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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Haaretz on Daas Torah

Haaretz has an interesting article How great are the words of the sages? where in light of Shas's support of Moshe Katzav they look back at some of R' Ovadya's "bad" decisions and wonder how they could be daas torah.

In the summer of 2000, the Knesset chose the president of the state. At the last moment, Shas - upon the instruction of its spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef - abandoned its ally Shimon Peres and voted for the candidate Moshe Katsav. They did so out of the desire to elect a religious president and someone of Sephardic descent. It is still too early to determine whether Katsav is guilty of the charges leveled against him. But it already can be stated that, whether he is guilty or not, he did not bring honor to his supporters and he will apparently never "restore the crown [of Sephardic Jewry] to its past glory."
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The dispute is with the claim that his views are Torah and his decisions are holy and correct. Rabbi Yosef is an important leader who makes a great many wrong decisions, just like any other political leader.

Knowledge of halakha does not give him an advantage. Perhaps the opposite is true. For some of his erroneous decisions, Shas is paying a heavy price. For some of them, like the election of Moshe Katsav, we all are paying.


They have a point. The track record of the political decisions of the Charedi parties is not exactly stellar. How that fits in with the idea of Daas Torah is a very good question.

4 Comments:

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Guy In EY said...

The track record of the political decisions of the Charedi parties is not exactly stellar. How that fits in with the idea of Daas Torah is a very good question
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You have to look at the whole picture and see what the other choices were. And also realize, that just bc we see something one way, doesnt make it the correct way to view things.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger bluke said...

The case of Moshe Katzav is pretty clear.

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Nephtuli said...

Any chance you could write a post evaulating the halachic and hashkafic issues underpinning the modern daas torah argument?

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Mark Zelunka said...

You would have to DEFINE what Daas Torah is before giving evidence that would knock it down...right?

The notion of Daas Torah is really just old fashioned "Common Sense." Nowhere has it ever been claimed by any legitimate Torah source that our sages are infallable. That's a different religion. However, it's just common sense (and certainly something I'd ber money on) that one would go to an expert in Torah to find out what G-d wants in specific situation. Is it possible that he got it wrong? Of course. But he's got a better chance of getting it right than a guy who spends all his time on the internet, blogging.

 

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