Monday, August 1, 2022

Rationalism Reviewed

The latest issue of Tradition has a review of my new book Rationalism vs. Mysticism: Schisms in Traditional Jewish Thought, by Rabbi Alex Ozar. Interestingly, he present a sustained critique that my approach is not rationalist enough! He also argues that my justifications of the charedi community banning the rationalit approach are inadequate. This reminds me of the time that I got into a heated argument with the prominent rabbi of a Young Israel where I was giving a lecture, in which he was yelling that the Gedolim had no right to ban my books and I was countering that they absolutely did!

While I will leave it to you to decide whether his critiques of my position are correct, there is one part of the review which I must comment upon:

"As written, Slifkin’s book admirably serves its purpose in securing a space for traditionalist Jews inclined toward rationalism—they, at least, will know that they stand on firm (and holy) ground. For most readers of Tradition, I would expect, this is unnecessary..."

I would agree that for most readers of Tradition this is unnecessary. However, I would like to point out that none other than one of the permanent writers in Tradition itself is a staunch anti-rationalist who has insisted, in the pages of Tradition, that it is forbidden to believe that Chazal based laws on scientific errors (and that spontaneous generation has not been disproved!) and who also argues that Rambam "does not explicitly deny the possibility" that some people can perform magic. 

In addition, I would like to say that even for those who already know that the rationalist approach stands on firm theological grounds, I believe that it is still important and enlightening for them to see the extent to which the rationalist and mystical approaches diverge - which is far, far greater than people believe.

The review is freely available online at this link, and you can buy Rationalism vs. Mysticism directly from the museum website at this link (please do NOT buy it on Amazon!), with free shipping in the US. 

49 comments:

  1. Friendly SpelllcheckerAugust 1, 2022 at 6:39 AM

    Just helping with a couple of typos: "Interestingly, he **present** a sustained critique ... banning the **rationalit** approach are inadequate."

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  2. Another entity, this time the writers for Tradition, shown not to be a monolith. Ditto for Chareidim and others. Yet entity members become defensive, and engage in other unnecessary actions and emotions as well, as if it were a monolith.

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    1. Rabbi Slifkin has pointed this out many times over the course of this blog, how, for example, Rav Dessler will demonstrate a rationalist approach in one instance, and a mystical approach in another. Even a single authority can prove to not be monolithic!

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    2. And therefore? So we can pick him and choose when to pull him out of the barracks a la early conservative Judaism? How convenient






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  3. While I haven't read your book (yet; you have free shipping to the US, but I'm in the UK. Hopefully I'll pick up a copy when I finally get a chance to visit your museum.) I found the review to be a really good read.

    I found the most interesting point he made to be the one where he implies that by looking for a traditional basis to the rationalist position RNS has effectively "ceded the ground" to the mystical camp in that he has effectively conceded that permission is required in order to allow for a rational perspective, thus agreeing that it is traditionalism that comes first so to say.

    At first read I found the critique to be very on point; however upon further thought I disagree. The brand of charedism / mysticism I was indoctrinated into (mostly during my yeshiva years, although to a somewhat lesser degree during my earlier school career) went something like this:
    1 - We can 'prove' the truth of Judaism, specifically the truth of the writing of the Torah by Moshe directly dictated by God, with perfect certainty (usually via some sort of modern version of the 'Kuzari Principle')
    2 - We can prove the truth of the Oral Torah (various versions of the argument were made; the exact arguments are tangential)
    3 - Further arguments to show that the Sages (or their conclusions; again the subtleties are tangential to my point) were inerrant, or must have been so.
    4 - Thus the Charedi / mystical position is correct.
    5 - if you find any area where you think 4 is incorrect, you must be wrong due to argument 1-4. Thus you need to subdue all such thoughts in favour of the 'masorah' / 'gedolim' etc.

    I vastly simplify the line of reasoning, as the precise arguments varied and the details are unimportant. What is important for the purposes of my point is that it was a *rational justification* for the position it argued for. Thus, in my experience even the traditionalist / mystical position bases itself in rationalism first. (I struggle to see how any position could be otherwise. The very act of justifying any position itself shows that it is rationalism that has the ultimate say.)

