Friday, August 03, 2007

Rabbi Slifkin in the Jewish Press

Rabbi Slifkin has a front-page essay in this week's Jewish Press concerning mythical animals in Harry Potter and similar creatures in Torah sources; click here. In today's climate, it took courage for the newspaper to publish it. Thirty years ago such thoughts would have been so mainstream as not to be newsworthy. As the century turns, some of our "Torah leaders" would resolutely march us back to the Dark Ages. For the rest of us there is Rabbi Slifkin - and the distinguished rishonim and aharonim that he cites. As usual, Rabbi Slifkin's work is cogent and well thought out. However, the last section is difficult for me. He states that the idea of Hazal not being infallible on secular matters (since they were relying on the science of their time) is upsetting to some Jews and those Jews are not the target audience and should not read the material. Why should that idea be so upsetting? We are not Catholics who believe in the infallibility of the Pope. Hazal were flesh-and-blood human beings, and could be mistaken about science - and about Torah as well! It is called "he'elem davar" and the Torah itself prescribes special korbanot for it in Lev. Ch. 4.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home