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TORAH SHEBALPEH------lo bashamayim hi

e Posted - 25 July 2001 20:18

what does the concept "lo bashamayim hi" mean ? and how does it relate the concept of ultimate truth from Hashem if Halacha is in the hands of the Chachamim?

MODERATOR Posted - 25 July 2001 20:40

Ultimate truth is from Hashem, but the Halachah - meaning what Hashem wants us to do - depends on what we discern from the Torah. It's like a father tells his children, "I want you to run this business the way you see fit. Here are the goals, but whatever you guys decide, I will back you."

When Hashem gave the Torah to Moshe on Mt. Sinai, He did not give him one Halachic ruling per case but rather different possibilities. Then He said, "These are the choices of what the Halachah can be. You guys decide which way it goes."

The concept of Torah Lo Bashamayim Hi therefore only applies to defining the Halachah. But where physical facts are concerned, prophecy or Ruach HaKodesh may be used.

In other words, let's say someone takes a milchig spoon out of a fleishig drawer. He doesn’t know if the spoon was used for fleishigs or merely misplaced there. If he had Ruach HaKodesh, he could rely on it to tell him how the spoon got there, since that is a fact, not a Halachah. This is true even though the knowledge of this fact will affect the Halachah, for if the spoon was just accidentally put there, he doesn’t have to kasher it, but if it was used for hot fleishigs he does.

The Halachic part of the decision comes from the person's Torah knowledge, but the facts that the Halachah depends on comes from Ruach HaKodesh. That is fine.

But if he does not know how it got there, he may NOT rely on Ruach HaKodesh to tell him whether he has to kasher the spoon or not, since that is paskening a sheailah, and that can only be done by Torah knowledge.

e Posted - 27 July 2001 18:31

The truth can and is "changing" and for us is not ultimate- is that right??

MODERATOR Posted - 27 July 2001 18:35

no, the truth is absolute. the halachah is defined as the result of the sages' efforts to interpret the torah. that definition and that truth remains.

her Posted - 28 August 2001 2:50

what about Chidushei Torah? How can pieces of Torah be made up by people?

MODERATOR Posted - 28 August 2001 2:59

because within each person is a sol, which is literally a piece of Hashem Himself. The soul is what makes the brain function. When a person thinks, it's his soul that is working. And since the soul of a person is part of Hashem Himself, if a person thinks of a Torah "chidush" in the proper manner, it is considered Torah itself since it is the fruit of the Neshomah.

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