R' Adin Steinsaltz
Posted 13 November 2011 - 06:32 PM
Steinsaltz's Hashkofos contain immense distortions of Torah, which are duly represented in his books. When Rav Schach wrote that he saw in Steinsaltz's writings "דברי מינות ואפיקורסות וחילול כבוד התורה, ו...זלזול נורא על האבות הקדושים התנאים והאמוראים" it came as no surprise. His book of biographical essays on the Avos, for example, is very sick. The Avos, to Steinsaltz, were motivated by emotions, conflicts, and issues no different than characters in a cheap television drama.
It's really painful to read the way he writes about the Avos. Yitzchok's "essential problem" (sic) was to find his own place in a world "dominated by the genius of his father." In the same chapter: "Perhaps Esav represented so much of what Isaac wanted to be ..."
I would write more, but really, it is not easy to look at this stuff - after all, these are my Fathers he is talking about, and I take personal offense, plus it is not one quote here or one there that is the problem. So please do not over-analyse or read into or start judging Lekaf Zechus about what he may have meant in the above lines. In context, you will see that he means it in exactly the way he should not. But the problem is not one statement here or there. The problem is that his entire book makes narratives of the Avos HaKedoshim into water cooler gossip. It's just so repulsive.
Steinsaltz, by the way, was also the Nasi of a new "Sanhedrin." Yes, Sanhedrin. You can read all about them, for this is the first Sanhedrin with its own website, which is called - what else? - TheSanhedrin.org.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. You don't want to have anything to do with this man or his writings. מינות אפיקורסות וחילול כבוד התורה is not something you want to be involved with.
PS - "Controversial" is not the word I would use here. That would imply some kind of "prolonged public dispute or debate," and this issue is pretty open-and-shut. I do not consider the fact that people dispute something reason to consider it disputable. Nor do I consider the fact that people agree on something reason to consider it indisputable. The disputability of something depends on the validity of the arguments, not the amount of people making them. And by that standard, this issue is not disputable.
Posted 23 November 2011 - 09:12 PM
But that is not the real issue here. The real issue here is not whether we can or cannot make a Sanhedrin nowadays. The issue is, are these people it?
I mean, seriously. The Sanhedrin represents the universally accepted Torah authority of Klall Yisroel. Even if Steinsaltz would not be guilty of דברי מינות וכפירה וזלזול נורא וכו וכו - does he really think that he and his group qualify?
Truth to tell, they do admit that they are momentarily still just a "nascent Sanhedrin:"
To avoid disagreements over who was worthy to sit on the Sanhedrin, a Beis din of 71 was immediately formed. It was formed with the best scholars available, with the public announcement every one of them has agreed to step aside the moment a more deserving candidate should step forward. Lastly, the Nasi has indicated that the Beis din would wait until the best scholars of Eretz Yisroel were represented on the Beis din before beginning to fully function halachically as the Sanhedrin of old."
The best scholars of Eretz Yisroel do not take this Sanhedrin the least bit seriously. In fact, the best scholars in EY tell us that it is prohibited to even read Steinsaltz's Seforim because they contain things like Apikorsus and Kefirah and degradation of Tzadikim, and that he is a Mechalel Shem Shamayim.
That's what the greatest Torah authorities in the world think of him. Yet he, on the other hand, thinks he is the Nasi of the Sanhedrin.
The main issue here is not that this Sanhedrin is Halachicly deviant, but that it is delusional.
And dishonest. They know they are not and never will be the Sanhedrin. They're not crazy. So why are they doing this? Clearly, they want people to believe they are or will be "the" authority of Klall Yisroel. They keep telling people this on their website and their literature. They are trying to get anyone who will listen to believe that they are the greatest authorities of world Jewry. And for that there are many obvious motives.
Posted 27 November 2011 - 09:36 PM
So why would these Rabbis give their blessing if the whole thing isn't legitimate?
Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:12 PM
Please do not ask me קושיות based on random, undocumented, unconfirmed things you see on the internet.
You didnt see any blessing of any those rabbis in writing did you? Not a single one of those rabbis put it in writing? Not one?
And Rav Elyashev, who prohibited Steinsaltz's books, gave a blessing to his Sanhedrin?
And notice that the website didn't provide even a quote from any of those rabbis. "They gave their blessing" is an opinion. It is their perception of the rabbis' reaction to ... something. You have no idea what those rabbis really gave a blessing to, or if they ever gave a blessing to anything.
And of course none of them joined. Please. Dont believe everything you read on the internet.
Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:58 AM
It's not a big deal. It happens all the time.
If you find an octopus leg in can of tuna fish, you don't say that the OU gives a Hechsher on octopus. You say they did not see it. So too when you see repulsive and heretical statements in a book with a Haskama from Rav Moshe.
It doesn't change anything. Until you see Rav Moshe say that the particular things that we know to be problematic in the book are not you have no reason to assume anything but what Rav Moshe was shown and told about the books did not contain them.
And we have no reason to believe that it was beyond Steinsaltz or his people to purposely do such a thing. They did write on their website that certain Rabbonim gave their "Sanhedrin" their blessing when we know that in fact these Rabbonim actually prohibited people from even reading Steinsalz's books. Doing what they need to do in order to make themselves look accepted and acceptable is not behavior that we have any reason to believe they would not engage in.