    As such, I think that any argument that seeks to find traditional precedent for a rationalist position is not conceding that traditionalism comes before rationalism, but rather is arguing against point 5 in the above. i.e. it allows for acceptance of some degree of the traditionalist position without abdicating all further reason in doing so.

    Thus I am not sure that the point he is making "There is of course something at least ironic in appealing to traditional authority in support of rationalism..." is as cutting as it may first seem. However (and again I haven't yet read RNS' book so I don't know to what degree this aspect is explored) I do think that it the degree to which the rationalist / non-rationalist position is justifiable needs to go back to the degree to which the arguments for abdicating a rational perspective hold up rather than having to justify it per-say.

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    1. "The brand of charedism / mysticism I was indoctrinated into...."

      Interesting. In my experience, chareidi education doesn't attempt to prove these things at all. They are just taken as axiomatic. כי הם חיינו ואורך ימינו. 'Proving' is more of a kiruv thing. Generally, mystical ideas are all over the Talmud and Midrash, which is the main chareidi source of authority. If you count miracles and prophetic visions as "mystical", all over Tanach as well.

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    2. @Yoni2, "The brand of charedism / mysticism I was indoctrinated into...."

      @Happy, "Interesting. In my experience, chareidi education doesn't attempt to prove these things at all...."

      This would confirm my observation above (August 1, 2022 at 6:43 AM) of variety and disparity within one entity. I'm wondering if education in Chareidi "centers" such as Brooklyn had more proofs than those in less pressured communities.

      Recently we have the new boy on the block, R Schmeltzer's two "Emunah" books, which advocate throwing such things right out the window (much to the consternation of an article in Dialogue magazine, so much for Chareidism being a monolith), and relying, I believe, on emotional faith, even claiming, ha ha, that this was and is the only way.

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    3. The Chassidic approach in general is to avoid any investigations of matters of faith, and just to accept them, as you said. It's illustrated in Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's story of "The Clever Man and the Simple Man".

      https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:Tales_of_Rabbi_Nachman/9

      For example: The Clever Man is given an edict from the King by a messenger. The Clever Man starts to ask the messenger how can he be sure the message is from the King, did he ever see the King, how can he be sure there's a King at all, etc. etc. Meanwhile, the Simple Man executes the King's edict without any questioning.

      I have a book "Off the Derech" by Faranak Margolese, where she relates how when she was in high school/seminar, her teacher started the lecture by saying that he was going to "prove" the existence of Hashem, the truth of the Torah, etc.

      She was disappointed to find out that they are only arguments, not proofs, since there is always some way in which the argument can be refuted.

      Rav Mordechai Neugroschel would probably respond that there can't be any rigorous proof of these matters of faith, in order to allow that a person will have free will to believe them or not.

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    4. We clearly have different experiences. I went to as mainstream charedi yeshivas as you can get and that is what I got out of them on the hashkafic front. I went into yeshiva an old world creationist and came out very much a young world one (to borrow terms from the wider culture. I wouldn't have used either term at the time, but that's pretty much what it was.).

      When it comes to exactly how this indoctrination happened over my yeshiva career, it was a mix of indirect (admittedly these topics are rarely - but not never - directly covered in daily shiur, but they were certainly alluded to not too infrequently), but also direct (friday night and mussar shmusen would cover the topic on occasion, plus through other sources such as books, direct talks with magidei shiur etc.). I was in Mir during "Slifkingate" and the topic was covered ad nauseam by several of the maggidei shiur.

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    5. I wouldn't dispute your experiences. I will just note that there was plenty of hashkafa discussion for me too, but it wasn't "proof" centered in any way. For example I don't think I ever heard of the "Kuzari proof" in yeshiva, probably my first exposure to the idea was reading R' Miller's books.

      I agree with R' Shmeltzer on this one, at least for children and teenagers, you cannot be mechanech that way. You cannot teach "proofs", because you cannot present Hashem, Emunah, and Torah as propositions that need to be proven. These concepts must be presented as the very essence of our lives, as they are. Teaching "proofs" conflicts with that.

