Saturday, December 02, 2006

Challenging Gedolim on Setting Public Policy

The following is an excerpt from a letter written by the Chazon Ish to a religious Member of Knesset, regarding his willingness join the government and to vote against the decision of the Gedolei HaDor regarding Sherut Leumi, based on a distinction between their authority in Psak Halachah vs. public policy making:

"The outlook of making the Torah two separate parts, decision of Issur V’Hetter as one segment, and decisions in the marketplace of life, another; to submit to the decisions of the sages of the generation in the first part, and to allow freedom of choice in the other, is the old outlook of the heretics, in the decline of Judaism in Germany who subverted the Jewish Nation to the point of assimilation among the non-Jews, and there was nothing left as a remnant.

... The distinction between deciding Issur V’Hetter, and deciding boundaries and decrees, this distinction is Gilui Panim BaTorah, and Mevazeh Talmidei Chachamim, and (those who make this distinction) are counted among those who have no share in the World to Come, and they are disqualified from testimony."

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