If you have a minute (I know many of you don’t actually link to the articles I link to, which is a shame. They very often provide context for my remarks), take a quick read of this post, giving the blow-by-blow history of the “Lipa Ban” (discussed at length on this blog, here).
I just want to quickly get to one of the salient points mentioned there, as it ties into part of the conversation that went on here in the comments between me and “Art”.
The fake anti-ban flyer. As this demonstrated, the preponderance of bans and “kol korehs” has made it easy for a fake flyer to be found believable. In the past, I’ve written about the unfortunate change from teshuvah to pashkevil with regard to the halachik process (no time to find links). This is an unfortunate but predictable outcome that further erodes the credibility of published bans and proclamations.
Exactly right. At this point there are two “pashkevils” out there with the identical “signatures” of the same Rabbis that say conflicting things. How can anyone know anymore if there is ever a legitimacy to any kol koreh that comes out ever again? It has been clearly shown (as BloginDm points out) there are a multititude of flaws in the original poster, that the Rabbis should be embarassed about having their names on (even if it is genuine). What this shows you is that either (a) the Rabbis aren’t reading what they are putting their names to, which is shameful or (b) these pashkevils are easily faked. Either way, what authority could they possibly have anymore?
As Rob said earlier:
Normal frum people (whether MO, Yeshivish or Chasidish) will now view any of these “Kol Korehs” w/ a skeptical eye. By signing something so ridiculous (ed: or easily faked) the “gedolim” have lessened their standing in the eye of any reasonable person. People who follow this crap lock step deserve to be controled b/c they have no minds of their own.
As Art said:
Some right wing extremist wacko (the same type who pushed the made up Indian hair agenda and got women in Israel to burn their wigs in the streets) got Hamodia to print this “made up” kol koreh on a full page.
I say “made up” because there’s no way all the rabbanim approved this kol koreh and missed the grammatical errors.
Once the kol koreh was printed, the rabbanim were in a catch 22.
If they say they didn’t sign it, this not only brings in to question every future kol koreh that may be issued, but also indicates that they are not in control of even their own words.
Here’s the problem: according to Hamodia, the original one was genuine, and that means that the Rabbis did infact approve of and sign their name to terribly worded and poorly constructed sign. And the fact that we were so quick to believe it was a fake exacerbates the problem. Then, of course, there’s the problem of having to maintain appearances to preserve the “sanctity of daas torah,” which is ridiculous.
Here’s my final point (for now) on this: I think the idea of submitting yourself to a human being’s word, without the opportunity to question or formulate critical thought is abjectly ridiculous, and, imho, a very non-Jewish idea. We don’t have a Pope, and we don’t have a doctrine of Infallibility. We never have. Our greatest leader, Moshe Rabbenu, wasn’t infallible, and when he ruled, we listened because he, presumably, had asked God.
But yet, latter-day chareidim and yeshivish bochurim have granted infallibility to the “Gedolim,” making daas torah the end all and be all. And not just about religious law, but about every facet of their lives.
If something like this gets the ball rolling on eroding the power and very concept of daas torah, then it can only be a good thing. Because, as I mentioned, I think it’s daas torah that’s widening the gap. Getting rid of it may have the ultimate consequence of bringing more Jews together.