      For adults who unfortunately must be immersed in the secular world and have questions, that's a different matter. Then they need to learn the arguments (not "proofs"). But hopefully by then, their chinuch and their life of Torah will allow them to hold strong against the אשה זונה even if their questions are not totally answered. גם כי יזקין לא יסור ממנה.

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    6. I once read a story with Rav Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld that explains the matter.
      The children were dancing and singing on SImchas Torah, singing אין כאלקינו אין כאדוננו וכו, with the Yiddish refrain עס איז ניט דא אזא גאט ווי אונזער גאט etc. Reb Yosef Chaim called over a child and asked him, "How come we say first אין כאלקינו - there is none like our G-d, and afterwards we say מי כאלקינו - who is like our G-d?"
      The answer is, when people are exploring underground tunnels, they need to make sure they have a way out. They leave stones at regular intervals to mark their path back.
      Before researching and figuring out the proofs to Emunah and answering life's questions, we start out with a firm statement אין כאלקינו. For that we rely on the wise men that preceded us, and a glorious Mesorah. Now that we have created the markers that allow us to return to Emunah, we can start thinking and discussing the details, proofs, disagreements and deeper understanding. But if we start out with a מי כאלקינו, we have no way back.

      I personally have grappled with most of the questions that the Apikorsim and pseudo-Apikorsim claim pushed them off. When I see their claims I realize that the reason the same thoughts did not push me out is only because the starting point in my chinuch was אין כאלקינו, with an option of מי כאלקינו. When we know what we believe in and accept it with a clarity, we are not shaken by questions of limited human import.

      I was a bochur in Yeshiva, incidentally the same yeshiva as our host. There were Hanhala members who could answer the questions, and did. But only with this background.

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  4. To some people it's not a menu, will you have Rationalism or Mysticism! It's ideology where you absolutely do not agree with the other side!

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  5. Y’know, the more further I get into learning Torah/becoming Jewish, the more I come to find that mainstream Orthodoxy is as insulated from reality as right-wing evangelicalism.

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  6. "Interestingly, he present a sustained critique that my approach is not rationalist enough!"

    Nice attempt at spinning it to make you look good.
    In reality his critique is that your rationalism which requires approval from religious authority is incoherent and self-contradictory.
    Here is one gem:

    To argue that the responsibility toward rational inquiry about the
    world is legitimated by the canons of traditional authority would, on
    the other hand, seem to undermine the standing and character of that responsibility. Are we charged with following the truth wherever it may lead, or are we charged to follow the truth only insofar as we can find some or another traditional authority—qualification as which is itself defined by the tradition—who has already said what the truth compels us to say?..
    ...Slifkin’s rationalism thus seems to concede a major premise of the mystical camp: that the deliverances of our intellects require legitimation from traditional authority.


    And another:

    Slifkin’s efforts to secure, by way of his proposed schism, a garrison for himself and his fellow rationalists lead him into a kind of post-modern relativism wherein one’s belonging to the rationalist or the mystical camps is no more subject to rational accountability than the fact of one’s having been born Ashkenazi or Sefardi. This is, after all, what he says he wanted.
    But now we can see that this state of affairs is likewise a consequence of the modest, qualified rationalism he sets out to defend. Because the force of his rationalism is dependent on the authority of a given tradition, it finds itself inert and impotent in face of a competing tradition. A rationalism, by contrast, that was committed to the pursuit of truth as such would have no such limitation. If the claim of reason is indeed valid, its validity is such as to transcend parochial difference. A robust rationalist could not lay down their arms simply because their opponent has defined their identity as non-rationalist, in the same way that a moralist could not simply accept evil in a community that has chosen to define itself as non-moral.

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    1. NS has said numerous times that he his not a complete rationalist. The question is of how much weight should be given to physical reality to ascertain truth. The reviewer's critique (who is apparently an academic uber-rationalist who doesn't believe in the value of revelation) would be apply equally to the Rambam.

