Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Or Hachaim, that we no longer have ruach hakodesh

While the Divrei Chaim said someone was an apikores for saying that the Or HaChayim did not write with ruach kakodesh, and dismisses reports of Gedolim who say there is no ruach hakodesh nowadays, this is what Or Hachaim himself says. (Credit to David Guttman at Believing is Knowing, who credits in turn Professor David Assaf.)

In parshat Bereishit, the pasuk (6:3) states:

ג  וַיֹּאמֶר ה, לֹא-יָדוֹן רוּחִי בָאָדָם לְעֹלָם, בְּשַׁגַּם, הוּא בָשָׂר; וְהָיוּ יָמָיו, מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה.3 And the LORD said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.'

The Or HaChaim comments:

"This verse requires one to explain it. And Chazal darshened in it many derashot. But the peshat in the verse is not known. And it appears that its intent is to say that Hashem will conduct Himself with his creations to contend with them and engage in judgement with them, overtly -- 'and Hashem said to the snake; and to the woman He said... and to the man he said, ... and Hashem said to Kayin, why..., and Hashem said where is Hevel...' And as they increased their straying, Hashem said that he would not abide further to have his spirit in mankind, face to face, to engage in judgement directly with him. And the explanation of ruchi is his blessed Divine Presence, for man would no longer be considered on that stature.
And you will find that in accordance with his actions, his stature goes lower and lower. For initially, Hashem rebuked man face to face, and all creations were of the status of prophets. And {two pesukim earlier, וַיְהִי כִּי-הֵחֵל הָאָדָם, לָרֹב עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה; וּבָנוֹת, יֻלְּדוּ לָהֶם}, with החל meaning becoming profane, becoming chullin {rather than 'beginning'} they were separated from the stature of prophets. And with the length of time, the sparks were seen on the earth -- these are the righteous who returned the crown to its former glory. and when the Fortress {=the Temple} was destroyed, vision was closed off, and there was ruach hakodesh left. And when the eyes of Israel were blinded, there is not among us any who attain reach hakodesh {the smell, the slightest amount}, and one need not say ruach hakodesh. And this is the suffering of the house of Israel, of which there is none greater, who wish to smell the smell of our Father in Heaven such that our spirits may live.
And the beginning of this curse started in from the generation of the Flood, and Hashem gave a reasopn for this matter, that they are also flesh. The meaning it that since they increase their diversion, they decay with the sin of adultery, which is the aforementioned basaar, as is stated in the matter that Hashem detests sima, and it is disgusting to talk to him."

I have a suspicion that the Divrei Chaim might have been aware of this. As he writes:
But the truth upon its path is that even in our generation, there are to the chachmei haEmet, who do not incline after the chomer, they possess ruach hakodesh, and as is spelled out in the Moreh Nevuchim [there, perek 36] and in the Ramban, za'l, explicitly.
Compare that to the very next paragraph in the Ohr HaChaim, which speaks about chomer being transformed to tzura and vice versa. But maybe not.

Still, he is really arguing with the Or HaChaim. I don't think he is taking the position that the Or HaChaim is an apikores; after all, he is only saying that one who mocks Chazal by disagreeing with them is an apikores. And this is not arguing with Chazal. Chazal said that there is ruach hakodesh post-Churban, and that was true in their days. But, according to the Or HaChaim, due to yeridas hadoros it is no longer the case. The Divrei Chaim denies that anyone, any gadol, says this, but it is unclear whether these Gedolim he denies were speaking about further yeridas hadoros or using the gemara as a prooftext.

Bli neder, more to come.

1 comment:

Tidbits of Torah said...

But we will soon enough - I pray.

"I shall pour out My spirit over all flesh." Metzudas David interprets "flesh" as referring to the nations of the world, "for even the heathens will then recognize and know that HaShem is God". However, RaDaK maintains that "all flesh" refers to those Israelites who will be worthy to receive the holy spirit of knowledge and understanding that God will then pour forth (compare Likutey Moharan I:22 on the concept of "flesh"). The verse speaks of "all" flesh to indicate that those worthy will include young and old (cf. Jeremiah 31:33). Even higher will be the levels of "your sons and daughters, your elders. and your young men." They will attain actual prophecy, which will be granted to them through dreams (Numbers 12:6) (RaDaK on v 1).

V 2: "And also upon the servants and the handmaids in those days." Those who will serve Israel in the Land of Israel will also be filled with the spirit of knowledge and understanding (RaDaK).


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