Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rav Kook vs. R' Soloveitchik: toras hatzibur vs. toras hayachid

From the blog of R' Aviner (link):

Despite this idea, the authorities mention the issue of deciding based on "the majority of wisdom" (i.e. greater knowledge and expertise in a particular area of Halachah), and there are even those who say that we follow a "majority of wisdom" over a "majority of number" (Likutei Ha-Ramban, Sanhedrin chap. 4 in the name of the Rahag). One must distinguish between "the majority of wisdom" for each authority based on his area of expertise: there are Rabbis whose expertise is monetary laws, and there are Rabbis whose expertise is in Kashrut, etc... Maran Ha-Rav Avraham Yitzhak Ha-Cohain Kook's expertise was in the area of the workings of Klal Yisrael relating the rebuilding of our Nation and our Land, the beginning of the Redemption and in understanding the Master of the Universe’s direction of our history. He investigated, clarified, arranged, and constructed a complete method of understanding, whose scope and depth is far above all of the Sages of the generation of Acharonim (later authorities).

For example, Ha-Rav Joseph Soloveitchik, with all of his brilliance, did not construct an all-compassing method of understanding, and all of his teachings were, in essence, about the phenomenon of the religious individual. He did not present a philosophy of communal faith: The Rav only discussed the religious experience of the individual as opposed to the communal religious experience which includes understanding Hashem's role is guiding the history of the Nation of Israel.


  1. anon15:41 PM


    curious what you think about this quote.

  2. Ideology based Judaism is a modern phenomenon

    pc :-)

  3. The quote is something to think about, no?

    Anon1, I can't answer your question al regel achas. Maybe its worth a post... I'll see if I have time to try to formulate my thoughts.