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    2. Don't give too much credit to a reviewer who at least in this selection writes likes an Orthoprax.

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    3. "In reality his critique is that your rationalism which requires approval from religious authority is incoherent and self-contradictory."
      No. It's a rationalism which leans on a rationalist tradition. The reviewer suggests a rationalism that relies on no tradition or authority. Hence, the claim that RNS`s rationalism doesn`t go far enough.
      Really, this shouldn`t be that hard. The Briskers did innovate a novel method, but were they radicals? If an extremist concedes a point, does he become a moderate? Does relying on tradition/authority make one a non-rationalist? Such a claim would ipso facto deny the existence of any rationalist tradition, without having to cite or ignore any tradition/authority on rationalism, whether in favor or opposed. It's a claim which is ironically intrinsically non-traditional!

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    4. None of these excuses makes Rabbi Slifkin's rationalism less incoherent or less self-contradictory. If you don't value truth in religion, then you aren't being very rational, period.

      Perhaps Rabbi Slifkin should invest more time and effort to explain how it is coherent to value religious authority over truth and still consider himself a rationalist on any level.

      The Rambam didn't call himself a rationalist--he didn't use these conceptual categories to define his position-- so he doesn't have to be internally consistent with them. Slifkjin does call himself a rationalist, so he needs to be held to that concept.

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    5. Ahh, the Tucker Carlson technique!

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    6. Anonymous, well said! Rabbi Kornreich persistently attacks RNS, setting himself up as the Voice of Authentic Torah/ Science Positions, but he doesn't have anything coherent to say about his own position - he can't even answer a question as basic as whether there was an Age of Dinosaurs.

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    7. how could he, he wasn't there. neither were you.

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  7. Regarding your recommendation not to buy your book from Amazon, is it simply because of the much more expensive price on Amazon? I would consider buying it if there was an e-book version.

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    1. I assume he gets full profits when it's bought directly from him and not Amazon

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    2. Not me - the museum. Makes nothing on Amazon sales and full profit on museum sales.

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  8. Don't feel bad about his review, it is clear from his writings that he kind of looks down on simplistic believing modern orthodox jews

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  9. Only G-d knows absolute truth!
    We as believing Jews accept the Tanach and the Torah Bal- Peh.We may disagree on different approaches to interpe
    tation.



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    1. Yaacub, what exactly do you mean by "we accept the Tanach and the Torah Shebaal peh"?
      We accept the assertion that all it's content is true? Well, Rabbi Slifkin certainly does NOT accept that all of Tanach and Torah shebaal peh is true.
      Do you mean, We accept all of it as authoritative even though parts of it are not true? Then you aren't being rational--forget being rationalist. And what does being "believing Jews" have to do with this acceptance?

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    2. happygoluckypersonage@gmail.comAugust 3, 2022 at 1:46 PM

      Dovid, the reason why "rationalists" keep the Torah even though they don't think it's true is found in the words of the kofer Yeshayahu Lebowitz

      ראובן רוצה בעוגה עם קצפת מתוקה. שמעון מואס בה. לוי שואף להשליט את הצדק בעולם. יהודה שואף להשליט את הכח בעולם. יששכר רוצה להיות אלוף העולם באגרופנות ואינו מעוניין בארכאולוגיה. גד חושק בחנה ומואס בפנינה. אשר חושק בפנינה ומואס בחנה.
      פלוני מקבל עליו עול תורה ומצוות ואלמוני דוחה מעליו עול זה.

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    3. I'm pretty sure that most Rationalists accept that all Torah is true, but are not blind to the fact that sometimes there are some bits that are contradictory to what we see with our own eyes and to some thing internally. Believing contradictory things is what Christian doctrine (and Lewis Carrol, maybe) espouse; not Judaism. For us, being rational about how things can be understood is a religious imperative. Sometimes, therefore, parts would be considered "less authoritative" than others. Without this, the whole thing would Ch"V get dismissed as nonsense.

