Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Don't Think It, Just Believe It !

Well, it was inevitable. Once the dust cleared, and the enemy had a chance to regroup, we are now getting the counter attacks. No, I'm not talking about the terrorists in Basra, I'm talking about the fundamentalists in Bnei Brak.

Reports say that Rav Mattisyahu Solomon at the Agudah convention talked about developing an emunah peshutah based on the concept of teiku. Or to put it english for those of you whose hebrew / aramaic is poor:

We don't have any answers, so don't ask us any questions !

Gil cites plenty of support in the Rishonim for simple faith. Well, its one thing to have faith in something without being able to prove it, for example the existence of G-d. However its another thing entirely to be faced with difficult questions, and instead of searching for answers, we just fall back onto simple faith.

Actually its worse than that. Not only do they not provide any answers, but they ban people who attempt to provide answers. Is this an admission that there are no good answers at all ?
I find it hard to believe that we are endowed with such amazing brains (well some of us at least), and yet we are not supposed to use them, at least not along certain avenues. Is the brain just another nisayon, a physical aspect of our existence to be shunned ?
  • Lets not think, because that might cause us emunah problems.
  • Lets not investigate, because we might not like what we find.
  • Lets not analyze, because the analysis might not agree with us.
I have no doubt this attitude goes back to the Rishonim, some of them were fundamentalists too you know. It’s a shame that this is what it all ultimately boils down to.

I think I liked it better when they were pushing the Gosse theory. At least they gave the illusion of actually having an answer. I almost believed it some days. I mean, it is possible isn't it ! Now they admit that there are no answers.

I had a debate with a talmid of Rav Moshe Shapiro. He claimed that Rav Moshe, who knows all secular wisdon, has been struggling with these issues his whole life, and is therefore an authority on the matter. Well, in that case I asked, how come Rav Moshe doesn't write a good book on the subject ?

I guess the answer is that "I don't have any answers, just believe in Daas Torah and take two does of Emunah Peshuttah a day for the rest of your life" wouldn't make a very good book. Thats why he hasn't published yet.

Though I think that perhaps Artscroll could publish it. With a nice picture of Rav Moshe on the cover (similing sweetly of course), 20 pages of "Donated In Memory" stuff at the front, a 15 page introduction by R Zlotowitz and you could make it look like it has something to say. Especially if they add a nice leather binding and make it coffee table size.

Update: Thanks to Gil for pointing out this article.