological record!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember to repeat every day after breakfast "Ani maamin be'emunah sheleima, shekol divrei ha'archaeologists emess". You might otherwise remember how little they actually know, and how unprovable virtually everything they say, is.

      Delete
  17. Rebzev please provide a source or sources for your statement. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  18. Two views about the truth

    Maimonides and Arab philosopher Ibn Tufayl (author of Hayy parable) felt that most people lacked the education and intelligence and that they cannot be taught the truth and feel threatened by it. Thus Maimonides, the Great Eagle as he was called, composed his writings for two audiences. The intellectuals who would mine his teachings to uncover his true view, while in the same time the masses who would find their mistaken ideas reflected in his writings, thinking that he thought as they did.

    But Gersonides was convinced that the Bible contained philosophy and felt that people could and should understand it. So while Maimonides hid his true views from the general public, Gersonides wrote his philosophical interpretations of G-d and the Bible openly, convinced that everyone would understand and agree with his radical, but often intelligent views.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yes, you should. The truth is important, and I wouldn't want to have a false impression about something no matter how good it felt, if the facts were otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  20. No fast rule. Must be evaluated case by case. Even God used "the beneficient ruse" on Bnei Yisrael according to the Moreh when they were still unready to accept the incorporeality of God. One could design a circumstance that withholding the truth is completely appropriate. And one can design a circumstance where it is wholly inappropriate.

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

Who Caused the Death by Daas Torah?

It's horrific. A top health official estimated that nearly 40 percent of the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak - around seventy-five ...