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    4. Of course we believe (seemingly) contradictory things. ידיעה and בחירה, for example. Or צדיק ורע לו רשע וטוב לו, which is already mentioned in the Neviim and Iyov. Not a Christian thing at all.

      It's amazing to me that "rationalists" have no problem taking philosophies and perspectives straight from complete atheists- but to share something with Christians that we didn't even get from them- NOOOO!!! You can't do that!!!! That's C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N!!! Or maybe it's not so amazing. It just shows that what motivates "rationalists" is the anti-religious philosophy that they got from the atheists. ותו לא מידי.

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    5. To Happy:
      I think the rationalist keep the Torah because they feel there is enough evidence to rationally accept that G-d actually wrote all of it. But to accommodate the primitive Ancient Israelites, G-d had to put in many myths and scientific inaccuracies to make it palpable for them to accept the Torah.

      The rationalists still need to keep the Torah because G-d is still G-d and He is very powerful and vengeful-- He is able to bestow eternal reward for keeping it and painful punishments for not keeping it--flawed as His Torah may be (according to the rationalists).

      To Yosef R:
      "Some bits"?? "Less than authoritative"???
      How about the first 11 chapters of Sefer Bereishis being a complete (divine) myth? You call that "some bits"? How about the conquest of the Land of Canaan by Yehoshuah not being historical? You call that "some bits"?

      Please call a spade a spade. Many rationalists of Rabbi Slifkin's type think huge chunks of the Biblical narrative are NOT TRUE scientifically and historically.

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    6. Dovid, it's amazing that you are so דן לכף זכות about the rationalists! Wow, who can say now that the chareidim don't reach out? But I don't think you are correct.

      "I think the rationalist keep the Torah because they feel there is enough evidence to rationally accept that G-d actually wrote all of it. "

      I don't think they believe that at all. You really think rationalists don't believe (some version of) the Documentary Hypothesis, which is the bog-standard academic consensus? You really think they believe יציאת מצרים and מתן תורה???

      "The rationalists still need to keep the Torah because G-d is still G-d and He is very powerful and vengeful-- He is able to bestow eternal reward..."

      Again, I don't think they believe this at all. Certainly Lebowitz didn't believe it. Just read this odious opinion of somebody who is often quoted approvingly on this blog:

      "...an instrumental view of the commandments of the Torah: they were tools given to perfect humans morally and socially, a prerequisite for achieving the truly human end of rational understanding, not as ends in themselves, or as theurgically effective instruments (and since they are tools, there is no reward, in the commonly accepted sense of the term, for their fulfillment, and no punishment, in the commonly accepted sense of the term, for their violation)."

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678785/

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    7. Dovid,
      So approximating roughly David Weiss Halivni? Albeit throwing in a little more orthodox/prax gestures or sensibilities?

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    8. You are right that most Jewish academicians believe in some form of Documentary Hypothesis, But I still think the observant ones who call themselves Orthodox beleive that it all came from Hashem one way or another. These Orthodox academics may not believe all of the Torah as we have it today was given to Moshe at Har Sinai, but they do believe our Torah is "min hashomayim"--G-d arranged for these particular fragments to survive history and be put together in the way that it happened.

      And that quote from Menachem Kellner is his view of what the Rambam personally held about Divine providence, reward and punishment, etc. It may NOT necessarily reflect the way these Orthodox academics actually understand Hashem's involvement in Jewish history and His interest Jews keeping mitzvos and not doing aveiros.

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    9. "But I still think the observant ones who call themselves Orthodox believe that it all came from Hashem one way or another. These Orthodox academics may not believe all of the Torah as we have it today was given to Moshe at Har Sinai, but they do believe our Torah is "min hashomayim"--G-d arranged for these particular fragments to survive history and be put together in the way that it happened."

      This is not rational in any way, shape, or form. If they are going to be so irrational, at least do it properly and believe in the Torah like a proper Jew. But in reality, when they say stuff like this, they really mean they are orthodox as a personal, cultural, aesthetic decision. Exactly like the quote from Yeshayahu Lebowitz above.

