Poor Learning
Moshe Ben-Chaim
Comment: Dear Rabbi Ben-Chaim,
At first I bristled at your web-site, thinking it too rational. I then read your piece on Ayin Harah and bristled again. "Harumph!"-- no consideration for the soul, and the underbelly of the world. So I decided to research the subject In Rav Dessler's work, since he's a veritable master of hashkapha. And lo and behold, he agrees with you. See Book 4, pp. 5-6.
Though I might pick on you once in the while, I offer you a yasher koach in this instance.
      All the best, xxxxxxxxx
Reply: I do commend you on researching prior to replying. However, do not offer me a Yashar Koach. You have not proven to yourself that I am stating something correct.
I wonder, are you now enlightened by a new understanding of ayin hara, or did you merely back off when this accepted Rav stated something? You don't imply in your message that you learned something new. So perhaps, had Rav Dessler not stated it, you would still hold onto your previous belief. And what was THAT based on? How did you arrive at THAT view? And what would become, should you find Ramban disagrees with Rav Dessler? How would you decide what to believe?
If it is due to your observation of Rav Dessler's view alone that you back off from taking issue with my view, this is not how to learn, i.e., merely accepting matters because a great Rav holds them true. The Rishonim did not learn that way. They argued fiercely with each other, and defended what their minds saw as most reasonable. The Ramban did not accept the Rambam due to his wealth of knowledge and reputation. Ramban learned for himself. The Gra desired that his students argue with him, not blindly accept his teachings. Our greatest minds became great due to active analyzing, not through parroting the leaders.
I hope you investigate further to see WHY Rav Dessler said what he did. Do not cease in your investigation until you see one idea clearly true, and one false. I hope that your values on this, and all other ideas stem from a conviction in your mind, not a fear of opposing the great ones.
Moshe Ben-Chaim


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