Thursday, August 14, 2008

Think about it. A person comes to the Rebbe. It’s an emergency. Should he follow the doctor’s advice to operate on his child. Rebbe, I’m asking for your berocho. I’m relying on you.

Anyone who could even dare to open his mouth to answer this question is necessarily one of two things:

1. A megalomaniac, someone so power-hungry and giddy with excitement at the adulation that he receives that he can willfully ignore the safety of the child that common sense dictates should be left in the doctor’s expert hands.

2. A truly holy person, one with intimate connections to hidden spiritual realities, who knows full well what responsibility he takes, and does so nevertheless because he is one hundred percent sure, according to the “connections” he has on High, his “inside information,” that this is what is correct. To paraphrase Reb Chaim Fogelman, “he saw it with his eyes.”

Even without the concept of emunah in Tzaddikim because the Torah tells us so—just from a purely logical perspective—there is no third possibility. If the person is not aware of what he is doing, or imagines that he is aware when in fact he isn’t, then by definition he is a megalomaniac.

This can be compared to the actions of Avrohom Avinu. How could he have brought Yitzchok to the Akeidah, fully intending to slaughter him, on the basis of a prophetic vision? Perhaps he erred in his perception, perhaps it was not correctly interpreted, perhaps it was from Kelipah (evil)? One of the commentators answers that this proves that he when he experienced the divine revelation, it was in a way that he was completely confident that it was from Hashem, in a way that left no room for doubt. Because being a decent person, and in fact an indefatigable campaigner for morality, Avrohom would never have gone to the Akeidah had he not been sure as can be that Hashem Himself had commanded him to go.


  1. Fred Titmus said...
    Where doe the Torah tell us of the concept of emunah in Tzaddikim?
    Yehoishophot Oliver said...
    "They believed in G-d and in His servant Moshe." (Shemos 14:31) "Whosoever trusts in the faithful servant is considered as if he trusts in the One who spoke and created the world." (Mechilta on ibid.)
    Natan Slifkin said...
    (A) That's talking about Moshe Rabbeinu.

    (B) What is your source for saying that one is obligated to have emunah in a tzaddik to answer medical questions?
    Yehoishophot Oliver said...
    1) Indeed it is. My point was that it proves that there is a concept of having emunah in Tzaddikim, for “There exists an extension of Moshe Rabbeinu in every generation.” (Tikkunei Zohar, Tikkun 69 (pp. 112a, 114a)

    2) I don't recall saying in this blog post that following such instructions is an OBLIGATION, but simply that we see that certain Tzaddikim exert such powers. I.e., such powers can exist. It may indeed be an obligation, but that's not my point here.

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