      " It may NOT necessarily reflect the way these Orthodox academics actually understand Hashem's involvement in Jewish history and His interest Jews keeping mitzvos and not doing aveiros."

      Huh? Menachem Kellner is representative of these orthodox academics, as you see he is often quoted so approvingly on this blog. Including in regards to this very point about kefira in שכר ועונש. When they learn the Rambam this way, they mean that this complete kefira is a valid part of the rationalist "tradition" ר"ל. And you better believe they hold of it themselves, they don't call themselves "rationalists" for nothing.

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    10. To Happy:
      "And you better believe they hold of it themselves, they don't call themselves "rationalists" for nothing."

      I thought we've established these people are not true to their claims of rationalism. They call themselves rationalists to give themselves a false sense of superiority over those benighted, superstitious chareidim who believe in kabbalah. But as this article by Ozar in Tradition has exposed to everyone, Rabbi Slifkin's rationalist bark is much worse than his bite.
      Rabbi Slifkin has openly admitted on this blog that he believes in hashgacha pratis and Hashem's involvement in Jewish history despite professing to be a rationalist, and I think he is sincere about that.

      I suspect many other Orthodox academics share Rabbi Slifkin's inconsistency in belief as well, and sincerely believe Hashem really wants Jews to keep (what they erroneously assume to be) His deeply flawed Torah-- and He is willing to reward and punish for compliance and non-compliance of the halacha as Orthodox authorities have determined.

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    11. Dovid, I think we can agree on the following. Most frum from birth Jews have a deep, intuitive belief in Hashem, Emunah, and the Torah, in the broadest sense. A proper Yid goes with this impulse and tries to lead a life of 'עבודת ה based on this. The main things in the way are תאוות עולם הזה and various נסיונות.

      A rationalist, on the other hand, fights this impulse with every fiber of his being. He is embarrassed by it. He is embarrassed by his primitive Torah and will give all manner of excuses for his continued observance of it. He doesn't need תאוות עולם הזה, he immerses himself in secular, atheistic culture, and does tremendous damage to his own Emunah, purposely, for the sake of "intellectual honesty". If his "intellectual honest" moved him to abandon Torah completely, he would view this as the greatest achievement. See this line from one of the most prominent Israeli rationalists:

      https://mikyab.net/posts/66883#comment-36133

      לגבי מה שיהיה איתי עוד כמה שנים, ימים יגידו. ייתכן שאחליט שהכל הבל ואעזוב. אני מקווה שאהיה מספיק ישר כדי לעשות זאת אם אכן זו תהיה המסקנה שלי.

      But frustratingly, he cannot bring himself to do so. The powerful Emunah still partially remains, despite all attempts to uproot it. This is how you have some rationalists "openly admitting that they believe in hashgacha pratis".

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    12. And all those lofty but silly primitive morally inferior Jews who unfortunately for them existed prior the early modern era which happens to coincide with the rediscovery or revelation of
      Kabbalah, surely they are far Superior to them also.. and we are to accept or presume that those ancients had they been here would nowadays outright concede !

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    13. "I suspect many other Orthodox academics share Rabbi Slifkin's inconsistency in belief as well," Interesting. So Rabbi Slifkin is open about admitting to challenges and difficulties in his approach. Rabbi Kornreich, have you ever admitted to challenges and difficulties in your approach?

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    14. To Anonymous:
      Yes I have. I believe it was during an exchange I had with Dr. Efrat Bruk about a year ago.

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    15. To Anonymous (and Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin)
      I realize that your comment was intended to set up a false equivalence between my position and Rabbi Slifkin's.
      After all, how can one be critical of Rabbi Slifkin's lack of robust rationalism? Doesn't every approach have its difficulties and inconsistencies?

      The answer is that there is no equivalence. It is one thing to confess to having outstanding difficulties. It is quite another to confess your approach is incoherent and self-contradictory.

      The problem for Rabbi Slifkin stems from his attempt to make his approach acceptable to both traditional Orthodoxy and secular academia. Secular academia has labeled the Rambam's approach "rationalist" so he is stuck with this ill fitting concept and it leads to incoherence.
      Perhaps he should be a little more independent and question secular academia's designation of the Rambam's approach as "rationalist".
      After all, would any rationalist say the following?

