Friday, April 28, 2006

Rabbi Aryeh Carmell

(1917-2006; UK-Israel; talmid muvhak of Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler and co-editor of Michtav Mei'eliyahu) in "Freedom to Interpret", available at  Excerpt (p. 13):

In questions of halachah we have a tradition that the members of the Sanhedrin had heavenly aid to ensure that their decisions would coincide with the truth of the Torah.  In some non-halachic matters, however, such as medicine and other scientific areas, as we learnt from Rambam and his son Rabbi Avraham and other distinguished Rishonim, on the whole the science of our Sages was what was generally known in their time.

As the centuries progress we discover a curious fact.  As modern science becomes more and more soundly established and more discrepancies appear between the words of our Sages and modern science, one would have thought more and more recourse would be had to Rambam's principle – that the words of our Sages in aggada, are not always expected to be in accord with the facts....

It certainly seems that in the majority of cases; [sic] the Sages were left to their own devices, as Rambam and his son assure us.

No comments: