Rabbi Moshe Feinstein on The Mistaken Rejection of Torah Leaders

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in Darash Moshe comments on the mistakes of those who reject Torah leaders:

Korach’s argument, the entire congregation — all of them — are holy, and why do you exalt yourself over the congregation of Hashem, is the basic argument of those who reject the Torah leaders and think that they know the Torah as well as the gedolim, and they do not need a teacher or a leader.

Without the tradition from one of the great men of the generation, one can easily err, just as Korach erred in the laws of tzitzis and mezuzah, and just like the apostasy of Eleazar ben Po’irah, who maintained that the sefer Torah is lying in a corner, and whoever wishes to learn may come and learn (Kiddushin 66a).

The fallacy of this assertion is not only regarding the Written Torah,as the Sadducees maintained, when they denied the authenticity of the Oral Torah. One who believes that the Talmud and all the sefarim in the world are lying “in a corner,” and that anyone can learn from them without the direction and guidance of Torah authorities, is an apostate.

As is manifest, all kinds of apostates find support for their erroneous views in some Rabbinic maxim. This is because they misunderstand the meaning of the Rabbis. Even the generation of the desert, upon whom the Shechinah rested, for they had heard the first two commandments of the Decalogue, still required Moses and Aaron and all the sages of the generation.

2 comments on “Rabbi Moshe Feinstein on The Mistaken Rejection of Torah Leaders

  1. This article was a word for word Dvar Torah from Darash Moshe, so I’m not sure exactly how to understand the “conveniently omitted” statement.

    Torah is a set of principles that have to be applied wisely to each situation. Rabbi Feinstein was one of the greatest Rabbinic figures in our lifetime, so I think it makes sense to read and try to understand his words.

  2. The contributor has conveniently omitted the fact that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein issued a hazmono to Beis Din that was ignored by a current member of the Aguda moetzes concerning the his seizure of a yeshiva position that was rightfully claimed by another. Rabbi Feinstein correctly sided with the claimant but never got an answer to the hazmono. So my question is would on the basis of the rationale the contributor has presented would HaRav Feinstein automatically confirm all the opinions of today’s Moetzes if he were still alive? I think not.

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