      Know, my masters, that it is not proper for a man to accept as trustworthy anything other than one of these three things. The first is a thing for which there is a clear proof deriving from man's reasoning—such as arithmetic' geometry, and astronomy. The second is a thing that a man perceives through one of the five senses...
      The third is a thing that a man receives from the prophets or from the righteous.
      Every reasonable man ought to distinguish in his mind and thought all the things that he accepts as trustworthy, and say: "This I accept as trustworthy because of tradition, and this because of sense perception, and this on grounds of reason." Anyone who accepts as trustworthy anything that is not of these three species, of him it is said: "The simple believes everything" (Prov. 14:15)


      The Rambam lists tradition as a source of truth--on par with pure reason and sense perception!
      Read what Rabbi Meiselman writes in chapter 58 of his book, about difficulties that arise between mesorah and observation--they are difficulties of contradictory data. One set of data doesn't yield for another.

      Rabbi Slifkin, on the other hand, believes reason and sense perception have a greater claim to truth than the Torah, and they have the power to disprove any established tradition.
      This is what leads him down the road to incoherence and self-contradiction.

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    16. Dovid Kornreich, it's even worse. It would be one thing if, for example, Slifkin and his rationalist ilk, acquired telescopes for themselves, and themselves gazed up to the heavens as well as to the horizon. They do not. They outsource their rationalism and discernment to the likes of NASA (founded by Nazi Wernher von Braun; no, he was not a reformed Nazi, or a cute and cuddly Nazi; he was an unreconstructed Nazi, whose greatest "contribution" to science was the perfection of propaganda and manipulation of the masses) as well JPL (founded by avowed occultist and Satanist Jack Parsons). We are never provided raw data or telemetry, only pretty Photoshopped and CGI images. They choose to ignore these evil and irrational roots and lack of genuine hard data and "trust the science". If they would do their own sense perception instead of outsourcing it, they would be surprised to find that what science claims as reality and what reality really is are two completely different things. We can see too far.

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    17. To Shimshon:
      Unfortunately, in the modern world, there is no escaping the need to outsource scientific expertise to trusted sources. Life is simply too short for a frum Jew who deals with challenges to obtain expertise in every single field and discipline that are used to challenge the truth of the Torah and Chazal. It's a big problem.
      There is a big question of how one can trust the so-called experts in the field if there is no way of verifying if those expert conclusions are indeed reliable.
      How can we as laymen know if they haven't been influenced by a significant bias?
      Its not like such suspicions are completely unfounded.
      There is so much literature showing how once-respected research--even "peer reviewed" research-- in so many fields has been skewed or tampered with to either yield the desired results or hide the undesired results of the researcher.
      I'm not really sure what methods we can use to discern the real science from the ideologically driven science.
      Using a "hostile witnesses" is one method, but it isn't always available or practical.

      Delete
  10. D. Kornreich- what is contradictory is your claim to be loyal to religious authority and your rejection of Rishonim and Achronim who didn't accept Chazal's authority in matters of Science.Incoherent-" They could
    say it you can't".






    -





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a collective eschatological aim and direction
      (does your crowd dispute it as well? If so,everything else is small fry. The primary topic ought to be that alone)
      It is unfair to waste our peoples time
      Enough has been wasted already.
      Doing in order for self aggrandizement, however well you cover it,is rude to the extreme.
      The very great Earlier ones who devoted their lives with altruistic
      service for our National collective are entitled as
      to call upon us to waste a considerable amount thereby as a recompense on their
      explorations -even when and if they are likely mistaken.
      When you guys get in your lifetime to that level - Get back to us, please!

      Delete
  11. Ho ho
    Dub yourselves Phenomenologists and make it a truce if somehow that would be so desired
    Cute and sweet how you declare yourselves still
    Rationalists
    and dubbing any who has the temerity for a superior worldview with less superficiality naturally: Anti

    ReplyDelete

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