Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Emunah Peshutah vs Chakirah Amukah

Rabbi Adlerstein on Cross Currents says:

Secondly, our fallback position in so many areas has to be emunah peshutah. None of us is smart enough, or well read enough, to answer all the questions.

This is quite true. This is why I get on a plane. I have no idea how the darn thing stays up in the air, nor do I have the time to find out. I have emunah peshutah in the legions of engineers who designed and tested it.

Likewise, if the Torah vs Science question has been dealt with properly, with expert inquiry into all areas, I would have emunah peshutah in this too.

Can someone therefore please point me in the direction of a sefer which seriously explores all these issues, and comes up with some credible peshat ?

The only Sefer I found so far (with haskamas of course, and also which hasn't been banned) is R Dovid Browns 'Mysteries of Creation'. I give R Dovid credit for dealing with the tough issues, even the ones no one talks about (Hint: My 2 year old's blanky deals with it). Unfortunately some people dismis his sefer as having no basis in reality, science, mesorah or indeed common sense.

Secondly, there seems to be a correlation in the confidence and ability of leaders to address difficult questions, and the reliance on emunah peshutah.

For example, in medieval times, the Rishonim were a pretty cool bunch of guys. They took on the difficult issues and tried to address them. I guess they were confident (rightly or wrongly) that they had some good answers. Nowadays, we don't get good answers, or even good attempts at explanations, but rather rhetoric, bans and appeals to emunah peshutah.

I guess the confidence level nowadays in actually being able to answer any of these questions properly is quite low.