Thursday, November 10, 2005

Uninstalling the Torah filter: a manifesto

I saw this very interesting post in a mail list. As the poster is anonymous, I don't think I am doing anything wrong by reproducing it. It reads so true to me and probably many people out there, judging by emails I get. It's almost like the matured yeshiva bochur's manifesto.
The [Chazon Ish's] well known ban on R. Kook's machshava writings (not his halachic writings) was obvious to me. After leaving yeshiva and learning more about the width and breadth of Torah than is shown in yeshiva, I picked up one of R. Kook's sefarim. It was like a child sneaking a peak at something illicit. I felt like I was crossing the line of right and wrong.

His writings are absolutely beautiful, albeit very very difficult due to his writing style. I eventually asked a rav how he understood the ban. He said, would a respectable rav tell you it's ok to read the halachic work of a Reform rabbi, even if it is completely academic and based upon valid poskim and sevaros, but not his hashkafic writings? Of course not. Because if his hashkafos are incorrect it will no doubt affect anything he writes in the halachic realm also. Do you think that the CI believed that R. Kook had improper hashkafos? I said no, of course not. Then what do you think?

I replied that it seems that they just believe that there are issues that even though they are valid Torah ideas and hashkafos and are actually Toras Emess, within the writings of R. kook and that he might discuss that will lead a bachur where they don't want him to go.

He replied, that's what it seems like to me too.

So my question obviously was, "is that what Torah is all about? Withhold Torah because the Torah might lead somewhere that THEY don't want you to go? What happened to learning Torah to find the emess?" So I asked, "what do I do from here?"

"You have the information. Make your choice as you decide to live your life."

I believe that if Torah is such that reading the thoughts of someone that all agree was a great man, but that his thoughts might lead somewhere that (insert sect or rabbi here) doesn't want you to think about, then it's not for me.

But I don't believe that Torah is such. If it is Torah then it is the "inheritance of the Bnei Yisrael". It is all to be learned if it suits the particular nature and neshama of any Jew. Sounds similar to a rabbi saying, "He (R. Avraham b. HaRambam) was allowed to believe that, we're not."

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails