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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Rav Elyashiv, Torah and Science

It is very troubling that there are those who say insist that it is forbidden to believe that Chazal were mistaken in matters of science. There are just too many instances of nature quoted in the Gemarah that contradict what we know today.
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv hosting President Shimon Peres.

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv hosting President Shimon Peres.
Photo Credit: osef Avi Yair Engel/GPO/FLASH90

It therefore is very troubling that there are those who say insist that it is forbidden to believe that Chazal were mistaken in matters of science. There are just too many instances of nature quoted in the Gemarah that contradict what we know today. That lice produce asexually is just one error.

Avraham Ben HaRambam must have concluded that Chazal were mistaken for similar reasons. But it isn’t only him. It appears that even R’ Elyashiv may have conceded this point. And yet it is said in his name that it is forbidden to believe it.

In my view it is a gross error to say that it is heresy to say that Chazal were mistaken in science. Not that one must have this view. But to say it is forbidden to believe it is a huge mistake.

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Harry Maryles

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.

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Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
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