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BECHIRAH-----ohr hachaim vs chovos halevovos

Nesanel Posted - 26 February 2005 23:45

Why don’t any mechanchim ever deal with the Ohr HaChaim's opinion that Human Free Will can "overcome" Hashem’s ultimate plan--that Jack can kill Jane even if Jane was not supposed to die?

I understand that this may be a minority opinion (though there are others that agree with him) but still there is no "psak"? So how can they tell me how Hashem runs the world----when they just don’t know?

(I find this very relevant almost every day because most things that happen to you have an element of "someone's" free will involved.)

(Thanks in advance Rabbi Mod. as this question has been bothering me for years.)

MODERATOR Posted - 26 February 2005 23:50
I don’t know why you say this may be a minority opinion.

I don’t see that at all. The Zohar is the first source for the idea, the Ohr Hachaim, Be’er Mayim Chaim, and Metzudas Dovid follow suit.

Many chasidishe seforim follow this opinion.

I don’t know if this is a majority opinion, but I don’t see how anyone can say it’s a minority.

Rav Elchonon Wassermann in Kovetz Maamarim brings it as a machlokes between the Chovos Halevovs and Tosfos. He does not make any psak either, although the Chofetz Chaim (Mishpatim) seems to hold not like the Ohr Hachaim.

It's a machlokes, simple as that. I don’t see that there is any "final psak".

mo Posted - 29 December 2005 12:58

**The Zohar is the first source for the idea, the Ohr Hachaim, Be’er Mayim Chaim, and Metzudas Dovid follow suit. **

Can you please post where is this Metzudas Dovid ?

**Rav Elchonon Wassermann in Kovetz Maamarim brings it as a machlokes between the Chovos Halevovs and Tosfos. **

The same for Kovetz Maamarim ?


MODERATOR Posted - 29 December 2005 13:21

Metzudas: Daniel 3:26
Kovetz Maamrim: p.54 (new, thick printing)

amolam Posted - 15 January 2006 16:02

How does the ohr hachaim / Zohar camp deal w/ the pasuk: "Hashem Li Lo Irah, Mah Yaaseh Li Odom" ?

MODERATOR Posted - 15 January 2006 16:24

That was the Brisker Rav's proof against the Ohr HaChaim.

I would venture to say that the Ohr Hachaim would hold something like Rav Yisroel Salanter's idea of Bitachon (not like the Chazon Ish) - that Bitachon can enable someone to obtain something they otherwise would not have obtained. So if you have Bitachon that you will get a gold watch, you will.

Therefore, even according to the Ohr HaChaim and Zohar, that a Baal Bechirah can override the default plan Hashem had for you, they definitely agree that if Hashem wants he can intervene and save you form the Baal Bechirah - He can even turn your neck to stone if He will it.

It’s only that the level of intervention needed on the part of Hashem is difficult to merit - "zeiin inun dnitzli mibaalei bechirah".

However, Bitachon can provide that merit needed for even proactive intervention by Hashem.

So the Posuk according to them is not saying that because Hashem is protecting me therefore I have Bitachon, but rather, since I have Bitachon therefore Hashem is protecting me.

HZ Posted - 16 January 2006 19:05

It was pointed out to me that The Ohr Hachaim Hakadosh doesn't say man can kill a person who isn't supposed to die, just someone who isn't chayiv misah.

So, we can answer that maybe Reuvein held Yosef had put himself in a makom sakaanah, and he could be harmed even to the point of death by man, but not by animals.

MODERATOR Posted - 16 January 2006 19:43

I don’t believe the Ohr HaCHaim means that. First, the Zohar on the spot is not distinguishing between chayav misah and time to die.

Neither do any of the other seforim that either quote the Ohr HaChaim or echo what he said, such as the Metzudas of the Rishonim quoted by Reb Elchonon.

No reason to create a third shitah here.

It is not a diyuk in the Ohr Hachaim because in the context he was talking the brothers wanted to see if Yosef was chayav misah or not, which is why the Ohr Hachaim used that loshon there.

Also, in the svara of the Ohr Hachaim, if a Baal bechirah can kill someone who is not chayav misah but an animal cant, that means according to the straight Ratzon hashem this person should not die this way, now (which is why the animals cant kill him), but a baal bechirah can over ride that. If so, what’s the difference if it’s his time to die or not -- since a baal bechirah can over ride the Ratzon hashem that says this person should not be killed now?

depressedAngel Posted - 29 December 2006 7:31

My teacher taught us this concept without even presenting to us the fact that it was a machlokes or anything.

The end result is that we were all MASSIVELY confused and disturbed.

When my principal found out she was really upset and she said that her husband's magid shuir said that it is an "obscure daas yachid" and no Gadol nowadays will ever tell to you go with that derech.

Another one of my teachers who is like a HUGE Talmid Chacham said the same thing

MODERATOR Posted - 29 December 2006 8:52

The magid shiur of the husband of your teacher was not correct. This opinion is neither obscure nor a Daas Yachid.

Summarizing the above, following are a partial list of those who espouse this position:

1)The Zohar
3)The Ohr HaChaim
4)The Be'er Mayim Chaim
5)The Metzudas Dovid
6)The Divrei Yoel
7) Rav Elchonon Wasserman brings the issue as an even-handed Machlokes between the Rishonim (Tosfos vs. the Chovos Halevovos)
8) I am adding to the Rabeinu Chananel in Chagigah (5a) - on "yesh naspa belo mishpat". Comments Rabbeinu Chananel - "this refers to someone who was killed by another human being." Sounds to me like he means this shitah.

Clearly it is a machlokes, but I don’t know of any side which is even majority; certainly neither is a Daas Yachid.

I have also seen this opinion attributed to the Chofetz Chaim. In the Mishna Brura (Biur Halachah 218 "kegon") he says that the miracle Eliyahu HaNavi experienced on Har HaKarmel was done also for the purpose of saving Eliyahu form Achav, since Achav was a Baal bechirah over the life of Eliyahu, so Eliyahu's life was in mortal danger.

The problem with this is that this would create a contradiction between this Chofetz Chaim and the Chofetz Chaim al HaTorah that I mentioned above.

And I saw this question about the Chofetz Chaim's 2 positions pointed out in a Sefer called Otzar Hayedios by Rabbi Yechiel Michel Stern, a Rav in Ezras Torah. He does not suggest an answer.

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