Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
Rashi and Rav Elyashiv
Hakirah vol. 9 is now on sale! I have two articles in this volume. One is an exchange between R. Saul Zucker and myself on the topic of whether Rashi was a corporealist, following my original article on the topic (now available for free online). The other is the sequel to my article on Rashi, titled after Rav Elyashiv's famous line, "They Could Say It, We Cannot," discussing how to relate to views found in the Rishonim that are now considered heretical, as well as how in general to understand the notion of heresy. The articles will only be available in their entirety online in about six months, when the next volume of Hakirah is released. In the meanwhile, I recommend that people buy the print edition of Hakirah - it's a great journal, you get to read the articles right now instead of waiting six months, and articles are always easier to read in a printed and bound volume than in a PDF (unless you are lucky enough to have a Kindle DX).
I received an interesting email relating to my response to Rabbi Zucker regarding Rashi, which further confirms that, baruch Hashem, I am not anywhere near as much of a radical as some people think! It also includes an unusual inversion of the prevalent stereotypes about the difference between the Modern Orthodox and Charedi communities:
Dear R. Natan; Congratulations on your outstanding article, which I consider "megalgalin zchut al yedei zachai". When your article first appeared last winter, I must admit that it did not come as any chiddush to me, but it was well-presented and I gave your article a Friday night presentation in a local Charedei Flatbush shtieble, attended by 125 learned baalei-batim who were for the most part somewhat receptive. It was only from following the subsequent brouhaha that I realized the vicious nature of even non-Chareidi types when their inability to view matters objectively is exposed. I have taught a daf-yomi for many years and have been convinced for some time that Rashi's Talmudic commentary even more so than his peirush on Chumash show him to be a through and through corporealist. I've even pointed this out to my Shabbos afternoon chaburah for many years. Then Lorberbaum and Friedman articulated it for academic-types and now you've made it part of the intellectual landscape. Many thanks for all your brave efforts on behalf of intellectual integrity. May Hashem continue to strengthen your hand against all your detractors.