Monday, July 11, 2011

Ruach Hakodesh in our days, part iii

See part one, which is a presentation of the teshuva of the Divrei Chaim that one who says that the Or HaChaim did not have ruach hakodesh, and that we don't have ruach hakodesh bizman hazeh, is an apikores; and part two, in which the Or HaChaim says that we do not have ruach hakodesh bizman hezeh.

I have a few more posts exploring this topic, but before proceeding further in my analysis / presentation, it is worthwhile to see the excellent write-up and analysis at Yediah. Here is a bit of historical background he provides, from an article from Dr. David Assaf.
However, as Prof. Assaf points out, the Ohr Hachaim himself on Breishit 6:3 decries the fact that Ruach Hakodesh no longer exists nowadays and is the major source of all the trouble that Jews suffer. Apparently the OH felt the same way as the teacher!

Professor Assaf found in a collection of writings by R. Shlomo Kluger (1785 – 1869), the Gadol of Galicia at the time, a letter by a certain Avraham Cohen of Sivan. The letter was dated 1865 and asked R. Shlomo to intervene in protecting him from being fired. Apparently a shochet responded to an attack by what he terms “Chassidei Am Ha’aretz” - unlearned Chassidim - on contemporary Geonim who claimed that they lacked mystical apprehension. He told them that earlier Gedolim who did have Ruach Hakodesh would never use it in Halachik matters, as the Torah is not in heaven and the only way to know it is through hard work. They then asked him if he held the same opinion about the Ohr Hachaim. He answered that the Ohr Hachaim probably had Ruach Hakodesh but would not use it when learning or writing his commentary on the Chumash. They then declared him an Apikores and persecuted him. This teacher came to his defense and was persecuted too. He argued that he could not hold back seeing how these people do not respect scholarship and instead follow a different Derech which includes sitting and drinking in each other’s company. The son of Rabbi Yisroel Friedman of Ruzhyn, (1797-1850), R. Nachum Friedman of Stefanesti (Moldova) who lived in the area, saw to it that this teacher lose his position. He is therefore asking R. Shlomo Kluger to intercede on his behalf and rule whether they had the right to punish him for holding this opinion. There is no response from R. Shlomo Kluger that we know of.

Prof. Assaf feels that this is the same teacher that the Divrei Chaim so vigorously castigated in the above Teshuvah. 
See also, at the end of the post, the story about how Rabbi Menasheh Klein paskened in like manner about the Mishnah Brurah.


Yeshivaman said...

Gemara sotah 48b ruach hakodesh was batul

joshwaxman said...

yes, but the Divrei Chaim reinterprets that gemara, as discussed in the first post. (see here.) thus,

And that which they said [Sotah 48b] that from the days of the prophets, ruach hakodesh had been taken, this is the spirit of prophecy, but the ruach hakodesh of wisdom, and to match with his intellect with the halacha leMoshe miSinai, or like R' Evyatar, this was not nullified, and only apikorsim deny this.

kol tuv,

Navi said...

You're really testing my abilities here...

Z said...

yes, but the Divrei Chaim reinterprets that gemara

So he would probably reinterpret the Ohr Hachaim in the same way.

joshwaxman said...

No, he would not.

The Divrei Chaim reinterprets the gemara to mean that (a) nevuah does not exist from the Churban on, but that ruach hakodesh (of chachamim) does exist. (b) And that it continues to this day.

The Or HaChaim says the same thing on (a), that at the Churban nevuah stopped but not 'ruach hakodesh', but then explicitly denies (b), and says that in even later generations there was further removal of post-Churban ruach hakodesh.

Thus, the Or HaChaim writes:

"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."

So he could most certainly NOT reinterpret the Ohr Hachaim in the same way.

I give links to my previous posts at the top of this post, so check out what the Or HaChaim says for yourself.

kol tuv,


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